Intelligent Design - The Future
Anyone who scans the current media will know that, generally speaking, Intelligent Design (ID) gets a bad press. It is variously described as the end of reason, the corruption of science and the refuge of idiots. Some critics say it takes us back to the dark ages. Others claim that it is religion disguised as science or politics dressed up as philosophy. How come, you might wonder, that an idea can generate such passionate and at times intemperate criticism? Is it in the same league as racism, fascism or terrorism?
ID is an idea that is not going to go away. It has much too long a history for that. It was, in fact, the position which gave us Western science in the first place. The great pioneers of science believed the universe was rational and intelligible because it was designed by a supreme intelligence.
And a recent Mori poll, commissioned for a BBC Horizon programme in 2006, found that only 48% of Britons think that evolution gives an adequate explanation of origins. In addition, 40% felt that intelligent design should be taught in high schools. More recently, a survey published by Theos, the public theology think tank, in 2009 found only 37% of the population found evolution credible, as opposed to 51% for intelligent design.
The strength of Intelligent Design is that it is, strictly, a position which argues solely from scientific evidence. Although ID has philosophical and religious implications, it is not based on any such presupposition.
In the growing disquiet about the scientific credibility of Neo-Darwinism, Intelligent Design is destined to regain its former position of becoming the major consideration in what is, unquestionably, the most important debate of our lives. It was, as noted above, the perception of intelligent design in the universe which gave rise to the development of modern science – the pursuit of understanding how a designed universe operates.
Dr Alastair Noble
Director of the Centre for Intelligent Design UK
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