Friday, December 28, 2007


There is an intimate connection between the modern intelligent design framework and traditional creationism. According to a book about Albert Einstein’s theories at the popular level (with a forward by Einstein himself), the laws of thermodynamics imply a beginning to the universe. [1] This would leave room for a single moment of creation, but not multiple creation events throughout time.
Many intelligent design advocates assume that essential types of life do not transform into new organisms with vastly different body plans. [2] If we assume biological fixity and a single creation, then all basic types of life must have existed at the beginning.
Given the stasis of essential types of life throughout time, the only reasonable interpretation of the fossil record is that it represents a singular epoch of rapid geologic activity. That is, the extinction of trilobites and the first appearance of dinosaurs was not separated by millions of years since they existed in the beginning. A catastrophe of sufficient size would destroy and fossilize a diverse group of major biological classes. According to Wikipedia’s article on “Deluge Mythology” there are numerous global flood legends among widespread cultures concerning a cataclysm that occurred within the not too distant past. [3]
Wikipedia’s piece on “Tollmann’s Hypothetical Bolide” shows that at least some geologists hold that legends of a global catastrophe found in cultures throughout the world point to an actual event that happened thousands of years ago. [4] If we assume that most of the fossil record was produced by a great catastrophe, this would require a revision of mainstream geochronology.
Many intelligent design advocates hold to fixity of essential types of life which leads to proposing a singular epoch of rapid geologic activity. This, in turn, gives rise to a condensed version of earth history, including a global catastrophe that occurred thousands of years ago. So, this constellation of views about origins fits the creationist paradigm precisely: biological stasis, a global catastrophe and a highly shortened timescale for natural history. Intelligent design and creationism are similar at many points. However, intelligent design advocates hold that their view is not creationism since they base their position on scientific evidence rather than religious scripture. [5]

1) The Universe and Dr. Einstein by Lincoln Barnett, forward by Albert Einstein, 2nd Rev. Ed.,
(Bantam Books, 1957) pp. 102-106.
2) “The Cambrian Explosion: The Fossil Record and Intelligent Design” by Robert DeHaan and John Wiester in Signs of Intelligence ed. By William Dembski and James Kushiner, (Brazos Press, 2001) pp. 151-154.
3) Noah’s Flood by William Ryan and Walter Pitman, (Simon & Schuster, 1998) pp. 24, 28, 29,238-259.
5) The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design by Jonathan Wells, (Regnery Publishing, 2006) p. 8.

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