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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.”

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.

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Chemistrydatadefinitionengineersevidenceevolutionforesightintelligent designMarcos Eberlinmindnatural worldnaturescience