Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The disambiguation of "Intelligent Design"

SH once told me that he did not agree with the intelligent design movement.

To try to understand where he is coming from, I felt that there could be some disambiguation about the term intelligent design itself that needs clarification.

The term may refer to different philisophical or human activity domains. It can refer to either the teleological argument or the intelligent design movement.

The teleological argument, also referred to as the argument from design, is an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, design and direction in nature. It supposes that there is a purpose or directive principle in the works and processes of nature. The argument basically states that X is too complex, orderly, adaptive, purposeful and beautiful to have occurred randomly or accidently. Therefore X must have been created by a sentient, intelligent, wise and purposeful being. God is a sentient, intelligent, wise and purposeful being. Therefore, God exists.

The intelligent design movement on the other hand is a neo-creationist campaign that calls for broad social, academic and political changes derived from the concept of intelligent design. The movement seeks to defeat a materialistic worldview through discreditting evolution by emphasising "flaws" in the theory of evolution. The movement is a product of The Discovery Institute, a conservative Christian think-tank.

I have not even begin to touch on the issue, which I realise, is huge. For me though, this would suffice for the time being.

What I can see now is: the teleological argument and the intelligent design movement is really 2 different animals altogether; I can agree on the first and refute the latter.

Or can I?




  1. Why would you want to refute the latter? I don't know much about it.

  2. I said I can if I want to. I need to know more before I decide. Moreover, it is a movement. I may be ok with intelligent design but I may or may not agree with the movement did or is doing.

  3. Yeah ... I don't know much about it either until I checked it out in wiki. The entries are very long and I have yet to sit down to read them. I think I will save them and read them offline. I got to this topic because I wanted to read Pearcey's Total Truth and I thought I'd found out where she is coming from in order to give it a critical read rather than a blind read.

  4. Oh, now I see, you can refute it b/c they are 2 different things.

  5. hi pearlie and jewels,

    Intelligent design (ID) and the intelligent design movement are two different animals. I agree with pearlie that ID is a teleological argument.

    The intelligent design movement or the the wedge project is more a public relations and political campaign led by the Discovery Institute.

    Have fun while you explore these two concepts :)

  6. Hehehe. Yes, Pearlie, it is funny to hit the same subject at the same time.

    I think you split the nail right on the head. (The real saying is "hit" the nail on the head, but you divided the subject brilliantly, the so the word play came to mind.) And I'm prejudiced against the movement these days.