Science is viewed as “seeing is believing” form of knowledge. It’s observable, testable and repeatable. Introducing the concept of design, which infers a Creator or God, is viewed as believing in the unseen, which cannot be verified or observed using today’s standards of scientific methods. However, those who propose the theory of Intelligent Design, see design as something that is observable, and testable when using the newly developed Theory of Information.
This theory has been used in observable patterns. For example, for years scientists patiently listened to radio signals from space using highly developed technology through radar. This is known as the SETI project (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.) Scientists were able to recognize the randomness in sound signals and compare those to signals that appeared to have a pattern. Thus, in this development, they came up with a testable way to conclude if radio signals had an intelligence behind them.
The same theory can be applied to many aspects of the material world around us. With highly developed microscopic technology, scientists today have been able to see patterns in human DNA that are so complicated that the probabilities of this developing through random chance are mathematically so high as to render them improbable. The human cell, something in Darwin’s day that science was not able to see at such microscopic levels, has been shown to have tiny machine-like mechanisms in it, which makes the cell a highly complicated system.
These discoveries have made many conclude that an intelligent design is the only reasonable inference one can conclude from such study. This in no way claims to be a Biblical creationism explanation, as some have criticized. It only serves to recognize patterns that cannot be explained through the theory of evolution — a theory that depends on randomness and chance. Intelligent Design (ID) also does not embrace any particular religion, as Philosopher J.P. Moreland states, ID cannot ascribe itself to monotheism or polytheism. It serves to establish a recorded observation of design without attempting to describe the designer. Click To Tweet
Some scientists have feared reintroducing a concept of God, or design, will be similar to the “God-of-the-Gaps” theory which is viewed as lazy thinking to ascribe a supernatural cause to a natural one that may be explained by the standard science method. Intelligent Design advocates disagree, and have come up with a model that ranks alongside the standard method of science for testing and observation in recognizing patterns demonstrated through a design.
Mathematician and philosopher, William Dembski, leads a team of scientists who have explored the concept of design. Dembski has come up with a criterion to test design scientifically. It’s called the “Explanatory Filter.” Three things must be established to determine design: contingency, complexity, and specification. In Demski’s model, he begins by determining if the object in question is the result of an automatic process with no choice in its production. If it is not contingent upon conditions around it, then he goes to the second factor: complexity. If it is not so simple to be explained by chance (or a form of probability), then you reach the final factor: specification. If the object shows a type of pattern characteristic of intelligence (a complex, suitable pattern that shows structure by linking it to a precise event), then it is the product of design. This fits the basic structure of methodologies that are acceptable forms of science observation.
This opens the door to allowing ID a place back at the science table, and well it should because what we know today about undirected natural causes and their limitations, science can now demonstrate through design. If anything, ID will bring a “science opener” to the field in ways we can only begin to imagine.