Saturday, January 21, 2006

Is Intelligent Design Scientific?

A Vatican newspaper article by Fiorenzo Facchini says that "Intelligent Design" is not science. This is false. Current specific intelligent design arguments are empircally testable and falsifiable and make testable predictions. There are many instances of irreducible complexity, which requires design by intelligent agency and cannot be accounted for by natural selection and variations [1]; for all irreducibly complex systems of which we know the causal history (such as a mousetrap), the system was the product of intelligent cause. Intelligent design predicts that scientists will not discover a continuously functional Darwinian pathway from a simple precursor to the bacterial flagellum and other system and that any detailed evolutionary pathway that is articulated will presuppose other irreducibly complex systems. Intelligent design scientists such as Michael J. Behe do not merely offer negative evidence against Neo-Darwinian theory (NDT) [2] but positive evidence for intelligent design. Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, authors of The Priveleged Planet, posit a correlation between the conditions necessary for life and the conditions necessary for diverse types of scientific discovery; they say that if such a correlation is true then it points to intelligent design. [3] Any honest person must stop whining that intelligent design isn't testable and falsifiable and doesn't make predictions.