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Intelligent Design: Is It Science?

The theory of Intelligent Design is a modern form of argument that is directed towards the establishment of the idea that there is the existence of God or a similar Supreme Being. It states that Darwinian Natural Selection is incorrect because there should be a cosmological force that is responsible for the creation and sustainability of the universe as the universe is so intricately designed that it would be impossible to create it without a creator. Thus, the theory of Intelligent Design can well be enumerated as a part of theology, or even religion, but it can never be conceived as science and if it should be taught in class, it should only be considered as a part of religious studies.

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In a way, Intelligent Design is a modern form of Kant’s Cosmological argument where the name of the creator is left unuttered. William A. Dembski is a firm believer in Intelligent Design. He states, “It is logically possible that God created a world that provides no evidence of design.” (Dembski, 1) However, such logic or Kant’s Cosmological argument lacks mathematical or physical evidence and is fundamentally philosophical in nature. But the believers of Intelligent Design defy this logic concerning lack of evidence and convey that such creations are the work of a creator and spontaneous creation is but a fallacy. According to them the creation of the universe is not a work of any ‘Blind Watchmaker’, as proposed by Richard Dawkins, but a conscious Supreme Being. But the concept of a supreme being is more of a belief than a scientific truth or even assumption. Thus, intelligent design is definitely not science.

However, Michael J. Behe, professor of biological sciences by profession, strongly opposes the idea of religion in the theory of intelligent design. Here firmly states, “the theory of intelligent design is not a religiously based idea.” (Behe, 1) Nevertheless, if indeed the theory is not religiously based, then why it indicates the existence of being that is undefined. True, that science too tries to explain the undefined but the fundamental question in science is predominantly ‘how’ or ‘why’ and definitely not ‘who’. It is quite perfect for Intelligent Design as a study of the natural world as long it is not targeted towards an undefined ‘who’. This ‘who’ factor is the biggest ‘black hole’ of the theory and there is no argument in the theory that defines the existence or non-existence of this ‘force’ or ‘being’. It is as if this undefined part is a constant in the theory making is a lesser science if at all anyone is interested in calling it a ‘science’.

Harold Morowitz, Robert Hazen, and James Trefil point this drawback in the Intelligent Design theory. In their study, they indicate the issue of changing the science curriculum and the debate over including Intelligent Design in the course. They rightly point out that the theory is not yet complete and there are many loopholes in it. They specifically indicate that teaching intelligent design in America’s science classrooms on this date would be a mistake because “The time to discuss altering the curriculum is when the theory of intelligent design reaches the point where it has serious arguments and data to put forward.” (Morowitz, Hazen and Trefil, B63)

However, no matter how well argued these theories of believers of Intelligent Design are; the bottom line remains simple. There are no mathematical derivations involved in it or any scientific method of proof and evidence-based thesis. Science is heavily dependent on proof that is backed by mathematics or similar knowledge that could be termed as error-free. Intelligent Design lacks such hard evidence as proof. Thus, it remains a philosophy and not a science. Thus, the concept of Intelligent Design can well be taught in school as a part of religious studies but should not be included in science classes.

Works cited

Behe, Michael J. Design for Living. The New York Times. 2005. The New York Times Company. Web.

Dembski, William A. Intelligent design. Baylor University. 2004. Web.

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Morowitz, Harold, Robert Hazen and James Trefil. Intelligent Design Has no Place in the Science Curriculum. The Chronicle Review, 52.2 (2003) pp. Web.

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