Re: Intell. Design

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Fri, 29 May 1998 14:44:06 -0500 (EST)

At 09:37 AM 5/29/98 -0500, Kenneth Piers wrote:
>I have been reading some (but not all) of the messages regarding the
>Intelligent Design debate. Although I am merely a lowly organic chemist
>with little insight into such deep matters, I have read Behe¹s book and
>appreciated many of the contributions different persons have made to this
>discussion on this list. Although the discussion has largely ended there is
>one point that I think is interesting and has not been brought up. Behe
>hinges his argument on the existence of certain ³irreducibly complex²
>structures in living organisms. He argues that there is no known mechanism
>by which such structures could have arisen through the processes of
>biological evolution. Hence such structures must have been ³intelligently
>designed² - by which he appears to mean both conceptualization and
>fabrication by some intelligent cause.
>What has not been pointed out, however, is that in today¹s biological
>systems, given the blending of egg and sperm and the correct sort of
>nurturing environment, such structures occur over and over again with great
>regularity. So there do exist, in fact, mechanisms - presumably biochemical
>mechanisms - by which such structures are routinely elaborated in
>individual organisms, although humans today may have little knowledge about
>the biochemical details of such mechanisms. Whether or not human knowledge
>will ever advance to the stage in which we can give a detailed account of
>all the biochemical processes necessary for the elaboration of such
>structures is an open question. But, given the correct codes in the DNA of
>an organism, these structures do arise quite consistently under the aegis
>of biochemical regularity without the special intervention and formative
>action of any intelligent cause.
>So it is difficult for me to see how Behe¹s argument advances the
>discussion of origins very much beyond the question of how the original
>underlying DNA sequences for such structures came into being. And, it seems
>to me, the question of how the requisite DNA sequences that specify such
>allegedly ³irreducibly complex² structures came into being, has been at
>the forefront of the discussion of origins for a very long time and
>certainly is not newly posed with the idea of Intelligent Design. So what
>is really new in the ID argument?
>Kenneth Piers, Professor Telephone:(616)-957-6491 (W)
>Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (616)-676-2056 (H)
>Calvin College Fax: (616)-957-6501
>GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49546 E-mail:
>"Meaning is the being of all that has been has a religious
>root and a divine origin." H. Dooyeweerd

Dear Kenneth,

It seems to me that Behe's observation is nothing more than a microscopic,
more scientific version of "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And
their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." I am sure that a
scientist who is an atheist would still assume that there is ultimately an
answer to all questions which is purely scientific and thus avoid the

Take care,