The argument from design is very intuitive, and most people get its point immediately. Simply put, something appears to be designed when it demonstrates purpose or function and possesses information. We recognize things as simple as a pencil or a dixie cup to be the products of deliberate design, because we can see they were made for the purpose of accomplishing a task. Because they contain organized, complex structure, we say that these objects, as simple as they are, contain information; and the only known source of information is intelligence. As I said, we get this point intuitively, and we especially admire the genius of a truly original and well done work of art or engineering. This, in a nutshell, is the argument made by advocates of Intelligent Design (ID).
Sometimes a Youtube video is worth a thousand words. Here is a clip that runs just a little under four minutes that illustrates the analogy of design beautifully. (It gives new meaning to “This too shall pass.”) No one would argue that their Rube Goldberg contraption came about by random chance; not without insulting some very bright engineering students.
As complex as the contraption in the video is, it pales in comparison to the simplest living cell. Michael Denton, in his book, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, describes the complexity of cells this way: “To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity…” (pp. 328-29). At the center of every living cell is the DNA molecule, which provides the instructions for that cell. The molecule is wrapped up tightly inside the cell, but if it were stretched out it would be over three feet long. The amount of information contained within DNA is simply stunning–approximately the equivalent to that of a 30-volume encyclopedia.
As I stated above, the only known source of information is intelligence. And the most densely compact transmitter of information known to us is DNA. The impression of design by an intelligent Being is overwhelming, don’t you think?