The irony of this is that his basic premise has a flaw.
Last night I went to a discussion up at my university about the final presentation of PhD theses. I was told about the worst-case scenario of a thesis. This happened to a young mathematician. Imagine spending at least three years, often several more, working on a hypothesis, writing it up, and analysing its meaning. In maths everything is laid on a solid foundation of calculation and then you work upwards from there. At the end of your studies you present your thesis, its read by a committee (aside: I like the word ‘committee’, it has three double-letters in it :)) and then the committee gives you an interview, called a viva, about your study. This usually takes about an hour, although some places don’t restrict this and the viva can go on for up to six hours!
This mathematician had chosen his review committee, and things were looking good; however, the chairman fell ill and unfortunately had to be replaced at a late stage. The new chairman walked into the viva, pointed out a flaw in the maths on page five and the whole thesis was decreditted and it failed.
So, do you remember I mentioned a little while ago about there being a trial in America where a group of parents had taken a school to court because the school wanted to teach Intelligent Design theory as a legitimate rival to the theory of evolution? A British sociologist professor has testified in defence of ID claiming:
that because scientists have inferred the existence of a designer from observations of biological phenomena, it should count as scientific.
As much as this is a lovely idea, using the same logic as ‘it’s art because it was made by an artist’, it’s just not an accurate statement. This is the same as the mathematician’s mistake on page five: if their basic assumptions are not good science then anything built of them still is a victim to the initial difficulties in logic. Assuming that complexity can only be explained by supernatural phenomena/aliens is not a scientific proposition because it is fundamentally unverifiable. The argument ‘X did it, therefore it is a product with X’s attributes’ is acceptable for art where the product does not have to maintain conformity with rigidly logical rules and deductions, but that’s just not the same for scientists. A scientist could claim that the internal organs of a duck in flight transform into helium, but that wouldn’t make it good science; the proposition that some scientists like the idea of ID and therefore ID is scientific is a classic page five mistake.