Intelligent Design Peer-Reviewed

QUESTION: Are there any intelligent design peer-reviewed publications?


In the early years of the intelligent design movement, its detractors claimed a lack of publication was evidence of the theory's poor scientific value. Especially important to those who oppose the movement was the lack of intelligent design peer-reviewed publications. It was often claimed that this was the best proof that the scientific community did not accept the intelligent design movement (also known as "ID") as real science.

Most books and magazines review and edit the material printed, but do not necessarily have experts in the topic critique it. Peer-reviewed publications, however, are read thoroughly by qualified experts in the topical field, and those experts can choose to approve or reject the work for publication. When a paper or thesis is published by a peer-reviewed process, it bears at least a superficial mark of approval. It is a sign that the reviewers, who have knowledge of the subject, find nothing overtly incorrect, improper, or illogical in the work.

Recently, however, there have been several intelligent design peer-reviewed articles and studies published. A good number of these have been published in lesser-known or less prestigious circles, and quite a few have been published by overtly pro-design groups. Still, intelligent design peer-reviewed work is beginning to appear in more respected and established publications. A recent example, published in the "Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington," caused a controversy that demonstrated considerable hypocrisy.

The article is titled "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories." The conclusion of the article, in brief, is that design explains things that natural selection cannot. Proceedings is a peer-reviewed publication. According to the then-editor, the three reviewers were all faculty members of respected universities and research institutions. The editor also stated that, while the reviewers did not agree with the conclusions, they found nothing scientifically invalid in the reasoning.

This example of an intelligent design peer-reviewed article was not embraced by the naturalistic crowd, but condemned. Proceedings was attacked for publishing an article of "substandard science." Pro-evolutionists once claimed that a lack of intelligent design peer-reviewed work was due to a lack of credibility. Once such articles are published, however, they seem to question the entire peer-review process. Essentially, those who are entrenched into naturalistic thinking will only support peer review if it agrees with them. Many in the scientific community have made a plea for rational thinking, saying that no theory should be beyond questioning and any logical arguments must be considered. These pleas have mostly fallen on deaf ears.

Intelligent design peer-reviewed publications are difficult to find. However, they do exist and are gradually becoming more common. The resistance should not be mistaken, however. When controversial new ideas are put forward in science, the intellectual community tends to react with anger and stubbornness, regardless of the quality of the research. This is known as "opposition to new paradigms." As with other controversies, this opposition has been fed by political fires. Evolutionists are quick to label those who produce intelligent design peer-reviewed literature as "creationists," "religious nuts," or "pretend scientists." The fact that intelligent design uses entirely natural and secular arguments does nothing to deter evolutionists from using these labels. This type of rhetoric causes scientists and laymen alike to form opinions about the intelligent design movement long before they know anything about it.

Intelligent design peer-reviewed publications are becoming more common. There are many objective studies that have been done which point towards design theory. Scientists are beginning to admit that they often interpret data assuming that an established theory is true, and assume other results are in error. Once they look at them without that assumption, they often see supporting evidence for something else. Many pro-ID works have been referenced in other publications, usually positively. It may take time for the paradigm to shift, but eventually evolutionists will have to stop being angry at the conclusions and face up to the science behind them.

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