Friday, April 27, 2007

Intelligent Design is not Science



I recently heard an argument against the intelligent design theory that states that intelligent design is not science. The reasoning for this claim is as follows. Intelligent design cannot be science because when a scientist finds something that is irreducibly complex, such as the flagellum motor, they simply state that a natural cause cannot account for it and point to something supernatural. A true scientist would continue looking for the natural explanation, and to stop doing so is to stop doing science, because when we move to the realm of the supernatural we are now arguing for something that cannot be empirically proven and is unfalsifiable.

But does this really put it outside the realm of science? If it does, then I am going to argue that the naturalist, including the person making this argument is operating outside the realm of science also. This is because they are operating from a presupposition that cannot be empirically proven and is unfalsifiable. The presupposition that they are holding to is that everything does have a natural cause and a true scientist should seek to find it.

The problem is the presupposition that "everything has a natural explanation" has not been empirically proven. In fact, it would be impossible to prove because in order to do so, the scientist would have to explain everything in the universe. And this would be impossible to prove because every effect in which they explain its naturalistic cause, the cause they found would end up being an effect of a previous cause they would have to explain and so on. This would then turn into an infinite regress which could never be proven because it would take an infinite amount of time. The only way they could finish the job would be to come to some natural thing that would be the first cause that would have no naturalistic cause, which would then defeat their position. So until that is done, a true scientist would have to say that they don’t know if everything has a natural explanation.

This presupposition is also unfalsifiable because it cannot be proven false. Every time a scientist finds something that does not seem to have a naturalistic cause, the naturalist will argue that it must, and you should keep looking. And if it actually does not have a naturalistic cause then we will be looking forever for something that cannot be found, therefore it would be impossible to falsify the naturalist presupposition.

The bottom line is this, if appealing to something that cannot be empirically proven and is unfalsifiable cannot be included in the realm of science, then so be it, but that would mean that the naturalist is also working outside the realm of science.

-Doug Eaton-


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1 Comments:

At Saturday, April 28, 2007 8:53:00 AM, Anonymous Tim A Blankenship said...

Doug,
You have a phenomenal mind. I sure do like the way you think. That is a good article.

 

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