Is ID simply YEC or what?

You hear a lot about Intelligent Design theory and how its proponents are trying to get it into the schools but I’m a little fuzzy on the details. Much of ID appears to be focused on challenging the notion that purely randon genetic mutations could produce the complexity of life that we see today. But evolutionary theory does not appear to have strong conclusion in this area, and this doesn’t tell me wher ID fits in with the rest of the conventional scientific account of natural history.

It’s not unreasonable to speculate that a supernatural intelligence may be behind the exquisite design of the human mind and other living things. and that the course of evolution was guided by deliberate, incremental manipulation of the DNA. But it’s clear by overwhelming evidence that the Earth is billions of years old and that living things were present throughout a wide chunk of geologic history, with old ones becoming extinct and new ones coming along throughout.

Old Earth Creationism and Theistic Evolution can be one and the same, but Young Earth, i.e. Biblical Creationism is right out. So which one has ID settled on?

In order to be a YEC, one must believe in ID but it doesn’t neccesarily follow that IDers must be YECers. Some IDers believe that god created all kinds of creatures x billion years ago and only microevolution has been occuring since then.

I would say that the theory of Natural Selection is fairly strong, both in theory and in evidence, in providing a conclusion in opposition to ID. Intelligent Design has, in (nearly?) every case that has been made for it, nothing more than a “god of the gaps” theory with subsequent discoveries narrowing each gap that has been proferred.

I don’t think that ID is all that compatible with YEC, however. Behe, for example, seems pretty comfortable as an OEC advocate, and ID still requires actual evolution to occur (with a guiding hand) while YECs would resist letting nature have even that amount of free play.

It is tough to say exactly. ID is a very big tent, attracting both young-Earth creationists and fully committed common-decenters who recognize the role of natural selection but merely question the creative capacity of random mutations. It is hard to pin down where ID as an ideology lies since ID hasn’t really presented a single coherent theory to oppose the random mutation explanation as the source of new traits. Both Darwin’s Black Box and The Design Inference can essentially be boiled down to “life is so complicated in and complicated in such a way that random mutations can’t be the answer.” Not much in alternative explanations are presented, let alone supported with evidence.

ID may encompass quite a broad spectrum of belief, but in practice, the overwhelming majority of those pushing for it to be taught in schools are YECs - although it can be quite hard to get them to admit it. In this context, ID is ‘stealth creationism’ and it is being used as a wedge to try to get creationism on the science curriculum.


That’s fine. I play around in the gaps while admitting I’m doing so and that that’s not good science.



To my way of thinking, Old Earth is the big tent, and you either plug in ID or leave it random. There’s a huge difference between OE and YE and yet to send a hypothesis to schools while either trashing half of science or not–whichever–is just preposterous.

And yet…


That’s pretty much what I figured.

OEC may fit with more people than ID (if you confine ID solely to a kind of evolution without RMNS calling the shots), but ID has successfully drawn a lot more people from many disparate schools of thought. Mangetout cites a big reason. YEC and OEC both definitely have theological feel to them. ID has a far more “science-y” feel to it. And it has been more effective in attempts to convince school boards (and fool the courts) that it actually is science and should be taught as such.

You know, I first read that as ‘desperate schools of thought’.

Come to think of it, I’m going to keep reading it that way. :smiley: