Intelligent design

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Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[1][2] It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, but one which deliberately avoids specifying the nature or identity of the designer.[3] Its leading proponents—all of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank[n 1][4]—believe the designer to be the God of Christianity.[n 2][n 3]

Intelligent design was developed by a group of American creationists who revised their argument in the creation–evolution controversy to circumvent court rulings that prohibit the teaching of creationism as science.[5][n 4][6] Proponents argue that intelligent design is a scientific theory.[1] In so doing, they seek to fundamentally redefine science to include supernatural explanations.[7] The overwhelming consensus in the scientific community is that intelligent design is not science,[n 5][n 6][8][9] and indeed is pseudoscience.[n 7][10][n 8]

Intelligent design originated in response to the United States Supreme Court Edwards v. Aguillard ruling, which barred the teaching of "creation science" in public schools as breaching the separation of church and state.[5] The first significant published use of intelligent design was in Of Pandas and People, a 1989 textbook intended for high-school biology classes.[11] From the mid-1990s, intelligent design proponents were supported by the Discovery Institute which, together with its Center for Science and Culture, planned and funded the "intelligent design movement".[12][n 1] They advocated inclusion of intelligent design in public school curricula, leading to the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, where U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design is not science, that it "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents", and that the school district's promotion of it therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[13]

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