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Unintelligent Intelligent Design

March 24, 2010

I’m struggling to keep a straight face reading this, but if anyone feels like a fun exercise in pointing out the problems in an argument, here’s a fun pdf entitled A Scientific History – and Philosophical Defence – of the Theory of Intelligent Design, courtesy of the “Discovery” Institute.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Justin permalink
    March 24, 2010 1:51 PM

    I need to practice cynicism a little more regularly. A few chuckles turn to depression way to easily when reading this kind of paper.

    Take this quote for example:

    ” Intelligent design is an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins that challenges strictly materialistic views of evolution.”

    Here I really must defend a traditional view of Science. Science is inherently materialistic! In particular, scientific theory must be give explanations that are closed in the natural world. Positing an agent that is capable of magic renders all explanation void.

    Note that Stephen Meyer (Upon first opening this document I thought that Twilight had a new appendix) mentions this line of reasoning on page 5, but does nothing to respond to it. Later on he endorses the viewpoint that there is too much information and complexity to be explained by natural causes. Let’s distill that to one idea:

    “If something is too complex, we cannot explain it”

    Not that is intellectual laziness if I’ve ever seen it.

  2. March 24, 2010 1:55 PM

    yeah, i lost the will to live about half way through. I did enjoy the conclusion though:

    Of course, many continue to dismiss intelligent design as nothing but “religion masquerading as science.” They point to the theory’s obviously friendly implications for theistic belief as a justification for classifying and dismissing the theory as “religion.” But such critics confuse the implications of the theory of intelligent design with its evidential basis.

    “Evidential basis”. I’m not sure that means exactly what he thinks it means…

    He mentions somewhere that he’s got a phd from cambridge. joy.

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