Intelligent Design Should be Promoted as Science
The conclusion that something was designed can be made quite independently of knowledge of the designer. As a matter of procedure, the design must first be apprehended before there can be any further question about the designer. The inference to design can be held with all firmness that is possible in this world, without knowing anything about the designer.—Dr BeheAnd reality dictates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the only possible way to make any scientific determination about the designer and any process used, is by studying the design and all relevant evidence. Archaeology shows us how difficult it is to pin down a specific designer and methods used. And they deal with things that are within our capabilities to reproduce.
As a scientific research program, intelligent design investigates the effects of intelligence and not intelligence as such.- Wm. Dembski page 33 of The Design RevolutionThe DESIGN is what we have to study. Again, archaeologists cannot study the alleged artisans of their artifacts.
Science asks 3 basic questions
- What’s there?
The astronaut picking up rocks on the moon, the nuclear physicist bombarding atoms, the marine biologist describing a newly discovered species, the paleontologist digging in promising strata, are all seeking to find out, “What’s there?”
- How does it work?
A geologist comparing the effects of time on moon rocks to the effects of time on earth rocks, the nuclear physicist observing the behavior of particles, the marine biologist observing whales swimming, and the paleontologist studying the locomotion of an extinct dinosaur, “How does it work?”
- How did it come to be this way?
Each of these scientists tries to reconstruct the histories of their objects of study. Whether these objects are rocks, elementary particles, marine organisms, or fossils, scientists are asking, “How did it come to be this way?”
The 2004 Encyclopedia Britannica says science is “any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation. In general, a science involves a pursuit of knowledge covering general truths or the operations of fundamental laws.”
“A healthy science is a science that seeks the truth.” Paul Nelson, Ph. D., philosophy of biology.
Linus Pauling, winner of 2 Nobel prizes wrote, “Science is the search for the truth.”
“But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding.” Albert Einstein
The truth need not be an absolute truth. Truth in the sense that Drs. Pauling, Einstein & Nelson are speaking is the reality in which we find ourselves. We exist. Science is to help us understand that existence and how it came to be.
As I like to say- science is our search for the truth, i.e. the reality, to our existence via our never-ending quest for knowledge.
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.
Those are the core concepts of ID and to falsify Intelligent Design all one has to do is demonstrate that natural selection can produce irreducibly complex biological systems.
The criteria for inferring design in biology is, as Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Leheigh University, puts it in his book Darwin ' s Black Box: "Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”
Science has uncovered many biological structures, systems and subsystems that fit that description. And there isn't a P(T|H) for any of them.
The National Academy of Sciences has objected that intelligent design is not falsifiable, and I think that’s just the opposite of the truth. Intelligent design is very open to falsification. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments.
Now let’s turn that around and ask, How do we falsify the contention that natural selection produced the bacterial flagellum? If that same scientist went into the lab and knocked out the bacterial flagellum genes, grew the bacterium for a long time, and nothing much happened, well, he’d say maybe we didn’t start with the right bacterium, maybe we didn’t wait long enough, maybe we need a bigger population, and it would be very much more difficult to falsify the Darwinian hypothesis.
I think the very opposite is true. I think intelligent design is easily testable, easily falsifiable, although it has not been falsified, and Darwinism is very resistant to being falsified. They can always claim something was not right.- Dr Behe
So based on the definitions and criteria of science, Intelligent Design should be promoted as science.