Intelligent Design:

The New Stealth Creationism

Vic Stenger


A new theology called Intelligent Design asserts that the existence of observed order in the universe can only be understood in terms of supernatural creation. William Dembski claims to have proven, from standard information theory, that the complex specified information that is contained in the organized structures of the universe, such as the DNA of living organisms, cannot be the product of natural processes and chance.

 A close look at this proof, however, reveals nothing more than the same, incorrect application of the second law of thermodynamics that we have heard for years from creationists. Information is equivalent to negative entropy, and the generation of complex specified information by natural causes and chance occurs everywhere around us.

 Another aspect of Intelligent Design is the claim that the laws and constants of physics are so finely tuned for life to have been impossible by chance. This argument fails because some form of life, quite different from ours, may still be possible for many variations in these parameters.

 Other cosmological design arguments will also be discussed.

 Now that the people of Kansas have successfully fought off attempts by creationists to remove the teaching of evolution from schools, they can soon expect proponents of Intelligent Design to lobby to include this in the curriculum. The people need to be alerted that Intelligent Design is stealth creationism and this talk will provide tools that should help fight it off.