What was the Professional Output of Intelligent Design?

So, how academically productive was the Intelligent Design movement in its most singular project, the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design?

Not much. By which I mean, ignoring popular books, and the like, what was the productivity of the proposition of Intelligent Design at its height when it founded a full-purpose organization and journal to challenge evolution via natural selection?

The International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID) self-defined as a “cross-disciplinary professional society that investigates complex systems apart from external programmatic constraints like materialism, naturalism, or reductionism. The society provides a forum for formulating, testing, and disseminating research on complex systems through critique, peer review, and publication. Its aim is to pursue the theoretical development, empirical application, and philosophical implications of information- and design-theoretic concepts for complex systems.”

The language of ISCID reflected information- and design-theoretic concepts of Information Theory without a necessary foundation in it, but, rather, a more direct ground in teleology and theology.

To quote the motto at the top of the organization web page, “Retraining the scientific imagination to see purpose in nature.” “Purpose in nature” means a teleological or theological foundation in place of a naturalistic scientific one. So, ISCID was a teleological-theological organization, which would extend to its publication, Progress in Complexity, Information and Design or PCID.

I was wondering about the social and political efforts of highly educated and intelligent fundamentalist religious people through the “Teach the Controversy” campaign and others.

The long list of Intelligent Design organizations, too, with the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design and its Progress in Complexity, Information and Design, the Discovery Institute[1], the Center for Science and Culture[2], Truth in Science[3], the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center[4], the Biologic Institute[5], the Access Research Network[6], the Foundation for Thought and Ethics[7], Michael Polanyi Center[8], and a number of others.

ISCID had a “Society of Fellows”[9] as the Advisory Board for PCID. So, the fellows of ISCID were the advisory board for PCID were the peer-review for PCID. This was the structure of the organization into the publication, intrinsically harkening to a direct conflict of interest.

PCID’s Editorial Board — not the Advisory Board/Society of Fellows — was William A. Dembski as General Editor, Jed Macosko as Associate Editor, Bruce Gordon as Associate Editor, James Barham as Book Review Editor, John Bracht as Managing Editor, and Micah Sparacio as Webmaster. PCID’s ISSN was 1555–5089.

They had a total of 8 issues: Volume 4.2, November 2005, Volume 4.1, July 2005, Volume 3.1, November 2004, Philosophy of Mind Issue,
 Volume 2.3, October 2003
, Double Issue, Volumes 2.1 and 2.2, January — June 2003, Volume 1.4, October — December 2002, Double Issue, Volumes 1.2 and 1.3, April — September 2002, and Volume 1.1, January — March 2002. This was an electronic publication.

PCID attempted to and did publish articles without standard peer review. It lacked impartiality, rigour, and had conflicts of interest. The articles needed acceptance into the archive, then only a single ISCID Society of Fellows fellow was needed to publish it. Regardless of the dishonest approach to academic inquiry, what, to the original point, was the productivity of PCID of ISCID?

Volume 1.1, January — March 2002 published 8 articles and 3 book reviews: Inventions, Algorithms, and Biological Designby John Bracht, Are Probabilities Indispensable to the Design Inference?by Robert C. Koons, Back to Stoics: Dynamical Monism as the Foundation for a Reformed Naturalismby James Barham, A Response to Critics of Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe, Searching for Deep Variation in the Model Systems of Evo-Devo by Paul A. Nelson and Jonathan Wells, Why Natural Selection Can’t Design Anythingby William A. Dembski, Dynamical Complexity and Regularityby Richard Johns, Does the association of spectral absorption bands in sunlight with the spectral response of photoreceptors in plants imply coincidence, adaptation or design?by Forrest M. Mims III, Three Issues With “No Free Lunch” by Darel R. Finley, What Have Butterflies Got to Do with Darwin? by William A. Dembski, and Finding Miller’s King by Jed Macosko.

Double Issue, Volumes 1.2 and 1.3, April — September 2002 published 7 articles and 1 interview: The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe: A New Kind of Reality Theoryby Christopher Michael Langan, The Impasse between the Design and Evolution of Lifeby Philip R. Page, On the descriptive terminology of the information transfer between organismsby Koszteyn and Lenartowicz, What is Natural Selection? A Plea for Clarificationby Neil Broom, Random Predicate Logic I: A Probabilistic Approach to Vaguenessby William A. Dembski, Complex Specification (CS): A New Proposal For Identifying Intelligence,Darel R. Finley, The evolution of complex information systems as movement against the pull of entropy, measured along information-space-time dimensionsby Arie S. Issar, and Developing a science and philosophy of consciousness: A chat with David Chalmers.

Volume 1.4, October — December 2002 published 8 papers and 1 interview: Becoming a Disciplined Science: Prospects, Pitfalls, and Reality Check for ID by William A. Dembski, Probabilities of randomly assembling a primitive cell on Earth by Dermott J. Mullan, Evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamicsby Granville Sewell, What Does Evolutionary Computing Say About Intelligent Design? by Karl D. Stephan,Evolution’s Logic of Credulity: An Unfettered Response to Allen Orr, by William A. Dembski, Symmetry in Evolution by Phillip L. Engle, Two Kinds of Causality: Philosophical Reflections on Darwin’s Black Box by Jakob Wolf, Some Theoretical and Practical Results in Context-Sensitive and Adaptive Parsing by Quinn Tyler Jackson, and Complexity and Self-Organization: A chat with Stuart Kauffman.

Double Issue, Volumes 2.1 and 2.2, January — June 2003 published 9 papers, 1 on policy, 1 online simulation, and 2 interviews: An Evaluation of “Ev”
 by I.G.D. Strachan, Refereed Journals: Do They Insure Quality or Enforce Orthodoxy?by Frank J. Tipler, On the Application of Irreducible Complexityby Joshua A. Smart, The Bacterial Flagellum: A Response to Ursula Goodenoughby John R. Bracht, A Shot in the Dark by David Owen, Tegmark’s Parallel Universes: A Challenge to Intelligent Design?by Karl D. Stephan, Still Spinning Just Fine: A Response to Ken Millerby William A. Dembski, Probability of randomly assembling a primitive cell on Earth: Part IIby Dermott J. Mullan, An Evolutionary Manifesto: A New Hypothesis For Organic Changeby John A. Davison, Peer Review or Peer Censorship?
 by William A. Dembski, Vignere Encoded Text Evolution, A 21st Century view of evolution (Transcript of online chat with James Shapiro), and Ontogenetic Depth as a Complexity Metric for the Cambrian Explosion (Transcript of online chat with Paul Nelson).

Philosophy of Mind Issue, Volume 2.3, October 2003 published 1 editorial note, 8 papers, and 1 discussion: It’s on the Mind…by Micah Sparacio, Groundwork for an Emergentist Account of the Mentalby Timothy O’Connor, Rational Action, Freedom, and Choiceby E.J. Lowe, Functionalism Without Physicalism: Outline of an Emergentist Programby Robert C. Koons, Consciousness and complexityby Todd Moody, How Not To Be A Reductivistby William Hasker, Dennett Denied: A Critique of Dennett’s Evolutionary Account of Intentionalityby Angus J. L. Menugem, Thoughts on Thinking Matterby James Barham, and Mental Realism: Rejecting the Causal Closure Thesis and Expanding our Physical Ontology, by Micah Sparacio, and Discussion Forum for PCID Volume 2.3, Philosophy of Mind Issue.

Volume 3.1, November 2004 published 7 papers: Evaluation of neo-Darwinian Theory with Avida Simulations by Royal Truman, Using Intelligent Design Theory to Guide Scientific Researchby Jonathan Wells, Problems with Characterizing the Protosome-Deuterostome Ancestor by Paul Nelson and Marcus Ross, Irreducible Complexity Revisited
 by William Dembski, Irreducible Complexity Reduced: An Integrated Approach to the Complexity Spaceby Eric Anderson, Irreducible Complexity by Stephen Griffith, and Some Implications for the Study of Intelligent Design Derived from Molecular and Microarray Analysisby Fernando Castro-Chavez.

Volume 4.1, July 2005 published 6 articles and 1 book review: Human Origins and Intelligent Designby Casey Luskin, Reflections on Human Originsby William Dembski, Questioning Cosmological Superstition: Separating science from myth in our theory of the universe by Rich Halvorson, What Kind of Revolution is the Design Revolution?by Jakob Wolf, The Case for Instant Evolutionby John Davison, The Theory of Evolution in the Perspective of Thermodynamics and Everyday Experienceby Wim M. de Jong, Review of Ric Machuga, In Defense of the Soulby Benjamin Wiker, A Review of Life’s Solution by Simon Conway Morrisby Marcus Ross, and Is the Evolutionary Ladder a Stairway to Heaven?by Casey Luskin.

Volume 4.2, November 2005 published 5 articles: The Three Domains of Life: A Challenge to the concept of the Universal Cellular Ancestor? by Pattle. P. Pun, Stephen Schuldt, and Benjamin T. Pun, Information as a Measure of Variationby William Dembski, Palindromatiby Fernando Castro-Chavez, On Einstein’s Razorby Quinn Tyler Jackson, and Bits, Bytes and Biologyby Eric Anderson.

In total, the entire existence of the organization produced 8+3+7+1+8+1+9+1+1+2+1+8+1+7+6+1+5 equals 70 items, if the count is right — or thereabouts. That’s, basically, nothing of consequence. The articles, as far as I know, have been cited by almost no one, which is to state unequivocally, “Intelligent Design failed as an intellectual movement.” It’s an academic joke.

Yet, individuals persist with the only persons with the hope for acceptance, which is misrepresentation to the general public, i.e., lying to the public. In short, professional researchers, by a vast margin, don’t give a damn about Intelligent Design. They don’t use its concepts or work. It’s seen as a useless field, as seen in the, by citation count, utterly worthless publications listed above.

In sum, the Intelligent Design movement has been a catastrophic failure, academically speaking: thus, unproductive and worthless at its height when the most concerted and serious effort was put forward by its academics and autodidacts (Q.E.D.).


[1] The Discovery Institute is comprised of staff Pam Bailey (Dallas Operations Manager, Discovery Institute Dallas), Caitlin Bassett (Policy Analyst and Communications Liaison, Center for Science & Culture and Center on Wealth & Poverty), Steven J. Buri (President), Jennifer Burke (Development and Communications Manager), Bruce Chapman (Chairman of the Board), Robert L. Crowther, II (Director of Communications, Center for Science & Culture), John Felts (Education & Outreach Coordinator), Keri D. Ingraham (Director, American Center for Transforming Education), Nathan Jacobson (Web Designer and Developer), David Klinghoffer (Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News & Science Today, Center for Science & Culture), Jessica Lambert (Development Assistant, Center for Science & Culture), Casey Luskin (Associate Director, Center for Science & Culture), Andrew McDiarmid (Media Relations Specialist and Assistant to CSC Director Dr. Stephen Meyer), Jackson Meyer (Program Assistant and Event Coordinator), Stephen C. Meyer (Director, Center for Science & Culture), Brian Miller (Research Coordinator, Center for Science & Culture), Dan Nutley (Director, IT), Erik L. Nutley (Program Director), Scott S. Powell (Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth & Poverty), Daniel Reeves (Director, Education & Outreach), Ted Robinson (Development Volunteer, Center for Science & Culture), Eric Schneider (Stewardship Officer, Major Gifts, Center for Science & Culture), Steve Schwarz (Director of Finance & Operations), Donna J. Scott (Development Assistant, Center for Science & Culture), Leslie Thompson (Finance Assistant), Kelley J. Unger (Director, Discovery Society, Center for Science & Culture), Gary Varner (Assistant to the Managing and Associate Directors), Andrea Waggoner (Donor Care Coordinator, Center for Science & Culture), John G. West (Vice President, Discovery Institute, and Managing Director, Center for Science & Culture), Thomas Winkler (Regional Ambassador, Center for Science and Culture), and Jonathan Witt (Executive Editor, Discovery Institute Press, Senior Fellow and Senior Project Manager, Center).

[2] The Centre for Science and Culture is comprised of Program Director Stephen C. Meyer, Managing Director John G. West, Senior Fellows Günter Bechly, Michael J. Behe, David Berlinski, Paul Chien, Michael Denton, David DeWolf, Marcos Eberlin, Ann Gauger, Guillermo Gonzalez, Bruce L. Gordon, Richard Gunasekera, Michael Newton Keas, David Klinghoffer, Paul Nelson, Bijan Nemati, Jay W. Richards, Richard Sternberg, Richard Weikart, Jonathan Wells, John G. West, Benjamin Wiker, Jonathan Witt, and Fellows John Bloom, Raymond Bohlin, Walter Bradley, J. Budziszewski, Robert Lowry Clinton, Jack Collins, William Lane Craig, Michael Flannery, Brian Frederick, Cornelius G. Hunter, Robert Kaita, Dean Kenyon, Jonathan McLatchie, Scott Minnich, J.P. Moreland, Nancy Pearcey, Pattle Pak-Toe Pun, John Mark N Reynolds, Henry F. Schaefer III, Geoffrey Simmons, Wolfgang Smith, Charles Thaxton, and Forrest M Mims.

[3] As of 2007, Truth in Science was comprised of the Board of Directors Stephen A. Hyde (Chairman), Professor Andrew McIntosh, Phillip Metcalfe (Vice Chairman), John Perfect, and Maurice Roberts, Council of Reference members Stuart Burgess, John Blanchard, Gerard A. Chrispin, George Curry, David Harding, Pastor of Milnrow Evangelical Church, Lancashire, Dr Russell Healey, Derek Linkens, John MacArthur, Albert N. Martin, and Steve Taylor, and a Scientific Panel membership with Geoff Barnard, Paul Garner, Arthur Jones, and Tim Wells.

[4] Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center is comprised of Administration Team Mario Lopez (Information Support Technician), Dennis LaVorgna (Chief Financial Officer), Ryan Huxley (President & Director of Public Relations), Casey Luskin, and Steve Renner, and Advisory Board John Baumgardner, William Dembski, Michael Behe, Mark Hartwig, the late Phillip Johnson, Jay Wesley Richards, Dennis Wagner, and Jonathan Wells, and Board of Directors with Ryan Huxley (Board Chair), Eddie Colanter (Vice-Chair & Co-Founder), Brit Colanter, H. Wayne House, Stephen J. Huxlery, Dennis LaVorgna (Chief Financial Officer), Mario Lopez, and Casey Luskin (Co-Founder & Secretary).

[5] Biologic Institute is comprised of Douglas Axe (Director), Günter Bechly (Senior Research Scientist), Stuart Burgess, Brendan Dixon, Winston Ewert (Senior Research Scientist), Ann Gauger (Senior Research Scientist), Guillermo Gonzalez, David Keller, Matti Leisola, Philip Lu, Robert J. Marks II, Colin Reeves, Richard Sternberg, Jonathan Wells, and Lisanne Winslow.

[6] Access Research Network is directed by Dennis Wagner, Steve Meyer, Mark Hartwig, and Paul Nelson.

[7] Jon A. Buell was the Founder and President, and William A. Dembski was the Academic Editor, for the failed organization.

[8] William Dembski was the co-founder with Bruce L. Gordon. It is defunct.

[9] “On a Mission For Never: Dr. William Dembski (1960-)” (2022) stated:

[2] The Executive Board or Board of ISCID was the Executive Director as William A. Dembski. Its Managing Director was Micah Sporacio. Its Chief Research Coordinator was Jed Macosko. Its Program Coordinator was Forrest M. Mims III. Its Development Officer was Terry Rickard. Its Office Manager was Stephanie Hoylman.

They had a Society of Fellows. Those fellows had listed specializations and institutional affiliation. Michael Behe (Biochemistry) from Lehigh University. John Bloom (Physics and Philosophy of Science) from Biola University. Walter Bradley (Mechanical Engineering) from Texas A&M University. Neil Broom (Biophysics) from the University of Auckland.

J. Budziszewski (Philosophy and Political Theory) from the University of Texas, Austin. John Angus Campbell (Communications) from the University of Memphis. Russell W. Carlson (Molecular Biology) from the University of Georgia, Athens. David K.Y. Chiu (Biocomputing) from the University of Guelph. Robin Collins (Cosmology and Philosophy of Physics) from Mesiah College.

William Lane Craig (Philosophy) from the Talbot School of Theology, Biola. Bernard d’Abrera (Lepidoptera) from the British Museum, Natural History. Kenneth de Jong (Linguistics) from Indiana University, Bloomington. Of course, William Dembski in Mathematics. Mark R. Discher (Ethics) from the University of St. Thomas.

Daniel Dix (Mathematics) from the University of Southern Carolina. Fred Field (Linguistics) from California State University. Guillermo Gonzalez (Astronomy) from Iowa State University. Bruce L. Gordon (Philosophy of Physics) from Baylor University.

David Humphreys (Chemistry) from McMaster University. Cornelius Hunter (Biophysics) from Seagull Technology. Muzaffar Iqbal (Science and Religion from) from Center for Islam and Science. Quinn Tyler Jackson for “Language & Software Systems.”

Conrad Johnson (Clinical Neurosciences & Physiology) from Brown Medical School. Robert Kaita (Plasma Physics) from Princeton University. James Keener (Mathematics and Bioengineering) from the University of Utah. Robert C. Koons (Philosophy) from the University of Texas, Austin.

Younghun Kwon (Physics) from Hanyang University. Christopher Michael Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Langan (Logic, Cosmology, and Reality Theory) from the Mega Foundation and Research Group. Robert Larmer (Philosophy) from the University of New Brunswick.

Martti Leisola (Bioprocess Engineering) from Helsinki University of Technology. Stan Lennard (Medicine) from the University of Washington. John Lennox (Mathematics) from the University of Oxford. Gina Lynne LoSasso (Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology) from the Mega Foundation and Research Group.

Jed Macosko (Chemistry) from La Sierra University. Bonnie Mallard (Immunology) from the University of Guelph. Forrest M. Mims III for “Atmospheric Science.” Scott Minnich (Microbiology) from the University of Idaho. Paul Nelson (Philosophy of Biology) from the Discovery Institute.

Filip Palda (Economics) from the l’École Nationale d’Administration Publique, Montreal. Edward T.Peltzer for “Ocean Chemistry.” Alvina Plantinga (Philosophy) from the University of Notre Dame. Martin Poenie (Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology) from the University of Texas, Austin.

Carlos E. Puente (Hydrology and Theoretical Dynamics) from the University of California, Davis. Del Ratzsch (Philosophy of Science) from Calvin College. Jay Wesley Richard (Philosophical Theology) from the Discovery Institute. Terry Rickard (Electrical Engineering) from the Orincon Corporation.

John Roche (History of Science) from the University of Oxford. Andrew Ruys (Bioceramic Engineering) from the University of Sydney. Henry F. Schaefer (Quantum Chemistry) from the University of Georgia, Athens.

Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. (Psychiatry/Neuroscience) from the UCLA Department of Psychiatry. Philip Skell (Chemistry) from Penn State University. Frederick Skiff (Physics) from the University of Iowa. Karl D. Stephan (Electrical Engineering) from Southwest Texas State University.

Richard Sternberg (Systematics) from NCBI-GenBank (NIH). Frank Tipler (Mathematical Physics) from Tulane University. Jonathan Wells (Developmental Biology) from the Discovery Institute. Finally, Peter Zoeller-Greer (Mathematics, Physics and Information Science) from the State University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt on the Main.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Assistant Editor, News Intervention, Human Rights Activist. Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He focuses on North America for News Intervention. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. You can contact Scott via email.

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