Question: What about it, Evolution or Intelligent Design?
Answer: Yes, Evolution or Intelligent Design, actually it is both:
This question looms large in the theist vs. atheist conflict. Evolution and Intelligent Design are often thought to be opposites, one defining a solely materialistic world, and the other a world of greater dimensions, including "God." But Evolution and Intelligent Design are not opposites. Neither do they prove nor disprove the existence of "God."
To begin, all deductive thoughts as to the beginnings of this Universe are theory, guesses, nothing more. No person, text, data, ancient tomes, research, or whatever, can enlighten us as to where the energy, matter, and/or intent to bring this Universe forth, came from. On this point all humans are at square one.
The Evolutionists contend a series of random events started life on earth. Certain chemicals came together in the right proportions to create life. From there, interaction with the environment, chance events, and survival needs, caused these life forms to modify into ever-more complex forms until we humans finally emerged. Assuming evolution is correct, next, we ask the question of cosmic origins. How did the planets, stars, galaxies, etc., end up as they are today? Here the Evolutionist points to the "Big Bang." A theorized cosmic explosion that marked the beginning and creation of the universe as we know it. Even if we accept both these theories as correct there is still the question of Intelligent Design within Evolution and Big Bang to be considered.
So the question for Evolutionists is: how did "order" emerge from a "random" creation?
If this Universe had its beginnings in random events, how and where did the order and cooperation self-evident in this world come from? What or whose intelligence directed the planets to follow their orbits? If they followed random orbits life would not last long. If gravity holds them in orbit, what holds gravity? If the force of gravity was random how long would earth last? There is also great cooperation between flora and fauna, enabling the survival of both. The order observed in our universe implies intelligence, higher intelligence than us humans, shaping and directing the forces of gravity, energy, and matter that make up our cosmology. In fact, the field of science could not exist in a random world. Science depends on such things as laws, and ordered repeatable experiments. The laws of Gravity. The laws of Physics. The laws of Electro-Magnetic Forces. All these things are self-evident of the order/intelligence working in our world. Order appears only through intelligent direction. Order is the product of intelligence, the more intelligence the more order.
For the sake of argument, we could assume both order and randomness exist in our world. Some things random and some things ordered. Notice that this assumption eliminates neither order nor randomness, so both sides of this argument would win.
My own feelings are that randomness never existed. "Higher Intelligence" used the tools of "evolution," and the "big bang" (here I am theorizing with theories) to put into motion the creation of our world and is guiding it along a path. Still guiding it today. I don't believe evolution and the big bang are finished. Creation is an on-going process, never-ending, eternal. While those things that have seemed to be random to us, are events beyond our ability to understand or "see" the patterns that lie within them. As the child can not understand adult logic, so we can not understand the logic of the Creative Higher Intelligence.
Now, just because I agree with "Intelligent Design" doesn't mean I agree with the proponents of "Intelligent Design." I do not believe "God" as defined by religious doctrines exists. He is not the "higher intelligence" that created this universe
Proponents of Intelligent Design argue that "God" created the universe, and everything in it including us humans according to the account in the Christian Bible. We can expand this and include all religions who believe a "God" in written or spoken form created this universe. Actually, we can include any theory of creation which believes "God" played the role of Creator. But if we accept any of these theories as correct, how will we know we have chosen the right "God".
So the question for proponents of Intelligent Design is how do you define the "Intelligence" that designed and created our universe? How do you define "God"?
In the religious writings of the world "God" is defined as good, hateful, loving, angry, unchanging, caring, jealous, judgmental, punishing, unchanging, forgiving, compassionate, omniscience, warring, unchanging, ubiquitous, faithful, unfaithful, controlling, unchanging, a supreme ruler, the ultimate reality, lord almighty, a divine king; also, as loving his children, sacrificing his children, burning his children in eternal fire, unchanging, saving his children, controlling his children, and giving his children free will, etc., and that's only the Christian religion. No wonder people can't agree on what "God" stands for or represents. When someone tells me "God" wants me to do something, I wonder how they know the mind of "God" so to speak for Him. I wonder why "God" didn't tell me personally.
We can not find the answer in books, old or new. Most religious people become Godless when you take the Bible out of their hand. The only definitions they have ever known are Biblical doctrine. Other sacred religious texts offer no clearer definitions nor more logical concepts of God. So if we can't read God out of a book how do we know s/he exists or what s/he wants us to do?
The reason words fail, is because God can't be understood by logic and/or intellect alone. It is through our emotional feelings that we are able to know God. Yes, our feelings are a reliable source of knowledge. Just as reliable as our ears and eyes which put together with taste, smell, and touch form our personal experiences. Feelings, intuitions, frequently called the "sixth sense" are an integral part of our humanness. They are the spiritual nature of mankind.
The only place to look for the Creator is within the creation. Can we look at the Universe, the millions of life-forms within it, and discover the mind of the Creator? Can we look within ourselves and others, finding, understanding the path to God. Yes, I believe we can. In studying religion for many years, I find the only word people agree defines God, is Love. Love is what you feel, Love or God is a spiritual event.
Thousands of near death experiencers will tell you they have been in the presence of God, felt God's love for them and experienced many things. Yet, they will also tell you their experience can't be put into words. When written, the words just don't match the feelings.
So we have come to a logical conclusion that "Intelligent Design" or "Higher Intelligence" was the most likely cause that brought forth, from nothingness, our universe. The tools of evolution, big bang, and probably many other tools, unknown to us, could have been used to accomplish this task. But, we still don't have a definition, other than Love, of this "Higher Intelligence" (God) or its motivation. Here, I believe, we are on our own. Each individual must look within themselves to discover God (Love).
"Think outside of the box." A common phrase today, spoken by many, followed by few.
Belief systems like religion and science build boxes around themselves. The walls of these boxes are made of rules, procedures, processes, rituals, doctrines, laws, etc. The walls are designed to protect the authority and prestige of those individuals enclosed. But they "keep out" as much knowledge as they preserve.
Our world is without limits, constantly growing, being renewed, and unfolding its challenges upon us daily. Personal experiences reveal a spirituality that is also without limits. The spiritual and the physical merge, and swirl together through endless events and endless ages. It is the dance of life. Only through Love can the dance be observed and joined. "Think outside the box."
A few dictionary definitions of the words used in the above writings:
Evolution: a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations.
Intelligent Design: a design having or indicating a high or satisfactory degree of intelligence and mental capacity b : revealing or reflecting good judgment or sound thought.
Randomness: lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern b : made, done, or chosen at random, determined by accident rather than design. Random stresses lack of definite aim, fixed goal, or regular procedure.
Intelligence: a (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : REASON; also : the skilled use of reason (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests) b Christian Science : the basic eternal quality of divine Mind
Order: means to put persons or things into their proper places in relation to each other. Order suggests a straightening out so as to eliminate confusion, implies arranging so that the whole aggregate works as a unit with each element having a proper function.