Analysis of Arguments Against Id Essay

Submitted By Deadfishfactory1
Words: 972
Pages: 4

Danh Nguyen
Bio Sci E142W

Analysis of the Arguments against Intelligent Design

Ayala argues that intelligent design is not a scientific theory. His first premise deals with the fact that scientific theories must be falsifiable, and his second premise deals with the false dichotomy of evolution and intelligent design. While his arguments are logically valid, an objection that could be made about his argument is his definition of intelligent design. One of the premises of Ayala’s argument is that for a theory to be scientific, it must be falsifiable. Since intelligent design proponents tell us that we cannot know the mind of a designer, intelligent design is untestable. It can then be concluded that because it is untestable, it cannot be a scientific theory. This is a deductive argument, and it is extremely convincing because intelligent design does not state who or what the creator could be or what its motives are in designing life. This is the very argument that intelligent design proponents used to argue against why some of the features of life are designed so imperfectly or inefficiently (Ayala 374-5). A specific example that supports the premise that intelligent design is unfalsifiable is the chromosomal difference between man and chimpanzee. All of the great apes shared a 24 pairs of chromosomes while humans shared 23 pairs of chromosomes. Intelligent design proponents would simply say that the difference is due to the design of the designer. However, when it was found that chromosome 2 of humans was a result of two chromosomes fusing (thus showing that the great apes and humans did share the same number of chromosomes), the intelligent design proponents could only say that the designer designed it that way (Kurpalac). Since the proponents explained both outcomes, it is unfalsifiable. Another premise that Ayala brought up is the fact that choosing only between evolution and intelligent design is a false dichotomy. If evolution is proven wrong, then it does not make intelligent design a scientific theory or right by default. Ayala’s premises are sound, as false dichotomies are simply fallacies. Merely showing that one theory is wrong does nothing to show that the other theory is correct. However, intelligent design proponents seem to exaggerate the significance of this false dichotomy. They do very little to support intelligent design, and instead choose to attack the theory of evolution. Using the chromosome example mentioned above, during the period where scientists did not know about the chromosomal fusion, intelligent design proponents argued that the chromosomal difference showed that humans and apes could not have shared a common ancestor. This was used to support the idea of intelligent design, as common ancestry is central to evolution (Kurpalac). Even if there was never any evidence of a chromosomal fusion, and humans and the great apes just have different chromosome numbers without an evolutionary explanation as to why, this would not be evidence for intelligent design. The false dichotomy arises, as this evidence only weakens evolutionary theory, and not necessarily strengthens intelligent design. An anomaly does not require that the theory of evolution be thrown out completely, because it could simply be modified to try to encompass the new evidence. Even if evolutionary theory was to be shown to be completely wrong all across the board, it still would not make intelligent design right. The answer then would simply be: “we do not know.” A possible objection to Ayala’s argument regarding its validity as a scientific theory would be that intelligent design is falsifiable because it produces theories and is working from observations. For example, the Discovery Institute claims “Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high