Professor John Walton (left) and Dr Alastair Noble (right) answer questions noting that "The scientific data points to an intelligent mind."

5th June 2013

A visitor to an Intelligent Design seminar stated that he is now "open minded" about the subject of origins and design, whereas before he was definitely an atheist.

He was among around 250 individuals, most of them inquisitive Christians, who attended the Evidence of Design seminar at Stanborough Park Seventh-day Adventist church, Watford, on Sabbath, 1 June. Is evidence of design a realistic challenge to Darwinism?

 Surprise singing from the balcony.
Eager participants queue to sign up for the Intelligent Design newsletter.
Professor John Walton, a Research Professor at St Andrews University, believes the answer is 'yes'. He described Darwin’s theory of evolution in its current form and showed how one by one the confident assertions of Darwinism have failed in the light of modern biology. He stated that a growing number of researchers are aware that a radically new approach is needed.

"Although it is still fondly cherished by the media and science popularisers, its precarious survival may be partly due to the conviction of secular scientists that 'Nature is all there is' and that any other ideas are anti-scientific."

Lez Hanna, attending from Bracknell responded, "It was very encouraging to hear an authoritative Christian academic examine some of the weaknesses of current evolutionary thinking in a measured, intelligent and practical manner without resorting to taking demeaning, retaliatory potshots at atheistic proponents of evolution."

Complexity of water
Noble argues that the singular characteristics of water demonstrate ID including its ability to expand as it freezes rather than get heavier and sink to the bottom.
Dr Alaster Noble, Director of the recently formed Centre for Intelligent Design, then challenged the audience to "look at the data – what best explains it?" He presented a clear picture of recent discoveries taking place of the inner working of living cells, including the incredibly complex and sophisticated machinery operating inside the cell. "This demands an explanation that Darwinism simply cannot provide", he stated. "The only thing that we know of that can produce such sophisticated, complex and elegant designs is an intelligent mind."

Dr Noble suggested that the discovery of huge amounts of information in our genes requires a new approach, commonly called 'Intelligent Design'. ID uses scientific methods to study these previously unknown properties of life.

"We have been truly blessed with two very distinguished and professional speakers, one from our own Church, and the other from another denomination," states Johnson Wong, "but the important thing is that they are both committed and professed Christians who have presented their cases with sound reasons."

Ken and Christine Burt who attended from Camp Hill, Birmingham, agreed. "It was good to have some clear and engaging presentations for academics and non-academics." They were among a number who were grateful for a clear explanation of the difference between micro-evolution (small changes within an organism) that has been happening since creation and macro-evolution: the 'molecule to man' full-blown theory of evolution.

 John Ainsworth in debate with Dr John Walton.
John Ainsworth raising a point with Professor Walton during the interval. Both lecturers were very open to questions and honest debate.
Chemical Engineer, John Ainsworth, felt that the event comprehensively addressed two important issues in the Church: The intellectual attack on Christianity from the New Atheists and the negative view of science held by some Christians.

"The New Atheists claim that all religious belief including Christian faith is irrational in light of the 'fact' of molecules to man evolution", he stated. "Many Christians, due to this attack, wrongly perceive science as the enemy. Both academics at this event gave a scientific rather than theological response to the evolutionary attack on Christian faith. In so doing, they showed that Christian faith is not only compatible with science but also rational in the light of science."

The lecture was organised by the UK chapter of ASI, (Adventist Service & Industries), a lay led organisation for business people and professionals who want to see more of God 'in the marketplace'.  A video of the seminar can be viewed on the Stanborough Park church video archive.

[Victor Hulbert with Peter Walton]

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