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Is Intelligent Design science?

In the United States District Court Opinion McLean v. Arkansas, Judge William R. Overton ruled that creation science was religion not science, and its teaching in American public schools violated the Establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights. As part of the ruling it was found that the essential features of science were as follows:

(1) It is guided by natural law;

(2) It has to be explanatory by reference to nature law;

(3) It is testable against the empirical world;

(4) Its conclusions are tentative, i.e. are not necessarily the final word; and

(5) It is falsifiable.

Now does Intelligent Design satisfy the above five tests, and please give examples and reasons for each. Please NO links, use your own words, and your own reasoning.


I did ask people to address the five point definition of science, and whether ID meets each of these five points. Please answer the question as requested.

Also Judge Overton base his definition of science on expert witnesses: scientists, philosphers, and subpoenaed creationist documents and letters. Everyone was agreed, whether in public or secretly in private memoranda, that creation science did not meet these five points.

26 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    1) There is no natural law that requires an "intelligent designer". If it did, then it would not be a natural law.

    2) see #1.

    3) How does one test for a designer? Fallacious logic isn't a valid premise. Or- how does one ascertain that one thing is designed intelligently or not?

    4) Those who promote I.D. insist that there cannot be any other explanation.

    5) Can I.D. be tested? Can we prove that I.D. does have a designer? No we cannot.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, intelligent design is science and God is the greatest scientist in existence.

    As for Judge Overton, he evidently cannot read or chooses to ignore what the Constitution really says. The establishment clause specifically say Congress can make no law respecting an establishment of religion. No other branch of government is mentioned in this clause and any judge who says this clause applies to anyone except Congress is wrong.

    Enemies of Christianity have distorted the establishment clause as part of their campaign to eliminate Christianity. Overton's arrogance also shows in his definition of science., something he is not qualified to define.

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  • G
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    As one puts it:

    Einstein did not develop his theories of relativity on the basis of observation or experiment. Rather, his ideas initially came from “thought experiments,” imagining how things are likely to be. Many of his hypotheses have subsequently been verified by observation and experiment. Einstein was not himself an experimental scientist. But no one would deny that he was a scientist of the first order.

    The work of science, then, is not only observational and experimental, but also imaginative and logical. The scientist must use his imagination to determine significant hypotheses, and his logic to determine what it would take to verify or falsify these hypotheses and whether an experiment has, in fact, verified or falsified it.

    People often complain that ID is not science, because it is not based on observation and experiment. This charge is false, because ID writers rely on research already done by others. And some ID writers like Behe have done and published significant research. (Some other ID writers have done the same, but have had trouble publishing their findings because, they claim, of bias.)

    But the main contribution of ID to the discussion is logical: to evaluate what is required to verify evolutionary theory, to judge whether the evidence establishes it, and if not, what changes must be made to evolutionary theory to make it credible. ID primarily interprets data, rather than accumulating it. But that doesn’t make ID unscientific.

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  • 1 decade ago

    ID is NOT science; rather, it is strict literal creationism in a shiny new package. Though the concept of intelligent design has been around for centuries, its current manifestation is an attempt to sneak creationism into the public schools.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Science is the practical use of human intelligence which by it`s finite ability can only discover new ways in which to enhance or demean man-kinds welfare depending on what it discovers.

    Creation science is the only science because all things are present in creation already and waiting to be discovered,the Atheist tries to convince himself/herself and others that science is man-kinds own domain,the Judge in question is wrong and probably has atheistic tendencies.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Public school science is nothing other than a taxpayer funded cult that began when atheism was introduced into the sciences. Why do I call it a cult? It is a cult because it is not science since its members do not allow its members to consider any view that scientifically proves that their view is wrong. Christian scientists act more like scientists than public school science cult members. Lets defund the taxpayer funded public school science cult and get it out of our public schools.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No it is NOT science. It is religion. I would be all for teaching a comparative theology class in public schools that objectively taught about many different world religions, compared and contrasted them, and explained their influence in history.

    But that is NOT what the ID'ers want, they want their religion placed on a pedastal, and they want the gov't to assist them in evangelising the whole nation.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The ruling was correct - intelligent design is just repackaged creationism. It was no basis in science.

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  • 1 decade ago

    First of all, so many people these days are confusing biblical creationism with intelligent design (and many are doing it on purpose). "Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence" (Dr. William Dembski). That's it; it says nothing of who the creator is and how he/she/it/they did it. Intelligent Design encompasses every "creation" story, even aliens seeding life on this planet (directed panspermia). The God of the Bible is just one possible candidate. Some creationists (like those at Answers In Genesis) don’t like the ID movement because they say it divorces the Creator from the creation.

    In their eagerness to oppose intelligent design, Darwinists try to exclude it from serious consideration by arguing that it is not science.

    The thing is, reliable methods for detecting design exist and are employed in forensics, archeology, data fraud analysis, and SETI. These methods can easily be employed to detect design in biological systems.

    As Dr. Stephen Meyer said (when being interviewed by Nightline), “From the evidence of the information that’s embedded in DNA, from the evidence of the nanotechnology in the cell, we think you can infer that an intelligence played a role. In fact, there are sophisticated statistical methods of design detection that allow scientists to distinguish the effects of an intelligent cause from an undirected natural process. When you apply those statistical measures and criteria to the analysis of the cell, they indicate that the cell was designed by an intelligence.”

    Design theorists often employ several methods of design detection, including specified complexity, irreducible complexity, and Bayesian probability approaches.

    Here is a brief overview of the scientific case for ID:

    And for those who put so much faith in peer-review, check this out:

    And there is a problem with Methodological Naturalism. As Dr. Alvin Plantinga has said, "If you exclude the supernatural from science, then if the world or some phenomena within it are supernaturally caused (as most of the world's people believe) you won't be able to reach that truth scientifically. Observing methodological naturalism thus hamstrings science by precluding science from reaching what would be an enormously important truth about the world. It might be that, just as a result of this constraint, even the best science in the long run will wind up with false conclusions" (Whether ID Is Science Isn't Semantics).

    As Dr. Del Ratzsch said, 'If one restricts science to the natural, and assumes that science can in principle get to all truth, then one has implicitly assumed philosophical naturalism . . . Methodoligical naturalism is not quite the lamb it is sometimes pictures as being" (Design Theory and its Critics).

    The problem is, they bring an a priori philosophical commitment to their science that restricts what kinds of explanations they will accept about the physical world. They are blinded by their presuppositions that origins must be explained by their materialist religion. There is no other option even when the facts scream otherwise. Any argument raised against their assumptions is dismissed as being non-scientific. What they call “science” is just their interpretation of the data, based on their a priori commitment to materialism.

    To bolster their rejection of ID, Darwinists bring in psychological criteria as well. These include questions of personal religious motivation, the alleged religous implications of intelligent design, and Judge Overton's fourth criterion: tentativeness.

    As Dr. Stephen Meyer has said, “I think there’s a tremendous amount of motive-mongering that is detracting from the substance of the debate. And the problem with motive-mongering is that everybody can play that game, everybody has a motive. Richard Dawkins has said that Darwin has made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist, something he thinks is a good thing. It would be completely illicit for us to say, ‘Well, Richard Dawkins is wrong about evolutionary biology because he wants to be an atheist.’ Motives are properly irrelevant to the assessment of an argument and to the assessment of evidence; and in any case, they are equivalent, there are motives on both sides: many of the leading people on the Darwinist side have motives, people on our side have motives. We want to see the debate settled and discussed on the basis of the evidence, and that’s where we think it should finally reside.”

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  • It fits none of them, and the whole concept terrifies me. I forsee this nation become a crazy, religion-guided prison.

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