Intelligent Design

My roommates and I had an interesting discussion yesterday about intelligent design. Ben mentioned an article he’d read in which the author argued that many scientists have failed to realize the growing distinction between ID and Creationism. Apparently ID is far more sophisticated and evidence-based than early Creationism, thus making it more plausible and more science-like.

While I agree that ID may be more plausible than Creationism, I still don’t buy the argument that the complexity of the natural world is evidence of an intelligent creator. Sure it sounds nice, but compared to what? There aren’t any other universes out there we can point to and say, “Now there’s a universe that was created by random chance. See how crude and disorganized it is. Our universe is far too elegant to have been created that way.” Complexity is relative, and with only one universe to study, there is nothing to compare that complexity (or simplicity) to. That’s where the argument falls apart for me.

I’m also interested in the dispute about whether or not ID should be considered a science. Personally I think it shouldn’t since it makes certain claims that the rules of science can’t verify. But that only speaks to where it belongs categorically, not its validity. And the fact that ID advocates push so hard to become a science suggests to me that they aren’t making that distinction and are confusing classification with rank. It’s as if being denied the title of science somehow makes it less compelling and is, in a way, saying that it is a sophomoric form of inquiry. On the contrary, I think that the incompatibility between science and ID is as much a sign of the poverty of science as it is that of ID.

I guess I just think it’s strange that ID advocates stress so much over making ID a science. I would expect them to find strength in the fact that their aim is to discover truths so ultimate that even almighty science can’t bear the whole burden.