What is Intelligent Design?

" Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence."
William A Dembski.
 
Intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

The biological literature is replete with statements like David DeRosier's in the journal `Cell': `More so than other motors, the flagellum resembles a machine designed by a human' [DeRosier D.J., "The Turn of the Screw: The Bacterial Flagellar Motor," Cell, Vol. 93, 1998, p.17]. Exactly why is it a thought-crime to make the case that such observations may be on to something objectively correct?" (Behe M.J.)

All of us are able to detect design. We all know, for example, that this page was not the product of random typing. A retreating glacier may create a mountain, but the glacier doesn't build a cabin on top of it. Reason tells us cabins come about through intelligent design. "No biologist denies that, on first inspection, complex life forms appear to be designed." Albert Alschuler "The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." Albert Einstein.
 
ID has long been associated without much controversy with cosmology and physics, particularly to the initial conditions for the Big Bang and to the extremely narrow necessary values for the universal constants in physics. The main offending aspect of ID theory is the inference that some form of design is also necessary to account for evidence from the realm of Biology.
 
The Intelligent Design movement addresses those who are willing to consider the possibility that the blind watchmaker hypothesis may be false. If Intelligent Design is a belief, it is the belief that we should be allowed to "follow the evidence wherever it leads!" The science establishment generally sees the evidence as only supporting Darwinism, because Darwinism upholds and conforms with the widely held philosophy of methodological or metaphysical naturalism. Many scientists simply do not perceive any other evidence. They can't, because their methodological naturalism filters it out. For them, the most ID could prove is that science shows "there can be no scientific explanation of origins." Michael Ruse.
 
"The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent author; and no rational enquirer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion." Hume in a rarely quoted part of "The Natural History of Religion
 
"Scientific advances are made not by canonizing our predecessors but by creating intellectual and technical opportunities for our successors."  Prof James A. Shapiro
 
"I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man." Charles Darwin "I would give nothing for the theory of Natural selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent." [Charles Darwin, Letter to C. Lyell, October 11, 1859
Teaching & Discussion Guide
Click here to download a pdf file of this fabulous resource. Or click here for the UK guide.

30 Questions and Activities!
The history of Intelligent Design depends on who you read. Those opposing ID see it as the Trojan horse of Creationism trying to destroy science from within.
  
Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted. Rather, it is an effort to make true statements about physical reality.
  
If there is a rule of science that excludes the possibility of detecting design, even though it may exist, then science ceases to be the search for reality.
  
True or False? "The known universe contains all the resources necessary for the development of life."
Now another statement. "The former statement is a metaphysical belief, not science." True or False?
Numbers from astronomy, biology, and theoretical mathematics point to a rational mind behind the universe writes Charles Edward White.
"It appears to require many years of uncritical academic brainwashing for highly intelligent people to sincerely arrive at any other than the intuitively obvious conclusion that complex machines don't design themselves out of thin air, or have they simply a blind uncritical faith in consensus science? I'm a pretty hardcore materialist but I know a complex machine when I see one and I know how complex machines get designed and it isn't through unintelligent agency. Anti-theists should stop kicking and screaming like little kids who don't get their way. Intellectual honesty demands you go where the evidence leads." David "DaveScot"
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Media Watch
Stephen Meyer has published "Signature in the Cell" in which he outlines the need for and origin of information in the origin of life. He defends his position against the critics here.
 
Watch a teaser from the stunning new production "Darwin's Dilemma".
 
Heard of bloggingheads.tv? ID biochemist Mike Behe was interviewed by the very smart John McWhoter. It is a great exchange. Don't miss it! Within hours of being posted it was pulled. Darwinian censorship? It is still available click Behe Bloggingheads
 
Scientific American thinks an unassisted origin of life just needs a few lucky breaks. Cornelius Hunter has assessed the optomism.
 
For those with faith, there is an excellent new website http://www.faithandevolution.org/home.php Why not explore the interaction between faith and evolution and Intelligent Design.
 
Expelled Dr Caroline Crocker is not impressed with Michael Shermer's lecture.
 
Michael Ruse visited Australia recently. John Dickson interviews him and he talks openly about Christian belief, science, Dawkins and Darwin. It is well worth a listen.
 
Scientist Cornelius Hunter has launched an excellent new well researched web site www.darwinspredictions.com 
 
The eye has optical fibres and humans are trying to learn from their design. See here.
 
Yet another confirmation of the ID prediction, that the Darwinist concept that most of the genome is made up of JUNK is false.
 
How close are we really to Chimpanzees? Richard Buggs outlines the latest data.
 
Commenting on the second debate between John Lennox and Richard Dawkins, (the first debate can be found here) Melanie Phillips in The Spectator asks "Is Richard Dawkins still Evolving?"
 
The Aussie Prime Minister Rt Hon Kevin Rudd believes that God has left evidence in the design of the Universe.
 
For a major laugh, check out this random sport spoof video.
 
Listen to Dr John Lennox as he debates Michael Shermer US atheist . Right click here for MP3 audio then use "save target as" option..
 
Expelled - Ben Stein's Brilliant And Subversive Documentary available from Amazon.
 
  
  
New World Encyclopaedia has a useful extended entry on Intelligent Design, its' proponents and history.
  
SALVO magazine in US concentrates an issue on ID. Click here for the link.
 
Orgel gives no hope for Origin of Life science in his last words.
 
  
Nature Methods has editorial on how to respond to the most insidious ID movement.
 
Paul Davies claims science is based on faith. New York Times Nov 07.
  
THE DESIGN OF LIFE, the latest and most comprehensive book on Intelligent Design is out now.
 
Michael Behe speaks on pointofinquiry.org MP3 available here
  
Former atheist Anthony Flew is now convinced by the evidence that there is a Person behind the Universe.
  
Teaching Intelligent Design BANNED in Sweden where everrything else is OK. This includes Christian Schools! Soon they will be burning books!
  
 
According to EUObserver "European lawmakers have warned against teaching 'intelligent design' which denies the evolution of species through natural selection - in European schools saying it could become a threat to human rights." Freedom of speech and thought is obviously not one of the rights that they want to protect! Read the resolution here. It contains many obvious inaccuracies.
  
John Lennox debates Richard Dawkins. Listen or download Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3.
 
 
New York times says some scientists are angry over their part in the new film EXPELLED-NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED.
 
 
Boston Globe writes on the unimagined complexity of the genome. Following this line of enquiry, check out the work of Australian John Mattick at UQ on RNA.
 
  
 
A new ID friendly Preview Here or Listen here
  
  
BBC Reports that Homo Habilis was a contemporary with homo Erectus. "What a wonderful thing an unfalsifiable theory is. Its success is confirmed every time they discover that they are wrong!"
 
The 21st-century prejudice that religion "subverts science" is refuted by Newton, the extraordinary figure who managed to discover the composition of light, deduce the laws of motion, invent calculus, compute the speed of sound, and define universal gravitation, all while believing deeply in the "domination of an intelligent and powerful Being."
 
ID is about undirected evolution versus Intelligent or Rational Design. The Pope appears to support a similar approach
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Aussie David Seargent publishes his new ID book PLANET EARTH and the Design Hypothesis to order please email us here info_idnet (at) yahoo.com
  
A new web site has sprung up atheist delusion.
 
Read "The God Dilution" an essay by Roddy Bullock.
 
 
  
  
European Parliament may ban ID and creationism from science lessons, SciAm reports.
  
UK Anglican schools may soon teach ID. An MP close to Mr Brown, likens him to an Inteligent Designer saying things will be different from the Blair years: "It will be intelligent design rather than evolution - there's a creator who will reveal his pattern over time."
 
Ever wanted to walk upside down like a gecko? New scientist reports how they do it. They are "over engineered" for it!
  
  
Richard Dawkins stumpped when asked for an example of where a mutation increased the information content of a genome. Watch it for yourself.
 
  
In his defence of radical atheism, Sam Harris concludes that "some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live." The End of Faith, 2004 W.W. Norton & Co. (p. 53). Is this a new atheist ethic?
 
Watch your back. ID is a dangerous idea. Nature writes how SciAm cover astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez thinks ID has cost him his job at Iowa State University. He was right! Chuck Coulsen describes ID as "A Career Killing Theory". The last nail nas heen hammered into the coffin with the appeal rejection.
  
Living optical fibers found in the vertebrate retina. Their parallel array in the retina is reminiscent of fiberoptic plates used for low-distortion image transfer. Muller cells seem to mediate the image transfer through the vertebrate retina with minimal distortion and low loss. PNAS 7May07 "the increasing refractive index together with their funnel shape at nearly constant lightguiding capability... make them ingeniously designed light collectors."
  
Far from an example of bad design, the vertebrate eye has  funnel shaped cells that collect light at the surface of the retina from where it is transmitted without loss to the detection apparatus. "Nature is so clever (syn. intelligent)," Reichenbach says. "This means there is enough room in the eye for all the neurons and synapses and so on, but still the Muller cells can capture and transmit as much light as possible."
  
From Science Daily comes yet another prediction of ID confirmed. 'Junk' DNA Now Looks Like Powerful Regulator, Scientists Find.
  
April 07 Nature reports that the average swift travels 4.5 million kilometres in its lifetime - roughly the same as six round trips to the Moon. Now researchers have demonstrated how these adept aviators change the shape of their wings to improve performance, providing hints as to how aircraft engineers can improve their designs.
 
The recent peer reviewed online publication of a paper by Liu and Ochman in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims that all 24 core proteins in the bacterial flagellum evolved from a single gene. Michael Behe, author of "Darwin's Black Box" is not alone in disputing their findings.
 
 
The Herald Sun puts a different spin on the same information claiming that the Pope "refuses to endorse Intelligent Design". It seems that like observing the complexity of nature, two observers can come to opposite conclusions.
 
The article Photosynthesis Analysis Shows Work Of Ancient Genetic Engineering discusses how brilliant photosynthesis is and how "nature's way of creating useful and complicated chemical systems through horizontal gene transfer also points to how human-directed biodesign might co-opt the process." It is interesting how the ingrained idea that nature is undirected leads to mixed conclusions. Incongruent genetic trees? No problem, they had swap cards. One would almost think these creatures were conscious!
 
Intelligent Design is a convincing explanation for why the last common ancestor had such an optimised genetic code, "almost perfect"!
 
Chemical and Engineering News Feb 2007 reports on Ribosomes. Translation of messenger RNA into proteins is accomplished by one of life's most versatile molecular machines the ribosome. Read about it and see fascinating animations.
  
See how "Geko Man" has learned how to climb tall buildings by adapting the design of Geko feet.
  
Against the grain, a UK science Professor defends ID as a valid theory.
 
McGRATH dissects Richard Dawkins' book.in the UK Daily Mail.
 
Listen to The Dawkins Delusion just for a laugh. (Save to file and use Windows player).
 
US$1,000,000 prize offered for for proposing a highly plausible mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life. I do not think they will have to part with their money. Makes you wonder why people think the origin of life is solved.
 
Darwin challenged in a new novel. The Cave Painting.
 
Read in Chemical and Engineering News how amazingly DNA is organised like poetry.
 
 
 
 
 
The Atheist Delusion. How Michael Denton changed my life. By Gil Dodgen.
 
Fearful UK Education Minister to Ban the DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Life. What exactly are they afraid of? "If I showed this to children, of course they would be convinced," he says. "There's no doubt about that at all." UK Educator
 
 
 
Yet more ID research by another name. Composites: Nature's way Dr Ai Lin Chun Nature Nanotechnology Dec 2006 "The lotus leaf displays superhydrophobic characteristics - it strongly repels water because of the combined micro- and nano-structures on its surface. Decorating arrays of polystyrene microspheres with carbon nanotubes recreates the lotus leaf's self-cleaning ability."
 
What do you think of this from the closing paragraph from Time Magazine 13th Nov 2006 p 41. DAWKINS "a supernatural intelligent designer seems to me to be a worthy idea grand and big enough to deserve respect  If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed."
 
Although molecules can be designed to self-assemble into organized structures, achieving this in technologically relevant environments, such as on surfaces or in thin films, has been difficult.
 
A Free-for-All on Science and Religion New York Times. With atheists arguing like a den of vipers, Dr Steven. Weinberg seemed to soften for a moment, describing religion a bit fondly as a crazy old aunt who "tells lies, and she stirs up all sorts of mischief and she's getting on, and she may not have that much life left in her, but she was beautiful once," he lamented. "When she's gone, we may miss her." But Richard Dawkins wasn't buying it. "I won't miss her at all," he said. "Not a scrap. Not a smidgen."
 
Rabid atheist Richard Dawkins describes Intelligent Design as a bronze-age myth and plans to bring his campaign against God to schools to counter the subversion of science. Times on Line.
 
Neanderthals are the extinct hominid group most closely related to contemporary humans, so their genome offers a unique opportunity to identify genetic changes specific to anatomically fully modern humans. Nature free focus.
 
 
 
Dr Fransic Collins of the Human Genome Project, believes in ID when it comes to the cosmos, but unguided evolution when it comes to life. Is that consistent?
 
Stephen E Jones answers Richard Dawkins' delusions.
 
Who is deluded? Dawkins gets a sympathetic review in the Sydney Morning Herald. The reviewer states that "If you say God created the universe you have made a scientific claim that must be tested." So Intelligent Design is a scientific theory after all. Did Dover or Dawkins get it all wrong?
 
God vs Science? Time magazine (Nov 06) and the ABC Science Show in Australia feel that God is losing. Staged one sided debates are always convincing. Scientific objectivity is unfortunately lacking by design, from both these presentations.
 
New text book on Intelligent Design poised for release. Get the first chapter here.
 
Two new books on Darwinism and Intelligent Design reviewed here.
 
Nature reports on scientists trying to make the simplest cell. If this isn't Intelligent Design research, I don't know what would qualify.
 
 
Confused British newspaper asks; Does Intelligent Design have a place in the classroom? Unlocking the Mystery of Life is the dangerous DVD they don't want you to see because you're so stupid you will be duped! Graham Wright, head of science at North Bridge House UK put his copy straignt into the bin "If I showed this to children, of course they would be convinced," he says. "There's no doubt about that at all."
 
There are three superfamilies of molecular motors that produce linear forces and movement along tracks in the skeleton of cells. Dr Hernando J. Sosa
 
 
Richard Dawkins is at it again attacking ID. This time he speaks at the "Lied Centre". Hear Richard on Youtube for a laugh.
 
A new review of Origins of Life theories by John A Hewitt treats ID seriously. It is well worth a read. "In principle, irreducible complexity could provide a criterion to distinguish evolution from design."
 
In a new book, "A meaningful world", Benjamin Wiker and Jonathon Witt outline the clear evidence for design in nature.
 
 
 
ID is under represented in "peer reviewed"journals. With 90% of "top scientists" in the US NAS claiming to be agnostic (20%) or atheists(70%), does it surprise us. "Many landmark scientific papers (like that of Watson and Crick, published just five decades ago) were never subjected to peer review", and as David Shatz has pointed out, "many heavily cited papers, including some describing work which won a Nobel Prize, were originally rejected by peer review." See The New Atlantis.
 
The Pope's discussions on evolution are expected to be published in November.
 
The Pope and Darwin. Time Magazine August 31 2006 wonders how ID will cause ripples in the holy see. If you prefer, see the New York Times.
 
Emile Zuckerkandl famous evolutionary scientist writes an exausting critique of ID in "Gene".  "At times two or more structural features, probably do need to evolve simultaneously, or in very rapid succession, for a higher-order structure and its function to be realized." Read the condensed version.
 
According to Physorg the Pope may embrace Intelligent Design. See also the Melbourne Age.
 
New animation of RNA and intelligently designed molecular machines at work. (Windows media player format)
 
NATURE REVIEWS MOLECULAR CELL BIOLOGY September 2006 Volume 7 Number 9 The anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome: a complex molecular machine designed to destroy Jan-Michael Peters.
 
Paul W.K. Rothemund at CALTECH proves conclusively that molecular intelligent design research is fruitful and has real applications. Paul believes it is not possible to scientifically detect design in his DNA creations. Proteins have also be intelligently designed through DNA sequencing. Could we scientifically detect design in Paul's smiley faces or his map even if we did not know Paul's identity?
 
One in 5 British students now support Intelligent Design. Not bad for a relatively little known theory!
 
New Zealand Radio bashes ID interviewing Robyn Williams. Listen here.
 
Kids know when older people are tricking them. Watch this short  "Watchmaker" video.
 
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