Click here to download

Intelligent Design and the Appeal of Teleology. Structure and Diagnosis of a Pseudoscientific Doctrine
Journal Title: PARADIGMI 
Author/s:  Telmo Pievani 
Year:  2013 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  14 Pg. 151-164 FullText PDF:  172 KB
DOI:  10.3280/PARA2013-001010
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 


A cognitive study of "Intelligent Design" (ID) arguments shows that they are carefully suited for our minds attracted by teleological beliefs - as already argued by Darwin - and by the over-detection of intentionality and finalism in the external world. We describe how the epistemic structure of ID doctrine is consciously shaped by this cognitive appeal for our minds "born to believe", then implemented by a strong familiarity with the rules (sometimes misleading) of current public debates and communication. A four stage procedure of epistemological evaluation of this kind of pseudoscience, based on a "benefit of doubt" methodology, is then outlined.
Keywords: Intelligent Design, Teleological reasoning, Cognitive appeal, Uniqueness of evolutionary biology, Epistemological pluralism.

  1. Avise J.C. (2010). Footprints of Nonsentient Design inside the Human Genome. PNAS, 107, suppl. 2: 8969-8976., DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914609107
  2. Ayala F.J. (2007). Darwin’s Gifts to Science and Theology. Washington DC: Joseph Henry Press
  3. Ayala F.J. & Arp R., eds. (2010). Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Chichester (UK): Wiley-Blackwell
  4. Bloom P. (2004). Descartes’ Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains what Makes us Human. New York: Basic Books.
  5. Boyer P. (2001). Religion Explained. New York: Basic Books
  6. Brumfiel G. (2005). Intelligent Design: Who has Designs on your Student’s Minds? Nature, 434: 1062-1065., DOI: 10.1038/4341062a
  7. Carey S. (2000). Science Education as Conceptual Change. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 21: 13-19., DOI: 10.1016/S0193-3973(99)00046-5
  8. Conway Morris S. (2003). Life’s Solution. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press., DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511535499
  9. Coyne J.A. (2009). Why Evolution is True. New York: Viking Press
  10. Darwin Ch. R. (1836-1844). Notebooks 1836-1844. Edited by P. H. Barrett, P. J. Gautrey, S. Herbert, D. Kohn & S. Smith. Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press, 1987
  11. Darwin Ch. R. (18726). The Origins of Species. London: John Murray
  12. De Caro M. & Macarthur D. (2004). Naturalism in Question. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
  13. De Caro M. & Pievani T. (2010). Bellarmine’s Revenge? On Some Recent Trends in the Roman Catholic Church concerning the Relation of Faith and Science. Boundary2, 37, 1: 1-22.
  14. Eldredge N. (2000). The Triumph of Evolution, and the Failure of Creationism. New York: W.H. Freeman and C.
  15. Forrest B. (2000). Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism: Clarifying the Connection. Philo 3 (2): 7-29., DOI: 10.5840/philo20003213
  16. Forrest B. & Gross P.R. (2004). Creationism’s Trojan Horse. Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press., DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157420.001.0001
  17. Futuyma D.J. (1995). Science on Trial. The Case for Evolution. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates.
  18. Girotto V., Pievani T. & Vallortigara G. (2008). Nati per credere. Torino: Codice Edizioni
  19. Godfrey-Smith P. (1999). Adaptationism and the Power of Selection. Biology and Philosophy, 14: 181-194., DOI: 10.1023/A:1006630232690
  20. Gould S.J. (2002). The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Cambridge (MA): Belknap- Harvard University Press.
  21. Gould S.J. & Vrba E.S. (1982). Exaptation, a Missing Term in the Science of Form. Paleobiology, 8(1): 4-15.
  22. Hart D. & Sussman R.W. (2009). Man the Hunted. Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution. Boulder (CO): Westview Press
  23. Keleman D. (2003). British and American Children’s Preferences for Teleo-functional Explanations of the Natural World. Cognition, 88: 201-221., DOI: 10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00024-6
  24. Kitcher P. (1982). Abusing Science. The Case Against Creationism. Cambridge (MA): The MIT Press.
  25. Küng H. (2007). The Beginning of All Things. London: Eerdmans Publishing Company
  26. Lakatos I. (1978). The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. In: Philosophical Papers, vol. 1. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press., DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511621123
  27. Lakatos I. & Musgrave A., eds. (1974). Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press
  28. Lombrozo T., Keleman D. & Zaitchik D. (2007). Inferring Design: Evidence of a Preference for Teleological Explanations in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Psychological Science, 18: 999-1006., DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.02015.x
  29. Murray M.J. & Schloss J.P. (2010). Evolution, Design, and Genomic Suboptimality: Does Science ‘Save Theology’?. PNAS, 107, 30, E121., DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007401107
  30. Pennock R. T. (1999). Tower of Babel. The Evidence against the New Creationism. Cambridge (MA): The MIT Press.
  31. Perakh M. (2004). Unintelligent Design. New York: Prometheus Books
  32. Pievani T. (2003). Rhapsodic Evolution: Essay on Exaptation and Evolutionary Pluralism. World Futures, 59: 63-81., DOI: 10.1080/02604020216077
  33. Pievani T. (2006). Creazione senza Dio. Torino: Einaudi
  34. Pievani T. (2009). The World after Charles R. Darwin: Continuity, Unity in Diversity, Contingency. Rend. Acc. Lincei, 20. 4: 355-361. http://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12210-009-0068-2
  35. Pievani T. (2011). Born to cooperate? Altruism as Exaptation, and the Evolution of Human Sociality. In: Origins of Cooperation and Altruism. Ed. by R.W. Sussman & R.C. Cloninger. New York: Springer: 41-61., DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-9520-9_4
  36. Pievani T. (2012). An Evolving Research Programme: the Structure of Evolutionary Theory from a Lakatosian Perspective”. In: The Theory of Evolution and Its Impact. Ed. by A. Fasolo. New York: Springer: 211-228., DOI: 10.1007/978-88-470-1974-4_14
  37. Pigliucci M. & Müller G., eds. (2010). Evolution. The Extended Synthesis. Cambridge (MA): The MIT Press
  38. Prothero D.R. (2007). Evolution. What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters. New York: Columbia University Press
  39. Saxe R., Tenenbaum J.B. & Carey S. (2005). Secret Agents. Inferences about Hidden Causes by 10- and 12-month-old Infants. Psychological Science, 16: 995-1001., DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01649.x
  40. Scott E.C. (2004). Evolution vs Creationism. Berkeley (CA): University of California Press
  41. Shanks N. (2004). God, the Devil, and Darwin. Oxford-NewYork: Oxford University Press., DOI: 10.1093/0195161998.001.0001
  42. Sober E. (2008). Evidence and Evolution. The Logic Behind the Science. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press., DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511806285
  43. Vallortigara G. (2008). Animals as Natural Geometers. In: Cognitive Biology: Evolutionary and Developmental Perspectives on Mind, Brain and Behavior, ed. by L. Tommasi, M.A. Peterson & L. Nadel. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press: 83-104.
  44. Wolpert L. (2007). Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast. London: Faber and Faber
  45. Young M. & Edis T. (2009). Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism. Piscataway (NJ): Rutgers University Press

Telmo Pievani, Intelligent Design and the Appeal of Teleology. Structure and Diagnosis of a Pseudoscientific Doctrine in "PARADIGMI" 1/2013, pp. 151-164, DOI:10.3280/PARA2013-001010

   

FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content