Saturday, 12 September 2015

Intelligent Design and the supernatural creation of Adam

I was wondering if intelligent design- understood as the research program which focuses on finding signs of design in (especially, but not exclusively) the biological realm- has any bearing on the "supernatural creation of Adam" hypothesis.

Just so we're clear- intelligent design doesn't necessary entail falsity of common descent. All it suggests is that creation of many aspects of biology was guided by a (presumably supernatural) intelligence. Put differently, ID entails (or at least makes it more plausible) that the creation process of earth's biology was peppered with miraculous interventions (or the system was set up/"front-loaded" in such a way so that it would develop designed features, a feat which I think is even more impressive than miraculous interventions). This proves that earth's biology was and is of much interest to supernatural agent(s).

Does this conclusion not make more plausible the hypothesis of Adam's supernatural creation? Since biology experienced a substantial amount of supernatural intervention/guidance, it's not that much of a stretch to say that the most significant event in the course of evolution- emergence of rationality, language, higher consciousness, among other things- probably involved miraculous intervention of some form or the other as well.

To put this reasoning into context, think about how the Qur'an uses the precedence of previous Prophets being equipped with miracles to argue for the miraculous nature of the Qur'an. The idea is- this trend of God sending miracle is nothing new, it happened before, and it's not very surprising that it's happening now. There's no reason to go out of the way and attribute it to magic, since Divine Intervention provides a tidy explanation for the Qur'an's supernatural language (on grounds that it happened before many times whenever prophets were sent). In the same way, we could argue that supernatural creation of Adam, even though it may seem like a more convoluted/complex way of explaining the data compared to common descent, isn't as implausible as initially appears because miraculous intervention/Divine guidance was pretty common in the origin and development of earthly biology.

2 comments:

  1. Salam. I'd love if there was more ayat to back it up.

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  2. Salam Alaykum,

    Speaking of the miracles angle, I do not know about others, but I think 'atheism' is pretty much in-built in natural selection theory (or at least, the theory does not afford the conception of a God that Muslims would recognize).

    In fact, I do not think the standard criticisms of 'evolution' itself does much help in this regard, since the 'rule' is already there that God does not intervene in the affairs of the Universe (so, even if evolution is disproved many years from now, there will be another theory that explains the data through this prism, and on and on if each theory is rendered shaky in turn).

    I also think the whole discussion has a lot to do with politics of secular liberalism, where 'God' has kept out of the public sphere by all means, so ID is like 'hereticism in belief' in such lands, almost by default.

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