Intelligent Design & That Cheap Tuxedo

by Max Andrews

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:

  1. Observation:  ID begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce high levels of CSI (complex specified complexity).
  2. Hypothesis:  Design predictions.
  3. 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).
  4. 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

  1. The universe had a beginning (Big bang)
  2.  Einstein’s general relativity -> general property of FLRW
  3. Hubble expansion
  4. Gamrock’s prediction of CMB (1948)
  5. Penzias and Wilson CMD (1965)
  6. Hawking Penrose Theory (Late 1960s)
  7. Thermodynamic arguments
  8. Nucleosynthesis of light elements
  9. Inflation Cosmology, BVG theorem (2003)

Biology

  1. Irreducibly complex molecular machines
  2. Irreducibly complex molecular/metabolic pathways
  3. The origin of biological information (The DNA enigma)
  4. The insufficiency of unguided material processes (Darwinism etc.) as an explanation for certain biological structures
  5. The Cambrian explosion
  6. Causal circularity
  7. The failure of gene recruitment (the repurpose of genes for new functions)
  8. Junk DNA functionality
  9. Epigenetic information and higher information processing in the cell
  10. The rarity of functional protein folds in the sequence space of amino acids
  11. Population genetics constraints
  12. The limits of constructive mutation for adaptive complexity
  13. The smuggling of active information into computational evolutionary modeling (AVIDA, eV, weasel ware)
  14. The collapse of the “Icons” of evolution
  15. Generative entrenchment
  16. The waiting time for mutations (Haldane’s Dilemma)
  17. The sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA is indifferent to the order of nucleotides (failure of self-organization)
  18. Optimization of genetic code and reduction in error properties
  19. The biological/embryological and paleontological obstacles to common descent
  20. Sanford’s idea of genetic entropy
  21. Convergent “evolution” (independent appearance of same structures, molecularly and morphologically, in biological history)
  22. Lack of evolutionary detritus (vestigial organs)
  23. Lack of transitional forms in paleontology
  24. Biological arms races degrade rather than improve function
  25. 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.

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3 Comments to “Intelligent Design & That Cheap Tuxedo”

  1. That was excellent, thanks. The “cheap tuxedo” insult just reveals how far from the truth those critics are.
    I think one thing you could add to the list is what we learn about design from biomimicry and the superiority of the design found in nature over what humans can produce (e.g. an artificial heart vs a natural heart).

  2. Could you provide some link-resources to support these ideas you have here?

    Causal circularity
    The failure of gene recruitment (the repurpose of genes for new functions)
    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 smuggling of active information into computational evolutionary modeling (AVIDA, eV, weasel ware)
    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
    Convergent “evolution” (independent appearance of same structures, molecularly and morphologically, in biological history)
    Biological arms races degrade rather than improve function
    Universal genetic code?

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