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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CI191:

Just as sciences such as archaeology and forensics can detect design, so it is a valid scientific practice to detect intelligent design in nature. The success of those sciences shows that the methods of intelligent design work in practice.


Dembski, William A., 1999. Intelligent Design: The bridge between science and theology. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
Dembski, William A., 2001. Is intelligent design a form of natural theology?


  1. The methods of archaeology and forensics are unrelated to any methods proposed by intelligent design advocates. Archaeologists and forensic scientists look for patterns that they know, from prior observation, are the sort of patterns that human designers make. The same goes for all other sciences that detect design. ID theorists have no prior observation of other designers to go by. Or, if they do use the methods of archaeologists and forensic scientists, they are implicitly assuming that the designers were human.

  2. The only proposed intelligent design method, Dembski's filter, is eliminative; it tries to detect design only by eliminating other possibilities. The methods used by scientists are not eliminative. They consider many possibilities and choose the one that best fits the data. If none fit the data, the question is left unresolved.

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created 2003-9-30, modified 2003-10-4