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Anthropology: Intelligent Design Movement Essay

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Updated: Apr 16th, 2021

Main Claims of I.D. & the Claimed Evidence for these Ideas

The Intelligent Design (I.D.) school of thought rides on several claims. Not only do proponents openly defy the claim by Christians that the universe was created in six days as suggested in the Bible, but they also refute the notion that the earth is 10,000 years old. Proponents of the I.D. also claim that some evolutionary shifts occurred during the history of life on earth; however, these changes did not follow the context postulated by Darwinism. Another claim made by adherents of I.D. is that life was created; however, they do not mention the identity of the creator. Most importantly, proponents of I.D. claim that certain things in the universe cannot be explained using known natural causes and show aspects that, in any other circumstance, can only be attributed to intelligence. One example is the creation of life.

Proponents of I.D. provide two pieces of evidence to support their claims. First, they cite the molecular revolution in biology and suggest that the staggering and unsuspected level of complexity within the cells that make up all life is inherently beyond the capabilities of Darwinism to explicate. The second piece of evidence is grounded on the new mathematical findings that cast doubts on the capability of Darwinism’s natural selection in informing the progression of evolution.

Incorporation of the Concept of Biological Evolution

Proponents of I.D. incorporate the concept of biological evolution after the process of creationism, where it is thought that some intelligence must have assembled the first cell, in effect resolving the challenge of irreducible complexity. Consequently, I.D. incorporates the concept of biological evolution to the extent that it could not have been responsible for developing life, but it is still possible that life started to evolve immediately after it was created by an unnamed, intelligent designer. The many fundamental parts making up a cell would not have evolved through Darwinian evolution; rather, they were engineered by an unnamed intelligence. Afterward, the process of biological evolution could have taken over.

Concept of Irreducible Complexity & its Role

The concept of irreducible complexity is grounded on the fact that life is too complex to have evolved as proposed by evolution theories. It suggests that a cell is made up of millions of components that are fundamentally needed if the cell is to become fully functional. Due to the complex relationships between the components, interfering with a single component implies that the cell will no longer function. Consequently, the process of incremental improvement proposed by biological evolutionists cannot be responsible for explaining life because a cell needs all its parts to function and any interference with a single component is bound to kill the cell rather than render it partially functional.

The role of the concept of irreducible complexity in claims of I.D can be explained in terms of demonstrating that there must have been an intelligent being who was initially responsible for bringing together all these components of the cell because biological evolution is not only unable to explain their existence, but also their working relationships. Proponents of I.D., in my view, use this concept to demonstrate the origins of life rather than what happened afterlife was created.

Answering the Claims of I.D.

The biologists refused to buy the notion of I.D., claiming that there existed a multiplicity of ways through which Darwinian evolution can generate irreducibly complex systems. Complex entities, for example, may evolve for one reason and then get co-opted for some exclusively dissimilar, irreducibly intricate functions. This implies that there is a possibility for an indirect pathway to irreducible complexity, in which components making up a system undertake one function and then shift to another more complex function through the process of Darwinian evolution. Second, the biologists claimed that direct pathways to irreducible complexity exist because a component may get added to a system merely because it enhances the performance of that system, but later becomes essential to that system due to consequent evolution. This way, a component that was only perceived as beneficial to the system becomes critical to the operations of that system as a whole.

Real Motivation behind the I.D. Movement

Faith is the real motivation behind the I.D. movement. Unlike the biological evolutionists, who have been credited for generating a new set of theories commensurate with the discipline of science, the I.D. movement has failed to spur any development, in theory, not mentioning that its proponents are still openly divided in their arguments regarding the central tenets of the intelligent design. In making the concluding remarks, the author seems to cast aspersions on the viability of the I.D. movement, instead suggesting that it is only through a leap of faith that intelligent design has come this far. This implies that the theory lacks scientific underpinnings and can only be used in the United States for political gain.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Anthropology: Intelligent Design Movement." April 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/anthropology-intelligent-design-movement/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Anthropology: Intelligent Design Movement'. 16 April.

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