ID’s Top Six: The Origin of the Universe
In the past we’ve offered the top 10 problems with Darwinian evolution (see here for a fuller elaboration), and the top five problems with origin-of-life theories. But somehow we neglected to offer a parallel listing of the top lines of evidence supporting intelligent design. Many different pieces of evidence pointing to design in nature could be adduced, but we decided to distill it all down to six major lines of evidence. Sure, five or ten would have been more conventional, but when did ID advocates start playing to expectations?
So here they are, their order simply reflecting that in which they must logically have occurred within our universe. Material is adapted from the textbook Discovering Intelligent Design, which is an excellent resource for introducing the evidence for ID, along with Stephen Meyer’s books Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt.
1. The Origin of the Universe
The famous Kalam cosmological argument is a three-part argument that the universe requires a first cause. Its name reflects its roots in Islamic thought.
- Anything that begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a First Cause.
The step in the argument that science can address is the middle one — evidence that the universe began to exist. That evidence comes in two major pieces — (i) the redshift and the Doppler effect, and (ii) the discovery of microwave background radiation.
In 1927, Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaître theorized that the universe began with a single explosion from a densely compacted state. That explosion eventually became known as the Big Bang.
Big Bang: A model of the universe’s origin that holds it is finite in size and age. According to this theory, the universe — including all space and time — originated with a single powerful expansion event, and is still expanding.
Two years after Lemaître introduced his theory, astronomer Edwin Hubble published a study supporting it. Hubble’s study indicated that all galaxies are receding from one another and that the universe is, in fact, expanding. How did Hubble make this discovery?
The next time an ambulance drives past with its siren blaring, pay attention to the pitch of the sound. As the ambulance approaches, the pitch is high, but then as it screams past, the pitch suddenly drops. That is called the Doppler effect.
The Doppler effect states that sound waves are heard with a higher frequency when the source of the sound is moving toward you, but with a lower frequency when it is moving away from you. Although light waves behave differently from sound waves, a similar effect takes place — also called the Doppler effect…
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