An atheist on Facebook made the following statement in a reply to sometyhing I said after viewing the PBS video of Stephen Hawking’s Machine of Life. The video displays a sort of cause and effect process showing how one movement sets in motion a chain reaction. After watching the video, I wrote:
“Only demonstrates again the importance of a Prime Mover and the obviousness of design”
The atheist responder replied, in part:
This is a curious statement. Let’s think about such a statement. I can only conclude that something has been designed if I first prove that there is a designer. Hmm. That’s like saying you can’t conclude that the yellow, curved object in your hand, which can be pealed, eaten, tested in the lab, etc., is the byproduct of a tree or a plant until I first find the tree or the plant, identify it as the source, and then I can posit that the object in my hand is not an illusion, or a football, or an accident, or a hairbrush, but is, in fact, a piece of fruit. Ludicrous.
On the contrary, the value of design and the observation process which can help determine if a particular object has been intentionally designed and produced is that it is valuable as a piece of evidence that can help lead one to the source. The designed object testifies to the existence of the designer! If someone stumbles across Mt. Rushmore, having never heard of it before, they will at once say, “Wow! What amazing human effort.” They won’t say, “Hmm…I can’t be sure this is not a natural rock formation until I can identify the specific artists who created it. Till then, I have to assume that these rocks that look like the faces of four American Presidents happened naturally.”
The atheist’s argument displays one more time the pseudo-science that has arisen for the sole purpose of supporting the atheist perspective. Atheist or not, the argument from design does not have to lead a person to an acknowledgement of the Judeo-Christian God. We are all free to posit any strange theory we feel we must in order to keep pushing God out of the picture–including multiverses and whales that evolve from Hyenas. But it is utter foolishness to refuse to recognize design simply because one has not located the designer.