Posted by PvM on July 5, 2007 01:59 PM
Critics of intelligent design theory often throw this question out thinking to highlight a weakness in ID. Richards shows that the theory’s inability to identify the designer is not a weakness, but a strength. ID does not identify the designer is because ID limits its claims to those which can be established by empirical evidence.
This is yet another example of why ID is scientifically vacuous. Indeed, if the designer could be established by empirical evidence, it would immediately eliminate the ‘Intelligent Designer’ as proposed by ID, namely a supernatural designer called ‘God’. In fact, in order to establish a ‘designer’ and in fact ‘design’ science inevitably uses such concepts as means, motives, opportunity, capability and so on. In addition, science uses eye witness accounts, physical evidence and more to support its thesis.
So how does ID infer design? Simple by arguing that a particular system or event cannot be explained by natural processes and thus should be seen as evidence for design. While ID also requires a specification, such specification is trivial, all that is required is some imagination about function.
ID faces a real problem: Either it insists that it cannot determine much of anything about the Designer which makes the ID inference inherently unreliable and thus useless (Dembski) or it attempts to become scientifically relevant but then it can at best conclude ‘we don’t know’.
So why do ID proponents still insist on such a flawed premise? Kitzmiller and Judge Jones explain.