Three Evidences That Point to Intelligent Interaction

When examining a death scene to determine if it was the result of accidental (or natural) causes or the malicious consequence of a killer, I begin by looking for evidence of intelligent interaction (I describe this process in great detail in God’s Crime Scene). Is there evidence at the scene that indicates another intelligent being (the killer) was present? In a similar way, when examining biological structures to determine if they are the result of accidental or natural causes, or the conscious consequence of an intelligent designer, I begin by looking for evidence of intelligent interaction. What are the features of design that all of us recognize intuitively every day, and are these features present in biological organisms? In God’s Crime Scene, I describe eight common characteristics of design and intelligent interaction, and although I think the cumulative case is overwhelming and persuasive when presented in it’s totality, there are a few features of design that are even easier to communicate when making a brief case for an intelligent Creator:

Evidence of Improbability Rather Than Probability
Could the forces of natural law alone account for what I am seeing in biology, and if so, is there enough time in the history of this organism for such laws to cause this result? Given nothing but matter, time and the unguided forces of nature, could simply proteins arise from amino acids? Could amino acids arise in the first place? Has enough time passed in the history of the planet for such unguided processes to account for the complexity we see in even the “simplest” organisms? How probable is such a hypothesis? As evidence for biological complexity mounts, naturalistic, unguided processes seem less and less probable.

Evidence of Irreducibility Rather Than Reducibility
If “natural selection” is true, each organism retains beneficial (unguided) mutations if, and only if, they benefit the organism’s ability to survive. Structures within each organism are therefore built through a process of addition, moving from simplicity to complexity if, and only if, the additions result in something beneficial:

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would break down.” (Charles Darwin in Origin of Species)

If we find structures within an organism (such as Michael Behe’s observation of the Bacterial Flagellum) that cannot have been formed slowly over time through a succession of slight modifications, there is good reason to believe the structure must have been designed. Examples of irreducible complexity in which a large number of proteins must come into existence in precise relationship with one another all at once, are highly improbable unless the assembly was facilitated by an intelligent agent who assembled the required pieces simultaneously. There are several examples of irreducible complexity in biology.

Evidence of Specificity Rather Than Randomness
When something is “specific”, it is “special, distinct, unique, particularly fitted to a use or purpose”. Information demonstrates specificity in its capacity to communicate specific ideas and concepts. As Stephen C. Meyer describes in Signature in the Cell, there isn’t a single example anywhere in the history of the universe in which information came from anything other than an intelligent source. Information is coded by the writer and decoded by the reader; when we see specific information, we can trust that an intelligent writer is involved. When we see information in DNA, guiding the formation of proteins and molecular machines within organisms, the most reasonable inference is the existence of an intelligent writer.

There seems to be plenty of evidence that an intelligent agent has interacted with the biological world with which we are so familiar. The most reasonable inference from the evidence of improbability, irreducibility and specificity is that our world is the product of intelligent design.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene.

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3 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    “There are several examples of irreducible complexity in biology”

    No, Mr Warner, there aren’t. Biology is not your area of expertise. I’m sure as a detective you were used to deferring to the expertise of others. I suggest you do so here – none of Behe’s claims for irreducible complexity have stood up to scrutiny.

    “When examining a death scene to determine if it was the result of accidental (or natural) causes or the malicious consequence of a killer, I begin by looking for evidence of intelligent interaction”

    How long did you spend each time determining whether the supernatural was involved?

    “There isn’t a single example anywhere in the history of the universe in which information came from anything other than an intelligent source”

    1) Are there any examples of information coming from a supernatural source?
    2) If I cut down a tree, I will find information in the number of tree rings – it tells me how old the tree is. Does this mean that trees are intelligent?

    “When something is “specific”, it is “special, distinct, unique, particularly fitted to a use or purpose”.”

    How are you determining that a purpose is intended here?

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  2. toby says:

    As Stephen C. Meyer describes in Signature in the Cell, there isn’t a single example anywhere in the history of the universe in which information came from anything other than an intelligent source. Information is coded by the writer and decoded by the reader; when we see specific information, we can trust that an intelligent writer is involved.
    Oh . . . so constellations are proof of intelligent design. Mr. Wallace, the problem with what you’re talking about here is that is paint yourself into a corner. You can’t stop your inferring design in biology. Why not physics and chemistry? Therefore rocks are designed. Air is designed. Water is designed. You think the universe is designed. So what does “not designed” look like? How do you differentiate design in a universe full of it when you have no examples of undesigned?

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  3. Travis says:

    I think what Wallace is trying to say here about irreducibly complex organisms can be summed up by Stephen Meyer, “”You see, these biological machines need all of their various parts in order to function. But how could you ever build such a system by a Darwinian process of natural selection acting on random variations? Natural selection only preserves things that perform a function-in other words, which help the organism survive to the next generation. That’s survival of the fittest. The problem with irreducibly complex systems is that they perform no function until all the parts are present and working together in close coordination with one another. So natural selection cannot help you build such systems; it can only preserve them once they’ve been built.”

    If you want another example where natural selection and macroevolution fail is the Cambrian Explosion. I mentioned it on another post and no one seemed to want to tackle it.

    I agree we can’t just automatically assume “God” did it, but from what the science shows macroevolution and natural selection do not account for these phenomenon among others, so what alternative would you like to explain?

    Like I said before, materialistic atheism fails on its own terms, it is like a house of cards, you start to notice one or two things and then the whole house comes tumbling down. I am not saying we should just assume God, but I think we should all, including myself, be open to alternative viewpoints. Again, Dawkins even admits things look designed, but his worldview will not account for it and he says maybe aliens when it comes to the origins of the first life. Any intelligence as long as we do not use the G word. The atheist claims to be open-minded, but then automatically rules out any alternative that does not fit his/her worldview before they start. This is not science, this is presupposition. You would totally call the Christian on this yet when the atheist does it, you overlook it.
    Ex:
    I believe in God
    Why?
    Because the Bible is true?
    How do you know the Bible is true?
    Because the Bible said it is the inspired word of God.
    How do you know it is the inspired word of God?
    Because the Bible said it is the inspired word of God.
    (Circular reasoning) (Faith based on presupposition that the Bible is true because the Bible says so)

    I believe in atheistic materialism
    Why?
    Because science has proven X
    What about the mountain of evidence that does not fit with atheistic materialism.
    Well atheistic materialism tells me that is all there is, just give science more time, we will find materialistic explanations for all these things.
    How do you know?
    Because that is what atheistic materialism tells me.
    (Circular Reasoning) (Faith based on presupposition that atheistic materialism is true because atheistic materialists say so)

    Here’s the thing, we should not rule out one side or the other in advance. We take in all the information and evidence through physics, astronomy, cosmology, biology, mathematics, as well as historical evidence, philosophy and logic and we draw conclusions. To rule out any alternative viewpoint in advance is not being rational, logical or scientific. It tells me there is more of emotional and volitional reasons for your worldview than intellectual. Which is fine, but then do not try to claim you only believe it because of intellectual reasons and evidence.

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