This is an open challenge to all and sundry!
Can anyone represent the views of someone he disagrees with well enough to pass the “Turing Test” and be mistaken for a real proponent of those views? Barry Arrington has recently issued this challenge for skeptics of “Intelligent Design”. He seems to have overlooked the point that the test should be anonymous and also that most remaining active ID skeptics are unable or unwilling (or both, in my case) to participate at “Uncommon descent”.
Well, let’s see if we can help! I invite all our readers, ID skeptics and ID proponents alike, to submit a summary of what “Intelligent Design” means. As Barry Arrington puts it:
Do you understand ID well enough to pass the Ideological Turing Test? If you think you do, prove it by giving a one paragraph summary of ID…
The Turing test needs anonymity, so I ask people to either use the PM system or alternatively send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add those submissions to the OP as I receive them.
Speculation and divination is encouraged in the comments!
I’ll add submissions as edits.
Whilst it has been claimed that Intelligent Design theory holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, it is much more than that. The essential argument, as developed by William Dembski, is that living organisms are both complex and specified (beautifully exemplified in DNA sequences, coded information). Douglas Axe, Kirk Durston and Anne Gauger have all shown by their experimental work, that random processes are inadequate to explain the CSI (complex specified information) that is found in DNA and that another explanation is needed. So the design argument is not an argument from ignorance but is based on what we know from the evidence that randomness cannot explain life.
Intelligent Design starts with a natural and powerful intuition, that complex arrangements existing for a purpose must have been intelligently planned, in other words, designed. Life is that kind of complex arrangement, existing for the purpose of continuing life. Even Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin understood how compelling this “appearance of design” is, but preferred to believe that random mutation and natural selection can produce exquisitely beautiful hummingbirds, and the most complex object of all, the human brain. ID recognizes that random mutation and natural selection can produce some adaptations, but in order to explain the bacterial flagellum or the human eye (let alone brain) there is no alternative to intelligence design. However, in order to move beyond the level of intuition and to conclusively demonstrate that intelligence is responsible for highly complex organs and biological machines, the Intelligent Design movement’s seminal thinkers, such as Dr. William Dembski and Dr. Michael Behe, utilize mathematics to show that mere mutation and natural selection could never produce exquisitely complex processes like the clotting cascade, nor the rotary outboard motor that is the bacterial flagellum. And, as Dr. Stephen Meyer wrote in his masterful takedown of abiogenesis (which evolution requires), Signature in the Cell, the only thing ever observed to produce complex arrangements of parts for a purpose is intelligence, thereby using Darwin’s own requirement that we must use what is observed to produce an effect in order to explain that effect–which means that life has been designed. Far from being “God of the gaps,” as Darwinists charge, ID is a positive case for design from the first intuition that design is necessary for life to the fact that no complex arrangement of parts for a purpose has ever been observed to arise from anything other than intelligence.