Understanding Evolution

What is the intelligent design movement?

The intelligent design (ID) movement promotes the idea that many aspects of life are too complex to have evolved without the intervention of a supernatural being — the intelligent designer. Promoters of intelligent design generally accept that the Earth is billions of years old and that evolution has occurred, but maintain that, in many cases, especially with regard to the origin of complex characteristics or new taxa, the work of an intelligent designer, not an evolutionary process, is responsible. Backers of intelligent design frequently misrepresent or disregard aspects of evolutionary theory, the results of evolutionary research, and the nature of science in order to promote their agenda and sway public opinion against evolutionary biology.

Overwhelmingly, the scientific community regards intelligent design as unscientific and without merit. Since intelligent design makes claims based on the existence, characteristics, and powers of a supernatural being — and since science focuses exclusively on the natural world and the natural forces that operate within it, intelligent design is not science. Further, the ID movement has failed to generate any productive research program meeting scientific standards. Because of the movement's history, proponents, and substance, many interpret it as an attempt to insert another version of creationism into science classrooms.

To learn more about the ID movement, check out these resources:


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