Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Challenge to ID opponents

There are various people who read this who don't believe that ID is scientific. So here is a challenge for them.

Formulate a rigorous theory that allows you to establish whether something has an intelligent cause - in other words, that chance isn't an acceptable explanation, and that it hasn't happened as a consequence of "regularity" - it is the consequence of natural laws.

Note that intuitive versions of such a theory are effectively in use already, in a variety of fields which have proponents who seriously resent references to ID - so they will be more than happy to give you publishing space to present this theory. It could be applied to SETI - to establish that a radio signal wasn't a natural phenomenon. It could be applied to archaeology - to establish that an artifact wasn't natural but manmade. It could be applied to forensics - to rule out some explanations of phenomena.

The next stage is simple. Having carefully formulated this theory, apply it to biological systems, and show that they don't require an intelligent cause.

You don't like what's being presented by proponents of ID, and say it's unscientific? Fine. Give us your theory. Tell us on what formal, scientific basis you know that Stonehenge is manmade and a bacterial flagellum is natural. Tell us on what formal, scientific basis you know that a fragment of iron age leather tells us that humans used tools, but that a natural process was sufficient to guide the transition from single-celled to multicellular life. ID is attempting to use science to answer those questions. ID opponents say what they are doing isn't scientific. But this has hitherto focused far more on motivation than science. So come up with a scientific challenge.