The argument from design is the Comeback Kid of theistic arguments. Once long neglected, recent discoveries in cosmology and physics have brought the word design back into philosophical and scientific discussions. Molecular biologist and Nobel Prize winner, Francis Crick once concluded “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would be satisfied to get it going.”
However, many (including Crick) are critical of allowing a theistic conclusion to follow from the growing awareness of the finely-tuned cosmic architecture. Some go so far as to say that such theories are not scientific – either because theories of design violate the purpose of science ( it is argued that science a priori must be defined as the pursuit of naturalistic explanations to natural processes) or because such theories violate the practice of science (not meeting requirements of observability, testability, etc).
Into this debate, philosopher of science and atheist, Bradley Morton has written a new book arguing that the theory of Intelligent Design is science and that its arguments are stronger than most realize. In Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design, the professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado discusses the plausibility of arguments for a cosmic designer, the scientific legitimacy of design theories and even whether such theories may be taught in public school education. The book is a unique one in the philosophy of science and it looks to significantly develop and enhance the debate surrounding Intelligent Design.
Chapter Description from the publisher:
Chapter 1: What Is Intelligent Design, and Why Might an Atheist Believe In It?
After setting aside the culture wars that many people associate with the intelligent design movement, Monton discusses the issue of what exactly the doctrine of intelligent design amounts to.
In Chapter 2: Why It Is Legitimate to Treat Intelligent Design as Science
Monton discusses the ruling of Judge Jones in the recent Dover, Pennsylvania intelligent design trial, and he takes issue with his arguments for the claim that intelligent design is not science.
In Chapter 3: Some Somewhat Plausible Intelligent Design Arguments
Monton takes up four arguments for intelligent design that he thinks are somewhat plausible: an argument based on the fine-tuning of the fundamental constants of physics, an argument based on the beginning of the universe, an argument based on the improbability of life originating from non-life, and an argument that suggests that we’re living in a computer simulation.
In Chapter 4: Should Intelligent Design Be Taught in School?
Monton argues that it could benefit students’ science education to see the arguments for and against intelligent design, and to be introduced to the philosophy of science issues that are key components of those arguments.