20:39:07

Director's Introduction

The Director of the Centre for Intelligent Design, Dr Alastair Noble, introduces the Intelligent Design debate in this 4 minute video clip.

Dr Alastair Noble's introduction to ID

© Centre for Intelligent Design

How the Scientific Consensus can hinder Science

How the Scientific Consensus can hinder Science

This article seeks to discuss "Scientific consensus" as it is understood today and how, in the past, scientific consensus has had to undergo seismic shifts. Read more

Intelligent Design is definitely NOT Creationism

Intelligent Design is definitely NOT Creationism

Dismissing Intelligent Design as 'Creationism' is the easy way of avoiding having to deal with the empirical evidence for design. Read more

Was there a cause of the universe?

Was there a cause of the universe?

Cosmologists tell us that we now know a fair amount of detail about the conditions of the universe from the first split second, 13.7 billion years ago. Read more

The Fine Tuned Universe

The Fine Tuned Universe

The words ‘fine tuning of the universe’ have been around for quite a while and are greeted with bafflement, scepticism and wonder; in about equal proportions. What on earth (or in the universe) does it mean? Theoretical physicist Paul Davies calls it the ‘Goldilocks Enigma’.1 Is it real... Read more

University finds brain's complexity beyond belief

University finds brain's complexity beyond belief

RESEARCHERS  have found that a single human brain has more molecular-scale switches than all the computers, routers and Internet connections on the entire planet! Read more

Conference tickets now on sale

A day conference in Cambridge with world class speakers has been arranged for Saturday November 12th 2016. 

Tickets are now on sale.  Book now to avoid disappointment!

Your privacy .....

..... and our use of cookies

Cookies help us improve your online experience with the Centre for Intelligent Design.  If you accept their use, please continue using our site.  By continuing to use www.c4id.org.uk you will be agreeing to the website Terms and Conditions where you will find our Privacy Policy and an explanation of our Use of Cookies.

Follow us on Twitter.....

..... meet us on Facebook


Doubly designed?

Metamorphosis: the beauty and design of butterflies

Watch this 4' 22" video clip to explore the world of butterflies which, in the words of the commentary, are shown to be doubly designed!

Metamorphosis: The Beauty & Design of Butterflies

Academic Freedom

See the menu item ACADEMIC FREEDOM. To quote from the lead in to the page: ".... However, there is another key issue raised by ID.  It is the freedom of academics and science educators to explore and discuss the issues associated with ID.  The exploration of ID within science should not be dismissed as something it is not – a disguised religious position."

Press Release

The Centre for Intelligent Design on September 27th 2011 issued a press release and additional material relating to the call by Prof Richard Dawkins, Sir David Attenborough and others for a legal  ban on Creationism and Intelligent Design in Britain's schools. Click here for the Press Release page.

Meyer vs Fox on Premier Radio:

Is Intelligence allowed in Biological Science?

Don’t miss a most revealing debate on Premier Radio between Stephen Meyer, a leading proponent of Intelligent Design who directs the Centre for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, and Keith Fox, Professor of Biochemistry at Southampton University, who also chairs the UK Christians in Science network.

This programme was broadcast when Dr Meyer was in London recently for the Inaugural Lecture of the Centre for Intelligent Design, UK. That event focused on Dr Meyer’s recent book ‘Signature in the Cell’ – a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year - which claims to show that the DNA code is the product of intelligent mind, not naturalistic processes. Prof Fox disagrees strongly with ID, arguing instead that, given time, scientists should be able to work out a naturalistic explanation. The core of this debate is not just how life could have originated, but whether intelligent mind as a cause is allowed as an explanation in science. Click here to find the broadcast.

London Spectator hails Denton's Evolution:Still a Theory in Crisis as a "Best Book" of 2016

"A truly great book.....Fascinatingly clear.....Destroys the Darwinian position," according to distinguished literary critic A. N. Wilson.








How the Scientific Consensus can hinder Science
This article seeks to discuss "Scientific consensus" as it is understood today and how, in the past, scientific consensus has had to undergo seismic shifts.
Intelligent Design is repeatedly dismissed by its critics as being unscientific. Many who make this assertion are not suggesting that it has no empirical data to support its claims but rather that it is completely outside the realm of science. This is because of a narrow definition of science that has been developed. What is scientific, according to this definition, is a matter of ongoing debate. Google “problem of demarcation” and you will get some idea of the extent of this discussion and the difficulty of determining where the parameters should be set.

Others, of course, who dismiss ID do so because they believe that it has no merit. Whether this is based on their philosophical prejudice or their scientific convictions can be hard to tell but they are utterly dismissive and refuse to treat ID seriously. A quick glance at the comments posted in response to ID articles will illustrate the derisory attitude and the scorn that is heaped upon those who dare to hold a different opinion.

Consensus says ID is not science

The Centre for Intelligent Design is well aware that the scientific consensus does not accept ID as science. That is the reason for our existence. It is our purpose to challenge the lines of demarcation that currently prevail. These are not constant and have changed throughout the history of science and should continue to change as our understanding develops. The Centre for Intelligent Design wants to move beyond the mocking contempt that is often expressed and have the empirical data properly considered.

Galileo and scientific consensus

Scientific consensus sometimes get so entrenched that it becomes a hindrance rather than a help to the advancement of science. Galileo Galilei had a bit of a run in with the consensus and concluded, “In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual”. His scepticism of consensus is understandable when you consider the way in which he was treated.

Sadly, Galileo is not the only one to have had his ideas dismissed by the scientific consensus. In 1847 Ignaz Semmelweis discovered that disinfection of the hands significantly reduced the incidence of puerperal fever in obstetric clinics. Puerperal fever was the single most common cause of maternal mortality in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the scientific consensus did not accept Semmelweis’ empirical evidence but dismissed his findings, often with contempt. He did not accord with the established opinion of the day and was considered by some to have no scientific basis for his claims. Others were insulted by the idea that their hands were being described as “dirty”. It was also pointed out that Semmelweis was saying nothing new. In 1843 Oliver Wendell Holmes, had published an essay on the contagiousness of puerperal fever but his views were attacked by the scientific establishment. Sadder still is the fact that in 1795, Dr. Alexander Gordon had published a paper on the contagious nature of puerperal fever and the importance of the right hygiene practices in order to prevent its spread. His paper acknowledged the strong opposition he confronted and the attempts to suppress the truth.

How many lives could have been saved if the scientific consensus had not been so stubborn? Nobody in the scientific establishment today would dare to describe the findings of Gordon, Holmes or Semmelweiss as stupid but it was not always so.

USA Epidemic of Pellagra

Between 1906 and 1940 there was an epidemic of pellagra in the United States with some 3,000,000 cases reported and 100,000 deaths. In 1915 Dr. Joseph Goldberger discovered the cause to be directly linked to poor diet but his empirical evidence was vilified by those who were persuaded the disease was caused by infection. The scientific consensus said no! They leaked some of his secret research to the news media and then impugned his motives. For 25 years an epidemic continued that could have been prevented and offers of federal help from the President were refused. There were major political and social implications involved but surely the scientific establishment were not influenced by these? Perhaps you might investigate the issue yourself to judge whether or not the scientific consensus is ever influenced by factors outside of empirical data.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellagra for more details of this disease and also the image at the end of this article.

USA Symposium opposes Continental Drift

On January 6th 1912, Alfred Wegener presented his hypothesis on Continental Drift but the scientific consensus was unimpressed. He was unable to support his circumstantial evidence with a specific mechanism that explained it. He speculated that centrifugal force might be responsible or the astronomical precession. In spite of the opposition of the scientific consensus he continued to develop his ideas and a symposium was specifically organised in the United States in opposition to his hypothesis. In 1943 the noted palaeontologist George Gaylord Simpson strongly attacked Wegener’s position in the American Journal of Science and this influenced those who had been sympathetic to change their views. Once again the scientific establishment backed the wrong man. Wegener’s inability to posit the right physical mechanism did not mean that his hypothesis was wrong, but it was the primary reason the consensus was against him. In addition he committed the cardinal crime of not actually being an expert. Wegener was not a geologist so his evidence apparently lacked authority.

It's not the empirical data

The history of science is littered with occasions when the scientific consensus has wrongly challenged the minority voice and in so doing has impeded the progress of science. Obviously any scientific theory has got to be robust enough to withstand the most detailed scrutiny and inquisition. However, the examples cited demonstrate that time and again the problem was not with the empirical evidence. Closed minds, personal offence, political and social constraints have all played their part in preventing proper consideration of the data. This was then exacerbated by the way professional credibility was questioned, motives were misrepresented and individuals were vilified.

Peer Review

Although Intelligent Design theory is not accepted by the scientific consensus, its proponents are often asked to list the peer reviewed articles that are in its favour. While there are in fact some such papers, contrary to critics’ claims, the reason that there are not more will be obvious to any intelligent reader. The scientific establishment has not always proved itself to be in open and objective pursuit of empirical evidence. The US Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow determined that the peer review process could be flawed in certain circumstances. Research by Rothwell and Martyn also raised questions about the credibility of the process and Casadevall and Fang, though offering no sympathy to ID acknowledge, “In fact studies of peer review have identified numerous problems, including confirmatory bias, bias against negative results, favoritism for established investigators in a given field, address bias, gender bias, and ideological orientation”.

The Centre for Intelligent Design seeks to promote the scientific data with inference to the best explanation but recognises that there will be those who seek to avoid interacting with the actual arguments while hiding behind claims of consensus.


 

User Menu

Prof Mike Behe UK Tour

Prof Mike Behe, Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University, USA, toured the UK in November 2010.  He is author of Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. For one week he gave lectures and was a speaker at a day conference in Oxford. Click here for a report on the tour.

Full details of the tour and the day conference can be found at the associated website www.darwinordesign.org.uk.

Premier Radio interview

Mike Behe is adamant that the latest science proves Intelligent Design to be true. He recently spoke to Premier Radio presenter Justin Brierley, who will be hosting the London leg of the Darwin or Design tour on Monday November 22nd. Justin began by asking Behe how it feels to be labelled a "maverick" by the majority of the scientific community.

Hear Prof Mike Behe

Press comment

GUARDIAN - UK Centre for Intelligent Design claims it will focus on science, not religion



NATURE - Blogs - New intelligent design centre launches in Britain - September 24, 2010

Dr Noble says. "I would stress that we’re not targeting schools."