Intelligent design

I saw a post on facebook’s evolution vs. ID group the other day that asserted that intelligent design is creationism. I think that this is a hugely narrow view of the world. I am a proponent of intelligent design as a likely hypothesis (In fact, I think both evolution and ID are likely, because a intelligent designer will use evolutionary algorithms when they make sense) but I am not a creationist in the traditional sense. My personal hypothesis, discussed elsewhere in this blog, is that we do a fair amount of editing of our own DNA across the millennia. However, even if that is not the case, I can think of many ways that intelligent design might be true without there being a single word of truth in the bible.

One possible way is the endpoint-bound design process – i.e. we’re inside a quantum computer which has been asked to find a path between zero and a particular life form. Ancestor simulation, I think this is called. One can actually think of a lot of ways that you can have intelligent designers without talking about traditional creationism. There’s the oldie-but-a-goodie of us being the product of alien genetic engineers. There’s the classic of us being inside a time-based mobeus loop, and we’re genetically engineered by our future selves.

I really think science should be approaching this with a wide open mind – and increasingly I suspect they are. One of the things that I really like are scientists that don’t hypothesize until *after* they have the data – just go out and take some measurements and see what you can find out. It does not strike me as that likely, given that there are a number of competing religions, that we’re going to find a correct and honest origin story in a religion.

For that matter, I’ve talked about a number of times how your intelligent deity would almost certainly be working with us inside a virtualization container, which increases the unknowability factor by quite a bit. Of course, a intelligent deity would also know that *they* might be in a virtualization container, which means that no deity could honestly say, with any certainty, that they were omnipotent and omniscient. That’s a subject I’ve already harped on enough in this journal, I think.

Anyway, my point is, it’s a lot of a leap to assume that just because someone thinks intelligent design is a reasonable explanation for our existence, they’re a creationist. Especially that they’re attached to any mainstream religion.

I will now take off my tinfoil hat.

One Response to “Intelligent design”

  1. Firesong Says:

    The problem there is that creationists did start calling their hypothesis intelligent design to try to disguise it and make it sound more scientific. So, while you are correct in that an intelligent designer might be any number of things, most people saying that they believe in intelligent design are “clever” Christian creationists.

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