Design, the Designer, and a Singing Lion

by Melissa Cain Travis

Neo-Darwinian evolutionists of our day do not deny that the natural world has many characteristics that give the appearance of design. They call this a case of “apparent design,” denying that it is “actual design”; in other words, the depth, complexity, and integration we observe in nature simply looks like the product of an intelligent designer but they aren’t. Rather, they are the outcome of purposeless natural processes that have been plugging along, unguided, for eons. (A naturalistic orchestration Richard Dawkins has called the “blind watchmaker.”)By contrast, Intelligent Design proponents observe the appearance of design in nature and attribute it to an intelligent agency.

I spend much time pondering how the same observations in nature can produce such drastically opposing viewpoints concerning the origin, complexity, and diversity of life. Nothing strikes me as more absurd than seeing the world as a fortuitous accident, claiming that the laws of nature alone have produced sentience and human rationality from nonliving matter. But in the end, metaphysical pre-

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commitments, not everyday sense, tend to rule one’s perspective on such things. If you are a materialist, only material explanations will do, and anything else is ludicrous; repugnant, even.

I’ve been re-reading C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, this time aloud to my son (what a delight this is!). A passage in The Magician’s Nephew is startlingly relevant to this worldview dichotomy. For context, the scene (which gives me chills every time I read it) involves Aslan’s creation of the world of Narnia from a dark, formless place to one filled with light

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