Previous posts have proposed a demarcation criteria for science, and evaluated ID in considerable detail against these criteria.

Based on ID’s clear failure to satisfy the necessary criteria of testability and empirical adequacy, ID as a discipline can not be considered to fall within the realm of science. This is further confirmed by its lack of progressiveness and explanatory power.

This does not mean that ID researchers are not at times satisfying some of the criteria for doing science, but this is not sufficient to rescue ID from being classified as pseudoscience, particularly given their repeated claims of scientific status.

Where can ID go from here? It is possible that ID is a proto-science, and that in time a comprehensive theory of ID will be developed that proposes certain capabilities and motives of an intelligent designer, and possibly a mechanism for the instantiation of design in living organisms. Certainly, for ID to progress and become testable, a radical change in approach from denying any knowledge of the designer is required. Given that most ID proponents are theists, this may be a difficult step for ID to take.

There is an alternative, which is to forsake ID’s quest for scientific legitimacy, and concede that its positive arguments for design are more suitably classified as philosophy of religion, being primarily scientifically sophisticated versions of the teleological argument for design. Of course, this casts aside the mantle of scientific authority that many ID proponents see as important for swaying opinion, and is probably unacceptable for most in the ID community.

References

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