The Intelligent Design Definition of DESIGN

Designer Enzyme

Computational Structure-Based Redesign of Enzyme Activity. PNAS (2009).

There is design in nature,

Second, ID Theory is the study of design. More specifically, ID is the study of information (CSI) in the form of DNA in how it originated and increases in the genome of a population resulting in greater complexity.


Design — purposefully directed contingency. That is, the intelligent, creative manipulation of possible outcomes (and usually of objects, forces, materials, processes and trends) towards goals. (E.g. 1: writing a meaningful sentence or a functional computer program. E.g. 2: loading of a die to produce biased, often advantageous, outcomes. E.g. 3: the creation of a complex object such as a statue, or a stone arrow-head, or a computer, or a pocket knife.). Source:

Design can be defined in numerous ways. The most basic element of its definition infers intelligence, intention, direction, or guidance. Since ID being the science that it is, a scientific definition is required for the term, “design.” To avoid confusion, we identify design as “Specified Complexity,” aka “Complex Specified Information,” or CSI,

ID is a study of not just information, but CSI, the kind of information that infers design. Hence, ID Theory is just as much related to the field of bioinformatics as it is to biochemistry,

William Dembski discusses specification,


CSI – Life shows evidence of complex, aperiodic, and specified information in its key functional macromolecules, and the only other example we know of such function-specifying complex information are artifacts designed by intelligent agents. A chance origin of life would exceed the universal probability bound (UPB) set by the scope of the universe; hence design is a factor in the origin and development of life. Contrary to a commonly encountered (and usually dismissive) opinion, this concept is neither original to Dr Dembski nor to the design theory movement. Its first recognized use was by noted Origin of Life researcher, Leslie Orgel, in 1973:

Living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; mixtures of random polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity. [ L.E. Orgel, 1973. The Origins of Life. New York: John Wiley, p. 189. Emphases added.]

The concept of complex specified information helps us understand the difference between (a) the highly informational, highly contingent aperiodic functional macromolecules of life and (b) regular crystals formed through forces of mechanical necessity, or (c) random polymer strings. In so doing, they identified a very familiar concept — at least to those of us with hardware or software engineering design and development or troubleshooting experience and knowledge. Furthermore, on massive experience, such CSI reliably points to intelligent design when we see it in cases where we independently know the origin story. Source:

Much of Wm Dembski’s work and career has been devoted to research in bioinformatics related to CSI. Papers on the subject are available here,

Stephen Meyer on Design,

Further reading,

William Dembski comments on why inferring design does not require knowledge of a designer,

Examples in Nature:

The following science research articles and videos are examples of design found in nature.  These are only the tip of the iceberg:

Fox Pouncing On Essentiall Undetectable Prey Under Snow

Foxes Use the Earth’s Magnetic Field to Detect Prey Under Snow

Woodpecker's Head

A Woodpecker’s Head’s Head Features a Remarkable Shock Absorber System

A Sea Turtle Uses Earth’s magnetic field to Navigate

Sea Turtles detect almost imperceptible gradients in Earth’s magnetic field.

Saber Toothed Vegetarian Dinosaur

Saber Toothed Vegetarian Dinosaur

Lizard Tongue

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2 Responses to The Intelligent Design Definition of DESIGN


  2. Pingback: STRAWMAN ARGUMENTS AGAINST ID THEORY | dennisdjones

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