This opportunity is dedicated to Darwinists/evolutionists or any ID denier who sincerely desire to become convinced IDer but failed the target until today. It is a great opportunity that unfortunately Darwin could not get at his times (you will understand why at the end).
First off, no worry the method is entirely free of charge. No books of ID theorists to buy. No lectures or schools are requested. No need to travel or participate to meetings or seminars. You can stay quietly where you are now, before the screen of your computer.
Some analyses have shown that the difficulty of understanding ID and its concepts (CSI, IC, etc.) consists in the following aspects. (1) Usually people simply look at the complex systems (where CSI, IC … are) in a passive manner, without any active stance. For example evolutionary biologists look at the biological realities but they don’t try to construct them (yes I know genetic engineering tries to do something like that but one cannot say properly that it starts from nothing). To look at is too easy. (2) Reading ID books or attending lectures sure can help yes but also here the participation is passive, no warranty that at the end a real understanding was achieved. To read and hear is too easy. (3) To discuss ID/evo issues with friends, colleagues and debaters can help but often is counterproductive: each one remains on his position, even more convinced than before, given that discussion may invigorate one’s wrong convictions. To discuss is too easy. (4) To study complex systems (both the artificial and natural ones) can help but again a thing is to study, another thing is to construct them. To study is too easy. (5) To write documents, articles, peer reviewed papers and whatever about complex systems can help (it is sure more demanding than to read, speak or discuss) but however it remains always the possibility that one continues to believe that such systems can evolve after all. To write is too easy.
At this point you wonder: no reading, no writing, no discussion, no study, no analysis of the systems. What is the method then? To tell it in a word, the method is based on design. Yes, the principle of the method is that to really understand design one must personally design. It is not enough to do the above activities. (I know you are disappointed.)
Of course a good example of design would be engineering in all its specialties. Unfortunately almost all fields of engineering are inaccessible to laymen for many reasons. But the good news is that there is a field that is theorically and practically available (at least at a basic level) to almost all people (or at least to scientific-minded people as most ID deniers are): computer science. Our suggested patent-pending method to become IDer is based on computer programming. Developing programs gives ID refuters a lot of advantages to learn ID.
(1) Computer programming is an activity where, differently from literature, philosophy, journalism and so on, a severe control overarches all the design cycle. In programming errors matter, also the minor ones are never condoned. This is good discipline for the student, to be always forced to correct his errors. If you write a book filled with errors, no worry, it will be published the same. If you write a program with one error nothing works. This is the difference between storytelling and programming. Usually there are at least two kinds of control or filter: at compilation time and at run-time. Any program works only if it passes the two filters. Extremely useful is to try to find the causes of a failure or wrong behavior of your program. In programming you will always face this hard reality: you are the only source of all functional bits.
(2) Computer programs don’t arise by unguided evolution. They entail CSI and only intelligence can create CSI. Whether software were generable by mean of randomness and machines, software houses wouldn’t need to pay legions of expensive programmers. When you are programming you see directly your intelligence at work. Eventually other programmers can help you but no other unintelligent thing can do the job for you.
(3) To develop programs is a good exercise to learn CSI, IC, nested functional hierarchies, sub-functions, structures, dependences among parts, meta-information, libraries, etc. For example, to test if a particular sub-module is IC at the functional level one can easily delete some of its instructions in the program sources and see what happens. You can have a raw measure of the CSI of your program looking at the size of its source (or its binary executable). More instructions you write more CSI and personal gratification.
(4) Computer programming is an information processing job. Therefore is particularly apt to understand what happens in the biological cells, where information is processed and instructions are run by the molecular machinery. Cells don’t work according to storytelling, rather according to programming.
(5) Last but not least you can even simulate random mutations. You can insert some random error in the source and see if such variation is functionally beneficial (how neo-Darwinism theory hopes). Eventually if you want a better randomness you can ask a (non programmer) friend to introduce a blind change in your code. The analogy between human software and biological code is good, so directly testing random mutations in the former can give you an idea of their results in the latter.
What is necessary to start? Of course a computer but you have it already. The second step is the choice of the programming language. In the history of informatics hundreds of programming languages have been developed. All have pro and cons. My personal advice nowadays is to adopt Perl or PHP. By the way Perl is particularly useful in genomic research. Someone even claims that Perl “saved the human genome project” (see here).
Perl and PHP are modern high level language, running on every operating system, relatively easy to learn and in the same time very powerful. One can freely download their compilers and on-line manuals from their web-sites. Read the initial chapters of the manual (not the entire manual). After the installation on your computer you can just start writing you first “Hello world” program. If you will be insisting with constancy every day after two weeks it is likely you will have developed a functioning program more complex than that where to experiment variations. In any case your awareness that, when bits are involved and instructions have to be run by processors, randomness is only destructive will be increased. Besides you will see with your own eyes that in informatics not a single functional bit is gratis but must come from the intelligence of a programmer. As a consequence, given the analogy between informatics and biology, eventually you will pass from the “chance and necessity” unguided evolution side to the ID side. Congratulations! You are welcome!!