Is Human Design Truly Intelligent?

  • Thread starter Psi 5
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In summary: The eye is filled with a gel sac that shrinks quite a bit by age 50. This shrinkage sometimes results in torn retina's that, until recent times, caused blindness. Not a big deal because the average life span then was about 50 years so it went pretty much unnoticed. If an omipotent designer had designed the eye you would think it would take into account the fact that we would eventually have a much longer lifespan than 50 years. Especially if he was the Christian God who designed earlier humans to live hundreds of years like Moses and his buddies.What about designing us with skin full of holes (pores) that are perfectly designed to harbor bacteria and cause many people much grief?Then there are inadequate muscles and tend
  • #36
b.j.c said:
This is a gross generalization. Many creationists are well educated scientists who have taken an alternative view of what evidence there is.
Judging by your somewhat intemperate posts, your views may also be set in stone.
Well, you can explain to me why the fossils never match up in the layers of sediment like they 'should' - the layers seem to be jumbled up the world over, instead of being perfectly chronological from bottom to top. Evolutionist logic is no less twisted on this point.

Education doesn't impart either intelligence or wisdom, education makes the stupid dangerous. My opinion is stupid people shouldn't be educated, many of humanities problems come from educated stupid people, take the current occupant of the white house for example.

My views are subject to change by evidence, evidence that I judge impartially, unemotionally and without any preconceived ideas to prove.

The layers seem to be jumbled? That is creationist horse manure. In the same class as questioning carbon dating. Even if the layers are moved, which is easily explained, you still won't find a dinosaur bone in the same undisturbed layer as a humanoid bone.
 
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  • #37
Education doesn't impart either intelligence or wisdom

Psi 5, please explain that which does impart either intelligence or wisdom.

o:)
 
  • #38
Psi 5 said:
Education doesn't impart either intelligence or wisdom, education makes the stupid dangerous. My opinion is stupid people shouldn't be educated, many of humanities problems come from educated stupid people, take the current occupant of the white house for example.

Yes, you sound like one of those special people who were just born smart. Evolution probably.

I have only one problem with most of this discussion and that is the willy nilly application of absolutes. It seems to me scientists by definition exhibit more faith than most. Before you freak out, I'm not talking about a religious faith. Faith is an element of discovery. To borrow, science requires a testable hypothesis. This we all learned in school, well most of us anyhow. Since you can't test a claim of divine intervention or an article of faith, I don't see how there could be any scientific opinion about a divine origin of the physical laws of the universe whatsoever, or about any question of divine activity.

But if you really pressed hard on the topic, as we are, you eventually arrive at the issue of a First Mover, God, whatever you prefer. Most physicists are unready to admit that something of a physical nature predated the Big Bang. Why, I'm not sure. I think it has to do with the nasty blend of Quantum and General physics necessary for the Big Bang to work. It’s tough to postulate the origin of the Big Bang matter and energy. Regardless, something queued the whole thing up that we can't sort out. This all started out, well, somehow. It could have been subject to the same arbiters of physical law we understand today or not. Both are as likely from where we stand now. I repeat, it is unknown. We have a window, using microwaves, right back to the beginning. But before So why are so many cosmologists ready to mix their opinions on the topic with proven theory when the two couldn't be further apart?

Just as nutty Creationists preach ID as the only possibility for such a flawed world, many scientists preach that there is no room for God in such an ordered universe. Bias can wreak havoc on the complexion no matter how much Biblical or scientific make-up one adorns. Shouldn't scientists be the most dedicated bunch of agnostics out there? At least on the topic of design?

Me, I’ll refrain from hanging a stupid sign on someone simply because they come to a different conclusion than me based on the very limited information we all share. Seems to me I remember Einstein rejecting Quantum Theory because it he refuse to give matter "magic" attributes and he was overly confident in his general relativity's ability to govern. Not too far from the kind of rejection ID is facing from some of the science community at the moment. The best compliment you can offer in this type of debate is, “Hey man that’s some really killer speculation.”
 
  • #39
The definition of God is flawed from a philosophical perspective. A being cannot be kind, omnipotent, and all-knowing. It is impossible within current logic and, therefore, should not be given any weight as a concept.

Could an intelligent being have created the world? From my little scientific knowledge, I should say it is, in theory, possible; however, I know enough to realize that even that is statistically improbable to the point that it should be disregarded entirely.

Atheism is either the truth or should be accepted as the truth due to the lack of any efficient evidence to suggest it is incorrect. Occam's Razor.

Reductionism has been proved scientifically superior to holism time and time again. It isn't wrong on this matter either.
 
  • #40
Dooga Blackrazor said:
The definition of God is flawed from a philosophical perspective. A being cannot be kind, omnipotent, and all-knowing. It is impossible within current logic and, therefore, should not be given any weight as a concept.
Could an intelligent being have created the world? From my little scientific knowledge, I should say it is, in theory, possible; however, I know enough to realize that even that is statistically improbable to the point that it should be disregarded entirely.
Atheism is either the truth or should be accepted as the truth due to the lack of any efficient evidence to suggest it is incorrect. Occam's Razor.
Reductionism has been proved scientifically superior to holism time and time again. It isn't wrong on this matter either.

If something can't be kind, omnipotent and [sic] all-knowing, I'd love to hear you qualify that. Perhaps you do have good "logic" on the issue and you just over-estimated how smart we are (or maybe it's just me) and didn't tell us how. Explain please.

Also, I'm not familiar with any statistics on probability of an intelligent being creating the world--well, beyond those discussed by Douglas Adams. Could you share some of that "scientific knowledge" with me? There is a high probability that we can have a meaningful discussion at that point.

Your last paragraph is good. You would like to see a more elegant explanation for life, the universe and everything. Me too, brother. I was in love with elegant theory the moment I laid eyes on E=mc2. So little explaining so much. And then of course there's quantum mechanics and relativity, the source from which much of this debate is stemming. How do we reconcile this two such antithetical (proven) theories that independently explain so much of what we observe in the physical world? Well, physicists and cosmologists have been driving very hard in the race for a unified theory. Something small and beautiful that captures physical interaction big and small. String theory is the best offering thus far. It may be the coolest thing I have ever misunderstood. It is also by definition, and very disappointingly, not provable. Can't be done. So, as you can guess cosmologists aren't sleeping very well because their world is a mess again. IDists decided to throw their name in the hat and offered that perhaps elegance is contrived. Perhaps God unifies. Well, that's no good. Scientists want a more esthetically pleasing, far reaching theory, even though quantum mechanics works very well for very small objects and very short distances, and relativity works great for everything else. If the day ever comes I will just for joy. But for now every effort to unify with science is clunky and messy.

Physicists and cosmologists have gotten as far trying to prove that a very uncomplicated explanation will reconcile the two theories as Idists have in trying to prove the existence of God. What do you say, bro? Shall we take big O's Razor to both of them? Nah, let's wait and see before we start talking about getting rid of anything.
 
  • #41
Psi 5 said:
Intelligent design is falsifiable to an intelligent person, that is why most of the smartest people are not religious or republican or proponents of intelligent design, they see the world differently than most people of lesser intelligence.
with respect, it is no more falsifiable (using accepted scientific methods of falsification) than is the existence of God.

Some extremely smart people believe in God.

Please refrain from using wording that implies some of us are not intelligent - it merely reflects on your own intelligence.

With respect

MF
 
  • #42
jimmysnyder said:
Is natural selection falsifiable?
Natural selection is an hypothesis based on accepted scientific principles - as such it is indeed falsifiable. But has yet to be falsified.

MF
 
  • #43
jammieg said:
The universe has infinite time and space
moving finger said:
who says so?
with all due respect, this is not necessarily so.
Mk said:
Mainstream physics says so.
I disagree. Read Einstein or Hawking or any of a number of "mainstream" physicists who have considered the possibilities of finite spacetime dimensions
.
MF
 
  • #44
Dooga Blackrazor said:
Atheism is either the truth or should be accepted as the truth due to the lack of any efficient evidence to suggest it is incorrect. Occam's Razor.

According to that logic, God should also be accepted as truth due to the lack of any efficient evidence to suggest it is incorrect. Occam's Razor.
 
  • #45
moving finger said:
Natural selection is an hypothesis based on accepted scientific principles - as such it is indeed falsifiable. But has yet to be falsified.
MF
Are you aware of any experiment that could be conducted that would falsify it?
 
  • #46
jimmysnyder said:
Are you aware of any experiment that could be conducted that would falsify it?
I am no expert on Darwin's theory or it's predictions. However I stand by the fact that any acceptable scientific theory must make testable predictions in order to allow itself to tested by experiment/observation and, possibly, be falsified.
Darwin's theory does make predictions. Some people have attempted to refute the theory on this basis ( see for example http://www.tdtone.org/evolution/TDTns.htm)
The following link explores possible predictions of both Darwin's theory, and Intelligent Design theories...
http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:...darwin's+theory"+predictions&hl=en&lr=lang_en
MF
 
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  • #47
Psi 5 said:
I don't see how you get my statements are anti-Darwin, they seem to be perfectly evolutionary to me.

You misunderstand. I think your statements ARE in favour of Darwinian evolution. My entire response is geared towards the arrogance that you think you can shoot down a counter-theory without understanding it first.

Psi 5 said:
(and your statements sound distinctly religious for an atheist)

You think because I *understand* the issues means I *believe* in them?
(If I stopped a man about to shoot a pickpocket, would you then label me as a pickpocket?)

No, I am not religious, nor do I buy into any of that crap. I’m just tired of people taking cheap shots. It gives rational people a bad rap. I think you have a responsibility to take more care in being the scientifically-minded, rational person you suppose you are.

(Remember the detractors of Darwin, and their “men from monkeys” ridicule? They were ignorant of Darwin’s work and so, their counterargument fell apart - Darwin never said we descended from monkeys.)



Let me distill your argument:

“….lets see how intelligent our design really is…”
“A human being has many bad design components.”
it isn't the way an omnipotent designer would make [it]” [italics mine]
“…Taking all this into account shows that the intelligent designer wasn't too intelligent, much less omnipotent….”


Your overarching assumption is that you think you know what the “criteria for success” is (something like “human body as well-oiled machine”). Upon reflection, do you really think you understand the “criteria for success” behind ID?


Again, I am not in favour of ID, nor do I have any religious leanings. I think your claim needs to be put through internal review (i.e among the scientifically-minded types) before presenting it as a (very wide) target externally. i.e. I think your argument is poorly thought out.
 
  • #48
PIT2 said:
According to that logic, God should also be accepted as truth due to the lack of any efficient evidence to suggest it is incorrect. Occam's Razor.

Something doesn't exist until it is proven. You do not have to prove something doesn't exist because there are few or no variables to prove it doesn't exist. The nature state of something that is not around is nonexistence. Strong Atheism involves the use of Occam's Razor. You are incorrectly applying the concept.

To the poster above you, I meant statistical evidence indicates it is improbable simply by common sense. The arguments for atheism are clearly better than those for God. If a psychological problem prevents someone from recognizing that fact, I am not qualified to treat their disorder.

Also, modern logic denies the definition of God.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

Furthermore, IQ research indicates that the average IQ of atheists is higher that that of other group. The more atheist someone is the more likely they are to have a high intelligence.

I have spent days worth of time researching this matter. The answer becomes clearer with every fact presented.
 
  • #49
Dooga Blackrazor said:
To the poster above you, I meant statistical evidence indicates it is improbable simply by common sense. The arguments for atheism are clearly better than those for God. If a psychological problem prevents someone from recognizing that fact, I am not qualified to treat their disorder.

Ah, your arguments seem less like blind conjecture now. I must have taken my medicine this morning. Instead of a lack of information, now I'm just confused.

Again, you failed to actually cite an argument or a piece of evidence. Time and time again throughout history scientific advancement backs itself into a corner only to come raring out again. Right now, it's starting to feel like it's in a corner. For lack of an issue cited in your posts we'll keep using my example of the tension between quantum and general. Science is floundering at the moment in terms of unification. Are you familiar with the 11-D problems and M-Theory, historical direction? This is a mess, an absolute mess of a theory. Complicated to the point that at any given moment the theory's leading posits change and new ones are championed. This can't be one of your examples of "efficient evidence" exempt from Occam's Razor, can it? What ID offers is a particularly non-scientific solution that is not particularly inefficient. Given your penchant for getting rid of inelegant solutions, it seems a little like you'd be championing IDs cause, no?

Dooga Blackrazor said:
Furthermore, IQ research indicates that the average IQ of atheists is higher that that of other group. The more atheist someone is the more likely they are to have a high intelligence.

This is something that needs to stop in these threads. Righteously making claims of intellectual superiority (based on studies that prove nothing about the actual claimer’s), I suspect, doesn't get you very far anywhere let alone in science forums. Hey, you might be the next super-genius for all I know, but for now we are experiencing a lack of any "efficient evidence" to that end. Let's just have a discussion here without dusting off our under-grad grades. Okay? A little banter is more than welcome but let's keep this on equal footing for now.
 
  • #50
This is something that needs to stop in these threads. Righteously making claims of intellectual superiority

I, hereby, second the motion. Here, Here.

you might be the next super-genius for all I know

If that individual truly was the next "super-genius", that individual would NOT have made an 'un-founded' righteous claim of intellectual "superiority".

To individuals that intend to make claims of intellectual superiority: Mind your manners BEFORE you mind your mind.

o:)
 
  • #51
Dooga Blackrazor said:
Something doesn't exist until it is proven.
This statement demonstrates an astonishing and profound ignorance.


Oh, I should have kept reading, it just gets better:
Dooga Blackrazor said:
Also, modern logic denies the definition of God."

Dooga Blackrazor said:
IQ research indicates that the average IQ of atheists is higher that that of other group. The more atheist someone is the more likely they are to have a high intelligence.
The usual high school error of confusing "link by association" with "causal link".

(He's studied this for "days". His words, not mine.)



Dooga Blackrazor said:
The definition of God is
is what?

Illuminate us. What is the definition of God?

Dooga Blackrazor said:
I know enough to realize that even that is statistically improbable
Do you know enough to realize that a sample size of one is statistically meaningless?
 
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  • #52
DaveC426913 said:
Do you know enough to realize that a sample size of one is statistically meaningless?

Classic.

Anyway, we've all (beginning with me) gotten a little distracted with the more ephemeral side of this debate, tempting though the shots have been. Let's see if we can't right the ship.

The thread topic is "are we intelligently designed?" This is a brutal entry into the discussion and is half the reason much of this thread is a bit perfunctory and reactive.

It seems to me that with a little personal detachment most of us can admit that there isn't an answer. Evidence swings both ways and we still have no proof either way. And though we know that ID can't ever be proven we also know there isn't anything to disprove it either. So, where is the battle ground here?

If you will all allow me to redirect just a little, perhaps a more appropriate question ought to be along the lines of "at what point would the scientific method cry uncle?"

Over the past hundred years physicists have been on such a remarkable run of theory simplification that it is hard to imagine that elegance isn't built in to the universe (to those unfamiliar: elegance, being small theory or math explaining a great deal of the universe). Continuing on with my example of the search for a Unified Theory, what if there isn't one? What if science is forced to except two completely different sets of rules for physical activity? Quantum and general would be force to share the universe, in this example. That's not very elegant and it just might imply a certain fallibility in the scientific method.

Would that be the straw that breaks ID's detractor's backs? Would science have to concede some ideological ground to ID?

Now, this is a hypothetical. I'm not saying that science will fail in finding a Unified Theory or that this hypothetical will ever play out (as by both parties will most likely morph into different things as more information arrives). But is that the point where this battle is taking place?
 
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  • #53
Conehead said:
Evidence swings both ways and we still have no proof either way. And though we know that ID can't ever be proven we also know there isn't anything to disprove it either. So, where is the battle ground here?
Scientific method proceeds on the basis of falsification of hypotheses (read Popper). In fact there never is any "proof" that any scientific hypothesis is correct - the best we can do is to show that the hypothesis fits the experimental data (but that does not preclude an even better hypothesis coming along and replacing the previous one - just as Einstein's concepts of spacetime replaced Newton's). Therefore to say that "ID can't ever be proven" is (with respect) not saying much - because by definition no hypothesis can ever be proven.
It would be more significant if we were to say that "ID can never be disproven" - but IF this is the case then it would make the hypothesis of ID metaphysical and unscientific - because it cannot be falsified.
Conehead said:
perhaps a more appropriate question ought to be along the lines of "at what point would the scientific method cry uncle?"
At the point where we say "this hypothesis is unfalsifiable". See above.
Conehead said:
Over the past hundred years physicists have been on such a remarkable run of theory simplification that it is hard to imagine that elegance isn't built in to the universe (to those unfamiliar: elegance, being small theory or math explaining a great deal of the universe). Continuing on with my example of the search for a Unified Theory, what if there isn't one? What if science is forced to except two completely different sets of rules for physical activity? Quantum and general would be force to share the universe, in this example. That's not very elegant and it just might imply a certain fallibility in the scientific method.
It could be argued that science has already reached it's limits in quantum mechanics (QM). It is well accepted that Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle (the UP) places a de-facto limit on our ability to "know" about the real world. There is an epistemic horizon, characterised by Planck's constant, beyond which we are unable to see. This was understood by Bohr almost 100 years ago - and became the principle of the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) of QM. According to the CI, it is "scientifically meaningless" to ask what constitutes reality beyond the limits imposed by the UP, because there is no way that science can answer the question. Thus hypotheses of Many Worlds, or of Hidden Variables, etc, which are constructed to "explain" reality beyond the CI, are unfalsifiable, hence metaphysical.

MF
 
  • #54
jimmysnyder said:
He feels that evolution did in fact occur. For instance, different species of fish may have had a common ancestor, or different species of lizards may have. But in his estimation there could not have been a common ancestor of both a bird and a lizard. I have never heard this view of creationism before and armed with the knowledge of it, I thought back on his lecture and I realized why it didn't seem so convincing. He is cutting evolutionists a lot of slack. I don't know how prevalent this view is among creationists.

It's fairly common. The idea is that "microevolution" can occur within a "kind", but "macroevolution" from one "kind" to another is impossible. They won't define what they mean by "kind". They support the idea with examples like "you never see a cat evolve into a dog" or some similar nonsense.

jimmysnyder said:
Are you aware of any experiment that could be conducted that would falsify it?

A chimera composed of vastly different animals (e.g. mermaid) would do it. Natural selection is so well-established that it's almost impossible to falsify it, unless you accept absurd hypothetical observations. There are lots of things that would cause us to reevaluate the theory, but it's tough to completely falsify it.
 
  • #55
wave said:
A chimera composed of vastly different animals (e.g. mermaid) would do it.
Perhaps, but this is not strictly an "experiment", it is rather an observation.

MF
 
  • #56
moving finger said:
wave said:
A chimera composed of vastly different animals (e.g. mermaid) would do it.
Perhaps, but this is not strictly an "experiment", it is rather an observation.
That's why I said "absurd hypothetical observations"... But what difference does it make? Can you conduct an experiment to falsify natural selection without any observations? If I put some fish eggs in a test tube will that make you happy?
 
  • #57
wave said:
Can you conduct an experiment to falsify natural selection without any observations?
Why do you suggest that an experiment must necessarily not have observations? I don't understand your point here.

MF
 
  • #58
ID and Evolution/Atheism are not on equal footing. That is the problem. If this is, indeed, a science forum, a nonscientific theory has no relevance, correct? Science is about changing your viewpoint based on the emergence of new scientific evidence. That is why theories change regularly. Science changes its direction from one scientific perspective to another scientific perspective. Science, when used properly, does not adopt nonscientific viewpoints. If scientific theory does not include ID, the ID theory should adopt science properly to become a scientific theory. It does not do so in a scientific manner that is provable.

Intelligent design, in the future, may adopt scientific method properly; however, such an undertaking would likely involve Pantheism and the discussion of the universe as an entity. Does the concept of a human-like, powerful creator have strong scientific evidence? No.

I have researched this matter thoroughly, and, therefore, I remember information rather than need to search for it. I can, however, provide sources if you wish. To make it easier for me, I would appreciate that you ask for sources on information you question rather than everything.


Assuming we are arguing about an ID and dismissing God from a philosophical standpoint (the argument from evil, perfection as subjective, et cetera), we can eliminate a great deal from the argument. However, we still have to examine the nature of ID design. Is it a debate as to whether the universe always existed or not? From what I know if it, that is far from its focus. ID, for the most part, is a political movement used by religious individuals to bring religion into school. Thus, we can conclude the following:

1. God - ID should not be about this because it violates separation of church and state and is a religious rather than scientific issue. Furthermore, the concept of God is philosophically flawed and, therefore, ID cannot be about God.
2. The theory is not arguing about whether something (not someone) created the universe or not, or, at least, that is not its primary focus.

This leaves very little left in the ID argument that is legitimate when applied to science. God's definition does not fit current logic or scientific dialectic; therefore, it is dismissible. Moving on, as I now delve further into the nature of creation vs. natural existence, the ID design focuses on a "designer". The work designer is referring to a human or biotic factor. Knowing this, we can move forward to the following conclusion:

Intelligent design argues that an entity with human/intelligent characteristics created the universe. However, there is only evidence that something (not someone) created the universe. The only evidence of a creator is from long ago and philosophy proves that a creator by ancient description is theoretically impossible, and, furthermore, whether that evidence is legitimate is a matter of debate.

Therefore, the claim that a human-like individual created the universe remains. A force could have also created the universe. There is evidence that forces were involved. There is not legitimate scientific evidence showing that those forces were set in motion by an entity. Occam’s Razor can be applied showing that forces are the most likely culprits. Occam’s Razor is meant to assume the nonexistence of something that cannot be proven. When used properly, it does not assume the existence of something when evidence does not suggest either way. Occam’s Razor is not used both ways. Innocent until proven guilty is an example of Occam’s Razor. We can figure out why it should not be the opposite. Occam’s Razor is choosing a viewpoint based on what allows you to make the least amount of assumptions.

With what has been said thus far, we can assume an Intelligent Designer did not create the universe. Since evolution exists, he would have to have set it into motion. The viewpoint with lesser assumption is atheism.

There is quite a bit of evidence for the claim I suggested about atheist IQ. It requires quite a bit of conjecture, I will admit. The evidence, however, exists. The points I made came form studies. The extrapolation of known fact may have occurred in those studies, but I still feel the results are correct. Surprising as it may seem to some, there have been posts made on the subject here and it become a debate.

Definition of God:

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=god

A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe.

The above is the definition I use when debating the matter since it contains the most biblical information and is most prevalent in philosophy. To clarify things, I will explain each individual definition I use:

Perfect: This is “without flaw”. The nature of perfection being subjective is something that comes up in philosophical debates; however, that is inconsistent with scripture and the tendency of it to be black and white.

Omniscient: I interpret this as meaning they can see the future. Free will’s existence alters how one deals with omniscience as arguments around this issue vary depending on each religious sect.

Omnipotent: I accept the biblical interpretation as having unlimited power. This means the person is capable of anything. Other scripture may leave the nature of omnipotence ambiguous, however, so the matter can vary.

The three definitions leave quite a bit of room for someone to disprove the existence of God.
 
  • #59
moving finger said:
It could be argued that science has already reached it's limits in quantum mechanics (QM). It is well accepted that Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle (the UP) places a de-facto limit on our ability to "know" about the real world. There is an epistemic horizon, characterised by Planck's constant, beyond which we are unable to see. This was understood by Bohr almost 100 years ago - and became the principle of the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) of QM. According to the CI, it is "scientifically meaningless" to ask what constitutes reality beyond the limits imposed by the UP, because there is no way that science can answer the question. Thus hypotheses of Many Worlds, or of Hidden Variables, etc, which are constructed to "explain" reality beyond the CI, are unfalsifiable, hence metaphysical.
MF

You've taken a lot of time to split a few hairs. And I appreciate the information but don't really need it. The above paragraph sounds a bit like you've already conceded the ground to ID. I will just say that specifying such well-defined boundaries of scientific discovery can be a dangerous thing. We've been setting the boundaries of science and defining "metaphysics" for all of history. There was a time when the uncertainty principle was rejected because "God doesn't play dice." Those boundaries have a habit of moving around. Plus, ID isn't simply "metaphysics." If that were the case then what would this be about? The issue is that ID takes up scientific real estate with a series of claims about evolution and design.

Anyway, it's my feeling that because the impetus of discovery is in science's hands, ID is under little obligation to do anything other than plug in the holes. I'll reiterate, in case you change your mind and would like to actually address my question, and what point of discovery (or lack thereof) does ID obtain legitimate standing as theory?
 
  • #60
DaveC426913 said:
No, I am not religious, nor do I buy into any of that crap. I’m just tired of people taking cheap shots. It gives rational people a bad rap. I think you have a responsibility to take more care in being the scientifically-minded, rational person you suppose you are.

Conehead said:
It seems to me that with a little personal detachment most of us can admit that there isn't an answer. Evidence swings both ways and we still have no proof either way. And though we know that ID can't ever be proven we also know there isn't anything to disprove it either. So, where is the battle ground here?

I for one really appreciate the balanced and fair assessments Dave and Conehead are offering. I’ve complained many times here that the same sort of dogmatism I saw growing up in a fundamentalist family I often find amongst science “believers.” I don’t see how dogmatism is made any better just because its done with more facts.

I don’t think Psi 5 framed his question clearly since it seems he is talking about the general idea of intelligence being involved in creation, yet he also talks about ID as it relates to Christianity. Christian ID is often trying to make the facts of evolution fit the Bible somehow. Anyone who studies the history of the development of the Bible knows there is a huge problem in claiming it is all the inspired word of God, and therefore the “truth.” But that’s another debate.

And then, isn’t it a bit illogical to be totally against religion, yet to accept popular religious beliefs as the conceptual basis of God? Why should we assume religious authorities know/have known anything about God (if there is one)? If I were a Christian (I am not, nor of any religion) the only person I’d consider an authority would be Jesus, and he said very little that would tell us how God came to be, or how God creates.

The issue should be set up so that we can consider it as neutrally as possible. For example, is “something more” than physicalness needed to explain, or helpful in explaining, anything that exists in this universe? I have more to say about this idea of a neutral “something more” below; but before that, let me reassert why I still don’t accept that physicalist theory is capable as yet of explaining everything.

Something I’ve argued here for years is that physicalness by itself doesn’t demonstrate it can self-organize with the quality it takes to lead to a living system (e.g., a cell). The type of answer physicalists give are the Miller-Urey experiment, crystals, autocatalytic reactions, and other examples of the few-step self-organization that matter is capable of. They say, okay then, the self-organization that led to life is explained! Let’s move on.

Now, I am not committed to physicalism or to theism, I just want to know the truth; I am open to it being however it is. So I can look at the same evidence they are looking at and be ready, willing, and able to say, “yes, the quality of self-organization in the examples you cited does indicate matter can self-organize into a cell.”

But I don’t see it. I see a few steps of self-organization and then it either stops, or the same exact self-organization repeats. Nothing shows it can continue self-organizing into ever-higher levels of order, and not just order but a with quality of organization that can create a self-sustaining, reproducing, adaptive system. That quality of self-organization has never been demonstrated. Yes, chemistry can be made to impressively organize, but to reach a system-level of organization requires human consciousness to step in and make it happen. One can’t assume chemistry can organize itself just because it can be extensively organized.

There is a similar problem with Darwinist theory, as I recently posted in another thread in response to selfAdjoint’s claim that all the evidence we need now exists to believe natural selection and genetic variation alone can produced an entire organism [edited for clarity]:

“If you look at the evidence, what you see is something like 3.5 billion of years of bacteria and algae, and nothing but. Then a huge eruption of forms develop 550 MY ago. There is no logical explanation and no evidence to explain why that would happen, especially since we apparently have the necessary conditions today and it doesn't happen.

“We also don’t see genetic variation today in existing species that would allow us to believe in the sort of variation needed to produce the burst of organ/organism development during the Cambrian era.

“Eldredge documents ‘punctuated’ development and then seems to act as if that is merely how evolution works. Why would one automatically assume a colossal anomaly in the typically uncreative march of natural selection/genetic variation we observe today is a ‘normal’ aspect of evolution unless one is already committed to explaining everything Darwinistically? Based strictly on the evidence of what we have observed happening in nature, the natural selection-genetic variation team is only known to result in superficial changes. That alone doesn’t account for either the speed of changes that occurred during the Cambrian era, or the quality of changes which resulted in organs and organisms; and it certainly doesn’t explain why it isn’t happening now.

“One might cite the genetic record, and it does show most all of life seems related. But what it doesn’t show is what caused the genetic changes. Devoted physicalists don’t get to claim natural selection and accidental genetic variation is responsible for that until they can prove it since there might be another influence involved [affecting genetic change].”


Getting back to the “something more,” what is wrong with contemplating the idea that the universe may be conscious in some way? And if we do, why bring all the logically unsupportable religious concepts into this contemplation (e.g., omnipotence, omniscience, supernatural etc.)?

Why not instead be inductively conservative and say, based on what seems to be unexplained by physicalness alone, possibly there may be a natural something that acts as an organizational force and was involved in the development of creation. In other words, let’s contemplate the idea of universal consciousness (or whatever we call it) by inductively modeling what it would have to be like to contribute naturally to what we find in creation.

We might imagine it is conscious or not, but one reason to consider that it is conscious is because on this planet, the only force we can observe exhibiting such a high quality of organization is human consciousness. Might the consciousness found in biology be a direct manifestation of a more general force?

To me, this is an intelligent and objective way of contemplating intelligent design. We don’t assume physicalist theory is true since it isn’t proven, and we don’t assume universal consciousness is true either. At this stage the exercise is to open-mindedly discuss possibilities.

(BTW, there is experiential evidence of universal consciousness in the form of consistent reports by union/samadhi meditators over a 3000 year period. Why isn’t that evidence allowed? Only because physicalists think they are in charge of what gets to be considered evidence. :rolleyes: Such arrogance isn’t going to impress those thinking people who aren’t already committed to physicalism, but who instead are looking for opinions formed from the fair and objective evaluation of ALL relevant evidence.)
 
  • #61
Dooga Blackrazor said:
ID and Evolution/Atheism are not on equal footing...Furthermore, the concept of God is philosophically flawed and, therefore, ID cannot be about God...God's definition does not fit current logic or scientific dialectic; therefore...we can move forward to the following conclusion...furthermore, whether that evidence is legitimate is a matter of debate...Therefore...With what has been said thus far, we can assume...I interpret...I accept...This means...

If the above quotation looks a little like I just picked out the good stuff, you got me. It's just too much to handle.

If you said all of that to me over a beer I would have interrupted you before you hit your third wind. Circular reasoning is assuming something in order to eventually prove the very thing you assumed in the first place. You assume that "ID and Evolution/Atheism are not on equal footing" from the get go and use that to prove itself through a series of remarkable leaps and bounds. Let's just deal with that first sentence of yours for now. To be honest, that's where I'm still stuck and where this discussion lies.

Instead of assuming they are on unequal ground and proving that fact using the assumption, let's, just for the heck of it, talk about what might happen to equalize the two. That's why I'm asking where this debate is really happening (within the boundaries of science, that is).

Examples, you might find, will help.
 
  • #62
The first sentence is simply a thesis statement. I try to back up that statement with the arguments I provide afterwards. I am trying to show that ID is improbable and should be assumed as false; therefore, I have focused my argument around the flaws of ID. If I view ID as wrong, why would I consider it to be on equal footing with a theory I view as correct? I will certainly hear what ID is about and debate it; however, until I am provided with enough information to make me take it seriously, I am not going to treat it as I do evolution.

For the most part, you have just criticized how I presented my arguments; however, I will have a difficult time improving my arguments if you don't explain what I did incorrectly. From a scientific perspective, forces were involved in creating the earth. The origin of those forces, as I said earlier, is unknown (to my knowledge); however, no evidence, to my knowledge, of a human-like creator exists.

On a philosophy forum, I added in philosophy to the mix. My argument is based around accepting the fact that the definition of God is illogical and the nature of the universe is unknown; therefore, I concluded that ID must be about a designer with human-like characteristics who is not a God. I then furthered my argument to mention that little/no scientific evidence supports that fact; therefore, I applied Occam's Razor in a traditional sense to conclude that ID is should be assumed to be a flawed concept.

I may have said it was a flawed concept; however, I use Occam's Razor liberally. I say something is true because I believe it is better to take a stance than remain indecisive. Richard Dawkin's is another user of Occam's Razor, and he does so in a similar manner to myself.
 
  • #63
I am not a believer in ID, but please allow me to identify what I believe (imho) are weaknesses in your arguments.
Dooga Blackrazor said:
If I view ID as wrong, why would I consider it to be on equal footing with a theory I view as correct?
Initially, we should consider all hypotheses on an equal footing (until we have shown reasons why they should not be considered so).
Dooga Blackrazor said:
until I am provided with enough information to make me take it seriously, I am not going to treat it as I do evolution.
From a scientific point of view, the only requirement we should have to take an hypothesis seriously is that it fit the known experimental data. As far as I am aware, it is possible to construct an ID hypothesis which fits the known data.
Dooga Blackrazor said:
From a scientific perspective, forces were involved in creating the earth. The origin of those forces, as I said earlier, is unknown (to my knowledge); however, no evidence, to my knowledge, of a human-like creator exists.
Nevertheless, there is nothing in the geological evidence which is inconsistent with an ID hypothesis. Has it occurred to you that any being with enough intelligence and power to create the world is also likely to find it rather trivial to "cover up" any evidence of such creation?
Dooga Blackrazor said:
My argument is based around accepting the fact that the definition of God is illogical
I doubt this one will fly.
Dooga Blackrazor said:
I then furthered my argument to mention that little/no scientific evidence supports that fact
see my points above
Dooga Blackrazor said:
I applied Occam's Razor in a traditional sense to conclude that ID is should be assumed to be a flawed concept.
Occam's Razor would not allow us to conclude that ID is a flawed concept; at most it would allow us to conclude that ID is an unnecessary hypothesis.
MF
 
  • #64
Dooga Blackrazor said:
The first sentence is simply a thesis statement. I try to back up that statement with the arguments I provide afterwards. I am trying to show that ID is improbable and should be assumed as false; therefore, I have focused my argument around the flaws of ID. If I view ID as wrong, why would I consider it to be on equal footing with a theory I view as correct? I will certainly hear what ID is about and debate it; however, until I am provided with enough information to make me take it seriously, I am not going to treat it as I do evolution.

The problem is you reveal too much bias that discussing this with you doesn't seem very appealing. First you say, "ID is improbable." Fine, given that there are an infinite number of explanations for the beginning, it's as improbable as the possibilities offered by evolution. Next you say you "view ID as wrong." Fine, it might be, but that's different that just being improbable, isn't it. I suppose this is your Occum's Razor at work. My initial point with you, many posts ago, was that if you give ID the axe because it's "improbable" why are you not as apt to do the same thing with evolution? Why would you throw a theory out that is as likely as the next?

The bottom line is that you don't believe in ID for reasons beyond science, philosophy, and probability. I could not respect that more. But it's one thing to veto an idea because you have something better in mind and to veto something just because it doesn't mesh with your vision for the universe. ID offers an explanation of the beginning that science can't (yet). This is a discussion forum not a lecture. If you veto something, humor us and offer an alternative.


Dooga Blackrazor said:
For the most part, you have just criticized how I presented my arguments; however, I will have a difficult time improving my arguments if you don't explain what I did incorrectly.

Examples, you might find, are helpful. My last sentence looks suspiciously familiar. I've offered unification of QM and GR as one--mainly because this is where the debate is currently most heated, and also because I deal with it.

Dooga Blackrazor said:
On a philosophy forum, I added in philosophy to the mix. My argument is based around accepting the fact that the definition of God is illogical and the nature of the universe is unknown; therefore, I concluded that ID must be about a designer with human-like characteristics who is not a God. I then furthered my argument to mention that little/no scientific evidence supports that fact; therefore, I applied Occam's Razor in a traditional sense to conclude that ID is should be assumed to be a flawed concept.

What philosophy? Kierkegaard's? Buber's? Yours? How is it that the nature of the universe being known is a fact? Why must ID not be about God because you say so? If you seem to offer that God is illogical, which you say is a fact, you can't in good mind give God any traits, can you? Seems a bit contrary.

I'm going to spend the rest of my time in this forum away from this type of talk. Perhaps your first step towards enhancing this debate should be along the lines of admitting your own fallibility on the topic.
 
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  • #65
moving finger said:
Why do you suggest that an experiment must necessarily not have observations? I don't understand your point here.
MF
It's a rhetorical question. You can't falsify natural selection without observing nature. It's meaningless to nitpick and say that it's "not strictly an experiment". It's not the point of jimmysnyder’s question.
 
  • #66
Les Sleeth said:
They say, okay then, the self-organization that led to life is explained! Let’s move on.

Please show us one paper from a peer reviewed scientific journal that claims to have proven abiogenesis.

Les Sleeth said:
If you look at the evidence, what you see is something like 3.5 billion of years of bacteria and algae, and nothing but. Then a huge eruption of forms develop 550 MY ago. There is no logical explanation and no evidence to explain why that would happen, especially since we apparently have the necessary conditions today and it doesn't happen.

Not true. Many phyla appear before and after the Cambrian. Angiosperms, mammals and insects didn't appear in the Cambrian to name a few. Just because more fossils started to appear in Cambrian doesn't mean there were less evolution in Precambrian.

Les Sleeth said:
One might cite the genetic record, and it does show most all of life seems related. But what it doesn’t show is what caused the genetic changes. Devoted physicalists don’t get to claim natural selection and accidental genetic variation is responsible for that until they can prove it since there might be another influence involved [affecting genetic change].

I am not a physicalist, but there is nothing wrong with the claim that natural selection and mutations are mechanisms for evolution. No one is claiming those are the only mechanisms. In fact, mainstream science accept other mechanisms and new mechanisms are being proposed. If you can demonstrate gene fairies as a influence then we will consider that too, OK? But there is nothing wrong with claiming scientific fact.
 
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  • #67
Les Sleeth said:
I for one really appreciate the balanced and fair assessments Dave and Conehead are offering. I’ve complained many times here that the same sort of dogmatism I saw growing up in a fundamentalist family I often find amongst science “believers.” I don’t see how dogmatism is made any better just because its done with more facts.
To me, this is an intelligent and objective way of contemplating intelligent design. We don’t assume physicalist theory is true since it isn’t proven, and we don’t assume universal consciousness is true either. At this stage the exercise is to open-mindedly discuss possibilities.
(BTW, there is experiential evidence of universal consciousness in the form of consistent reports by union/samadhi meditators over a 3000 year period. Why isn’t that evidence allowed? Only because physicalists think they are in charge of what gets to be considered evidence. :rolleyes: Such arrogance isn’t going to impress those thinking people who aren’t already committed to physicalism, but who instead are looking for opinions formed from the fair and objective evaluation of ALL relevant evidence.)

Thanks for the praise Les. I appreciate it. I just don't know much about biological evolution. I'm partial to the physics, so I won't be able to do much more than listen to what you have to say in that regard.

I have heard about environmental triggers before that might explain the increase in genetic mutations during the Cambrian. Shifts in the Earth's magnetic field, microwave blasts, thermal changes due to just the standard fluctuations or particulate fields in the atmosphere holding energy in, etc. Again, I have no real knowledge pool here, so I don't know if any of this is proved (though I thought the asteroid was, wasn't barium found all over the world in the same ring?).

Also, just a thought. It seems to me that if you are going to be advocating the dismissal of Christian beliefs as evidence for ID, the samadhi's reports should also be out in the cold, no? Come one, come all (which I suppose is the real danger in allowing any).
 
  • #68
I appreciate the responses. I have some homework I am doing so I don't have time to make a long response. I will attempt to make one later. I see where you are coming from. I should have structured my debate more efficiently.

For me, at least, it is best to assume no designer exists because I have seen no personal evidence to suggest one does/did exist. That is my application of Occam's Razor. I have been presented with enough information on evolution to consider it legitimate; therefore, I believe it. I don't dismiss information about ID - I just haven't saw any of relevance. I believe it is untrue until given enough information to shift my opinion.

Concerning the nature of God being founded on terms that are self-contradictory, that is another matter of debate. It is something I have come to identify as an axiom. Obviously the axioms we are basing the entire argument on have been quite different, and, since you disagree with what I believe is an axiom, I should have tried to prove that to you before furthering my argument.

To clarify: I know only a little about physics, evolution, and ID. When I say I have studied a great deal, I was referring to atheism and arguments against the existence of God. Looking up information on atheism and socialism is something I do when I am bored, and I am bored quite often.
 
  • #69
Les Sleeth said:
I for one really appreciate the balanced and fair assessments Dave and Conehead are offering. I’ve complained many times here that the same sort of dogmatism I saw growing up in a fundamentalist family I often find amongst science “believers.” I don’t see how dogmatism is made any better just because its done with more facts.
Yes. thank you. You eloquently (and more diplomatically) clarified my objection to the nature of this thread.
 
  • #70
Dooga Blackrazor said:
For me, at least, it is best to assume no designer exists because I have seen no personal evidence to suggest one does/did exist. That is my application of Occam's Razor. I have been presented with enough information on evolution to consider it legitimate; therefore, I believe it. I don't dismiss information about ID - I just haven't saw any of relevance. I believe it is untrue until given enough information to shift my opinion.
(Note highlit words)
And, like any believer, you are entitled to your personal beliefs. (Some of which - such as https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=789200&postcount=51" - you might be wiser to keep to yourself...), but don't try to pretend it has anything to do with "proof", "logic" or "science".
 
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