An Introduction to Intelligent Design – a critique
The Centre for Intelligent Design website features a set of brief (sometimes very brief) pdf documents which collectively form an Introduction to Intelligent Design, credited as written by Dr Alastair Noble, C4ID Director. This pamphlet sets out C4ID’s manifesto for ID. Often these documents are written in a way that could be seen as persuasive to the uninformed. In general, the arguments used are those of ‘common sense versus rational investigation’, and the hoary old ‘argument from ignorance/incredulity’.
This brief section appears to be lifted from Paul C W Davies, in ‘The Accidental Universe’, 1982, Cambridge University Press. There’s nothing particularly ID about this quotation, except the closing sentence, which appeals to common sense rather than rational investigation.
Recent discoveries about the primeval cosmos oblige us to accept that the expanding universe has been set up in its motion with a cooperation of astonishing precision.
In 1995 Davies won the Templeton Prize, which is awarded to a living person who, in the estimation of the judges, “has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works”. The monetary value of the Templeton Prize is kept at a level greater than a Nobel prize.
Reviewing this list of recipients, one is struck by the profusion of physicists and people from a theological background. The only Templeton Prize winner listed as ‘Biologist’ is 2010 winner Francisco Ayala, who trained as a Catholic priest before embarking on a career in evolutionary biology. Amusingly, Ayala reportedly has no sympathy for Intelligent Design.