Intelligent Design is Consistent with Judaism

The modern concept of Intelligent Design seems to be quite consistent with classical Torah concepts. In contrast, Darwinist evolution theories not only require great leaps of faith to explain the evident complexity in the Universe, but Darwinist evolution also removes any meaning or purpose to the Universe.

The concept of reflecting on the wisdom evident in the design of the Universe has strong roots in ancient rabbinic thought. Within various rabbinic writings are some concepts that seem quite consistent with the modern Intelligent Design movement. In the famous medieval (11th Century C.E.) Jewish ethics book Chovos HaLevavos, a whole shaar(gate) is devoted to explaining how Jews should examine the created Universe and thus deduce proofs of the existence and wisdom of the Creator.

"One is obligated to reflect on the created things, and deduce from them proofs of the Creator's wisdom, by the dictates of reason, Scripture, and rabbinic tradition."

(Chovos HaLevavos, Shaar HaBechina, Chapter Two)

Chovos HaLevavos also explains that the wisdom evident in the design of the Universe offers proof that the Universe was created with the intention of an Intelligent Agent. Thus Chovos HaLevavos is in direct conflict with Darwinist evolution which can only posit an "appearance" of intelligence in the biological order that lacks any actual purpose.

"It is evident to us that for things which come about without the intent of an intender (i.e. an intelligence who designed it with a purpose) — none of them will display any trace of wisdom or ability. Behold and see, that if a man suddenly pours ink on clean paper, it would be impossible for there to be drawn on it orderly writing and legible lines like it would be with a quill, and if a man brought before us orderly writing from what cannot be written without use of a quill, and he would say that ink was spilled on paper, and the form of the writing happened on its own, we would be quick to call him a liar to his face and tell him that it must have been written without an intelligent person's intent. And since, in our eyes, this is something impossible for mere symbols (the alphabet) that we have agreed on — how could we entertain the notion for something whose engineering is far more fine, and whose assembly is infinitely more deep and beyond our comprehension, to say that it is without intent of an Intender, and without the wisdom of a wise and powerful Being."

(Chovos HaLevavos, Shaar HaYichud, Chapter Six)

Intelligent Design is Consistent with Judaism