Eric Metaxas: What does “intelligent design” mean?
Stephen Meyer: There are certain features of life in the universe that are best explained by a purposive intelligence rather than an undirected material process—such as in the realm of biology, natural selection, acting on random mutations.
Contrast intelligent design with that of one meaning of evolution that the theory is designed to challenge.
There are 3 THEORIES OF EVOLUTION:
1. CHANGE OVER TIME. Life is different now than it was a longtime ago. Also refers to the observable modest changes that we see taking place in the structure of organism, e.g. the famous Galapagos finches. Not contentious or disputed.
2. COMMON ANCESTRY. Could refer to universal ancestry, that all organisms are connected by, what Darwin called “descent from modification”, from one single simple primordial form way back when. Or, it could be a more limited thesis: certain groups of organisms are related by a common ancestry. The Darwinian ideais that the history of life is best represented as a kind of Tree of Life. …
Intelligent design is not challenging that either, although advocates of ID are skeptical of that.
3. NATURAL SELECTION. Unguided, undirected process, known as natural selection, acting on random mutations that has produced all the forms of life we see but also has produced the appearance of design that nearly all biologists acknowledge.
Richard Dawkins, the foremost spokesman for so-called Neo-Darwinism says that “biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
It is the counter-intuitive nature of the Darwinian idea, that yes, things look designed, but they are produced by an undirected,unguided process that produced the APPEARANCE OF DESIGN. They would say, natural selection mimics the power of designing intelligence, but it is not designed or guided in anyway.
Proponents of Darwinism: We have design without a designer.
Sometimes called “blind watch-maker hypothesis” after the title of one of Dawkins’s famous books.
Intelligent design is challenging this 3rd meaning of evolution.