Intelligent Design needs a Re-Branding

In this age of consumerism, everyone understands the importance of positive branding, and indeed, companies and individuals alike readily comprehend that if your “brand” has negative connotations attached to it, then there are a great many people that will pre-judge you on that basis alone rather than taking the time to survey your ideas in the detail that they deserve, and though this may not be fair, it is reality, and so in light of this fact, I contend that given the branding difficulties that now surround it, it is now time for the Intelligent Design (ID) movement to re-brand itself with a new and improved label, which I claim should be the label of “Agent Detection Science”, and the reasons for this proposition are as follows:

1. First, in making this change, there is the obvious benefit that some small part of the negative branding and prejudice associated with ID would be removed, and thus ID may gain some extra proponents from making such a minor change;

2. Second, at least to me, the label “Agent Detection Science” sounds more professional, academic, and intellectually rigorous than Intelligent Design, just as the term “Forensic Science” sounds more professional, academic, and intellectually rigorous rather “Scenes of Crime Investigation”, and so, such a labeling change will have a positive persuasive effect at an almost sub-conscious level, which, in turn, should give ID at least a change at more of a fair hearing by a greater number of people;

3. Third, by labeling itself as “Agent Detection Science”, the ID movement actually links itself much more closely to other ID-type fields like forensics, archaeology, and SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) given that all these other fields are in the business of detecting the hall-marks of agent causation rather than natural causation, and furthermore, since all these fields are, quite literally, agent detection sciences, then by directly labeling itself as “Agent Detection Science”, the ID movement would gain greater credibility not only through its clear connection to these other already-credible fields, but it would also make it the case that any objections brought against the methodology of Agent Detection Science / ID would also have to be objections against such disciplines as forensics, archaeology, SETI, and so on;

4. Fourth, the label “Agent Detection Science” is more precise than the ID moniker, for ID, as well as all the other ID-type sciences already mentioned (like archaeology) are in the very business of using certain methodologies to detect the presence and activity of agents rather than of natural causes, and so, by changing the name from ID to something like “Agent Detection Science”, the ID movement would, in its very title, be clearly stating what it actually strives to do, and since what ID strives to do is in no way shocking when you consider that SETI, archaeology, forensics, and other fields strive to do the exact same thing, then in providing this clarity in its very label the ID movement would be clear that it is little different than these other sciences are;

5. Fifth, “Agent Detection Science” has the term ‘science’ in its very name, which helps to immediately and directly assert that ID is a science, just like forensics and archaeology are considered to be, and so its status as a claimed science is put right into the open for all to see (and please note that if you truly deny that ID is a science, then it would be easy enough to change the name to “Agent Detection Methodology” or “Agent Detection Theory” or even “Agent Detection Analysis”);

…and so these, therefore, are a number of reasons why I believe that the ID movement should consider the idea of re-branding itself as I think that doing so would help to take ID to the next level of its development while simultaneously dropping some of the negative baggage that is, at the present time, directly attached to the ID label.

The Multiverse and Creationism

I have, in the past, written about the multiverse–the idea, usually offered in answer to the fine-tuning of this universe, that there exist trillions upon trillions of different universes, if not, in fact, an infinite amount of such different universes, all with different physical laws and constants–and I have also written about how certain atheists often appeal to the multiverse as a “get anything you want or need naturalistically” card, and though I have also shown that atheistic appeals to the multiverse might not be as beneficial as atheists believe them to be, I will, in this thought, also note that another funny point about atheistic appeals to the multiverse is that although atheists often rail against creationism and chant that accepting creationism is utterly irrational and “anti-science”, it actually is the case that if the multiverse does exist, then, the fact is, it is highly likely that many “creationist-style” universes exist given that, in a multiverse, such created universes could easily be made by some kind of hyper-advanced being–in fact, if an infinite number of universes exist, then there are arguably a massive plethora, or even an infinite number of such creationist-styles universes that exist; and what this means is that if the atheist wishes to push the multiverse card as a means to account for the fine-tuning of this universe, then, by extension, such an atheist should arguably become silent about creationist-style ideas, for the fact is that in a multiverse, there is no way of knowing whether or not we are presently in a creationist-style universe–essentially, a universe which was intelligently designed and which appears old (based on our current science) but which is, in reality, actually only a few thousand years old–and so, in appealing to the multiverse, atheists give serious legitimacy and weight to creationism in general, for indeed, though such an idea might not necessarily support orthodox Christian creationism per se, atheistic endorsements of the multiverse without doubt make general creationism (and even a creationism very closely resembling Christian Creationism) eminently rational to believe in, which is a particularly humorous result given the general antipathy that most atheists feel towards creationism of any form…and perhaps the funniest issue is that in seeking to avoid the fine-tuning problem by appealing to the multiverse, atheists actually completely support the idea of the intelligently designed fine-tuning of this universe, for a creationism universe is an intelligently designed one, and thus atheistic attempts to defeat the problem of fine-tuning actually make fine-tuning that much easier to believe in.

The Multiverse Does Not Necessarily Help Atheistic-Naturalism

It is without a doubt that certain atheists appeal to the idea of a “multi-verse” as a means of combating the problem of the fine-tuning of this universe, but one of the things that is often overlooked and forgotten by such atheists and unbelievers is that even if the multi-verse is a viable and plausible means of addressing the problem of fine-tuning from an atheistic perspective–and this point is itself debatable–the fact remains that the multi-verse, as just a general posit, not only does not necessarily help the atheist, but may actually make the problem for him astronomically worse, for imagine that we somehow gather evidence of the existence of trillions upon trillions upon trillions of other universes, and yet every single one of these other universes is also fine-tuned to permit the existence of embodied intelligent life and yet did not have to be so (essentially, there is no necessary reason that they had to be that way); in such a case, the inference to design has exponentially increased even though the multiverse exists, and so the atheist, in order to make his appeal to the multiverse plausible in terms of its support for the atheistic-naturalistic hypothesis of “it’s just chance”, must not only provide evidence that the multiverse exists, but he must also provide evidence that the multiverses being generated by some universe-generating force (itself possibly fine-tuned) is actually producing a wide variety of different universes with different constants in them, for if the universe-generating force could create any type of universe, and yet was creating only universes which were life-permitting, then this would simply be more evidence for theism, not evidence for atheism (by analogy, just imagine a candy dispenser which could randomly dispense any one of the hundreds of different candies in existence, and yet it only spit out your favorite candy over and over and over again…after about a dozen such occurrences, you would be entirely rational to believe that a ‘mind’ was behind the dispensing, not mere ‘chance’)…and so, as stated, the multiverse, as an idea in and of itself, offers no help to the atheist, for what the atheist needs is a certain type of multiverse, and good luck providing any evidence for that!

Thought on a Simple Argument for the Rationality of Belief in a god

In recent years, with the rise of the New-but-just-loudly-and-brashly-rehashing-old-arguments-in-a-less-coherent-and-impressive-way Atheism, it has become fashionable to claim that belief in God is irrational, delusional, and unreasonable, but the fact is that it is trivially easy to show this claim to be false, for there is a simple but eminently rational and reasonable claim for a god’s existence in the fact that the world (biological and otherwise) not only appears orderly and rational but also overwhelming reeks with the appearance of design–as even Richard Dawkins himself admit in The Blind Watchmaker–and so it is by no means unreasonable or irrational to say that the overwhelming appearance of design in the world is a reasonable reason to believe that it actually was designed, and since all our experience tells us that a design needs a designer, then it is equally reasonable to believe in a designer, and the best candidate for such a designer is a god of some sort; now such an argument may not be utterly compelling, and it may be disputable, but it is in no way unreasonable, or insane, or delusional, or any other prejudicial claim that the New Atheists make, and so, in such a simple way, it is readily possible to put to bed the idiotic claim that god belief is somehow only for the irrational and unreasonable.

Thought about ID and Methodological Naturalism

One of the main objections that is often mounted against the idea that the inference to intelligent design is a valid scientific inference–in terms of an inference for a historical science–is that inferring design violates the long-held scientific principle of methodological naturalism, and yet not only is it the case that the principle of methodological naturalism is indeed an extremely questionable principle in and of itself, but it is also the case that anyone with half a brain can see that inferring that something was designed does not, in and of itself, violate the principle that we must consider that this design was natural in origin; now a further philosophical argument might show that the best explanation for that design is supernatural in orientation, but that is a philosophical extrapolation of the inference to design, not the scientific inference to design itself, and so, in light of this, there is nothing about a design inference that violates the principle of methodological naturalism (after all, consider, for example, that if the SETI people received a signal from space that included the first 100 prime numbers, they would be right to infer design, and they would be doing methodologically natural science in inferring so, but the further extrapolation that the signal came from aliens rather than angels (or vis versa) would be a philosophical inference to the best explanation rather than a strict scientific one, and so again, a simple inference to design as such in no way goes against methodological naturalism).

Thought of the Reasonableness of Doubting Evolution

Despite the vociferous and cantankerous protestations and lamentations to the contrary–always a sign, by the way, that an argument is weak given its need to be supplemented by loud, emotive, and propagandistic voices–the fact of the matter is that it is eminently reasonable to doubt in the molecules-to-man, blind-watchmaker evolutionary narrative, for when that narrative is subject to critical and impartial and skeptical scrutiny, there manifestly appear so many gaping holes in it (abiogenesis, the evolution of consciousness, language, etc.), and so many claims build on shaky ‘just-so’ stories (claims about the development of the eye, the brain, etc.), and so many events with weak to non-existent explanations (the advent of sexual reproduction, ), and so many questionable and suspicious inferences (as are any inferences into the deep past), that if this theory were forced to make its case in a court of law, there would be a vast number of ways to create reasonable doubt about its veracity, and so it is simply ridiculous to claim that one could not reasonably doubt this naturalistic evolutionary narrative; now, this is not to say that this narrative is necessarily false, but simply to say that it is readily false to claim that this narrative cannot be doubted by a reasonable man, for it most obviously can be.

Thought on Intelligent Design being Considered Scientific

Given that, as history often shows us, a plain and obvious truth can only be denied and suppressed via a constant and endless barrage of harsh and even threatening propaganda against it, then, with this in mind, a man can come to realize that one of the reasons that the anti-Intelligent Design (ID) crowd is so utterly desperate to forcefully push the narrative that ID is not a scientific inference is precisely because ID so obviously is a scientific inference that that plain truth cannot be allowed even a moment to breath lest it be readily accepted; after all, ID uses the same ‘reasoning to the best explanation’ methodology as many historical scientific endeavours do, it deals with ‘design’ and ‘intelligence’ which are things we already know about and have experience with, its inference is naturalistic when made as just an empirical inference, and finally the fact is that if such projects as SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) is considered scientific, which it is, and if ID uses the same sort of methodology and reasoning as SETI, which it does, then ID is a scientific inference just as much as SETI is.