Analysis of the Theory of “Intelligent Design”

Directions: The paper assignment for this course is to analyze and explain why the theory of “intelligent design” is not a scientific theory. The main question here is not whether “intelligent design” is true or correct; rather, the issue is why it is not scientific. Thus, the thesis statement of this paper will consist of a general claim about why “intelligent design” is not a scientific theory. The thesis should come at the end of a short introductory paragraph that explains the importance of the topic and situates it in the context of current public discourse. In the body, the rest of the paper will explain, support, and develop that claim. To address this question, the body of the paper should: 1. summarize Steven D. Schafersman’s definition of the elements of scientific thinking. The key here is an adequate and accurate statement of what scientific thinking consists of and a clear explanation of why this kind of thinking is important. 2. Provide a short summary of the main arguments of the theory of “intelligent design”; and this will require a bit of original research for which some initial resources are provided. 3. Third, Schafersman’s criteria for scientific thinking should be applied to the theory of “intelligent design” in a systematic way in order to reach a conclusion about why the theory of “intelligent design” does not meet the criteria. The paper’s conclusion should restate the thesis and summarize the major arguments in new wording. Thinking Processes Required: This paper requires students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the elements of “intelligent design” and of Schafersman’s criteria for scientific thinking. It also requires application of Schafersman’s criteria to analysis of the scientific bona fides of the theory of “intelligent design.” Finally, the paper requires a well-supported evaluation of the scientific legitimacy of the theory of “intelligent design.” Thus, this assignment taps most of Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking processes.

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