Origins can be explained either by a conscient intelligent designer, which is the grounding necessary foundation of all contingent existence like our universe, or not, in other words, either there is a God, or not. Verificationism is the claim that ONLY what can be experimentally demonstrated is true. This is self-refuting since it cannot be experimentally proven that the truth of the metaphysical claim that "ONLY what can be experimentally proven " is True.
The truth is, science is limited in that it does not grant absolute truth, but only yields degrees of probability or likelihood. A solid epistemological framework that is consistent must carefully be chosen and use an elaborated methodology permitting to come to a meaningful, and most accurate possible conclusions in regards to origins and reality. Instead of looking only for scientific "proof" or confirmation in an absolute sense, better is to proceed with examining the available evidence-based on science, philosophy, and theology, which should point with confidence to the worldview that best accounts for that evidence using the bayesian method of abductive reasoning.
The (past) action or signature of an intelligent designer can be detected when we recognize things in nature very similar to human-made artifacts, things made based on mathematical principles, and made with an end goal in mind. The construction of functional irreducibly complex multipart-machines, integrated circuits that require a blueprint to build the object. Furthermore, Computers integrate software/hardware that store high levels of instructional complex coded information. In our experience, systems that require and store large amounts of data through codes and languages, and which are constructed in the interdependence of hard and software invariably originate from an intelligent source. No exception.
DNA, epigenetic codes, and metabolic circuits indicate that biological molecular machines and factories ( Cells ) are full of information-rich, language-based codes and code/blueprint-based structures. Biologists have performed mutational sensitivity tests in proteins and determined that their amino acid sequences, in order to provide function, require highly instructional complex coded information stored in the Genome. Cells also require and use over two dozen epigenetic codes, like Splicing Codes, Metabolic Codes, The Glycomic Code, etc. Furthermore, all kinds of irreducibly complex molecular machines and biosynthesis performing and metabolic pathways are necessary, which could not keep their basic functions without a minimum number of parts and complex inter-wined and interdependent structures. That indicates these biological machines and pathways had to emerge fully operational, all at once. Furthermore, the real mechanisms that explain biodiversity and complex organismal architecture are preprogrammed instructional complex INFORMATION encoded in various genetic and epigenetic languages and communication by various signaling codes through various signaling networks
Furthermore, the Origin of life research during over half a century has demonstrated that there are no viable explanations in regards to the prebiotic origin of the four classes of the basic building blocks of life by random, unguided processes, and consequently, living self-replicating cells is extremely unlikely. Also, statistical calculations have demonstrated, that getting a minimal cell proteome of 438 proteins total to make a first living cell, the probability would be 438/10^520. We arrive at a probability of about 1 in 10^350.000 which is in the realm of the virtually impossible.
Eliminative inductions argue for the truth of a proposition by demonstrating that competitors to that proposition are false. Science, rather than coming closer to demonstrate how life could have started, has not advanced and is further away to generating living cells starting with small molecules. Therefore, most likely, cells were created by an intelligent designer. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection in regards of first-degree speciation & macroevolutionary level has been falsified. Instead of evolving, organisms devolve. And there is not enough time for evolution to establish even the most trivial amount of new information. Even a coordinated pair of mutations that first inactivates a binding site and then creates a new one is very unlikely to occur on a reasonable timescale. For example, the odds of getting two mutations right, to give hemoglobin C Harlem in one generation in an individual whose parents have normal hemoglobin, are about a hundred million times a hundred million (10^16). On average, then, nature needs about that many offspring in order to find just one that has the right double mutation. With a generation time of ten years and an average population size of one million, on average it should take about a hundred billion years for that particular mutation to arise—more than the age of the universe.
As a conclusion, the evidence that natural, unguided random events are too unlikely to occur, and the experience that intelligence can bring forward the systems described above and encountered in nature, applying bayesian abductive reasoning, and not merely based on lack of knowledge, or ignorance, an Intelligent Designer is the most plausible explanation of origins.
Is intelligent design merely an "argument from ignorance?"
God of the gaps
is a comfortable way to try to criticize and reject a argument and avoid to address actually the issues raised. Atheists resort to it all the time, even when a robust case is made, with clear and detailed observation , and logical inference and conclusion. Please point out the gap in the argument.
" In all of our experience of cause and effect, we know that complex and sequence-specific information, when it is traced back to its source, uniformly originates with an intelligent cause. Therefore, when we find complex and sequence-specific digital information encoded in the hereditary molecules of DNA and RNA, the most plausible candidate explanation -- given what we do know about the nature of information -- is that it also originated with a source of intelligent agency.
Is intelligent design merely an "argument from ignorance?"
No. Some critics have misunderstood intelligent design and claimed that it is merely claims that because we can't figure out how some biological structures could have arisen, therefore they were probably designed. The argument for design is not like this. In reality, the argument notes that intelligent design theory is a sufficient causal explanation for the origin of specified (or irreducibly) complex information, and thus argues from positive predictions of design. The lack of detailed step-by-step evolutionary explanations for the origin of irreducible complexity is the result of the fact that irreducible complexity is fundamentally not evolvable by Darwinian evolution.
Misrepresenting the Definition of Intelligent Design
Behe at the Dover trial : (Day 10 AM Testimony, p. 110.)
"This argument for design is an entirely positive argument. This is how we recognize design by the purposeful arrangement of parts."
Behe also made this clear in the afterward to Darwin's Black Box:
[I]rreducibly complex systems such as mousetraps and flagella serve both as negative arguments against gradualistic explanations like Darwin's and as positive arguments for design. The negative argument is that such interactive systems resist explanation by the tiny steps that a Darwinian path would be expected to take. The positive argument is that their parts appear arranged to serve a purpose, which is exactly how we detect design. (Darwin's Black Box, pp. 263-264 (2006).)
Scott Minnich and Stephen Meyer also explain the positive argument for design:
Molecular machines display a key signature or hallmark of design, namely, irreducible complexity. In all irreducibly complex systems in which the cause of the system is known by experience or observation, intelligent design or engineering played a role the origin of the system ... in any other context we would immediately recognize such systems as the product of very intelligent engineering. Although some may argue this is a merely an argument from ignorance, we regard it as an inference to the best explanation, given what we know about the powers of intelligent as opposed to strictly natural or material causes. ("Genetic analysis of coordinate flagellar and type III regulatory circuits in pathogenic Bacteria," in Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece (2004).)
This specified complexity, also called complex and specified information (CSI), is a tell-tale indicator that intelligence was at work. Meyer explains why this makes for a positive -- not negative -- argument for design:
by invoking design to explain the origin of new biological information, contemporary design theorists are not positing an arbitrary explanatory element unmotivated by a consideration of the evidence. Instead, they are positing an entity possessing precisely the attributes and causal powers that the phenomenon in question requires as a condition of its production and explanation. (Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004).)
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