Cold Case Christianity and the Eight Attributes of Design

From Uncommon Descent:

Over at his blog at, homicide detective, ex-atheist and Christian apologist Jim Warner Wallace has written an interesting post (July 30, 2015) in which he identifies no less than eight attributes of an object which point to its being a product of intelligent design:

A very interesting introduction!

I believe there are eight attributes of design we employ when reasonably inferring the existence of a Designer. To make them easier to remember, I’ve assembled them in an acronym (DESIGNED):

D- Dubious Probability (Given Chance)
Is random chance an insufficient explanation for the formation and assembly of the object we are examining?E -Echoes of Familiarity
Does the object resemble other structures we know (with certainty) were designed by intelligent designers?

S- Sophistication and Intricacy
Does the object display specificity, sophistication and intricacy consistent with the involvement of an intelligent agent?

I – Informational Dependency
Is there any evidence the object was directed and created by way of instructional information?

G – Goal Direction (and Intentionality)
Does the form and assembly process of the object process to be goal-directed?

N – Natural Inexplicability (Given Laws of Physics or Chemistry)
Are the laws of physics and chemistry insufficient to account for the form and function of the object?

E – Efficiency / Irreducible Complexity
Does the object display efficient, irreducible complexity reflecting the involvement of an intelligent designer?

D – Decision / Choice Reflection
Does the object display evidence of conscious choices indicative of an intelligent designer?

Readers will note that none of these attributes presupposes a mechanistic view of the design process – as if design consisted of nothing more than cobbling together parts in a very clever way. Consequently, the assertion that life on Earth is the product of Intelligent Design in no way commits one to a mechanistic view of life.

Wallace adds:

Like every cumulative case built on a collection of seemingly innocuous pieces of evidence, no single aspect of the case may appear all that compelling. But the cumulative collection of evidences, when they all point to the same reasonable inference, provide us with good reason to believe an intelligent agent has been involved in the design process.

Wallace’s undergraduate and graduate work was in the fields of Design and Architecture (CSULB and UCLA). For that reason alone, I think his list of design attributes warrants very serious consideration. I also like his acronym.

As do I.

For Christians, the 21st century is going to be very interesting, indeed!


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