Monday, September 14, 2009

Complexity as Inevitable

I would love to leave the Intelligent Design/Evolution controversy alone and read John Derbyshire in peace... why must I be ambushed by comments such as these from his Straggler column?

There are great cosmic principles at work here. Simplicity yields to complexity. From ammonites and trilobites come seven hundred species of dinosaur; from the spare pronouncements of the Master come annotations, exegesis, and commentary upon commentary; from the convenience of a phone call we advance to email inbox folders, texting, MySpace, Facebook, and twittering. There were originally three federal crimes: there are now, according to one scholar's tally, at least 4,452. (Did you know that as of 2002 it has been a federal crime to move birds across state lines to engage in fights?)

Derbyshire is a highly intelligent man, certainly smarter than I am. Yet this quote is open to a Sesame Street-level analysis that seems beyond the reach of committed Darwinists like him: Which one of these things is not like the others? His examples of exegesis and commentary, email and twittering, and the increase in federal law are all examples of the effects of intelligent agency. The complexity in these cases doesn't just "happen" as though complexity is waiting in the wings for simplicity to "yield" to it. It only happens because intelligent men apply their minds to the world and add complexity to it. The one case where this is alleged not to have happened is in the simplicity of ammonites "yielding" to the complexity of dinosaurs. Can't you just hear those complex dinosaurs banging at the door to be let in?

It may very well be that dinosaurs developed from ammonites through the unintelligent, mechanical process that Darwinists suppose. I don't know. I do know that email and federal law certainly didn't. What is perplexing about Darwinism, and makes me wary of it, is the manner in which its allegedly hard-headed and skeptical advocates fail to see the obvious. If they can't see intelligent agency in email and federal law, why should I put any stock in their assurances that there is no intelligent agency in the development of life?

No comments: