The ultimate take down of Intelligent Design

Intelligent design

Image via Wikipedia

At the Panda’s Thumb blog, a commenter asked a simple question:

Does anyone have an example of something which is not “intelligently designed”? In Paley’s exposition of the “watchmaker” argument, he contrasts a watch with a stone. But the problem for a traditional theist is that God is the Creator of all things, including rocks. So, to be fair, I suppose that the request should include also unreal, hypothetical things. But the only unreal things that I can think of – centaurs, for example – are intelligently designed. (Which, by the way, shows that intelligent design is not sufficient to explain existence.)

So, what is the difference that intelligent design makes?

He got this reply:

The designer herself is, presumably, not intelligently designed. Hence her existence disproves ID because a non-designed living thing exists. Of course, conversely, her non-existence would show that all living things are designed and hence that ID is true.



Later, my seeing that hit me like a truck going 100 MPH. I then said:

Amazing! If I weren’t already a non-theist, such a simple but profound argument would have probably converted me from any God-centered religion you could name! You show that Intelligent Design, already impossible to support empirically, can’t even be supported by reason. It is simply WORTHLESS!

Why Intelligent Design cannot be scientific

We can look at the faces of U S Presidents carved on Mount Rushmore and know they were designed because we can come up with precise explanations for how human beings could have done it. We know human beings exist and that they are capable of doing such work. Likewise, we can examine a crime scene, knowing that human beings exist and are capable of committing crimes like robbery and murder, and how such crimes can be committed. But we know NOTHING directly about the supposed Designer of life on Earth or how he could have operated in the design process. Without that knowledge, Intelligent Design has no real scientific applications. It is nothing more than an appeal to religious prejudices.