This page is about objections to intelligent design in general, rather than rebuttals of specific ID claims.
List of Objections
- Most counter-arguments to intelligent design (ID) involve demonstrating how much more sense the solidly-established scientific theory of evolution by natural selection makes by comparison, but it is actually not necessary to prove the validity of evolution in order to demolish ID. For example:
- stupid design: The design of living organisms includes some amazing stupidity, and it seems quite inexplicable that any hypothetical intelligent designer would have done so well in most other ways and yet committed these bizarre lapses.
- Intelligent design is basically a curiosity stopper, a fake explanation; ID proponents have shown no interest in trying to pin down the details of the "designer", find real evidence to support their theory, make testable predictions based on ID, or pursue any real investigation on the matter.
- Intelligent design proponents have shown that they are more interested in convincing others of their pre-determined beliefs than in arriving at the truth, and that ID is basically an act of Christian ideological protectionism and covert evangelism.
- ID is basically anti-Darwinism – attempting to tear down the prevailing theory without proposing anything substantial to replace it.
It's not clear whether ID advocates are specifically arguing for an influence that is supernatural or merely sentient. It should be made clear, however, that any attempt to claim supernatural influence as an explanation is logically inconsistent – a fake explanation.
To claim that a given phenomenon involves the supernatural is to be claiming that it not only operates by laws we do not currently understand, but by laws that we will never come to understand merely by studying the phenomenon. This is quite a claim to make without huge amounts of evidence that the laws of nature we currently understand are being violated – and even in that case, history has shown repeatedly that we do eventually come to understand seemingly inexplicable phenomena once we have identified them.
In order to make a serious case for the supernatural, one would have to (1) show clearly a phenomenon which was not explained by our present science, (2) wait many years for repeated failures to make any headway whatsoever in studying it.
The OSC analysis (which used to be linked below, on this page; need to find it again -W.) seems a pretty reasonable treatment of a solution – i.e. ID may be in agreement with his beliefs, but it is based on religion rather than science, and US public schools have no business teaching religion – but proponents of creationism/ID do not appear to be interested in compromise.
- 2009-02-21 [Talk|Index] Casey Luskin: Butthurt § “Please note the obvious: EN&V is bitching about a troll being unable to post on ERV, yet no one is allowed to post on EN&V.”
- 2008-01-23 [Talk|Index] Rosenhouse on ID's "Predictions" § “O'Leary's predictions, on the other hand, are exactly what we have come to expect from ID advocates - nothing but god of the gaps arguments whose only predictions are that evolution will fail to explain this or that phenomenon.”
- 2007-09-27 Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life's Origin: "But now, Dr. Dawkins and other scientists who agreed to be interviewed say they are surprised – and in some cases, angered – to find themselves not in "Crossroads" but in a film with a new name and one that makes the case for intelligent design, an ideological cousin of creationism. The film, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," also has a different producer, Premise Media. .. The film is described in its online trailer as "a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions." According to its Web site, the film asserts that people in academia who see evidence of a supernatural intelligence in biological processes have unfairly lost their jobs, been denied tenure or suffered other penalties as part of a scientific conspiracy to keep God out of the nation's laboratories and classrooms."
- What, exactly, is a "scientific conspiracy"? True science is non-ideological and non-political, so any "conspiracy" intended to favor a particular ideological or political viewpoint regardless of its validity would be, by definition, anti-scientific. If they mean "a conspiracy by scientists", the scientists in question would be violating scientific principles in pursuing such a conspiracy, in which case this situation should be described more as "a conspiracy within the ranks of the scientific establishment". In any case, "scientific conspiracy" is an oxymoron. Talking about a "religious conspiracy" to smear and devalue science in the eyes of the public, however, is entirely within the realm of reason.
- 2006-12-15 Intelligent design: The God Lab by Celeste Biever
- The Other Intelligent Design Theories by David Brin
- Intelligent Design: An Ambiguous Assault on Evolution at LiveScience