In the current paradigm, there appears an important teleological term, that is the subject of our discussion: function.
In evolutionary terms, the structure of a biomolecule, or of an organism, determines its function – it is a molecular view of life, conceived from the point of view of matter. Function, can be defined as an activity, a purpose, a work that is carried out according to well-defined physical laws.
In the theory of evolution, natural selection is believed to select for structures that display functions that are adapted to their environment. Evolution, appears driven by a certain purpose, which is the diversity of forms of life from common descent, from a common organism – the Last Universal Common Ancestor. In this regard, function arises mainly out of chance and of the interplay between the influence of biological mutation on structure, and of its selection due to the rigors of the natural environment. Function, that is, work, is the manifestation of the impersonal physical laws of nature and of their power over biological organism. The function of an organism, is in relation to its adaptation to its environment, and is in reality, a product of chance, for structure, the determinant of function, arises out of the chance event of biological mutation.
But the problem that natural theology faces, that is, Darwinian evolution, is that, organisms are biological entities and functional wholes. In other words, organisms are systems of biochemical structures that function within the well-defined laws of their natural environment. The question to be resolved is of how to account for the evolution of organ systems that in reality co-exist together to form a functional whole, that is, part of an organism. For example, if anabolism serves the purpose of biochemical synthesis, thus, helping build up the cell, its converse, catabolism also serves a purpose equally important, as biochemical degradation serves to obtain from organic source, the energy necessary to maintain life.
Hence, function presupposes teleology, a consideration of nature from the perspective of the whole. Intelligent design presents with the opportunity to consider life from the point of view of nature, and substance, where, it is nature, that determines function, and not structure. Every organism, is designed for an end in mind, and it is that end, that defines its function, and thus, its structure. It is a natural view of life, conceived from the point of view of mind, revealing that, mind is logically prior to matter – that is, Reason, the creative Logos, is the cause of nature.