This article appears in the peer-reviewed* volume Darwinism, Design, and Public Education published with Michigan State University Press. In “Reinstating Design within Science,” Dembski argues that advances in the information sciences have provided a theoretical basis for detecting the prior action of an intelligent agent. Starting from the commonsense observation that we make design inferences all the time, Dembski shows that we do so on the basis of clear criteria. He then shows how those criteria, complexity and specification, reliably indicate intelligent causation. He gives a rational reconstruction of a method by which rational agents decide between competing types of explanation, those based on chance, physical-chemical necessity, or intelligent design. Since he asserts we can detect design by reference to objective criteria, Dembski also argues for the scientific legitimacy of inferences to intelligent design.
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* Darwinism, Design, and Public Education is an interdisciplinary volume that was peer-reviewed by a professor of biological sciences, a professor of philosophy of science and a professor of rhetoric of science.