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The Intelligent Design art of T.E. Breitenbach
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What I believe

This painting titled, “The Artist in His Studio: Designing Birds”, is my contribution to the Intelligent Design debate (The second image is a detail from the painting).

Leonardo DaVinci noted how patterns in nature are repeated in many areas. It occurred to me that evolution resembled the artistic process. I wondered if my own artistic experience might represent a smaller fractal pattern of creation.

In the painting I use the traditional God figure to symbolize higher consciousness or intelligence, whatever that may be. But if early life had a designer, it wouldn’t be the Biblical God who snaps his fingers until everything appears fully finished. No, he would have been bored silly with himself! The Artist Creator would take his time, enjoying the artistic process, evolving ideas, making improvements, changing his mind (about keeping dinosaurs around for example), and even leaving things unfinished, as he is distracted by other ideas.

Here, the "Great Artist" has tossed the dinosaurs in the trash, but he realizes that the dinosaur leg might serve well for the birds. (As you may know, birds share the same leg designs as certain dinosaurs.) Physical similarities among animals need not imply common ancestry. Instead, they can be viewed as an artist’s “style”, those commonalities we see in all the works of any particular artist.

In the sky, a bird carries a string in its beak, a reference to string theory, the idea that all matter is created by different types of vibrating strings of energy. To me, this sounds like creative energy or vibrating brainwaves. Perhaps the big bang is simply someone’s brainstorm, their “great inspiration” for our universe. The universe expands rapidly, with excited artistic energy, becoming as large as is necessary to accommodate the creative ideas that fill it. This all occurs within the Creator’s “mind” and is supported by new theories of quantum physics suggesting that matter is really more like thought.

Man has the same ability to create, but on a smaller scale. Fractal images in the painting represent my own theory that we are all “fractal gods”, with universes inside each of our own heads, complete with creatures and beings with universes inside their heads, and so on. This fractal pattern repeats forever, perhaps in both directions. In the painting, the Creator’s red sneaker and modern art tools reinforce the idea that we share similarities (in our ability to create) with our own Creator.

Another feature of this painting are the numerous birds hidden in the rock formations. When I had to invent hundreds of animals for a project called Grumparar’s the New Creatures (3 of them appear in the painting), I used a trick where I would find new ideas by looking at scribbles. It’s similar to the way we can perceive animals and objects in the clouds. If you’d like to see more of my paintings, visit:

--T. E. Breitenbach

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