Günter Bechly, Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture, addresses the off-base accusations made against ID and the Discovery Institute.
The clichés and misrepresentations Farina recycles about intelligent design are beyond tired. Still, those new to the debate might find it helpful to see Farina’s false claims debunked.
Farina seems more interested in caricaturing those he disagrees with than understanding them.
Three Major Problems
Farina also thinks that intelligent design theory “cannot be validated as real science because it does not explain or predict anything.” Here are three major problems with this statement:
Who defines what qualifies as “real science”? It is certainly not Dave Farina. It is not judges in court rooms. And it is not even the scientists themselves who define “science.” Reasonably, it is philosophers of science who address this question. But Farina seems to be totally ignorant of the fact that there is no consensus among philosophers of science about a demarcation criterion that could reliably distinguish science from non-science. Any criterion yet suggested, including Karl Popper’s criterion of falsifiability, either excludes too much (e.g., scientific fields like string theory or evolutionary biology) or includes too much (e.g., homeopathy or parapsychology).
Of course, intelligent design has explanatory power. Otherwise, we could not even explain the existence of Romeo and Juliet by the intelligent agency of William Shakespeare. There is no doubt that the designing activity of an intelligent agent is a perfectly valid explanation for complex specified patterns. The only question under debate is whether such patterns are confined to the realm of human cultural artifacts or if they are also found in nature. But this question should not be decided by dogmatic a priorirestrictions of certain worldviews that do not allow for design explanations whatever the evidence might be, but should rather follow the evidence wherever it leads. It is an empirical question to be decided by the data.
It is simply false that intelligent design does not predict anything. Indeed, this is yet another common stereotype that has been refuted so many times by ID proponents that any further use of this argument can be based only on a total ignorance of the facts (or perhaps deliberate lying, but I prefer not to apply that interpretation). Stephen Meyer (2009) included in his book Signature in the Cell a whole chapter with a dozen predictions inspired by intelligent design theory. These are often very precise and easily falsifiable, for example: “No undirected process will demonstrate the capacity to generate 500 bits of new [specified] information starting from a nonbiological source.” Just write a computer simulation that achieves this, without smuggling the information in through a backdoor, and you can claim victory over a core prediction of intelligent design.Evolution News
Dr. Bechly addresses numerous additional misfires attempted by Professor Dave. With such a voluble spray of baseless accusations coming from someone like Professor Dave, it can be helpful to be reminded of the proverb, “Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.” (Proverbs 26:2)