ID, evolution, and critical thinking

by La Shawn Barber

Posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at 3:55 pm

Intelligent design (ID) is an evidence-based theory of the origin of life. ID is a positive argument for an intelligent designer, not a negative one against naturalistic evolution. ID arguments are based on examination of the same informational properties in nature as those found in human-designed objects. Information implies intelligence. It takes a lot of faith to believe that something as wondrously complex as life was caused by an undirected, random series of events.

One of the main problems evolution proponents face is the origin of life. They explain how living things evolved (through macroevolution) but not how biological information came to be in the first place. To understate the matter, there is serious doubt about the theory of evolution. In the interest of scientific inquiry, these problems should be discussed wherever evolution is taught in government schools.

South Carolina, my home state, is moving in that direction. The legislature’s Education Oversight Committee recently voted 7-4 for new standards that would allow students to consider these doubts. Last week, the committee sent the measure to state’s Board of Education.

State Sen. Mike Fair, a member of the committee, pushed for these changes. “To teach that natural selection is the answer to origins is wrong,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with teaching theories. [However] I don’t think it should be taught as fact.”

Naturally, evolutionists balked. ID proponents are accustomed to the labels “uneducated,” “ignorant,” and “idiot.” Ironically, the senator and the committee are willing to compromise, although ID opponents likely consider themselves more tolerant. Students in South Carolina would be exposed to the strengths and weaknesses of both theories. What better way to help young minds develop critical thinking skills?

“We must teach the controversy,” Fair said. “There’s another side. I’m not afraid of the controversy. … That’s the way most of us learn best.”

This raises an obvious question: Why is the other side afraid of the controversy? Is it because they fear the Designer behind the theory, and if there’s a designer, they will be held accountable for denying Him?

Oddly enough, I understand the evolutionists’ reluctance to consider the ID theory. They’d have to face the truth about the God they rejected. Some ID scientists avoid naming the designer to side-step religious discussions, but the other side also has presuppositions. When Christians talk about ID, for example, we assume God exists. That is our worldview. The other side assumes He doesn’t exist and, therefore, reject theories that even imply His existence. You can’t separate ID from Designer-God.

In Romans 1, the apostle Paul tells us that God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen since the world’s creation. Unbelievers are without excuse:

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

La Shawn Barber

La Shawn writes about culture, faith, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Christian Research Journal, Christianity Today, the Washington Examiner, and other publications

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