Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 545–553

Intelligent design and mathematical statistics: a troubled alliance



The explanatory filter is a proposed method to detect design in nature with the aim of refuting Darwinian evolution. The explanatory filter borrows its logical structure from the theory of statistical hypothesis testing but we argue that, when viewed within this context, the filter runs into serious trouble in any interesting biological application. Although the explanatory filter has been extensively criticized from many angles, we present the first rigorous criticism based on the theory of mathematical statistics.


Intelligent design Evolution Mathematical statistics Hypothesis testing 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1. Mathematics DepartmentTrinity UniversitySan AntonioUSA

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