When I first started to read about intelligent design, I bought into their story about how creation and intelligent design (ID) are different. They said that ID is a scientific theory based on the idea that their is apparent design throughout nature, while creation is an unscientific viewpoint based on religion. They argued that certain aspects of biology are irreducibly complex and the amount of information present could not have arisen by chance. Thee factors all show the trademarks of an intelligent agent, but that they did not know who this intelligent agent is or was.
My gut feeling was that nearly every ID proponent thought that the designer was in fact God, but I was willing to give them the benefit of doubt. However, after following the movement for some time,there is no question that it is in fact creationism repackaged. ID is unscientific and based on religion. Below I have listed some of the evidences that made me come to this conclusion.
Of Pandas and People
In order to understand a movement such as ID, it is important to look at its beginning. The textbook, Of Pandas and People, is one of the earliest examples of where the ideas of ID are laid out. The textbook, first published in 1989 includes both ID and evolution. This sounds perfectly reasonable until you look at the history of the book.
During the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, the history of the book was unveiled by Barbara Forrest. It was clearly shown that the book was originally written as a book based on classic creationism. The trail from creation to intelligent design in Of Pandas and People is clearly laid out. One of the most damning (and funny) pieces of evidence came from one of the early versions of the book. In that version, it was apparent that the authors had simply replaced the word creationists with design proponents. Forrest found a place where the words ‘design proponents” were put into the middle of the word “creationists.” This botched cut and paste job resulted in the words “cdesign proponentsists.” For a more detailed discussion and other pieces of evidence check out Barbara Forrest’s testimony.
The Wedge Document
In 1999, the Discovery Institute wrote up a funding proposal called “the wedge document” This document made in no uncertain terms that they were creating a “science” that is “consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.” The motivation of ID proponents has become clear. They don’t want to seek truth; they want to wedge their world view into science.
Many ID proponents are aggressively attacking materialism, the philosophy that everything can be explained by physical causes without the need for the supernatural. If we took intelligent design at face value, then there should not be any problem with there only being the material world around us. Remember that we are told by ID proponents that the designer is not necessarily God. It is only when you assume that a supernatural being such as god had his fingers in the creation of life on earth that materialism is excluded.
Similar to the anti-materialism stance mentioned above, intelligent design as they have sold it should accommodate a world view without God. Yet, there is a steady anti-atheist presence throughout the movement. If they were true to their word and be truly independent of creation and God’s influence, then the atheistic view would be as welcomed at the religious view.
Above is just a short list of the evidences linking creation and ID. More can be found at the NCSE or from Barbara Forrest’s site. I am still unsure of whether or not the proponents of ID realize that it is simply creation. Maybe they realize it, or maybe they don’t. It doesn’t really matter. As someone from the outside looking in, intelligent design is creation evolved.
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