Volume 77, Issue 4, Fall 2003
Intelligent Design and the End of Science
In his recent anthology, Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, Robert Pennock continues his attack on what he considers to be the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design Theory. In this critical review, I discuss the main issues in the debate. Although the volume’s rhetoric is often heavy and the articles are intentionally stacked against Intelligent Design, it touches upon many interesting topics in the philosophy of science. I conclude that, contra Pennock, there is nothing intrinsically unscientific about Intelligent Design. At this stage, however, it remains more of a provocative idea than a research program. Whether design theorists can bridge this gap is still very much in question. In any case, the debate serves as a case study for such classic problems as the nature of scientific explanations, theory change, the demarcation problem, and the role of metaphysical assumptions in the development of science.