Intelligent design (sometimes abbreviated as ID) is a variety of creationism that relies on the argument from design. Proponents of the Intelligent Design movement claim that, unlike creationism, they are motivated by science and not religion. This is a claim that echoes that of ID's intellectual precursor, scientific creationism. Like scientific creationism, ID's claim to be scientific is suspect, since the ID movement has produced no original research. ID proponents tend to spend their time engaging in public relations and politics rather than doing science. Virtually all of them are Protestant Christians, usually of a fundamentalist slant (officially, the Catholic Church endorses the theory of evolution). The aim of the ID movement is to conceal the religious nature of creationism in order to make the idea legally acceptable to secular public institutions.
The Intelligent Design movement was spawned by lawyer Phillip Johnson when he wrote The Wedge Strategy. It was a response to the U.S. Supreme Court case Edwards v. Aguillard, which ruled that teaching creationism in public classrooms violated the U.S. Constitution.
Key figures in the ID debate
- The Discovery Institute is an ID think tank that hosts most of the people in this section as members.
- Phillip Johnson, mentioned above, is a founding figure of the ID movement.
- Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box, is a biochemist who coined the term "irreducible complexity."
- William Dembski, author of The Design Hypothesis, is a mathematician who coined the term "specified complexity."
- Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution, is a biologist who declared that his life is devoted to "destroying Darwinism."
- Eugenie Scott, the head of the NCSE, is a prominent opponent of ID.
- Robert Pennock, author of Tower of Babel, is a professor of the philosophy of science.
- Judge Jones, mentioned above, presided over Kitzmiller v. Dover.
- Barbara Forrest uncovered the term "cdesign proponentsists" in the book Of Pandas and People during the Kitzmiller trial.