by Patrick H. Young, Ph.D.
Response to George Will's article in Newsweek magazine about the debate between Intelligent Design and Evolution
Dear Mr. Will -- I have just read with interest your article printed in Newsweek Magazine about the debate between intelligent design and evolution. http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8358264/site/newsweek/
While most of your article is balanced, you have made a mistake in your writing that is catastrophic to your argument. You state (as many other evolutionists do), that intelligent design theory is not falsifiable. This statement demonstrates you have not done your homework on the intelligent design debate and most probably do not understand the basic tenets of science in general.
The concept of intelligent design is an axiom which by definition is an assumption that is an unprovable truth. The same argument of an unprovable truth can be made for the axiom of materialism / naturalism that is exclusively used by the evolutionists.
The falsifiable aspect of intelligent design is the concept of irreducible complexity. Irreducible complexity is an expression to characterize an individual system comprised of several interdependent components. In this biological system, the elimination of any one of these components results in a completely nonfunctional system. The success of these biomolecular machines depends on a series of elaborate parts of staggering complexity and resistant to any gradualistic evolutionary explanation. Intelligent Design further seeks to determine the origin of new genetic information required to elucidate the mechanisms of simplicity to complexity. To date, the Darwinian theory of undirected mutations only results in a neutral or effective loss of genetic information and is ineffective at explaining these processes.
I will give a quick summary of the experiment.
The question to answer in this experiment is whether an observation can be attributed to necessity, chance or design. The conclusion of design is established via probability criterion that uses an explanatory filter.
There are several criteria needed to conclude design including the establishment of complexity, contingency and specification. Each one of these criteria has a series of requirements that must be met. The bottom line is that for any given observation, questions must be answered and criteria must be met before the inference of design. If these criteria are not met then the hypothesis of design is falsified for this particular experiment.
I will make a final comment on the falsifiability of intelligent design and use the militant pro-evolutionist, Dr. Kenneth Miller as my example.
One of the primary examples used by the intelligent design movement of irreducible complexity is the bacterial flagellum. Miller has worked for years to attempt and prove that the bacterial flagellum is not irreducibly complex (http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/design2/article.html). I will not get into whether Miller was successful or not because this is irrelevant to the point I am making. Miller is obviously attempting to demonstrate that there are no irreducibly complex materials known and thus intelligent design cannot be inferred. Now, if the theory of intelligent design (irreducible complexity) is not falsifiable, then why is this world renowned and noted scientist wasting his time attempting to prove that the bacterial flagellum is not irreducibly complex?
Patrick H. Young Ph.D.
Patrick H. Young was formerly a resident of Central Ohio. He now lives in Virginia. He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and has been employed in industry as a research chemist and materials scientist for over 17 years. He has a website at creationists.org/patrickyoung.html and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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