What is the significance of the intelligent design theory? How different is it from philosophical teleology which had been introduced ever since Plato?
Answer (by Man in Black):
Although many do not like to admit it, Intelligent Design is a very convincing logical proof for the existence of God. In some ways it is an updated version of now discredited Christian "Creation Science" from the 1950's and 1960's. The main problem with Creation Science was that it didn't contain any real science. Today we have increasingly sophisticated evidence from the hard sciences, particularly modern physics, that undoubtedly point toward the high probability of God actually existing. This new scientific knowledge, and the necessary logical implications of that knowledge, form the basis of Intelligent Design. It used to be a philosophically naive position to hold a belief in the existence of God, it is fast becoming the reality that the philosophically naive position is to hold the belief that God does not exist. We are clearly headed toward a God centered, spiritual world.
Philosophers even further back than Plato had observed the general logical basis that supports Intelligent Design, the problem was that until the last forty years or so years the knowledge base of the world was not sufficient to prove that logical basis was predicated on an objective and accurate observation of our reality.
The philosophy of science itself has excluded the role of a God being involved with the natural phenomena of the physical existence. Scientists are fond of saying, "We don't have to deal with God because even if God did exist He is outside the limits of the empirically (objectively) observable existence, and science only deals with what can be empirically observed. This is an outdated concept now that science includes Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
Both Einstein's Special and General Theory of Relativity take the scope of acceptable scientific inquiry outside the realm of the physical existence into the non-physical world. It would not be unfair to refer to this non-physical existence as the 'spiritual world'. This means there is no need to change the philosophy of science, since the philosophy of science did not define the limits of what 'can' be observed by science, it only required that the observation be empirical to be part of science. We can now empirically observe the spiritual world. So far the door has only been opened a tiny crack but much more empirical knowledge of the spiritual world will surely become available soon. Truth is not different than a mature science
I did mean the world of no volume of space, no time, but also no matter. From this I only concluded that God, who is expected to be occupying no volume of space, outside the range of time, and non-material, is now within the scope of the acceptable parameters of science under the current philosophy of science. I made no attempt to prove that God could be empirically (objectively) found to exist by an examination of the non-material world.
I do though believe that Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, which for the first time allows science to delve into the non-material world, does indeed prove the existence of God. That proof is beyond the limits of this forum and I could do no better explaining it than it has already been very well explained here in the Islamic World website. Please visit the following web address to see a brief but sufficient scientific proof of God's existence from the non-physical world, and for a more complete presentation of that proof please view the video lecture on the subject that goes far beyond the brief written proof (available at that same web address).