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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CI002:

Intelligent design has explanatory power, especially given Dembski's "explanatory filter." It accounts for a wide range of biological facts. This makes it scientific.


Dembski, William A., 2001. Is intelligent design testable?


  1. Merely accounting for facts does not make a theory scientific. Saying "it's magic" can account for any fact anywhere but is as far from science as you can get. A theory has explanatory power if facts can be deduced from it. No facts have ever been deduced from ID theory. The theory is equivalent to saying, "it's magic."

  2. Dembski's explanatory filter requires the examination of an infinite number of other hypotheses -- even unknown ones -- to accept the design hypothesis. Thus it is impossible to apply. Intelligent design remains untestable and impossible to use in practice. Dembski himself has never rigorously applied his filter (Elsberry 2002).

  3. "Intelligent" and "design" remain effectively undefined. A theory cannot have explanatory power if it is uncertain what the theory says in the first place.


  1. Elsberry, Wesley R., 2002. Commentary on William A. Dembski's "No Free Lunch: Why specified complexity cannot be purchased without intelligence"

Further Reading:

Pennock, Robert T., 1999. Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.
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created 2003-5-7, modified 2004-5-5