While intelligent design (ID) research is a new scientific field, recent years have been a period of encouraging growth, producing a strong record of peer-reviewed scientific publications.
In 2011, the ID movement counted its 50th peer-reviewed scientific paper and new publications continue to appear. As of 2015, the peer-reviewed scientific publication count had reached 90.
Many of these papers are recent, published since 2004, when Discovery Institute senior fellow Stephen Meyer published a groundbreaking paper advocating ID in the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. There are multiple hubs of ID-related research.
In this PDF link you’ll find:
“a bibliographic list of the peer-reviewed papers. Following that is an extensive annotated bibliography of technical publications of various kinds that support, develop or apply the theory of intelligent design. The articles are grouped into three categories, according to the type of publication.”
Ijaz, the scientific community rejects ID as ”pseudo-science” and this paper [the link is at the end of my statement] demonstrates that ID is false. Read it. Furthermore Ijaz, I really am shocked at your incredible inconsistency, where in one area scholarly consensus supports your view [ higher criticism esp. rejection of Deity of Christ ] you accept it like a parrot. But in another where the scientific consensus does not [ descent of humans from a common ancestor with apes you reject this etc] you reject the consensus and accept a religious doctrine (I.D) as ”science”.
Either way though, the scientific consensus rejects I.D, why not accept this view as do you with the consensus of higher criticism?
Click to access 6828579.pdf
In the things of science, somewhere in the middle of that process, much of what we “know” was considered “pseudoscience” before it became just plain science.
Ijaz seems to be simply pointing out an increase in peer reviewed scientific publications in relation to ID. There is nothing wrong with that.
Seeker, your bias is showing. Brother Ijaz referred to a peer-reviewed study. How is that not scholarly? Sure, there might not be “scientific consensus” on ID yet, but many scientists are ID proponents. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about evidence. In Biblical studies, the evidence is overwhelmingly against the traditional Christian point of view. In science, the evidence for ID is building and it is quite possible that the “scientific consensus” regarding Darwinian evolution may be a thing of the past. As Ibn Issam pointed out, in science, what was once “consensus” has ended up being completely wrong and eventually discarded by science.
To Ibn Issam, Ijaz Ahmad and quranandbibleblog,
Here is part of my response, quoting the Letter sent by Dr. Robert P. Kirshner President of American Astronomical Society to the President of the United States regarding evolution, (his views are so solidly established within the scientific community due to the overwhelming evidence, that even Scientists in Somalia agree with it, please educate yourself)
Dear Mr. President,
As President of the American Astronomical Society, I was very disappointed by the comments
attributed to you in an article in the August 2nd, 2005 Washington Post regarding intelligent design.
While we agree that “part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought”, intelligent
design has neither scientific evidence to support it nor an educational basis for teaching it as science.
Your science adviser, John H Marburger III correctly commented that “intelligent design is not a
Scientific theories are coherent, are based on careful experiments and observations of nature that
are repeatedly tested and verified. They aren’t just opinions or guesses. Gravity, relativity, plate
tectonics and evolution are all theories that explain the physical universe in which we live. What makes
scientific theories so powerful is that they account for the facts we know and make new predictions that
we can test. The most exciting thing for a scientist is to find new evidence that shows old ideas are
wrong. That’s how science progresses. It is the opposite of a dogma that can’t be shown wrong.
“Intelligent design” is not so bold as to make predictions or subject itself to a test. There’s no way to find
out if it is right or wrong. It isn’t part of science.
We agree with you that “scientific critiques of any theory should be a normal part of the science
curriculum,” but intelligent design has no place in science classes because it is not a “scientific critique.”
It is a philosophical statement that some things about the physical world are beyond scientific
understanding. Most scientists are quite optimistic that our understanding will grow, and things that seem
mysterious today will still be wonderful when they are within our understanding tomorrow. Scientists see
gaps in our present knowledge as opportunities for research, not as a cause to give up searching for an
answer by invoking the intervention of a God-like intelligent designer.
The schools of our nation have a tough job—and there is no part of their task that is more
important than science education. It doesn’t help to mix in religious ideas like “intelligent design” with
the job of understanding what the world is and how it works. It’s hard enough to keep straight how
Newton’s Laws work in the Solar System or to understand the mechanisms of human heredity without
adding in this confusing and non-scientific agenda. It would be a lot more helpful if you would advocate
good science teaching and the importance of scientific understanding for a strong and thriving America.
“Intelligent design” isn’t even part of science – it is a religious idea that doesn’t have a place in the
Robert P. Kirshner
President, American Astronomical Society
Harvard College Professor and Clowes Professor of Science at Harvard University
Click to access maran_PR.pdf
Seeker, you are still showing your bias, nor did you answer me question. Ijaz referred to a peer-reviewed study. How is that not scholarly?
In response to your appeal to Kirshner, let me refer you to distinguished paleontologist Dr. Gunter Bechly. But first, here are Dr. Bechly’s credentials:
1987-1991: undergraduate studies of biology at the University of Hohenheim / Germany
1991-1994: main and graduate studies of biology at the Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen / Germany (with focus on entomology, subsidiary subjects: paleontology and parasitology)
1994: diploma degree (= M.Sc.) in biology with a diploma thesis (in German) on the morphology of dragonfly wings titled “Morphologische Untersuchungen am Flügelgeäder der rezenten Libellen und deren Stammgruppenvertreter (Insecta; Pterygota; Odonata) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Phylogenetischen Systematik und des Grundplanes der *Odonata” under supervision of Dr. Gerhard Mickoleit (Inst. Zool., Univ. Tübingen)
1994-1998: Ph.D. student under supervision of Prof. Wolf-Ernst Reif at the institute for geology and paleontology of the Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen / Germany
1999: graduation as Ph.D. in geosciences with summa cum laude degree with the paleontological Ph.D. thesis “Phylogeny and systematics of fossil dragonflies (Insecta: Odonatoptera) with special reference to some Mesozoic outcrops” under supervision of Prof. Wolf-Ernst Reif (Inst. Paleont., Univ. Tübingen), co-refereed by Prof. Carsten Brauckmann (TU Clausthal-Zellerfeld) and Prof. Rainer Willmann (Univ. Göttingen). Parts of this Ph.D. thesis have been accomplished at MCZ, Harvard University
Dec. 1, 1998 – Aug. 31, 1999: Scientific trainee in the department of paleontology at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart
Sept. 1, 1999 – December 15, 2016: scientific employee as curator for amber and fossil insects in the department of paleontology at the State Museum of Natural History (SMNS) in Stuttgart / Germany, as successor of Dr. Dieter Schlee and previously Prof. Willi Hennig
since October 8, 2016: Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture in Seattle, WA, USA
since April 25, 2017: Senior Scientist at Biologic Institute in Redmond, WA, USA
You can also see his extensive publications here: https://gbechly.jimdo.com/science/publications/
Clearly, Dr. Bechly is much more qualified than either you or myself or anyone else here. Now let’s see what he has to say about this matter:
“I am a German scientist (paleo-entomologist), specialized on the fossil history and systematics of insects (esp. dragonflies), the most diverse group of animals.
I am also a senior scientist at the Biologic Institute in Redmond and senior fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, working on paleontological evidence for intelligent design theory.
I am a philosophical theist and strongly reject atheism, naturalism, materialism, reductionism, and scientism. I did not become a theist in spite of being a scientist but because of it. My “conversion” is based on a careful critical evaluation of empirical data and rational arguments, following the evidence wherever it leads. I am skeptical of the Neodarwinian theory of macroevolution and support intelligent design theory for purely scientific reasons.”
A question for you. Do you think that natural selection has the power to create novel characteristics or does it simply “select” existing traits?
quranandbibleblog, I am answering your question[s] now right here,
You asked ”Seeker, your bias is showing. Brother Ijaz referred to a peer-reviewed study. How is that not scholarly?”
I.D is not within the consensus of modern scientific scholarship; Discovery Institute is not a scientific enterprise; sure its proponents have degrees in science [some of them] but it is not a recognized accredited scientific institution. Do enlighten me. Also it suffers from a lack of predictability and reproducibility ; two core fundamental scientific constructs.
You said: ” Seeker, your bias is showing”.
Are you serious? Do you not have unproven Islamic presuppositions?
You asked : ”A question for you. Do you think that natural selection has the power to create novel characteristics or does it simply “select” existing traits?”
I am not entirely certain with regards ton the specific answer to this question; it maybe possible that natural selection is theoretically capable of such a thing, even though it might seem counter-intuitive. Do share your proofs on it.
“I.D is not within the consensus of modern scientific scholarship; Discovery Institute is not a scientific enterprise; sure its proponents have degrees in science [some of them] but it is not a recognized accredited scientific institution. Do enlighten me. Also it suffers from a lack of predictability and reproducibility ; two core fundamental scientific constructs.”
That still does not change the fact that many respected scientists regard ID as a scientific theory and believe that it should be investigated using the scientific method. I gave you the example of Dr. Bechly.
I also showed you testable and predictable questions that ID proponents ask. These can be tested using the scientific method. Therefore, ID is a valid scientific theory. ID is not creationism. ID proponents do not propose to determine who the “designer” is. They are simply proposing that a scientific investigation of nature will shows evidence of design.
“Are you serious? Do you not have unproven Islamic presuppositions?”
I was referring to your criticism of brother Ijaz for using a peer-reviewed scientific study. You simply want to dismiss the fact that scientists have published peer-reviewed studies which show evidence of design in nature. That’s called bias.
“I am not entirely certain with regards ton the specific answer to this question; it maybe possible that natural selection is theoretically capable of such a thing, even though it might seem counter-intuitive. Do share your proofs on it.”
Really?! You are arguing for the scientific validity of Darwinian evolution and the invalidity of ID and criticizing ID proponents as not having studied biology, yet you don’t even understand one of the most important concepts of biological evolution? That’s amazing!
But actually you proved my point. Many people who blindly accept Darwinian evolution do so because they have been told that, but not because they have actually studied it.
To answer your question though, natural selection is a biological concept which states that organisms which have favorable or advantageous traits are more likely to survive and reproduce. Thus, over time, a population of such organisms will have more individuals with the favored traits and less individuals lacking such traits. Let me give you a hypothetical example:
Suppose there is a species of beetles in which individuals have one of two characteristics: dark color or white color. The beetles happen to live in an environment where the dark color allows the individual to hide from predators. Thus, over time, the population of darker-colored beetles will increase because they have a better chance of survival and reproduction and the white-colored beetles will decrease in population. Natural selection will favor the darker-colored beetles.
In this scenario, natural selection did NOT result in the emergence of the dark-color trait. It already existed in the population. Natural selection simply favored that trait because it was favorable in the environment the beetles lived in. There is NO scientific evidence that natural selection can create new traits. It can only favor EXISTING traits.
To quranandbibleblog, you wrote :
”I also showed you testable and predictable questions that ID proponents ask. These can be tested using the scientific method. Therefore, ID is a valid scientific theory. ID is not creationism. ID proponents do not propose to determine who the “designer” is. They are simply proposing that a scientific investigation of nature will shows evidence of design.”
The scientific consensus is that I.D absolutely lacks the core components of the scientific method and here is the entire extract of Penny Higgins to substantiate this fact, if you feel it is incorrect etc, why not write an article on here Blogging Theology proving that I.D is indeed scientific.(A real academically referenced article thoroughly researched). In a nutshell, it is absolutely easy to disprove I.D: ”Does I.D Theory build better anti-biotics”? Of course not! Therefore it is completely useless! Also, science deals with quantifiable constructs etc how can we quantify ”an external designer”? It is not scientific. Please research this stuff. I expect you to respond.
”One of the most harassed theories today is the Theory of Evolution, which posits that all organisms on this planet are related through a common ancestor, and that it is gradual change over extreme spans of time that accounts for the diversity of species today. With this theory, we can predict and understand how and why organisms behave the way they do. If a person wants to understand why dogs, wolves, and coyotes are capable of interbreeding, but they generally don’t, one only has to look to evolution. To understand why birds’ “knees” bend backward – look to evolution. Why do we sometimes, when we’re particularly upset, find ourselves behaving like apes, and what can we do about it – turn to evolution. How can DNA from a virus infect a human cell – we’re talking evolution.
As noted earlier, science restricts itself to material knowledge. And it seeks to develop hypotheses that will assist us in understanding and predicting the nature of our world. Recently, the concept of “Intelligent Design” (ID) as been brought forward as an alternative “theory” explaining the origin of the diversity of life on Earth. The key to ID is the notion that many of the basic parts that all organisms share are too complex to have arisen from gradual change. ID proposes that some external agent or intelligence is responsible for making these critical bits.
But is ID Science? Should it be taught in a science classroom alongside the Theory of Evolution? Well, can it be tested? Are there falsifying observations? ID could potentially be disproved by observing a more primitive intermediate form of some part that has been touted as ‘too complex’ to be natural. But then, the individual running the ID experiment can alter his hypothesis to say that this new structure is that which was installed by the Intelligent Designer. Because of this, there is no part of ID that can be unequivocally falsified by material science.
The second part of ID calls for an external Designer. This idea is neither fully supported nor fully falsified by material observation. There is no scientific way to test for the presence or absence of the Designer, as the Designer is defined as unobservable, or at least, only observable by a chosen few.
One of the most important characteristics of scientific hypotheses and theories is the predictive power they provide. ID does not offer any new explanation or observation about these complex structures that the Theory of Evolution does not already provide. The observation that some structures in organisms are too complex to have originated from gradual change will not help scientists to develop a better antibiotic, for example. In fact, the idea that “some things are too complex” is anti-scientific, since it seems to suggest that we shouldn’t try to understand the origins of the complex structures. ID discourages us from looking and asking questions. True science, however, moves on. If it is later found to be the case that some structures in organisms do not have more primitive counterparts, science will observe and recognize this fact, and the new knowledge will be incorporated into evolutionary theory.
ID is not a scientific theory and should not be taught alongside the Theory of Evolution. It offers nothing to help students understand how science works. It is merely a statement of how complex life seems to be – not even worth an hour of classroom time.”
Sourced from https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/707
“The scientific consensus is that I.D absolutely lacks the core components of the scientific method and here is the entire extract of Penny Higgins to substantiate this fact, if you feel it is incorrect etc, why not write an article on here Blogging Theology proving that I.D is indeed scientific.(A real academically referenced article thoroughly researched). In a nutshell, it is absolutely easy to disprove I.D: ”Does I.D Theory build better anti-biotics”? Of course not! Therefore it is completely useless! Also, science deals with quantifiable constructs etc how can we quantify ”an external designer”? It is not scientific. Please research this stuff. I expect you to respond.”
LOL, who do you think you are, dude? You didn’t even understand how natural selection works, and you’re telling me to “research this stuff”? That’s rich!
It’s pretty fallacious to say ID isn’t science because it doesn’t “build better antibiotics”. If that’s the litmus test, then even Darwinian evolution isn’t “science” because, in case you have been paying attention lately, we are losing the war against infectious bacteria. Bacteria are becoming resistant to our best antibiotics, and many scientists are worried that we may be headed back to the pre-antibiotic era when things like penicillin didn’t exist.
This is such a pathetic argument. It’s like saying that studying a far-off galaxy isn’t “science” because it does not immediately apply to our life here on Earth. Of course, it would be ridiculous to say that, but that is essentially what you are saying. Notice also now that you are trying to move the goal post. You initially said that a scientific theory has to be testable. I showed you some testable ID theories. Now you are saying “well it has to have some use, like making better antibiotics”.
In any case, ID can actually be useful, as I showed in the example of “junk DNA”. You see, many evolutionists took it for granted that “junk DNA” was a certainty. Therefore, from an evolutionary point of view, studying the “junk” would have been a waste of time. Yet, ID proposes that “junk DNA” isn’t actually junk. It actually has a purpose. And lo and behold, study after study has shown that “junk DNA” is a myth.
By the way, you might want to see the following: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660
It’s a list of scientists who have admitted to being “dissenters from Darwin”. So when you speak of “consensus”, you better be able to back it up with evidence. I have presented mine. Where’s yours, besides the random links to some scientist.
Anyway, here is a good discussion of why ID is a valid scientific theory : https://evolutionnews.org/2018/04/yes-intelligent-design-is-detectable-by-science/
When I get more time, I would like to respond to some of Dr. Higgins’ arguments against ID. For now, let me just critique this part:
“ID could potentially be disproved by observing a more primitive intermediate form of some part that has been touted as ‘too complex’ to be natural. But then, the individual running the ID experiment can alter his hypothesis to say that this new structure is that which was installed by the Intelligent Designer. Because of this, there is no part of ID that can be unequivocally falsified by material science.”
This same argument could also be made against Darwinian evolution. In fact, evolutionists do this all the time! When they find evidence of complex structures in nature, they ALWAYS interpret it within a Darwinian construct! Therefore, using her own logic, Darwinian evolution can never be “unequivocally falsified by material science”. Consider what Richard Dawkins has said about “design” in nature: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
In other words, even though our sense and our logic tell us that what we are studying has been designed for a purpose, it really is just an illusion! You call this “science”?
God willing, when I get a chance later, I will comment on the rest of Dr. Higgins’ article.
Some more thoughts on Dr. Higgins’ arguments against ID:
“The second part of ID calls for an external Designer. This idea is neither fully supported nor fully falsified by material observation. There is no scientific way to test for the presence or absence of the Designer, as the Designer is defined as unobservable, or at least, only observable by a chosen few.”
This is another fallacy. We can discern that a computer has been designed without knowing exactly who the “designer” was or observing that designer. As I said before, ID does not propose to identify the “designer”, but only proposes that an unbiased study of life will show evidence of design.
“One of the most important characteristics of scientific hypotheses and theories is the predictive power they provide. ID does not offer any new explanation or observation about these complex structures that the Theory of Evolution does not already provide.”
This is incorrect, as I showed with the example of “junk DNA”. The theory of evolution proposes that most of our DNA is garbage that has built up over the course of millions of years of unguided evolution. ID, on the other hand, proposes that so-called “junk DNA” actually has a purpose. Recent studies have confirmed this proposition. Therefore, ID does have “predictive power”.
“The observation that some structures in organisms are too complex to have originated from gradual change will not help scientists to develop a better antibiotic, for example. In fact, the idea that “some things are too complex” is anti-scientific, since it seems to suggest that we shouldn’t try to understand the origins of the complex structures.”
She is committing a very straw-man argument here. ID proponents do not say “that we shouldn’t try to understand the origins of complex structures”. As a matter of fact, they do! That’s the whole point! ID proponents argue that when we analyze complex structures, we will find evidence of design, which cannot be explained by an “unguided” process.
“ID discourages us from looking and asking questions.”
Also incorrect, and a ridiculous suggestion. In fact, ID encourages “looking and asking questions”.
“True science, however, moves on. If it is later found to be the case that some structures in organisms do not have more primitive counterparts, science will observe and recognize this fact, and the new knowledge will be incorporated into evolutionary theory.”
She seems to be much more generous with what “true” scientists will do, but the reality is different. We have seen that too many so-called “scientists” are willing to fold the evidence to their liking, rather than letting the evidence fold itself. She even admits the bias that she and other evolutionary scientists are guilty of. Notice how she says that if we do not find “primitive counterparts” in organisms, which would contradict evolutionary theory since it posits that complex structures arise from simpler ones over time through an unguided process, such findings would still be “incorporated into evolutionary theory”! In other words, evolutionary theory can NEVER be falsified!
To quranandbibleblog, Read the following carefullly
The Flaws in Intelligent Design
By Bryan Collinsworth Posted on April 10, 2006, 9:00 am
By 2006, the controversy over “intelligent design” (ID) has attained a prominent place in America’s public discourse. ID’s “hot-button issue” status comes after years of aggressive campaigning by a tiny group of conservative activists, particularly the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, combined with growing interest from conservative Christians seeking a constitutionally valid way to challenge evolution and promote fundamentalist-friendly “science” in public education and public discourse.
Fundamentalist school board members in places like Kansas and Dover, Pennsylvania, were the first to put ID on the popular map when they attempted to force it into public school biology curriculums. By mid 2005, colleges were debating the issue as well; Discovery Institute fellows were publishing op-eds in major newspapers and debating scientists on television; and right-wing pundits and politicians, including Senator Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and President Bush, were voicing their support.
The basic contention of intelligent design is ostensibly scientific: Proponents assert that modern life on Earth could not have developed solely through scientifically established processes of evolution but instead required the direct intervention of an “intelligent designer” to produce some or most of the biological phenomena in existence today. This argument, however, is also intimately tied to assumptions and claims about religious belief, political philosophy, policy, education, and public debate, and it is impossible to confront the ID movement in any of these areas without understanding its implications for the others.
Evolution and the Intelligent Design’s Challenge
A brief review of basic evolutionary theory is useful for understanding ID’s central “scientific” claims.
Evolution begins with mutations in biological organisms that occur naturally during the reproductive process. When such mutations provide advantages in survival and reproduction, they are more likely to be passed on to future generations — this is the process of “natural selection.” Over billions of years — 3.5 billion, in the case of earthly life — helpful mutations accumulate into the vast array of highly developed and specialized life forms found on earth today —life forms which, because they have been so rigorously adapted to their environments, often appear complex or even “designed.”
Intelligent design advocates offer several arguments to cast doubt on evolutionary theory and promote ID in its place.
Their most common claim is that some biological systems, particularly on the cellular level (the bacterial flagellum is a favorite), appear to be “irreducibly complex,” which means they must be fully formed with all their parts in place before they can serve their function. Such systems could not have evolved gradually, ID advocates say, because earlier nonfunctional stages would not have offered any advantages and therefore could not have been favored by natural selection. The only alternative, they reason, is that these systems must have been constructed all at once by an intelligence who knew how to arrange the pieces.
Irreducible complexity is usually the jumping-off point for “scientific” pro-ID arguments. Another widespread claim among leading ID proponents is that modern mathematics can prove that only an intelligence, not evolutionary processes, could have produced the organized and complex phenomena we find in the biological world today.
Some intelligent design advocates also critique evolution by pointing to gaps in the fossil record, the “Cambrian explosion,” distinctions between micro- and macroevolution, and specific biological organisms and systems which science has not yet explained in precise detail.
Scientific Objections to ID
Scientists are highly critical of the specific scientific arguments of the ID movement, as well as its overall claim that intelligent design is a scientific theory developed through scientific methods.
Regarding ID’s specific claims, scientists object that the concept of “irreducible complexity” relies upon a mischaracterization of biological mutation as a relatively linear process involving only the addition of more and more “parts,” rather than a dynamic process that can also reshape, rearrange, or fundamentally alter existing elements and features. Systems that must be fully formed to serve their current function could have developed from earlier forms that served a different function, or could be significantly reorganized versions of an earlier form that served the same function.
Mathematicians are similarly critical of ID’s mathematical arguments against evolution, which rely on an excess of subjective calculations, manipulation of numbers, and misrepresentations of evolutionary models.
Moreover, scientists point out that while ID breaks some new ground, it far too often falls back on long-debunked arguments plucked straight from “creation science,” such as the claim that evolution can only happen within species, or an exaggerated emphasis on (shrinking-but-still-present) gaps in the fossil record.
Flawed Methods and False Theories
The fact that ID uncritically combines new arguments from biological and mathematical research with a who’s who of old creationist canards points to larger methodological flaws. As Judge William Overton pointed out in his landmark pro-evolution ruling in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, it is “contrived dualism” to reason that “all scientific evidence which fails to support the theory of evolution is necessarily scientific evidence in support of” a preferred alternative notion, in this case intelligent design.
This, however, is precisely how ID proponents argue their cause. They claim that a loose combination of intelligent design arguments can stand toe-to-toe with evolution as a competing theory, even though it doesn’t meet technical definitions and standards set by science.
In order to be valid, a scientific theory must unite a broad range of observations, inferences, and facts under a detailed explanation which makes predictions about the outcomes of future experiments and observations. All theories have gaps which invite further investigation and testing, and through this process some theories are discarded, while others are strengthened. But when a well-supported theory falls by the wayside, it is almost always because an alternative has been proposed which accounts for more facts and makes better predictions (for example, the replacement of Newtonian Physics with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity).
In contrast, intelligent design is a less comprehensive alternative to evolutionary theory. While evolution relies upon detailed, well-defined processes such as mutation and natural selection, ID offers no descriptions of the design process or the designer. In fact, proponents do not even agree among themselves as to which biological phenomena were designed and which were not. Ultimately, this “theory” amounts to nothing more than pointing to holes in evolution and responding with a one-word, unceasingly repeated mantra: “design.” But unless ID advocates fill in the details, there is no way to scientifically test intelligent design or make predictions from it for future research. In short, it is not valid science.
The Influence of Faith and Philosophy
This scientific flimsiness of intelligent design, along with its strong echoes of “creation science,” has led many critics to dismiss it as religion — specifically, Christian creationism — in disguise. As more is revealed about the history and motives of leading ID proponents — particularly the infamous Wedge Document, released in 1999, which outlines the Discovery Institute’s promotional strategy for ID — such a conclusion seems on target.
However, many of ID’s leading defenders are interested in more than just conservative Christian theology. They seek to advance a political philosophy in the American public sphere that might best be described as theistic conservatism. These proponents believe that a well-ordered society must embrace certain “moral absolutes” (read: conservative political principles) and that adherence to these absolutes can only be achieved through faith in a Western conception of God (read: the God of fundamentalist Christianity).
In their view, evolution, which requires many “random” and “unguided” natural processes, inherently implies that life is an accident explainable in purely physical or material terms and therefore undermines both public faith in God and conservative principles, such as “personal responsibility,” that supposedly follow from such faith. Like strict creationists, they blame these aspects of evolution for the emergence of “materialist” philosophies such as Marxism and Freudian psychology.
In short, though ID advocates certainly hope that their concept will instill renewed faith in a creator, such faith is seen primarily as a means by which to advance a conservative political agenda in American society.
Theological and Philosophical Objections
Many scientists and philosophers argue that the philosophical and cultural implications of evolution are irrelevant to its scientific validity: They cannot and should not alter the outcomes of scientific research. Theologians also counter that the religious notions advanced by intelligent design are actually bad theology, while evolution is more compatible with religion than ID advocates allow.
For instance, many Jewish and Christian traditions hold that God can be found in “two books”: the book of scripture and the book of nature. This theological concept allows evolution as a means of God’s natural revelation. However, ID advocates claim that God’s appearance in nature can only come through intrusive, “supernatural” interventions, rather than natural phenomena. Rabbi Mark Levin of the Kansas-based Mainstream Coalition points out the theological limits of this view: “[T]here is no reason for God to act outside of the natural laws through which God creates.”
And while ID advocates worry that evolution is too “random” or “unguided” to permit faith in God, chief Vatican astronomer George Coyne contends that this openness actually squares better than ID with traditional Western theology. Rather than “a dictator God or a designer God,” Coyne suggests the conception of a parental God, who is wholly responsible for creation but who gives it an independent life of its own, interacting through continual revelation and “encouraging and sustaining words,” rather than direct manipulation.
Moreover, scientists point out that current scientific understandings of the universe and evolutionary processes involve more than random chance. The universe, Coyne notes, is “fertile,” containing a “chemical abundance of the elements necessary for life.” And science writer Robert Wright argues that the most prominent understanding of evolution today finds inherent trends toward complexity, and even intelligence and self-awareness, in the processes of natural selection.
An Exaggerated Debate
In addition to complaints that intelligent design is invalid science, narrowly-conceived philosophy, and bad theology, critics finally object to the methods and tactics used to promote the concept despite these critiques.
ID advocates employ an array of deceptive argumentation strategies:
They exaggerate the challenge they pose to accepted science (evolution is “a theory in deep crisis”; there is “overwhelming evidence for design”), then demand that educators “teach the controversy.”
They portray themselves as a persecuted minority criticized for their identities rather than their ideas, then point out that their opponents are “atheist,” “secular humanists,” and members of an entrenched “scientific orthodoxy.”
As Kenneth Miller, biologist and leading critic of ID has observed, ID proponents “avoid scientific meetings like the plague” in favor of educational or pop culture debates — “they’d rather try to convince schoolchildren than adult scientists who are prepared to rebut and refute the evidence.”
These deceptive tactics have brought the movement limited success but cannot change the essential facts about intelligent design. ID offers scattered and questionable critiques of evolution as the sole evidence for “design” and promotes a vague notion which lacks the detail and scientific rigor necessary to constitute an alternative scientific theory. Furthermore, advocates push ID in an ill-conceived effort to challenge materialistic philosophy, advance faith in a narrow conception of God, and establish a politically conservative ideology in public life.
Their efforts actually undermine our strongest traditions and understandings of science, faith, and honest political debate.
LOL, you are obviously incapable of discussing this topic without resorting to doing a Google search and blindly copying whatever you find. Why don’t you try responding to my points for once? You keep proving over and over again that you have not actually studied biology yourself, and that your “research” is limited to Google. It explains why you don’t have a clue about natural selection, and why you won’t respond to the examples I gave of testable and predictable hypotheses posited by ID proponents, such as the myth of “junk DNA”. Go back to my posts and carefully read my responses and then come back and try to comment. Don’t keep giving me long and random links.
I think that there is room within Islam to agree with Rabbi Mark Levin that, “[T]here is no reason for God to act outside of the natural laws through which God creates.” And there is also space to accept Coyne’s conception of a parental God, who is wholly responsible for creation but who gives it an independent life of its own, interacting through continual revelation and “encouraging and sustaining words,” rather than direct manipulation. These views would allow for a belief in evolution and all that modern science propounds as you seem to be arguing.
However, at the same time, Islamic belief still allows for a more traditional belief in Creationism and/or Intelligent design, and that there seems to be scientific evidence for this position as quranandbibleblog argues. For instance, why should we put a belief in ID on hold and wait the gaps in fossil record, distinctions between micro- and macroevolution, and specific biological organisms and systems which science to be explained precise detail by science. What if “science” proves unable to explain these serious questions? I think ID Theory is still in its early stages, and as time goes on its Scientists and proponents will likely find new proofs and evidences, improve their arguments, and find new and more convincing ways to present their understandings of the creation in a more scientific way.
Until one or the other theory is absolutely disproven, Islam seems to be flexible and able to allow for either theoretical approach in understanding, and it is perfectly able to adapt to new scientific discoveries in the future.
Science cannot shake our belief in Islam, it can only reinforce it, in one way or another.
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Where is your proof that substantiates your claim that I.D is a scientific concept? What is the criteria required for a concept to be qualified as scientific? Are you aware that I.D fails on every account? And that the ”scientists” supporting are doing so due to an agenda based in religion (research all the proponents of I.D such as Jonathan wells etc who began this movement). This is not based on science but in religion.
A concept is scientific if it can be tested using the scientific method. So here are some predictions that can be tested:
(1) Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns that perform a specific function (e.g. complex and specified information).
(2) Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors.
(3) Convergence will occur routinely. That is, genes and other functional parts will be re-used in different and unrelated organisms.
(4) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.
If you are aware about “junk DNA”, you may know that recent studies have basically debunked that concept. Parts of DNA that were previously considered “junk” are now known to have important functions such as gene regulation.
Ijaz stated : ”While intelligent design (ID) research is a new scientific field, recent years have been a period of encouraging growth, producing a strong record of peer-reviewed scientific publications.”
Shocking ignorance mixed in with arrogance! Why do 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of all scientists globally refute you on this? Imagine a concept such as the Trinity etc and I claimed that it is in fact the real concept of Islamic monotheism, would you accept it? Why not? Well, for starters it seems to contradict evidence i.e textual proofs such as the Qur’an and Hadith as well as the views of all Islamic Scholars. Same thing by saying I.D is science or Evolution is false.
Ijaz why you so quiet?
You exhibit the same arrogance that so many in your camp do. Notice your childish question to Ijaz. You obviously assume that he is staying quiet because he has no answers. Well, maybe its just because he is busy and doesn’t have time to respond?
Seeker, why are you childish?
I think that Kirshner misrepresents and over simplifies ID scholarship as being nothing more than, “opinions or guesses,” when there is much, much, more to it than that.
We can all agree that gaps in our present knowledge present opportunities for further research, and no ID proponent advocates that we “give up” searching for scientific answers. However, no matter how informed scientist become in the future, there will always be gaps in our knowledge, and therefore, the possibility of Intelligent Design will always exist, whether one likes it or not (unless you can prove beyond doubt that God/Intelligent Designer does not exist, which is likely impossible to do).
No single group owns science, and the Atheist, Agnostic, and the Believer in God, can all find scientific evidences that point to their own beliefs.
Whether one considers ID as a scientific concept (or not), the theory still exists until disproven, which again is likely impossible, because how do you disprove God? And yet, this still does not deter the scientific method, since one could alternatively consider ID as merely a platform which allows for a different and expanded understanding of scientific evidences and discovery. Even if, as you and Kirshner argue, that ID is not a “Scientific Concept,” there is no rule in science that says one who believes in God, cannot use scientific concepts and methodology to look for evidences and proof that God exists.
Unlike Christianity, this has always been a pursuit that Islam encourages. The key is to keep an open mind and remain unbiased in one’s approach.
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I do not believe that Science will ever discover a single piece of evidence, or a collection of evidence that will absolutely rule out the existence of God.
Furthermore, the arrogant and heedless idea that there is no room for God and Intelligent Design in Science, or that Science must always lean towards Atheism, (or even Agnosticism) is virtual religious Dogma in and of itself, which those who are religious as well as being scientifically minded are no way required to ascribe to even in the least.
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Ibn Issam, you wrote
”Unlike Christianity, this has always been a pursuit that Islam encourages. The key is to keep an open mind and remain unbiased in one’s approach.”
My issue with this is, Islam forces scientists to work within the paradigm of the Sharia and therefore to reject scientific empirical data which contradicts the core aqeedah of Islam. But those who operate within ta naturalist paradigm will not do that nor will they reject empirical date, since empiricism is the paradigm they adopt as a prerequisite. Think about it.
While there certainly are scientific theories which contradict the core aqeedah of islam, there is no hard empirical data that cumulatively contradict core Islamic doctrine. God exists, and he is the creator, where is the empirical data that can absolutely refute that? Science has its own rigorous methodology, but there is still intellectual space to believe in revelation and perhaps even miracles.
Whether working within the framework of Sharia or not, the Muslim scientist is free to follow the empirical data where it leads, because, core Islamic doctrine is not affected by Scientific discovery (unlike core Christian doctrines). While there may be some minor philosophical disagreement between conservative and moderate Muslims regarding various scientific theories (etc.), but generally speaking there is no inherent conflict between Islam and science.…..again the same does not hold true for Christianity.
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a book https://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Theory-Evolution-Missing-between/dp/0982586701/
another one https://www.amazon.com/Islam-Biological-Evolution-Exploring-Methodologies/dp/1868087026/
ID is not something Muslims should support. What is the point of it?
If biological evolution [esp Macro-evolution common descent of man from apes] is correct then the orthodoxy of Christianity [Adam and Eve; Atoning sacrifice of Jesus for the descendants of Adam etc are false] and Islam are false. The only hope for the both religions is the I.D movement, a creationist inspired fundamentalist religious street protest movement with zero credibility with mainstream science. The lack of Nobel Prize winning scientists in Biology supporting I.D or even Islam is particularly noteworthy.
You still have not provided a substantive refutation of my core thesis: I.D is not scientific nor accepted by mainstream science. And neither has Ijaz responded; further destroying his credibility as a false biologist.
Islam would not be harmed because it does not rely on original sin and the subsequent necessity of atonement. Allah, SWT, just has to create human beings, and Allah indeed created us all equally to be his slaves (no favoritism among races), and he is sovereign over everything.
I actually know some devout Catholics who believe in common descent and original sin. He was stumped about whether the Church endorses “polygenism” that is that there is more than one pair of humans being around. It raises problems about the infusion of a soul to make people qua human as opposed to being hominids who were solely influenced by a natural process. It also poses questions about the transmission of original sin.
How the first human started to live on this earth is clear. How the animals came to be is not something Islam makes claims about. So it does not matter whether they were put on earth or came to be through evolution.
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So, instead of dealing with my points and answering my questions (which it seems you are deliberately avoiding), you simply repeat your mantra. This is why Dr. Bechly says that he has no interest in debating with stubborn atheists. You’re just like stubborn Christians, who cannot see past their dogma and actually deal with the evidence. Scientism is a religion too, and its followers are just as dogmatic and will ignore anything piece of evidence that goes against their view.
You seem to be childishly obsessed with brother Ijaz. That’s another trait you share with stubborn Christians. They tend to get lost in meaningless issues and ignore the issue at hand.
Is Ijaz deliberately researching evolution to find a ”dirty” refutation? Wow, why not actually study science, so you can at least read, write and reason? Why not study science?
Brother Ijaz can certainly “read, write, and reason”. I don’t like the Discovery Institute or even intelligent design, but for some reason, I like Jonathan Wells. I was not impressed when he posted material from the Discovery Institute. I mostly accept the mainstream theory of evolution as a theoretical framework to explain natural history and to make predictions.
I actually believe that God causes everything. I am an occasionalist.
I am a creationist: I believe that God is constantly recreating everything at every instant. I don’t believe in secondary causation.
Again, why are you obsessed with Ijaz? I am here, and I have studied biology, so instead of acting like a fool, why don’t you answer my questions?