You likely have at least heard about the Intelligent Design movement. In a nutshell, it proposes that the universe is so intricate that it had to have been designed by intelligence rather than random chance. Some have labeled it “thinly veiled creationism.”
I claim no high level of expertise in the area of design. I don’t have time to read it all, let alone speak intelligently about it. However, I know enough about the subject to state one thing: It is not “thinly veiled” anything, for the arguments are not thin. Nor are they based on a “god in the machine” type of argument. William Dembski’s book The Design Inference deals with the mathematical basis behind the theory. It explores subjects such as information theory, set theory, probabilities, etc. The idea is to prove design statistically. So whatever it is, Intelligent Design is not attempting to pull a rabbit out of a hat and call it a pig. The movement, or at least Dembski, is attempting to prove design mathematically.
Me being a non-math person, I can’t evaluate his formulas or his philosophy of inference. Perhaps you can. If so, more power to you, go right ahead. But don’t sit on the sidelines and label design theory with the C word (creationism) and say that it’s not attempting to have a rational foundation. Dembski’s math should stand or fall on it’s own, and not be dismissed with a wave of the naturalists’ wand. I may not know enough math to evaluate Demski, but I know a bit about argumentation, and the emotional reaction to the Intelligent Design movement is a bit too much full of bluster. It makes one wonder why these scientists that supposedly live in the dry dusty world of cold hard facts would get so emotional over a theory. Methinks they protesteth too much.
By the way, Dembski is apparently working on a follow up. Let’s at least give him a fair shake and evaluate the man’s work on it’s own merits, or lack thereof. Labeling it with a pre-conceived label and dismissing it without consideration is not science either, my friend.