Teleological arguments are arguments from the order in the universe to the existence of God. They are also known as arguments from design (or, to be precise, arguments to design). The name “the teleological argument” is derived from the Greek word telos, meaning “end” or “purpose”. When such arguments speak of the universe being ordered, they mean that it is ordered towards some end or purpose. The suggestion is that it is more plausible to suppose that the universe is so because it was created by an intelligent being in order to accomplish that purpose than it is to suppose that it is this way by chance.
The Teleological Argument (What it really says)
Christian Apologetics: The Design Argument – Doug Powell, MA
Does God Exist: The Design Argument–The Argument from Design says that God must exist because the universe points to a creator.–www.rzim.org
The Case For God: The Teleological Argument
Should Christians Accept Intelligent Design?
First of all, I appreciate all you have done for the Kingdom of God. I pray you keep up the good work. You are someone I look up to.
I’m taking a philosophy of religion course right now, and it is very fascinating to me. I’m taking the course because I am interested in Christian Apologetics. One aspect of Christian Apologetics is to argue for intelligent design. To my surprise, my professor, who is a Christian, does not believe in intelligent design (ID). I also wanted to point out the fact that in an astronomy class my girlfriend is taking, the professor lectured on how most Christians do not believe in ID.
As I’m pondering on why my Christian professor doesn’t believe in ID and how an astronomy professor lectures on how most Christians don’t believe in ID, I start to question if I even know what ID really is.
I thought that God was the intelligent designer that we are arguing for in Christian Apologetics.
So my questions for you are:
1) What is your definition of intelligent design?
2) Is intelligent design something that Christians should believe in?
3) If Christians should believe in intelligent design, then why do some people not believe in it? Are they just confused on the meaning of intelligent design?
I appreciate your time.
Reply from Dr. Craig:
I understand your bewilderment, Drew. In one sense every Christian believes in intelligent design, since the God of the Bible is an intelligent Creator of the world who had certain ends in mind which He intended to realize. So of course the world is the product of intelligent design!
So if we are to understand the professors’ statements, we must be careful to define our terms. Whenever anyone engages you on the topic of intelligent design, immediately ask him to define his terms, or you may be lost in ambiguity and confusion.—for Dr. Craig’s complete answer to the question, click here
How to Build a Worm
Philosopher of Biology Paul Nelson describes the amazing process by which the worm C. elegans is constructed and how it points toward intelligent design.
“The successful creation of a live C. elegans requires many intermediate cell divisions, yet the temporary cells created by these intermediate cell divisions play no functional role in the adult worm whatsoever. Instead, they merely serve as stepping stones in a long journey that will eventually reach a functional organism at its conclusion. But natural selection can’t select a future function; it can only select features that are advantageous already.
If something’s going to function in natural selection, it’s got to function now, at this particular moment in time—not five minutes from now, half an hour, a week, a thousand years. So a process that lacks foresight in principle cannot build a[n] unfolding trajectory, an unfolding lineage [of intermediate cells], where you need to know the target. That’s the fundamental difficulty for any undirected process of evolution.
What natural selection and other undirected natural mechanisms cannot achieve, intelligent agents can. Intelligent agents are able to foresee distant functional goals. Intelligent agents can coordinate and choreograph the assembly of many separately necessary parts to achieve a functional end.
When I look at animal development, I see a trajectory. It’s, in a sense, the quintessential end-directed or teleological process in nature. You’re pulling back that bowstring, and you’ve got a target over there fifty yards away, and you want to put that arrow right in the middle of that target. You need to know what you’re aiming at and why, and for that you need a mind.”