Ayn Rand Institute: The Bait and Switch of "Intelligent Design"

An unexpected voice in the debate about Intelligent Design has joined the voices of reason. Keith Lockitch, who holds a Ph.D. in physics and who is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, CA, has written a very compelling evaluation of Intelligent Design leading him to the conclusion that “Intelligent Design” is religion masquerading as science.”

Keith Lockitch observes that

Their premise seems to be that as long as they don’t explicitly name the “designer”–as long as they allow that the “designer” could be a naturally existing being, a being accessible to scientific study–that this somehow saves their viewpoint from the charge of being inherently religious in character.

But does it?

He quickly points out something I have also been arguing namely that the designer ID proponents have in mind has to exist outside nature itself.

By the very nature of its approach, “intelligent design” cannot be satisfied with a “designer” who is part of the natural world. Such a “designer” would not answer the basic question its advocates raise: it would not explain biological complexity as such. The only “designer” that would stop their quest for a “design” explanation of complexity is a “designer” about whom one cannot ask any questions or who cannot be subjected to any kind of scientific study–a “designer” that “transcends” nature and its laws–a “designer” not susceptible of rational explanation–in short: a supernatural “designer.”

This conclusion can also be reached when observing that ID argues that science does not deal with the concept of design as it pertains to biology while also arguing that science succesfully applies design detection in areas such as criminology, archaeology, cryptology etc. The obvious conclusion thus is that science cannot address ID’s designer since it exists outside nature.

See for instance Where purpose and function meet or Topic: The Other Flagellum II

Lockitch quickly focuses on what is self-evident, even without having access to the Wedge Document:

The supposedly nonreligious theory of “intelligent design” is nothing more than a crusade to peddle religion by giving it the veneer of science–to pretend, as one commentator put it, that “faith in God is something that holds up under the microscope.”