What the Experts Say About Intelligent Design

Document Date: November 23, 2005

> The Case Against “Intelligent Design” > Barbara Forrest, Philosophy
> John F. Haught, Theology
> Kenneth R. Miller, Biology
> Robert T. Pennock, Science, Technology, Philosophy
> Jeffrey Shallit, Computer Science
> Brian Alters, Education
> Kevin Padian, Biology and Curator Museum of Paleontology

Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy, Southeastern Louisiana University
Conclusions About Intelligent Design: Intelligent Design is fundamentally religious. This conclusion is based primarily on ID leaders’ and their supporters’ views of it as stated in their own words, and also based on their total rejection of naturalism. ID’s rejection of naturalism in any form logically entails its appeal to the only alternative, supernaturalism, as a putatively scientific explanation for natural phenomena.
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Prof. Forrest also comments on “The Wedge Strategy” (Page 28), which outlines the ID movement’s plan to promote acceptance of ID and teach it in public schools.

John F. Haught, Ph.D.
Theology Professor, Georgetown University
Conclusions About Intelligent Design:
Teaching ID would be a violation of the theological sensitivities of Catholics, including myself, who distinguish carefully between ultimate explanations and natural causes. If a child of mine wereattending a biology class where the teacher proposed that students consider ID as an alternative to neo-Darwinian evolution, I would be offended religiously as well as intellectually.
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Kenneth R. Miller, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology, Brown University
Conclusions About Intelligent Design:
Intelligent Design is a new anti-evolution movement that has been presented as an alternative to an older formulation known as “creation science.” It argues that an unnamed “designer” must have been responsible for much of the process, although it presents no evidence for the actions of such a designer. Theological explanations may be correct, of course, but they cannot be tested by methods of science and are therefore not science.
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Robert T. Pennock , Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Science and Technology, Michigan State University
Associate Professor of Philosophy, MSU
Conclusions About Intelligent Design:
Allowing Intelligent Design to be included as part of a science class would introduce material that is essentially religious in nature. The ID movement rejects the scientific findings of evolution and posits creation by a supernatural entity, which is a truly radical proposition. To teach such a view dismisses well-established scientific findings in favor of an unsupported religious belief.
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Jeffrey Shallit, Ph.D.
Professor of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Ontario
Conclusions About Intelligent Design:
In 2000, Christianity Today stated, “Baylor University in October terminated well-known Intelligent Design scientist William Dembski as head of the Michael Polanyi Center for Complexity, Information and Design.” However, by any reasonable standard, Dembski is not a scientist. He possesses no advanced degrees in any scientific field, has not published any experimental or empirical tests of his claims, nor has he submitted his claims to the scrutiny of his peers.
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Brian Alters , Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education, McGill University, Montreal
Conclusions About Intelligent Design:
The effect of Dover Area School District’s policy on biology instruction will require teachers to use poor pedagogy, to disregard findings of the scientific community, to disregard recommendations of their national professional science teacher associations, contradict teachers’ professional preparation and development, and improperly prepare students for postsecondary science education.
Read the entire statement >> Kevin Padian, Ph.D.
Professor of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley
Curator, Museum of Paleontology at UC, Berkeley
Conclusions About Intelligent Design:
There is no empirical evidence for Intelligent Design. It has no scientific basis and its proponents have made no effort to test it as real science must be tested. If ID were presented in class, students would completely misapprehend the structure and logic of science. Their understanding of evolutionary biology would be deficient, “training” in science would be inferior to other districts and other countries, and taxpayer dollars would be wasted.
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