The debate around Intelligent Design (ID) is conducted broadly at two levels – the academic and the popular. While much of the material on this web site will be at the latter level, a significant number of contributors will address, in varying degrees of rigour, the academic issues involved in the design argument. These articles will be tagged ‘Professional’ and will appear as under ‘Intermediate’ or ‘Advanced’ levels of difficulty.
One of the ironies of the current widespread academic dismissal of ID is that it is the position which gave us Western science in the first place. Almost all the pioneers of modern science undertook their work on the basis that the universe is rational and ordered and therefore predictable. This was a radical break from much of the thinking of the Middle Ages where the natural order was frequently perceived to be at the mercy of warring gods or represented miraculous manifestations of capricious deities.
Among the great scientists who would have had no difficulty with ID are Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Faraday, Pasteur, Clerk-Maxwell and Kelvin. In fact all of these were either theists or deists who understood that they were exploring a universe which had been purposely designed with set laws.
The emergence of the modern ID movement is almost entirely the result of the work of credentialed scientists working mainly in the fields of cosmology, geology and the life sciences. These include Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, Douglas Axe, Rick Sternberg, Scott Minnich, Michael Denton, Guillermo Gonzales and Dean Kenyon. Much of their work is found in the published literature or in books. In addition, the Discovery Institute, Seattle, has listed some 150 papers in the peer-review literature which deal with aspects of design.
It is one of the ironies of our time that academic freedom in the sciences does not extend to dispassionate consideration of ID. The philosophy of naturalism dictates that science cannot look beyond nature or contemplate the existence of intelligent designing agent , even if the evidence is compelling.
For this reason, a number of research students sympathetic to ID have to keep their interest below the radar, and some academics who work with us feel it necessary to use a pseudonym. Such a state of affairs should give any professional scientist pause for thought.
A number of other academics who work in philosophy, medicine and related fields recognise the power of the ID argument and contribute some material to the debate. If you would like to be involved, or perhaps write for us, please be in touch.
The fact that the vertebrae of different classes of vertebrate form embryologically in substantially different ways shows that they do not share a common ancestor.
The manner in which the eye gathers information is, according to some and at a first glance, a poor way to gather light because of the intervening layers of the eye's structure. This is used repeatedly to attack any idea of an intelligent designer.
In this article the author explores the contrasting arguments for actual or apparent design in the universe, focusing particularly on the differing positions taken by Richard Dawkins and William Dembski.