Saturday, October 15, 2005

Intelligent Design?

There is a movement afoot to try and equate the notion of Intelligent Design with the Theory of Evolution. Peering behind the curtain of Intelligent Design, one finds that it is yet another attempt to discredit Darwin's theory of evolution without offering anything substantial to replace it.

When someone says that Darwinian evolution is "just a theory," and that ID deserves equal time, they do not understand what it means for something to be a scientific theory. It's as if a theory is somehow unproven. The fact is, any scientific theory is "just a theory" that explains the facts of the evidence found thus far. If sufficient new evidence is supplied and verified, a theory may be updated to explain all the facts, or replaced by a new theory that explains the all facts. This happens all the time and has always been the case. All of science is made up of theories like this. Sometimes a theory will become a "law," but it is still a theory as well, subject to further refinement or replacement. A theory without evidence and independent verification is not a theory, it's speculation, or at best, a hypothesis. The theory of evolution is a scientific theory. Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, nor a hypothesis.

If the objective of the proponents of Intelligent Design is to provide a scientific theory to supplant the Theory of Evolution, then that theory will also have to explain all of the evidence which the Theory of Evolution explains. The essential message that Intelligent Design seems to be trying to deliver, however, is that the state of our natural world is too complex to be explained via the scientific theory of evolution, so it must be false. They believe that the only way such a complex environment could have occurred was by being created by an "Intelligent Designer."

For a more in depth look at what Intelligent Design offers and what it can explain that evolution can't, go here.

Here's a question for ID pundits:
Does the intelligent designer who designs people, also design viruses? If so, is this conflict-of-interest? -- Bob Parks