7 Things Worth Knowing about Intelligent Design
by Chad Gross
According to the theory of Intelligent Design, it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than unguided processes. The “ID movement,” as it is sometimes called, is quiet recent. It originated with the publication of several books between 1984 and 1992 and a small meeting organized by Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson near Monterey, California, in 1993.
1. The word “intelligent” emphasizes that “design” in this case is not just a pattern, but a pattern produced by a mind that conceives and executes a plan. Any natural causes involved are guided by
intelligence. Writing a meaningful paragraph on a computer depends on various physiological, mechanical, and electronic processes, but without a mind directing them they would not produce the paragraph.
2. ID is not a substitute for ignorance. If we don’t know the cause of something that does not mean it was designed. When we make design inferences- and all of us make them every day- we do so on the basis of evidence; the more evidence, the more reliable the design inference.
3. ID relies on scientific evidence rather than on Scripture or religious doctrines. It is not biblical creationism. Intelligent Design makes no claims about biblical chronology, and biblical creationists have clearly distinguished their views from ID. A person does not even need to believe in God to infer intelligent design in nature; otherwise, prominent atheist Anthony Flew could not have been persuaded that the evidence in nature points to design…
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