Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On Testing Intelligent Design

Lydia McGrew, Ph.D. in English Literature, offers an interesting paper on how to test for intelligent design: Testability, Likelihoods, and Design.

 HT: Victor Reppert


AdamT. said...

Interesting that the paper discusses a bayesian take on infering design. Dr. Carrier (who is an expert in Bayes Theorem: watch?v=HHIz-gR4xHo) has an essay in the book The End of Christianity. He applies Bayes Theorem to the question of design, and ultimately concludes that there is at most a 15 percent chance that life and the universe are intelligently designed. This means there is at least an 85 percent chance that life and the universe are not designed.

Bilbo said...

Hi Adam,

I'm not an expert on Bayes Theorem, though I get the impression a lot of the calculations depend upon background assumptions and beliefs. But what apparently both Carrier and McGrew agree upon is that ID is testable.

AdamT. said...

I would agree that parts of the intelligent design hypothesis are testable. For example, irreducible complexity is testable to an extent. I don't believe true irreducible complexity has ever been proven by any ID proponents, but it could be.