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"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" shouted the Wizard of Oz, in effect commanding Dorothy and friends to ignore their own senses. Similarly, defenders of evolution are denying conclusions now obvious to credible scientists: 1) intelligent causes exist and 2) they are scientifically detectable.

Intelligent Design (sometimes called "design theory" or "ID") is a position regarding life's origins that has prompted lawsuits by those who want evolution to remain the only theory taught in America's classrooms. Yet many scientists are becoming more vocal about their belief that this world seems to be the product of intelligence and intent. They look at the same data available to evolutionists but reach a very different conclusion.

To be clear, ID is not an argument for the Bible or for the gospel of Jesus Christ, specifically. Educator and author William Dembski says, "This is a very modest, minimalist position. It doesn't speculate about a creator or his intentions." But ID is an admission of the obvious: The complexities of this world are best explained and understood in terms of intelligent causes, and the empirical evidence supports this conclusion.

In his book No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased Without Intelligence, Dembski observes, "The evidence for Darwinism was never any good—even in Darwin's day. But with advances in contemporary science, Darwinism becomes utterly unsupportable." Living organisms are composed of functioning parts that work in well-ordered ways. The absence of even one part would render the entire creature or organ inoperable. Take the bull giraffe, for example.

At a whopping 18', the bull giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. Its powerful heart has to pump blood all the way to its brain—against gravity. But when the giraffe leans down to drink, its heart is suddenly pumping with gravity. That rush of blood to the head would kill the giraffe if not for a series of valves along the artery in its neck. They close in sequence. Then, just before the excess blood reaches the brain, it gets squeezed into a type of sponge. Now imagine the giraffe gets startled by a predator while leaning in to drink at a watering hole. It raises its head quickly to flee. Instead of passing out from a sudden loss of oxygen to the brain (which would be the logical consequence), those arterial valves reopen, and the sponge gently squeezes oxygenated blood into the brain. Then another series of valves in the vein going down the neck closes. The giraffe is safe and sound, and the process is ready to repeat itself. If all of those parts weren't fully formed and operational simultaneously, the animal couldn't exist. Naturally, evolutionists have no explanation for the anatomy of a giraffe.

Now wrap your mind around this: An individual cell, made up of 10 quadrillion atoms, is more complex than a giant factory. It possesses and manages more information than a full set of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Consider also that there are 34 trillion copies of your own DNA—an information "recipe" for you—encoded, arranged and stored by means of four characters. Observing a cell's ability to collect, arrange and collate data (all functions requiring intelligence), one scientist noted, "What remains overwhelmingly impressive is that a single cell can do more than our most powerful supercomputers."

If, while walking on the beach, we found "Bob loves Julie" written in the sand, we would rightly assume that something more than just the motion of the waves was responsible. Living things contain information much more complex than that, but the point is clear: This universe of complicated things bears undeniable evidence of having been intentionally created.

NASA astronomer John O'Keefe said, "If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision, we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in." Renowned Cambridge scientist Fred Hoyle famously compared the likelihood of even one biological molecule forming via chance to filling the entire solar system with blind men, each handling a Rubik's Cube, and all accidentally solving the puzzle at the same time. In other words, it's impossible—apart from intelligent intervention.

By comparison, believing that life somehow evolved from the primordial slime is a huge leap of faith. In the Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, N.A. Takahata stated, "We have no direct access to the processes of evolution, so objective reconstruction of the vanished past can be achieved only by creative imagination." A paleontologist who searched in vain for transitional life forms told U.S. News & World Report, "If we can't find the fossils, sometimes you have to think that they just weren't there."

In court cases, public school inclusion of Intelligent Design has suffered temporary setbacks. But evangelical teens need not be ashamed to voice their belief in God the Creator. Biology and Earth-science students will be encouraged to know that an increasing number of Ph.Ds, professors and published scientists are voicing their doubts about Darwinism and support for ID. They've seen the "Wizard" for what he really is.

Popular author and speaker Alex McFarland has served as the president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and Plugged In's teen apologetics expert.

Published June 2013

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