The biblical account of the origin of the cosmos in Genesis, for example, posits that a god created the physical universe particularly with human beings in mind, and so unsurprisingly placed the Earth at the center of creation.
Modern cosmological knowledge has refuted such an account. We are living in the golden age of cosmology: More has been discovered about the large-scale structure and history of the visible cosmos in the last 20 years than in the whole of prior human history. We now have precise knowledge of the distribution of galaxies and know that ours is nowhere near the center of the universe, just as we know that our planetary system has no privileged place among the billions of such systems in our galaxy and that Earth is not even at the center of our planetary system. We also know that the Big Bang, the beginning of our universe, occurred about 13.7 billion years ago, whereas Earth didn’t even exist until about 10 billion years later.
No one looking at the completely random location of homo sapiens in the universe could seriously maintain that the whole thing was intentionally created for us
We would say it would not create the huge structure we see, most of it completely irrelevant for life on Earth, with the Earth in such a seemingly random location, and with humans appearing only after a long and rather random course of evolution.
But is evolution random?
The debate between advocates of intelligent design and Darwinian evolution is one that reflects an underlying dispute about the nature of science, and the innate appeal certain scientific stories over others.
Randomness is at the heart of biological evolution. It is integral to natural selection and genetic mutation, two of the cornerstones of the modern understanding of the evolutionary process. While the bulk of scientific observations seem to support such randomness, many people find it unnerving and even improbable.
One may hear the argument that 'Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not.
Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science, they argue. This stance on the evolutionary process has come to be recognized as “intelligent design,” a subtle mixture of Darwin and religion. The pro and contra explanations seem to provide security to some and anxiety to others.
While many are reassured by the “hard facts” that support biological evolution, others see this enforced randomness as lacking in meaning and thus undermining human purpose. Conversely, the supernatural beginnings of intelligent design provide security through order, while causing some people to question its narrow view of human potential and attending religious connotations.