The Design Inference

Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities

The Design Inference

How can we identify events due to intelligent causes and distinguish them from events due to undirected natural causes? If we lack a causal theory how can we determine whether an intelligent cause acted? This book presents a reliable method for detecting intelligent causes: the design inference. The design inference uncovers intelligent causes by isolating the key trademark of intelligent causes: specified events of small probability. Design inferences can be found in a range of scientific pursuits from forensic science to research into the origins of life to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. This challenging and provocative book will be read with particular interest by philosophers of science and religion, other philosophers concerned with epistemology and logic, probability and complexity theorists, and statisticians.


"...quite readable. Those who have no knowledge of the mathematics of probability may be put off, but in fact the level of mathematics and symbolic logic employed is not very difficult...The main arguments...are given in ordinary prose, then translated into symbols...Dembski has made a real advance in probability and information theory..." Books & Culture

"...generally careful and precise, often persuasive, and at times surprisingly philosophically sensitive." Ethics

"Dembski has produced an astonishing work. The Design InferenceR^ will no doubt become the cornerstone of the intelligent design movement. A marked and dog-eared copy of The Design InferenceR^ deserves a place on your shel not just for its clear historical significance, but also to allow yourself a place in the momentous discussion to come. Philosophia Christi