Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Challenge for Adherents of Intelligent Design

There have been some good arguments made against ID. And after the legal debacle in Dover, Pennsylvania, I feel more like I'm on the tail-end of yesterday's hot fashion: debunking ID.

Here's the challenge:

Does ID in any form generate scientific hypotheses that either challenge current theories of cosmology, biology, etc., or hypotheses that lead to experiments and tests which can be performed, at least in principle, given the current state of scientific knowledge.

If ID does not lead to new scientific hypotheses, then the arguments generally in support of design to the physical world rests on statements such as Phenomena X is too complicated to have arisen by chance. Or rephrased, the so-called irreducible complexity of Phenomena X is directly proportionate to human ignorance about Phenomena X.

If ID does not lead to specific hypotheses that are testable at least in principle, then ID is pseudo-science. Philosophy, or even religion, masquerading none too well as science.

In case anyone read "What Is Wrong with Intelligent Design" by Elliott Sober, appearing in the March 2007 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, the above is derived from it. Read it. It's only 8 pages and it's well written. I'd say that it would be appropriate for a school board member of average intelligence.

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