My wife and I are five year members of the Creation Museum, and every couple of months we go over there to spend a Sunday afternoon. Usually we start our journey through the museum together, but almost invariably we get separated by my slow, plodding pace – it usually takes me two or three trips to go through the entire place (I invariably meet up with Mandy in the bookstore). Yesterday was a little different, however, because they have added an enhanced audio tour, with Ken Ham pointing out details I had never noticed before, and delightedly I took my first summary tour (viewing the entire museum as a whole) in one trip. One of the center rooms of the Museum, before entering the garden of Eden, is a circular chamber with videos discussing the evidence for design – and then we move through a presentation of young earth Creationism’s view of how we got to our present state.
I ended my last article by noting that Intelligent design was not an argument against, evolution, it was an argument for the existence of God. Actually, what we today call intelligent design was more commonly known as the “teleological argument for God,” and goes back at least to Plato, who argued from the motion of the planets that there must be a designer.
The name most often associated, however, with the teleological argument for God is William Paley, who raised his famous watchmaker argument – if he had never seen a watch, and discovered one while walking in a field, even if it were broken it would be obvious that someone had designed it. Paley’s argument was raised to counter the skepticism of David Hume. The “intelligent design movement” is in many senses a more modern version, Michael Behe (a microbiologist who made the argument that cellular organelles are machines that are “irreducibly complex” and notes both the strengths and weaknesses of Paley’s arguments) brought the arugment to the Public in his book, Darwin’s Black Box. It is in many ways a restatement of the case in philosophical terms and are written to counter atheistic evolution (though Behe himself openly admits he generally accepts theistic evolution). Another line of argument used in discussing intelligent design is the argument from cosmic fine tuning – if the universal constants are altered slightly, any universe with the same natural laws as our universe would not be able to support or sustain life, and others have raised arguments based on the uniqueness of the Earth for supporting life.
The intelligent design movement as a refinement of the teleological argument is therefore invaluable and sound. Dembski has refined a definition of design that means the argument is no longer solely an argument from analogy.
The intelligent design argument (and the teleological argument in general) is not of course universally accepted, though the argument has convinced one of the twentieth centuries most ardent atheists, Anthony Flew, to become a Deist. Evolutionists have issued “rescuing devices” to maintain the theory of atheistic evolution, these are not based on observations and many atheists will note that microbiology is a young science. Intelligent design also cannot answer advocates of Panspermia – the idea that life was directed by extra-terrestrial intelligences.
Conclusions about Intelligent design
I generally find many of the classical deductive and inductive arguments for God (in their modern forms) cogent and sound.  The reason I have not raised them in the past is because they are somewhat specialized (I would not raise the cosmological argument from sufficient reason without a dozen reference works at hand) and taken in isolation other explanations than God could be hypothesized (though I believe when taken as a group, it is difficult to argue God does not exist. That is, the cosmological argument points to a cause of the universe, the moral argument points to a cause for morality, and the teleological argument points to a designing intelligence, the three taken together strongly indicate that God exists).
Intelligent Design then is an important argument to God’s existence and creating hand. However the intelligent design movement is not unified, and from a Christian perspective often makes the key concession to naturalism.
Next time then, we will discuss Young Earth Creationism and how intelligent design fits into that context.
 Some have argued that intermediate structures could explain irreducible complexity, though Behe has answered this in an updated version of Darwin’s black box, and these concerns are not based on evidence but on a previous commitment to naturalism,. Various multiverse theories have been used to counter the teleological argument, though these are clearly metaphysically motivated as Vilkillen, one of their advocates himself has conceded.
 By this I mean the I accept Geisler’s revision of the Thomistic Cosmological argument, Geisler’s version of the Kalam Cosmological argument, the Cosmological argument from sufficient reason, the argument from moral objectivity and the teleological argument.
I don’t use any version of the Ontological argument.