The scientific viability of W. A. Dembski's design inference: Response to B. Forrest and R. Pennock of the Kitzmiller trial
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SubjectDembski, William A., 1960- Design inference
Dembski, William A., 1960-
Forrest, Barbara, 1952-
Pennock, Robert T.
Intelligent design (Teleology)
Evolution (Biology) -- Religious aspects
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This dissertation argues that philosophers Barbara Forrest and Robert T. Pennock fail to discredit William A. Dembski's Design Inference as a legitimate scientific program. Chapter 1 is the introduction, explaining the problem and the research methodology used in the dissertation to ascertain a conclusion. Chapter 2 is a background survey and analysis of contemporary Intelligent Design (ID) theory and Dembski's part within the overall schemata of the Intelligent Design enterprise. Particular aspects of Dembski's Design Inference framework and its corresponding "explanatory filter" are explained in Chapter 3. Both Forrest and Pennock had significant influence on the judge's final opinion in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, which brought serious scrutiny against ID's scientific merit. Criticism against Dembski was an important part of Forrest and Pennock's respective expert testimony against ID. Based on this trial testimony and their respective academic writings, Chapter 4 therefore argues for the legitimacy of Forrest and Pennock as influential critics when considering Dembski's scientific relevance. The chapter also surveys their substantive arguments against Dembski. Dembski's own response to the categorical criticisms by Forrest and Pennock are addressed in Chapter 5. The concluding analysis is in Chapter 6, arguing that Dembski's Design Inference maintains as viable science, despite the critiques by Forrest and Pennock.