Intelligent Design is a current brand of natural philosophy that at its simplest holds that the Universe (ie, everything) has been designed intelligently. It opposes ideas like a spontaneous beginning or an eternal universe.

But the proponents of ID, eg Behe, Dembski, Discovery Institute, Center for Science and Culture.. all seem to be explicitly against any form of (macro) evolution, even if intelligently designed and executed. Why reject theistic evolution?


2 Answers 2


The Intelligent Design Debate is all about getting people to admit there is some creator of the universe rather than Evolution. Its not about saying this creator is God or some other such deity.

IMHO it is used as a stepping stone as people who don't want to believe there is a God can swallow the idea easier.

To summarise the ID theory:

  • Irreducible Complexity: Even when you reduce biological organisms down to their most basic systems they are still too complex to happen randomly.
  • Specified Complexity: Biological organisms are not just complex but they are specified or ordered complexity. Since the pattern (or order) specified to make biological organisms they can't happen randomly.
  • Intelligent Designer: When both the above are true there must be an Intelligent designer.

(DISCLIAMER: I may have gotten parts of the ID thoery wrong in my attempt to simplify it please help correct me if I have.)

EDIT:- To address the (macro) Evolution stance:

I can't say for certain as I am not associated with any ID organisation but my theory would be that if macro Evolution was the method that the Intelligent designer used to create organisms it would give rise to the ability that it could be done again (evolve). (ID theory was brought out of an anti-evolution philosophy. Does that make it biased? I'm not sure but I like when we question long held blind-beliefs.)
Keep in mind that both Evolution theory and the Intelligent Design theory are still theories. Neither of which (no matter how many people believe it is true) have any substantial proof either way.

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    Don't conflate creation of the universe with [biological] evolution, these are different and separate arguments.
    – Andrew Vit
    Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 2:44
  • @Andrew how is the Evolution theory a different matter from the Intelligent Design theory. They are both Creation theories and they have conflicting ideas. I'm not quite sure I understand? Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 2:52
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    Your wording is confusing: nobody (I hope) argues that evolution created the universe.
    – Andrew Vit
    Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 3:35
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    "Getting people to admit" and "who don't want to believe there is a God can swallow the idea easier" are unwise phrasing IMO; those words undermine the entire "theory", since it pre-supposes the thing it intends to support. It is also a tad informatory. Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 8:07
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    I have to vote this question down for confusing evolution and creation. Evolution is one possible explanation for life on Earth (either with or without God), but has little to do with creation of the universe.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 8:13

Most of the intelligent design proponents you are talking about are Christians who have a somewhat literal interpretation of genesis. Because they consider genesis literal, for them to admit it's not correct would mean (to them) that there is a mistake in the Bible, and the rest of their faith (including the existence of God) would be up for debate.

tl;dr they are inflexible with their beliefs, so they must disregard any theory that contradicts their beliefs.

  • Note: <comments removed> -- Please let's refrain from carrying on extended conversations in comments. Comments should generally address improvements to the original post. They're not for participating in on-going debate or parenthetical discussions. Please feel free to use the chat room to conduct such discussions. Thanks. Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 13:44
  • @Robert Apologies. I'll be in the 'Creationism' and 'Questions for Atheists' rooms if anyone would like to discuss it further. Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 13:48

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