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Intelligent Design Theory isn’t

(Warning! This post contains spoilers for the end of Battlestar Galactica. I’ll put them after the jump so you can safely read everything that appears on the home page.)

You’ll be forgiven if you think my title means that ID theory isn’t intelligent, heck I couldn’t honestly disagree with the sentiment, but what I was really thinking was that ID isn’t really a theory. At least not in the strict scientific sense of the word, I suppose you could call it a theory in the same loose sense that the wild speculation of college students as they pass a bong around could be called theories.

I don’t want to be unfair here, I really don’t. It’s just that as far as I can understand, ID theory is that an intelligence, as yet undetected, either is acting or has acted in the past to effect change in the development of life on Earth, through unknown mechanisms. That’s not a summary, that’s the entire thing.

ID used to be touted as a secular, scientific theory that had no relation to the overtly religious creationists, but that seems to have been dropped recently, perhaps after the Dover-Kitzmiller trial they didn’t see a point in maintaining the masquerade. Or at least, all the sites I looked at during this writing were overtly Christian, and many cited the Bible either as evidence, or as a sort of yardstick by which evidence should be judged. Presumably if I looked enough I could find one doing both at once.

But a thing shouldn’t be judged by its weakest examples. So I Googled “evidence for intelligent design” and found lots of examples of people assuming that if evolution fails, ID wins by default.

As I mentioned a couple months ago on my post about Noah’s Ark, science doesn’t work that way. Your hypothesis can’t win by tearing down the opposition, it has to be able to stand on its own merits.

Worse, most of the claims of evidence against evolution aren’t about it at all, but the big bang or the theory of abiogenesis. Abiogenesis is not a robust theory, and may therefore seem like an easy target, but it still stands pretty strongly against people talking about breaking down broths of bacteria to their base molecules and calculating the odds of a bacterium reconstructing itself.

This is all a massive digression, however. Because I thought of something that would be actual evidence for ID, were it to happen for real, and that’s the ending of Battlestar Galactica. Spoilers ahead!

Seriously, if you keep reading don’t whine to me about giving away the ending.

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