Intelligent design

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History of creationism
Creation in Genesis

Types of creationism:
Young Earth creationism
- Creation science
Old Earth creationism
Omphalos creationism
Evolutionary creationism
Intelligent design
- Intelligent design movement
Modern geocentrism

Creation vs. evolution
... in public education
Associated articles
Teach the Controversy
Flying Spaghetti Monsterism

Intelligent Design (sometimes abbreviated ID) is the controversial assertion that certain features of the universe and of living things exhibit the characteristics of a product resulting from an intelligent cause or agent, as opposed to an unguided process such as natural selection[1].

Adherents of Intelligent Design have claimed that it stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life and the origin of the universe. [2] This claim has not been accepted by the scientific community, who argue that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory but creationist pseudoscience or junk science.[3] Critics have accused Intelligent Design proponents of trying to find gaps within current evolutionary theory only to fill with speculative beliefs, and that Intelligent Design in this context may ultimately amount to the "God of the gaps" [4].

The National Academy of Sciences has said that Intelligent Design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because their claims cannot be tested by experiment and propose no new hypotheses of their own. [5] Proponents of Intelligent Design make the claim that there is a systemic bias within the scientific community against proponents' ideas and research, because of the naturalistic assumption that science can or should only make reference to natural causes. Critics have called this argument polemical, as Intelligent Design, in its opposition (based on teleology) to what it terms "methodological naturalism", is at odds with current scientific philosophy and methodology.


Intelligent Design in summary

Intelligent Design is presented as an alternative to purely naturalistic forms of the theory of evolution. Its putative main purpose is to investigate whether or not the empirical evidence necessarily implies that life on Earth must have been designed by an intelligent agent or agents. William Dembski, one of Intelligent Design's leading proponents, has stated that the fundamental claim of Intelligent Design is that "there are natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence."

Proponents of Intelligent Design claim that they look for evidence of what they call signs of intelligencephysical properties of an object that necessitate "design". The most common cited signs being considered include irreducible complexity, information mechanisms, and specified complexity. Many design proponents believe that living systems show one or more of these, from which they infer that life is designed. This stands in opposition to mainstream explanations of systems, which attempt to explain the natural world exclusively through impersonal physical processes such as random mutations and natural selection. Intelligent Design proponents claim that while evidence pointing to the nature of an "Intelligent Designer" may not be observable, its effects on nature can be detected. Dembski, in Signs of Intelligence claims "Proponents of Intelligent Design regard it as a scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes. Note that Intelligent Design studies the effects of intelligent causes and not intelligent causes per se". In his view, questions concerning the identity of a designer fall outside the realm of the idea.

Origins of the concept

For millennia, philosophers have argued that the complexity of nature's "design" that operates for complex purposes indicates the existence of a purposeful natural or supernatural designer/creator. The first recorded arguments for a natural designer come from Greek philosophy. The philosophical concept of the 'Logos' is typically credited to Heraclitus (c.535–c.475 BC), a Pre-Socratic philosopher, and is briefly explained in his extant fragments. Plato (c.427–c.347 BC) posited a natural 'demiurge' of supreme wisdom and intelligence as the formator of the cosmos in his work Timaeus. Aristotle (c.384–322BC) also develops the idea of a natural formator of the cosmos, often referred to as the 'Prime Mover' in his work Metaphysics. Cicero (c.106–c.43 BC) stated, "The divine power is to be found in a principle of reason which pervades the whole of nature," in de Natura Deorum.

The use of this line of reasoning as applied to a supernatural designer has come to be known as the teleological argument for the existence of God. The most notable forms of this argument were expressed by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae[6] (thirteenth century), design being the fifth of Aquinas' five proofs for God's existence, and William Paley in his book Natural Theology (nineteenth century) where he makes his watchmaker analogy. The modern concept of Intelligent Design is distinguished from the teleological argument in that Intelligent Design does not identify the agent of creation, and its proponents seek to take the debate into the realm of science rather than just philosophy.

The phrase "intelligent design" can be found in an 1847 issue of Scientific American, in an 1868 book and in an address to the 1873 annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science by botanist George James Allman:

No physical hypothesis founded on any indisputable fact has yet explained the origin of the primordial protoplasm, and, above all, of its marvellous properties, which render evolution possible — in heredity and in adaptivity, for these properties are the cause and not the effect of evolution. For the cause of this cause we have sought in vain among the physical forces which surround us, until we are at last compelled to rest upon an independent volition, a far-seeing intelligent design. [7]

The phrase was coined in its present sense in Humanism, a 1903 book by Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller: "It will not be possible to rule out the supposition that the process of evolution may be guided by an intelligent design" and was resurrected in the early 1980s by Sir Fred Hoyle as part of his promotion panspermia. [8]

"The term intelligent design came up in 1988 at a conference in Tacoma, Wash., called Sources of Information Content in DNA," claims Stephen C. Meyer, co-founder of the Discovery Institute and vice president of the Center for Science and Culture, who was present at the phrase's re-creation, which he attributes to Of Pandas and People editor Charles Thaxton. The phrase appeared in the first edition Of Pandas and People in 1989, which is considered the first modern Intelligent Design book. The term was promoted more broadly by the retired legal scholar Phillip E. Johnson following his 1991 book Darwin on Trial. Johnson went on to work with Meyers, becoming the program advisor of the Center for Science and Culture and is considered the "father" of the Intelligent Design movement.

Religion and leading Intelligent Design proponents

Intelligent design arguments are carefully formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid positing the identity of the designer. Phillip E. Johnson has stated that cultivating ambiguity by employing secular language in arguments which are carefully crafted to avoid overtones of theistic creationism is a necessary first step for ultimately reintroducing the Christian concept of God as the designer. Johnson emphasizes "the first thing that has to be done is to get the Bible out of the discussion" and that "after we have separated materialist prejudice from scientific fact... only then can "biblical issues" be discussed."[9] Johnson explicitly calls for Intelligent Design proponents to obfuscate their religious motivations so as to avoid having Intelligent Design identified "as just another way of packaging the Christian evangelical message."[10] Though not all Intelligent Design proponents are motivated by religious fervor, the majority of the principal Intelligent Design advocates (including Michael Behe, William Dembski, Jonathan Wells (actually a member of the Unification Church, headed by Reverend Moon, and Stephen C. Meyer) are Christians and have stated that in their view the designer of life is God. The preponderance of leading Intelligent Design proponents are evangelical Protestants. A notable Intelligent Design proponent who is neither a Christian, nor a traditional theist, but a practicing Buddhist, is Integral philosopher Ken Wilber. Wilber is not regarded as a leader within the Intelligent Design movement.

The conflicting claims made by leading Intelligent Design advocates as to whether or not Intelligent Design is rooted in religious conviction are the result of their strategy. For example, William Dembski in his book The Design Inference [11] lists a god or an "alien life force" as two possible options for the identity of the designer. However, in his book Intelligent Design; the Bridge Between Science and Theology Dembski states that "Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners don't have a clue about him. The pragmatics of a scientific theory can, to be sure, be pursued without recourse to Christ. But the conceptual soundness of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ." [12] Dembski also stated "ID is part of God's general revelation..." "Not only does Intelligent Design rid us of this ideology (materialism), which suffocates the human spirit, but, in my personal experience, I've found that it opens the path for people to come to Christ." [13].

Phillip Johnson places the foundation of intelligent design in the Bible's Book of John, specifically, John 1:1: "Now the way that I see the logic of our movement going is like this. The first thing you understand is that the Darwinian theory isn't true. It's falsified by all of the evidence and the logic is terrible. When you realize that, the next question that occurs to you is, well, where might you get the truth? When I preach from the Bible, as I often do at churches and on Sundays, I don't start with Genesis. I start with John 1:1. In the beginning was the word. In the beginning was intelligence, purpose, and wisdom. The Bible had that right. And the materialist scientists are deluding themselves." [14]

Portraying Intelligent Design as Science

Intelligent design proponents often claim that their position is not only scientific, but that it is even more scientific than evolution. This presents a demarcation problem, which in the philosophy of science, is about how and where to draw the lines around science. For a theory to qualify as scientific it must be:

  • Consistent (internally and externally)
  • Parsimonious (sparing in proposed entities or explanations, see Occam's Razor)
  • Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena)
  • Empirically testable & falsifiable (see Falsifiability)
  • Based upon controlled, repeated experiments
  • Correctable & dynamic (changes are made as new data are discovered)
  • Progressive (achieves all that previous theories have and more)
  • Tentative (admits that it might not be correct rather than asserting certainty)

For any theory, hypothesis or conjecture to be considered scientific, it must meet at least most, but ideally all, of the above criteria. The fewer which are matched, the less scientific it is; and if it meets only a couple or none at all, then it cannot be treated as scientific in any meaningful sense of the word.

Typical objections to defining Intelligent Design as science are:

  • Intelligent design lacks consistency.[15]
  • Intelligent design is not falsifiable.[16]
  • Intelligent design violates the principle of parsimony.[17]
  • Intelligent design is not empirically testable.[18]
  • Intelligent design is not correctable, dynamic, tentative or progressive.[19]

In light of its failure to adhere to these standards, critics contend that Intelligent Design can not be said to follow the scientific method[20]. There is no way to test its conjectures, and the underlying assumptions of Intelligent Design are not open to change.

Intelligent design critics further point out that the intelligent design doctrine does not meet the criteria for scientific evidence used by most courts. In its 1993 Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals opinion, the United States Supreme Court articulated a set of criteria for the admissibility of scientific expert testimony, in effect developing their own demarcation criteria. The Daubert Standard governs which evidence can be considered scientific in United States federal courts and most state courts. The four Daubert criteria are:

  • The theoretical underpinnings of the methods must yield testable predictions by means of which the theory could be falsified.
  • The methods should preferably be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • There should be a known rate of error that can be used in evaluating the results.
  • The methods should be generally accepted within the relevant scientific community.

Intelligent design also fails to meet the legal definition of science on each of the four criteria.

Intelligent Design as a movement

Main article: Intelligent design movement

The Intelligent design movement is an organized neo-creationist campaign to promote Intelligent Design arguments in the public sphere, primarily in the United States. The movement claims Intelligent Design exposes the limitations of scientific orthodoxy, and of the secular philosophy of Naturalism. Intelligent Design movement proponents allege that science, by relying upon naturalism, demands an adoption of a naturalistic philosophy that dismisses out of hand any explanation that contains a supernatural cause.

Phillip E. Johnson, considered the father of the Intelligent Design movement and its unofficial spokesman stated that the goal of Intelligent Design is to cast creationism as a scientific concept:

  • "Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools."[21]
  • "This isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. It's about religion and philosophy."[22]
  • "So the question is: "How to win?" That’s when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the "wedge" strategy: "Stick with the most important thing" —the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, "Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?" and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do."[23]

At the 1999 "Reclaiming America for Christ Conference" Johnson described the movement thus: "I have built an intellectual movement in the universities and churches that we call The Wedge, which is devoted to scholarship and writing that furthers this program of questioning the materialistic basis of science." ..."Now the way that I see the logic of our movement going is like this. The first thing you understand is that the Darwinian theory isn't true. It's falsified by all of the evidence and the logic is terrible. When you realize that, the next question that occurs to you is, well, where might you get the truth?" ..."I start with John 1:1. In the beginning was the word. In the beginning was intelligence, purpose, and wisdom. The Bible had that right. And the materialist scientists are deluding themselves." [24]

The Intelligent Design movement is largely the result of efforts by the conservative Christian think tank the Discovery Institute, and its Center for Science and Culture. The Discovery Institute's wedge strategy and its adjunct, the Teach the Controversy campaign, are campaigns intended to sway the opinion of the public and policymakers. They target public school administrators and state and federal elected representatives to introduce Intelligent Design into the public school science curricula and marginalize mainstream science. The Discovery Institute operates on a $4,000,000 budget [25] and receives financial support from 22 foundations, at least two-thirds of which state explicitly religious missions. The institute's CSC was founded largely with funds provided by Howard Ahmanson Jr., who has stated a goal of "the total integration of biblical law into our lives."[26] A CSC mission statement proclaimed its goal is to "unseat not just Darwinism, but also Darwinism's cultural legacy".

Critics note that instead of producing original scientific data to support Intelligent Design’s claims, the Discovery Institute has promoted Intelligent Design politically to the public, education officials and public policymakers. Also oft mentioned is that there is a conflict between what leading Intelligent Design proponents tell the public through the media and what they say before their conservative Christian audiences, and that the Discovery Institute as a matter of policy obfuscates its agenda. This they claim is proof that the movement's "activities betray an aggressive, systematic agenda for promoting not only Intelligent Design creationism, but the religious worldview that undergirds it." [27]

Richard Dawkins, biologist and professor at Oxford University, compares "Teach the controversy" with teaching flat earthism, perfectly fine in a history class but not in science. "If you give the idea that there are two schools of thought within science, one that says the earth is round and one that says the earth is flat, you are misleading children." [28]

Underscoring claims that the Intelligent Design movement is more social and political enterprise than a scientific one, Intelligent Design has been in the center of a number of controversial political campaigns and legal challenges. These have largely been attempts to introduce Intelligent Design into public school science classrooms while concurrently portraying evolutionary theory as a theory largely scientifically disputed; a "theory in crisis." The claim that evolution is "theory in crisis" is the centerpiece of the movement's Teach the Controversy campaign.

Often cited as proof that evolution is indeed a "theory in crisis" is the Discovery Institute's petition "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism."[29] Since 2001 this petition has generated signatures from 400 scientists from around the world, of which 73 are biologists. An unfunded project, The Four Day Petition, "A Scientific Support For Darwinism"[30] was organized in September and October of 2005. That petition generated 8040 verified scientists signatures, representing a 1,200% increase over the Discovery Institute's at a rate 640,000% faster. A more amusing effort, Project Steve, received over 500 signatures from scientists named Steve.

Intelligent design debate

Intelligent design

The Intelligent Design debate centers on three issues:

  1. whether the definition of science is broad enough to allow for theories of origins which incorporate the acts of an intelligent designer
  2. whether the evidence supports such theories
  3. whether the teaching of such theories is appropriate in public education.

Intelligent Design supporters generally hold that science must allow for both natural and supernatural explanations of phenomena. They assert that excluding supernatural explanations limits the realm of possibilities, particularly where naturalistic explanations fail to explain certain phenomena. Supernatural explanations provide a very simple and parsimonious explanation for the origins of life and the universe. Proponents claim that the evidence strongly supports such explanations, as instances of so-called irreducible complexity and specified complexity appear to make it highly unreasonable that the full complexity and diversity of life came about solely through natural means. Finally, they hold that religious neutrality requires the teaching of both evolution and Intelligent Design in schools, because teaching only evolution unfairly discriminates against those holding the Creationist beliefs. Teaching both, Intelligent Design supporters argue, allows for a scientific basis for religious belief, without causing the state to actually promote a religious belief.

According to critics of Intelligent Design, not only has Intelligent Design failed to establish reasonable doubt in its proposed shortcomings of accepted scientific theories, but it has not even presented a case worth taking seriously. Critics of Intelligent Design argue that Intelligent Design has not presented a credible case for the public policy utility of presenting Intelligent Design in education. More broadly, critics maintain that it has not met the minimum legal standard of not being a "clear" attempt to establish religion, which in the United States is constitutionally forbidden. Scientists argue that those advocating "scientific" treatment of "supernatural" phenomena are grossly misunderstanding the issue, and indeed misunderstand the nature and purpose of science itself. Furthermore, if one were to take the proponents of "equal time for all theories" at their word, there would be no logical limit to the number of potential "theories" to be taught in the public school system. While Christian fundamentalists imagine their God to be the only deity to be referenced, a cursory examination of mankind's belief systems reveals that there is a very large number of potential supernatural "explanations" for the emergence and organization of life on earth, none of which have any empirical support and all of which therefore are equally deserving of promotion as Intelligent Design. Proponents of Intelligent Design, however, rarely if ever appear to note such alternative theological/supernatural possibilities, defaulting invariably to their particular interpretation of the Christian God.

Between these two positions there is a large body of opinion that does not condone the teaching of what is considered unscientific or questionable material, but is generally sympathetic to the position of Deism/Theism and therefore desires some compromise between the two. The nominal points of contention are seen as being proxies for other issues. Many Intelligent Design followers are quite open about their view that "Scientism" is itself a religion that promotes secularism and materialism in an attempt to erase religion from public life and view their work in the promotion of Intelligent Design as a way to return religion to a central role in education and other public spheres. Some allege that this larger debate is often the subtext for arguments made over Intelligent Design, though others note that Intelligent Design serves as an effective proxy for the religious beliefs of prominent Intelligent Design proponents in their efforts to advance their religious point of view within society. [31][32][33]

Intelligent Design concepts

The following are summaries of key concepts of Intelligent Design, followed by summaries of criticisms. Counterarguments against such criticisms are often proffered by Intelligent Design proponents, as are counter-counterarguments by critics, etc.

Irreducible complexity

Main article: Irreducible complexity

The term comes from Ludwig von Bertalanffy, a German biologist who believed that complex systems must be examined as complete, irreducible systems in order to understand how they worked. He extended his biological work into a general theory of systems in a book by the same title, General Systems Theory. After Watson and Crick published the structure of DNA in the early 1950s, GST lost many of its adherents in the physical and biological sciences. Jacques Monod's Chance and Necessity provides a good discussion of the "triumph" of the mechanistic view in biochemistry. Systems theory remained popular among social sciences long after its demise in the physical and biological sciences. Apparently, it fell so far out of favor in mainstream science that its new form, a thinly disguised version of creationism, is touted as being "totally new." Michael Behe, in his 1996 book Darwin's Black Box, does not recount the history of his irreducible complexity argument, but rather gives the impression that there is something new when he posits that evolutionary mechanisms cannot account for the emergence of some complex biochemical cellular systems. Intelligent Design advocates argue that the systems must therefore have been deliberately engineered by some form of intelligence. Irreducible complexity is defined by Behe as:

"...a single system which is composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."--(Behe, Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference).

According to the theory of evolution, genetic variations occur without specific design or intent. The environment 'selects' variants that have the highest fitness, which are then passed on to the next generation of organisms. Change occurs by the gradual operation of natural forces over time, perhaps slowly, perhaps more quickly (see punctuated equilibrium). This process is able to 'create' complex structures from simpler beginnings, or convert complex structures from one function to another (see spandrel). Most Intelligent Design advocates accept that evolution occurs through mutation and natural selection at the 'micro level' such as changing the relative frequency of various beak lengths in finches, but assert that it cannot account for irreducible complexity, because none of the parts of an irreducible system would be functional or advantageous until the entire system is in place.

Behe uses the mousetrap as an illustrative example of this concept. A mousetrap consists of several interacting pieces—the base, the catch, the spring, the hammer—all of which must be in place for the mousetrap to work. The removal of any one piece destroys the function of the mousetrap. Likewise, biological systems require multiple parts working together in order to function. Intelligent Design advocates claim that natural selection could not create from scratch those systems for which science is currently not able to find a viable evolutionary pathway of successive, slight modifications, because the selectable function is only present when all parts are assembled. Behe's original examples of irreducibly complex mechanisms included the bacterial flagellum of E. coli, the blood clotting cascade, cilia, and the adaptive immune system.

The IC (irreducible complexity) argument also assumes that the necessary parts of a system have always been necessary, and therefore could not have been added sequentially. But something which is at first merely advantageous can later become necessary. For example, one of the clotting factors that Behe listed as a part of the IC clotting cascade was later found to be absent in whales[34], demonstrating that it isn't essential for a clotting system. Many purported IC structures can be found in other organisms as simpler systems that utilize fewer parts. These systems may have had even simpler precursors that are now extinct.
Perhaps most importantly, potentially viable evolutionary pathways have been proposed for allegedly irreducibly complex systems such as blood clotting, the immune system[35] and the flagellum[36], which were the three examples Behe used. Even his example of a mousetrap was shown to be reducible by John H. McDonald[37]. If IC is an insurmountable obstacle to evolution, it should not be possible to conceive of such pathways—Behe has remarked that such plausible pathways would defeat his argument.
Niall Shanks and Karl H. Joplin have shown that systems satisfying Behe's characterization of irreducible biochemical complexity can arise naturally and spontaneously as the result of self-organizing chemical processes[38]. They also assert that what evolved biochemical and molecular systems actually exhibit is redundant complexity — a kind of complexity that is the product of an evolved biochemical process. They claim that Behe overestimated the significance of irreducible complexity because his simple, linear view of biochemical reactions results in his taking snapshots of selective features of biological systems, structures and processes, while ignoring the redundant complexity of the context in which those features are naturally embedded and an over-reliance of overly-simplistic metaphors such as his mousetrap. In addition, it has been claimed that computer simulations of evolution demonstrate that it is possible for irreducible complexity to evolve naturally[39].

Specified complexity

Main article: Specified complexity

The Intelligent Design concept of specified complexity was developed by mathematician, philosopher, and theologian William Dembski. Dembski claims that when something exhibits specified complexity (i.e., is both complex and specified, simultaneously) one can infer that it was produced by an intelligent cause (i.e., that it was designed), rather than being the result of natural processes. He provides the following examples: "A single letter of the alphabet is specified without being complex. A long sentence of random letters is complex without being specified. A Shakespearean sonnet is both complex and specified."[40]. He states that details of living things can be similarly characterized, especially the "patterns" of molecular sequences in functional biological molecules such as DNA.

Dembski defines a probability of 1 in 10150 as the "universal probability bound". Its value corresponds to the inverse of the upper limit of "the total number of [possible] specified events throughout cosmic history," as calculated by Dembski[41]. He defines complex specified information (CSI) as specified information with a probability less than this limit. (The terms "specified complexity" and "complex specified information" are used interchangeably.) He argues that CSI cannot be generated by the only known natural mechanisms of physical law and chance, or by their combination. He argues that this is so because laws can only shift around or lose information, but do not produce it, and chance can produce complex unspecified information, or non-complex specified information, but not CSI; he provides a mathematical analysis that he claims demonstrates that law and chance working together cannot generate CSI, either. Dembski and other proponents of Intelligent Design argue that CSI is best explained as being due to an intelligent cause and is therefore a reliable indicator of design.

The conceptual soundness of Dembski's specified complexity/CSI argument is strongly disputed by critics of Intelligent Design. First, critics maintain that Dembski confuses the issue by using "complex" as most people would use "improbable". He defines CSI as anything with a less than 1 in 10150 chance of occurring by (natural) chance. Critics claim that this renders the argument a tautology: CSI cannot occur naturally because Dembski has defined it thus, so the real question becomes whether or not CSI actually exists in nature. They claim that Dembski does not attempt to demonstrate this, but instead simply takes the existence of CSI as a given, and then proceeds to argue that it is a reliable indicator of design.
Another criticism of specified complexity refers to the problem of "arbitrary but specific outcomes". For example, it is unlikely that any given person will win a lottery, but, eventually, a lottery will have a winner; to argue that it is very unlikely that any one player would win is not the same as proving that there is the same chance that no one will win. Similarly, it has been argued that "a space of possibilities is merely being explored, and we, as pattern-seeking animals, are merely imposing patterns, and therefore targets, after the fact."[42] Critics also note that there is much redundant information in the genome, which makes its content much lower than the number of base pairs used.
Furthermore, it is not sound to assume that various biological processes and structure arose all together in their current form by chance, instead, one must understand that any biological system is made up of numerous smaller and more basic systems working symbiotically to create a larger structure. On this scale it is easier to assume that simpler and thus more likely reactions occurred that would procure the material needed for larger and more complex structures The theory also ignores the actual relative chance in terms of the universe, for example there is an estimated 125 billion or more galaxies in the universe with roughly 100 billion stars in each. Stars then have a chance for the presence of terrestrial planets and given the scope of a planet and the various elements existent in the universe, multiplied by the previous statement concerning the amount of stars, it is easy to assume that, the chance of a set of circumstances leading to life is perceivable. One must also take into account all the possible and by-chance chemical reactions that have occurred over the history of the universe.
Martin Nowak, a Harvard professor of mathematics and evolutionary biology argues that "We cannot calculate the probability that an eye came about. We don't have the information to make the calculation."[43]

Fine-tuned universe

Main article: Fine-tuned universe

Intelligent Design proponents use the argument that we live in a fine-tuned universe. They propose that the natural emergence of a universe with all the features necessary for life is wildly improbable. Thus, an intelligent designer of life was needed to ensure that the requisite features were present to achieve that particular outcome. Opinion within the scientific community is still divided on the "finely-tuned universe" issue, but this particular explanation and assessment of probabilities is rejected by most scientists and statisticians.

Within mainstream physics this is related to the question of the anthropic principle, whose weak form is based on the observation that the laws of physics must allow for life, since we observe there is life. The strong form, however, is the assertion that the laws of physics must have made it possible for life to arise. The strong form is a distinctly minority position and is highly controversial.

Critics of both Intelligent Design and the weak form of anthropic principle argue that they are essentially a tautology; life as we know it may not exist if things were different, but a different sort of life might exist in its place. The claim of the improbability of a life-supporting universe has also been criticized as an argument by lack of imagination for assuming no other forms of life are possible.
Based on the unproven idea that some of the universe's initial conditions might have been different, Stephen Hawking and James Hartle have shown that from the initial conditions of the universe, that is, the moment immediately after the Big Bang, a large number of types of universe could have formed. The type of universe that we live in is called a Hartle-Hawking type universe. According to their calculations, the chance that a Hartle-Hawking universe forms is over 90%. Thus, the chance that our particular universe formed may be small, but the chance that a universe of the same type, with stars, planets and the other elements required to create life as we know it would come out of the Big Bang is over 90%, not improbable at all.
Recent work in cosmology has put forth the mathematical possibility of a multiverse. This would allow many types of universes to simultaneously arise, of which ours is one possibility. Although multiverse theories currently lack verified predictions, some astronomers believe that gravity may leak into other dimensions in braneworld scenarios, potentially providing the first observable data to support these theories.

Criticism of ID

Critics call Intelligent Design religious dogma repackaged in a Neo-Creationist manner in an effort to return creationism into public school science classrooms and note that Intelligent Design features notably as part of the campaign known as Teach the Controversy. While the scientific theory of evolution by natural selection has observable and repeatable facts to support it such as the process of mutations, gene flow, genetic drift, adaptation and speciation through natural selection, the "Intelligent Designer" in Intelligent Design is neither observable nor repeatable. Critics argue this violates the scientific requirement of falsifiability. Indeed, Intelligent Design proponent Michael Behe concedes "You can't prove Intelligent Design by experiment". [44]

Critics say Intelligent Design is attempting to redefine natural science.[45] They cite books and statements of principal Intelligent Design proponents calling for the elimination of "methodological naturalism" from science[46] and its replacement with what the leader of the Intelligent Design movement, Phillip E. Johnson, calls "theistic realism"[47], and what critics call "methodological supernaturalism", which means belief in a transcendent, non-natural dimension of reality inhabited by a transcendent, non-natural deity. Natural science uses the scientific method to create a posteriori knowledge based on observation alone (sometimes called empirical science). Critics of Intelligent Design consider the idea that some outside intelligence created life on Earth to be a priori (without observation) knowledge. Intelligent Design proponents cite some complexity in nature that cannot yet be fully explained by the scientific method. (For instance, abiogenesis, the generation of life from non-living matter, is not yet understood scientifically, although the first stages have been reproduced in the Miller-Urey experiment.) Intelligent Design proponents infer that an intelligent designer is behind the part of the process that is not understood scientifically. Since the designer cannot be observed, critics continue, it is a priori knowledge.

This allegedly a priori inference that an intelligent designer (a god or an alien life force[48]) created life on Earth has been compared to the a priori claim that aliens helped the ancient Egyptians build the pyramids[49] [50]. In both cases, the effect of this outside intelligence is not repeatable, observable, or falsifiable, and it violates Occam's Razor. From a strictly empirical standpoint, one may list what is known about Egyptian construction techniques, but must admit ignorance about exactly how the Egyptians built the pyramids.

Scientific peer review

Dembski has written that "Perhaps the best reason [to be skeptical of his ideas] is that Intelligent Design has yet to establish itself as a thriving scientific research program."[51] Critics argue that Intelligent Design proponents either do not submit articles to peer reviewed journals, or set up "peer review" that consists entirely of Intelligent Design supporters. Proponents of Intelligent Design explain the reason for their absence in peer-reviewed literature is that papers explaining the findings and concepts in support of Intelligent Design are consistently excluded from the mainstream scientific discourse. They claim this is because Intelligent Design arguments challenge the principles of philosophical naturalism and uniformitarianism that are accepted as fundamental by the mainstream scientific community. Thus, Intelligent Design supporters believe that research that points toward an intelligent designer is often rejected simply because it deviates from these "dogmatically held beliefs", without regard to the merits of their specific claims.

According to their critics, this is an ad hominem attack, designed to cover over the lack of success in creating scientifically testable or verifiable data or theory, by claiming that there is a conspiracy against them. Critics of Intelligent Design point out that this is an argument commonly used by advocates of pseudoscientific views (most notably by UFO enthusiasts), and that the perceived bias is simply the result of Intelligent Design being unscientific and inadequately supported. A notable exception to this explanation for lack of published, peer-reviewed writings is William Dembski, who claims in a 2001 interview that he stopped submitting to peer-reviewed journals due to their slow time-to-print and that he makes more money from publishing books.[52]

To date, the Intelligent Design movement has yet to publish an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. On 4 August 2004, an article by Stephen C. Meyer, Director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture appeared in the peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.[53]

A critical review of the article found it to contain poor scholarship, in that it failed to cite and specifically rebut the actual data supporting evolution, and [constructed] "a rhetorical edifice out of omission of relevant facts, selective quoting, bad analogies, knocking down strawmen, and tendentious interpretations." [54]

On 7 September, the publisher of the journal, the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, released a statement repudiating the article as not meeting its scientific standards and not peer reviewed.[55] The same statement vowed that proper review procedures would be followed in the future and endorsed a resolution published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which observes that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting Intelligent Design.[56] The journal's reasons for disavowing the article was denied by Richard Sternberg, who was managing editor at the time the article was submitted and subsequently left the editorial board at its time of publication.[57]

Critics of Meyer's paper believe that Sternberg himself was biased in the matter, since he is a member of the editorial board of the Baraminology Study Group, an organization with a creationist agenda. The Baraminology Study Group's official position is that Sternberg is not a creationist and acts primarily as a skeptical reviewer.[58] As part of a subsequent labor claim, Sternberg claims that he was "targeted for retaliation and harassment" and cites a letter by the United States Office of Special Counsel as supporting his version of events.[59] Critics have called into question this claim, asserting that the Office of Special Counsel lacked jurisdiction over the matter, that the Smithsonian was never given a chance to respond, and that no official findings or conclusions were made by the Office of Special Counsel.[60]

Intelligent Design proponents have also claimed as proof of peer review an article by Michael Behe and David W. Snoke was published in the journal Protein Science. But the paper has been critiqued by qualified scientists, who point out that "it contains no 'design theory,' makes no attempt to model an 'Intelligent Design' process, and proposes no alternative to evolution."

The vast majority of practicing biologists do not support or otherwise endorse Intelligent Design. The scientific community does not regard the argument over Intelligent Design to be of the same kind as, for example, differing theories on how particular traits evolved, or even in the realm of scientific speculation, the way, a hypothesis of exogenesis might be considered as a plausible scientific speculation. The failure to follow the procedures of scientific discourse, and the failure to submit work to the scientific community which withstands scrutiny is regarded by the critics of Intelligent Design as a strong argument against Intelligent Design being considered as "science" at all.

Hypotheses about the designer or designers

Though Intelligent Design advocates collectively state that their focus is on detecting evidence of design in nature without regard to who or what the designer might be, the leading proponents have made statements to their supporters that they believe the designer to be the Christian God, to the exclusion of all other religions, and thus there exists a well established link to Genesis and Creationism.

Intelligent Design arguments are formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid identifying the intelligent agent they posit. They do not state that God is the designer, but the designer is often implicitly hypothesized to have intervened in a way that only an omnipotent being, God, could be capable of performing. Intelligent Design proponents, such as Dembski, have implied that an alien culture could fulfill these requirements. But since the authoritative description of Intelligent Design[61] explicitly states that the universe displays features of having been designed, critics point out that anything requiring the prior existence of the universe, such as aliens, can not logically be its "intelligent cause"; that only supernatural entities can satisfy the authoritative definition of Intelligent Design. And Dembski acknowleges this point:

"The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life."[62]

Each hypothesized design poses a new challenge for Intelligent Design. Is the new design a product of the same designer(s) as any other design, based on external evidence, or evidence internal to the design? Each design, based on the evidence for the original time and place of the appearance of that design, hypotheses that the same or different designers must have been present at that place and time. Since the places and times are often only known imprecisely, there is the possibility that they may coincide with those of some other designs.

The key arguments in favor of the different variants of Intelligent Design are so broad that they can be adopted by any number of communities that seek an alternative to evolutionary thought, including those that support non-theistic models of creation although the designers might be different. For example, the notion of an "intelligent designer" is compatible with the materialistic hypotheses that life on Earth was introduced by an alien species (as taught by the Raëlian movement), or that it emerged as a result of panspermia, but would not be with the designer(s) of the "fine-tuned" universe.

Likewise, Intelligent Design claims can support a variety of theistic notions. Some proponents of creationism and Intelligent Design reject the Christian concept of omnipotence and omniscience on the part of God, and subscribe to Open Theism or Process theology. It has been suggested by opponents that Intelligent Design researchers must explain why organisms were designed as they were, and argue that existing evidence makes the design hypothesis appear unlikely. For example, Jerry Coyne, of the University of Chicago, asks:

Would an intelligent designer create millions of species and then make them go extinct, only to replace them with other species, repeating this process over and over again? ... Why did the designer give tiny, non-functional wings to kiwi birds? Or useless eyes to cave animals? Or a transitory coat of hair to a human fetus?... Why would the designer give us a pathway for making vitamin C, but then destroy it by disabling one of its enzymes? Why didn't the intelligent designer stock oceanic islands with reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and freshwater fish, despite the suitability of such islands for these species? And why would he make the flora and fauna on those islands resemble that of the nearest mainland, even when the environments are very different?[63]

Some Intelligent Design proponents argue that we are simply incapable of understanding the designer's motives. For example Behe argued in Darwin's Black Box that

Features that strike us as odd in a design might have been placed there by the designer for a reason--for artistic reasons, to show off, for some as-yet undetectable practical purpose, or for some unguessable reason

Additionally, they may argue that the creator's benevolence does not imply the need for physical perfection in Creation. Critics like Coyne respond that the possibility of mutually contradictory and "unguessable" motives for the designer mean that Intelligent Design is not falsifiable and therefore not scientific.

"What (or who) designed the designer?"

By raising the question of the need for a designer for objects with irreducible complexity, Intelligent Design also raises the question, "what designed the designer?" By Intelligent Design's own arguments, a designer capable of creating irreducible complexity must also be irreducibly complex. Unlike with religious creationism, where the question "what created God?" can be answered with theological arguments, this creates a logical paradox in Intelligent Design, as the chain of designers can be followed back indefinitely, leaving the question of the creation of the first designer dangling. The sort of logic required in sustaining such reasoning is known as circular reasoning, a form of logical fallacy.

One Intelligent Design counter-argument to this problem invokes an uncaused causer—in other words, a deity—to resolve this problem, in which case Intelligent Design reduces to religious creationism. At the same time, the postulation of the existence of even a single uncaused causer in the Universe contradicts the fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that every complex object requires a designer. Another possible counter-argument might be an infinite regression of designers. However, admitting infinite numbers of objects also allows any arbitrarily improbable event to occur, such as an object with "irreducible" complexity assembling itself by chance. Again, this contradicts the fundamental assumption of Intelligent Design that a designer is needed for every complex object, producing a logical contradiction.

Thus, according to opponents, either attempt to patch the Intelligent Design hypothesis appears to either result in logical contradiction, or reduces it to a belief in religious creationism. Intelligent Design then ceases to be a falsifiable theory and loses its ability to claim to be a scientific theory.

Richard Dawkins, biologist and professor at Oxford University, argues that Intelligent Design simply takes the complexity required for life to have evolved and moves it to the "designer" instead. According to Dawkins, Intelligent Design doesn't explain how the complexity happened in the first place, it just moves it. [64]

Argument from ignorance

Some critics have argued that many points raised by Intelligent Design proponents strongly resemble arguments from ignorance. In the argument from ignorance, one claims that the lack of evidence for one view is evidence for another view (e.g. "Science cannot explain this, therefore God did it"). Particularly, Michael Behe's demands for ever more detailed explanations of the historical evolution of molecular systems seem to assume a dichotomy where either evolution or design is the proper explanation, and any perceived failure of evolution becomes a victory for design. In scientific terms, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" for naturalistic explanations of observed traits of living organisms.

Intelligence, as an observable quality, is poorly defined

The phrase Intelligent Design makes use of an assumption of the quality of an observable intelligence, a concept that has no scientific consensus definition. William Dembski, for example, has claimed that "Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic signature." Such characteristics of intelligent agency are assumed to be observable without Intelligent Design offering what the criteria for the measurement of intelligence should be. Dembski, instead, makes the claim that "in special sciences ranging from forensics to archaeology to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), appeal to a designing intelligence is indispensable." [65] How this appeal is made and what this implies as to the definition of intelligence are topics left largely unaddressed.

As a means of criticism, certain skeptics have pointed to a challenge of Intelligent Design derived from the study of artificial intelligence. The criticism is a counter to Intelligent Design claims about what makes a design intelligent, namely that "no pre-programmed device can be truly intelligent, that intelligence is irreducible to natural processes." [66] In particular, while there is an implicit assumption that supposed "intelligence" or creativity of a computer program was determined by the capabilities given to it by the computer programmer, artificial intelligence need not be bound to an inflexible system of rules. Rather, if a computer program can access randomness as a function, this effectively allows for a flexible, creative, and adaptive intelligence. Forays into such areas as quantum computing seem to indicate that real probabilistic functions may be available in the future. Intelligence derived from randomness is essentially indistinguishable from the "innate" intelligence associated with biological organisms and poses a challenge to the Intelligent Design conception of where intelligence itself is derived (namely from a designer). Cognitive science continues to investigate the nature of intelligence to that end, but the Intelligent Design community for the most part seems to be content to rely on the assumption that intelligence is readily apparent as a fundamental and basic property of complex systems.

Intelligent Design in fiction

The concept of life having been designed or manipulated is a staple of science fiction. Aspects of Intelligent Design are explored in:

See also

Further reading



Notes and references

  1. ^  Discovery Institute, Center for Science and Culture. Questions about Intelligent Design: What is the theory of intelligent design? "The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[67]
  2. ^  Stephen C. Meyer, 2005. The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design: The Methodological Equivalence of Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Origins Theories. Ignatius Press.
  3. ^ Devolution—Why intelligent design isn’t. H. Allen Orr. Annals of Science. New Yorker May 2005
  4. ^  Niall Shanks, 2004.God, the Devil, and Darwin: A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory, Oxford University Press.
  5. ^  "Creationism, Intelligent Design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science" In Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition National Academy of Sciences, 1999
  6. ^  Thomas Aquinas, 1265-1272. Summa Theologiae. "Thomas Aquinas' 'Five Ways'" In
  7. ^  'The British Association', The Times, Saturday, 20 September, 1873; pg. 10; col A.
  8. ^  'Evolution according to Hoyle: Survivors of disaster in an earlier world', By Nicholas Timmins, The Times, Wednesday, 13 January, 1982; pg. 22; Issue 61130; col F.
  9. ^  "...the first thing that has to be done is to get the Bible out of the discussion. ...This is not to say that the biblical issues are unimportant; the point is rather that the time to address them will be after we have separated materialist prejudice from scientific fact." Phillip Johnson. "The Wedge", Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. July/August 1999.
  10. ^  "Intelligent Design is an intellectual movement, and the Wedge strategy stops working when we are seen as just another way of packaging the Christian evangelical message. ... The evangelists do what they do very well, and I hope our work opens up for them some doors that have been closed." Phillip Johnson. "Keeping the Darwinists Honest", an interview with Phillip Johnson. In Citizen Magazine. April 1999.
  11. ^  William Dembski, 1998. The Design Inference. Cambridge University Press
  12. ^  Dembski. 1999. Intelligent Design; the Bridge Between Science and Theology. "Christ is indispensible to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners don't have a clue about him. The pragmatics of a scientific theory can, to be sure, be pursued without recourse to Christ. But the conceptual soundness of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ." p. 210
  13. ^  Dembski. 2005. Intelligent Design's Contribution to the Debate Over Evolution: A Reply to Henry Morris.[68]
  14. ^  "Reclaiming America for Christ Conference" 1999. Phillip E. Johnson. How the Evolution Debate Can Be Won [69] at
  15. ^  Intelligent design is generally only internally consistent and logical within the framework in which it operates. Criticisms are that this framework has at its foundation an unsupported, unjustified assumption: That complexity and improbability must entail design, but the identity and characteristics of the designer is not identified or quantified, nor need they be. The framework of Intelligent Design, because it rests on a unquantifiable and unverifiable assertion, has no defined boundaries except that complexity and improbability require design, and the designer need not be constrained by the laws of physics.
  16. ^  The designer is not falsifiable, since its existence is typically asserted without sufficient conditions to allow a falsifying observation. The designer being beyond the realm of the observable, claims about its existence can neither be supported nor undermined by observation, hence making Intelligent Design and the argument from design analytic a posteriori arguments.
  17. ^  Intelligent design fails to pass Occam's razor. Adding entities (an intelligent agent, a designer) to the equation is not strictly necessary to explain events.
  18. ^  That Intelligent Design is not empirically testable stems from the fact that Intelligent Design violates a basic premise of science, naturalism.
  19. ^  Intelligent design professes to offer an answer that does not need to be defined or explained, the intelligent agent, designer. By asserting a conclusion that need not be accounted for, the designer, no further explanation is necessary to sustain it, and objections raised to those who accept it make little headway. Thus Intelligent Design is not a provisional assessment of data which can change when new information is discovered. Once it is claimed that a conclusion that need not be accounted for has been established, there is simply no possibility of future correction. The idea of the progressive growth of scientific ideas is required to explain previous data and any previously unexplainable data as well as any future data. This is often given as a justification for the naturalistic basis of science.
  20. ^  The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Nobel Laureats Initiative. Intelligent design cannot be tested as a scientific theory "because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent." [70]
  21. ^  Elizabeth Nickson, 2004. "Let's Be Intelligent About Darwin." In
  22. ^  Joel Belz, 1996. "Witnesses For The Prosecution." In World Magazine.
  23. ^  Phillip E. Johnson quoted. November 2000. Touchstone magazine. Berkeley’s Radical An Interview with Phillip E. Johnson
  24. ^  "Reclaiming America for Christ Conference" 1999. Phillip E. Johnson. How the Evolution Debate Can Be Won [71] at
  25. ^, May 15, 2001 [72]
  26. ^  Max Blumenthal, 2004 "Avenging angel of the religious right." In
  27. ^  Barbara Forrest, 2001. "The Wedge at Work." from Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics. MIT Press.
  28. ^  Claudia Wallis. Evolution Wars. Time Magazine, 15 August 2005 edition, page 32 [73]
  29. ^  Petition, A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism [74]
  30. ^  Petition, "A Scientific Support For Darwinism" [75]
  31. ^  Joel Belz, 1996. "Witnesses For The Prosecution." In World Magazine.
  32. ^  "Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools." Phillip E. Johnson. January 10, 2003 on American Family Radio [76] In
  33. ^  Jon Buell & Virginia Hearn (eds), 1992. "Proceedings of a Symposium entitled: Darwinism: Scientific Inference of Philosophical Preference?" (PDF)
  34. ^  Semba U, Shibuya Y, Okabe H, Yamamoto T., 1998. "Whale Hageman factor (factor XII): prevented production due to pseudogene conversion." Thromb Res. 1998 1 April;90(1):31-7.
  35. ^  Matt Inlay, 2002. "Evolving Immunity." In
  36. ^  Nic J. Matzke, 2003. "Evolution in (Brownian) space: a model for the origin of the bacterial flagellum." In
  37. ^  John H. McDonald A reducibly complex mousetrap.
  38. ^  Niall Shanks and Karl H. Joplin. Redundant Complexity:A Critical Analysis of Intelligent Design in Biochemistry. East Tennessee State University. [77]
  39. ^  Lenski RE, Ofria C, Pennock RT, Adami C., 2003. "The evolutionary origin of complex features." Nature. May 8, 2003;423(6936):139-44.
  40. ^  Dembksi. Intelligent Design, p. 47
  41. ^  Dembski. The Design Revolution, p. 85
  42. ^  William A. Dembski, 2005. ""Searching Large Spaces: Displacement and the No Free Lunch Regress (356k PDF)", pp. 15-16, describing an argument made by Michael Shermer in How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God, 2nd ed. (2003).
  43. ^  Nowak quoted. Claudia Wallis. Evolution Wars. Time Magazine, 15 August 2005 edition, page 32 [78]
  44. ^  Claudia Wallis. Evolution Wars. Time Magazine, 15 August 2005 edition, page 32 [79]
  45. ^  Barbara Forrest, 2000. "Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism: Clarifying the Connection." In Philo, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Fall-Winter 2000), pp. 7-29.
  46. ^  Phillip E. Johnson in his book "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education" (InterVarsity Press, 1995), positions himself as a "theistic realist" against "methodological naturalism."
  47. ^  "My colleagues and I speak of 'theistic realism'-- or sometimes, 'mere creation' -- as the defining concept of our [the ID] movement. This means that we affirm that God is objectively real as Creator, and that the reality of God is tangibly recorded in evidence accessible to science, particularly in biology." Phillip Johnson. Starting a Conversation about Evolution
  48. ^  William Dembski in The Design Inference" (see further reading) cited extraterrestrials as a possible designer [80].
  49. ^  Michael J. Murray, n.d. "Natural Providence (or Design Trouble)" (PDF)
  50. ^  William Dembski defends Intelligent Design from "silly claim" that "ancient technologies could not have built the pyramids, so goblins must have done it." [81]
  51. ^  Willam A. Dembksi . Is Intelligent Design a Form of Natural Theology? From Dembski's
  52. ^  Beth McMurtrie, 2001. "Darwinism Under Attack." The Chronicle Of Higher Education.
  53. ^  The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories. Stephen C. Meyer. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. volume 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239. August, 2004. [82]
  54. ^  Wesley R. Elsberry, 2004. "Meyer's Hopeless Monster." In The Panda's Thumb.
  55. ^  Statement from the Council of the Biological Society of Washington. September, 2004.[83]
  56. ^  AAAS Board Resolution on Intelligent Design Theory. American Association for the Advancement of Science. [84]
  57. ^  Richard Sternberg, 2004. "Procedures for the publication of the Meyer paper."
  58. ^  "Clarifications Regarding the BSG, Bryan College, and Richard Sternberg."
  59. ^ Richard Sternberg, 2004. Alleged Office of the Special Counsel letter to Sternberg
  60. ^  Pim Van Meurs. October 2005. Panda's Thumb: "The statement based on the OSC letter to Sternberg presents the 'findings' in an incorrect light. No official findings or conclusions were presented as far as I can tell. The OSC lacked jurisdiction and the museum was never given a chance to respond." [85]
  61. ^  "The theory of Intelligent Design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." Discovery Institute. What is Intelligent Design? [86]
  62. ^  Dembski. The Act of Creation: Bridging Transcendence and Immanence [87]
  63. ^  Jerry Coyne, "The Case Against Intelligent Design," The New Republic, August 22, 2005.[88]
  64. ^  Claudia Wallis. Evolution Wars. Time Magazine, 15 August 2005 edition, page 32 [89]
  65. ^  William Dembski. Intelligent Design? a special report reprinted from Natural History magazine April 2002. [90]
  66. ^  Taner Edis. Darwin in Mind: Intelligent Design Meets Artificial Intelligence. Skeptical Inquirer Magazine, March/April 2001 issue. [91]

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