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Eberlin: But Is Intelligent Design “Science”?

David Klinghoffer

When famed Brazilian chemist Marcos Eberlin visited with Discovery Institute staff here in Seattle, I posed a challenge to him that we hear all the time. The observation and arguments offered as pointing to intelligent design may be very interesting. But is the design thesis science?

A mind is not a natural substance or a natural process. And we’re told that science deals strictly, by definition, with the natural world alone. That should seem to rule out a designing mind behind evolution. But as Dr. Eberlin writes in his book Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose, and as he says here, that is a “biased definition.” It limits science’s results in a way that is bound to be false — that is, if the cosmos includes things, like Mind, that aren’t in fact natural.

“Science,” says Eberlin, “should appeal only to causes that are supported by data, supported by evidence.” That is a much better definition. It’s why he sees indications of “foresight” in nature as being so significant. This quality of nature that anticipates problems before they arise, and engineers “ingenious solutions,” is “fully supported by data. It’s fully supported by evidence.”