Evidence Filter

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Approached objectively, one finds that the evidence used to support Darwinism is actually better evidence for intelligent design. One way to illustrate the concept of objectivity is to use the Evidence Filter[1] developed by Roddy Bullock of the Intelligent Design Network[2] (altered slightly below with permission). Here is a brief development of objective analysis:

For each instance of observed evidence of design in nature, consider the following questions:

1. Does this evidence actually support a theory of unintelligent causation (i.e., is the evidence consistent with what one would expect to observe if evolution were true, evolution being a naturalistic, unintelligent process such as Darwinism)?

2. What inferences does the evidence actually support (i.e., what can reasonably or actually be inferred from the observations put forth as evidence, as opposed to what is purported to be proven)?

3. Does the evidence also support alternative theories, including an inference of intelligent causation (i.e., is the evidence consistent with what one would expect to observe if another theory, such as intelligent design, were true)?

4. Does the evidence, taken as a whole with other evidence, weigh more heavily in favor of unintelligent processes of evolution or an alternative theory?

5. Does the evidence, taken as a whole with other evidence, rule out a particular alternative theory?

Examples Using The Evidence Filter

Here are examples of how to use the Evidence Filter with with respect to the material evidence:

Example 1 -- The Fossil Record
Fossil Ammonioids
Question 1: Does the fossil evidence actually support the theory of unintelligent causation (i.e., is the evidence consistent with what one would expect to observe if naturalistic evolution were true)?
Answer 1: No, if the theory is that of gradual change over time proposed by Darwin. However, if punctuated equilibrium is true as promoted by Stephen J. Gould, then perhaps yes.

Question 2: What inferences does the fossil evidence actually support (i.e., what can reasonably or actually be inferred from the observations put forth as evidence, as opposed to what is purported to be proven)?
Answer 2: The existence of fossils shows that there are many extinct organisms, all of which appear in the fossil record fully formed. (The supposed links in lineages are inferences required by the theory of descent with modification but not otherwise demanded by the evidence.) Many fossils appear abruptly, with no apparent ancestral lineage (e.g., in the "Cambrian Explosion"), and fossils thought to be transitional forms are rare. Yet by Darwin's own admission in his book Origin of Species, the fossil record did not then support his theory because we should find literally millions and millions of transitional fossils. Darwin believed that later fossil finds would confirm his theory of gradual descent with modification. Stephen J. Gould, the preeminent modern evolutionist and Harvard paleontologist recognized Darwin's fossil problem persisted and was essentially unchanged from Darwin's day, stating: "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils."[3]

Question 3: Does the fossil evidence also support alternative theories, including an inference of intelligent causation (i.e., is the evidence consistent with what one would expect to observe if intelligent design were true)?
Answer 3: Yes. The existence of fossils of extinct organisms, each of which has all the hallmarks of being intelligently designed, is consistent with what one would expect to find if the organisms were in fact, intelligently designed.

Question 4: Does the fossil evidence, taken as a whole with other evidence, weigh more heavily in favor of unintelligent processes of evolution or an alternative theory?
Answer 4: Taken as a whole, the evidence weighs more heavily in favor of intelligent design. Consider, as admitted by all knowledgeable Darwinists, that the fossil record does not support the continuity of gradual development that Darwinism predicts.[4] However, a fossil record showing extinct organisms exhibiting the hallmarks of intelligent design is perfectly consistent with what intelligent design theory would predict.

Question 5: Does the fossil evidence as a whole, taken together with other evidence, rule out a particular alternative theory?
Answer 5: Possibly. Taken as a whole, the evidence could be construed to rule out Darwinism. However, and importantly, whatever the fossil record shows, it cannot rule out intelligent design theory. As long as design can be scientifically detected, intelligent design theory cannot be ruled out as an explanation of the fossil record. But, and equally importantly, scientifically detected design in the fossil record does rule out Darwinism as a theory; Darwinism is the antithesis of intelligent design.
Example 2 -- The "Universal Code" of DNA evidence
DNA double helix

In his book The Fifth Miracle, The Search for the Origin of Life, evolutionist and mathematical physicist Paul Davies examines the question of life's origins, commenting:

"Today, biologists insist that Darwin's guess was basically correct: life on Earth has descended from a single common ancestor."

Why? Davies continues:

"Perhaps the most convincing evidence for a common origin is that the genetic instructions are implemented using a universal code. It is too much to believe that all these complex and highly specific features arose independently many times."

Yes, it is too much to believe. By applying the Evidence Filter, however, we see that there is another scientific alternative. Taking Davies' "most convincing evidence" of the "universal code" of genetic instructions, we can apply the Filter:


Question 1: Does the "universal code" of DNA evidence actually support a theory of unintelligent causation (i.e., is the evidence consistent with what one would expect to observe if evolution were true, evolution being a naturalistic, unintelligent process such as Darwinism)?
Answer 1: Yes. Assuming, as Darwin did, that a first living organism existed in the first place, the universal code of genetic instructions is consistent with what one would expect to find if the theory of descent with modification from a common ancestor was true.

Question 2: What inferences does the evidence actually support (i.e., what can reasonably or actually be inferred from the observations put forth as evidence, as opposed to what is purported to be proven)?
Answer 2: The universal code of genetic instructions exists in living organisms. (The supposed derivations of code from one organism to another are inferences required by the theory but not otherwise required by the evidence.)

Question 3: Does the evidence also support alternative theories, such as intelligent causation, as in intelligent design theory (i.e., is the evidence consistent with what one would expect to observe if intelligent design were true)?
Answer 3: Yes. The existence of a universal code of genetic instructions is consistent with what one would expect to find if intelligent design theory is true. Common ancestry is also consistent with intelligent design if you view the designer as a software programmer that is directing mutation rather than having heritable variations produced by chance mutations or some unknown law.

Question 4: Does the evidence, taken as a whole with other evidence, weigh more heavily in favor of evolution or an alternative theory?
Answer 4: Taken as a whole, the evidence of a universal code weighs in favor of intelligent design. The very existence of a "code" weighs strongly in favor of intelligent design. Indeed, a recent study concludes that the code is the most optimal of a million other randomly selected possibilities.[5]

Question 5: Does the evidence as a whole, taken together with other evidence, rule out a particular alternative theory?
Answer 5: Possibly. Taken as a whole, the evidence of a universal "code" that, by definition, likely requires a "coder" could be construed to rule out Darwinism. However, whatever the universal genetic code shows, it cannot rule out intelligent design theory.

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