The doctrine of the intelligent design from the point of view of the cognitive science of religion

Wojciech Piotr Grygiel



The doctrine of the Intelligent Design offers an intuitive explanation of why the ordering in the Universe is authored by an intentional agency. Due to its appeal to common-sense perception, this doctrine is endorsed even by scientifically literate circles despite of its obvious contradiction with the discoveries of science. In this article, an attempt to apply the tools of the cognitive science of religion to the appraisal of the methodological and epistemic status of the ID doctrine is presented. It is concluded that the ID doctrine may serve as means of the real-time metaphorical reassurance of the creative power of God while it cannot give grounds to any literal inferences on the nature of the Divine action.


intelligent design; ordering; en tropy; mental states; probability

Full Text:



Aristotle. 1941. The Basic Works. Edited by Richard McKeon. New York: Random House.

Aquinas, Thomas. 1975. Summa Contra Gentiles I. Translated by Anton C. Pegis. Notre Dame–London: University of Notre Dame Press.

Atkins Peter and De Paula Julio. 2014. Physical Chemistry. 10th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ayala, Francesco J. 2007. ,,Darwin’s greatest discovery: Design without designer.’’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104: 8567– 8573.

Ayala, Francesco J. 2009. Dar Darwina dla nauki i religii. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Barrett, Justin L. 2000. ,,Exploring the Natural Foundations of Religion.’’ Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4(1): 29–34.

Barrett, Justin L. 2004. Why Would Anyone Believe in God?. Lanham MD: AltaMira Press.

Barrett, Justin L. 2011. Cognitive Science, Religion and Theology: From Human Minds to Divine Minds. Conshohocken: Templeton Press.

Barrett, Justin L. and Nyhof, Melanie A. 2001. ,,Spreading the Non-natural Concepts: The Role of Intuitive Conceptual Structures in Memory and Transmission of Cultural Materials.’’ Journal of Cognition and Culture 1: 69–100.

Behe Michael. 1996. Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. New York: The Free Press.

Bering, Jesse M. 2011. The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Boyer, P.ascal. 2003. ,,Religious Thought and Behavior as By-products of Brain Function.’’ Trends in Cognitive Science 7(3): 119–124.

Boyer, Pascal. 2001. Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought. New York: Basic Books.

Chaberek, Michał. 2014. Stworzenie czy ewolucja? Dylematy katolika. Warszawa: Fronda.

Davis, Percival and Kenyon, Dean H. 1993. Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins. Dallas: Haughton.

De Cruz, Helen and De Smedt, Johan. 2015. A Natural History of Natural Theology. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.

De Cruz, Helen and De Smedt, Johan. 2012. ,,Evolved cognitive biases and the epistemic status of scientific beliefs.’’ Philosophical Studies 157: 411–429.

Dembski, William A. 1995. The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dembski, William A. 1999. Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Einstein, Albert. 1931. ,,The World as I see It.’’ Forum and Century’’ 84: 193–194.

Giertych Maciej. 2016. Ewolucja, dewolucja, nauka. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Giertych.

Grygiel, Wojciech P. 2017. ,,Science and human religiosity from the perspective of the cognitive science of religion.’’ Analect Cracoviensia 49: 177–194.

Guthrie, Stewart A. 1003. Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion. New York: Oxford University Press.

Haught, John F. 2008. God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution. Boulder CO: Westview Press.

Hawking, Stephen W. and Mlodinov, Leonard. 2010. The Grand Design: New Answers to the Ultimate Questions of Life. London – Toronto – Sydney – Auckland – Johannesburg: Batnam Press,

Heller, Michał. 2003. ,,Chaos, Probability and the Compressibility of the World.’’ In Creative Tension: Essays on Science and Religion, Michał Heller, 127–143. Randor PA: Templeton Foundation Press.

Heller, Michał. 2006. ,,Teorie wszystkiego.’’ In Filozofia i wszechświat, Michał Heller, 237 – 255. Kraków: UNIVERSITAS.

Heller, Michał. 2012. Filozofia przypadku. Kraków: Copernicus Center Press.

Heller, Michał and Życiński, Józef. 1990. Dylematy ewolucji. Kraków: Polskie Towarzystwo Teologiczne.

Jodkowski, Kazimierz. 2007. ,,Kłopoty teistycznego ewolucjonizmu.’’ In Kontrowersje wokół początków człowieka. edited by Grzegorz Bugajak, and Jacek Tomczyk, 209–224. Katowice: Księgarnia św. Jacka.

Keane, George J. 1999. Creation Rediscovered: Evolution and The Importance of the Origins Debate. Rockford, Illinois: TAN Books and Publishers.

Kelemen, Deborah. 1999. ,,Why Are Rocks Pointy? Children's Preference for Teleological Explanation of the Natural World.’’ Developmental Psychology 35(6): 1440–1452.

Kelemen, Deborah. 2004. ,,Are children "intuitive theists"? Reasoning about purpose and design in nature.’’ Psychological Science 15(5): 295–301.

Korzeniewski, Bernard. 2005. Od neuronu do (samo)świadomości. Prószyński i S-ka.

Leslie, Alan M. 1999. ,,A Theory of Agency.’’ In Causal Cognition: A Multidisciplinary Debate, edited by Dan Sperber, David Premack, and Ann J. Premack, 121–149. Oxford: Clarendon.

Payley, William. [no date]. Natural Theology. New York: American Tract Society.

Penrose, Roger. 1991. The Emperor’s New Mind. New York: Penguine Books.

Prigogine, Ilya and Stengers, Isabelle. 1990. Z chaosu ku porządkowi. Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy.

Sørensen Jesper. 2005. ,,Charisma, Tradition and Ritual.’’ In Mind and Religion: Psychological and Cognitive Foundations of Religiosity, edited by Harvey Whitehouse, and Robert N. McCauley, 167–186. Walnut Creek CA: AltaMira Press.

Swinburne, Richard. 1992. ,,The Argument from Design.’’ In Readings in the Philosophy of Religion: An Analytic Approach, edited by Baruch A. Brody, 189–201. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall.

ISSN 2300-7648 (print)
ISSN 2353-5636 (online)

Partnerzy platformy czasopism