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Design Language from Evolutionists

This article is simply compiling a list of design language in evolutionists literature, with minimal comments from myself. Sorry for the sarcasm. It was hard to restrain myself.

Richard Dawkins

Dawkins is notorious for using design language, as if he cannot construct a sentence to teach evolution with giving credit to the designer. He writes: “It is almost as if the human brain were specifically designed to misunderstand Darwinism, and to find it hard to believe.”1) Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence for Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design, W. W. Norton (New York, NY: 1987), p. xviii It definitely isn’t easy to believe, due to the dependence of design language to argue against the Designer.

Dawkins has also said, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”2)Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence for Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design, W. W. Norton (New York, NY: 1987), p. 1 To refer to the appearance of design is to acknowledge the design has certain features that are observable. Science is based on observation. If we ignore our observations of “complicated things” with “appearance of having been designed,” but deny they are designed, we are science deniers. He explains his book The Blind Watchmaker: “The purpose of this book is to resolve this paradox to the satisfaction of the reader to impress the reader with the power of the illusion of design.”3) Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence for Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design, W. W. Norton (New York, NY: 1987), p. 29 Is he a Hindu who believes all that exists is an illusion, or a scientist who will acknowledge his observation. But evolutionist insist believing in creation is blind faith? Odd!

In a later book he wrote, “As an academic scientist I am a passionate Darwinian, believing that natural selection is, if not the only driving force in evolution, certainly the only known force capable of producing the illusion of purpose which so strikes all who contemplate nature.”4) Richard Dawkins, A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love, Mariner Books (New York, NY: 2004), p. 10 Natural selection can produce an observable illusion that “all” can observe, but he considers God a delusion?

His book The God Delusion, he stated, “Natural selection … has lifted life from primeval simplicity to the dizzy heights of complexity, beauty, and apparent design that dazzle us today.”5) Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA: 2006), p. 73 First, I question how anyone who has study biology could refers to “simplicity.” Second, what did this “primeval simplicity” look like since we do not observe any such thing on earth today in biology. What we do observe is what he calls “complexity, beauty and apparent design” with the assumption that simplicity evolved naturally to produce this illusion. Yet he says, “After Darwin, we all should feel, deep in our bones, suspicious of the very idea of design. The illusion of design is a trap that has caught us before, and Darwin should have immunized us by raising our consciousness.”6) Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA: 2006), p. 114 So Darwin allows us to deny our observation, call it an illusion, be suspicious of what we observe because its trying to trap us. It is hard to understand how he calls himself a scientist. Again, he writes, “One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect over the centuries has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.”7) Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA: 2006), p. 157 It surely is improbable that complex designs can arise just to trap us in the illusion with its appearance.

In his first book that made him popular, he wrote, “When you were first conceived you were just a single cell, endowed with one master copy of the architect’s plans.”8) Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (30th Anniversary ed.), Oxford University Press (Oxford, 2006), p. 23 Of course, this architect is not a designer, not were there literal “plans” involved. This is all said to trap us with the illusion that an architect making plans exist. In an article Dawkins wrote, “Darwinian natural selection can produce an uncanny illusion of design. An engineer would be hard put to decide whether a bird or a plane was the more aerodynamically elegant. So powerful is the illusion of design, it took humanity until the mid-19th century to realise [sic] that it is an illusion.”9) Richard Dawkins, “Big ideas: Evolution,” New Scientist, (November 17, 2005) Issue 2517, p. 33 Hinduism has been teaching everything is Maya, i.e. an illusion, for thousands of years. Again, he wrote, “Natural selection is the only workable explanation for the beautiful and compelling illusion of ‘design’ that pervades every living body and every organ.”10)Richard Dawkins, in John Maynard Smith, The Theory of Evolution (Canto edition), Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, UK: 1993, 2000), p. xvi Yes, I am convinced. As a science denier, Dawkins has made one of the most compelling arguments against design.

Leslie Orgel

Leslie Orgel was who first developed the idea of what would become known as RNA World hypothesis. As an evolutionist who spent much of his career trying to figure out abiogenesis (life coming from nonlife), he was the first to coin the term “specified complexity” which is so important to the Intelligent Design movement today. He wrote, “Living things are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals such as granite fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; mixtures of random polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity.”11) Leslie Orgel, The Origins of Life: Molecular and Natural Selection, John Wiley & Sons (New York, NY: 1973), p. 189 It is hard to understand how Orgel misses the obvious that specified complexity indicates evidence for design. Likewise, Geri Richmond of the University of Oregon is quoted to have said, “It’s such a wonderful example of how exquisite nature is as a designer and builder of complex systems.”12)cited by W. McCall, Sponge has natural glass fiber optics, San Fransico Chronicles, August 8, 2003, p. A2

Francis Crick

Francis Crick was the co-discoverer of the double helix DNA. He has written, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”13)Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit, Basic Books (New York, NY: 1990), p. 138; also repeated in “Lessons from Biology,” Natural History, (November 1988), Vol. 97, p. 36 It seems like he is attempting to convince biologist that they need to give themselves to a delusion and deny what they obviously see in observational science as an illusion like Dawkins.

Discussing complexity, he says, “The second property of almost all living things is their complexity and, in particular, their highly organized complexity. This so impressed our forebears that they considered it inconceivable that such intricate and well-organized mechanisms would have arisen without a designer. Had I been living 150 years ago I feel sure I would have been compelled to agree with this Argument from Design.”14)Francis Crick, “Lessons from Biology,” Natural History, (November 1988), Vol. 97, p. 32 he must of gotten the immunization from design which Dawkins spoke about. “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”15) Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY: 1981), p. 88 It is much more reasonable to believe in a miracle working God than in a miracle working nothingness.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking would agree with this last comment we saw from Crick. “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers (i.e., the constants of physics) seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life…. It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”16) Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, Bantam Books (New York, NY: 1988), p. 131 Of course, Hawking never believed in a God Who created, it is just one of those weird traps nature is trying to get us in again.

Bill Nye

Many of us grew up watching Bill Nye. He claims, “Evolution is also not random; it’s the opposite of random. One of Darwin’s most important insight is that natural selection is a means by which small changes can add complexity to an organism.”17) Bill Nye, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY: 2014), p. 23 If evolution is not random, it is planned and designed with a purposed goal intended. I think that what evolutionists are supposed argue against when they reject design.

As an engineer, one would thing he would appreciate design when he sees it. “Although a change in a gene usually happens at random, the next generation of that gene is subject to forces that are anything but random.”18) Bill Nye, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY: 2014), p. 29 Yet, throughout the entire chapter he argues evidence for evolution by using the analogy of “organizations like corporations”19) Bill Nye, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY: 2014), p. 28 designing products like airplanes and nature without randomness producing creatures such as owls. His evidence of natural selection in this confusing analogy climaxing with: “Airplane designs have been tried and discarded, just like bottom-up evolution, and the solution looks (not surprisingly) similar to the one that emerged from evolution [i.e. an owl]. … We are the result of evolution, and therefore so are our creations.”20) Bill Nye, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY: 2014), p. 31 So engineered products, such as airplanes, are the results of evolution. If this is his argument against intelligent design, it must imply that his mechanical engineering degree which got him a job for Boeing provided him with no intelligence to produce any kind of design.

“The way to peer into life’s past is to examine fossils and to determine when a branch was first created by assessing the age of rocks when a certain fossil was formed.”21) Bill Nye, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY: 2014), p. 79 Wait. Was the fossilized creature created? Look again, he said “created.” Created implies designed. Nye enjoys this design language. “You don’t have to dig into the past to see examples of good-enough design…. This is another consequence of being shaped by natural selection…. There’s no evolutionary pressure to produce designs that are better than they need to be…. No entity at the top of the Human Being Design Shop is anticipating what feature we will need in the future…. Nature’s good designs outcompete her not-so-good designs.”22) Bill Nye, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY: 2014), p. 165-166 Perhaps Bill Nye’s not-so-good logic is unaware of the fact that the argument from design is known by the term teleology, which is derived from the Greek word telos (teloV), meaning end, goal, or final outcome. Anything described with the word “design” implies, not only intelligence behind it, but also an anticipation of certain features for the future.

Furthermore, he writes, “At the cellular level, humans and monkeys and pigs and mice are very much alike in construction and design.”23) Bill Nye, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY: 2014), p. 199 “Construction?” “Design?” He falls just short of call biological entities masterpieces of engineering. Oh, wait, he says that too. “We now know a great deal more about living matter than Darwin knew. We know how nerves work and I regard each nerve as a masterpiece of electrical engineering. And we have thousands of millions of them in our body. We know how muscles expand and contract and we know how our hearts beat. But we do not know how we think. The brain has parts specifically designed for this purpose.”24)H. S. Lipson, “A Physicist’s View of Darwin’s Theory,” Evolutionary Trends in Plants, (1988), Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 6 Now we add to his list of teleological terms, “specifically designed for this purpose.” Very much teleological.

Stephen Jay Gould

I have to admit, Stephen Jay Gould is one of my favorite evolutionist authors. I will only share one quote because I don’t want atheists to turn against him and stop reading his interesting works. I think practically every creationist book I have read includes at least one quote from Gould. “Good design is usually reflected by correspondence between an organism’s form and an engineer’s blueprint. In Science (vol. 203, p 1355) I encountered a striking example of good design: an organism that builds an exquisite machine within its own body. The machine is a magnet; the organism a ‘lowley’ bacterium.”25)Stephen J. Gould, “A natural precision designer: Bacteria with built-in magnets reveal biology’s meticulous engineering,” New Scientist, (November 8, 1979), Vol. 84, No. 1180, p. 446 He was a lot more honest than other atheists and evolutionists. Look up his review on Dawkins (LOL).

Robin J. Wootton

I personally don’t know too much about Dr. Wootton beyond the fact that his Ph.D. work was on insect wings and flight. He took up that same topic in an interesting article, stating, “Insects include some of the most versatile and maneuverable of all flying machines. Although many show rather simple flight patterns, some insects—through a combination of low mass, sophisticated neurosensory systems and complex musculature—display astonishing aerobatic feats. Houseflies, for example, can decelerate from fast flight, hover, turn in their own length, fly upside down, loop, roll and land on a ceiling—all in a fraction of a second.”26) Robin J. Wooton, “The Mechanical Design of Insect Wings,” Scientific American (November, 1990), Vol. 263, p. 114 Creationists often discuss humming birds, but I cant recall any creationist discussing house flies.

Wootton continues, “But the comparison can be taken too far. Insect wings are far more subtly constructed than sails and distinctly more interesting. Many, for example, have lines of flexion across the wing, as already in the fossil cicadas. They also incorporate shock absorbers, counterweights ripstop mechanisms and many other simple but brilliant devices, all of which increase the wing’s aerodynamic effectiveness.”27) Robin J. Wooton, “The Mechanical Design of Insect Wings,” Scientific American (November, 1990), Vol. 263, p. 117 So what engineer designed these machines? They sound like amazing “constructed… mechanisms” with “brilliant devices.”

He further comments:

“The better we understand the functioning of insect wings, the more subtle and beautiful their design appear. Earlier comparisons with sails now seem quite inadequate. The wings emerge as a family of flexible airfoils that are in a sense intermediate between structures and mechanisms, as these terms are understood by engineers. Structures are traditionally designed to deform as little as possible; mechanisms are designed to move component parts in predictable ways. Insect wings combine both in one, using components with a wide range of elastic properties, elegant assembled to allow appropriate deformation in response to appropriate forces and to make the best possible use of the air. They have few if any technological parallels—yet.”28) Robin J. Wooton, “The Mechanical Design of Insect Wings,” Scientific American (November, 1990), Vol. 263, p. 120

Wow! What an illusion nature has made.

David M. Raup

Raup moves us from small flying bugs to big flying dinosaurs. “Thus, some pterosaurs were larger than all flying birds and even many small airplanes. They achieved this size and were still able to fly because their design was nearly optimal.”29)David M. Raup, “Conflict Between Darwin and Paleontology,” Bulletin, Field Museum of Natural History (January 1979), Vol. 50, p. 24 From flying reptiles back to bugs. “Thus, the trilobites 450 million years ago used an optimal design which would require a well trained and imaginative optical engineer to develop today.”30) David M. Raup, “Conflict Between Darwin and Paleontology,” Bulletin, Field Museum of Natural History (January 1979), Vol. 50, p. 24 I wonder if a trilobite, with its amazing optical design, could see through this illusion we have heard about? Raup surely didn’t.

“So natural selection as a process is okay. We are also pretty sure that it goes on in nature although good examples are surprisingly rare. The best evidence comes from the many cases where it has been shown that biological structures have been optimized—that is, structures that represent optimal engineering solutions to the problems that an animal has of feeding of escaping predators or generally functioning in its environment. The superb designs of flying reptiles and of trilobite eyes are examples. The presence of these optimal structures does not, of course, prove that they developed from natural selection but it does provide strong circumstantial argument.”31) David M. Raup, “Conflict Between Darwin and Paleontology,” Bulletin, Field Museum of Natural History (January 1979), Vol. 50, pp. 25-26

Elaine Morgan

“In short, the chief mystery does not lie in any one of these anomalies, not even the wonderful brain or the dexterous hands or the miracle of speech. It lies in the sheer number and variety of the ways we differ from our closet relatives in the animal kingdom.”32)Elaine Morgan, The Scars of Evolution, Oxford University Press (New York, NY: 1994), p. 6 Can an atheist speak about miracles? If it was all produced by nature, then it would be natural, not miraculous. Are miracles scientific? I thought that is why the evolutionists reject creation.

P. A. M. Dirac

One last quote about the amazing orderliness of this not designed universe.

“There is one other line along which one can still proceed by theoretical means. It seems to be one of the fundamental features of nature that fundamental physical laws are described in terms of a mathematical theory of great beauty and power. You may wonder: Why is nature constructed along these lines? One can only answer that our present knowledge seems to show that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in construction of the universe. Our feeble attempts at mathematics enable us to understand a bit of the universe, and as we proceed to develop higher and higher mathematics we can hope to understand the universe better.”33)P. A. M. Dirac, “The Evolution of the Physicist’s Picture of Nature,” Scientific American (May 1963), Vol. 208, p. 53

Believe it or not, Dirac was an evolutionist. Dawkins is correct. The brain must be design to not believe in Darwin’s opinion. Even the Darwinist don’t seem to believe it so much.

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Heath Henning
Heath Henning
Heath heads the Set Free addictions ministry on Friday nights at Mukwonago Baptist Church and is involved in evangelism on the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus, offering his expertise in apologetics at the weekly Set Free Bible Study every Tuesday evening. He currently lives in East Troy, Wisconsin with his wife and nine children. Read Heath Henning's Testimony

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