Talk:Intelligent design

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Many of these questions arise frequently on the talk page concerning Intelligent design (ID).

Information.svg To view an explanation to the answer, click the [show] link to the right of the question.

Q1: Should ID be equated with creationism?
A1: ID is a form of creationism, and many sources argue that it is identical. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled that it "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents", and Phillip E. Johnson, one of the founders of the ID movement, stated that the goal of intelligent design is to cast creationism as a scientific concept.[1][2]

Not everyone agrees with this. For example, philosopher Thomas Nagel argues that intelligent design is very different from creation science (see "Public Education and Intelligent Design", Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 36, no. 2, 2008).

Although intelligent design proponents do not name the designer, they make it clear that the designer is the Christian god.[3][4][5][1]

In drafts of the 1989 high-school level textbook Of Pandas and People, almost all derivations of the word "creation", such as "creationism", were replaced with the words "intelligent design".[6]

Taken together, the Kitzmiller ruling, statements of ID's main proponents, the nature of ID itself, and the history of the movement, make it clear—Discovery Institute's protestations to the contrary notwithstanding—that ID is a form of creationism, modified to appear more secular than it really is. This is in line with the Discovery Institute's stated strategy in the Wedge Document.
Q2: Should ID be characterized as science?
A2: The majority of scientists state that ID should not be characterized as science. This was the finding of Judge Jones during the Kitzmiller hearing, and is a position supported by the overwhelming majority of the scientific community.[7] Scientists say that ID cannot be regarded as scientific theory because it is untestable even in principle. A scientific theory predicts the outcome of experiments. If the predicted outcome is not observed, the theory is false. There is no experiment which can be constructed which can disprove intelligent design. Unlike a true scientific theory, it has absolutely no predictive capability. It doesn't run the risk of being disproved by objective experiment.
Q3: Should the article cite any papers about ID?
A3: According to Wikipedia's sourcing policy, Wikipedia:Verifiability, papers that support ID should be used as primary sources to explain the nature of the concept.

The article as it stands does not cite papers that support ID because no such papers have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Behe himself admitted this under cross examination, during the Kitzmiller hearings, and this has been the finding of scientists and critics who have investigated this claim.[7][8][9][10] In fact, the only article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal that made a case for intelligent design was quickly withdrawn by the publisher for having circumvented the journal's peer-review standards.[11][12]

Broadly speaking, the articles on the Discovery Institute list all fail for any of four reasons:

  1. The journal has no credible editorial and peer-review process, or the process was not followed
  2. The journal is not competent for the subject matter of the article
  3. The article is not genuinely supportive of ID
  4. The article is published in a partisan ID journal such as PCID
If you wish to dispute the claim that ID has no support in peer-reviewed publications, then you will need to produce a reliable source that attests to the publication of at least one paper clearly supportive of ID that underwent rigorous peer-review in a journal on a relevant field.
Q4: Is this article unfairly biased against ID?
A4: There have been arguments over the years about the article's neutrality and concerns that it violates Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. The NPOV policy does not require all points of view to be represented as equally valid, but it does require us to represent them. The policy requires that we present ID from the point of view of disinterested philosophers, biologists and other scientists, and that we also include the views of ID proponents and opponents. We should not present minority views as though they are majority ones, but we should also make sure the minority views are correctly described and not only criticized, particularly in an article devoted to those views, such as this one.
Q5: Is the Discovery Institute a reliable source?
A5: The Discovery Institute is a reliable primary source about its views on ID, though it should not be used as an independent secondary source.

The core mission of the Discovery Institute is to promote intelligent design. The end purpose is to duck court rulings that eliminated religion from the science classroom, by confusing people into conflating science and religion. In light of this, the Discovery Institute can not be used as a reference for anything but their beliefs, membership and statements. Questionable sources, according to the sourcing policy, WP:V, are those with a poor reputation for fact-checking or with no editorial oversight, and should only be used in articles about themselves. Articles about such sources should not repeat any contentious claims the source has made about third parties, unless those claims have also been published by reliable sources.

Q6: Are all formulations of intelligent design pseudoscience? Was William Paley doing pseudoscience when he argued that natural features should be attributed to "an intelligent and designing Creator"?
A6: While the use of the phrase intelligent design in teleological arguments dates back to at least the 1700s,[13] Intelligent Design (ID) as a term of art begins with the 1989 publication of Of Pandas and People.[14] Intelligent design is classified as pseudoscience because its hypotheses are effectively unfalsifiable. Unlike Aquinas and Paley, modern ID denies its religious roots and the supernatural nature of its explanations.[15] For an extended discussion about definitions of pseudoscience, including Intelligent Design, see Pigliucci, Massimo; Boudry, Maarten, eds. (2013), Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem, University of Chicago, ISBN 978-0-226-05179-6.
Notes and references
  1. ^ a b Phillip Johnson: "Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools." Johnson 2004. Christianity.ca. Let's Be Intelligent About Darwin. "This isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. It's about religion and philosophy." Johnson 1996. World Magazine. Witnesses For The Prosecution. "So the question is: "How to win?" That's when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the "wedge" strategy: "Stick with the most important thing"—the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, "Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?" and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do." Johnson 2000. Touchstone magazine. Berkeley's Radical An Interview with Phillip E. Johnson
  2. ^ "I have built an intellectual movement in the universities and churches that we call The Wedge, which is devoted to scholarship and writing that furthers this program of questioning the materialistic basis of science."…"Now the way that I see the logic of our movement going is like this. The first thing you understand is that the Darwinian theory isn't true. It's falsified by all of the evidence and the logic is terrible. When you realize that, the next question that occurs to you is, well, where might you get the truth?"…"I start with John 1:1. In the beginning was the word. In the beginning was intelligence, purpose, and wisdom. The Bible had that right. And the materialist scientists are deluding themselves." Johnson 1999. Reclaiming America for Christ Conference. How the Evolution Debate Can Be Won
  3. ^ Dembski: "Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory," Touchstone Magazine. Volume 12, Issue4: July/August, 1999
  4. ^ Wedge Document Discovery Institute, 1999.
    "[M]embers of the national ID movement insist that their attacks on evolution aren't religiously motivated, but, rather, scientific in nature." … "Yet the express strategic objectives of the Discovery Institute; the writings, careers, and affiliations of ID's leading proponents; and the movement’s funding sources all betray a clear moral and religious agenda." Inferior Design Chris Mooney. The American Prospect, August 10, 2005.
  5. ^ "ID's rejection of naturalism in any form logically entails its appeal to the only alternative, supernaturalism, as a putatively scientific explanation for natural phenomena. This makes ID a religious belief." Expert Witness Report Barbara Forrest Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, April, 2005.
  6. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). , pp. 31 – 33.
  7. ^ a b Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). , 4. Whether ID is Science, p. 87
  8. ^ "Science and Policy: Intelligent Design and Peer Review". American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
  9. ^ Brauer, Matthew J. (2005). "Is It Science Yet?: Intelligent Design Creationism and the Constitution" (PDF). Washington University Law Quarterly. 83 (1). Retrieved 2007-07-18. ID leaders know the benefits of submitting their work to independent review and have established at least two purportedly "peer-reviewed" journals for ID articles. However, one has languished for want of material and quietly ceased publication, while the other has a more overtly philosophical orientation. Both journals employ a weak standard of "peer review" that amounts to no more than vetting by the editorial board or society fellows. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  10. ^ Isaak, Mark (2006). "Index to Creationist Claims". The TalkOrigins Archive. With some of the claims for peer review, notably Campbell and Meyer (2003) and the e-journal PCID, the reviewers are themselves ardent supporters of intelligent design. The purpose of peer review is to expose errors, weaknesses, and significant omissions in fact and argument. That purpose is not served if the reviewers are uncritical
  11. ^ "Statement from the Council of the Biological Society of Washington". Biological Society of Washington. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
  12. ^ See also Sternberg peer review controversy.
  13. ^ Wilkins, John (9 Nov. 2013), "The origin of "intelligent design" in the 18th and 19th centuries", Evolving Thoughts (blog) Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Matzke, Nick (2006), "Design on Trial: How NCSE Helped Win the Kitzmiller Case", Reports of the National Center for Science Education, 26 (1–2): 37–44
  15. ^ "Report of John F. Haught, Ph. D" (PDF). Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (NCSE). 2005-04-01. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
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Intelligent Design as a Philosophical (not a scientific) Doctrine[edit]

I'm curious as to why there's little to no discussion about the philosophical nature of Intelligent Design on this wikipedia page.

A minimal definition of ID (that there is an intelligent design behind observable nature) includes theists, as well as deists, pantheists and many naturalists who might believe in an extra-terrestrial explanation for the origin of life.

I must say that the equivocation with Intelligent design with the notion of creationism is just astounding to me. Note that I am not an American - I can understand how Americans might think of them as the same, given the cited court cases. However, I am not sure why this particular set of legal battles in America should define the concept of Intelligent Design as it exists in a broader (worldwide) context. ID as a philosophical doctrine extends quite further beyond this particular (and ridiculous) characterisation of the movement.

My experience with other academics, theists, some atheists and even that of the appropriate philosophical literature on this topic would indicate that ID is an inherently philosophical doctrine of science, not an empirical theory of scientific observation like this article portrays. I'm really interested as to why this former characterisation of ID has zero mention in the article. Surely the philosophical nature of ID places it out of the purview of scientific consensus; the doctrine of Intelligent Design I refer to is not speculative history, conspiratorial, and it being a doctrine about the Philosophy of science that concerns what kind of inferences we can or cannot make, most definitely places the issue outside the purview of a scientific consensus. The reason for this is it becomes primarily an issue of epistemology as opposed to scientific practice.

The most popular form of ID is obviously the definition mentioned above, plus the view that the fact that observable nature is designed can be inferred from the ontology of natural phenomena itself. This is an inherently philosophical position about not just the Philosophy of Science, but Philosophy of knowledge in general, and is by itself neutral with respect to empirical observations themselves. In principle, there seems to be little or no tension with this idea and the current practices of science. It is simply a doctrine that deals with the question of interpretation of evidence; this definition, by itself, does not seem to require we introduce any non-empirical evidences into science.

Of course, one can still be an Intelligent Design proponent and not believe that it is (at least currently or principally) possible to make inferences from the properties of natural phenomena towards a designer. Again, what determines whether this is an appropriate inference (within science or otherwise), is ones conclusions about epistemology and what constitutes a valid grounds for knowledge in general. The appropriateness is not determined by whether or not scientists think the claims found within creation science, or creationism are a scientifically valid set of hypotheses for empirical testing.

The american political agenda of education aside, ID is a philosophy that extends far further across the world than simply the reaches of the american bible belt. The current page does not seem to do the wider doctrine much justice at all. I am further disheartened about the nature of conversation on this page and the level of philosophical and scientific illiteracy of the new atheist and creationist types that dig tooth and nail to change and/or keep the page in their favour.

The talk page links to Wikipedia principles that allows one to make changes, should they have sufficient valid sources of information. As a third party in this conversation, I'm not actually confident that much change is possible. How would changing this page look in practical terms?

As an academic interested in this area, I would be willing to dedicate time to change this page for better clarity, but the nature of contention in the edit and talk sections really have caused me to lose confidence in this websites ability to make reasonable changes on this issue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.96.82.45 (talk) 06:13, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

As noted at the top of the article page, there is a separate article--"Teleological argument--for the philosophical aspect of ID. This article is for the controversial American attempt to prove scientifically that the Universe was created by an intelligent designer. YoPienso (talk) 08:05, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
If this was true, it would not be as expansive as the article currently is. For example, there is a section discussing the teleological fine-tuning argument, despite the total disconnect of this argument from the american controversy. DI's mission focus is on Intelligent Design as a very particular theory of biology. They might appeal to other teleological theories, like all theists do, but the ID controversy in America has virtually nothing to do with these other teleological arguments. Discussing them in the context of the american ID movement in the way the article currently does risks de-legitimising these legitimate scholarly works through an implicit guilt by association for academically uninformed readers.
Another example would be the conversations on methodological naturalism - there is a history of discussion about MN in the philosophy of science that has existed long prior to the rise of the american ID movement. American pragmatists may think they have the philosophy of science all figured out, but the philosophically informed realise that there is still an issue of demarcation, for which methodological naturalism falls squarely within the bounds of controversy. Theistic realism, and other alternatives to methodological naturalism are not presented solely by american Intelligent Design theorists like the page implies. Painting methodological naturalism as the "fundamental basis of science", especially on the basis of Forrest's highly controversial paper is a gross misrepresentation on the actual level of ambiguity in the Philosophy of Science as to what constitutes science. The scientific criticisms section is undercut by it's failure to discuss how the philosophical difficulties in demarcating science from non-science contributes to the problem of the american ID movement.
For an article that supposedly separates the philosophical connotations of ID from the american ID movement, there's an awful lot of discussion (or should I say, terribly bold assertions) about philosophy. There's currently no wikipedia page that accurately describes the Intelligent Design movement as it exists within the philosophy of religion, as opposed to the ID presented by organisations like the Discovery Institute, or Creation Ministries. This page is incredibly America-specific and over-political. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.96.83.47 (talk) 23:19, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
I thought it was a bit strange that this page is listed as a vital article in philosophy, yet focuses on the claims made by the discovery institute, which are about science. I'm new to wikipedia, but I think you might be right about something here - TomTrebs (talk) 00:28, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
As explained above, this article is not about the argument from design, which was written about by Aquinas, but about a pseudo-scientific theory popular among some American evangelicals. It is not a philosophical argument, because its adherents believe that scientific and archeological evidence can disprove the theory of evolution and by default prove the existence of a creator. TFD (talk) 00:57, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
So why is this article listed as a level-5 vital article in Philosophy? The page itself seems to contradict your claim that ID theorists think debunking evolution proves the existence of a creator by default. If that's true, what's the deal with specified and irreducible complexity? With respect, I don't think you're addressing the OPs concerns. - TomTrebs (talk) 01:54, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Any passerby can add stuff at the top of this page. Most of us ignore that particularly since it is popular to try to link every page to philosophy (it's a joke that was once quite funny). A tiny number of people are interested in the philosophy of religion and debates concerning watchmakers and so forth. There should be an article on that topic if one does not currently exist. However, this article is about the widely spread issue of ID, mainly in the US but also in other places. Johnuniq (talk) 03:24, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The more immediate issue is that OP didn't cite sources, so all they're saying is original research, which we don't use. Ignoring that, as others have said, the philosophical position that the universe was designed with a purpose would fall under the teleological argument article. Not only that, but that position is compatible with evolution and so with science. The groups advocating ID want it taught in science classes as an alternative to evolution -- which doesn't work if you're making a purely philosophical claim and not a claim about science. You don't have any ID groups advocating theistic evolution. The closest thing would be The BioLogos Foundation, a theistic evolution advocacy group which focuses on framing otherwise secular science so that evangelicals can understand it as well as on the theological implications of evolution. But even they specifically deny Intelligent Design and seem to avoid trying to use science to prove the existence of God (leaving that job to philosophy and theology). Ian.thomson (talk) 03:44, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • 129.96.82.45 - I'm sorry but this article is irretrievably biased, focused on the controversy of about 15 years ago, and really is not open. There's a focus towards Intelligent Design as developed by the Discovery Institute, a technically erroneous popular framing of ID as Aquinas's Teleological argument and other meanings in philosophy or psychology or history tend to get viewed as fake. In any case, you might try creating Intelligent Design (philosophy) or the other usages and meanings of the term, but I am dubious it would be allowed to continue existence. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:54, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Mark, still banging that same old drum? Please give it a rest. - Nick Thorne talk 06:38, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I get it. Teaching it as religion is against the law, teaching it as science failed because it turned out to be not science but religion, and now the thing is teaching it as philosophy. I had wondered what the next sleight-of-hand would be. --Hob Gadling (talk) 06:42, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
There already is an article about the argument from design. And it is taught in philosophy classes along with other philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God. TFD (talk) 19:06, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
User:The Four Deuces but as the IP said, there is no mention here for ‘intelligent design’ topics in philosophy (ditto in history or teleology in psychology, etc) unrelated to the dominant usage. The less famous other meanings or usages tend to get viewed here as not real. They would not have WEIGHT in a combined article, and I suspect a disam set of separate minor articles would be viewed with suspicion or hostility. I just doubt the point can be handled, but if you’ve some way he could pursue it go ahead. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:40, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
There is mention of the argument from design in the "History" section and there is a link to it in the hatnote. But intelligent design itself is not a philosophical argument, but a pseudo-science, since its adherents claim it can supported by empirical evidence in the same way that any other scientific theory can be. But no amount of empirical evidence can support or disprove a philosophical theory. TFD (talk) 02:05, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
The argument from design is discussed in the lead, not linked in the first instance so will review that. ID is a theological argument, and takes philosophy in the medieval sense as an aid to Theology (ancilla theologiae) while basing arguments on revealed religion – it's not philosophy of religion in the sense of an overview of religious beliefs, but instead is an argument for a particular doctrine. . . dave souza, talk 11:20, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Have moved the links to the first mention in the section, as is normal practice. Undo if you think it works better as before, but give reasons. The identification of ID with theology is well supported by citations in the lead, are there any third party reliable sources supporting the idea that it's philosophy? . . . dave souza, talk 11:31, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Your problem is that this is not a debate in philosophy, either. It's only a part of religion. Philosophy, unlike religion, doesn't care that we are descended from filthy monkey men. Guy (Help!) 12:37, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
I would disagree with the OP that what he's saying should be discussed, should be characterised as part of the Philosophy of Religion. To me it seems like what he's actually describing is more relevant to the Philosophy of Science, with regards to scientific logic (I guess he mentions this at the start of the OP, but s/he concludes by mentioning the philosophy of religion). So, looking more at ID as a particular set of claims about what kind of inferences can be made from biological evidences in particular. Fine tuning arguments from physics seem to be much better accepted in academia because they tend to revolve around what's colloquially known as "the ultimate question" of why anything exists at all, and do not contain a muddy political background. In my perspective there's two ways to look at this issue. The first is seeing ID as a sleight of hand attempt to continue creationism in schools, which seems to be supported by the historical connection in the Killzinger case with the textbook change from 'creationism' to 'intelligent design'. The other is seeing ID as a particular philosophy of science. Or perhaps more specifically, a Philosophy of biology, where the thrust of the idea is that certain patterns in biological history can be used inductively to support the existence of a creator. I have recently watched a dialogue between Joshua Swimidass of Peacefulscience.org and Ann Gauger of the Discovery Instutute. Ann Gauger argued that ID should be framed to this (or similar) effect, while Joshua seemed resistant to this definition and fell back on what we could call the 'historical' framing of ID, which emphasises it's historical connection to creationism. It seems to me that there is not actually as much of a uniform perspective of how ID should be framed among people in the ID movement as many seem to think (at the discovery institute in particular). If the OP doesn't come back to support his/her claims, I'm happy to try and gather some sources to support the idea that there are arguments over how Intelligent Design should be framed.TomTrebs (talk) 22:36, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
As a separate point, the efforts of Joshua Swimidass at peacefulscience might be worth an entry on this page. Although, I'm also surprised that the DI's interactions with organisation Biologos is not mentioned in this page at all. Then again, the wikipedia page for the organisation is very underwhelming, seemingly patronising and lacks suitable comprehension. Probably worth a different thread though, I guess. TomTrebs (talk) 22:36, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
The fact that a proponent of ID claims it it is real science or philosophy has no weight in whether it should be considered a pseudo-science. TFD (talk) 00:29, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
I beg to differ. The fact that its proponents claim it is science whereas in fact it is not science is precisely the reaason why ID is and should be considered to be pseudoscience. - Nick Thorne talk 10:03, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Maybe I phrased that poorly. The fact an adherent claims it is science does not mean we should give credence to considering it a science. In fact the definition of pseudo-science is when adherents falsely claim they are practicing science. But of course we rely on secondary sources that make the judgment whether or not a claim is scientific. It is not up to individual editors to make that decision. TFD (talk) 15:49, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
It seems we are in agreement after all. - Nick Thorne talk 22:56, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
ID is not science. That is a matter of established fact. There was this whole court case and everything. Guy (Help!) 08:43, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Article however used the vague pejorative Pseudoscience, more on editor wishes and WP:OR than WP:RS WEIGHT. Court case and bulk of RS say it is creationist in roots or consequence, if not direct substance. Agree it is not science, but basis for court is the scientific bodies who get to determine what’s in and what’s (emphatically) out. Again, article seems irretrievably biased, but at least being open about it. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 03:56, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
If it is not science and supporters say it is, and you agree with that, then it pseudoscience by definition. TFD (talk) 05:31, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
If it is a label produced by editors making conclusions like the above, rather than taken from the major cites, it is OR by definition. Again, the lead-off with a vague pejorative is a sign of editorial bias, but at least is obvious about it. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 03:11, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
I would like to remind you of both WP:PSCI and the sources presented in this previous thread that support the definition (and also was provided at your request). Article however used the vague pejorative Pseudoscience, more on editor wishes and is a label produced by editors making conclusions like the above are misleading, false and divisive claims. —PaleoNeonate – 07:43, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
To quibble, it is not science because no one, especially not those who claim it is science, can demonstrate how it is or can be used to do science. It is "pseudoscience" because its proponents insist that it replace Evolutionary Biology in classrooms and labs because they said Jesus "The Designer" said so, and not because of its merits that remain perennially undemonstrable and invisible to nonbelievers. Thus, "pseudoscience" is used as an unflattering and unflatteringly accurate descriptor and not as a "pejorative."--Mr Fink (talk) 15:21, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes. To quibble a bit further re TFD's comment: "psuedoscience" is not defined by mere belief or argreement, pro or con, but (ideally) on the basis of objective considerations, such as lack of scientific method, etc. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:46, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I don't think that is what I said. My point was that it is not up to editors to determine that ID is pseudoscience, but we must accept the judgment of reliable sources. Obviously that judgment is based on objective considerations. Our approach must be guided by the policy of no synthesis. It is a distraction to assess the arguments for ID being a pseudoscience, since ultimately we must reliable on what experts have decided. TFD (talk) 19:10, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

Relying on expert opinion might be good enough for ID, where there has been a lot of controversy. But pseudoscience pops up in a lot of small, out of the way corners where no expert has shined a light. So sometimes we editors must exercise some editorial discretion. My point is that such an assessment is not based on a definition of pseudoscience as something "you agree with" – which is exactly what you said — but based on objective standards. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:05, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
You are taking my words out of context. I said that Markbassett agreed that ID supporters claim it is science. Nothing particularly exceptional about that observation. "If it is not science and supporters say it is...then it is pseudoscience by definition." As for your other point, there are no cases where reliable sources have not noted that something is pseudoscience (or words to that effect) where we should claim it is since it is synthesis. TFD (talk) 20:44, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
So perhaps you were restating someone else's definition of pseudoscience? If so, perhaps in the future you could be clearer about your context. Regardless of whose definition that is, I do take exception with that definition as it is stated. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:18, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Read what I posted: "If it is not science and supporters say it is, and you agree with that, then it pseudoscience by definition. TFD (talk) 05:31, 9 March 2019 (UTC)" In other words, Markbassett agrees that ID supporters say it is science. The word "you" refers to the person I was replying to. No idea why you think I was restating Markbasset's definition of pseudoscience or why are you are arguing about this. TFD (talk) 23:07, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
So you are restating someone else's definition. Fine. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:37, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I just said I "have no idea why you think I was restating Markbasset's definition of pseudoscience." What I meant was I was not restating someone else's definition. In other words, I was not providing a restatement of someone else's definition or providing a definition that was a restatement of someone elses's definition. Sorry if you did not find my statement clear. TFD (talk) 05:49, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

[And the prior thread resumes. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:43, 12 March 2019 (UTC)]

 ??? No, there seems some incorrectly saying I agreed with something that I had not.
Also I have not given a definition of the vague pejorative, I only called it a vague pejorative. Editors here just seemed to want to give the vague insult and later gave it first line prominence seems all there was to it, it's not a prominence in the article or in external materials. There was a later definition of the WP:PSEUDO and listing to codify things. But this is all long long ago. Meanwhile, the word simply has multiple interpretations and no agreed objective indicator -- it's a vague pejorative. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:11, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Just to be absolutely clear here, it doesn't matter how often you assert that the label "pseudoscience" is vague, it is (a) not vague and (b) abundantly sourced. Wikipedia is not censored for the protection of cherished delusions. Guy (Help!) 05:08, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
User:JzG - perhaps you’d prefer ‘ambiguous’or ‘ill-defined’ to “vague”? I'm inclined to let you have your ‘no it isn’t’ that you feel otherwise. But I offer also I am looking at (a) definitions vary and conflict among major RS - Collins, Oxford, EB, M-W; (b) eminent RS speak of the demarcation issues as unsolved - Piggliucci and Popper, and scholarly critics of either; (c) actual practice and WEIGHT of usage is emotional rants more of an unsupported WP:LABEL nature, check your basic Google; (d) actual scientific bodies do not commonly use the term; and (e) again there is no agreed objective indicator or test for this which simply throws out of being a scientific meaning and into being an opinion. Best one can get in this kind of case is going to be a poll indicating level of regard, or get a body of expert opinions. There are epistemological tips on how to detect what info to not trust, but those are general and apply to politics or sales pitches as much or more than science. If you think you have an actual case of some objective PS test being performed by a scientific entity please do send back a link, but it seems to me that there couldn’t be one. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 23:57, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
No, I'd prefer you to simply drop it, because pseudoscience has a well established and objective meaning and while there is legitimate dispute at the boundaries, the sources unambiguously support the fact that ID is pseudoscience in its purest form. Guy (Help!) 05:33, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
User:JzG Meh - so I showed reasons why I said 'vague'. You say no it isn't and repeat the assertions. Simplifies to "vague - no it isn't - yes it is, heres why - no it isn't". Feel as free to have your POV as you let others have theirs, but this doesn't seem to be still on the topic thread. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 23:49, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I said that you agreed that supporters of ID say it is science. Are you now saying they do not claim it is science, do not think it is an alternative to natural selection, do not think it should be taught in science classes? TFD (talk) 06:14, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
User:The Four Deuces Yes, you incorrectly told User:J. Johnson that I was the source of a definition and that I had agreed to you. I have not offered this thread a definition for ID in philosophy, history, or otherwise. Nor did I state agreement in the above thread. Perhaps you are thinking of another editor, I suggest you review the TALK thread. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 00:19, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
No I did not attribute a definition to you. I told you that if something is not science and it's proponents say it is, then it is pseudoscience by definition. That was my definition. I said that you agreed that proponents of ID claim it is science. What possible definition do you think I attributed to you? TFD (talk) 01:27, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
TFD: the squabble here (it's not a proper argument) arises from my criticism of your "If it is not science..." comment (above at 05:31), and your subsequent denials: "I don't think that is what I said", "You are taking my words out of context", and your reference to "the person I was replying to". And it certainly appears you were replying to Markbassett.
Look: it doesn't really matter whose definition that is, The point is: it's a crappy definition. I think it would be a waste of time to argue about it (there are better definitions), but even more wasteful (and stupid) to argue about attribution. Okay, you have just owned up to it being your definition. So now toss it aside, and let's find a better definition. Let's move on to a bone that has some meat on it. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:11, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
If you think it's a crappy definition, then you might want to correct the main article on Pseudoscience which says the same thing: "Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual, but are incompatible with the scientific method." If you think that is wrong, then I would be interested to know your alternative definition. TFD (talk) 21:23, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
TFD: you are missing a key difference from what you have said and what is stated in the lead paragraph at Pseudoscience. The latter refers to the claim of being scientific as "incompatible with the scientific method." The article then goes on to identify some of the bases by which such claims are "incompatible with the scientific method". Your definition replaces that with "and you agree with that", which is most certainly NOT "the same thing". (Which is also very poorly phrased: it sounds like the criterion is the indefinite "you" agreeing with supporters.) The point I was trying to make at the start of this squabble (at 19:46, 9 Mar) is that the essential element of being scientific or not is "not defined by mere belief or agreement, pro or con", but on objective considerations such as stated at Pseudoscience, but not in your definition. There is an immense difference between someone just popping off an opinion that something is pseudoscience, and basing such an opinion on an assessment of objective standards and evidence. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:37, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
As I have explained over and over again, my definition does not include "and you agree with that." Can you please explain to me what you think "and you agree with that" means if not a reference to markbasset's agreement that supporters say it is science? Or do you think that markbasset forms part of my definition of pseudoscience? TFD (talk) 21:10, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for so clearly distinguishing at the start your definition from your comment that another editor agrees with it. However, your reduced definition is still, at best, incomplete, as it does not come even close to explaining why something claimed to be scientific is not scientific. (That is where Markbassett comes in with his objection: he presumes OR, and your definition does not exclude that.) Your definition is still in no way "the same thing" stated at Pseudoscience. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 01:06, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
I said nothing about markbasset's objections in fact I mentioned only what he agreed with which was that pseudoscientists claimed they were scientific. I assume you agree that pseudoscientists claim they are scientific. (If not, please say so.) Can you please tell me how my definiton that pseudoscience is something that is not science but it's adherents say it is disagrees with the Wikipedia definition or any other definition presented.
Also, you still have not explained what you think "and you agree with that means. Do you think that means something is not pseudoscience unless markbassett agrees? And what do you think he must agree with in order to make it pseudoscience? And why do you assume that what I consider what markbassett thinks to be part of the definition of pseudoscience? Is he someone important in the subject? It would seem odd to me to have to determine first what markbassett thinks before deciding whether something is pseudoscience, but you may know more than I.
TFD (talk) 04:25, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
You are being ridiculous. As someone that can't clearly and unambiguously express his own thoughts you really should not be making any assumptions about what other people mean, or agree to. I very much doubt that further explanation would be of any use, and I am disinclined to debate this. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 18:47, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
User:J. Johnson My objection regardless of which definition is that it's WP:OR if its TALK debating whether a definition fits instead of presenting the body of RS fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without editorial bias. (And then deciding it has to go into line 1...) For definitions, philosophers doesn't seem to feel the definitions are great but there are a differing variety at Cambridge, Collins, Kids Encyclopedia Britannica (the main only has side-mentions), Merriam-Webster, Oxforddictionaries. Might read about how defining pseudoscience takes a rocket scientist and reconsider the effort. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 00:19, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
You start from a false premise, but I defer to Nick's response. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:30, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Markbassett, and therin lies the problem with your whole argument. That ID is pseudoscience is more than adequately sourced to genuine reliable sources. It doesn't matter what editors here think or say, the sources make it clear that they consider ID to be pseudoscience, so that is what we must do when writing our articles. Our opinions matter not, including your longstanding and tiresome attempts to water down anything that you apparently percieve to be a criticism of creationist BS. - Nick Thorne talk 00:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
User:Nick Thorne The TALK was doing 'fits the definition' and I pointed out that's OR. I also think that the bulk of RS do not use the word, thus failing the "presenting the body of RS fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without editorial bias" part. Being able to find something by Google does not meet the 'proportionately' part -- the major RS items seem Pandas or Kitzmiller ruling and the official documents of the scientific bodies and government arms. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 01:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
All your sources provide essentially the same definition. What the blog claims is that the demarcation between science and pseudoscience is unclear. It doesn't question whether or not pseudoscience is not science or whether its proponents claim it is science. In the case of ID, reliable sources have determined it is not science and no original research prevents us from second-guessing them. TFD (talk) 01:13, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── The fact that a proponent of ID claims it it is real science or philosophy has no weight in whether it should be considered a pseudo-science. TFD (talk) 00:29, 8 March 2019 (UTC) I agree, but you've totally ignored what I was saying. The claim that Intelligent Design (as a movement) is a valid alternative to Evolutionary Theory is different from the claim (that I'm referring to) that we can use patterns in biological phenomenon to infer the existence of an intelligence responsible for these patterns. The pseudoscientific theory of ID as it's generally known might 'draw' on this particular claim, but I don't see why one couldn't subscribe to this idea and also reject the ID pseudoscience. Do you see what I mean? This notion of intelligent design seems markedly different from a Creationist coup of evolutionary science. I'm not sure how else we could interpret this particular claim as being one that affirms ID as a scientific theory. It seems more sensible to see this claim as a particular philosophy of science; that teleological principles apply to biology, and that we can see that this is the case through science. Did you actually watch the talk I linked where Ann states this? This is the kind of definition of ID that I've interpreted the OP referring to, and one that I think many ID advocates would adhere to. Are you seeing a difference here? Or am I somehow mistaken that there is a difference? TomTrebs (talk) 05:22, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Sorry, but an hour and a half video is too long for me to watch. Can you point out some portion that is most relevant? The claim that we can use patterns in biological phenomenon to infer the existence of a creator is unscientific. Science looks for physical causes that can be observed, measured and predicted. When scientists find something they cannot explain, they do not assume the cause must be supernatural, but continue looking for physical explanations. Now it could be that there is a creator and design in nature is evidence of it, but that is beyond the scope of science. But what is key is what reliable sources say. While conceivably you could persuade other editors, you need to persuade the academic community of that. TFD (talk) 05:42, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Like any Christian (and indeed any theist), I believe that the world has been created by God, and hence "intelligently designed". The hallmark of intelligent design, however, is the claim that this can be shown scientifically; I'm dubious about that. ...As far as I can see, God certainly could have used Darwinian processes to create the living world and direct it as he wanted to go; hence evolution as such does not imply that there is no direction in the history of life. What does have that implication is not evolutionary theory itself, but unguided evolution, the idea that neither God nor any other person has taken a hand in guiding, directing or orchestrating the course of evolution. But the scientific theory of evolution, sensibly enough, says nothing one way or the other about divine guidance. It doesn't say that evolution is divinely guided; it also doesn't say that it isn't. Like almost any theist, I reject unguided evolution; but the contemporary scientific theory of evolution just as such—apart from philosophical or theological add-ons—doesn't say that evolution is unguided. Like science in general, it makes no pronouncements on the existence or activity of God.

— Alvin Plantinga
This is what's the rub is about? Tgeorgescu (talk) 06:11, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Interesting quote, is the source online? Plantinga has seemed to be an ID apologist at times, that statement looks more conventional. However, don't think he's a scientist or evolutionary biologist. My understanding of modern evolution theory is that evolution is guided – mainly by natural selection, influenced by the physical environment as a whole (including other organisms) but with no scientifically detectable "guidance" from gods or flying spaghetti monsters. . . dave souza, talk 17:17, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
He basically agrees that it's not scientifically detectable. See "Evolution, Shibboleths, and Philosophers". The Chronicle of Higher Education. April 11, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-28. Tgeorgescu (talk) 17:51, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, think I may have got his double negatives mixed up but essentially it's a convoluted climb-down from his earlier position. For example, "Why couldn't a scientist think as follows? God has created the world, and of course He created everything in it directly or indirectly. After a great deal of study, we can't see how he created some phenomenon P (life, for example) indirectly; thus probably he has created it directly." (Plantinga, 1997) [1] Or, published in the same year as his climb-down, a 2010 review says Plantinga attacks evolution and seems to assume that a successful attack would provide evidence for ID."[2] The rub is that Alvin Plantinga is a theologian and philosopher of religion commenting from that perspective on science; for determination of whether ID is pseudoscience, we cite scientists and philosophers of science. . . dave souza, talk 22:59, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Yup, I was just curious to find out what the argument on this talk page was about. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
It's all in the section heading and the four comments by 129.96.83.47 which expansively claim, without sources, that the article should cover some other nicer ID. Supported by some, as usual, and with extended misunderstandings, but still no specific proposals for article improvement with suitable sources. While Plantinga was one of ID's few supporters with philosophical credence, the section you've quoted shows him accepting ID's failure to produce science. . . dave souza, talk 13:30, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
I do not see the relevance of the comments. Plantinga was an advocate of ID, but now claims it is unscientific. Unless a secondary source explains the relevance, there is no reason to discuss it. TFD (talk) 21:53, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, but an hour and a half video is too long for me to watch. Can you point out some portion that is most relevant? (talk) 05:42, 15 March 2019 (UTC) Certainly - I'll look it over again shortly and get back to you with the relevant timestamp. The claim that we can use patterns in biological phenomenon to infer the existence of a creator is unscientific That's right, it is a *philosophical* claim about how to interpret physical evidences. Hence, it is a claim in the philosophy of science. Science looks for physical causes that can be observed, measured and predicted. When scientists find something they cannot explain, they do not assume the cause must be supernatural, but continue looking for physical explanations. I'll let you be the judge after I get the timestamp for you, but the claim does not appear to me to be God of the gaps reasoning. It is instead a reflection on the nature of the physical observation itself. Now it could be that there is a creator and design in nature is evidence of it, but that is beyond the scope of science. Again - this is what is being debated. These *sorts* of claims don't rely on what scientific consensus thinks. If that was the case, Karl Poppers falsificationism would have been dead on arrival. I want to emphasise that I disagree with the discovery institute's proposal. What I do think, is that it is an interesting idea and worthy of being represented correctly. As far as I can tell, it is better represented as a claim about the nature of science (i.e. the claim is in the same category as the question of 'what makes something scientific'), not a claim about a particular subject of science (e.g. some phenomena of genetics or physical motion); the latter would make it subject to scientific consensus, the former does not. TomTrebs (talk) 07:07, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm a bit critical of your last comment. The quote demonstrates that Plantinga adheres to intelligent design (little i and d), but that like mainstream science and unlike ID advocates, doesn't think science *alone* can demonstrate that. I think that the quote is on topic, at least with regard to this thread. Perhaps an addendum to this article could be in the criticisms section, to emphasise the criticisms of other theists (like Plantinga), and emphasize the point he is making in this quote; that the scientific method alone is not able to identify the existence of an Intelligent Designer, and that this requires supplementary philosophical claims TomTrebs (talk) 07:07, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Checking the page on theistic realism, it seems as though Plantinga's views on this subject are more nuanced than people want to admit. On that page, he is accused by people of supporting ID through his work on 'theistic realism', and here we seem to have a recent quote of him being critical of the ID movement. These do not appear to me, to be a case of Plantinga backtracking and changing his opinion. TomTrebs (talk) 07:07, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't know what you seek to achieve. The existence/activity of God or gods is not a subject of science; it is a subject of philosophy and religion. And there is the article Teleological argument which discusses that philosophical/theological argument from design. This article is dedicated to the ID movement, which seeks to teach the existence of the Designer in science classes. That's what the rub is about, and its WP:N is due to that rub. So, there are different articles which discuss different subjects (science vs. philosophy and theology). So, unless you state something like "Change A to B, here are the WP:SOURCES" I suggest to drop the discussion. Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:56, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I don not see that there is any topic that exists which is neither ID nor the teleological argument and has been reported in reliable secondary sources as distinct. Saying something is beyond the scope of science is not an empirical theory but definitional. It's similar to saying that literary criticism is outside the scope of automobile mechanics. TFD (talk) 11:25, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Not about Intelligent design[edit]

This is not an article about Intelligent design, but rather a mocking of it. It presumes in the first sentence the theory is pseudoscience without any reason. The word pseudoscience is bandied about by people who lack scientific education and skills. There is really no such thing as pseudoscience as it was a word invented to describe Freud's psychoanalysis. Any theory is valid until proven not to be and cannot be summarily declared to be pseudoscience for convenience. I am neither for, or against the subject, but I am not going to read anything that declares something to be pseudoscience in the first sentence. You can state it is a theory that has not been proven by science. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.35.68.4 (talkcontribs) 15:49, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Nonsense. Anyway this page is for discussing improvements to the article, so why dont you 1). Come back when you understand how science works, and 2). read WP:NOTFORUM and 3) learn to sign your posts. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 15:57, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Roxy, it's not that you are wrong, but you could apply a little Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers, even on this talkpage. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 16:12, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Then again, not exactly a newcomer. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 16:15, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I've watched people try to whitewash this page since before the Atsme indecent incident (bloody spellchecker). Granted, what I said is perhaps a little harsh, but this is teh Internetz, so I don't feel in the least guilty. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 16:39, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Hmm, I don't remember Atsme editing this talkpage, indecent or otherwise. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 16:46, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
How far back does the fog of memory take you? -Roxy, the dog. wooF 17:10, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
OK, I've got six windows open to the project at the moment, and I was thinking about another one of them when I wrote the comment that I have now struck. Sorry to all concerned. -Roxy, the dog. wooF 17:19, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
ID differs from scientific theories in that it cannot be proved not to be valid. It's pseudoscience because its supporters pretend that it is a scientific theory. TFD (talk) 17:37, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
For those following along at home and the benefit of ID supporters who might wish to edit this article, the principle of falsifiability which is what TFD is refering to here, does not mean that the theory in question has been disproven. Rather, that the circumstances under which the theory would be false are known and explicitly stated. In other words, "if such and such condition were found to be true, then this theory would be false". ID is inherently unfalsifiable because it relies on the assumption that the universe was created by some (unstated, but usually understood to be god) entity outside the bounds of universe and laws of physics. Because the existence of such a being cannot be tested for and because IDers insist their meme is a "scientific theory", which it clearly is not, ID is therefore pseudoscience. - Nick Thorne talk 01:11, 17 May 2019 (UTC)