This thing started when a die-hard creationist started a blog to denounce Spore to the world. I had intended this originally a response to her main points about how evolution is wrong. I went over it at length somewhere else, suffice to say this is a separate entity.
Intelligent design in Christianity is founded on two basic principles. Some power (god) created the universe and All of the animals at the same time. Since his design was perfect, they haven't changed since. So, 6000 B.C. cheetahs, and skunks, and polar bears all came into being within a one day period. The requirement for this system of ecosystems is belief in the Intelligent Power that did it all. The Church logic behind this is:
God exists because the Bible says He does.
The Bible is correct because it was divinely inspired.
Therefore, God exists.
Meanwhile, the theory of evolution works allot differently. The concept arises from the term natural selection. Natural selection happens when a generation passes down good traits to their offspring and don't pass down bad traits. For instance, two male wolves are hunting separate prey. One happens to have longer legs, to run faster with. He catches the deer he's after, and successfully breeds a new generation. The other wolf has short legs and cannot catch the deer he chases. This wolf dies without ever reproducing.
If the population consists of only short and long legged wolves, over time the long legged wolves will become the more prominent part of the species. eventually the differences between long legged and short legged wolves will be enough to warrant calling them different species. At this point when one species becomes two, do we consider them evolved from the original one. The main part is that evolution is measured in generations, not in time.
Proof of evolution is found several places. Neighboring species, fossil records, genetic records. Proof is not in a book, but in something that cannot influenced by human hands.
So, we have our competing theories. Lets check, at first glance they do seem contrary. One is orderly and perfectly maintained. The other seems random at best and chaotic at worst. One sets the age of the planet as much older than the other. One is completely ridiculous, while the other is true.
Really? Is one true and one false? My personal beliefs being what they are, I cannot simply agree with Intelligent design. however, I will not just say the theory is bunk either. Back to that logical train of thought, there is a problem with it. Its circular logic. Logical sequences can only work if the pattern works with all possible outcomes, which circular logic fails at quite spectacularly. Now, one can say that its impossible to combine those theories.
God made all creatures the way they are in the present day.
God made all creatures perfectly.
Evolution changes creatures over time.
Creatures that are perfect don't change.
The logical conclusion is that if evolution exists God cannot. This is based on the circular argument in that god exists because the Bible says so, and that the bible is perfectly accurate because God divinely inspired it that way. To simplify:
Evolution says creatures change.
The Bible says creatures don't change.
If the bible is wrong then it is not divinely inspired.
Therefore God cannot exist.
Here is the crux of the issue. The easy fix would be to say the bible was wrong on how, but that God still did this "through" evolution. that he uses it as His tool. I expect that this "fix" would just make people mad though. It doesn't really solve anything. It just lets the evolutionists win without a struggle.
The place to make the change is proving the existence of God. All of these philosophers over the last 2000 years have struggled to prove God exists. And their one triumph in that regard is the circular logic above. But as much as it cannot prove that He exists, it also cannot prove he doesn't exist. That is why its an invalid argument, it cannot do anything for either side. Its impossible to prove that God exists. Its similarly impossible to prove that he does not exist. Science doesn't test a principle to prove it. Science does experiments to Disprove the theories and the ideas.
Anything that you disprove is not true. If you cannot disprove it, then it is true. Notice you can keep testing, but you cannot prove anything. You can only get the list of possible causes smaller and smaller. Its not that evolution can be proven, its that it cannot be disproved. Its not that God can be disproved, its that the Bible can.
Imagine trying to explain evolution to a gorilla who knows sign language. You teach it the language perfectly, and you can even hold small conversations with it. The current Intelligent design theory might well be the results of how the gorilla best understands the concept. It might only be able to understand "A long time ago, I (God) made everything."
This is where Spore comes in. It is a game where you guide a species from the evolutionary beginning of a single cell through the space age. The player takes the place of God. and then uses the tools inside that system of evolution to plan their planet.
In the end, I still don't believe God exists. But that doesn't stop the possibility that He doesn't.