Why intelligent design fails

ResearchBlogging.org Is intelligent design science, or not? Think carefully before you answer. The modern intelligent design (ID) movement is motivated by theological concerns and trades in on religious authority to meet its aims, but stripped of this background, can ID be relegated to the "junk science" bin? While the answer to this latter question is "Yes", in a new paper ("The science question in intelligent design") Sahotra Sarkar argues that proclaiming ID to be non-science without careful consideration does little good.

As Sarkar notes, there is no easily definable demarcation criteria to deem ID science or non-science without further consideration. Separating science from non-science has traditionally been a very thorny problem, and sometimes definitions are proposed that allow obviously non-scientific claims while booting out clearly scientific ones. What we might think of as scientific ideas at the beginning of their development, especially, may somewhat resemble what we deride as non-science during political posturing. There is indeed a difference between science and non-science, but it is doctrines that lie near the boundary (claims that trade in the language of science, at least) which can be difficult to classify. Only after we consider what intelligent design claims to explain can we more fully assess whether it can be considered science or not.

The problem is that intelligent design advocates have done a slipshod job of explaining what ID is all about. Words like "design", "complexity", "intelligence", etc. are thrown around without any explanation of what they mean in the context of ID. The meanings of these terms are left for the audience to interpret, and this is consistent with both the theological underpinnings of the modern ID movement and the aims of that movement to acquire adherents through popular channels. An evangelical Christian (i.e. a target audience member for ID advocates) will interpret the "designer" or "intelligence" as the Judeo-Christian god. Indeed, in terms of the identity or characteristics of a Designer ID advocates are intentionally vague and often describe the designer they have in mind by using the analogy of a human design (which we can assume is not the universal Designer they have in mind).

Could there, however, be some shred of science in what ID advocates propose? While it does not allow for infallible demarcation between science and non-science, Sarkar checks to see what substantive claims ID makes. The problem is, as the famous creationist Philip Johnson has said, is that there is no "theory of ID" to be discussed.

As alluded to earlier, the general lack of an "theory of ID" can be attributed to a lack of definitions. ID advocates go on and on about detecting "intelligence", but how are they defining "intelligence"? How does their concept of "intelligence" relate to the physical world? Sarkar takes an ID favorite, a bacterial flagellum, and asks why this particular part of the bacteria is considered the work of an intelligent being. Indeed, it is especially perplexing that ID advocates stress that it is an intricately designed feature but (according to them) the removal of any one part will cause it to cease functioning. This is more of an argument against evolution (i.e. this structure could not have evolved) than a positive example of design, especially since nothing about how the structure was designed or the supposed intelligence behind it is explained.

As Sarkar notes, ID truly relies on Christian theology, especially for definitions of words like "designer" and "intelligence." Perhaps these terms are left intentionally vague so that they can easily be understood by those receptive to ID as representing a particular deity. Indeed, since modern ID is (at present) primarily a cultural movement it may not be in the best interest of ID advocates to define their terms explicitly. The development of a new science is not the goal of ID advocates so much as the overthrow of evolutionary science is.

In confronting ID, then, we should take care before stating that it is not science. Doing so without full explanation of why ID fails invokes the rather thorny demarcation problem, which does have some potential to backfire. A better method may be to point out that ID cannot be treated as a science until its core terms, like "intelligence" and "design", are sufficiently defined. This criticism cuts more directly into the aims and behavior of ID advocates and avoids the relatively sticky philosophical ground of what is and what is not science. I hope Sarkar's proposal does not fall on deaf ears.

Sarkar, S. (2009). The science question in intelligent design Synthese DOI: 10.1007/s11229-009-9540-x

[Hat-tip to John Wilkins]

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Where is the falsifiability? How can you prove that there is no intelligent designer?

Oddly enough, this seems *exactly* like trying to prove God doesn't exist.

Colin; If you haven't already, check out the paper. Sarkar goes into a bit of detail about falsifiability, etc. and more "traditional" modes of demarcation between science and non-science. What I like about his method is that it not only shows the "scientific" portions of ID to be either undefined or incoherent, but it also helps reveals the religious underpinnings of the arguments of ID advocates.

ID advocates go on and on about detecting "intelligence", but how are they defining "intelligence"?

I remember reading (a few years ago or so) on the Pandas Thumb some discussion about that. Apparently Dembski had done some defining of intelligence in a way that included such things as beaches and, amusingly, natural selection as "intelligent agents". I seem to recall it was anything that could sort. I've tried a few times to find it again, but haven't been successful. My search-fu is weak.

As far as the main topic of your post is concerned, I think it would be fair to say that ID could be science, but hasn't really been so far. It's at the idea stage, but most of its ideas that I've seen have been shot down. The sad part is that they're trying to get it to be mainstream before it's developed enough to really be anything.

Laelaps, sorry no access and I'm not up for the $34 to read it.

Pough; Thanks for the note. I'll keep my eyes open for that. I know Dembski has been doing some waffling about his explanatory filter lately (i.e. abandoned it until people said "Hey, he abandoned it!" at which time he said he wasn't), but otherwise I haven't heard much in the way of definitions.

ID seems to be in a bit of a bind. The dress up negative arguments against evolutionary theory as positive examples of ID and have not carefully developed a "theory of ID." If they did at least we would have something to talk about, but as such there does not seem to be much of a push in that direction. The main contributions towards that end have been made by Dembski, but as Sarkar has pointed out, his arguments (like the explanatory filter and csi) are either insufficient or incoherent.

It's not necessary to appeal to religion to defend ID. I suppose it's easier to erect the straw man of religion and then attack it, rather than address the broader definition of ID. To ridicule religion is not a proof or disproof of anything; it merely shows the paltry supply of logical arrows in your quiver. If it makes you more comfortable, consider the possibility that aliens of immense power and intellect engineered the creation of our universe through an initial "Big Bang." Does this stimulate any logical, rather than ad hominem assertions?

I agree with pough. ID could be science (e.g. if "intelligent" and "design" were carefully defined, among other things), but it hasn't been science so far. And, as far as I can see, that's because its leading proponents really aren't interested in ID as science at all. They're only interested in ID as anti-materialist ideology, as a creationist trojan horse for science classes, and so on.

Kerry; I am a bit puzzled by your comment. No one here is ridiculing religion. Instead I merely pointed out how the religious beliefs of top ID advocates are influencing the concept they are trying to sell as science, even though they have not yet turned ID into a science. The point of this summary (and the paper that inspired it) was to show how ID advocates use terms loosely and have not formulated any "theory of ID." It doesn't matter what sort of designer I am "comfortable with." How can anyone expect to get at the identity of the designer without defining terms like "intelligence" and "design" that are critical to this issue? That ID advocates believe God is the designer, without fully developing their science, only undermines their position.

Colin #1:

Where is the falsifiability?

Please can we replace the horrible and misleading word "falsifiable" by "testable" or "provable" (using "prove" in its older sense of to test)? I understand what the term "falsifiable" means in philosophy of science way (or at least I think I do), but if one states that "the theory of evolution by natural selection is falsifiable" that's going to be be heard by many non-scientists as "the ToE by NS will be found to be false".

On the other hand, if one says that "the intelligent design produces no falsifiable theories", doesn't that sound like a good thing? Wow! All of ID's theories are so good they can't be falsified! So they can't be false! So they must be true! Those evil scientists admit it!

In a way, the ToE is not falsifiable, simply because all attempts to falsify it have failed. But it clearly is testable, because it has been tested, tested and tested.

Good science, bad words!

But the whole of the ID as science or non-science argument is a red herring. Creationism is about politics and power, not about science and biology. ID is simply its rather tatty cloak of invisibility. It is a mistake to think that creationists can be won over with scientific arguments.

Where is the falsifiability? How can you prove that there is no intelligent designer?

By pointing to any of the many instances of stupid design.

Of course, IDologists like to say "hang on a second, how can you tell it's really stupid? You don't know what the Designer was thinking. Perhaps the Designer is just smarter than you." This makes the designer ineffable and thus removes ID creationism from science.

By David MarjanoviÄ (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Where is the falsifiability? How can you prove that there is no intelligent designer?

Easy. No self respecting Creator would release such a botched design. :-P I mean, seriously, cancer? Endless defects? Male pattern baldness? My -10.5 diopter right eye (and -9.5 in the left)?

Cripes, you'd think humanity was designed by Microsoft, because if you want to fix a lot of this stuff you have to edit the registry (DNA). ;-) Sadly, reboots are not yet possible although crashes, including the final, hard drive wiping crash, are all too common.

Unless this deity *intended* things to be like this, and that's not something I like to consider, because then God is pretty much like Keith Ledger's version of The Joker.

By Quiet Desperation (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

Or *Heath* Ledger, even. D'oh!

By Quiet Desperation (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

David, showing a "stupid design" to be stupid doesn't disprove the existence of an intelligent designer because you have to make a subjective evaluation of "stupid". Subjective evaluation as proof doesn't belong in science. We have strict definitions of, say, a meter so when I say "475 nm wavelength" you know I'm talking 475 nm not what you think is 475 nm.

Talk "optimal design" instead of intelligent then we might get somewhere...

Certainly carnivorous predators having an easier time digesting saturated, even-carbon-numbered fats is a more optimal design if prey have saturated, even-carbon-numbered fats, yes?

The most important thing about intelligent design is that it is a group exercise in massive intellectual dishonesty. My hat is off to anyone who undertakes the search effort to see if there are any worthwhile ideas floating in that sewer.

There is a theory of ID in Intelligent Design message from the Designers, but the ID community does not yet appear to be aware of it. Recently an evolutionary biologist, suggested that if evolution were to be replaced, it would have to be with a better theory.I would venture to suggest the theory in the above mentioned book, could be a candidate for replacing evolution.The progressive design evidenced by the evolution was presumed to be nature.Given that our scientists are approaching the first rung of the ladder of artificially creating life, through the synthesis of DNA, can we not now start to consider the idea of progression of design by very advanced science? Our scientists will follow more or less the pathways of the theory of evolution and through increasing levels of complexity of design will eventually be able to create man ' in their own image'. Then our scientists will become like those our ancestors , mistook for gods.The thing about this theory is that it allows for a simple explanation for the original intent behind all the world religions,that being for 'good measure' to give our humanity the best chance of surviving that scientifically predictable phase in our future developmen,t when we would reach a level of technology where we could potentially self-destruct. i.e Hiroshima. From this point forward our humanity entered that final and scientifically prdictable phase in it's development where science accelerates alongside population. If this is science fiction, then within the context of the theory, so are the dangers of nuclear war. We are on our own but not alone. It is up to our humanity to understand or unfortunately we will go the way of the many humanities that have existed on this very ancient planet.

Unless you define "stupid design," it is ridiculous to assert that the universe cannot be the result of ID because some of its features seem "stupid."
Let me try to focus the discussion into something constructive:
How would one scientifically test the hypothesis: Aliens of immense power and intellect engineered the creation of our universe through an initial "Big Bang."
Or this hypothesis: From a probabilistic point of view, it is more likely that (1) Aliens of immense power and intellect engineered the creation of our universe through an initial "Big Bang" than (2) The universe and the life within it is the result of a design-free Big Bang and billions of years of evolution.

Quiet, this ties to my previous comment toward David.

By pointing out cancer as "botched" you have performed a subjective evaluation of a, for lack of a better work, "feature".

I'll play the game for a second as devil's advocate.

If you were to design a mortal race how would you design in the mortality? A blinky light on your hand when your time is up so you know when to say your good byes and you just *poof* disappear the next week? Death is not pretty no matter how you do it be it cancer or exsanguination or a demyelinating disease or coronary atherosclerosis or ...

" ... showing a "stupid design" to be stupid doesn't disprove the existence of an intelligent designer because you have to make a subjective evaluation of "stupid"."

How do we avoid subjectivity in our quest for objective science? Not easy, as Neil DeGrasse and Francisco J. Ayala attest to the 'stupid design' args on a regular basis.

"Talk "optimal design" instead of intelligent then we might get somewhere ... "

Optimal is key, of course, since the extant designs work. The non perfect, or sub-optimal arguments are based on a religious assumption that the designer is omniscient, and thus His designs must also be. Interesting that many atheists cite a Biblical description of the designer to make a vacuous point.

Due to unavoidable pitfalls is the biosphere, anomalies occur, cancer being one. Modifications to the immune system could well reduce its occurance, and could be considered sub-optimal design. But was biologic life intended to be perfect? I doubt it.

Regarding predator/ prey and parasite/ host relationships, it's apparent that either a competitive world was intended (one designer or design team), or designs were by competitive designers (or design groups). Over vast time, the second scenario is viable.

There are many more refutations of theodicidal (result of theodicy) philosophical arguments, including bioforms being vehicles for corporeal field trips by true life forms (spirit). In short, they do nothing to remove design inferences.

By Lee Bowman (not verified) on 08 Jun 2009 #permalink

I've read Behe, Dembski, Meyer, Wells, and Johnson, among other IDists, and as far as I can see the complete content of Intelligent Design "theory" can be expressed in one sentence:

Sometime or other, some intelligent agent (or agents) designed some thing, and then somehow manufactured that thing in matter and energy, all the while leaving no independent evidence of the design process or the manufacturing process and no independent evidence of the presence (or even the existence) of the designing and/or manufacturing agent(s).

While it's difficult to draw a bright line between science and non-science, surely one criterion is testability. And ID "theory" immunizes itself from test by failing to specify anything at all about how the process it invokes -- "intelligence" -- does anything.

As the man said, I may not be able to say exactly when day ends and night begins, but I sure as Hell can tell the difference between them.

pough wrote

I remember reading (a few years ago or so) on the Pandas Thumb some discussion about that. Apparently Dembski had done some defining of intelligence in a way that included such things as beaches and, amusingly, natural selection as "intelligent agents". I seem to recall it was anything that could sort. I've tried a few times to find it again, but haven't been successful. My search-fu is weak.

A member of TalkRational and Secular Cafe, Febble, who was then a theist, was banned from Uncommon Descent for pointing that out on UD. The PT discussion I just linked to is possibly the one pough was looking for.

Ben, that's not really an improvement. Where did the superior beings who created us come from, then? Attributing our existence to a more powerful being/culture/intelligence, no matter what form it takes, just passes the buck. You still have to explain where that higher power came from.

It's like the panspermia idea of the origin of life--if life came from space, then where did the space life come from? At some point, you have to actually answer the question. And the more powerful and higher up you go on the ladder of "what did it", the more bizarre and unlikely the explanation becomes.

ID is easily definable as pseudoscience. It is a movement born of religious ideologues who in their wedge document designed a strategy to undermine existing science. It has been argued outside of the scientific literature, with no data. It relies on quote-mining and cherry-picking. It's goal is false parity with a legitimate scientific theory that only succeeds because of an alleged conspiracy of atheist scientific elites. It relies on fake experts and crackpots to spread it's lies. It moves the goalposts, and does not accept when data conflicts or falsifies its claims. It is suspended on a bed of logical fallacies.

This is not a gray area of the demarcation problem. This is classic, obvious, smack-you-in-the-face pseudoscience. This is religion using rhetorical techniques and PR to undermine a scientific consensus. It operates with no data, no publications, no peer-review, and no credibility. It exists to obfuscate a theory with broad scientific support that undermines certain facets of a large number of peoples' overvalued idea.

Who needs to hem and haw and question whether this is scientific? This is utter bullshit Brian.

Lee Bowman wrote

Regarding predator/ prey and parasite/ host relationships, it's apparent that either a competitive world was intended (one designer or design team), or designs were by competitive designers (or design groups). Over vast time, the second scenario is viable.

See Multiple Designers Theory. :)

Hm. My most recent comment shows up immediately, but the preceding one isn't there. Stuck in a spam filter due to having three links?

Mark; To be frank, I was taken aback by your closing words. I would have hoped that you could at least be civil, especially since I'm not the "enemy" here. I guess not.

I guess you didn't read the entry carefully. I specifically mention, in the first paragraph that Sarkar is considering the claims of ID outside the ID movement, which is clearly religiously motivated. I reinforce this point in my post above. Again, the ID movement is being considered separately from the claims being made.

Yes, the religious motivations of top ID advocates are well known, but it might not be enough to simply wave them away. It can be informative to ask why their claims are not scientific, especially since it might allow us to form better counter arguments. This isn't "bullshit" but a serious consideration of why there is no actual "theory of ID."

Kerry Soileau wrote:

How would one scientifically test the hypothesis: Aliens of immense power and intellect engineered the creation of our universe through an initial "Big Bang." Or this hypothesis: From a probabilistic point of view, it is more likely that (1) Aliens of immense power and intellect engineered the creation of our universe through an initial "Big Bang" than (2) The universe and the life within it is the result of a design-free Big Bang and billions of years of evolution.

I give up, Kerry, how could one test those things?

My objection to this post is that while some people may discredit ID by tyeing it to religion, every non-religious argument for ID has already been carefully considered and thoroughly refuted countless times. I've never encountered anyone who dismisses ID solely on the basis of it's religious origins. When an IDer questions why ID is not considered science, they're told why.

Re Sam C

In a way, the ToE is not falsifiable, simply because all attempts to falsify it have failed.

In principle, the ToE is falsifiable. As J. B. S. Haldane put it when asked by a Popperian how it could be falsified, he famously replied by the finding of a cat fossil in the pre-Cambrian.

Brian, maybe Mark's last sentence was self-referential. As in, "this statement is utter bullshit." I agree with the rest of his comment (and it's interesting), but it's not exactly relevant to this thread.

RBH: Yes, that is exactly the thread I was recalling. It's a great read, although the Sal Cordova Derailment is as painful to watch as you predicted.

"I give up, Kerry, how could one test those things?"

Until scientists can come up with such tests, they have no business claiming that science can speak with any authority about the actual origin of the universe. The only authority science has is that which it earns through hypothesis testing and theory confirmation. Everything else is the puffery of ignorant blowhards.

Depends whether you refer to ID as anthropological movement of philosophical concept. If the ID proponents were to being using Minimum Description Length Induction for competitive testing of hypotheses, the Search for Intelligent Design would be as much a Scientific (anthropological) Enterprise as the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life, and the idea of Intelligent Design a (philosophically) scientific concept on par with Extra-Terrestrial Life.

However, the current ID anthropological movement is unwilling to do this, since it would require doing more research on the world instead of on public relations, and would require science classes emphasize that the SID has turned up less evidence that SETI (which at least has the "Wow Signal" anomaly).

The ID folks also ought to review the Chomsky Heirarchy and other mathematical Complexity Classes (like P and NP) before they start talking about "complexity", if they want to be taken seriously. Omitting all discussion of the existing decades of work in this field ruined the math in Dembski's "Design Inference".

Kerry Soileau blathered:

Until scientists can come up with such tests, they have no business claiming that science can speak with any authority about the actual origin of the universe. The only authority science has is that which it earns through hypothesis testing and theory confirmation. Everything else is the puffery of ignorant blowhards.

You have that backwards, actually. Science doesn't need to rule out every possible imaginable scenario. Until the people who believe aliens of immense power and intellect engineered the creation of our universe figure out a way to test that hypothesis, they're the ones who need to shut the hell up and get to work on proving their guess correct. Anything less is just a hollow complaint that sensible people won't consider their delusions without evidence, but that's actually exactly as it should be.

The problem I have seen the most often, although I'll admit I'm not up on the times with current ID research, is that it appears to be a puffed-up retort to evolutionism. While I will note that that's not all I see it to be, it's just what it's main use has been. Too often the argument on evolution vs. ID results into petty bickering. As mentioned, it's vague on who the Designer is, but most people mean it to be their god, and that's usually of the Judeo-Christian belief. Scientists and IDers like to get caught up in this fights between the two without giving each other the benefit of the doubt. Neither side is 'correct' in how to deal with this, both sides love to give into pride and stand up for what they believe, religiously. It seems that the near violent reaction against ID forces it to become vague and mysterious--they don't wish to be ridiculed by explaining a theory that's too controversial. If scientists on both sides held their tongue from prideful anger, it'd allow for more truthful studies.

ID invokes a supernatural explanation/mechanism for unexplainable phenomena instead of proposing/hypothesizing naturalistic mechanisms and then going about testing them. This is why ID advocates want to remove the word "natural" from school board definitions of science -- if they change the definition by removing that word, then they can argue their science-stopping supernatural explanation counts as 'science'.

For me, it's all about the education standards ... that is the 'front lines' and where the focus should be regarding fighting ID. Philosophical debates (and all the meta-debates and meta-meta-debates that follow ad infinitum) about the nature of the universe should continue. People can philosophize about religiolize all they want ... go for it ... but, in the meantime, it's really simple: ID does not belong in science class.

Ah, another "proof by derision":
"You have that backwards, actually. Science doesn't need to rule out every possible imaginable scenario. Until the people who believe aliens of immense power and intellect engineered the creation of our universe figure out a way to test that hypothesis, they're the ones who need to shut the hell up and get to work on proving their guess correct. Anything less is just a hollow complaint that sensible people won't consider their delusions without evidence, but that's actually exactly as it should be."

Sorry, calling the hypotheses of others "delusions" does not constitute confirmation or even support of your own hypothesis.
You obviously have a very juvenile conception of what science is. Given several presently unverifiable and conflicting hypotheses, the one you consider least "delusional" is not exempt from criticism, and the proponents of other hypotheses are not obligated to "shut the hell up".
LOL "sensible people"="people who agree with you?" In 1801, no sensible person would have believed that a bomb powerful enough to destroy a city could be made from a few kgs of matter. No doubt you would have been a member of the chorus calling this idea delusional.
Also, you seem to imply that your favorite hypothesis has somehow been proved. It hasn't. Not by a long shot.
Thanks for the laugh. I suggest a visit to Wikipedia to repair your woeful ignorance about the scientific method.

By Kerry Soileau (not verified) on 10 Jun 2009 #permalink

'Is ID science?' seems to me to be a rather meaningless question. At the least it should be 'Is ID scientific?', but even then it remains highly ambiguous.

When people say 'ID isn't science' they (surely) mean that as shorthand for 'proponents of the ID school have not been scientifically rigorous in developing and exploring their hypothesis'.

ID is a (poorly defined) biological hypothesis; it was not arrived at scientifically but it could at least potentially be open to scientific investigation.

Kerry Soileau, the only one with a woefully misinformed opinion on science is you. I'm not defending any particular theory. The question is whether or not ID qualifies as science. You proposed a strange hypothesis involving Universe-creating aliens, but then admitted you haven't the first clue how to go about testing such a claim. So, your claim is dismissed as unfounded until you can figure out a way to test it. No one is obligated to treat all ideas equally. You need evidence. That's the way science works.

In 1801, no sensible person would have believed that a bomb powerful enough to destroy a city could be made from a few kgs of matter. No doubt you would have been a member of the chorus calling this idea delusional.

Science might be wrong on a lot of things, but just because people have been wrong about things in the past is not evidence that your alien hypothesis is correct. The fact that doubt exists doesn't mean you can pretend like any foolish thing you pull out of your ass is equivalent to theories which are supported by the evidence. You really need to try harder, because right now you have nothing to support your outlandish claims and nothing to complain about. You might want to take your own advice and start educating yourself on the scientific method. Faith claims and personal revelation are worthless.

If you MAKE a claim, science demands you pony up the evidence for that claim. AFAIK, no astronomer has figured out EXACTLY how the universe popped into being. The Big Bang is great, but how did the Big Bang occur in the first place? Once somebody presents evidence for a possibly explaination, that evidence will be critically evaluated and accepted or rejected.

If you believe that aliens created the universe, you've got to have evidence to back that claim up. It's the same as saying that giant blue magical unicorns sneezed the universe into existance, or that the Gods of Olympus imprisoned the Titans in Tartarus. If you cannot actually test a theory, it is NOT science! A theory must be falsifiable; if the method of universe creation is, by definition, undetectable, is not scientific.

I made no claim that aliens created the universe (call this hypothesis 1), my point is that although it is less palatable to many than the random Big Bang + billions of years of evolution hypothesis (call this hypothesis 2), hypothesis 1 is not scientifically less valid as a theory until a test can be found whose results are compatible with hypothesis 2 and not with hypothesis 1. Until such a test is found, adherents to each hypothesis do so for reasons unrelated to science and probably because of personal taste or intuition.
Wikipedia beckons, H.H.

In fact, the Big Bang (and billions of years of astological and biological evolution) is well-supported by perfectly falsifiable evidence. Theories derived from predictions made based on this evidence will always take precedence over theories that do not.

I made no claim that aliens created the universe (call this hypothesis 1), my point is that although it is less palatable to many than the random Big Bang + billions of years of evolution hypothesis (call this hypothesis 2), hypothesis 1 is not scientifically less valid as a theory until a test can be found whose results are compatible with hypothesis 2 and not with hypothesis 1. Until such a test is found, adherents to each hypothesis do so for reasons unrelated to science and probably because of personal taste or intuition.

Nope, still wrong. Right now the evidence suggests that the Universe is a little over 13 billion years old, it began with what scientists call the Big Bang, and that life on Earth has been evolving since about 4 billion years ago. Science doesn't have to rule anything out before it can make these claims. No one has to find a way to test that space aliens didn't create the Universe. Those people who favor the alien hypothesis need to come up with positive evidence. So hypothesis 1 is not valid because it has no evidence in support of it, and it can't even be considered a scientific hypothesis until someone figures out a way to test it. This strange idea you have that all ideas are equal until science discovers them to be impossible (itself an impossibility) is a gross misunderstanding of the scientific method. You really need to educate yourself before going around and trying to opine on a topic on which you are completely ignorant.

"This strange idea you have that all ideas are equal until science discovers them to be impossible (itself an impossibility) is a gross misunderstanding of the scientific method."
LOL, I think you need help with reading comprehension. What I wrote is that any two theories are equal scientifically until a test can be constructed whose results are compatible with one and not the other. Until then they are either outside the realm of science, or equally scientifically valid, as the case may be.
Discovering additional layers of your ignorance is growing a little tiresome.

@Kerry
What I wrote is that any two theories are equal scientifically until a test can be constructed whose results are compatible with one and not the other. Until then they are either outside the realm of science, or equally scientifically valid, as the case may be.

Let's pretend this is true (although it's not). There ARE many tests that support the Big Bang model. No scientist claims to know what triggered the Big Bang, but the point is irrelevant if all we're trying to determine if the Big Bang actually happened or not. The Big Bang is a scientifically valid model.

There are no tests which have been done that support ID. Therefore, ID is outside the realm of science.

outeast
ID is a (poorly defined) biological hypothesis; it was not arrived at scientifically but it could at least potentially be open to scientific investigation.
Yes the old idea of ID is rather poorly defined, but this theory of ID is not and connects many issues into the same framework in the real world of today,including modern science, genetics,space-travel,history,all the worlds religions, and the issue of the appearances of the Ufos over the millennia and especially since 1945. Maybe this theory should be called Evolution II.Instead of progression of design by nature,one has progression of design by advanced scientist.
I continue too look for a better theory that includes so many issues at the same time.

@Kerry
The Big Bang is a scientifically valid model. Yes but it is only a model

Dr Kate - One thing at a time.Let us just deal with who created us first.Who created them is another question.The point about this hypothesis is that it is very much relevant to the predictable situation our humanity finds itself in today.

Zach-No aliens did not create the Universe or our planet
Yes this theory can be tested and it is falsifiable.
The evidence lies in the situation our humanity finds itself in today with some 27000 nuclear weapons and the dangers of nuclear war. With this theory one has to consider our humanity as a single biological entity. Like a child in the womb its growth is predictable. Our humanity as a whole is on test to itself.

Kelly - Puffery of ignorant blowhards - I understand the Big Bang Theory's name, was invented by Sir Fred Hoyle and the used this name in a derogatory manner, as he believed in the Steady State Theory. In a TV documentary an astophysicist when asked why red-shift stars are near blue-shift stars, he replied having spent three quaters of an hour talking about the Big Bang theory said that it was a moot point as to whether or not the Big Bang theory was true, to my surprise!