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Dariusz Sagan

The Nature of Design Inference and the Epistemic Status of Intelligent Design

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This is the pre-edited version of the paper published in International Philosophical Quarterly 2019, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 37-55, doi:10.5840/ipq20181220121

For the published version see:

https://www.pdcnet.org/ipq/content/ipq_2019_0059_0001_0037_0055

Summary:

This article considers the main methodological objections against the theory of intelligent design. In general, they claim that it lacks a scientific character and they emphasize that design cannot be detected using scientific tools. The critics focus on showing that intelligent design violates various methodological criteria. In response to these objections, this article examines the methodological claim made by its proponents that the characteristic effects of the designer’s activity do provide a sufficient basis for inferring design. This paper also argues that the procedure of inferring that a certain feature has been designed by a supernatural being does not differ in principle from design-detection procedures in other spheres of research.

Keywords: demarcation criterion, methodological naturalism, testability, prediction, argument from ignorance, argument from design detection method.

Published on webpage: 10 January 2019.

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