Intelligent Designs Content Problem

Intelligent design is criticized not only for a lack of theory but also for a lack of empirical content. This objection is presented both by scientists and by young-Earth creationists, noting that ID proponents seem reluctant to commit to claims about what happened in the history of life. As detailed by the YEC Carl Wieland, on the Answers in Genesis Web site: "They generally refuse to be drawn on the sequence of events, or the exact history of life on Earth or its duration, apart from saying, in effect, that it 'doesn't matter.' However, this is seen by the average evolutionist as either absurd or disingenuously evasive—the arena in which they are seeking to be regarded as full players is one which directly involves historical issues. In other words, if the origins debate is not about a 'story of the past,' what is it about?" (Wieland 2002).

Most ID proponents accept an ancient age of the universe and Earth, but there are some prominent ID supporters who are YECs, such as Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds. These creation science adherents reject evolution altogether, whereas some ID supporters such as Michael Behe have gone so far as to accept common ancestry of humans and apes (Behe 2007). The range of scientific opinion within the ID camp, therefore, runs from young-Earth creationism to mild forms of theistic evolution, although Dembski and others have declared theistic evolution to be incompatible with ID (Dembski 1995). The ID movement surely is a proverbial big tent, though it remains to be seen whether the differences among the tent's occupants will be reconcilable if ID takes any specific empirical positions on what Wieland has called the "story of the past" (Scott 2001).

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