The Intelligent Design Evolution Awareness Club is a student-run organization devoted to promoting open, friendly discussion over issues related to Intelligent Design Theory, the scientific status of Evolution, and the proper relationship between Science and Religion. The IDEA Club at the University of Oklahoma holds Bi-weekly seminars discussing various issues relating to the above topics. The IDEA Clubs goal is to promote the idea that life was designed by Intelligence, and to bring people together, regardless of their beliefs, to have open, friendly discussion for the purpose of helping fellow students gain a better understanding of these issues for themselves.
The purpose of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Club is to:
·Promote, as a scientific theory, the idea that life was designed by an Intelligent Designer
·Educate people about scientific problems with purely natural explanations for the origins and evolution of life
·Challenge the philosophical assumptions of Darwinism, naturalism, and materialism
·Hold, through other arguments, that the identity of the Designer is consistent with the Christian God.
For a more detailed explanation of our mission and goals at the University of Oklahoma, take a look at our statement of purpose.
Although Intelligent Design itself is not a religious theory, the IDEA Club at OU would like to recognize that while we do not have a specific religious affiliation, our mission statement does say that we hold "that the identity of the Designer is consistent with belief in the Christian God.” Our claim that life was designed by intelligence is a "scientific" claim, while our claim that the Designer is the Christian God is a religious one. For this reason, we promote Intelligent Design "as a scientific theory” but "hold, through other arguments, that the identity of the Designer is the Christian God." These "other arguments" while logical and rational, are typically philosophical, historical, and religious in nature. The reasons we believe the Designer is the God of the Bible are not scientific in nature. Our beliefs concerning God do not rely upon scientific evidence and it is not our goal to convert anyone to Christianity by way of scientific argumentation.
It is important that both ID-supporters and ID-opponents understand that the theory of Intelligent Design seeks only to argue that a scientific inference can be made from detectable indications of intelligent causation found in nature, to the existence of an intelligent designer of some kind. One may believe the intelligent designer to be whatever seems to them most reasonable. That is, some might identify the Intelligent Designer as Jehovah, Allah, a cosmic life force, space aliens, whatever. Nonetheless, the IDEA Club at OU feels it is necessary to acknowledge that we believe the existence of an intelligent designer to be, at least, consistent with traditional Christian belief and especially theism in general.
Though there are religious implications associated with intelligent design theory (just as there is with evolutionary theory the theoretical workings of intelligent design are comprised purely of scientific arguments. Thus our promotion of intelligent design theory is strictly scientific in nature, and makes no reference to God, religion, or any religious texts.
The fact that the IDEA Club at OU makes known our Christian affiliation does not negate the scientific nature of intelligent design theory, or make the promotion of intelligent design theory "religiously motivated.” Many ID-opponents have argued that the fact that many Christian theists promote Intelligent Design means that ID itself is a religious theory. However, to attribute characteristics to something just because those affiliated with it have certain characteristics is to commit the genetic fallacy or to make an ad hominen argument; neither of which are valid lines of argumentation.
The IDEA Club at OU then may have to some degree a religious affiliation, but this fact does nothing to negate the scientific basis for intelligent design theory. This same rule applies to those who promote evolutionary theory. For instance, the ZOO 3013 Evolution class this semester has been assigned to read Richard Dawkins' “The Blind Watchmaker.” Dawkins is an outspoken atheist and believes evolutionary theory is entirely antithetical to traditional theistic beliefs. Yet, the simple fact that his book is an assigned text here at OU does not mean that OU is an atheistic college or that the teacher or students of ZOO 3013 are themselves motivated by atheism.
The age of the earth is not an issue related to intelligent design theory, nor is it necessarily related to the validity of evolutionary theory, nor does this author believe it is even related to the validity of the Bible. The theory of intelligent design can determine if a natural object is designed without any knowledge of the age of the object. IDEA Club members have their own respective viewpoints on this issue, however the IDEA Club finds no reasons to make any statements about the age of the earth. This is an important question, however, and if you are struggling with it or are interested in learning more about this issue, we suggest you contact various authorities from various sides of the question, and come to your own conclusions.