Responding to Intelligent Design/Creationism: The Law of Biogenesis
This is the first entry of an ongoing program on this blog dedicated to responding to Intelligent Design/Creationist claims. Leading Intelligent Design/Creationism advocates accuse mainstream scientists of being dogmatically attached to naturalistic evolution, they describe evolution as being a faith rather than a scientific enterprise, they refer to those who accept evolution as “Darwinists”, so as to promote the fallacious notions that i) evolutionary biology is reducible to the ideas of Charles Darwin; ii) that mainstream scientists view Darwin and “Darwinism” as unquestionable and infallible; and iii) that Social Darwinist projects like eugenics practiced during the holocaust are somehow natural straight-forward outcomes of the acceptance of evolution. They also claim that evolutionary theory is replete with holes, and that mainstream scientists are simply ignoring or denying them. In this ongoing project, I will be reviewing arguments made by Intelligent Design Creationists and presenting rebuttals from the scientific community.
In considering the evolution-Creationism controversy, keep a few things in mind. Firstly, there is a controversy between evolution and ID/Creationism, but it is not a scientific controversy. ID/C is not scientific. It is entirely religious in nature. This is not simply the opinion of atheists or the scientific community. In addition to the scientific community having rejected ID/C as being either scientific or evidentially-informed (while also accepting evolution as both scientific and overwhelmingly supported by scientific research), a number of court decisions in the US (which were presided over by Christian judges; e.g., Judge John Jones in the 2005 Dover Intelligent Design trial) have come to the same verdict, as have numerous religious organizations, most notably the Catholic Church, and a number of prominent religious scientists, such as evangelical Christian Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project.The primary source of information for this program is Talk Origins, an award-winning site dedicated to exploring the evolution-Creationism controversy run by scientists. Talk Origins has received strong endorsements from major scientific organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Smithsonian Institute, major publications such as Science (arguably the world’s top scientific journal) and Scientific American, and is used as a source of course material for dozens of university courses in America.
The Law of Biogenesis
The Law of Biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, is often cited by Creationists as evidence for the need of an intelligent Creator, who they believe is their God. They describe the law of biogenesis as stating that life cannot come from non-life, it can only come from other life. This is a misunderstanding of the law. The law states that life forms such as mice, maggots, and bacteria cannot appear fully formed. The law says nothing, however, about the biogenesis of very primitive life from increasingly complex molecules.
Source: Talk Origins