The Teleological (purposiveness) aspect

Brian Kuehmichel
July 28, 2003, Updated Mar. 2014

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"Our clockwork universe points to a good, consistent, trustworthy, intelligent, and personal God." Dean Ohlman

Evidence for God — Teleological (purposiveness)

II. Evidence of God through design (order) and purpose (function)

Psalms 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." and Isaiah 45:18 "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else." Hebrews 3:3b-4 "he who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by some man; but he that built all things is God."

[Note these quotes: While some scientists have an agendaa with their commitment to blindness with teleological sicknessb in the face of evidencec other scientistsd are honestly doubting evolutione and some Creationists base beliefs primarily on science. (see also: Nuclear physicist embraces biblical creation)]

[a We have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism... we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes...that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. Lewontin, R. 1997. Billions and Billions of Demons. The New York Review of Books. 44 (1): 31.]

[b Biology is sick. Fundamentally unscientific modes of thought are increasingly accepted. [T]he heart of the problem is that we persist in making (literally) sense of a world that we know to be senseless by attributing subjective values to the objects in it, values that have no basis in reality. [I]t is no longer acceptable to think of biological objects as having any purpose because the overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion is that they were not designed and built by a Creator (a mental construct necessary to inject a human sense of purpose into existence) with purposes in mind for them. Hanke, David. 2004. Teleology: The explanation that bedevils biology. In Explanations: Styles of explanation in science. Cornwell, J., ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 143-155.]

[c Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic. Pearcey Total Truth Wheaton, Il Crossway, 2004 p.168 quoting Todd, Scott C. 1999. A view from Kansas on that evolution debate. Nature. 401 (6752):423.]

[d We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.]

[e From a “natural selection” perspective, the male peacock was a disaster, a walking refutation of the principles argued by Darwin’s new book. In short, Darwin was agreeing that, if his theory was correct, peacocks would have long since become extinct. Darwin’s Dread, by Barry Peters,]

A. From Agency

1. It is accepted in science that nothing comes from nothing.

2. The order of the universe in all of its harmony and unity could not have happened by accident. This implies a Master designer.

No theory of evolution can be formed to account for the similarity of molecules, for evolution necessarily implies continuous change ... The exact equality of each molecule to all others of the same kind gives it ... the essential character of a manufactured article, and precludes the idea of its being eternal and self-existent1. James Clerk Maxwell, Nuclear physicist embraces biblical creation [1. Maxwell, J.C., ‘Discourse on Molecules’, a paper presented to the British Association at Bradford in 1873, as cited in Lamont, A., James Clerk Maxwell, Creation 15(3):45-47, 1993;]

B. From Natural laws (cause and effect, entropy, thermodynamics, gravity, etc.)

1. Men are in awe of the precision of movements of the stellar and planetary systems of suns, moons, and stars, with this order establishing time, the seasons, and day and night. This certainly implies incredible mathematical design and order.

2. The Anthropic Principle
See: The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, p. 36. and

"A growing number of scientists are concluding, many of them reluctantly, that the universe gives too many indications of having been fine-tuned specifically for the human race to deny that fact any longer. As a recent BBC science documentary pointed out, "Even those who do not accept The Anthropic Principle admit to the "fine-tuning" and conclude that the universe is "too contrived" to be a chance event." The documentary quoted a number of distinguished cosmologists, among them Dr. Dennis Scania, head of Cambridge University Observatories, who says, "If you change a little bit the laws of nature, or you change a little bit the constants of nature . . . it is very likely that intelligent life would not have been able to develop." ... "The scientific establishment's most prestigious journals, and its most famous physicists and cosmologists, have all gone on the record as recognizing the objective truth of the fine-tuning." Nobel Laureate high-energy physicist (a field of science dealing with the very early universe) Professor Steven Weinberg, an agnostic, reflects on "how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values." Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny, Dave Hunt p. 208, 209

C. From Integration (Complexity, Synthesis)

We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God. Summa Theologiae q. 2, art. 3, Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

1. Every complex design had a complex, intelligent designer (formal causality).

a. Order of atomic particles — structure and consistency of electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.

b. the properties of bonding by sharing electrons in outer and some inner layers with carbon possessing four unique bonding types (1-e, 2-e, 3-e, covalent)

2. Intelligence is required to conceive, develop and create each design.

Examples: minerals are made from atoms (each atom is a system see both B.1 and 1. above), compositions of specific atoms form metals, and from metal all manner of simple tools (i.e. hammer, axes, saws, knives, etc.)

Consider: "Each such molecule has a specific function to perform in a specific organism, and its molecular structure is very important in determining how that function is carried out." Molecules in Living Systems

3. Intelligent design is required to develop a complex system with function(s).

"On the most basic level, it has become clear that protein chains have to be of a certain length in order to fold into stable three-dimensional structures. This requires several dozen amino acid residues in the simplest structures, with more complex structures requiring much longer chains. In addition to this minimal requirement of stability, most folded protein chains perform their functions in physical association with other folded chains [12]. The complexes formed by these associations may have symmetrical structures made by combining identical proteins or asymmetrical ones made by combining different proteins. In either case the associations involve specific inter-protein contacts with extensive interfaces(2). The need to stabilize these contacts between proteins therefore adds to their size, over and above the need to stabilize the structures of the individual folded chains(3)". The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds" Douglas D. Axe (commenting on enfolded protein chains)

a. Assembly of atoms into useable molecules (Living organisms use only the left-handed isomers).

b. Chemical stability, chemical reactivity, and chemical selectivity to control molecular activity.

c. The problem of oxygen — oxygen causes amino acids to decay by oxidation while oxygen is necessary for all cellular activity with phosphates, carbohydrates, proteins, enzymes, lipids, and the other complex cellular parts. Cellular chemical reactions are between cellular compounds (with each compound comprised of designed structures of atoms) such as: amino acids (guanine, adenine, thymine, cytosine), mineral electrolytes, phosphates, carbon compounds (with hydrogen, oxygen plus other element combinations), carbohydrates (various sugars - glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc.), monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides, proteins (simplest is ribonuclease), enzymes (acid and base effects), lipids (fat energy stores - saturated, unsaturated), mRNA, RNA, DNA, genes as part of DNA), DNA base pairs, enzymes, proteins, cellular motors, fluid pumps and so much more.

Examples: "The problem with life arising from chemicals is a three-fold problem: chemical stability, chemical reactivity, and chemical selectivity during the chain building process. But evolutionists propose that these complex polymer chains built themselves in a precise, unlikely pattern, without an intelligent chemist controlling the reactions. [Dr. Charles McCombs is a Ph.D. organic chemist trained in the methods of scientific investigation, and a scientist who has 20 chemical patents.] Evolution Hopes You Don't Know Chemistry: The Problem of Control"

Francis Crick, codiscoverer of the DNA structure, describes this strange characteristic of the molecules of living organisms: It has been well known for many years that for any particular molecule only one hand occurs in nature. For example the amino acids one finds in proteins are always what are called the “L” or “levo” amino acids, and never the “D” or “dextro” amino acids. Only one of the two mirror possibilities occurs in proteins. Francis H. C. Crick, Molecules and Men (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1966), p. 60. [Learn more:]

4. Even more intelligence is required to develop systems of interoperability.

Consider intracellular signaling: "Despite the apparent simplicity of the basic signaling mechansisms, signal processing in bacteria can show a large degree of complexity. The magnitude of internal and external stimuli means that behavioral decisions must involve cross-regulation between individual sensory systems. At the same time, individual signals have to be insulated against unspecific cross talk to preserve the specificity or input-output relations." [Kentner, D. and V. Sourjik. 2010, Use of Flouresence Microscopy to Study Intracellular Signaling in Bacteria. Annual Review of Microbiology.64:373-390]

Examples: When joined together in more complex ways from combinations of systems inside of systems come all living cells of unicellular plant and animal organisms. (Cell structural parts: cell wall, plasma membrane, organelles, contractile vacuoles, mitochondria, lysosomes, active sodium transport mechanisms, protein recognition gateways, fluid pumps, respiration, osmosis, diffusion, ingestion and absorption processes, excretion and discharge systems, et cetera.)

5. Life comes only from life. "O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions." (Psalm 104: 24 [See also: Job 28: 12-28; Prov. 3: 19; 8: 22-31; Jer. 10: 12]) Man can replicate some processes of life and in so doing uses his intelligence to organize material elements and chemicals under ideal conditions to produce the desired results. This is just a shallow replication of the creative processes where a supremely intelligent being designed and fashioned all things visible and invisible.

a. Biosynthesis - building cellular parts while dealing with the problem of oxygen.

b. Processes for DNA sequencing and enabling of division of cells.

b. Cellular movement - cell locomotion and irritability - response to surroundings for defense and nutrition.

6. And vastly more intelligence is required to develop multilayered systems of self-recognition, physical cohesion between cells making them inseparable without organism damage, coordinated tissue functions (intercellular operability with bio-feedback and self-regulatory mechanisms, intracellular - intercellular - organ/system repair, cellular replacement system, immune systems, ingestion-digestion-excretion systems), and organism reproduction systems, and for animals compound recycling systems, exo or endo-skeletal mechanical systems, systems to seek food by purposeful movement with recognition of food versus foreign object, defense against external adversity and organisms (locomotion and irritability systems, luminescence and specialized defense systems), sensory systems and system of compatible external organism recognition, et cetera.

Examples: When joined together in more complex ways from combinations of systems inside of systems and with both inter-system and intra-system coordination come all living cells of multicellular plant and animal organisms.

Consider information contained in life forms "If it requires an intelligent mind to study the information contained in biologial life forms, it must also require an intelligent mind to establish them." Journal of Creation, Vol 25(1) 2011, pg 7-9

"Design theorists infer design not just because natural processes cannot explain the origin of biological systems, but because these systems manifest the distinctive hallmarks of intelligently designed systems — that is, they possess features that in any other realm of experience would trigger the recognition of an intelligent cause. DNA and Other Designs"

7. Employ unique genome copying system.

a. Maintains high copy fidelity indistinguishable from perfection.

b. Protective from general and external genome decay.

D. From Purposiveness (Intention) and

1. Intelligently fashioned items show these features of engineering design.

"We shall see that the adherents of the best known theory [soup theory, RNA world] have not responded to increasing adverse evidence by questioning the validity of their beliefs, in the best scientific tradition; rather, they have chosen to hold it as a truth beyond question, thereby enshrining it as mythology. In response, many alternative explanations have introduced even greater elements of mythology, until finally, science has been abandoned entirely in substance, though retained in name." Robert Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptics Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth (Random House, 1986), 32.

a. Proper alignment.

b. Exact dimensions and shape.

c. Tight fit.

d. Proper balance.

e. Moving parts with precisely synchronized timing.

2. The ability to forsee aspects of a project that cannot be assembled by increments so that conditions are established so that all information and materials are:

a. available,

b. localized together,

c. at the right time,

d. capable of functioning together,

e. for the intended purpose.

3. Specific functions are linked to each design.

a. DNA selects specific atoms to build innumerable proteins, enzymes and other chemical compounds.

b. DNA determines in advance the building and development process.

c. DNA implements exact attributes of both the individual parts and the whole assembly.

d. DNA carries out the incoded instructions for the function(s) of the individual parts and purpose(s) of the complete design.

4. Every complex design has an intended purpose (function).

a. Specific functions are integrated into each design.

c. Specific actions or behaviors are the result of specific sets of integrated functions.

Examples: Systems of musculature, circulation, nervous, auto-immune, lymbic, et cetera in animal organisms.

5. Such formal designs are unique and yet interoperate with other complex unique designs.

Examples: Symbiotic relationships between multicellular plant and animal organisms. [See a lengthy list at:]

6. Their is no scientific explanation to concepts of intended and unintended, needed or unneeded, desirable or undesirable, right and wrong.

7. Features of design include resourcefulness of the organism when presented with stimuli through their environment.

a. The ability of organisms to use innate programming to respond in pre-determined ways.

b. The ability to actively solve problems (or exploit opportunities) when presented by their environment.

E. From Relation (Consanguinity)

1. Personal creatures imply a Personal Creator.

a. Man has a remarkable level of complex communication vastly above all animals.

"The people who insist that we are ‘simply anthropoid apes’ cannot account for something as basic as language. The ‘existence of language,’ love and music, to name but a few, convinced Wilson that we are ‘spiritual beings.’ For Wilson, they prove that ‘the religion of the incarnation, asserting that God made humanity in His image, and continually restores humanity in His image, is simply true’. Charles Colson,"

(1) symbols, letters, words, music notes, pictures, math and science symbols, abbreviations, touch, body expression, color, etc.

(2) concepts of mathematics, time, spatial relationships, barter, money, pledges/promises/covenants/contracts, etc.

(3) intensity, size, degree, distance, volume, force, gravity, motion, trajectory, orbit, logic, reason, etc.

(4) emotions, values, morals, ownership, duty, charity, governance, sanity, appreciation, honor, worship, dignity, conflict, peace, etc.

(5) humor, satire, poetry, rhythm, music, fiction, figures of speech, etc.

(6) art, sculptures, caricatures, comics, pantomime, theatre plays, movies, etc.

b. Man possessing a concept of 'GOD' implies His presence

(1) our mind cannot conceive of something that does not have a corresponding reality, and

(2) that reality is either learned by experience or innate by creation.

2. The concept of endless longing in man to connect with others or drive for something more (the desire to search for the meaning of life, and the longing for eternity) within man that is never satisfied implies an intrinsic reference to an external absolute standard.

a. Man longs for a relationship with other humans and with animals.

b. Man desires for and has a spiritual interest in things beyond man, i.e. to have a relationship with his Creator.

"Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, ch 10. Hope"

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, ch 10. Hope (3)"

Example: exploration of space for extra-terrestrial beings or to find God.

3. Transformation of lives through a relationship with a Personal Creator.

Examples:, The Martyrs of Lyons, Great Christians' Testimonies and Our changed society

F. From Morality

1. Why or how did morality develop?

a. It seems to only function as a means for the survival of the weakest.

b. Evolution cannot account for the development of the moral code inherent in all of us.

c. Their is no scientific explanation to concepts of right and wrong or good and evil.

2. Every moral law had a moral law giver.

a. The concept of unfair requires a direct comparison to an ultimate standard.

b. The concept of unjust is a direct appeal to an ultimate judge.

c. Man possesses a concept of a "moral standard."

(1) Man hides or fears when certain behavior is performed.

(2) Shame is our recognition of not reflecting the innate "moral standard".

(3) Repentance, apology, restitution, and forgiveness restores inner wholeness.

d. The universal concept of "fairness" understood by young children before any moral education implies an external law giver to which all appeal when saying "That's not fair!"

e. This "moral standard" imbedded across diverse and unrelated cultures implies our reflection of His image.

3. There is no scientific explanation to concepts of intended or unintended, needed or unneeded, desirable or undesirable, helping or hurting, pride or shame, and right or wrong.

4. Chemistry and physics cannot explain the concern for others, the spirit of altruism, the concepts of self-denial or self-sacrifice or the moral standards that exist as a common pool among humans (and to a limited degree among some animals).

G. From Overdesign (in eight key areas)

1. Upright stature

a. Only bipedal mammal — Dominion over creation

b. Complete bipedal dsign — Skilful work

c. Extreme agility on two legs — Enjoyment of skilful activities

2. Fine hands

a. Pinch grip and tripod grip — Dominion over creation

b. Flexible thumb — Skilful work

c. Small muscle bundles — Enjoyment of skilfull hobbies; Writing

3. Fine skin

a. Fine touch sensors — Enjoyment of fine touch

b. High sensor density — Skilful work

c. Large number of sweat glands — Temperature control

4. Fine facial expressions

a. Unique facial muscles — Ability to express emotions

b. Whites of eyes (sclera) — Ability to discern emotions

c. Ability to discern expressions — 1,000s of facial expressions

5. Intricate language

a. Fine vocal cords — Communicate complex thoughts

b. Deep throat — articulate speaking

c. Fine lips and tongues — beautiful singing & vocal expressions

6. Long childhood

a. Development over 18 years — Family bonding

b. Development of fine skills — Ability to learn many languages

c. Development of mental abilities — Ability to learn many skills

7. Unique beauty

a. Fine hair — Beautiful hair

b. Fine skin and facial features — Attractive facial features

c. Elegant proportions — Elegant body

8. Large brain

a. Unique gray matter — Creativity and memory

b. Unique large size — Speech and thought processing

c. Unique intellect — Appreciation of beauty, etc.

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