Village Voice - December, 2005

Intelligent Design and How It Relates to Anatomy and Physiology 

Intelligent design refers to the theory that intelligent causes are responsible for the origin of the universe and of life in all it diversity.   –

I am a person who is fascinated with science, but I’m not necessarily a scientist.  I’m also a religious person who has been taught that God is the be all and the end all, the creator of everything.  I take biology and chemistry classes during the week, and go to church on the weekend.  Some might think of this as living two separate lives, but I disagree.  I’m also a curious person, a trait that is common among scientists.  Curiosity can turn sometimes turn into skepticism or cynicism when it appears in a religious setting.  Religion can’t always explain “why?” with any answer other than, “Because God made it that way.”  Science, however, can explain “How”.  I have heard many conflicting explanations, both of which I am supposed to believe unquestionably as “the truth”. 

Neither science nor religion can fully explain everything, but I believe that if we can utilize both, we can get significantly closer to an answer for our questions.  For example, every child asks their parents, “Why is the sky blue?”  I’ve known most parents to throw back, “Because God made it that way.”  After taking some chemistry and some biology, I understand that it has something to do with the wavelength of light that is reflected back and activates the corneas in our retinas to send the signals to our brains that tell us that the color is light blue. 

I’ve learned in Anatomy and Physiology that everything in the body is mechanical; there is a process for everything, a system.  But who designed that system? We just evolved that way, right?  I’ve been taught that evolution is random changes in DNA sequences that happen when it is damaged or during DNA synthesis.  The rearranged base pairs end up in gametes during meiosis, and the rest is history.  And a few switched base pairs account for an organism that crawled out of the ocean and became the most intelligent and successful life form on the planet. 

I don’t think so.

Like I mentioned earlier, I tend to be a skeptic.  I just cannot believe that a random series of events starting with a big bang and some floating dust in space led to life as we know it today.  For something completely random to work out so well would be like winning the lottery almost every time you play.

For me, I think the most believable explanation is that some higher power had to have planned this.  Designed this.  I like to think of God as a scientist.  Maybe evolution was God experimenting.  For example, we talked about the bones in the inner ear evolving from jawbones of dinosaurs and lizards.  Perhaps that was the “rough draft” of a structure that was fine tuned and adjusted for us.   

There are countless different species and forms of life on the earth.  Some have been around for many eras, surviving through ice ages and extinctions.  Others are very new, such as humans.  Once God found structures and bodily systems that were best suited for life on this planet, He “created man in His image.”  I believe that God designed the DNA to mix up its base pairs in exactly the right way to form the people that we are today.  It’s just amazing that He could plan all of this, down to the atoms that make up the molecules that form the DNA that code for proteins that build life as we know it today.   

Now that is intelligent design. 

-- Jean Joiner (written 12/5/05 for her Anatomy and Physiology I class at Towson University) 

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