Culture & Ethics Icon Culture & Ethics

Intelligent Design and Its Anthropology

David Klinghoffer


Darwinian evolution and intelligent design are competing theories of biological origins, but they are more than that. Each also gives rise to its logical anthropology — that is, a vision of humankind, what it means to be human, the value of a human, and how humans are to be regarded in relationship to other living things.

That was my thought on listening to a helpful new ID the Future episode with Wesley Smith. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Interviewer Dean Abbott talks with Wesley about human cloning and the utilitarianism that it presumes, the attitude that a person can be put to use as a vehicle toward another person’s satisfaction. The view that Wesley articulates, human exceptionalism, would forbid treating another person that way. 

There is no way that the latter view can be seen as following naturally from Darwinism with its picture of all life emerging unintended through a process of blind chance. A utilitarian perspective, on the other hand, is very difficult to reconcile with the understanding that human beings are the pinnacle of an intelligent designer’s creative interaction with the world. In choosing between Darwinism and design, we are doing a lot more than preferring one scientific idea, shorn of profound moral significance, over another.

Photo credit: skalekar, via Pixabay.