This is the question raging in America, but for me the answer is very simple. The two are NOT exclusive. In fact it is perfectly obvious to me that both intelligent design and evolution are responsible for the current state of life on Earth.
First of all, what is meant by the term ‘Intelligent Design’? Many would interpret this phrase as meaning the existence of God, but this is not necessarily so. Of course it depends on how you define ‘God’.
It really all boils down to the nature of Consciousness. If Consciousness originates outside of the living brain, then everything becomes much easier to understand.
Let’s first examine the two diametrically opposed traditional explanations for the existence of life on Earth. One is Darwinian-type Evolution coupled with Natural Selection. In its purest form, this theory sees no need for God or Intelligent Design of any kind. Everything evolved by pure chance, but the law of survival of the fittest and those able to most easily adapt to their environment meant Natural Selection insured only the most efficient life-forms would survive.
The other hypothesis is that God created all life-forms, designing and planning everything from the beginning.
I postulate both these theories are non-starters. They are both wrong, and yet they both contain elements of the true answer.
The Evolution/Natural Selection theory works along the lines that given enough time, billions of Earth years, a million monkeys typing blindly on a million typewriters would eventually produce the collected works of Shakespeare. I think this is complete nonsense, and that is what they would type. A few words or sentences in English perhaps in all those billions of years, but never a word-perfect book, story and certainly not the complete works of Shakespeare.
Similarly for unplanned, undesigned Evolution and Natural Selection to come up with complicated organs like the eye, a bird’s wing capable of producing flight, and all the complicated internal organs of living things is absolutely impossible. Obviously all these things have intelligent design behind them. If they came about naturally by pure chance, why haven’t TV sets, washing machines, computers, etc. come about by pure chance with the help of Evolution and Natural Selection? The idea is plain stupid.
Equally unlikely is the idea that an all-wise God designed and planned everything down to the last detail at the beginning. If it had, why was the long process of Evolution necessary? Of course fundamentalists would reject Evolution entirely, and cling to the Biblical stories of The Garden of Eden, which rely on incestuous relations between Adam and Eve’s children to produce a human race which would survive beyond their children. Think about it.
In any case all the evidence is in favor of Evolution, but there is no evidence whatsoever that it came about by pure accident. In fact all the evidence points to Intelligent Design guiding Evolution.
Now to explain this, we need to return to the nature of Consciousness. If, as the latest evidence suggests, it originates separately from the brains of living organisms, then that is where the Intelligent Design comes from.
Spiritualists and Survivalists would say that it is Spirit which is responsible for the Intelligent Design guiding Evolution. Interestingly one of the pioneers for the theory of Evolution and Natural Selection, Alfred Russell Wallace, was a Spiritualist. He has been overshadowed by Charles Darwin, but it was Wallace’s independent theory of Evolution with the help of Natural Selection which prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory.
Because of his advocacy of Spiritualism, Alfred Russell Wallace, the true originator of Darwin’s theories, has been rather overlooked and sidelined by orthodox science, biologists and historians. Yet his belief is so important, as without it, evolution and natural selection are non-starters. They HAVE to be guided by Spirit or some external intelligence.
Ronald Pearson, the British scientist, also believes in Spiritualism or Survivalism, but has come up with a new termÂ for this external Consciousness – the ‘i-ther’ or ‘intelligent ether’. This is a sort of intelligent matrix which permeates the multi-verse. It is synonymous with the interconnected Spirit which Spiritualists are aware of.
The key thing about this external consciousness, whatever term you use to call it, is that it is constantly evolving along with everything else. So far from being all planned right from the beginning, which would make Evolution unnecessary and laborious, each tiny stage of Evolution is planned by Spirit or the i-ther; the Consciousness of which all living things are just a tiny interconnected part. The brains of living organisms are not the originators of conscience; they are merely the means by which our physical bodies function. Similar to radio receivers or TV sets – the voices and pictures do not originate in the equipment in your home, they are transmitted externally and received by this equipment.
The analogy continues, because all the evidence of Spiritualism, Survivalism and Quantum Physics suggests that there are many dimensions, planes of existence or universes existing side-by-side. However, just as a TV properly tuned to one channel will not be showing any other channels, so the living brains of organisms on Earth usually are only aware of our own Universe.
Sometimes, however, a TV or radio set will be incorrectly tuned, so it picks up more than one channel/station at a time, though one may be indistinct. This explains how some people – mediums and possibly small children and some animals, can tune in to Spirits in an adjoining plane/dimension.
Back to Intelligent Design and Evolution (note not one or the other, but both together). Consciousness is external to our living bodies, that is why everything survives death and why people who have out-of-the-body and near-death experiences are able, while unconscious or even temporarily clinically dead, to see and accurately report on events happening around them and at a distance. It also explains remote viewing and clairvoyance.
It is this Consciousness, external to our brains and living bodies, call it Spirit, the i-ther or what you like, which designs the tiny next stages in Evolution of various species.
Although all are interconnected, each species branches off and develops separately, and we on Earth live our lives here as individuals. This is to gain experience and evolve Spiritually. However, this also explains how different species develop separately, with their own defense and hunting mechanisms. Any designs which are not efficient will fail and that species will die out. So ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘natural selection’ certainly come into play in furthering the evolution of the species, but intelligent design is behind it. Similarly to the old-style video recorders, VHS took off and evolved into DVDs, Betamax died out. Both were intelligently designed, but natural selection meant VHS survived.
Without intelligent design, there could be no meaningful evolution. On the other hand, were there an all-wise God who created and planned everything from the beginning, there would be no reason for evolution at all – the world could have been created exactly as it is, or a lot more perfect, but certainly there would have been no need for the laborious process of evolution to get where we are today.
The only answer is therefore intelligent design guiding evolution, incorporating natural selection and survival of the fittest, and everything, including the external Consciousness/Spirit/i-ther responsible for the intelligent design, learning from past mistakes and evolving all the time in small stages.
Evolution is the key to everything, but it is not blind. It is guided by intelligence, an intelligence that learns from its mistakes and then progresses. All living things, and even inanimate objects – the whole multi-verse, is part of this process. An eternally evolving intelligentÂ multi-verse, and we are only fully aware of one tiny physical dimension within this infinite eternity.