junkDNA (see nucleic acid ) and the vestigial webbed feet of the frigate bird (which never lands on water).
The idea that nature shows signs of having been designed by an intelligent being dates back at least to ancient Greece. The English theologian William Paley gave the theory its classic formulation in his Natural Theology or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity (1802), in which he argued that the eye and other biological features are perfectly suited for their purposes and that in this suitable design the hand of God can be discerned. The modern intelligent-design movement, however, has its origins in the 1980s with such works as The Mystery of Life's Origins (1984) by Charles Thaxton et al. and Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1986) by Michael Denton. Micheal Behe's Darwin's Black Box (1996) is perhaps the best-known statement of the movement's critique of Darwin and its argument for a role for God or some other intelligence in the design of biological entities. Advocates of intelligent design have campaigned to have it taught in U.S. public schools alongside the Darwinian theory of evolution. A requirement by the Dover, Pa., area school board that students be told that intelligent design represents an alternative explanation for the origin of life was challenged in federal court in 2005 and ruled unconstitutional.
See R. T. Pennock, ed., Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics (2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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