A response to the Times of India
On May 29, 2006, The Times of India published an article titled “Were we made or did we just happen? The author Ashutosh, Pune based physicist, rhetorically asked many questions that supposedly refute the Intelligent Design. Jerry Thomas answers his questions.
On May 29, 2006, The Times of India published an article titled “Were we made or did we just happen? The author Ashutosh, Pune based physicist, rhetorically asked many questions that supposedly refute the Intelligent Design. He began by asking ‘if an intelligent designer does exist, why do I have an appendix and bad breath? He then raised the question “And of course, who designed the designers- a question IDer’s say is forbidden” He went on to compare ID proponents to those who believe in flat earth. By using the language of ridicule, he tried to argue that even fossils are in support of evolution. He wrote, “Or the old argument that you cannot know the mind of God- God put fossils in the rocks to test our faith” (Meaning: fossils contradict the creation view).
It is very difficult to engage in a conversation when one of the parties employs ridicule and dismisses the other side. Moreover, the author has already made up his mind regarding ID. But for the sake of readers, one is compelled to answer these questions. We shall look into these one by one.
• If an intelligent designer does exist, why do I have an appendix and bad breath?
The author is partially right in asking this question. It poses a challenge to the ID theory. However, it doesn’t invalidate the ID theory nor it does prove the evolution. At the outset, one must point here that monkeys, supposedly the immediate known link between human beings and other species, do not have an appendix. In fact, it is absent in fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and most mammals. It is only present in a few marsupials such as the wombat and South American opossum, a few rodents (rabbits and rats) and human beings (see, http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v3/i1/appendix.asp). In other words, evolution has the trouble of explaining why it is there only in few species and absent in most. If one species is evolved from another, why doesn’t it appear in all?
Again, it must be noted that scientists are not unanimous in their view about uselessness of appendix. Frederic H. Martini, Ph.D., writing in ‘Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology,’ a medical text book of 1995, writes “The mucosa and submucosa of the appendix are dominated by lymphoid nodules, and its primary function is as an organ of the lymphatic system.”
It must be recalled that in the historical 1925 Tennessee Scopes Trial, where the atheists have won, an atheist argued that: “There are, according to Wiedersheim, no less than 180 vestigal [sic] structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities. Among these [is] the vermiform appendix . These and numerous other structures of the same sort can be reasonably interpreted as evidence that man has descended from ancestors in which these organs were functional. Man has never completely lost these characters; he continues to inherit them though he no longer has any use for them”. At that time, according to atheists, the number of useless organs in human body was 184 but now it is only one or two. It is ironical but fortunate that no atheists at that time removed his 184 useless organs from his body!!!Now even if appendix is useless, it may fit into Biblical view where man due to sin has lost his glory and may lost his certain functions too (This is just a hypothesis).
• “And of course, who designed the designers- a question IDer’s say is forbidden”
This is a dishonest misrepresentation of the ID view. The creationists and ID proponents have argued that whatever has a beginning (effect) must have a creator (cause). Then they have pointed out that since universe should have a beginning according to the scientific laws itself, it must have a creator who is uncaused ( Read ‘God and the Astronomers,’ written by Robert Jastrow, Founding director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies for the argument of beginning of the universe). IDer’s have not argued that this question is forbidden rather they have pointed out that this question is irrelevant.
• IDer’s are like flat earth believers
This is again a presumptuous charge. To cite an example, in a press release to support ID movement, over 500 doctoral scientists had signed. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Washington. (http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2732 ).
Dr. Frank Schaffer who is an ardent supporter of creationism is a five time Nobel nominee. Moreover, the world’s most famous philosophical atheist in the last century, Professor Antony Flew is now a supporter of ID movement (See the article, ‘A Year after Confession’ in www.sakshitimes.com)
• Fossils: Whom do they support?
Let me just quote David Kitts, paleontologist and Evolutionist. He says, “Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them”. As one website notes “All the different, basic kinds of animals appear abruptly and fully functional in the strata – with no proof of ancestors. Darwin was embarrassed by the fossil record. It contains no proof for macroevolution of animals.” (For a detailed discussions see, www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c006.html)
Now, we might ask whether the author has considered any of the IDer’s argument before he wrote or dismissed them without even giving a hearing. The author wrote in his article, “The bottom line is therefore just this: ID has not explained anything. It never will” (emphasis mine). Is it a scientific attitude or a blind faith in evolution?