Title: Intelligent design and natural theology
Author: Steinar Thorvaldsen
Institution / Affiliation: The Arctic University of Norway
Natural Theology is an attempt to provide arguments for the existence of God based on reason and ordinary experience of nature. It became quite popular with both orthodox Christians and Deists between about 1650 and 1850, inspiring much of the scientific fieldwork done during that period. However, Darwin’s theory of evolution brought about a temporary decline of this Christian apologetic tradition.
Intelligent Design is a relatively new scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent sources, and challenges basic parts of contemporary Darwinism. Fred Hoyle first issued the ideas of Intelligent Design in modern times when he discovered the unique energy level of the carbon atom in the 1950s. On Copernicus’s 500th birthday in 1973, Brandon Carter presented the discovery that the fundamental constants of physics are fine-tuned to precise values for life permittance. In the 1990s, Michael Behe and others presented arguments for Intelligent Design in molecular biology, and irreducibly complex biochemical machines in living cells.
In this paper, we briefly present Intelligent Design and discuss its possible application within a revitalized version of Natural Theology. The paper is mainly written from a scientific perspective.
Published by NLA University College
In partnership with Johannelund School of Theology