Alexandria, VA -- We can compute the mathematical probabilities of combined events in the real world, and see if they reasonably could have happened together by chance. If so, then no Intelligent Design is indicated. If not, then Intelligent Design is indicated.
Science frequently uses mathematical probabilities in order to arrive at its conclusions. They are a standard part of scientific research. You can be scientific without necessarily conducting experiments. If you don't believe this, then search the Internet for http://www.google.com/search?&q=science mathematical probabilities and see what you get.
But first, before we do any computations, we need some background . . .
"Intelligent Design" is primarily a concept of philosophy, not of science or religion. It is a broad view of the universe and everything in it, with the fundamental belief that there was some sort of intelligent entity which somehow guided and controlled the creation and development of the entire universe, according to an Intelligent Design.
The Greek philosopher Plato clearly outlined what we now call "Intelligent Design" in his dialogue,"Timaeus," where he refers to a "creator," who exists outside of time and who created all of the material universe, at the beginning of time according to a plan. (see http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext98/tmeus11.txt. Skip the translator's lengthy introduction and go directly to the text of Plato, beginning with the words "First then, in my judgment.") Plato, as you remember, was a philosopher, not a religious leader. And Intelligent Design is primarily a concept of philosophy, not of religion or of science.
Yes, most religions do have a belief in some kind of Intelligent Designer who created the universe at the beginning of time; but they differ on many things beyond that point. The religion of Atheism, however, denies that there is any sort of Intelligent Designer, because that would clearly suggest a God, which Atheism does not accept.
Maybe this Intelligent Designer was the Judeo-Christian-Islamic "One God;" and maybe not. Intelligent Design does not specify which, if any, god(s) were involved; only that some sort of Intelligent Designer was in control.
A believer in Intelligent Design would say, as I do, that all the processes which Science tries to understand, and all the laws governing the universe, were created by this Intelligent Designer. For what purpose, if any? Who knows? Intelligent Design does not say. What does the Intelligent Designer want from us, if anything? Who knows? Intelligent Design does not say.
Science is only a means of understanding that which was created by Intelligent Design. Science is not an end in itself. It is not the responsibility of Intelligent Design to follow the methods of Science, but the responsibility of Science to understand and explain that which was created by Intelligent Design.
Now, back to the calculations of scientific probabilities . . .
In Probability, if an event is certain to occur, it has a probability of 1. If it is certain not to occur, it has a probability of 0. If it has a fifty-percent chance of occurring, it has a probability of .5. So the chance of getting a "head" in any one coin toss is .5. To find the probability of multiple events happening together, we multiply all of the individual probabilities together. So the chance of tossing two heads in a row is .5 times .5, or .25; and the chance of tossing five heads in a row is .5 X .5 X.5 X.5 X .5, or .03125, or about three percent.
Look now at the world, and see if it could possibly all have happened by chance. Look first at the earth itself, with its perfect atmosphere to sustain life; perfect temperature for life; perfect cycle of night and day; perfect cycle of seasons; perfect soil for growing crops; fish to eat in the rivers and oceans; animals to eat on the earth; perfect amount of water for drinking, provided by an amazing water-supply system, with built-in purification; beautiful flowers and other things for our pleasure; trees for shade; breezes for refreshment; just the right nutrients in the food we eat; natural remedies in the plants, to cure our diseases;a perfect built-in clean-up system, using rain, rivers, oceans, and clouds; and on and on and on, without end.
The odds that all of these things could come together at the same time by chance is about one in a million zillion, whatever tiny amount that might be. So even if we do not consider the staggering complexity of biological life, it is statistically impossible that our earth simply happened by chance, or by any imagined combination of pre-existing natural processes.
Surely King David of Israel was right when he wrote two times in the Bible, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." (Psalms 14:1, Psalms 53:1 KJV)
Blessings to you in the name of the One God, Who created all things.
Rev. Bill McGinnis
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Intelligent Design Can Be Tested Scientifically, By Using Mathematical Probabilities
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