John Rennie deconstructs an IDist’s own definition of Intelligent Design. Here’s that definition:
ID is the claim that there exist patterns in nature that are best explained by intelligent agency. ID doesn’t claim to be a default explanation. It is claimed to be a legitimate hypothesis, supported by a large body of evidence, that deserves consideration without being rejected on principle because of a preconceived metaphysical bias.
Sentence by sentence, that definition is untenable. Read Rennie for the big picture, but I just want to focus on that last clause: the “preconceived metaphysical bias.” That’s a common creationist code phrase that you’ll hear a lot in this debate, and it can be translated as “scientists reject supernatural explanations.” That IDists claim to have a “best” explanation or that they actually have evidence in support of their beliefs becomes completely irrelevant when they cap their definition with the idea that you shouldn’t need rational, logical, tested explanations or any kind of empirical, natural evidence—the first part of the definition is a tacit admission of the need to meet the standards of our “metaphysical bias,” science, and that last bit is a rejection of science!
I think they need to cultivate a little more honesty and consistency, and lay out in detail what their metaphysical bias might be. Mine is that the processes of the natural world are sufficient to explain physical reality, and that what we require to understand the natural world are natural explanations. I’d like to see a summary of their biases and a list of the supernatural evidence that IDists want to use to support their contentions.