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Intelligent Design As A Theory - Online Essay

Intelligent Design As A Theory


ABSTRACT: For the scientific community intelligent design represents creationism's latest grasp at scientific legitimacy. Accordingly, intelligent design is viewed as yet another ill-conceived attempt by creationists to straightjacket science within a religious ideology. But in fact intelligent design can be formulated as a scientific theory having empirical consequences and devoid of religious commitments. Intelligent design can be unpacked as a theory of information. Within such a theory, information becomes a reliable indicator of design as well as a proper object for scientific investigation. In my paper I shall (1) show how information can be reliably detected and measured, and (2) ...

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and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Bill has done post-doctoral work at MIT, University of Chicago, Northwestern, Princeton, Cambridge, and Notre Dame. He has been a National Science Foundation doctoral and post-doctoral fellow. His publications range from mathematics to philosophy to theology. His monograph The Design Inference will appear with Cambridge University Press in 1998. In it he describes the logic whereby rational agents infer intelligent causes. He is working with Stephen Meyer and Paul Nelson on a book entitled Uncommon Descent, which seeks to reestablish the legitimacy and fruitfulness of design within biology.
1. INFORMATION
In Steps Towards Life Manfred Eigen (1992, p. 12) identifies what he regards as the central problem facing origins-of-life research: "Our task is to find an algorithm, a natural law that leads to the origin of information." Eigen is only half right. To determine how life began, it is indeed necessary to understand the origin of ...

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realization of a state of affairs) with the reduction in uncertainty, the elimination of possibilities, represented by that event or state of affairs." To be sure, whenever signals are transmitted across a communication channel, one possibility is actualized to the exclusion of others, namely, the signal that was transmitted to the exclusion of those that weren't. But this is only a special case. Information in the first instance presupposes not some medium of communication, but contingency. Robert Stalnaker (1984, p. 85) makes this point clearly: "Content requires contingency. To learn something, to acquire information, is to rule out possibilities. To understand the information conveyed ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/4/2004 04:38:01 PM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Free Paper
Words: 8315
Pages: 31

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