Intelligent Design (ID) believes that (a) the action of an intelligent being (though it could be "beingS") was involved in the evolution of organisms and (b) that there is enough evidence of this action to infer that it occurred and should be part of modern scientific thoughts and teachings. Now that intelligent being is usually a supernatural being (God). For the leading proponents of ID such as Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe (and probably William Dembski too), the intelligent being is the Christian God as viewed by the more "conservative side" of that faith. However, the ID proponents cannot publicly say that the "intelligent designer" is God because they would run into the constitutional restrictions of not being able to promote a particular religion in our public schools. In their discussions among Christian groups, it is clear that they are talking about the Christian God. Many who have followed the history of creationism see that ID is the latest version of creationism, though not necessarily the young earth, Noah’s Flood geology creationism of Henry M. Morris and company. Also, the stated purpose for the creation of the Center for Science and Culture, the locus of ID work today, was "to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God."
I myself have no problem with part (a) of the ID belief. In fact, my belief is that God creates through evolution, what goes by the name of "theistic evolution", and is a belief held by most of the traditional mainline Protestant denominations (such as Presbyterians, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalians, and my own denomination, United Methodism) and the Roman Catholic Church. However, I, like the vast majority of scientists have a problem with part (b) of that belief. For the ID proponents, part (b) is crucial.
|Assumptions of Science||Theory + attributes||Methodological Materialism|
|Evolution via natural selection||Imago Dei||ID beliefs: God-action detection|
|Irreducible Complexity||Specified Complexity|