How to Test for Intelligent Design

By Amy K. Hall

Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute writes an interesting article in response to a scientist’s statement that “the Intelligent Design hypothesis is untestable by science, exactly because we can never empirically know or understand the actions of God or any other Intelligent Designer.”

Luskin points out that, on the contrary, we can understand when actions are being taken by intelligent designers (such as human beings), and from that, make testable predictions.

He first identifies four ways in which designers act:

  • Intelligent agents think with an “end goal” in mind, allowing them to solve complex problems by taking many parts and arranging them in intricate patterns that perform a specific function…
  • Intelligent agents can rapidly infuse large amounts of information into systems…
  • Intelligent agents re-use functional components that work over and over in different systems (e.g., wheels for cars and airplanes)…
  • Intelligent agents typically create functional things (although we may sometimes think something is functionless, not realizing its true function)…

Then Luskin follows up with four predictions that can be made from these observations of designers:

  • Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns that perform a specific function (e.g. complex and specified information).
  • Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors.
  • Convergence will occur routinely. That is, genes and other functional parts will be re-used in different and unrelated organisms.
  • Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.

He concludes by comparing the predictions to the evidence and explaining the ways in which a hypothesis of design, far from being a “science-stopper,” has led to an increase in scientific knowledge…

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RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:  Intelligent Design Uncensored: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to the Controversy / Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology / Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design / More suggestions…