George Will has made one accurate criticism of the idea he so dislikes: “The problem with intelligent design is not that it is false but that it is not falsifiable. Not being susceptible to contradicting evidence, it is not a testable hypothesis.” This is true; but he should have added that Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is not falsifiable either. Darwin’s claim to fame was his discovery of a mechanism of evolution; he accepted “survival of the fittest” as a good summary of his natural-selection theory. But which ones are the fittest? The ones that survive. There is no criterion of fitness that is independent of survival. Whatever happens, it is the “fittest” that survive — by definition. This, just like intelligent design, is not a testable hypothesis. As the eminent philosopher of science Karl Popper said, after discussing this problem that natural selection cannot escape: “There is hardly any possibility of testing a theory as feeble as this.” Popper was the first to propose falsification as the line of demarcation between theories that are scientific and those that are not; both intelligent design and natural selection fall by this standard. ~Tom Bethell
So Popper’s standard of falsification rules out ID as science, as Mr. Bethell grants. So what is there really to argue about when it comes to intelligent design-as-science? That evolutionists are too often dogmatic and the theory of evolution is an ongoing, revisable explanation of natural phenomena that does not as of yet have all the answers? We already knew that. What else?
It is very important to note, as I have tried to do time and again, that some of the leading ID theorists, such as Michael Behe, do not reject man’s descent from a common ancestor shared with primates, nor do they disagree with much of the rest of evolutionary biology. Where they differ fundamentally from “evolutionists” is, of course, in the latter’s attribution of randomness and purposelessness to the process by which change takes place, but they do not (as far as I know) actually seek to deny or minimise that these changes do seem to have taken place. They should not even necessarily deny or question that life originated in some primordial soup of the Pre-Cambrian Period, but would only assert that the Designer prepared the soup because it is an irreducibly complicated soup.