Specified Complexity

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    Dembski, William A.

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    Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence

    "Specification denotes the type of pattern that highly improbable events must exhibit before one is entitled to attribute them to intelligence. This paper analyzes the concept of specification and shows how it applies to design detection (i.e., the detection of intelligence on the basis of circumstantial evidence). Always in the background throughout this discussion is the fundamental question of Intelligent Design (ID): Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause? This paper reviews, clarifies, and extends previous work on specification in my books The Design Inference and No Free Lunch."
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    Dembski, William A.

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    The Explanatory Filter: A three-part filter for understanding how to separate and identify cause from intelligent design

    "Intelligent Design holds that intelligent causation is an irreducible feature of the bio-physical universe, and furthermore that intelligent causation is empirically detectable. It is unexceptionable that intelligent causes can do things which unintelligent causes cannot. Intelligent Design provides a method for distinguishing between intelligent and unintelligent causes, and then applies this method to the special sciences. Hardly a dubious innovation, Intelligent Design formalizes and makes precise something we do all the time. All of us are all the time engaged in a form of rational activity which, without being tendentious, can be described as inferring design. Inferring design is a perfectly common and well-accepted human activity. People find it important to identify events that are caused through the purposeful, premeditated action of an intelligent agent, and to distinguish such events from events due to either law or chance. Intelligent Design unpacks the logic of this everyday activity, and applies it to questions in science. There's no magic, no vitalism, no appeal to occult forces here. Inferring design is widespread, rational, and objectifiable. The purpose of this paper is to formulate Intelligent Design as a scientific theory."
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    Dembski, William A.

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    The Logical Underpinnings of Intelligent Design

    "For many natural scientists, design, conceived as the action of an intelligent agent, is not a fundamental creative force in nature. Rather, material mechanisms, charactereized by chance and necessity and ruled by unbroken laws, are thought sufficient to do all nature's creating. Darwin's theory epitomizes this rejection of design. But how do we know that nature requires no help from a designing intelligence? Certainly, in special sciences ranging from forensics to archaeology to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), appeal to a designing intelligence is indespensable. What's more, within these sciences there are well-developed techniques for identifying intelligence. What if these techniques could be formalized, applied to biological systems, and registered the presence of design? Herein lies the promise of intelligent design (or ID as it is now abbreviated)."