Sunday, April 15, 2007

Will falsifying IC falsify ID?

IDists like to think so. For example, Michael Behe has said that if it could be shown that the bacterial flagellum could be shown to arise through darwinian mechanisms, then his irreducible complexity (IC) argument would fall. Some people see this as proof that ID is falsifiable - and that, because of this, ID is science. This conclusion is, however, a non-sequiteur - for two reasons:

1: It doesn't matter what Behe says about falsifying IC. The falsifiability has to be built in to the IC hypothesis. It isn't. Even if the bacterial flagellum was shown to arise "naturally", there is still a long list of other "IC" structures to examine. IDists could play that game 'til the end of time.
2: Falsifying IC does no falsify ID. There are more criteria by which IDists recognize intelligent design such as Dembski's CSI. Some of the IDists arguments even go outside of biology, such as the fine-tuning of the cosmological constants. If these were different, life (and depending on how they are set - even matter) could not exist.

So the question in the heading should really be: is there really any way to test ID? Under what circumstance could we show that ID is not a good "hypothesis"? This is a question to IDers, btw?


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