Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

New vid: Scientists speak out on intelligent design


In time for Darwin Day:

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.

Here’s an interesting question-and-answer at the site:


No. The theory of intelligent design is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the “apparent design” in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it. Intelligent design starts with the empirical evidence of nature and seeks to ascertain what inferences can be drawn from that evidence. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural.

Honest critics of intelligent design acknowledge the difference between intelligent design and creationism. University of Wisconsin historian of science Ronald Numbers is critical of intelligent design, yet according to the Associated Press, he “agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID [intelligent design] movement.” Why, then, do some Darwinists keep trying to conflate intelligent design with creationism? According to Dr. Numbers, it is because they think such claims are “the easiest way to discredit intelligent design.” In other words, the charge that intelligent design is “creationism” is a rhetorical strategy on the part of Darwinists who wish to delegitimize design theory without actually addressing the merits of its case.

On that latter point, see At Snopes: Creationism “bears all the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory” Curiously, Snopes admits, regarding the piece from The Conversation, “This content is shared here because the topic may interest Snopes readers; it does not, however, represent the work of Snopes fact-checkers or editors.” So… they can get away with publishing this kind of thing because they did not check it out? That is further evidence that Snopes is going downhill fast as a rumor squelching site.

I agree with what you are saying. The whole point being we can only study the design. Everything we can learn about the designer(s) has to come from studying the design and all relevant evidence. That is unless you can tap into the source and just know. But that also comes from understanding the design. ET
ET Any comment on my various suggestions alternative to direct creation by God? Any reasons to reject them as possibilities? doubter
Creationism depends on the Bible. ID does not. Creationism is a subset of ID. ET
Many in ID drastically simplify the origins problem by looking at it as either undirected naturalistic Darwinism, or creation by God. In reality there are obviously many other possibilities. Who are the designers? I myself don't pin that on God, in particular for the periodic or intermittent creative intervention in evolution that appears to have taken place. It could be aliens. Certainly it is a possibility that very technologically/scientifically advanced aliens might have originated life on our planet and/or periodically intervened in evolution in order to direct it in their desired direction. The bio-science and technology needed are at least conceivable based on our present level of advancement. The only problem with this hypothesis is that it has a very big explanatory hole - it still doesn't explain the ultimate origin of life and of higher forms including intelligent animals such as the aliens themselves. This would just be transferring the origin problem over to another biosphere and another evolutionary process with many creative developments especially the major innovations impossible for undirected neo-Darwinistic processes. This obviously leads to an infinite regression of origins, of previous species of alien beings. Maybe virtual reality Universe simulation programmers, but there is the same problem with this - it's just "kicking the can down the road" as far as the origin problem is concerned. These notions are certainly possible but just don't solve the basic problem. I find it very hard to imagine that the "designers" are somehow the distributed innate intelligence of all life as has been proposed by some, or even just of bacteria and relatively simple organisms, primarily because the engineering design process clearly requires focused conscious intelligence, which is very hard to plausibly imagine as belonging to these distributed "intelligences". So my best guess at present is some sort of very advanced spiritual beings operating from their spiritual realm of existence which interacts with our physical realm. This concept of course also has problems, but at least it isn't just transferring the origin problem upstream. One obvious difficulty is understanding why such beings wouldn't just create the necessary vehicles of consciousness (i.e. something like human beings) rather than resorting to a long agonizingly slow and meandering evolutionary process in which they had to frequently intervene. My view on this is that these beings must be very powerful and extremely intelligent, but not unlimited. They are not all-knowing and all-capable. In particular they must have the limitation that, like humans, to design a very complex system they have to go through an evolving design process depending at each stage on creative insights coming along in the process of designing a long succession of improving designs. Every major step is based in part on the previous successful design version, utilizing all the previous work in the development. An obvious human example would be the design evolution of flying vehicles, starting with the Wright Brothers, going to biplanes and small piston engines, then large monoplanes with large piston engines, then jet turbine engines, hydraulic control, computer automation, GPS, it goes on. At no point were humans mentally capable of foreseeing the future results of all this research, prototype building, flying experience, etc. etc. These putative very advanced spiritual beings responsible for evolution having these limitations clearly implies they are not whatever intelligences or Intelligence designed the Universe itself. They must be of a lower, but still extremely powerful, order. This implies that there is a hierarchy, as is believed in numerous spiritual traditions. doubter
If you believe in a creator, you are a creationist. The term "creationist" is often used without definition. It is meant to be a pejorative and thus, used for deceit. You can believe in a creator and also believe this creator did nothing else since. Such people were called Deists a couple hundred years ago. But this concept of a creator describes most in the Western World. A large percentage will answer the question, "Is there a God" with a yes. But will do little or nothing in their lives to act on that belief. So are they creationists? Yes! You can believe in a creator who created the world within the last 6-7 thousand years ago. These are often called YECs (Young Earth Creationists.). This is what someone wants to imply a person is when they say that people don't believe in a theory of evolution and thus making the bogus switch to applying this limited definition of "creationist" to all religious people (also never defining what they mean by evolution.) Then there are several different gradations on what the creator was like and when He acted. So called Theistic evolutionists believe in a natural explanation for the changes in life forms over time but believe the Christian God started it all. The natural explanation for life changes are a way of them praising the Creator by saying He did not need to intervene to make anything happen. He was that powerful and knowledgeable. This is opposed to ID which implies there was some intelligence that caused many of the changes in life forms in its origin and changes along the way. Many take this intelligence to be God, or for many the Christian God. This mainly gets criticized because why would such a powerful God have to tinker in His creation. Lots of other variations of what might be called a creationist. But that is not what critics want the average person to know. They want the one use of the term (YECs) only and this concept to apply to all who believe in God. jerry
BornAgain nailed it. Why not call ourselves Creationists? Given fine tuning, the origin of life, and the role of information, the design part is obvious. So let's just say what's equally obvious, to any reasonable person: God did it. If our opponents object we say "Lets take fine tuning. Tell us, what else else but God can explain it?" Moreover, I dislike the tem "Design" for another reason. We are really talking about a "creator" or a Builder, which is far more than a mere "designer" Any engineer will tell you that he has seen zillions of designs, but only a few get built and actually work. TAMMIE LEE HAYNES
The video itself isn't up to par on production. I don't think it will attract and hold viewers. polistra
The theory of intelligent design
I believe it unwise to postulate that there is a theory of Intelligent Design. You’ll end up spending all your time defending a specific theory. That is a diversion. It is very much like spending one’s time defending Dembski’s mathematics. Interesting but irrelevant. I’m very much aware of findings to scientific studies that conclude the most likely explanation by far to a particular phenomenon is an intelligence. That is easy to defend and gets away from frivolous objections from insincere people. jerry
Hmm, well, I've always looked at it this way, either the Blind Watchmaker evolutionists, and OOL dreamers, can demonstrate their cases, or they can't. And so far, well, thumbs way down. And I'm not religious. Still waiting for the hard science. Concealed Citizen
Ridicule and smug condescension with hand waving dismissiveness is not reason. Notice how trolls never refute anything. john_a_designer
Uncommon Descent likes a new site from Discovery Institute! Who’d have guessed? I bet that’s not a consequence of random chance. Circadian
as to: "the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural." Well actually, I think Stephen Meyer is challenging that supposed limitation of ID theory with his new book, "Return of the God Hypothesis" https://returnofthegodhypothesis.com bornagain77

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