, Volume 178, Issue 2, pp 291–305

The science question in intelligent design


DOI: 10.1007/s11229-009-9540-x

Cite this article as:
Sarkar, S. Synthese (2011) 178: 291. doi:10.1007/s11229-009-9540-x


Intelligent Design creationism is often criticized for failing to be science because it falls afoul of some demarcation criterion between science and non-science. This paper argues that this objection to Intelligent Design is misplaced because it assumes that a consistent non-theological characterization of Intelligent Design is possible. In contrast, it argues that, if Intelligent Design is taken to be non-theological doctrine, it is not intelligible. Consequently, a demarcation criterion cannot be used to judge its status. This position has the added advantage of providing reasons to reject Intelligent Design creationism without invoking potentially philosophically controversial demarcation criteria.


CreationismDemarcation problemEvolutionFundamentalismIntelligent Design

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Integrative Biology, Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA