Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ID's High Risk Strategy

Continuing on with the Kansas Board of Education "debate" on including intelligent design theory, I think that the groups that are pushing ID are taking a very dangerous position for themselves. That is, assuming they really do give a damn about science.

The danger is that in postulating that there exists a designer, it becomes the obligation of the postulators to provide scientific evidence of said designer. It is not merely enough to say that whatever indicators of order exist prove an orderly cause. Many experiments involving chaos theory have modeled how large scale order can occur as a result of the interaction of large numbers of sub-units acting according to small sets of rules with minimal communication amongst themselves. That being the case, order does not automatically imply an order-causer.

Therefore, proponents of Intelligent Design must concoct a scientific experiment that provides data that can only fit ID rather than evolution, and do so in a way that is repeatable. The bacteria experiment from this oft-cited hoax might make for a good one, but only if they split the newly-resistant bacteria into two groups, kept the antibiotics present, and got one group to die from praying to God for the resistance genes to shut off. Once all of the other factors were dealt with, you might just be onto something.

Unless they were capable of demonstrating these effects, then ID would find itself in the uncomfortable position of having to accept that there is no creator intelligence. By ionvoking science, they risk having to acknowledge the non-existence of God the creator. Either way, they have taken on the onus of proving God.

This assumes that ID really is about science, however, and all observations to date have indicated the opposite.

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