Robert Camp in Can Intelligent Design be considered scientific in the same way that SETI is? delivers a fatal blow to the specious claims by Intelligent Design supporters that SETI uses the ‘explanatory filter’ proposed by Dembski to detect ‘design’. In fact, in order to detect design, these sciences all use additional information such as means, motives, and opportunities to reach their conclusions. Since ID wants to avoid dealing with motives, pathways, methods at all cost, ID will remain scientifically devoid of content.
In the next few weeks I intend to show various approaches and arguments which all reach the same conclusion.
Let’s start with Dembski’s claim about Intelligent Design
To say intelligent causes are empirically detectable is to say there exist well-defined methods that, based on observable features of the world, can reliably distinguish intelligent causes from undirected natural causes. Many special sciences have already developed such methods for drawing this distinction — notably forensic science, cryptography, archeology, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Essential to all these methods is the ability to eliminate chance and necessity.2
Several others have already pointed out the problems with Dembski’s claim but Camp’s analysis is quite excellent and timely as it helps understand why ID id doomed to remain scientifically vacuous.