In the case of Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., Judge Jones ruled that a pro-intelligentdesign disclaimer cannot be read to public school students. In his decision, he gave demarcation criteria for what counts as science, ruling that intelligentdesign fails these criteria. I argue that these criteria are flawed, with most of my focus on the criterion of methodological naturalism. The way to refute intelligentdesign is not by (...) declaring it unscientific, but by showing that the empirical evidence for design is not there. (shrink)
Intelligentdesign begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause? To see what’s at stake, consider Mount Rushmore. The evidence for Mount Rushmore’s design is direct—eyewitnesses saw the sculptor Gutzon Borglum spend the better part of his life designing and building this structure. But what if there were no direct evidence for Mount Rushmore’s design? What (...) if humans went extinct and aliens, visiting the earth, discovered Mount Rushmore in substantially the same condition as it is now? (shrink)
The intelligentdesign movement aspires to create a new scientific paradigm which will replace the existing Darwinian paradigm of evolution by random mutation and natural selection. However, the creation of such a paradigm is hampered by the fact that the movement pursues a 'big tent' strategy that refuses to make a choice between young-earth creationism, old-earth (progressive) creationism, and divinely directed natural selection. The latter two options are discussed in some detail, and it becomes apparent that either one (...) presents difficult challenges that the movement shows no signs of overcoming. It is concluded that there are not good prospects for the creation of an alternative paradigm in the foreseeable future. (shrink)
This paper defends two theses about probabilistic reasoning. First, although modus ponens has a probabilistic analog, modus tollens does not – the fact that a hypothesis says that an observation is very improbable does not entail that the hypothesis is improbable. Second, the evidence relation is essentially comparative; with respect to hypotheses that confer probabilities on observation statements but do not entail them, an observation O may favor one hypothesis H1 over another hypothesis H2 , but O cannot be said (...) to confirm or disconfirm H1 without such relativization. These points have serious consequences for the IntelligentDesign movement. Even if evolutionary theory entailed that various complex adaptations are very improbable, that would neither disconfirm the theory nor support the hypothesis of intelligentdesign. For either of these conclusions to follow, an additional question must be answered: With respect to the adaptive features that evolutionary theory allegedly says are very improbable, what is their probability of arising if they were produced by intelligentdesign? This crucial question has not been addressed by the ID movement. (shrink)
A variety of different arguments have been offered for teaching ‘‘both sides’’ of the evolution/ID debate in public schools. This article reviews five of the most common types of arguments advanced by proponents of IntelligentDesign and demonstrates how and why they are founded on confusion and misunderstanding. It argues on behalf of teaching evolution, and relegating discussion of ID to philosophy or history courses.
Alvin Plantinga argues by counterexample that no naturalistic account of functions is possible--God is then the only source for natural functions. This paper replies to Plantinga's examples and arguments. Plantinga misunderstands naturalistic accounts. Plantinga's mistakes flow from his assimilation of functional notions in general to functions from intentional design in particular.
In recent controversies about IntelligentDesign Creationism (IDC), the principle of methodological naturalism (MN) has played an important role. In this paper, an often neglected distinction is made between two different conceptions of MN, each with its respective rationale and with a different view on the proper role of MN in science. According to one popular conception, MN is a self-imposed or intrinsic limitation of science, which means that science is simply not equipped to deal with claims of (...) the supernatural (Intrinsic MN or IMN). Alternatively, we will defend MN as a provisory and empirically grounded attitude of scientists, which is justified in virtue of the consistent success of naturalistic explanations and the lack of success of supernatural explanations in the history of science (Provisory MN or PMN). Science does have a bearing on supernatural hypotheses, and its verdict is uniformly negative. We will discuss five arguments that have been proposed in support of IMN: the argument from the definition of science, the argument from lawful regularity, the science stopper argument, the argument from procedural necessity, and the testability argument. We conclude that IMN, because of its philosophical flaws, proves to be an ill-advised strategy to counter the claims of IDC. Evolutionary scientists are on firmer ground if they discard supernatural explanations on purely evidential grounds, instead of ruling them out by philosophical fiat. (shrink)
This chapter offers a critique of intelligentdesign arguments against evolution and a philosophical discussion of the nature of science, drawing several lessons for the teaching of evolution and for science education in general. I discuss why Behe’s irreducible complexity argument fails, and why his portrayal of organismal systems as machines is detrimental to biology education and any under-standing of how organismal evolution is possible. The idea that the evolution of complex organismal features is too unlikely to have (...) occurred by random mutation and selection (as recently promoted by Dembski) is very widespread, but it is easy to show students why such small probability arguments are fallacious. While intelligentdesign proponents have claimed that the exclusion of supernatural causes mandated by scientific methods is dogmatically presupposed by science, scientists have an empirical justification for using such methods. This justification is instructive for my discussion of how to demarcate science from pseudoscience. I argue that there is no universal account of the nature of science, but that the criteria used to judge an intellectual approach vary across historical periods and have to be specific to the scientific domain. Moreover, intellectual approaches have to be construed as practices based on institutional factors and values, and to be evaluated in terms of the activities of their practitioners. Science educators should not just teach scientific facts, but present science as a practice and make students reflect on the nature of science, as this gives them a better appreciation of the ways in which intelligentdesign falls short of actual science. (shrink)
When proponents of IntelligentDesign theory deny that their theory is religious, the minimalistic theory they have in mind is the claim that the irreducibly complex adaptations found in nature were made by one or more intelligent designers. The denial that this theory is religious rests on the fact that it does not specify the identity of the designer—a supernatural God or a team of extra-terrestrials could have done the work. The present paper attempts to show that (...) this reply underestimates the commitments of the mini-ID Theory. The mini-ID theory, when supplemented with four independently plausible further assumptions, entails the existence of a supernatural intelligent designer. It is further argued that scientific theories, such as the Darwinian theory of evolution, are neutral on the question of whether supernatural designers exist. (shrink)
i The 2005 decision by Judge John E. Jones in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District was celebrated by all red-blooded American liberals as a victory over the forces of darkness. The result was probably inevitable, in view of the reckless expression by some members of the Dover School Board of their desire to put religion into the classroom, and the clumsiness of their prescribed statement in trying to dissimulate that aim.1 But the conﬂicts aired in this trial—over the status (...) of evolutionary theory, the arguments for intelligentdesign, and the nature of science—reveal an intellectually unhealthy situation. The political urge to defend science education against the threats of religious orthodoxy, understandable though it is, has resulted in a counterorthodoxy, supported by bad arguments, and a tendency to overstate the legitimate scientiﬁc claims of evolutionary theory. Skeptics about the theory are seen as so dangerous, and so disreputably motivated, that they must be denied any shred of.. (shrink)
Tennis players have more physical training content, and the training items are complex. For athletes, training programs that adapt to their individual characteristics should be formulated according to their physical characteristics. The current development of big data has brought about changes in thinking, management, and business models. The combination of complex systems and big data can also make breakthroughs in the sports field. Based on this, this article proposes a tennis player training schedule intelligent formulation system based on complex (...) system big data. First of all, this article adopts the literature data method, comparative analysis method, experimental analysis method, etc., in-depth study of the concepts of big data, complex system, and the physical structure characteristics of tennis sports. This paper designs an intelligent system for making tennis players’ training schedule, which collects, transforms, and integrates tennis training data through the characteristics of big data. Then, the dynamic time regulation of tennis is performed through a complex system, and finally, the experimental system is analyzed. This article mainly analyzes the comparison of physical indicators between the experimental group and the control group before and after the experiment, the evaluation indicators of sports events, the strength training effects of tennis events, and the analysis of shoulder joint tests. There is no significant difference between the experimental group and the control group in the items before the experiment, P > 0.05, which suggests that the physical fitness of the two groups of athletes is similar; in the posttest data, the experimental group and the control group have significant differences, P < 0.05, indicating an effect from the experiment. In particular, in fan running, forward and backward strokes, and the serve, the scores of the experimental group were higher than those of the control group, indicating that the use of the formulated training system demonstrated significant results. (shrink)
Another look is taken at the model assumptions involved in William Dembski’s (2002a, No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot be Purchased without Intelligence. Roman & Littlefield, Lanham, MA) use of the NFL theorems from optimization theory to disprove the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection, and his argument is shown to be irrelevant to evolutionary biology.
In his recent anthology, IntelligentDesign Creationism and Its Critics, Robert Pennock continues his attack on what he considers to be the pseudoscience of IntelligentDesign Theory. In this critical review, I discuss the main issues in the debate. Although the rhetoric is often heavy and the articles are intentionally stacked against IntelligentDesign, there are many interesting topics in the philosophy of science to be found. I conclude that, contra Pennock, there is nothing (...) intrinsically unscientific about IntelligentDesign. At this stage, however, it remains more of a provocative idea than a research program. Whether design theorists can bridge this gap is still very much in question. In any case, the debate serves as a modern case study for such classic problems as the nature of scientific explanations, theory change, the demarcation problem, and the role of metaphysical assumptions in the development of science. (shrink)
Intelligentdesign, though unnecessary in the study of biological evolution, is essential to the study of cultural evolution. However, the intelligent designers in question are not deities or aliens but rather humans going about their lives. The role of intentionality in cultural evolution can be elucidated through the addition of signaling theory to the framework outlined in the target article. (Published Online November 9 2006).
The explanatory filter is a proposed method to detect design in nature with the aim of refuting Darwinian evolution. The explanatory filter borrows its logical structure from the theory of statistical hypothesis testing but we argue that, when viewed within this context, the filter runs into serious trouble in any interesting biological application. Although the explanatory filter has been extensively criticized from many angles, we present the first rigorous criticism based on the theory of mathematical statistics.
While "scientism" is typically regarded as a position about the exclusive epistemic authority of science held by a certain class of "cultured despisers" of "religion", we show that only on the assumption of this sort of view do purportedly "scientific" claims made by proponents of "intelligentdesign" appear to lend epistemic or apologetic support to claims affirmed about God and God's action in "creation" by Christians in confessing their "faith". On the other hand, the hermeneutical strategy that better (...) describes the practice and method of Christian theologians, from the inception of theological reflection in the Christian tradition, acknowledges the epistemic authority of the best available tests for truth in areas of human inquiry such as science and history. But this strategy does not assume that such tests, whose authority must be regarded as provisional, provides authority for the warrant of affirming claims constituting the confessed "faith". By attributing theological import to claims advanced by appeal to the best available tests for truth in the practice of science, supporters of ID not only confuse the epistemic authority of these tests with the normative authority of a faith community's confessional identity, but impute to scientific tests for truth a sort of authority that even goes beyond the "methodological naturalism" against which they counterpose their claims. (shrink)
While a great deal of abuse has been directed at intelligentdesign theory (ID), its starting point is a fact about biological organisms that cries out for explanation, namely "specified complexity" (SC). Advocates of ID deploy three kind of argument from specified complexity to the existence of a designer: an eliminative argument, an inductive argument, and an inference to the best explanation. Only the first of these merits the abuse directed at it; the other two arguments are worthy (...) of respect. If they fail, it is only because we have a better explanation of SC, namely Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. (shrink)
Based on an analysis of the origins and characteristics of IntelligentDesign, this essay discusses the related issues of probability and irreducible complexity. From the viewpoint of complex systems theory, I suggest that IntelligentDesign is not, as certain advocates claim, the only reasonable approach for dealing with the current difficulties of evolutionary biology.
Intelligentdesign creationism (ID) is a religious belief requiring a supernatural creator's interventions in the natural order. ID thus brings with it, as does supernatural theism by its nature, intractable epistemological difficulties. Despite these difficulties and despite ID's defeat in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005), ID creationists' continuing efforts to promote the teaching of ID in public school science classrooms threaten both science education and the separation of church and state guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution. (...) I examine the ID movement's failure to provide either a methodology or a functional epistemology to support their supernaturalism, a deficiency that consequently leaves them without epistemic support for their creationist claims. My examination focuses primarily on ID supporter Francis Beckwith, whose published defenses of teaching ID, as well as his other relevant publications concerning education, law, and public policy, have been largely exempt from critical scrutiny. Beckwith's work exhibits the epistemological deficiencies of the supernaturally grounded views of his ID associates and of supernaturalists in general. I preface my examination of Beckwith's arguments with (1) philosopher of science Susan Haack's clarification of the established naturalistic methodology and epistemology of science and (2) discussions of the views of Beckwith's ID associates Phillip Johnson and William Dembski. Finally, I critique the religious exclusionism that Beckwith shares with his ID associates and the implications of his exclusionism for public policy. (shrink)
This paper explores a seldom discussed difficulty for traditional theists who wish to embrace the purported evidence employed in biochemical intelligentdesign arguments, and who also employ a commonly used element in their theodicies – namely, the claim that God would have reason to make a relatively orderly and self-sufficient world with stable and simple natural laws. I begin by introducing intelligentdesign arguments and the varieties of theodicy at issue, then I argue that there is (...) at least a strong prima facie tension between these theodicies and the claim that God intelligently designed biochemical systems in humans and other organisms. Subsequently, I examine three strategies for resolving this tension, in increasing order of plausibility. At the end of the paper, I raise and briefly discuss some wider issues for theists enamoured with theodicy approaches that emphasize natural orderliness and the stability of laws of nature. (shrink)
IntelligentDesign creationism is often criticized for failing to be science because it falls afoul of some demarcation criterion between science and non-science. This paper argues that this objection to IntelligentDesign is misplaced because it assumes that a consistent non-theological characterization of IntelligentDesign is possible. In contrast, it argues that, if IntelligentDesign is taken to be non-theological doctrine, it is not intelligible. Consequently, a demarcation criterion cannot be used to (...) judge its status. This position has the added advantage of providing reasons to reject IntelligentDesign creationism without invoking potentially philosophically controversial demarcation criteria. (shrink)
This article reviews two standard criticisms of creationism/intelligentdesign (ID): it is unfalsifiable, and it is refuted by the many imperfect adaptations found in nature. Problems with both criticisms are discussed. A conception of testability is described that avoids the defects in Karl Popper’s falsifiability criterion. Although ID comes in multiple forms, which call for different criticisms, it emerges that ID fails to constitute a serious alternative to evolutionary theory.
That IntelligentDesign Creationism rejects the methodological naturalism of modern science in favor of a premodern supernaturalist worldview is well documented and by now well known. An irony that has not been sufficiently appreciated, however, is the way that ID Creationists try to advance their premodern view by adopting (if only tactically) a radical postmodern perspective. This paper will reveal the deep threads of postmodernism that run through the ID Creationist movement’s arguments, as evidenced in the writings and (...) interviews of its key leaders. Seeing their arguments and activities from this perspective highlights the danger to science posed by both ID Creationism and radical postmodernism. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to clarify the epistemic status of the IntelligentDesign proposal. We can consider it as an updated version of the classical ways of demonstrating the existence of God, in particular of the so-called “fifth way”. As such, it seems to be neither scientific nor properly theological, but rather a proposal at a rational-philosophical level. At the same time, it must also be made clear that the negation of purpose in evolutionary biological processes (...) is similarly a philosophical position, not a scientific one. I propose to acknowledge this state of affairs and to reframe the debate at its proper level. On the argumentative level, it is just as wrong to neglect the controversy as it is to discredit one’s opponent. On the epistemic level, it is a mistake to present IntelligentDesign as a scientific replacement for the scientific theory of evolution; it should be considered instead to be a genuine and serious alternative to the quasi-philosophical ideology of evolutionism. (shrink)
Marcos Eberlin is a chemist and mass spectrometer who advances in a new book a refined IntelligentDesign theory hinging on “foresight,” or the apparent teleology and purpose discernible in biological, chemical, and other complex life systems. Repurposing older ID arguments, such as those of “irreducible complexity,” and introducing new examples of phenomena pointed to by other ID theorists, Eberlin makes a strong argument for mindful creation by a “superintellect”. But is ID sufficient to answer Darwinism? Does “foresight” (...) go far enough in providing an alternative view of the origin of complex lifeforms? I argue that Eberlin, and other ID theorists, does not have a robust-enough definition of science to counter non-theistic theories of biology and biochemistry. An Aristotelian-Thomistic understanding of science allows us to go beyond the divide between ID and a-theistic theories and move the science-and-faith debate onto more solid ground. (shrink)
Intelligentdesign—the idea that a designing intelligence plays a substantive and empirically significant role in the natural world—no longer sits easily in our intellectual environment. Science rejects it for invoking an unnecessary teleology. Philosophy rejects it for committing an argument from ignorance. And theology rejects it for, as Edward Oakes contends, making the task of theodicy impossible.1 I want in this lecture to address all these concerns but especially the last. For many thinkers, particularly religious believers, intelligent (...)design exacerbates the problem of natural evil—intelligentdesign makes natural evil not an accident of natural history or a price exacted by evolution or a necessary consequence of creation’s freedom but an outcome fully intended by a sadistic designer. Or, as Robert Russell put it to me on the PBS program Uncommon Knowledge, “The notion of intelligentdesign is incoherent because it’s either a natural cause, in which case you don’t go anywhere, or it’s a divine cause, in which case you don’t have the biblical God.”2 The biblical God, presumably, would not design the rabies virus, the bubonic plague bacterium, or the mosquito. (shrink)
“IntelligentDesign” (ID) is a contemporary intellectual movement arguing that there is scientific evidence for the existence of some sort of creator. Its proponents see ID as a scientific research program and as a way to build a bridge between science and theology, while many critics see it merely as a repackaged form of religiously motivated creationism: both bad science and bad theology. In this article, I offer a close reading of the ID movement's critique of theistic evolutionism (...) and argue that this critique is ultimately in tension with the movement's broader thought. (shrink)
This essay argues that, despite the failure of demarcation criteria for separating science from non-science, the mathematics of design and design-theoretic inferences nonetheless satisfy all the criteria of various competing theories of scientific explanation.
The doctrine of the IntelligentDesign offers an intuitive explanation of why the ordering in the Universe is authored by an intentional agency. Due to its appeal to common-sense perception, this doctrine is endorsed even by scientifically literate circles despite of its obvious contradiction with the discoveries of science. In this article, an attempt to apply the tools of the cognitive science of religion to the appraisal of the methodological and epistemic status of the ID doctrine is presented. (...) It is concluded that the ID doctrine may serve as means of the real-time metaphorical reassurance of the creative power of God while it cannot give grounds to any literal inferences on the nature of the Divine action. (shrink)
In my paper “IntelligentDesign Theory and the Supernatural—the ‘God or Extra-Terrestrial’ Reply,” I argued that IntelligentDesign (ID) Theory, when coupled with independently plausible further assumptions, leads to the conclusion that a supernatural intelligent designer exists. ID theory is therefore not neutral on the question of whether there are supernatural agents. In this respect, it differs from the Darwinian theory of evolution. John Beaudoin replies to my paper in his “Sober on Intelligent (...) class='Hi'>Design Theory and the Intelligent Designer,” arguing that my paper faces two challenges. In the present paper, I try to address Beaudoin’s challenges. (shrink)
Proponents of intelligentdesign have been remarkably successful, at least in the United States, in creating a cultural movement. They have also been remarkably successful at exasperating a scientific and intellectual world that dismisses intelligentdesign as the latest incarnation of creationism—more sophisticated than previous incarnations to be sure, but with many of the old faults. In this paper I want to focus on intelligentdesign’s merits as an intellectual project. I will show that (...) the questions it raises are legitimate and cannot be dismissed on a priori grounds. Having demonstrated that intelligentdesign constitutes a valid intellectual project, I want next to review intelligentdesign’s progress to date. Finally, I will indicate certain milestones that intelligentdesign needs to achieve before it can expect broad recognition from the scientific community that it is making a fruitful contribution to our understanding of the natural world. (shrink)
To detractors, IntelligentDesign is creationism â€” the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis â€” in a thin guise, or simply vacuous, about as interesting as "I donâ€™t understand," as has always been true in the sciences before understanding is reached. Accordingly, there cannot be a "debate.".
Abstract Jeffrey Koperski claims in Zygon (2008) that critics of IntelligentDesign engage in fallacious ad hominem attacks on ID proponents and that this is a “bad way” to engage them. I show that Koperski has made several errors in his evaluation of the ID critics. He does not distinguish legitimate, relevant ad hominem arguments from fallacious ad hominem attacks. He conflates (or equates) the logical use of valid with the colloquial use of valid. Moreover, Koperski doesn't take (...) seriously the legitimate concerns of the ID critics, and in doing so, commits the straw man fallacy. In the end, I show that no one disagrees with the criticism of improper use of fallacies as methods of evaluation. But what constitutes proper, relevant evaluation of the ID theorists and their motivation is a matter of dispute. And sometimes attacking a person as a method of evaluation is justified, and thus is not fallacious. The definition of ad hominem arguments as either a “good way” or a “bad way” rests on justification, which I argue ID opponents have. The basis for these good objections relies on the motivation many Christians have to share their faith with non-Christians, which they call the “great commission.”. (shrink)
I was recently on an NPR program with skeptic Michael Shermer and paleontologist Donald Prothero to discuss intelligentdesign. As the discussion unfolded, it became clear that they were using the phrase "intelligentdesign" in a way quite different from how the emerging intelligentdesign community is using it.
Imagine you are the CEO of a hospital [. . .]. Decisions are constantly being made in your organization about how to spend the organization's money. The amount of money available to spend is never adequate to pay for everything you wish you could spend it on, therefore you must set spending priorities. There are two questions you need to be able to answer . . . How should we set priorities in this organization? How do we know when we (...) are doing it well? When people seek to achieve good public policy, the result will tend to be good public policy. In a collective choice process, public‐spirited individual participants produce good public policy by deliberating—talking with each other, listening to each other's arguments, and being willing to learn and change their minds based on such dialogue. –Steven Kelman (1992: 181) Public policy scholars agree that those persons (or agencies) vested with the authority to establish health care priorities should elicit public input before making rationing decisions. The two most common approaches are (i) consultation and (ii) deliberation. Though deliberation has obvious advantages over consultation, it falters in the face of the objection that ordinary citizens lack the cognitive resources for the extended, rigorous inquiry required of them in undertaking the priority‐setting task. To overcome this objection, I propose that deliberative forums for health care rationing should be designed so that they imitate the natural pattern of human experience. The experience of deliberation should encompass both prolonged periods of less‐demanding cognitive activity, in which citizens passively receive information, and briefer periods of more‐demanding cognitive activity, in which they engage in active problem‐solving. In arguing for this thesis, I rely on two theoretical sources and one practical case study, in the following order: (i) John Dewey's metaphysics of experience, (ii) cognitive science research on schemas and frames, and (iii) the Health Care Council in São Paulo, Brazil. (shrink)
There are good and bad reasons to be skeptical of intelligentdesign. Perhaps the best reason is that intelligentdesign has yet to establish itself as a thriving scientific research program. Thus far philosophical, theoretical, and foundational concerns have tended to predominate. From the vantage of design advocates, this simply reflects the earliness of the hour and the need to clear the decks before a shift of paradigms can take place. Give us more time, and (...) we'll deliver on the program. That's our promise. Skeptics are at this point in their rights to refuse such promissory notes, albeit without sabotaging our efforts to make good on this promise. (shrink)
Thomas Nagel recently proposed that the exclusion of IntelligentDesign from science classrooms is inappropriate and that there needs to be room for “noncommittal discussion.” It is shown that Nagel’s policy proposals do not ?t the conclusions of his arguments.
Folk psychology affirms the existence of a persistent, unitary self at the center of each individual’s mental life. Darwinian psychologists have challenged this view with the selfish gene and selfish meme theories of the mind. Both theories claim that cognition arises from the interaction of blind, selfish replicators and that the enduring self is an illusion. I argue that both theories suffer from an implausible atomism and an inability to explain human reasoning, subjectivity, points of view, and psychological unity. By (...) contrast, a psychology premised on IntelligentDesign is able to account for all these problems. (shrink)
Until recently, little attention has been paid in the school classroom to creationism and almost none to intelligentdesign. However, creationism and possibly intelligentdesign appear to be on the increase and there are indications that there are more countries in which schools are becoming battle-grounds over them. I begin by examining whether creationism and intelligentdesign are controversial issues, drawing on Robert Dearden's epistemic criterion of the controversial and more recent responses to and (...) defences of this. I then examine whether the notion of ‘worldviews’ in the context of creationism is a useful one by considering the film March of the Penguins. I conclude that the ‘worldviews’ perspective on creationism is useful for two reasons: first it indicates the difficulty of using the criterion of reason to decide whether an issue is controversial or not; secondly, it suggests that standard ways of addressing the diversity of student views in a science classroom may be inadequate. I close by examining the implications of this view for teaching in science lessons and elsewhere, for example in religious education lessons and citizenship lessons and at primary level where subject divisions cannot be made in so clear-cut a manner. (shrink)
In his recent anthology, IntelligentDesign Creationism and Its Critics, Robert Pennock continues his attack on what he considers to be the pseudoscience of IntelligentDesign Theory. In this critical review, I discuss the main issues in the debate. Although the volume’s rhetoric is often heavy and the articles are intentionally stacked against IntelligentDesign, it touches upon many interesting topics in the philosophy of science. I conclude that, contra Pennock, there is nothing intrinsically (...) unscientific about IntelligentDesign. At this stage, however, it remains more of a provocative idea than a research program. Whether design theorists can bridge this gap is still very much in question. In any case, the debate serves as a case study for such classic problems as the nature of scientific explanations, theory change, the demarcation problem, and the role of metaphysical assumptions in the development of science. (shrink)
In this book a team of expert academics trained in mathematics, engineering, philosophy, physical anthropology, physics, astrophysics, biology and more investigate the prospects for intelligentdesign. Edited by William Dembski.
Recently, the IntelligentDesign (ID) movement has challenged the claim of many in the scientific establishment that nature gives no empirical signs of having been deliberately designed. In particular, ID arguments in biology dispute the notion that neo-Darwinian evolution is the only viable scientific explanation of the origin of biological novelty, arguing that there are telltale signs of the activity of intelligence which can be recognized and studied empirically. In recent years, a number of Catholic philosophers, theologians, and (...) scientists have expressed opposition to ID. Some of these critics claim that there is a conflict between the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas and that of the ID movement, and even an affinity between Aquinas’s ideas and theistic Darwinism. We consider six such criticisms and find each wanting. (shrink)