March 1, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Visual Aid: Chance or Design?

A TV commercial for the Honda Accord has been circulating around the net as a popular download (see Steel City’s Finest).  It shows the parts of a car, without human intervention, interacting in strange ways like a Rube Goldberg device, resulting in a finished car rolling off the ramp.  Garrison Keillor adds the punch line, “Isn’t it nice when things just work?”

If you teach science or Sunday School, this could be a great visual aid to stimulate thinking about intelligent design.  It is fun to watch and quite amazing to think about how the production team had to spend $6 million and perform 606 takes to get it right.  Applying William Dembski’s explanatory filter, how could you rigorously conclude that the sequence was designed, and not the result of chance?  Contrast this scene with the familiar analogy of a tornado in a junkyard producing a 747, popularized by the late Fred Hoyle.  What’s the difference?  Put even a micro-tornado on the Honda set and the whole sequence would fail.  That’s irreducible complexity – a picture is worth a thousand words.  Life is like that.

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Categories: Intelligent Design, Media

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