When I was a boy I spent a considerable amount of time on the old family homeplace in southern Kentucky. In those days the plowing was done with horses (or mules). When the animals were to be used for work the following day, they were kept in the barn overnight. Occasionally, however, it was necessary to retrieve stock from the pasture. When that was required, my uncle would hide a bridle behind his back and approach; otherwise the animals would gallop off.
The bridle-behind-the-back motif has found its way into the current field of apologetics, and is highly applauded—even by a goodly number of Christians. It takes its rise from a modern phenomenon called the “Intelligent Design Movement.” The IDM is identified most prominently with a “think” group in Seattle called the Discovery Institute. The scholars associated with the enterprise come from a wide variety of backgrounds and ideological perspectives, e.g., agnosticism, Darwinism, a “Christian” facade, etc.
The major thrust is this: there is a common recognition that there is ample evidence of “design” in the universe, including countless examples in the biological systems of earth’s environment. It is further acknowledged that since “design demands a designer,” and inasmuch as “designer” implies an intelligent personality, there must be some sort of “personal intelligence” responsible for this design.
Even Richard Dawkins, a rabid “God-hater” (see his book, The God Delusion, 2006), in discussing the complexity of the human brain as compared to a computer, has exclaimed: “If anyone doesn’t agree that this amount of complex design cries out for an explanation, I give up” (1986, ix). Dawkins’s explanation is an appeal to the non-intelligent “gods” of “time” and “chance.” The non-intelligent producing the intelligent! Where in all the universe throughout all time is there a documented example of such?
Incidentally, Dawkins recently was interviewed by Fox News’s personality, Bill O’Reilly. It was an unseemly case where “Dumb” interviewed “Dumber.” The bumbling effort of “Mr. No-Spin” was scarcely a credit to theism.
What is incredible, however, is the willingness of those who profess to believe in God as Creator, to thrust the Lord into the background of total obscurity for the sake of placating atheism, while attempting to smuggle God into the classrooms of America via the Intelligent Design Movement. Mules may be unable to detect the subterfuge of hidden bridles, but not even secularists are that obtuse!
The apostle Paul addressed this sort of theological chicanery in his letter to the Roman Christians, and he softened none of his blows.
For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened (Romans 1:20-21; note the added emphases).
It is not enough to contend that there is an “intelligent force” out there; God must be honored as God! To fail to do so is a disgusting surrender of the full disclosure of truth!
The Christian may appreciate the evidence of design, as discussed by anyone—believer or unbeliever. When I wrote my book, The Human Body—Accident or Design?, I quoted, in ad hominem fashion, from numerous skeptics who acknowledged “design” in the human body, but I did not praise them; because they attributed the design to raw chance.
Many secularists concede there is design in nature; they just deny there was a personal Designer.
For example, Dr. William S. Beck, a Harvard professor, asserted that the human body “emerged in organic evolution less than a minute before midnight” if the history of mankind is calculated on a twenty-four-hour scale. Thus the human body was strictly an accident. Incredibly, this affirmation is found in the preface of Beck’s major volume on molecular, cellular, and systematic physiology, the title of which is Human Design (1971, ix).
As cited above, Richard Dawkins authored a book designed to negate the existence of divine design. He titled it, The Blind Watchmaker. His “watchmaker” was not merely blind; it didn’t even have a brain!
The Intelligent Design advocates also argue there is design in nature; they just say: “We don’t know who it is,” or else, “We can’t reveal who it is; it’s a sacred secret.”
If the Intelligent Design agents think they will be applauded on the Day of Judgment, they are in for a tragic awakening. And Christian writers need to cease drooling over them.