Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Intelligent Design

If there is a creator god, then all things would result from ‘intelligent design’ — assuming that creator is intelligent, of course. This does not mean that God is hands-on, nudging his creation along in the direction desired.

Indeed, if it were properly and ‘intelligently’ designed, it would operate as it should from the beginning and need no tinkering. Would not an omnipotent, omniscient god get it right on the first try? But that argument is somewhat meaningless in that God is not constrained by time.

For such a deity, all existence would be ‘at once.’ God does not have to wait and see how things play out! So one could, I suppose, say that the creator is always involved in his creation. But actively smiting evil nations and guiding evolution? I rather doubt it!

Let me return to my point about the creator being intelligent. I shall admit that I do not necessarily believe this, and have written of it elsewhere, as well as suggesting that it probably doesn’t matter. If we posit infinite being, then all things would exist. There would be no design or, rather, each instance of that infinite multiverse would be ‘designed’ differently.

Whether those universes actually exist or remain potential until they are observed may not matter either. Perhaps we could say that an omnipotent god would be one who can observe each and all of them, giving them existence. Or not; again, it doesn’t matter much, does it, except as a thought experiment?

Intelligent design, as promoted by some ‘conservative’ Christians (and other faiths, for that matter), is simply unnecessary to our understanding of how things work (as opposed to why). It is not science, at least not in the sense we use the word today, but more a philosophical question and should be presented as such. And philosophy should most certainly be taught — just not in biology class.

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