Creation "Museum" Part 3: Intelligent Design

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 2:55 AM Bookmark and Share
Intelligent Design Creationism has been recognized by both the scientific community and our very own court of law as religion, and not science. Not surprisingly, it pervades the displays and signs in the Creation "Museum".

To give you an idea of how they present intelligent design, I'll let another of their looped videos do the talking. This one was entitled Wonders of Creation: Common Designer (the version playing during my visit had captions, which is the primary source of the transcript below).

Organisms are similar in many striking ways.
They're made of similar chemicals,

run by similar genetic code,
and designed with similar cell structures,

similar organs,
and similar complex organ systems,

like skeletons and nervous systems.
Why do we find so many similarities at so many levels?

Many people believe these similarities arose

because of common descent,

but a biblical perspective suggests a different reason.

The Bible tells us that God created all things in the beginning.

If a common designer made everything

to coexist in the same universe

and follow the same natural laws,
you'd expect to find many similarities

among the things He created.
After all, even human designers

integrate similar parts in different things they design.

Architects and engineers choose similar materials,

write similar instructions,

and incorporate similar components and systems
in their buildings and machines.

The similar, integrated chemicals, codes, and systems

found in living organisms

give compelling evidence of a common designer,

Creation is sprinkled with similar wonders of design
that are clearly God's handiwork.

Consider the spiral forms in galaxies,


and snails,
which suggest a designer who loves beauty in his designs.

We also find complex integrated systems in different animals,

which no one believes arose by common descent.

Sleek designs for swimming in mammals, fish, and plesiosaurs.

Marvelous designs for flying in mammals, birds, and pterosaurs.

And elaborate horn-like designs in mammals, dinosaurs, and insects.

In every corner of the universe,

at every level of organization,

the hand of God is clearly seen.

"For the invisible things of God from the creation are clearly seen."
[Romans 1:20]

In case you were curious to know whether or not there was something in Roman's 1 that specifically addresses the origins and diversity of life here on Earth, here's the New International version (others here) of Roman's 1:18-23, just for context (Romans 1:20 is in bold):
God's Wrath Against Mankind

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Er, umm... Maybe it's just me, but I see absolutely NO connection between the verse and the point of the video. Why not use quotes from Genesis? After all, that's where we're supposed to learn about Creation, right??

Oh, right, maybe because the creation story in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 don't quite agree with one another? Sort of a "which came first: man, plants or animals?" kinda thing. So much for using a literal interpretation of the Bible as a source of biological details...

This video is yet another example of the kind of bad science on display in the Creation museum, despite Ken Ham's assurance that AiG's "own full-time PhD scientists and many other scientists who work in the secular world provided the research for the museum scripts."

For example, in the above transcript...
We also find complex integrated systems in different animals,
which no one believes arose by common descent.
Sleek designs for swimming in mammals, fish, and plesiosaurs.
Marvelous designs for flying in mammals, birds, and pterosaurs.
And elaborate horn-like designs in mammals, dinosaurs, and insects.
Really? No one? Not even, say, pretty much all evolutionary biologists? Maybe I'm misinterpreting things, and the video really just means to say that no one believes "common descent" is how these similarities came to be. After all, the majority of evolutionary biologists would almost certainly say that evolution by natural selection is the appropriate answer.

But if those "museum" scripts are mincing words like that, it would be sort of misleading, don't you think? I'll assume they wouldn't intentionally do that (though I can't say I'd be surprised), so who knows how they came up with such a wacky statement...

Anyway, the irony here is pretty darn laughable... The rest of this last quote actually gives some fine examples of convergent evolution. That is, these are similar adaptations that arose in these very unrelated creatures via the processes of mutation and natural selection because they all faced the same challenge: swimming in the first example, and flying in the second.

Indeed, having taken a closer look (e.g. doing the real science), these don't at all look like similar "integrated systems" that were "designed." Instead, taking the bat and bird wings as an example, they look like gradual adaptation over many generations - i.e. entirely consistent with the theory of evolution by natural selection.


Posted by: Abagale | 8/31/2009 8:06 AM

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Posted by: Paul | 8/31/2009 11:19 AM

Thanks Abagale - I'm glad to hear you enjoy it :)

Posted by: Kevin | 9/15/2009 10:18 AM

Maybe the "no one believes they arose through common descent" claim was based on their "scientists'" knowledge that the scientific community uses those examples as convergent evolution--analogous structures being adapted for a similar end goal, rather than homologous structures. So, on the one hand of course everything is based on common descent, but we would not say a bat and bird share a close common ancestor. Anyway, it doesn't really matter but I'm guessing that is how they twisted the logic to rationalize their statement.

Posted by: Paul | 9/18/2009 12:41 AM

That could be, Kevin - though this and other claims are so vague and hard to interpret they could mean any number of things. Whether intentional or shaped by criticism from the scientific community, this has the effect of making their assertions difficult to disprove or to point out as nonsensical.

Then again, it may maybe just a misleading statement used to try and make visitors feel more comfortable not believing in "common descent"?

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