• casual explanation;
  • Designer;
  • intelligent agency;
  • intelligent design;
  • naturalism

A number of authors have agued the case that there is empirical evidence that the universe (or particular configurations within it) must be the outcome of intelligent design. Recent books by William Dembski and Dean Overman, though different in style and level of argumentation, reach a similar conclusion: the universe, or certain forms within it, cannot be explained without appeal to design as a mode of causation. But exactly what is the operative definition for intelligent design in these works? And how convincing is their case for the necessity of appealing to this type of design in causal explanations?