Intelligent Design Theory – A Quasi-Scientific Endeavor with a Religious Agenda
PUBLISHED on January 17, 2005
Intelligent Design theory: A modern version of creationism
The so-called Intelligent Design theory is a modern version of creationism, mostly indigenous for the USA but also having allies and offshoots in Europe, Australia, and Asia, in particular enjoying a substantial measure of support and popularity in its Islamic version. It is based on the assumption that the universe in general and biological life in particular are too complex and too highly “specified” to have come into existence “by chance” and therefore must be products of purposeful action by an intelligent “designer.”
Although intelligent design theory has been motivated mainly by the religious fervor of its advocates, intelligent design “theorists” present it as a “scientific” theory.
In its most recent rendition, intelligent design theory entered the discourse in the early 1990s as a more sophisticated version of creationism than its predecessors (such as the “creation science” by young earth creationists). Creation science in the USA suffered legal defeats, including the 1987 Supreme Court ruling in Edwards vs. Aguillard and some other courts’ decisions which determined that creation science is not science but religious dogma and therefore, as per the establishment clause of the first amendment to the Constitution of the USA, can’t be taught in public schools science classes.
The advocates of intelligent design have partially abandoned the most egregious absurdities of creation science (such as the assertion that the 2nd law of thermodynamics makes evolution impossible). The key figures of intelligent design theory are often well educated, sport advanced degrees from prestigious universities, and use argumentation which is suffused with mathematical symbolism, accompanied with references to real scientific sources, and often looks impressive on the face of it. Nevertheless, the scientific community has overwhelmingly rejected intelligent design theory, viewing it as just a better-packaged creationism (referring to it as “creationism in a cheap tuxedo,” “stealth creationism,” and the like).
Intelligent design theory is essentially a more elaborate and refined version of the “argument from design” which has a long tradition. One of early renditions of the argument from design was offered by a British clergyman William Paley (1802). According to Paley, if you find a watch on the ground, nobody would assume that such a complex contraption, whose multiple parts are well-matched and perform a specific function, could have emerged spontaneously (“by chance”). A watch displays features of a purposeful design. Paley’s argument proceeded to claim that “if there is a watch, there must be a watchmaker.” Since the universe is immensely more complex than a watch and also features an intricate clocklike order, thus displaying the signs of design, Paley’s idea extends to the universe the assertion that “if there is design, there must be a designer.”
For Paley and many of his followers, the designer was unequivocally identified as the God of the Christian Bible. For the proponents of the Islamic version of intelligent design the designer is the Allah. However, in modern versions of argument from design, like the intelligent design theory, the identity of the designer is often deliberately left undetermined, or sometimes is assumed to be some entity of an extra-terrestrial origin, as in the Raëlian cult (Raël 1974).
The argument from design had already been shown to be philosophically deficient by the British philosopher David Hume (1777) but has nevertheless recrudesced time and time again since the publication of Paley’s book.
Essentially, the argument from design is tantamount to the argument from improbability: the spontaneous emergence of a complex contraption such as a watch has an exceedingly small probability, therefore its existence supposedly must lead to a design inference.
The estimation of probability depends on our knowledge about the situation. If we possess a complete knowledge of a situation, we deal with certainties rather than probabilities. The incomplete knowledge is what forces us to resort to estimation of probabilities. In other words, probability estimations depend on the level of ignorance about a situation. Therefore argument from design is in fact a version of the argument from ignorance. It also is known as the God-of-the-gaps argument. Whenever there are gaps in the knowledge available through scientific means, the God-of-the gaps approach invokes a reference to a supposedly supernatural source of the unknown contents of a “gap.” However, as science progresses, the gaps in the knowledge are gradually filled up, thus removing supernatural attributions one by one.
Paley’s argument from design has a number of serious weaknesses. One such weakness of the argument from design is the problem of infinite regress. If the universe and/or biological life are products of a purposeful design, the natural question is: who designed the designer? If the probability of the universe’s existence by chance is extremely small, so must be the probability of the existence of its creator, as well as that of the “creator’s creator,” and so on ad infinitum. The adherents of the argument from design are unwilling to accept infinite regress and maintain that, unlike nature, the Creator has had no beginning and therefore needs no “super-creator.” If, however, we refuse to accept infinite regress, the principle of parsimony (also referred to as Occam’s razor) which states that the simplest assumption is always preferable to a more complex one, makes unreasonable the hypothesis of the existence of a supernatural creator. The question of whether natural world had or had not a beginning is irrelevant in this respect even only because the assumption that the Creator has had no beginning has no factual basis but is only an arbitrary ad-hoc postulate invoked to compensate for the lack of evidence.
One more weakness of the argument from design can be illustrated as follows. Slightly modify Paley’s argument. Imagine that we find a watch, say, on some uninhabited planet, like Mars. Again, we see a contraption consisting of well-matched parts performing a function. It must have been designed, right? However, there are no watchmakers on that planet. So we must conclude that perhaps humans used to visit that planet before, or that human-like creatures used to exist on that planer in the past. Why do we come to such a conclusion? Because the watch is complex and functional? It is easy to see that the reason is different. Say, we find on the same planet an apple tree. An apple is immensely more complex than a watch and the tree produces this complex entity by a complex and well organized process wherein many parts of the tree are well matched. However, unlike with a watch, we will not conclude that the apple tree was designed by humans. Following Paley, we have to conclude that the apple tree was designed by a supernatural creator. Why the conclusions are different while both a watch and a tree equally display signs of design? For one reason only: we have experience which tells us that all watches have been designed and made by humans. So, when we see a watch, we recognize a human-designed artifact. However, when we see a biological organism, we possess no experience pointing to it being an artifact, i.e. a product of a human design. The analogy between the recognizable features of a human design in a watch and the seeming design of biological objects is superficial and has no factual foundation. Our ignorance of the origin of biological objects or of the features of the universe is not a sufficient reason to assume the existence of a supernatural “designer” for which there is no evidence. The jump from the reasonable attribution of a watch to a human design to the arbitrary attribution of, say, biological organisms or certain features of the universe to a supernatural, never observed, designer is a logical fallacy.
These are only some of the weaknesses of the argument from design.
The recent resurgence of activity of the intelligent design “theorists” acquired vigor with the publication of a book Darwin on Trial by an academic lawyer Phillip Johnson (1991). Its main content was an assault on evolution theory which, according to Johnson, is grounded in materialistic philosophy while not supported by genuine scientific data.
In Darwin on Trial, and in a series of subsequent publications, Johnson covered a number of points, rejecting essentially all the tenets of “Darwinism.” Johnson and his followers apply the term “Darwinism” or “Darwin’s theory” as if no development took place in biological sciences during about 150 years after Charles Darwin published his famous On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection. In fact biological sciences have experienced an enormous development since Darwin. The knowledge accumulated after Darwin is immense. In particular, an important part of the modern evolutionary biology is genetics which did no exist in Darwin’s time and which has shed light on the mechanism of hereditary trends. What has to be stated, though, is that despite certain amendments to Darwin’s original concepts, the main core of Darwin’s ideas has received amazingly strong empirical confirmation, such that the main aspect of Darwin’s theory – descent with modification – has been firmly accepted by the overwhelming majority of biologists. Many crucial innovations in medicine, agriculture, pharmaceutical science, and even in computer science have occurred based on Darwinian evolutionary ideas.
Johnson, however, attempted an attack on many facets of Darwinism (i.e. on evolutionary biology). One such aspect is the alleged critical distinction between “microevolution” and “macroevolution.” The term “microevolution” in the usage of intelligent design advocates refers to the changes biological organisms undergo without producing new species and hence also no taxonomic groups above the species.
Most intelligent design advocates accept microevolution as a fact (for example, the development of strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, or creating various breeds of dogs). What the intelligent design advocates, including Johnson, deny, is “macroevolution” (which in terms of evolutionary biology is usually referred to as speciation) i.e. the development of new species or larger taxonomic categories as a result of descent with modification.
Evolutionary biology denies any substantive difference between “micro-“ and “macroevolution.” The process entailing random mutations in the genome, accompanied by natural selection (and/or by a number of other mechanisms studied by evolutionary biology) is not restrained by any limits preventing the emergence of new species. When enough differences accumulate in the genome through mutations, and the novel forms of organisms happen to be geographically separated from their progenitor form, or otherwise prevented from interbreeding with the progenitor population, the new offspring may become biologically incapable of interbreeding with the progenitor species, so a new species emerges. The actual occurrence of speciation has been well established in the biological science and the biological literature contains many examples of speciation both in plants and animals. Johnson and his supporters simply deny facts when they assert the alleged absence of evidence in favor of speciation. (See, for example, Coyne and Orr, 2004).
Another point Johnson construes as an argument against “Darwinism” is the “Cambrian explosion.” In fact, evolutionary biology comfortably accounts for the Cambrian explosion, which was the emergence of new groups of organisms in the course of relatively short period of time (about 10 million years) some 540 million years ago.
Johnson also offers some philosophical arguments, suggesting that the theory of natural selection is just tautology and that Darwin’s theory is based on “circular reasoning.” These points in Johnson’s output have been repudiated as philosophically invalid even by some philosophers from his own camp (Ratzsch 2001).
Professional biologists have overwhelmingly rejected Johnson’s arguments. In particular, a critique of Johnson’s book, reflecting a consensus of biologists, was published by the prominent expert in evolution theory, Stephen Jay Gould (1992). It was followed by other critical reviews of Johnson’s literary output from various standpoints (see, for example Miller 1999 or Perakh 2004). Nevertheless Johnson’s book, with its lawyer’s style of arguments, delivered with a considerable eloquence, has gained wide popularity among religiously inclined audience. This audience found in Johnson’s book what they considered a much desired repudiation of evolution theory which has been (or seemed to be) at odds with religious beliefs.
As Johnson has claimed himself and as was acknowledged more than once by his followers, he “assumed the leading role” in an enterprise which soon became known as the intelligent design movement.
In the early nineties Johnson was reportedly instrumental in establishing a Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (later renamed Center for Science and Culture - CSC) at the Discovery Institute of Seattle, Washington. The Discovery Institute is a conservative think-tank fed with monetary grants from ultra-conservative religious foundations (Forrest and Gross 2004).
In a few years a group of “intelligent design theorists” coalesced at the Discovery Institute. Most of the known intelligent design “theorists” are fellows of the Discovery Institute.
Since Johnson possesses no scientific background, he soon became a figurehead of the intelligent design movement, leaving the detailed discussions to his better educated younger colleagues.
A milestone in the Intelligent Design movement was the publication of the book Darwin’s Black Box by a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, Michael J. Behe (1996). Behe is one of only a few intelligent design advocates who are genuine scientists, with a reasonable (although modest) record of publications in peer-reviewed journals. The book in question is, though, not a scientific monograph, but rather a popular tale addressing general audience, and has little relation to Behe’s biochemical research.
In his book Behe introduced the concept of irreducible complexity of molecular assemblies in biological cells.
According to Behe, a system is irreducibly complex if it performs a certain function (for example clots blood) and consists of such well matched indispensable parts that the removal of even a single part results in the system’s losing its function.
Behe suggested that an irreducibly complex system could not have evolved via a Darwinian path (which entails random mutations and natural selection). Indeed, asserted Behe, Darwinian evolution works only on existing functioning systems. Since a system that has even only one part of the irreducibly complex system missing, is, by Behe’s definition, dysfunctional, it could not have served as an evolutionary precursor to the full irreducibly complex system. Hence, stated Behe, irreducibly complex systems must have been created as a whole, rather than evolved from precursor systems.
Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity was not really new. Long before Behe, advocates of argument from design suggested similar ideas but applied them not to the molecular assemblies in the cell but, say, to the eye, or to the venom-injecting system of snakes, etc. When arguing that an eye could not have evolved via a Darwinian path because “half an eye is of no use,” the anti-evolutionists had in fact used the same reasoning as Behe did for protein systems in a cell. Moreover, even the concept of irreducible complexity in its particular relation to molecular systems had been suggested some ten years prior to Behe’s book (Cairns-Smith 1986).
Most biologists rejected Behe’s concept. The experimental evidence shows that irreducibly complex systems (as defined by Behe) could have evolved via Darwinian path indirectly, utilizing what metaphorically has been called a “scaffold” approach. This term has been borrowed from the practice of building various structures, for example, arches. The arch cannot stand unless its lateral halves are locked together by a keystone at the arch’s apex. On the other hand, the keystone cannot stay in place unless supported by the rest of the arch. So, to set the keystone in its place, we first need to have the arch’s lateral halves to be already in place. But to have the lateral halves standing, we first need the keystone to be already in place. Does this mean an arch cannot be built gradually but must rather be “created” as a whole in one fell swoop? Of course, the problem of building an arch is easily solved by using supporting scaffolds which are removed after all parts of the arch are in place. Similarly, precursors to an IC system could have existed but could have had functions different from the present functions (such examples abound in the biological literature); after the “irreducibly complex” system evolved from a precursor, some of the precursor’s parts (that served as “scaffolds”) become unnecessary and, like a scaffold, are disassembled by the evolutionary process.
In his book and in several papers Behe disputed critiques of his work. However, he ignored the extensive literature wherein biologists provided many examples of realistic Darwinian paths which could have led to the evolution of irreducibly complex systems.
Although Behe’s book has been subjected to a strong critique from various standpoints, both biological and non-biological, and was almost unanimously rejected by mainstream biology, intelligent design theorists adopted Behe’s idea of irreducible complexity of protein systems in the cell as one of the main tools in defense of their theory.
The next milestone in the development of intelligent design theory was the publication of The Design Inference by William A. Dembski (1998), followed in the next few years by several other books by the same author. Dembski possesses several advanced degrees including a PhD in mathematics. He brought to intelligent design theory a new level of seeming sophistication. In fact, however, his numerous publications cannot conceal that Dembski has neither performed any real scientific research nor has made any innovative contribution to mathematics. Dembski has introduced into intelligent design theory several concepts which, along with Behe’s irreducible complexity, have become pillars of the theory. These concepts are: (a) the explanatory filter; (b) the law of small probability and the associated concept of the universal probability bound (UPB); (c) complex specified Information (CSI) also referred to as specified complexity; (d) the law of conservation of information (LCI) acclaimed by intelligent design advocates as a revolutionary breakthrough on a par with Newton’s discoveries; (e) the calculation of probability of a spontaneous emergence of complex biological structures such as the bacterial flagellum, and some others. Dembski’s ideas have not only been largely ignored by mainstream science, but also repudiated by a number of experts in pertinent fields (such as information theory and molecular biology).
Let us briefly review the main features of the listed ideas by Dembski.
Dembski’s explanatory filter is a flow chart which supposedly can serve as a reliable tool for discriminating between necessity (regularity, law), chance, and design as the causes of an event. Explanatory filter has been vigorously promoted by Dembski and praised by his cohorts, however it has so far never been used to solve any specific problem. As critics have pointed out, the procedure prescribed by the explanatory filter is unrealistic. The artificial demarcation between three distinctive causes – necessity, chance, and design -- does not reflect reality because more than one cause is often instrumental in causing an event. The fatal shortcoming of the EF is that it produces both false negatives and false positives thus making it an unreliable tool.
Dembski’s “law of small probability” states: specified events of low probability do not occur by chance. He suggests the threshold of the sufficiently small probability named the universal probability bound (UPB), which is about 10-150. Dembski obtained this number by multiplying three quantities: (1) the estimated number of particles in the known universe (1080); (2) the maximum number of interactions between particles (i.e. the number of state changes) per second (1045); (3) the age of the known universe (less than 1025 seconds). Аs can be shown, the value of UPB suggested by Dembski is based on some poorly substantiated assumptions. For example, the number of particles (1080) in the universe may in fact be immensely larger if we account for the actual (unknown) size of the entire universe (rather than only for the known, observable part of it).
Moreover, regardless of the value of UPB, adding specification does not cure the design inference from being an essentially probabilistic exercise. Analysis of CSI shows that its three components (information, complexity, and specification) as Dembski renders them, all represent, either directly or indirectly, the probability of an event. Therefore arguments in favor of intelligent design, based on CSI, essentially boil down to the argument from improbability. This type of argument states that the universe (or biological life) is so complex that its spontaneous emergence is too improbable to be considered seriously. The argument from improbability has no evidentiary power and science has successfully explained how extremely complex objects could have spontaneously emerged without a supernatural guiding hand (as, for example, in studies of self-organization, [Shanks 2004]).
The argument from improbability (especially in its form of a God-of-the-gaps argument) has been rejected as unreliable even by some philosophers among the ID advocates (Plantinga 2001).
Dembski’s law of conservation of information (2002) (which Dembski claims to have the status of a Fourth Law of thermodynamics) was acclaimed by intelligent design advocates as a revolutionary breakthrough in science. It was, however, shown to contradict the Second Law of thermodynamics (Perakh 2004 a). It has not been accepted in either information theory or in thermodynamics, but has nevertheless been promoted by intelligent design advocates as an allegedly great scientific achievement.
Dembski’s calculations of the probability of a spontaneous emergence of complex biological structures (such as a bacterial flagellum) are based on a multiplication of partial probabilities of imaginary sequential steps, each of them requiring coincidences of a very low probability (like, for example, a coincidental gathering of numerous proteins which are constituents of the emerging flagellum, all in the same location at the same time). No biologist has suggested a process like that imagined by Dembski, wherein the improbable coincidences are assumed to be the steps of biological evolution. His approach is analogous to the example of the “tornado in a junkyard” creating by chance an airplane. This scheme of many coinciding improbable events has nothing to do with biological science, which has developed many ideas regarding the pathways of evolution, in particular for the flagellum (Musgrave 2004), wherein no assumptions of such improbable coincidences need to be suggested. Dembski’s “calculations” are irrelevant for biology.
Likewise certain other parts of Dembski’s conceptual conglomerate are either plainly erroneous or irrelevant. A telling example is Dembski’s misuse of certain theorems of optimization theory – the No Free Lunch (NFL) theorems (Wolpert and Macready 1997). As one of the originators of these theorems, David Wolpert, wrote (2003), “Dembski’s treatment of the No Free Lunch Theorems is written in jello.” Dembski’s attempt to assert that the NFL theorems make evolution via a Darwinian path impossible was based on a misinterpretation of these theorems. The NFL theorems show that no search algorithm (including evolutionary algorithms) is better than any other algorithm if their “performance” is averaged over all possible fitness landscapes. Dembski interpreted this result as a proof that evolutionary algorithms cannot outperform blind search. Since blind search is too slow for evolution to have happened during the earth’s existence, evolution must be not feasible as the mechanism of appearance of the variety of species – or so says Dembski. However, Dembski ignores the crucial feature of the NFL theorems – they refer only to the average performance of various algorithms. They say nothing about relative performance of various algorithms on particular fitness landscapes. In fact, evolutionary algorithms are known to immensely outperform blind search on relevant landscapes, and therefore the NFL theorems in no way prohibit evolution.
One more concept promoted by Dembski is the displacement problem. Its essence is that evolutionary algorithms allegedly need to search an “information-resource space” in order to find the fitness function pertinent to the particular search. The imaginary “information-resource space,” according to Dembski, is usually much larger than the search space (in Dembski’s parlance, “phase space”) itself, so the problem becomes even more intractable, thus, again, allegedly making evolution improbable.
This schema is, however, unsubstantiated. (Perakh 2004b). In real-life problems search algorithms face a given specific fitness landscape and therefore have no need to search some “information-resource space” (the concept of which is absent in the context of the NFL theorems).
In 2004 Dembski announced that he was working on a set of papers under the overall title “Mathematical Foundation of Intelligent Design.” As of December 2004, he has posted to the Internet the first two installments of the planned set. In the first installment Dembski claimed to have developed a new measure of information which he has dubbed Variational Information. However, as was immediately pointed out by experts in the matter, this article did not offer any new mathematics. In fact Dembski’s allegedly novel concept of “Variational Information” was just a renamed by Dembski well-known (for over forty years) quantity, usually referred to as Rényi divergence of the second order. Besides, some of Dembski’s derivations in that article were shown to be in error. Dembski has hastily amended his article, adding a reference to Rényi. However, Dembski’s amendments still contain erroneous points. More important, though, the article in question, regardless of its quality and contrary to Dembski’s announced goal, contains no notions relevant to intelligent design.
As the second installment in the announced set, Dembski resurrected his article about “Uniform Probability” which was first published more than ten years earlier. Like the first installment, it has practically no relevance to intelligent design for which it supposedly provides a mathematical foundation. There is no reason to expect that the entire set of promised articles will provide a foundation for intelligent design, mathematical or otherwise.
Besides Johnson, Behe, and Dembski, there are among the more prominent advocates of intelligence design the philosophers Stephen C. Meyer, Jay W. Richards, and John M. Reynolds, the biologist/theologian Jonathan C. Wells, the astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, and others.
Since intelligent design advocates have often been criticized for their failure to publish papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals which reflects the absence of scientific contents in their theory, they have been striving to break into peer-reviewed media. Stephen Meyer was one of the intelligent design advocates who succeeded. He had found a chink in the peer-reviewing procedure when the editor of Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington was temporarily an apparent sympathizer of intelligent design. Meyer’s review paper arguing in favor of intelligent design appeared in that journal (2004). This event caused loud jubilation in intelligent design circles.
The leadership of the Biological Society of Washington promptly disavowed Meyer’s paper and stated that the editor Richard von Sternberg violated the policies of the journal. Biologists who have criticized Meyer’s paper have pointed out that Meyer’s review was “substandard:” it contains no original research results; Meyer has made some unsubstantiated claims; he has ignored many of the relevant sources which contradict his thesis, etc.
Jonathan C. Wells is perhaps the foremost biologist (besides Behe) in the intelligent design movement. As Wells himself has revealed, he was chosen to get a PhD degree in biology by his spiritual “father,” Sun Myung Moon (the leader of the Unification church) with the explicitly predetermined task “to destroy Darwinism.” Obviously such an intention adopted before having studied the subject testifies to Wells’s antecedent bias. Wells has published a popular book (2002) titled Icons of Evolution, wherein he pounced upon textbooks on biology. Among the features he tried to demolish are the famous Miller-Urey experiment, which demonstrated a spontaneous production of amino-acids in a simulated primeval atmosphere subjected to electric discharge; observations of industrial melanism in the peppered moths; Haeckel’s drawings of embryos of various species, etc. Wells maintains that all these “icons” of evolutionary theory are at best in error and at worst fraudulent. Like the rest of the anti-evolution arguments, Wells’s assertions have overwhelmingly been rejected by mainstream biologists who pointed to multiple distortions and misrepresentations of facts in Wells’s book (as an example, see the repudiation of Wells’s critique of peppered moths industrial melanism experiments – Young and Musgrave 2005).
Another aspect of ID has been presented in a book titled Privileged Planet (Gonzalez and Richards 2004). These authors argue in favor of intelligent design, pointing to the alleged unique properties of the Earth which, they maintain, combines highly improbable “habitability” and “measurability.” Most of these author’s arguments are based on correlations. Such an approach, as is known from mathematical statistics, should be used with caution as it often leads to arbitrary conclusions. This seems to be the case with Gonzalez-Richards’s assertions, which at best allow for various interpretations often contradicting Gonzalez and Richards’s asseverations, and at worst are simply not really true, as it was pointed to by several critics.
In March of 1999 a paper surfaced on the Internet which became known as the Wedge document from the Discovery Institute. Its principal author is believed to be Phillip E. Johnson. It contained a detailed plan for achieving a complete overhaul of science, based on intelligent design theory. The victory would be achieved in stages. The ultimate goal of the Intelligent Design revolution was defined in that document as “nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.”
The Wedge document was a five-year action plan for the intelligent design movement. In fact, though, the Wedge document was supposedly laying foundation for an “Intelligent Design revolution” for a much longer period of time. The details of the Wedge documents and the progress in the implementation of its staged strategy are described by Forrest and Gross (2004). The plan envisioned activities in several directions, including publication of books and papers promoting intelligent design theory, public relations campaigns, organizing conferences, interviews, lobbying politicians and governmental agencies, working with school boards all over the country with the aim of introducing the intelligent design theory into school curricula, first under the slogan “teach the controversy” but ultimately as a legitimate alternative to “naturalistic” science.
Now, after the end of the initially envisioned five year period, we can state that the intelligent design movement has achieved substantial success in those aspects of its actions that related to public relations, recruiting politicians to their cause, and gaining considerable publicity. However, the other part of the Wedge strategy, envisioning intelligent design theory breaking into mainstream science, has failed. Intelligent design advocates have not suggested a single testable scientific hypothesis relevant to intelligent design theory in any field of science. They have suggested no research program based on the intelligent design theory. Intelligent design theory is scientifically futile and its quasi-scientific mantle barely conceals its religious roots and motivations.
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Mark Perakh is a retired professor from Cal. State University with the Emeritus status. He is a prominent skeptic who is passionately engaged in debunking various kinds of crank science. Author of Unintelligent Design.