Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

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How to Tell if You're NOT an Intelligent Design Proponent

Taking the publication of Stephen Meyer's bestseller Darwin's Doubt as his news hook, our colleague the University of Texas, El Paso, mathematician Granville Sewell smartly answers a good question: What do you have believe if you're NOT a proponent of intelligent design? Writes Dr. Sewell in an El Paso Times op-ed:

So what do ID proponents believe?

Perhaps the best way to answer this question is to state clearly what you have to believe to not believe in intelligent design. Peter Urone, in his 2001 physics text "College Physics" writes, "One of the most remarkable simplifications in physics is that only four distinct forces account for all known phenomena."

The prevailing view in science today is that physics explains all of chemistry, chemistry explains all of biology, and biology completely explains the human mind; thus physics alone explains the human mind and all it does. This is what you have to believe to not believe in intelligent design, that the origin and evolution of life, and the evolution of human consciousness and intelligence, are due entirely to a few unintelligent forces of physics.

Thus you must believe that a few unintelligent forces of physics alone could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics into computers and science texts and jet airplanes.

Contrary to popular belief, to be an ID proponent you do not have to believe that all species were created simultaneously a few thousand years ago, or that humans are unrelated to earlier primates, or that natural selection cannot cause bacteria to develop a resistance to antibiotics.

If you believe that a few fundamental, unintelligent forces of physics alone could have rearranged the basic particles of physics into Apple iPhones, you are probably not an ID proponent, even if you believe in God. But if you believe there must have been more than unintelligent forces at work somewhere, somehow, in the whole process: congratulations, you are one of us after all!

The great point Granville makes is that far from ID proponents being the ones who should be on the defensive, it's really design deniers who are saddled with a heavy load of presumptive error. The real burden of proof lies on them. Poor guys!