He further explained:
"He uses the words 'proof' and 'proven' rather loosely. When he uses 'proof' or 'proven' he actually means 'inferred from observed facts'. But no problem. I do get his drift. We're laymen so we can't all the time be expected to use words like 'proof' and 'theory' as a scientist would use them...I think he uses 'proof' to mean 'inference'."
Actually, in the context of the above exchange, and more importantly, on the basis the intent of those who believe and promote the idea of intelligent design, i would infer that proof is the more appropriate word to use. Let me explain.
Thomas Sowell, in his book Knowledge and Decisions, says that "Various ideas can be classified by their relationship to the authentication process". He then goes on the enumerate these different kinds of Ideas:
|Theories||"ideas systematically prepared for authentication"|
|Visions||"ideas not derived from any systematic process"|
|Illusions||"ideas which could not survive any reasonable authentication process"|
|Myth||"ideas which exempt themselves from any authentication process"|
|Facts||"ideas which have already passed the authentication process"|
|Falsehoods||"ideas known to have failed - or certain to fail - such processes"..."both mistakes and lies"|
From the point of view its proponents, Intelligent Design is a theory. Being a theory, it had to undergo an authentication process. What then is used to authenticate intelligent design? According to biochemist Michael Behe, it is something called irreducible complexity, which is none other than life itself (or to be less loose, the chemical processes that lead to life).
In summary, for someone who believes in this theory, the processes behind life, that are supposedly irreducably complex, serve to authenticate (and not merely infer) Intelligent Design. As far as i know, no other scientific means is used to authenticate this theory.