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182 of 265 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best yet from Dembski
Dembski, the intellectual leader of the Intelligent Design movement (which the British media, under, no doubt, the beady eye of Richard Dawkins, refuse even to mention) provides an accessible and fluent account of his main ideas. There is no technical or mathematical treatment herein which may have put people off buying his monograph 'The Design Inference'. Those who...
Published on December 13, 1999 by Mickey McCaffrey

51 of 74 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could be more intelligent
This is a better book than I was anticipating, but it failed to convince me that there is any science at all in the (sadly) growing "discipline" of intelligent design. In the preface, Dembski makes a telling comment (which I paraphrase): "As Christians, we know God designed the universe..." (or something very similar to that). I challenge anyone to explain to me how...
Published on August 5, 2005 by E. Jones

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182 of 265 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best yet from Dembski, December 13, 1999
Mickey McCaffrey (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
Dembski, the intellectual leader of the Intelligent Design movement (which the British media, under, no doubt, the beady eye of Richard Dawkins, refuse even to mention) provides an accessible and fluent account of his main ideas. There is no technical or mathematical treatment herein which may have put people off buying his monograph 'The Design Inference'. Those who have followed Dembski's work over the past few years will recognise much that is familiar; there's nothing startlingly new here for them, but they will still welcome this masterly overview. For others this is the best introduction to Demsbki's work, as of this time.
Because this book overtly links Science AND Theology, Dembski does address religious, and specifically Christian, questions such as the existence of miracles, the Biblical use of signs etc.
I must respond to the previous reviewer,' a reader' in Nederland, who by referring to the books 'authors' (Behe simply provides the foreword), patently displays that he has not read the book, which is pretty typical. Many of the points he raises are dealt with and are shown not to meet the 'complex specified information' criterion.
In closing, I might mention that the book is well produced and shouldn't literally fall apart like so many books nowadays!
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51 of 74 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could be more intelligent, August 5, 2005
This review is from: Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (Paperback)
This is a better book than I was anticipating, but it failed to convince me that there is any science at all in the (sadly) growing "discipline" of intelligent design. In the preface, Dembski makes a telling comment (which I paraphrase): "As Christians, we know God designed the universe..." (or something very similar to that). I challenge anyone to explain to me how someone who knows the answer to his problem before he even begins his analysis is a scientist. But it gets better from there. Chapter 4 seems to be the most focused section of the book, as it is here that Dembski criticises the methodological naturalist worldview that underlies essentially all present-day science (and does a surprisingly good job, despite the obvious theistic baggage he carries throughout the book). But from there, Dembski's arguments collapse when he defines "specified complexity", which consists of three components: contingency, specification, and complexity. Complexity he defines strictly in terms of probability; a system is complex insofar as it has a low probability of having occurred by chance. I'll ignore the many fatal problems with this conception of complexity and instead point out the fact that Dembski has just contradicted himself: by invoking probability to "detect design", he in effect summons the same methodological naturalism he spent an entire chapter berating (because probability is not simply a product of logic, like pure mathematics; probability is a set of laws deduced through observation and employed with the explicit assumption that those laws can be used inductively to explain further observations). It appears Dembski will happily embrace a naturalist worldview when it suits his intended purposes. The final few chapters of the book nail the coffin shut by rounding off his analysis of specified complexity with discussions of Christian theology, and how science is completed "through Christ," crushing any doubt as to whether or not Dembski's motives are more religious and political than scientific. I must give Dembski credit for trying to inject some modicum of critical thinking into religious descriptions of astronomy, evolution, and the origin of life. But with as many flawed assumptions and contradictions as this book contains, it's fairly obvious that intelligent design isn't truly about critical thinking at all.
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105 of 157 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unintelligent design, March 20, 2002
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I really wanted to like this book, and there are parts of it with which I agree at least in principle. But in the end I can't give it more than three stars.

There are two main reasons for this, both having to do with what William Dembski believes himself to be arguing.

First: The news in this book is supposed to be Dembski's notion of "specified complexity." This is made to sound much more innovative than it is, and few mathematicians are likely to be impressed by Dembski's alleged originality here. The idea is just that when we see patterns rather than apparent chaos, and we find that we can describe the pattern independently, we don't attribute the phenomenon in question to chance; we know there must be something more to it.

But as an argument for "intelligent design," this is an _ignoratio elenchi_. There's no evolutionist in the world who thinks complex biological structures developed by sheer chance, just as there's no cosmologist in the world who would propose _randomness_ as the sole alternative to divine creation as the origin of the cosmos. Every one of Dembski's ideological opponents would argue that "specified complexity" -- in pretty much any non-question-begging way Dembski wants to define it -- is _exactly_ what evolution-by-genetic-natural-selection produces, and Dembski hasn't even begun to show this to be false.

So if there were anything new in Dembski's argument, it would have to be, not his notion of "specified complexity," but his claim that order and information can't arise from chaos. But you'll look in vain for any argument to this effect.

You'll also look in vain for any admission that scientists _always_ look for order and almost _never_ attribute it to "design." Dembski's examples are chosen to suggest the opposite: we know that watches were made by watchmakers; we know (or would know) that patterned signals from outer space come from alien intelligences rather than from random bursts of cosmic rays. But we also know that, say, the circumference of a circle is _always_ pi times its diameter, and no scientist in the world would take this as conclusive evidence of "design" -- just of "intelligibility," which even Dembski himself is (properly) careful to _distinguish_ from "design."

So when all is said and done, we still haven't got a way to distinguish the "specified complexity" that results from intelligent design from the "specified complexity" that results from simple intelligibility. (There _is_ a cosmological argument that intelligibility itself implies an underlying intelligence, but Dembski doesn't give it. See Hugo Meynell's _The Intelligible Universe_, which I favorably reviewed a long time ago.) Maybe _The Design Inference_ covers this stuff better than this book does; at any rate Dembski keeps referring us to that book for all the arguments he isn't going to bother offering in this one, making sure to let us know that it's all very technical. But I find this sort of thing tiresome and full of handwaving.

Which brings us to the second problem, where Dembski's handwaving gets a whole lot worse. It's pretty disingenuous to claim that "intelligent design" isn't specifically Christian, and then write an entire book on the presumption that atheism and Christianity are the only two alternatives. Hasn't Dembski heard of any other theistic religions? (Hint: One of them starts with J, and Jesus himself was raised in it. And it believes the universe to be the work of an intelligent Creator just as surely as Dembski's religion does.)

But somehow, when Dembski wants to indulge in tub-thumping Christian triumphalism, all those other versions of theism never bother making an appearance. This probably won't bother any Christian triumphalists among his readership, but it should bother anybody who takes seriously his claim that belief in "intelligent design" doesn't in and of itself commit anyone to Christianity.

And boy, do the hands start waving when we learn that "Christ is the completion of science"! First we receive a fairly good exposition of the way the set of real numbers "completes" the set of rational numbers. (But even for this, the lay reader is referred in a footnote, not to a helpful introductory book, but to Walter Rudin's excellent but hardly elementary _Principles of Mathematical Analysis_. Really. How many lay readers are going to go look this one up, or get anything out of it if they do? If Dembski had wanted to be helpful and enlightening rather than impressive and technically forbidding, wasn't there some other more elementary source to which he could have referred?)

And this is offered as an analogy for the way Christ completes science. The analogy is never explained, so Dembski's target audience will presumably just nod their heads. Readers with mathematical backgrounds, however, may have a different reaction. So may philosophers, who will probably recognize that one can perfectly well believe in the _logos_ without identifying it with "Christ."

In general, Dembski's philosophical sophistication is not great (yes, yes, I know he has a Ph.D. in the field). Here again, I think we're supposed to be impressed rather than enlightened, as when he makes a brief and general remark about naturalistic philosophers "like" John Searle and David Malet Armstrong, and then refers us in a footnote (in the _same_ footnote) to _The Construction of Social Reality_ and _Universals: An Opinionated Introduction_ without bothering to explain what _either_ philosopher argues in _either_ of these books (or anywhere else). Good thing I'd already read them; I'd never have learned anything about them from Dembski -- other than the fact that he knows their names, which is, I'm fairly sure, all he intended to show us.

His scientific sophistication isn't exactly on display either. For a book that's supposed to provide a "bridge between science and theology," there sure isn't much science in it. And if Dembski wants to show us how to distinguish "intelligent design" from simple order, he really, _really_ needs to get down to cases.

He's also very dismissive of what he likes to call "enlightenment rationalism," as distinguished, one presumes, from his own Christian rationalism. This sometimes lead to odd results, as when he smugly remarks in a footnote (regarding those silly rationalists and their desire for "neat, self-contained explanations") that "Christ always destroys our neat categories." Really? Like "Christian" vs. "non-Christian"? Or like "design" vs. "accident"?

Yawn. I'm a theist myself, I'm generally very favorable to critiques of Darwinism (which, you understand, is not to say that I think they _succeed_, but that I think well-founded criticism is helpful to the scientific enterprise and useful in making sure the neo-Darwinian synthesis isn't applied outside of its proper scope), and I do think the cosmos is best understood philosophically as the work of the God of classical theism. But based on the quality of argumentation and exposition I found here, I don't think I'll be reading _The Design Inference_ any time soon.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not intelligently designed., August 15, 2014
This review is from: Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (Paperback)
This bit of intellectual dishonesty is a sore spot for me. They say that they are using SCIENCE to reveal evidence that there was a creator (Which they assume to be the God of the old and ne Testament) but they also say that the SCIENCE they are using absolutely cannot tell you anything about the nature of this creator. What SCIENCE are they using?

They use cryptography, the SCIENCE of code-breaking. With cryptographic techniques, they show that DNA sequences contain "Information." What information? For whom? Cryptography is of course the art of breaking code in order to learn what messages are being sent to whom. Only a rank amateur would stop at 'I've proven this is a message." They stop at proving it is a message. After all, SCIENCE could never possibly inform us about the nature of the proposed creator. Science couldn't tell you what sort of messages a creator might have written.

They use Forensics, the SCIENCE of interpreting crime scenes. How exactly, they never say, but apparently by looking at the universe, they have come to the conclusion that it was intentionally created... Umm... Forensics is pretty much the science of looking at unintentionally created patterns to indicate how a criminal perpetrated a specific act... with the goal of finding out exactly who that criminal was, or at least what sort of person they might have been... But, of course, SCIENCE could never tell us anything about a proposed creator, not even if we somehow had evidence of how the creator worked, or what the creator created.

They use Archaeology, the SCIENCE of examining old stuff left behind by humans to get a feel for what human life was like back in the day. Again, how exactly they do this, they never say, but... like with Forensics, this somehow proves God did it... and we have no idea of how. Umm... Archaeology is the science of looking at discarded trash, tools, and food waste to learn how primitive humans hunted, gathered, fished, and farmed, what tools they used, how they made their tools, where they used their tools, how their tools broke, where their tools got discarded, and where they left their trash, in an effort to learn the size, complexity, practices, and beliefs of ancient people. Of course, Science could never tell us anything like that about what a proposed creator might have been like.

They use Reverse Engineering, the science of taking apart finished products so that another manufacturer can copy them. How they use this, again, they don't say. They just sort of say that they use this. Of course, Reverse Engineering has informed them that a creator exists, but even though reverse engineering is designed to tell us things like what tools and raw materials go into a finished product, and how to assemble it, this investigation also has told them nothing about how the proposed creator went about their work.

Mostly, they use Statistics, to explain how low the chances are that in the entire universe, of which we know less than one millionth of one percent, right here on earth, the conditions were made just perfect so that human life could evolve, and develop a society capable of arguing that there might be a God, and show that statistically, evolution, and the millions of fossils discovered which seem to confirm it cannot be possible at all without some designer behind it all. Everything has been just perfectly put together.

Then they say that evidence of a bad design cannot contradict intelligent design, since any design at all requires a designer.

Then they say that statistics are unnecessary, because we can show that without all the parts of every single cell, nothing on earth could exist, it would be like trying to make mouse traps without springs. You need all the parts, see?

...Where to begin... OK, so, BAD Design. Yes, bad design proves that there is a designer. However, it implies a bad designer... or a bad design team... Or a good design team that subbed out the construction work to a bad construction team... either way, bad design implies a non-perfect designer. See... this is why they claim that SCIENCE cannot say anything about the nature of their proposed designer. In actuality, using the Intelligent Design Hypothesis, science could readily be used to indicate what sort of tools a proposed designer used, what sort of construction processes the proposed designer put things through, what sort of raw materials the proposed designer worked with, what the tools the proposed designer did, looked like, and how they were shaped, which would indicate what sort of appendages the proposed designer might have. An analysis of the purposes of the designed products could indicate the intentions and goals of the proposed designer, and a cryptographic analysis of DNA could tell us what sort of messages are being transmitted to where.

Actually, that's what science does. We try to figure out how things were done... And so far, we've found no evidence for a supernatural designer, because you just can't measure spirit with a ruler, scale, measuring cup, or ohmmeter. This of course is not to say that a designer is nonexistent. Science also cannot prove the existence of blueprints when we study a building that's already been made. it's just to say that the evidence for a supernatural designer is not to be found...

And that's another thing that I, as a believer find troublesome with the "Intelligent Design" movement. See... Cryptography, and archaeology, and forensics, and reverse engineering... They're all intended to tell us about humans... About finite beings, with a limited lifespan, a limited mental capacity, people who have to build objects out of other raw material... This God of the old and new testament, they claim him to be all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, immortal, and capable of creating all things out of nothing (I'd suggest that at least some of these claims are not necessarily certain based on scripture alone.) Are techniques used to study the concrete world going to reveal even the existence of a creator? I doubt it. There is, of course, another class of non-human beings that the Bible claims had a hand in what we now see: Angels, and Demons, supposedly have some of the limitations that humans have, and an examination of the created universe might prove their existence, but that's another story.

Then there is the cryptography argument... We can of course see that DNA functions like messages, because it encodes data. They argue that data cannot be developed without a designer, as, after all, the only example of a designer we have is a human being.. But wait... Aren't human beings created from DNA? Is it not possible that the data we produce is simply another product of DNA? So then, does this prove that DNA had to be designed, or is it not just as likely that all DNA came from previous DNA? And what is the message? We've decoded the message of DNA quite a while ago now. It codes for how to create living beings. The message is how you create living beings, and the message is sent to other parts of the cells, which do the creation.

And then we have this argument about a mouse trap. You need all the parts. Well, sure, you do, if you want to catch a mouse. People have already shown that you can actually make a mouse trap with fewer parts. Others have pointed out that even a working mousetrap is pretty useless without bait, and someone to set the trap. Indeed, you can make a mouse trap out of totally different parts as well. A few days ago, I made a mouse trap out of a bucket, a hammer, a soda can cap, a cardboard box, peanut butter, and a little tape. You can also make a few other things out of a mouse trap. I can use the block of wood itself to squash a mouse, or a fly. I can put it in a donation box to make an exploding box. People use mouse traps to make race cars...

All that though, really doesn't seem to apply well to DNA. DNA has four parts, A, T, C, and G. The DNA code creates various proteins. Changing the code in the DNA, as everyone concedes is possible through random mutation, will usually not destroy the protein. Usually, it will change the code to make one or more differently shaped proteins. A mouse trap with a longer board works just fine.
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42 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Creationist Books, March 20, 2001
Bradley P. Rich (Salt Lake City, UT USA) - See all my reviews
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Most of the creationist literature consists of retreaded arguments that have long since ceased to be taken seriously. The arguments from minimum complexity or variations on the blind watchmaker argument have been around for 150 years. These arguments pose a minimum level problem for biologists and are no argument in favor of anything, let alone the Judeo-Christian God of Genesis.
Dembski and his fellow advocates of intelligent design have at least come up with a new theory and Dembski is at his best when he discusses information theory as it relates to intelligent design of the universe. Briefly stated, Dembski's theory is that a purely naturalistic system, such as evolution cannot create information, therefore the existence of information in DNA and throughout the living world implies an intelligent creator who imparted that information. Demski actually does a great job of making this sound compelling. However, see Skeptical Inquirer, Marh/April 2001 issue for a critique of his theory.
While Dembski's information theory has a certain attraction to it, the theory does little to compell one to adopt the Judeo-Christian deity of Genesis. Indeed, information theory would seem to argue for the deist position, that a deity set the universe in motion and then let it proceed according to the naturalistic laws by which it was created.
Indeed, one is struck by the gulf that separates Dembski's discussion of information theory and his discussion of miracles, Moses and the Bible. Dembski is attempting a "bridge" between science and theology, but in the end what he wants is to shoehorn Genesis into contempory biological science.
If you are interested in current creationist theory, this book is as good as it gets. He is head and shoulders above Philip E. Johnson and other creationist writers. However, for a complete picture, also read Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker or The Selfish Gene. For a critique of creationism, try Robert T. Pennocks Tower of Babel and for an introduction to the history of creationist thought in America (Creationism is an American development) read Darwinism Comes to America by Roland L. Numbers.
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19 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whets the Appetite, Doesn't Deliver the Main Course, October 14, 2001
By A Customer
Is it design or is it chance? Most of the things we meet in life don't provide much of a mystery in this regard. Wine glasses are designed. Wine stains are not. A suspension bridge is designed. A natural bridge is just a big hole in a big rock. But asking this question with regard to living organisms, the Universe as a whole, or Jackson Pollock paintings has brought us over a century of bitter (and embittering) conflict. In this volume, Dembski attempts to provide criteria which we can use regardless of personal preference to determine whether an object (particularly an organism) is designed or not. Finally, someone is attempting to move the debate beyond the "is not/is too" state of discourse where it has been trapped by proponents of both sides of the argument since the day that Darwin bagged his first finch. For this, we should all be grateful.
Unfortunately, the operative word here is *attempting*. According to Dembski, if an object exhibits contingency, complexity, and specification, we can be sure it was designed. Otherwise, it came about by chance (wine stain) or by a never to be known intelligence mimicking chance (Pollock painting). I don't have space here to go into detail on all three criteria so I will concentrate on the most problematic: specification. If four of us are playing poker and one guy gets 4 aces three hands in a row, we can be pretty sure that he got them by design (i.e. cheating) and not by chance. Why? Because his 4 aces, in addition to being improbable, match an important, previously *specified* pattern. The problem is: can we apply this same criterion to biological systems? Can we say that an eye, for instance, is specified in the same way that a winning poker hand is specified? One problem with trying to do this is that the rules of poker were laid down decades before your gambling buddy got his 4 aces. The pattern was specified and then was actualized much later. But the eye has been around for millenia already. It would seem a little late to be trying to objectively set a specifying pattern for an eye. Dembski counters this objection with the point that a specifying pattern does not always have to precede the object under study. Cryptologists, for instance, are certain that a code has a pattern even though they might not know the pattern yet. I find this a very intriguing suggestion. But I can't see where Dembski spells out how it applies to biological systems.
This problem with specificity is important. Before, creationsists and non-creationists were yelling "Is designed!" "Is not!". If Demski cannot give us a clear meaning to "specification", our judgements on this aspect of design will remain subjective and the best we can hope for is that the same people will now be yelling "Is specified!" "Is not!".
So, Dembski offers some intriguing ideas. I hope to see future work in which they are better "specified" (sorry) to the point where Dembski achieves his goal of providing an objective framework for discussing design in nature. But it hasn't happened here.
One positive note: Dembski closes the book with an appendix in which he pretty much knocks the legs out from under the most common objections voiced against including design considerations in science. If you don't read anything else in the book, read the appendix. Now, I look forward to watching Dembski knock the legs out from under the objection I have raised here.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A spanner in the works, May 9, 2007
Charles Gidley Wheeler (Kempsford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (Paperback)
William Dembski's book will undoubtedly provide Christians with just the sort of pseudo-scientific arguments they feel they need to combat the Darwinian bogey men. It will go down well in Christian theological colleges and will be welcomed by those who need to be reassured that, because it is the product of a Divine intelligence, all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds.

But there is a snag, because embedded in the theory of Intelligent Design is a contradiction that is potentially fatal to belief in the Christian gospel. Dembski either does not know of this snag (which he should do) or he chose to ignore it (which he should not have done).

If you believe in an infinitely powerful and wise creator who stands apart from the universe, you are presented with a choice. Either you believe in a theistic God who intervenes in human affairs, or you believe in a deistic "intelligent design" God who, having formed the universe out of nothing and issued immutable laws for it to follow, withdraws and leaves it to run on without further intervention. You can't consistently believe in a God who intervenes in human affairs and yet does not intervene.

But here's the problem. Theism reduces God to a creator who has to work miracles to keep his creation running in accordance with his will; while deism reduces God to a less than omniscient architect or designer whose design has resulted in endless generations of human misery.

The contradiction implicit in believing either in an intelligent design God who (we feel) should intervene but doesn't, or a creator god who (we feel) shouldn't have to intervene, but does, is, I think, particularly fatal for the Christian religion, as belief in intelligent design rules out the need for the miracles of divine incarnation and bodily resurrection that are essential to the Gospel story; while belief in a creator who is careless enough to build into creation original sin, eternal punishment and the need for salvation rules out the possibility of belief that the original design was the product of an omnipotent and omniscient intelligence in the first place.

The problem can be stated as a logical inference that might be expressed as "If design infinitely intelligent, then no requirement for Divine intervention; and if Divine intervention required, then design not infinitely intelligent."

The problem with Dembski's book is that it will tempt Christians to believe that "science" can justify their beliefs. They would do better to put Dembski aside and make a leap of faith on the strength of the absurd, as Kierkegaard suggests in Fear and Trembling. Alternatively, they might consider studying Spinoza's argument for God and Nature being self-causing, and one and the same, infinite substance.

A Good Boy Tomorrow: Memoirs of A Fundamentalist Upbringing
Basic Flying Instruction: A Comprehensive Introduction to Western Philosophy
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok and the message is?, January 24, 2006
Mathew A. Shember (Cupertino, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (Paperback)
I picked up the book after taking part in a few debates over Evolution and ID.

The book for what it is about is written well. Dembski is trying to reach a reader base with little or no science background. This is shown by his ample usage of analogies.

If you are science minded you might not like this book as the analogies can annoy when you are looking for testing data.

Many claims have been lobbed at ID. One in particular as it is the attempt to install theism into science. Dembski says it is not and yet he does a great deal talking about God and Jesus Christ. One thing I did notice is when he used "creator" when trying to explain the designer is not God; it is always written as "Creator."

The first part of the book talks about the rise of Naturalism and the removing of theism from science. He does make a few questionable claims (IMHO) about Huxley and Naturalism. Naturalism was basically created to abolish the need to be accountable for Sin(page 100).

One thing I was looking for was more examples of how ID really works with evolution. It was lacking in those aspects. Mainly analogies rather then hard data.

Overall the book gives you insight in to Dembski's thinking. If you are going to get involved in the Evolution/ID fight, then you have to read things like this as it does a diservice to simply dismiss something without having read their cliams.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing intelligent about this design, May 26, 2014
Georgiaboy (St. Simons Island, GA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (Paperback)
75% of the planet is salt water and humans cannot drink it. Who would design that...???? Ebola virus, Polio virus, the Black Plague, why would God(s) add these viruses to kill humans on the planet? Boredom? Cruelty? None of this makes sense. But, it makes sense when you realize there is no intelligent design to this planet.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (Paperback)
William Albert Dembski (born 1960) is a key figure in the "Intelligent Design" movement, who is a professor at the Southern Evangelical Seminary and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute. He has written/edited many other books, such as The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities, The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design, Mere Creation; Science, Faith & Intelligent Design, Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing, Tough-Minded Christianity: Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery, etc.

He states in this 1999 book, "What has emerged is a new program for scientific research known as intelligent design ... Its fundamental claim is that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology..." (Pg. 106) He argues, "The world contains events, objects and structures that exhaust the explanatory resources of undirected natural causes and that can be adequately explained only by recourse to intelligent causes. This is not an argument from ignorance... Precisely because of what we know about undirected natural causes and their limitations, science is now in a position to demonstrate design rigorously." (Pg. 107) He adds, "To sum up, intelligent design consists in empirically detecting design and then reverse engineering those objects detected to be designed." (Pg. 109) Later, he adds, "to say that an intelligent agent caused something is not to prescribe how an intelligent agent caused it. In particular, design in this last sense is separate from miracle." (Pg. 127)

He contends, "In principle an evolutionary process can exhibit such 'marks of intelligence' as much as any act of special creation. That said, intelligent design is incompatible with what typically is meant by 'theistic evolution'... Theistic evolution takes the Darwinian picture of the biological world and baptizes it..." (Pg. 110) He admits, however, that "it doesn't follow... that by rejecting fully naturalistic evolution you automatically embrace a literal reading of Genesis 1 and 2." (Pg. 115) He further says, "Intelligent design does not require a creator that originates the space, time, matter and energy that together constitute the universe... Nor for that matter does it require that any particular historical event must occur (like a worldwide flood 5,000 years ago). Intelligent design is compatible with a biophysical universe that developed over billions of years." (Pg. 249-250)

He states, "inteligent design nowhere attempts to identify the intelligent cause responsible for the design in nature, nor does it prescribe in advance the sequence of events by which this intelligent cause had to act. Intelligent design holds to three tenets: 1. Specified complexity is well-defined and empirically detectable. 2. Undirected natural causes are incapable of explaining specified complexity. 3. Intelligent causation best explains specified complexity." (Pg. 247)

Whether one is a naturalistic evolutionist, a young-earth creationist, an ID advocate, or somewhere in-between, this book is an excellent resource for learning more about the movement.
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Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology
Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology by William A. Dembski (Paperback - July 12, 2002)
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