philosophy of science

sculptor face.jpg
A sculptor sculpts a sculpture of a person's face. Horizontal frame
A sculptor sculpts a sculpture of a person's face. Horizontal frame

Encyclopedia Entry on Intelligent Design

Intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause? To see what’s at stake, consider Mount Rushmore. The evidence for Mount Rushmore’s design is direct — eyewitnesses saw the sculptor Gutzon Borglum spend the better part of his life Read More ›

The Methodological Equivalence of Design & Descent:

Reprinted from The Creation Hypothesis, ed. by J.P. Moreland (InterVarsity Press, 1994) During the last thirty years the idea of design has undergone a renaissance in some scientific and philosophical circles. Developments in physics and cosmology, in particular, have placed the word design back in the scientific vocabulary as physicists have unveiled a universe apparently fine-tuned for the possibility of Read More ›

Organic Farming
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ID as a Theory of Technological Evolution

1. Nature and Art In Book II of the Physics Aristotle remarks, “If the ship-building art were in the wood, it would produce the same results by nature.” Aristotle is here contrasting nature and art. Nature provides the raw materials (here wood); art provides the means for fashioning those materials (here into a ship). For Aristotle, art consists in the Read More ›

Virtualization of Understanding

Philosophical Objections to Intelligent Design

I. Is Intelligent Design Falsifiable? Some reviewers of Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) have raised philosophical objections to intelligent design. I will discuss several of these over the next few sections, beginning with the question of falsifiability. To decide whether, or by what evidence, it is falsifiable, one first has to be sure what is meant by “intelligent design.” By Read More ›

Edison style light bulb with double helix filament
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DNA and Other Designs

For two millennia, the design argument provided an intellectual foundation for much of Western thought. From classical antiquity through the rise of modern science, leading philosophers, theologians, and scientists — from Plato to Aquinas to Newton — maintained that nature manifests the design of a preexistent mind or intelligence. Moreover, for many Western thinkers, the idea that the physical universe Read More ›

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The Demarcation of Science and Religion

What is science? What is religion? How do the two intersect? Historians of science address these questions by analyzing how the scientific and religious beliefs of particular scientists or cultures have interacted at specific times. Philosophers of science and religion, however, have sought to characterize the relationship between them in more general terms. Their endeavor has required defining science and religion in order to distinguish or "demarcate" them from each other by clear and objective criteria. During modern times, theologians and philosophers of science have attempted to make categorical demarcations between science and religion on various definitional grounds. Read More ›