Intelligent design (sometimes abbreviated as ID) is a variety of creationism that relies on the argument from design. Proponents of the Intelligent Design movement claim that, unlike creationism, they are motivated by science and not religion. This is a claim that echoes that of ID's intellectual precursor, scientific creationism. Like scientific creationism, ID's claim to be scientific is suspect, since the ID movement has produced no original research. ID proponents tend to spend their time engaging in public relations and politics rather than doing science. Virtually all of them are Protestant Christians, usually of a fundamentalist slant (officially, the Catholic Church endorses the theory of evolution). The aim of the ID movement is to conceal the religious nature of creationism in order to make the idea legally acceptable to secular public institutions.
"[...] I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rationale explanation for the known universe."
Critics argue intelligent design is not valid:
"We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community."
- — Ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
"First of all, Intelligent Design fails in a fundamental way to qualify as a scientific theory. All scientific theories represent a framework for making sense of a body of experimental observations. But the primary utility of a theory is not just to look back but to look forward. A viable scientific theory predicts other findings and suggests approaches for further experimental verification. ID falls profoundly short in this regard."
The Intelligent Design movement was spawned by lawyer Phillip Johnson when he wrote the Wedge strategy. It was a response to the U.S. Supreme Court case Edwards v. Aguillard, which ruled that teaching creationism in public classrooms violated the U.S. Constitution.
Key figures in the ID debate
- The Discovery Institute is an ID think tank that hosts most of the people in this section as members.
- Phillip Johnson, mentioned above, is a founding figure of the ID movement.
- Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box, is a biochemist who coined the term "irreducible complexity."
- William Dembski, author of The Design Hypothesis, is a mathematician who coined the term "specified complexity."
- Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution, is a biologist who declared that his life is devoted to "destroying Darwinism."
- Eugenie Scott, the head of the NCSE, is a prominent opponent of ID.
- Robert Pennock, author of Tower of Babel, is a professor of the philosophy of science.
- Judge Jones, mentioned above, presided over Kitzmiller v. Dover.
- Barbara Forrest uncovered the term "cdesign proponentsists" in the book Of Pandas and People during the Kitzmiller trial.
- Irreducible Complexity and Michael Behe, TalkOrigins archive.
- List of scientific societies explicitly rejecting intelligent design, Wikipedia
- What's the Harm on Evolution Denial
- Understanding Science on Intelligent design
- Intelligent Design Watch