The TSZ denizens are totally confused. They throw around the word "theory" as if that alone adds weight to the argument. They will say that Darwin had a theory of evolution but when pressed they admit he didn't say how to test his claims scientifically. And that brings us to the title of this post- What makes a theory a scientific theory? Wikipedia has an agreed upon answer:
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed, preferably using a written, pre-defined, protocol of observations and experiments. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.
A scientific theory must make testable claims and to a lesser degree there should be a way to falsify the claim.
Darwin said how to falsify his claims:
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." [Darwin 1859, pg. 175].
And by doing so he said how to test them
If it could be demonstrated that all complex organs that ever existed, could have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would be absolutely confirmed.
But that isn't the whole of it. Those slight modifications have to come about via happenstance genetic changes and then preserved. Chance is at the beating heart of Darwin's concept.
The point is even though Darwin said, in an off-hand way, how to, in a general sense, test his claims, he never provided the detail required by science. Darwin thought the evidence for the evolution of the eye was different complexities of eyes that existed. That isn't even for the evolution of the eye let alone evolution by natural selection.
The point is that no one since Darwin has figured out how vision systems could have arisen and evolved and been able to pack it down at the genetic level. And that is the whole problem with people trying to say that there is a scientific theory of evolution- if there is it sure as hell doesn't include the evolution of vision systems and macroevolution in general.
ID is falsifiable as one of ID's claims is:
3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
And that means to falsify ID all one has to do is show that naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes suffice to explain the origin
of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
Basically it is saying that if evolutionists actually find a way to test their claims, test and confirm them, in a way that can be repeated, ID is falsified.
The criteria for inferring design in biology is, as Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh 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.”
It can also be found in the first two premises of the design hypothesis:
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.
ATP synthase falls into the IC category. Anyone and everyone is welcome to test that claim.
And there is the difference. ID makes testable claims whereas evolutionism does not