Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

February 15, 2012

The universe and intelligent design

Ben Morris, MA, RPA
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — During the early 19th century, a natural theologian named William Paley believed that all of nature was designed by a creator.

Paley reasoned that just as a complex watch had a watchmaker, so must nature. One of his most important contributions is a written work entitled "Natural Theology,"  which was published in 1802.

Today the view expressed by Paley is known as Intelligent Design (ID). Paley also subscribed to the idea of "fixity of species," meaning that no new species had been created or gone extinct since the beginning of time.

Both Paley and Charles Darwin were awed by the complexity of the eye. Paley believed that the eye was designed and created by a creator. Darwin, on the other hand, believed that the complexities of the eye evolved over time.  

Since a designer would be a supernatural being such a being would be beyond the reach of scientific investigation. Today, teaching evolution in our public schools is legal. However, challenges to the law continue.

Indiana's Senate Bill 89 was passed by the Senate Jan. 31, 2012, and is headed to the House of Representatives. The bill, as amended by the Senate, would allow local school districts to offer instruction on various theories of origins of life must also include theories from multiple religions.

So far the bill has not been assigned to a House Committee. It would then have to be approved by its committee and by the full House by March 5, 2012.

You can stay informed regarding the issues and challenges by going to the website of the National Center for Science Education at

Ben Morris is an archaeological consultant for the Daily News. He can be reached by phone at (812) 932-0298 or via e-mail at