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7.13 Intelligence as an Observable Quality

Certain sceptics have pointed to a challenge of Intelligent Design derived from the study of artificial intelligence. In studies of artificial intelligence, while there is an implicit assumption that supposed “intelligence” or creativity of a computer program is determined by the capabilities given to it by the computer programmer, artificial intelligence need not be bound to an inflexible system of rules. Evolutionary algorithms use the Darwinian metaphor of random mutation, selection and the survival of the fittest to solve diverse mathematical and scientific problems that are usually not solvable using conventional methods. Intelligence derived from randomness is essentially indistinguishable from the “innate” intelligence associated with biological organisms, and poses a challenge to the Intelligent Design conception that intelligence itself necessarily requires a designer. Cognitive science continues to investigate the nature of intelligence along these lines of inquiry. The Intelligent Design community, for the most part, relies on the assumption that intelligence is readily apparent as a fundamental and basic property of complex systems.