The fundamental claim of intelligent design is straightforward and easily intelligible: namely, there are natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence.
All the world's a stage,And all the men and women merely players;They have their exits and their entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchelAnd shining morning face, creeping like snailUnwillingly to school. And then the lover,Sighing like furnace, with a woeful balladMade to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,In fair round belly with good capon lined,With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,Full of wise saws and modern instances;And so he plays his part. The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slippered pantaloon,With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wideFor his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,Turning again toward childish treble, pipesAnd whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,That ends this strange eventful history,Is second childishness and mere oblivion,Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Implicitly or explicitly, the rhythms of our lives, the movement from season to season, the patterns of the winds, and the pulse of the tides all depend on the apparent motions of the sun and moon and stars. Yet most modern urban dwellers are only dimly aware of the night sky ? the stars and their myriad forms. They are only slightly more aware of the phases of the moon or the motions of the sun. Even those who take the daily horoscope seriously generally have a very poor notion of its connection with astronomical phenomena.
I saw a ship of material build (Her standards set, her brave apparel on)Directed as by madness mereAgainst a solid iceberg steer,Nor budge it, though the infactuate ship went down.The impact made huge ice-cubes fallSullen in tons that crashed the deck;But that one avalanche was all--No other movement save the foundering wreck.Along the spurs of ridges pale,Not any slenderest shaft and frail,A prism over glass-green gorges lone,Toppled; or lace or traceries fine,Nor pendant drops in grot or mineWere jarred, when the stunned ship went down.Nor sole the gulls in cloud that wheeledCircling one snow-flanked peak afar,But nearer fowl the floes that skimmedAnd crystal beaches, felt no jar.No thrill transmitted stirred the lockOf jack-straw neddle-ice at base;Towers indermined by waves--the blockAtilt impending-- kept their place.Seals, dozing sleek on sliddery ledgesSlipt never, when by loftier edgesThrough the inertia overthrown,The impetuous ship in bafflement went down.Hard Berg (methought), so cold, so vast,With mortal damps self-overcast;Exhaling still thy dankish breath--Adrift dissolving, bound for death;Though lumpish thou, a lumbering one--A lumbering lubbard loitering slow,Impingers rue thee ad go slowSounding thy precipice below,Nor stir the slimy slug that sprawlsAlong thy dead indifference of walls.