The Scientific Method, and how Intelligent Design Doesn’t Fit It

If you’re not familiar with the scientific method, or if you need a refresher, please see the article linked below from Wikipedia.

Scientific method – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The heart of the scientific method is the multi-step, sometimes iterative process shown below:

From the wikipedia article linked above

Really, the whole crux of the Intelligent Design (ID) debate rests in step 3. Intelligent Design does not form a hypothesis.  A hypothesis is a statement of what is thought to be the case, worded in a falsifiable way.  I actually have a problem with the list above. Perhaps step 7.5 should be “Confirm or deny the hypothesis.” There are technical issues here involving what are known as “null hypotheses,” but I don’t remember them, and they’re not strictly relevant to the rest of my point. Here are some possible hypotheses:

  1. Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen
  2. My shoes are black
  3. Things lofted into the air will fall back to earth
  4. I was a cow in my previous life
  5. Every object with mass bends spacetime
  6. The sky is green during the day
  7. The living soul of a human is established at conception

Can you pick out the ones that are not actually hypotheses? I’m having a really hard time with this. I’m focused on Intelligent Design, so I tend to come up with non-hypotheses that relate to ID.  I can’t think of many other non-hypotheses, as most things can now be tested and investigated to the extent of support or falsification. Appropriately, most of the non-hypotheses that I can come up with are politically charged. Do you see the connection? They’re politically charged because nobody can ever prove whether they are true or not, and so what you end up with is a bunch of arguing on a national and global scale, over things which can never be proven. By the way, the non-hypotheses are numbers four and seven. Even if the others are incorrect, they are testable — falsifiable.

This, as I see it, is the end of the Intelligent Design issue. ID has no place in science. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of money and politicking involved in the issue. If enough people bullshit, loudly and frequently, other people start to listen and believe. That doesn’t make what’s being said not bullshit. Try an experiment. Come up with some outlandish lie. Something that’s possible, but highly improbable about you or that could have happened in the news. Start telling people. See how many check it out, how many believe it at face value, how many call your bullshit. You won’t gain a lot of trust this way, but you might discover something interesting.

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One thought on “The Scientific Method, and how Intelligent Design Doesn’t Fit It

  1. Alex

    I’m in the middle of writing a ten page paper on this “debate.” I’m going to expose it as the cynical political sham that it is. I’ll tell you if I come up with anything interesting.

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