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THE SEMANTIC STRUCTURE OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY AS AN ARGUMENT AGAINST INTELLIGENT DESIGN

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Abstract. 

This paper examines the impact of two formalizations of evolutionary biology on the antiselectionist critiques of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. It looks first at attempts to apply the syntactic framework of the physical sciences to biology in the twentieth century, and to their effect upon the ID movement. It then examines the more heuristic account of biological-theory structure, namely, the semantic model. Finally, it concludes by advocating the semantic conception and emphasizing the problems that the semantic model creates for ID's negative and positive theses.
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Keywords: Alex Rosenburg; Bas Van Fraassen; Imre Lakatos; Intelligent Design; Mary Williams; Michael Behe; Michael Ruse; Paul Thompson; Richard Dawkins; William Dembski; semantic structure; syntactic structure; theory of evolution

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: James A.T. Lancaster is a doctoral student at The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB, UK;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 March 2011

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