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The Theory of Intelligent Design, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 424

Essay

Specified complexity is an argument that attempts to lay out evidence for the theory of intelligent design. According to this, specified complexity features three distinct characteristics. Those are that an event is not necessary but contingent, that it is too complex to occur by chance, and finally the event have some sort of specific characteristics to make it unique. If each of these conditions are met, then there must be an intelligent cause for the phenomenon according to William A. Dembski.

An event that is not necessary, but contingent is the first criterion given by Dembski for specified complexity. This means that something which has occurred is not something which had to happen, there was a conceivable alternative in which this never happened. Most events in our universe would likely be categorized this way as usually there are causes that lead to each occurrence. For example, someone going for a drive was contingent on a purpose for that drive materializing and the driver having the motive to take it. It was certainly possible to imagine the driver never getting in the car and driving.

The next criterion is that the event could not occur by chance. This suggests that there is something about an event too complex to have happened, accidentally. Something must have been done with the purpose of this result being achieved. Finally, it must be that there is a special marker to make the event worth noticing other than the fact that it occurred.

Put together, this means that something that would have been unique must have occurred, but have been both improbable and not inevitable to occur. An event that must have occurred says little does not imply any sort of creator. It had to happen and therefore would have happened somehow and its cause can’t be known. However, just because it did not occur did not mean it was still probable to occur. Yet, if those were the only two criteria then anything improbable would have specified complexity, including the next drawing of Lottery numbers. But, if someone was to pick ten thousand numbers out of a hat and those numbers perfectly aligned with the first ten thousand digits of pi, that is different from them just being any random ten thousand digits with no significance. In the case of intelligent design the point is that the universe did not need to occur, was not likely to occur, and is significant because it is so well adapted to the needs of life in it. To Dembski, this points to some intelligent cause.

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