Intelligent Design Movement

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See also Creation Science.
Discovery Institute at wikipedia.

"intelligent design" compared to "Intelligent Design"

This page deals with the political movement in the United States, which lays claim to Intelligent Design with capital letters. For more general arguments from our perception of design in nature, and the difference between intelligent design and Intelligent Design (with capitals) see Arguments from Design.

Phillip E. Johnson

The cover of the Wedge Document

As his Wikipedia page says,

Phillip E. Johnson (June 18, 1940 – November 2, 2019) was a UC Berkeley law professor, opponent of evolutionary science, co-founder of the pseudo-scientific intelligent design movement, author of the "Wedge strategy" and co-founder of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture (website: CSC). He described himself as "in a sense the father of the intelligent design movement".[1]

The Wedge Strategy, as outlined in the secret but leaked "Wedge Document", was a political and "publicity" campaign based on the assumption of conflict between science and religion, and designed:

  • "To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies"
  • "To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God"


  • Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design by Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross, 2007

Dr William Dembski

William ("Bill") Dembski supplied mathematical skills to the ID Movement, from which he "retired" in September, 2016 — see "Retirement" from Intelligent Design.

In June 2020, in a post entitled Retirement ≠ Repudiation he stated that he is "happy with the work [he's] done on intelligent design and repudiate[s] none of it.”

Dembski's "intelligent design prediction"

See [1]. Dembski's "intelligent design prediction" is: "attempted enhancements of the human germ line using CRISPR gene editing will (1) quickly hit an “enhancement boundary” beyond which enhancements are no longer feasible and (2) prove self-canceling in the sense that intended benefits will be undone by unintended deficits."

Does this prediction have Predictive Power in a scientific sense? Dembski calls it "an intelligent design prediction" because, he says, "intelligent design has always regarded the creative potential of natural selection as minimal".

In other words: the ID assumption is that natural selection can't produce evolution of species; CRISPR is similar selection applied artificially; thus it won't be able to do it either.

Testability: In my opinion part (2) is probably provable as long as it's assumed that the benefits and deficits will arrive at more or less the same time; but part (1) is simply arm-waving without definitions of "quickly" and "enhancements".

Bruce (talk) 1 August 2021


Fellows of the Discovery Institute include many famous names of the movement against biological evolution.

  1. Defending Intelligent Design - NOVA, 6 April 2007 [2]