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7.5 Intelligent Designer

Intelligent design arguments are formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid identifying the intelligent agent (or agents). Although they do not state that God is the designer, the designer is often implicitly hypothesized to have intervened in a way that only a god could intervene. Dembski said that “no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life”. The leading proponents have said they believe the designer to be the Christian God, to the exclusion of all other religions.

Asserting the need for a designer of complexity also raises the question “What designed the designer?” Invoking an unexplained being to explain the origin of other beings (ourselves) is little more than question-begging. Richard Dawkins sees the assertion that the designer does not need to be explained, not as a contribution to knowledge, but as a thought-terminating cliché. In the absence of observable, measurable evidence, the very question “What designed the designer?” leads to an infinite regression from which Intelligent Design proponents can only escape by resorting to religious creationism or logical contradiction.