Campus science club hosts guest speaker
Marcin Rutkowski, The Oklahoma Daily
The case for intelligent design is based on the same method of reasoning that Charles Darwin pioneered in the “Origin of the Species,” an intelligent design advocate told an audience Monday at Meacham Auditorium in the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Stephen Meyer, director and senior fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, outlined his belief in the scientific authenticity of intelligent design, which he explains in his new book, “Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design.”
“If you apply Charles Darwin’s method of reasoning to what we know now that he didn’t, you come to exactly the opposite conclusion that he did,” Meyer said. “There is evidence of design in nature, and you find that evidence most obviously on display in the digital code that is stored in the DNA.”
Meyer explained the code in human DNA is very similar to a computer program, only much more complex than any program ever created.
“If we trace information back to its source, we always come to a mind, not a material process,” he said
Meyer said this logic points decisively to a “prior designing mind” when applied to the discovery of information in DNA and the complex information processing system that surrounds it.
He explained that he believed the three most common explanations of the origin of life — chance, pre-biotic natural selection and self-organization — all fail to offer the origin of the produced information.
“I think it is a false analogy, because computer systems do not reproduce, and do not mutate as greatly, or as quickly as life does,” said Gregory Maus, philosophy sophomore and vice president of the Darwin Student Association.
Maus said Meyer’s argument was similar to the idea of finding a watch in the desert and assuming it was created by an intelligent designer.
“This is similarly flawed in its comparison to the development of life, because watches cannot likewise reproduce, or mutate,” Maus said.
Joshua Malone, microbiology sophomore and president of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Club, said he hoped students would realize that intelligent design is a legitimate scientific argument.
“Our organization is promoting discussion on the question of design,” Malone said. “We really want students to gain a better understanding of the debate that is going on between natural selection and intelligent design.”
Meyer said evolutionists reject the intelligent design argument partly because it challenges evolutionists’ religious devotion to Darwin’s theory.
“I hope that people realize that this is a fascinating topic and one that can be discussed with energy, passion, but also civility,” he said. “It’s the great question.”
Meyer earned his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin of life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences.
The Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Club sponsored Meyer’s lecture.
The Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Club will host a screening of “Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Era” at 7 p.m. today at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. After the showing, a discussion will be hosted by Meyer and Jonathan Wells, a biologist and proponent of intelligent design.