Monday, January 10, 2005

Thomas Jefferson, on Intelligent Design...

Thomas Jefferson,
"And when the atheist descanted on the unceasing motion and circulation of matter thro' the animal vegetable and mineral kingdoms, never resting, never annihilated, always changing form, and under all forms gifted with the power of reproduction; the Theist pointing `to the heavens above, and to the earth beneath, and to the waters under the earth,'asked if these did not proclaim a first cause, possessing intelligence and power; power in the production, and intelligence in the design and constant preservation of the system; urged the palpable existence of final causes, that the eye was made to see, and the ear to hear, and not that we see because we have eyes, and hear because we have ears; an answer obvious to the senses, as that of walking across the room was to the philosopher demonstrating the nonexistence of motion."
Letter to John Adams.

Those who have eyes, let them see.

An update, more knowledge dealing with the same philosophy that Jefferson thought was true:
"The presence of complexity — interdependent parts that do not function unless other parts are also present — poses another major problem for evolution. For instance, a muscle is useless without a nerve going to the muscle to direct its contracting activity. But both the muscle and the nerve are useless without a complicated control mechanism in the brain to direct the contracting activity of the muscle and correlate its activity with that of other muscles. Without these three essential components, we have only useless parts. In a process of gradual evolutionary changes, how does complexity evolve?

Interdependent parts, which represent most of the components of living organisms, would not be expected from random, undirected changes (mutations) as is proposed for evolutionary advancement. How could these develop without the foresight of a plan for a working system? Can order arise from the turmoil of mixed-up, undirected changes? For complicated organs that involve many necessary changes, the chances are implausibly small. Without the foresight of a plan, we would expect that the random evolutionary changes would attempt all kinds of useless combinations of parts while trying to provide for a successful evolutionary advancement.

Yet as we look at living organisms over the world, we do not seem to see any of these random combinations. In nature, it appears that we are dealing largely, if not exclusively, with purposeful parts. Furthermore, if evolution is a real ongoing process, why don’t we find new developing complex organs in organisms that lack them? We would expect to find developing legs, eyes, livers, and new unknown kinds of organs, providing for evolutionary advancement in organisms that lacked desirable advantages. This absence is a serious indictment against any proposed undirected evolutionary process, and favors the concept that what we see represents the work of an intelligent Creator.

The simple example of a muscle, mentioned, above, pales into insignificance when we consider more complicated organs such as the eye or the brain. These contain many interdependent systems com posed of parts that would be useless without the presence of all the other necessary parts. In these systems, nothing works until all the necessary components are present and working. The eye has an automatic focusing system that adjusts the lens so as to permit us to clearly see close and distant objects. We do not filly understand how it works, but a part of the brain analyzes data from the eye and controls the muscles in the eye that change the shape of the lens. The system that controls the size of the pupil so as to adjust to light intensity and to reduce spherical lens aberration also illustrates interdependent parts. Then there are the 100,000,000 light-sensitive cells in the human eye that send information to the brain through some 1,000,000 nerve fibers of the optic nerve. In the brain this information is sorted into various components such as color, movement, form, and depth. It is then analyzed and combined into an intelligible picture. This involves an extremely complex array of interdependent parts."
Dr. Ariel Roth, biologist
(In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
Edited by John Ashton Phd :87-88)