Many Intelligent Design proponents, seem to be unfamiliar with the simple fact that Intelligent Design is a straightforward argument from ignorance.
The problem is that ID proponents have used equivocating language which has led to much confusion amongst its followers. I cannot blame Crowther for taking serious the claims of his DI fellows, but claiming that ID is not an argument from ignorance is merely begging the question.
While it is relatively straightforward to reach the conclusion that ID is an argument from ignorance, it does require some careful analysis of how various terminologies are being (ab)used and confused by ID proponents.
So what is the design ? Simple, it is the “set theoretic complement of regularity and chance” or in other words, that which remains once one has eliminated known processes. Note that ID provides no positive argument but merely refers to our ignorance as ’designed’. This of course does not mean that a ‘designer’ may not be hiding in the gap we have just created, it’s just that historically science has been extremely effective in closing these gaps.
So what about the complexity argument? We see complexity in the world around us and ’invariably this complexity can be traced to a designer’? What’s wrong with this argument? Well, for starters, complexity in ID – speak is nothing more than the negative base 2 logarithm of our ignorance. In other words, IFF we can explain something then the complexity disappears. So why would ID use such equivocating language? One explanation is that the term complexity hide the true meaning of the argument which is the typical argument from (im)probability. We are all familiar with the creationist argument that ‘X’ is too improbable to have happened by pure chance alone? It is trivially simple to multiply probabilities to obtain a small enough probability as Dembski has shown in his non-sensical calculations of the probabilities involved in protein formation.
To recap: ID’s argument is that we see a lot of things that we cannot yet explain. To conclude ’thus designed’ is not different from our ancestors assigning earthquakes, solar eclipses and other unexplained events to deities.
So next time you hear an ID proponent argue that ID is not just about ignorance, ask them how they explain the bacterial flagella. And the silence that follows indicates how ID has failed and will continue to fail to contribute in a positive manner to scientific understanding.
So perhaps Crowther can enlighten us: How does ID explain the bacterial flagella? Oh, I forgot, ID is not in the business of answering such pathetic requests…
Must be hard to be communications director with so many ID proponents making such silly comments.