Design Detection-Part I

In this video,Note: 1 Kirk Durston, who cites Douglas Axe,1,2,Note: 2 talks about the role of Intelligent Design in science.  As a programmer for the Navy during the Cold War, he developed software for detecting design in acoustics underwater.  Of course, this is essential in this application to be able to differentiate sounds that come from “apparently designed” sources versus “purely natural” sources.

Mr. Durston gives a useful definition of Intelligent Design:

Intelligent Design: An effect that requires a mind to produce.

Mr. Durston discusses areas where design detection is already important in science:

1. The SETI institute3 has to discover if a signal is designed or natural.
2. In forensic science, it must be determined if foul play was involved.
3. In archeology it is frequently utlized for determining if an artifact is designed or natural.

He then raises the scientific question: “Are biological systems the product of intelligent design?”

He then goes on to address the question of how design can be detected.  There has been recent research and theoretical work on this matter.1,2

Denyse O’Leary addresses this issue in detail, and explains the equation presented by Mr. Durston in the lecture.4


1 Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds, Axe, D.D. (2004)
2 Extreme functional sensitivity to conservative amino acid changes on enzyme exteriors, Axe, D.D. (2000)
3 SETI Institute


1 Bobxxx, a frequent atheist troll of ID and Creationist blogs has submitted a typical bigoted comment.  We’ve seen him here before and witnessed his maturity level (I’d estimate 2 to 3 years of age–potty training time–he likes crapping on folk).
2 Yes, science is about making money. You can read the abstract without paying, but if you want to read the full article, you have to pay.

On Religious Beliefs, ID, and Science

Dave Scot, decidedly an agnostic, has written what I believe to be a very cogent analysis of theistic associations between ID and Christianity, and atheism and promoters of science. His views, I believe line up well, with how I see the issue. He also includes a logical rationale for design detection.