Answers to “Ideological Turing Test”


tl;dr: definitions 3, 5, 7, and 9 are among the answers Barry Arrington says ”…demonstrate no more than a superficial understanding of, and a contempt for, ID”; all the others are from advocates of intelligent design.

I include my own deleted answer (#5) among those Arrington dismisses, since Arrington must have seen it before he made his ‘superficial and contemptuous’ comment.

No one got them all right, for example various commenters thought that answers from Michael Behe, vjtorley, Stephen Meyer, and intelligentdesign.org were from critics of intelligent design. And that, of course, is the point. Arrington dismisses as superficial and contemptuous definitions that are pretty much the same as those offered by fellows of the Discovery Institute. In fact (and I’m surprised no one pointed this out), two of them ARE the same: #2, from the Discovery Institute website intelligentdesign.org, is word for word identical to #7, one of the answers Arrington says is wrong. So according to Arrington, the Discovery Institute’s own definition of intelligent design fails his test. I’d love to point that out, but of course I’ve been banned.


Most of the answers are substantively the same: some aspects of nature are best explained by an intelligent agent. That’s a fair paraphrase of every answer here, except Dr. Behe’s, though some add a bit more detail. Here are the full answers with links to their sources:

  1. Intelligent design is a scientific theory that argues that the best explanation for some natural phenomena is an intelligence cause, especially when we find certain types of information and complexity in nature which in our experience are caused by intelligence. — Casey Luskin http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/what_is_the_the075281.html
  1. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. — Center for Science & Culture, a Discovery Institute website  http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php
  1. Intelligent Design suggests that some aspects of the natural world are best explained as coming about through design. The arguments for this view are largely based on the improbability of other mechanisms (e.g. evolution) producing the world we observe. Most current research in ID is based on calculating these improbabilities (usually using information theory). — Bob O’H, one of the “superficial and contemptuous” answers. http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ideological-turing-test/
  1. By “intelligent design” (ID) I mean to imply design beyond the simple laws of nature. That is, taking the laws of nature as given, are there other reasons for concluding that life and its component systems have been intentionally arranged, just as there are reasons beyond the laws of nature for concluding a mousetrap was designed? — Michael Behe, Behe M J 2001. Reply to my critics: a response to reviews of Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 16:685–709.
  1. Intelligent design is the proposition that some features of the natural world, especially of living things, are best explained by the influence of an intelligent agent (in some accounts, the agent in question is supernatural). — me. This is part of the answer that got me banned from Uncommon Descent. 
  1. Intelligent design maintains that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than unguided natural processes. — Jonathan Wells http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/07/what_is_intelligent_design007961.html
  1. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. — DaveS, one of the “superficial and contemptuous” answers, identical to #2. http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ideological-turing-test/
  1. Intelligent Design is the search for circumstantial empirical evidence indicating that either Nature itself, or certain patterns in Nature, can be best explained scientifically as the product of an intelligent agent (or agents). — vjtorley http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/noors-non-sequitur-or-did-hitler-believe-in-intelligent-design/
  1. Intelligent design advocates argue that some features of the natural world are best explained by the action of some intelligence, rather than natural and/or undirected forces. In biology this goal is usually pursued by demonstrating that biological systems (including particular proteins, other gene products and interactions among these molecules) could not have have been generated by the biological processes known to generate and filter genetic diversity. — wd400, one of the “superficial and contemptuous” answers. http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ideological-turing-test/
  1. Intelligent Design holds that the universe and its living things are not simply the product of random chance; an intelligent cause is behind their existence. — Paul Weyrich (as quoted by William Dembski) http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/paul-weyrich-on-id/
  1. …the idea that certain features of the natural world are better explained as the product of a guiding transcendent intelligence than as the result of unguided natural processes.” Stephen Meyer (as quoted by David Klinghoffer) http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/04/never_mind_what102744.html

Comments

  1. says

    I did catch that two of the answers were identical, but I thought it was just a copying error. I never for a moment imagined that one would be “correct” and the other “wrong”.

  2. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Superficial and contemptuous is supposed to describe the definitions? Or the cdesign proponentsists themselves?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *