design, intelligent

design, intelligent
   So-called 'intelligent design' is a version of the argument from design which has been developed by critics of dysteleological evolution, including Philip Johnson, Michael Behe and William Dembski. Dembski argues that the two traditional types of explanation in science, necessity and blind contingency (chance), need to be supplemented by the third explanation of directed contingency (design). Indeed, directed contingency is already essential to many scientific disciplines including cryptography and forensics; Dembski thus commends it likewise to the natural sciences. There are three criteria necessary to warrant the design inference: contingency, complexity and specified function. Hence, if a biological structure (such as DNA) is contingent, sufficiently complex and has a specified function, we can legitimately conclude that it has been designed. While critics dismiss intelligent design as another way to introduce God into science, it does not explicitly address whether the designer is supernatural or merely superintelligent.
   Further reading: Behe 1996; Dembski 1998 and 1999; Pennock 2001

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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