E-mail Response: Why Intelligent Design Is Not Science

I wonder how much mail you must get about your page regarding the Evolution Controversy.  It must run the full range of the possible spectrum.  Anyway, I just can't help add my two cents worth; something I think you should emphasize more on your site.
Many people I've encountered are ready to debate the merits of Evolution vs. Intelligent Design and which should be taught in school.  I know I'm making this too simple, but my response is to review the scientific method with them without trying to take sides one way or the other.  The scientific method is what we have agreed on, as a culture, as the defining model of what is and what is not considered science.  If we can agree on this, then we can move forward, otherwise we need to start at that more fundamental level and debate what defines science.
The scientific method, briefly stated, is made up of several key components.  Depending on where you look up the definition, you'll get slightly different statements, but they are all the same in every important way; 1. Observe, 2. Conjecture, 3. Predict, and 4. Test.  That is, observe the world around you.  Construct an explanation based on those observations.  Deduce a prediction from that explanation.  Test that prediction.
So one needs to ask something like the following:
Q: What observations are we dealing with? 
A: The study of the natural world, specifically the origin of varied species.

Q: What explanations are we putting forth? 
A1: Evolution through a process of natural selection.
A2: Creation in state by a Designer.

Q: What predictions can you make from that explanation?
A1: Transitional Fossils, Genetic Drift, Shared Traits between Species, on going development and selection, and so on. 
A2: …Here's where it sort of falls apart.  I've yet to hear anyone tell me anything that Intelligent Design predicts.  Does it tell us that one day we will find the blueprints or laboratory where Earth's species were created?  Does it tell us to engage in a search for a supernatural designer?  What does Intelligent Design tell me to expect if I were to perform some sort of line of research?
I'm in full support of anyone that is a believer in Christ, Allah, Yahweh, Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu, the Tao, and most other religions.  They have every right to believe what they want and to be free from persecution for it.  I would even encourage that a basic course in comparative philosophies/religions be mandatory for graduation from high school as a way of promoting understanding and tolerance.  But I cannot condone philosophy or religion being taught in a science class.
Buddhists aren't telling the high school biology teachers of the world that they need to explain the interconnectedness of all life forms and make it clear to students that dissection of frogs is wrong and could result in your next life being significantly worse than this one.

For what it's worth, thanks for letting me rant.

David H.Carmer (Sept. 8, 2009)