Why would LDS believe in “Intelligent Design”?

In the last few years, a theory of human origin has been gaining in popularity among religious-minded folk.  This theory is called “Intelligent Design”, and it is meant to counter evolutionist theories that present a view of human origin that doesn’t involve God.

To put it succinctly, Intelligent Design argues that there are biological traits and mechanisms found in nature that just couldn’t have happened through evolutionary processes alone (i.e. natural selection and mutation).  There must be some thoughtful outside force nudging the process along.

From what I can tell, this theory is especially common among evangelical Christians.  This makes sense, since they believe in a God that is intelligent, and doesn’t look anything like us.  So it makes sense to believe this God could have “designed” us.

But there are also apparently some LDS who subscribe to the theory of Intelligent Design, as evidenced in the discussions at the Mormon and Apologetics Discussion Board found here:

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (a discussion based on the movie of the same name)

ID, Intelligence, Meaning, Purpose

So, the question is:  Why would LDS believe in Intelligent Design?

While on the surface it might appear to be a nice blend of the LDS belief in “creation” and the desires of some LDS to also believe in the Theory of Evolution (ID allows for a belief in evolution as long as you acknowledge the necessity of God’s presence to nudge the process along), our belief in a humanoid God requires us to extend Intelligent Design one step further into the eternities.  Meaning, there must be an entity that “intelligently designed” our God!

And this Super-God doesn’t look like us (or Him), because if it did, it too would bear the imprint of an intelligent creator and we would thus have to theorize his creator.  And so on.

So to summarize: Traditional Christians can comfortably believe in Intelligent Design because they already believe in a “creator” that doesn’t look anything like us (or like anything at all).  Thus, Intelligent Design just confirms their existing beliefs.

LDS, on the other hand, believe in a God that is an exalted human, so according to Intelligent Design, He had to be designed too.  Which means that in discovering the principles of Intelligent Design, we have also discovered the necessity and non-humanness of God’s God.

Truly, the gospel is simply wonderful, and wonderfully simple.


Filed under Doctrines, Teachings, Policies and Traditions

3 Responses to Why would LDS believe in “Intelligent Design”?

  1. Goldarn

    It’s turtles all the way down.

  2. Chris

    Mormonism does have its evangelical-protestant roots. It seems early Mormonism was quite willing to separate itself in various theology. Nowadays, there appears to be somewhat of a returning to fundamental christianity in some areas. I remember on the mission, a high priest group leader was shocked to discover the book “Believing Christ” on our table and by implication that we were reading it. He denounced the book as promoting faith/grace over works. It appears to me that more and more LDS are starting to favor faith/grace, not so much that it eliminates works but the ratio is changing to be more inline with other denominations (but not totally of course). I think evolution is just another one of those things where LDS can say, “oh yeah me too. I agree with other christians that evolution is wrong.” An enemy of an enemy is my friend type of thing… It seems mormons are willing to adopt fundamental christian beliefs quite easily if the belief doesn’t necessarily conflict with unique mormon doctrine. It’s just easier.

  3. zytines

    “Meaning, there must be an entity that “intelligently designed” our God!”

    I don’t buy your reasoning here. First, LDS belief in intelligent design doesn’t cause any more problems than other creation beliefs, since with or without intelligent design, LDS generally believe that God was once a man, and He has a creator, etc., which most LDS just chalk up to a mystery that cannot be understood in this life. Even if someone didn’t believe God had a father god, the LDS God could still be humanoid without having a non-humanoid creator, since God could have been a spirit who created a humanoid body for himself (somewhat similar to some versions of the Adam-God theory).

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