Adam Trybus MA. (University of Manchester)

Ad Nauseam or the Troubles with Science.
An Introdution to the Theory of Intelligent Design.

William Paley, argued that when we find a watch on a heath, we can plausibly deduce that it was made by an intelligent watchmaker rather than it is a product of blind natural processes. The reason for that is that watch is too complex entity to be considered as a result of natural processes, undisturbed by some intelligent agency. The same reasoning, he claimed, might be applied to the living organism, which often exhibit high level of complexity, hence they cannot be caused only by unintelligent forces. This view was challenged by Charles Darwin, who proposed a way of explaining how high levels of complexity can be attained solely by natural processes. Paley's argument serves as a basis for many critics addressed by the supporters of creationsm, a view that intelligent agency is involved in the origins of life. Creationism has been rejected as a possible foundation of scientific explanation of the origins of life in the view of the successes of (neo-)Darwinism. However, recently, the theory of intelligent design, which is considered as yet another incarnation of creationism, raised several doubts concerning the theory of evolution. Adherents of intelligent design claim that ID is a scientific theory and the main reasons why it is still being rejected by the community of scientists are connected with conservatism and non-open-mindedness of natural scientists, rather than purely scientific argumentation. They quote the so-called irreducible complexity, observed in certain organisms as a main argument against materialistic evolutionism. William Dembski worked out a formal tool that can be used in determining if certain event was or was not intelligently designed. The so-called explanatory filter can, as he claims, be used not only on the ground of intelligent desing but as a usefull tool in sciences such as archealogy or forensics. His approach is widely accepted amongst the supporters of intelligent design, it was however criticized outside this community. The point of this presentation is to take a closer look at the interpretation of theory of intelligent design promoted by Dembski. We will examine his general claims concening the definition, scope and aims of this theory, as well as the explanatory filter itself.

In 2006 Adam Trybus graduated in philosophy at the Univeristy of Zielona Gora, Poland. His M.A. thesis was devoted to the apllication of refutation calculus to paraconsistent logic. During the time of his studies he was a visiting student at two other Polish univerisities: in Lublin and Gdansk. Adam Trybus has also participied in several workshops and conferences, including V Logical Workshop organised by theWarsaw University, Logic-PhilosophicalWorkshop organised by the Nicolas Copernicus University, Logical Workshop at the Humboldt University, Berlin and last year's Philosopher's Rally in Opole, Poland, where he has presented an introduction to refutation procedures. He is a member of the Zielona Gora Local Group, which deals with relations between science and religion. He is particulary interested in Willliam Dembski's approach to the theory of inteligent design. His article about Dembski as well as his translation of review of one of Dembski's most famous books, are currently prepared to print in the Philosophical Aspects of Genesis book series. Most recently, as a MATHLOGAPS (multi-participant early stage research training network, funded under the Sixth Framework Programme) fellow, Adam Trybus is studying mathematical logic at the Univeristy of Manchester, the School of Mathematics. His interests include probabilistic approach to logic in the context of uncertain reasoning.