In this chapter, Meyer asks whether it is possible that the cause of the Cambrian explosion is an intelligent agent rather than naturalistic processes. He argues that it is, and that the design hypothesis is better supported by the evidence than any naturalistic hypothesis.
Meyer looks closely at how historical science works. It is different than physics and biology because you cannot experiment on the past. What you can do, however, is develop multiple and competing hypotheses to determine which is the best explanation for the evidence at hand (inference to the best explanation). One of the best ways to test competing hypotheses is on the basis of their causal adequacy; i.e. is the proposed cause adequate to produce the effect in question? Remember, we have to explain the origin of biological information. What sorts of causes, now in operation, are known to produce information? Only one: intelligent agents. If the basis of life is information, and the only known cause of information is intelligence, then it follows that an intelligent agent is not just the best explanation for biological information, but the only viable explanation. (more…)