Re: Once again...ID

Bill Hamilton (
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 10:30:45 -0400

At 09:53 AM 4/27/98 -0400, Howard J. Van Till wrote:
>Moorad to Bill:
>"I have a hard time understanding why people find it difficult to define
>design. It reminds me of fish arguing about the definition or existence of
>water. We are imbedded amongst designed objects that is why it is hard to
>notice. Everything is designed!!"

[Howard's response -- with which I agree -- snipped]
Moorad, you have identified one of the chief problems with attempting to
discern design in nature. If everything is designed -- and I agree that it
is -- then distinguishing designed from undesigned objects is difficult,
because we have no idea what an undesigned object might be like. We have no

The task of discerning design in nature may be further complicated by a
tendency to confuse several sorts of design: the fundamental design of the
properties of entities in nature that God does, the descriptive laws that
we derive by our own investigations, and the sort of design that we humans

God designs the very rules by which things function. Science is an
enterprise that seeks to discover the laws by which entities in nature
function. But the laws we discover are at best approximations that will be
superseded by the results of later investigations. Sometimes, as in the
case of Newtonian mechanics, the earlier laws are first-order
approximations of later discoveries. In other cases -- phlogiston theory,
N-rays, etc., they are just plain wrong. So our efforts as scientists
should be viewed with considerable caution if our objective is to learn
about how God designs things -- more is yet to be learned. Better to go to
sources where He speaks plainly -- the Scriptures -- and better to listen
to the Holy Spirit's illumination of the Scriptures. And when we do that
we ought to be striving to understand what God chooses to tell us rather
than trying to see what other issues that are of interest to us we can
stretch it to apply to. Our methods of design as human beings are quite
different from God's, if for no other reason than that our designs are
simply rearrangements and applications of what God has already designed.
Bill Hamilton, Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems, GM R&D Center
Warren, MI / (home)