The Norman Transcript

Local news

September 29, 2009

Author posits intelligence as a cause

Intelligent design is the most likely explanation of the origin of life, an author and speaker at the University of Oklahoma said Monday night.

The way Stephen C. Meyer came to that conclusion, was using Charles Darwin's own scientific method of determining which cause to accept for scientific questions in the remote past.

"The irony of that is that a conclusion that points to intelligent design" is reached by Darwin's own methods, Meyer said.

Scientists agree that DNA looks like it's been designed, but try to find other explanations. Meyer said he chose the option that best explained the complexity.

Meyer is at OU this week on the invitation of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Club. He spoke Monday night in Meacham Auditorium as a precursor to the screening of an intelligent design movie, "Darwin's Dilemma," 7 p.m. tonight. That film and following discussion will address the Cambrian period in the fossil record, said Meyer, who will speak after the movie. He said Monday's lecture, however, was a basis for today's information.

He made the case that the complexity and specificity of DNA points to an intelligent designer. In his lecture, he did not look at evolution of life, instead choosing to look at the first organism from which Darwin said all life evolved.

"Darwin did not address the origin of natural life," Meyer said.

He said Darwin didn't look at how that first organism began, because at the time scientists thought the cell wasn't very complex. It's only been since the 1950s that scientists have discovered the ultimate complexity of DNA, Meyer said. He looked at how something that complex could first begin.

Meyer said he was a scientist for an oil company when he attended a science conference that posed questions about the origins of life. He said he was struck with the fact that although there were disagreements about how life evolved, all the scientists agreed that no one knew how the most basic organism began.

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