Is Intelligent Design Pseudo-Science?

By Elias Ayala (MDiv & M.A.T.)

Is Intelligent Design Pseudo-ScienceWell, who gets to define what “science” is? It is quite easy for someone who disagrees with another to claim their methodology is not the “true” methodology. In reality, when we do science, science itself involves the search for causes. Scientists search for the causes of some phenomena with the hopes that we get a better grasp on the natural world.

When considering the cause of some natural phenomena you can really have only two options: Either the cause is intelligent or it is non-intelligent. To define science and its search for causes as something that can only allow natural causes for some phenomena, this begs the question in favor of a naturalistic perspective. In other words, of course one will not be convinced of the validity of intelligent design since the idea that there could be an intelligent cause of the apparent design in nature is excluded from the outset.

This is a perfect example of recognizing the importance of presuppositions. Presuppositions will determine before hand what is considered important, valid, or meaningful. Presuppositions are unavoidable in any field of learning and knowledge and these presuppositions will determine how data is interpreted and hence will affect one’s conclusions. While many recognize the importance of presuppositions in writing, philosophy, and so forth, many often make the mistake of thinking that “science” is free from such inherent bias. But this is not the case. Science itself requires various presuppositions which are themselves not verified by science. They must be presupposed in order for the scientific enterprise to get off the ground. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is unavoidable, and it is important to reflect upon whether or not our set of presuppositions are preventing us from getting at the truth.

The fact is, no matter how one slices it, intelligent design cannot be declared “unscientific” or “pseudo-scientific” merely because it does not accord with naturalistic presuppositions. And if we define science as a methodology for investigating the natural world, I do not think it is at all a far stretch to conclude that a natural phenomena is due to design because it exhibits characteristics of things in human experience that are in fact designed. Now does this mean that because something looks intelligently designed, that it is therefore, 100% certain that it is intelligently designed? Of course not! Science does not deal in “certainty”. However, one could have “evidence” for intelligent design inherent within the data and/or phenomena leading to the conclusion that it is reasonable to believe that it is intelligently designed. This is not pseudo-science but rather, a reasonable inference to the best explanation.

Causes need causers, information requires informers, etc. These are not giant leaps of logic, but reasonable conclusions based on the data which are utilized as evidence for a reasonable and rational conclusion.

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