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
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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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.
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
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.
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.
THE DESIGN OF LIFE, the latest and most comprehensive book on Intelligent Design is out now.
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."
Richard Dawkins stumpped when asked for an example of where a mutation increased the information content of a genome. Watch it for yourself.
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."
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!
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."
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.
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.
Two new books on Darwinism and Intelligent Design reviewed here.
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."
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.
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.
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?
New Zealand Radio bashes ID interviewing Robyn Williams. Listen here.