Do all things denote there is a God? Do the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form, witness that there is a Supreme Creator?
Or is the argument for Intelligent Design bunk?
Yes, the lede is deliberately provocative. The central premise of intelligent design is the same teleological argument used by Alma: the complexity and order of life and universe prove the existence of a Supreme Creator / Intelligent Designer. What are we to make of Alma’s claim? What seems especially striking about Korihor’s confrontation with Alma is that he seems to cement his demise by rejecting Alma’s testimony, and it doesn’t seem fair to have his eternal spiritual welfare hinge on his accepting a fallacious claim. It also seems hard to deny that Alma is inspired when he testifies on behalf of intelligent design, as he strikes Korihor dumb in God’s name moments later, leading even Korihor to acknowledge that “nothing save it were the power of God could bring this [curse] upon me.” Finally, Alma invokes the teleological argument as deducing God’s presence without relying solely on faith, suggesting that Korihor can only deny the soundness of the observable evidence of God’s existence by stubbornly and categorically refusing to acknowledge God.
I understand the arguments against the teleological argument (nature *is*, it has no purpose; infinite regression of designers), but I tend to think that God reveals his fingerprints in the plain-reading of his creation. He’s found and understood by children better than learned men who think they are wise. For that reason I wonder if our spirits, by nature, so to speak, recognize nature’s divine purpose and order, and wonder if we lose that capacity only through intense indoctrination in the theories of men, theories which lead most to imagine that the mysteries are punctured by scattered discoveries of proximate causes.
So getting back to the beginning, in a less-than-orderly fashion, does the motion of the earth and planets denote there is a God?