On a new ID the Future episode, Tom Gilson — author, senior editor with The Stream, and occasional contributor to Evolution News — tackles the question of how best to discuss intelligent design with friends and associates skeptical of ID. Download the podcast or listen to it here.
There is so much misinformation about the theory of intelligent design that many well-intended people reject not the actual theory but a silly caricature, a straw man. They don’t realize that ID is not an argument from ignorance but an inference to the best explanation based on positive evidence for design and negative evidence against competing materialistic explanations. It involves what is known as abductive reasoning, a standard mode of reasoning in the historical sciences. When in conversation with someone who understands none of this, Gilson suggests using the Socratic method and, in particular, three questions designed to turn down the heat, promote dialogue, and draw the other person into a discovery of the actual theory of intelligent design.