Is it a fair assessment to charge ID theorists that ID is only creationism with witty scientific language? I’m going to evaluate the claim that intelligent design is religion, that it’s nothing but “creationism in a cheap tuxedo.” My position is that ID is a scientific theory and that it is not religion. A scientific case for ID may be modeled as:
- Observation: ID begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce high levels of CSI (complex specified complexity).
- Hypothesis: Design predictions.
- Experiment: Do they contain CSI?
- Irreducible complexity, knock out a part, does it still function?
- Mutational sensitivity tests to determine how finely-tuned protein sequences and enzymes must be in order to perform their cellular functions. (Doug Axe found that sequences yield functional protein folds may be as rare as 1 in 1077).
- Conclusion: Because X exhibits high levels of CSI, a quality is known to be a product of intelligence. Life was designed.
There are a number of other testable scientific evidences that can be substituted into this method of reasoning:
Cosmological Origin and Fine-Tuning
- The universe had a beginning (Big bang)
- Einstein’s general relativity -> general property of FLRW
- Hubble expansion
- Gamrock’s prediction of CMB (1948)
- Penzias and Wilson CMD (1965)
- Hawking Penrose Theory (Late 1960s)
- Thermodynamic arguments
- Nucleosynthesis of light elements
- Inflation Cosmology, BVG theorem (2003)
- Irreducibly complex molecular machines
- Irreducibly complex molecular/metabolic pathways
- The origin of biological information (The DNA enigma)
- The insufficiency of unguided material processes (Darwinism etc.) as an explanation for certain biological structures
- The Cambrian explosion
- Causal circularity
- The failure of gene recruitment (the repurpose of genes for new functions)
- Junk DNA functionality
- Epigenetic information and higher information processing in the cell
- The rarity of functional protein folds in the sequence space of amino acids
- Population genetics constraints
- The limits of constructive mutation for adaptive complexity
- The smuggling of active information into computational evolutionary modeling (AVIDA, eV, weasel ware)
- The collapse of the “Icons” of evolution
- Generative entrenchment
- The waiting time for mutations (Haldane’s Dilemma)
- The sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA is indifferent to the order of nucleotides (failure of self-organization)
- Optimization of genetic code and reduction in error properties
- The biological/embryological and paleontological obstacles to common descent
- Sanford’s idea of genetic entropy
- Convergent “evolution” (independent appearance of same structures, molecularly and morphologically, in biological history)
- Lack of evolutionary detritus (vestigial organs)
- Lack of transitional forms in paleontology
- Biological arms races degrade rather than improve function
- Universal genetic code?
None of these arguments are religiously based. This is public evidence that does not require any religious presuppositions and uses commonly accepted reasoning. To charge intelligent design with creationism (to start with a religious text and fit science into the text) is unfounded.