What Does Intelligent Design Claim?
Mike Gene had an essay about Intelligent Design that opened with:
"What is Intelligent Design? If you ask a critic, he will probably tell you that ID is a disguised version of Creationism and nothing more than a Trojan Horse to get God taught in the public schools. If you ask a typical proponent of ID, he will probably tell you that ID is the best explanation for various biotic phenomena.I just love that for an opening when discussing what Intelligent Design claims. Onward to the rest->
For me, ID begins exactly as William Dembski said it begins – with a question":
Intelligent design 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?
"The first thing to note about the question is that you don’t have to be a religious fundamentalist to ask it. You don’t have to be a religious fundamentalist to consider it. In fact, you don’t even have to be a religious fundamentalist to answer it."
What is Intelligent Design?
Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence.-- William A. Dembski
Design theory—also called design or the design argument—is the view that nature shows tangible signs of having been designed by a preexisting intelligence. It has been around, in one form or another, since the time of ancient Greece.
ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., "Darwinism, Design and Public Education", pg. 92):
1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.
2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.
3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.
ID claims that Complex Specified Information, not Shannon's "mere complexity", is an indicator of agency involvement. Just as archaeologists claim that artifacts require an artist and just as forensic scientists claim a murder requires a murderer, ID claims that CSI requires a designer.
Biological specification always refers to function. An organism is a functional system comprising many functional subsystems. In virtue of their function, these systems embody patterns that are objectively given and can be identified independently of the systems that embody them. Hence these systems are specified in the same sense required by the complexity-specification criterion (see sections 1.3 and 2.5). The specification of organisms can be crashed out in any number of ways. Arno Wouters cashes it out globally in terms of the viability of whole organisms. Michael Behe cashes it out in terms of minimal function of biochemical systems.- Wm. Dembski page 148 of NFL
In the preceding and proceeding paragraphs William Dembski makes it clear that biological specification is CSI- complex specified information. Others have called it "functional sequence complexity". It is all the same and all based on Crick's biological information concept.
In the paper "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories", Stephen C. Meyer wrote:
Dembski (2002) has used the term “complex specified information” (CSI) as a synonym for “specified complexity” to help distinguish functional biological information from mere Shannon information--that is, specified complexity from mere complexity. This review will use this term as well.
So science asks the question:
"How did it come to be this way?" and ID claims that agency involvement was required. That means if one can demonstrate nature,operating freely can produce DNA with FSC, ID would be in a seriously compromised, if not fatal, position.