Is Human Design Truly Intelligent?

  • Thread starter Psi 5
  • Start date
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
  • #106
One problems is that many people don't understand what constitutes scientific evidence. IMO, this issues reflects the failure of science promoters and educators to teach the public how science works. Many people that I encounter truly don't understand the difference between not only hand waving and evidence, but also between a hand waving idea, a philosophy, and a scientific theory.
 
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  • #107
wave said:
That's the only part of the question that I chose to answer.
Oh wave. If it is simply "intellectual point scoring" that you are interested in then please refer back to post #92, where I quote you as stating :

wave said:
jimmysnyder was only interested in knowing how natural selection can be falsified.

What “you chose to answer” is not the issue. All I was trying to do in post #92 was to point out that your statement “jimmysnyder was only interested in how natural selection can be falsified” was false. If you wish to contiunue arguing that point then be my guest, but I’m done here.

MF
 
  • #108
loseyourname said:
if events like this did not occur, then the hypothesis that natural selection is a strong factor in the evolution of populations would be falsified.
Your post contains a lot of really good ideas, but no test for falsifying natural selection. Indeed, unless I misread it, you seem to be saying that since events like this have already occured, this is a dead end in the search for a falsifying test.
 
  • #109
moving finger said:
All I was trying to do in post #92 was to point out that your statement “jimmysnyder was only interested in how natural selection can be falsified” was false.
jimmysnyder is interested in everything. However, for the time being, I would settle for a test that would falsify natural selection, and/or a test that would falsify intelligent design.

Also, getting back to the original post that started this thread, I want to know how natural selection explains imperfection better than ID does. It seems to me that intelligent design provides a mechanism for imperfection, the intelligent designer. I don't see what mechanism natural selection provides. It seems that imperfection can only get selected out, not in.
 
  • #110
jimmysnyder said:
Also, getting back to the original post that started this thread, I want to know how natural selection explains imperfection better than ID does.
The question of ID vs. natural selection is dependent upon the definition of "perfection" inasmuch as it applies to living critters - a definition we have yet to quantify. In fact, to attempt to define perfection requires success criteria - something only the existence of an ID can provide.

Thus, anyone who attempts to rate living critters as perfect or not perfect, is nurturing a hidden bias towards ID, despite their claims to the contrary. Those in the natural selection camp know that life and its evolution has no hidden meaning, thus perfection in critters is meaningless.
 
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  • #111
jimmysnyder said:
Your post contains a lot of really good ideas, but no test for falsifying natural selection. Indeed, unless I misread it, you seem to be saying that since events like this have already occured, this is a dead end in the search for a falsifying test.

You can do experiments with bacteria, because they reproduce quickly. You can take bacteria, expose them to some "poisons" (like antibiotics), and (unless you wipe out the entire population) see how they "grow resistance" to your poisons. This has been done (and is in fact one of the major health care problems). You can think of your own variations of these experiments. I'm pretty sure that many of them have been done.

Many other aspects of natural selection cannot be performed in the lab, because they occur on too long time scales, so it is "historical science". Nevertheless, the fossile record (and some nice specific examples) strongly point towards natural selection. In fact, now that we know the MECHANISM, (namely genetic transfer of properties, coupled with a certain ratio of mutations), there cannot be much doubt that the mechanism MUST exist. It was much more "mysterious" before the discovery of DNA, because an unknown mechanism had to be *postulated*.
But nevertheless, the main "argument" is historical: the fossil record.
It is difficult to "falsify" historically based theories in the lab in the same way you falsify "laws of physics". How do you falsify the "theory" of the second world war ? You can only look at historical material and you cannot propose experiments in the lab that could "falsify the theory of WWII".
 
  • #112
vanesch said:
You can take bacteria, expose them to some "poisons" (like antibiotics), and (unless you wipe out the entire population) see how they "grow resistance" to your poisons.
Are you saying that if I do this and the bacteria don't grow resistance then natural selection will have been falsified?

vanesch said:
This has been done.
Then it would seem that either it falsified NS, or it is not a falsifying test. Which is it?

vanesch said:
Many other aspects of natural selection cannot be performed in the lab, because they occur on too long time scales, so it is "historical science".
You could watch a population of animals of one species and see if they evolve into a different species. If they do, then ID is false. This cannot be performed in the lab, because it occurs on too long a time scale. Does this experiment make ID falsifiable? Does it make it "historical science"?

vanesch said:
you cannot propose experiments in the lab that could "falsify the theory of WWII".
I was working under the following definitions:
Fact - something that has been observed.
Theory - an explanation of how it happens that a fact was observed.
WWII is a fact, not a theory and does not need to be falsifiable. Natural selection is a theory and could use some falsifiability. I say this especially because one of the harshest arguments against ID is that it is not falsifiable. This charge can't sway or even make sense to the lay public if you can't show that NS is falsifiable. It needs to be done in a way that T. C. Pits can understand.
 
  • #113
Evo said:
Ok, we need to stop here because #1 There is no evidence of a "designer". That is merely something that has been thrown out to be considered, without anything to substantiate it, I might add.
Please tell me how someone is supposed to reason out the motives of something that no one knows exists?
ID is nothing more than handwaving. At least evolution has evidence to support it. ID has none.
ID is fine as a religion, an idea based on faith, but it has no merit as science. That is the problem with ID. You want to teach it as a belief in a god or alien beings, something without any tangible proof, fine. You want to teach it as science, then come up with scientific evidence which can be studied. Otherwise, it's not science.

Thanks, we were stopping right there. I don't think either Psi or myself believe in ID. We are discussing the possibility of a designer. We estabilished the grounds for a discussion without physical evidence in prior posts (you will notice your post is remarkably similar to 15 others who are just methodically dogmatic as yourself). If you'd like to catch up please read the thread. But thanks for your thoughts though.
 
  • #114
I have been following the thread and your post was not going to be the end of the back and forth argument of "what is god thinking". Your last post to Psi 5 was a bit inflammatory and I seriously doubt he would not feel obligated to respond in kind.
 
  • #115
Evo said:
Ok, we need to stop here because #1 There is no evidence of a "designer". That is merely something that has been thrown out to be considered, without anything to substantiate it, I might add.
Please tell me how someone is supposed to reason out the motives of something that no one knows exists?
ID is nothing more than handwaving. At least evolution has evidence to support it. ID has none.
ID is fine as a religion, an idea based on faith, but it has no merit as science. That is the problem with ID. You want to teach it as a belief in a god or alien beings, something without any tangible proof, fine. You want to teach it as science, then come up with scientific evidence which can be studied. Otherwise, it's not science.

The funny thing is I don't dispute any of that. I don't think you are a very careful reader. "Please tell me how someone is supposed to reason out the motives of something that no one ones exists?" This is dumbed down version of the same question I've been asking Psi for several posts.

Funny, I suspect we are in agreement on a lot of this issue. Please, play attention before you lecture the forum.
 
  • #116
jimmysnyder said:
Your post contains a lot of really good ideas, but no test for falsifying natural selection. Indeed, unless I misread it, you seem to be saying that since events like this have already occured, this is a dead end in the search for a falsifying test.

I'm also responding partly to what you said to vanesch. The thing about natural selection is that it is a fact. We know that it occurs because it is very easy to see it occurring. Again, simply look at the definition - a change in allele frequency in a given population due to differential reproductive success. I can give you a hundred more examples of this taking place, but what is the point? Asking us to falsify this occurence is like asking a baseball player to falsify the hypothesis that swinging a bat and hitting a ball will result in the ball deflecting off of the bat.

The problem seems to be that natural selection is not a theory; it is a mechanism. Part of the theory of the origin of species, however, says that they evolved from other species at least partially by means of natural selection (there are other mechanisms involved as well). That seems to be what you want to falsify. Am I correct here? Do you want some experiment that might be able to prove that natural selection was not involved in the evolution of species?

Edit: Well, actually we know that it has been involved to at least some extent - the extent to which we have observed it occurring. The inference made by evolutionary biologists is that evolution has always worked in the same way. What we see happening today to the gene pools of species is likely to be what happened yesterday and what happened several trillion yesterdays ago. This inference is based off of what is called the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature, which is a presupposition on which all induction is based (whether or not it has anything to do with science).

The principle difference between proposing natural selection as one of the mechanisms of evolution and proposing intelligent design as one of the mechanisms depends on the variety of intelligent design we are talking about.

1) Based off of the work of Michael Behe and his claims of "irreducible complexity," I would call the first type of intelligent design claim the creator-driven biogenesis claim. This is simply the claim that certain subcellular systems are so complex that they will not serve any function in any reduced form, and so must have been created in their present form. This is basically just saying that God created organelles, and from there, evolution proceeded as the biologists say it did. This claim actually can be falsified and has been falsified. There are plenty examples of reduced forms of the subcellular systems that Behe claims are "irreducible" and so, frankly, all I can guess is that he is either ignorant of their existence (he is a biochemist, not a molecular or cellular biologist, after all) or he is lying. I'd like to believe that he is simply ignorant.

2) The second type of claim is that random mutations are simply not enough. This is probably the more popular, and less scientific, type of intelligent design claim. Adherents of this brand of ID will say that God intervenes every now and then to push mutations in a certain direction. For example, human intelligence is not simply the result of random brain mutations being selected for naturally, but rather mutations that God caused being selected for naturally (with perhaps some help from God in shaping the environment so as to aid the selection process as well).

Notably, neither type of ID claim makes any attempt to say that natural selection doesn't occur or that it had nothing to do with the evolution of species. The first type of claim I will go ahead and dismiss for now, because as I have said, Behe's claims have already been falsified. The second type of claim, on the other hand, should be critically examined. We can see immediately the problem it runs into - it is a 'God of the gaps' argument, an informal logical fallacy rather than a scientific hypothesis. It also runs into a parsimony problem. We cannot observe every mutation that ever takes place, but the mutations we have observed are adequately explained by coding errors, and their random nature is explained either by quantum effects or at least causation so complex as to not be amenable to calculation. What reason is there to postulate the intervention of an intelligent force to explain why some mutations are G->A and others G->C?
 
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  • #117
loseyourname said:
The thing about natural selection is that it is a fact.
And the thing about ID is that it is not a fact? This isn't science, it's religion.
 
  • #118
Conehead said:
The funny thing is I don't dispute any of that. I don't think you are a very careful reader. "Please tell me how someone is supposed to reason out the motives of something that no one knows exists?" This is dumbed down version of the same question I've been asking Psi for several posts.

Funny, I suspect we are in agreement on a lot of this issue. Please, play attention before you lecture the forum.
I see you can't deal with criticism. If you have a problem, pm me, otherwise, don't derail the thread.
 
  • #119
jimmysnyder said:
And the thing about ID is that it is not a fact? This isn't science, it's religion.

Did you read the rest of my post? I have to admit I feel a little slighted by your very short and shallow response to a well thought-out explanation of what I think is wrong with ID claims.
 
  • #120
loseyourname said:
Did you read the rest of my post?
Perhaps you forgot that you edited the post. I responded to what I read. If you feel slighted, I suggest it is a self-inflicted wound.
 
  • #121
jimmysnyder said:
Perhaps you forgot that you edited the post. I responded to what I read. If you feel slighted, I suggest it is a self-inflicted wound.

I edited it twice. The first time I saved it, most of what is there was already there, and your post hadn't shown up yet, so I just assumed you posted after the first edit went through. I guess I was wrong - no big deal.

Of course, I do still think I answered your question - albeit retroactively.
 
  • #122
wave said:
Suppose you used samadhi and some evidence revealed itself to you.

1. How do you verify to yourself that your evidence is valid?

How can you prove whether you really experience your life, or if you are part of someone’s dream?

The way human consciousness works is we attain certainty through repeated experience. That is all we have to work with, so you either trust how your own conscious operates or you can maintain a veil of doubt and never really feel certain or content about anything. Repeated experience is all I have in regard to certainty about anything, whether inner or outer. Should I discriminate against an experience because I can’t externalize it?


wave said:
2) How do you convince someone else that your evidence is valid?

You don’t. You just experience and become certain yourself. And I am not trying to convince you now either. I am giving a report. You can follow up if you are interested, or you can drop it. It makes no difference to me because I am going to continue enjoying my practice no matter what anyone else decides.


wave said:
3) Suppose a condescending physicalist claims that samadhi revealed gene fairy as a mechanism for evolution. How do you prove them wrong?

I’d have to say that person is lying about what samadhi revealed since “fairies” are not what samadhi is about.


wave said:
4) Suppose someone genuinely used samadhi and revealed contradicting evidence. How do you tell who is right or wrong?

This subject is not easy to study, but it is possible. After getting my undergrad degree in the subject, I spent decades searching for legitimate reports. What makes it difficult is false or exaggerated claims, as well as sincere claims that are merely ignorant of how little they’ve actually achieved.

There is a relatively tiny class of inner practitioners which I would compare to PhDs in physics or any scientific field, and then there is the huge masses of practitioners who know just enough to confuse everybody. It’s like the people come to PF after reading a couple pop physics books and think they are ready to teach physics. They are so under-informed they don’t even realize how much they don’t know.

In my studies I found several characteristics of what I consider genuine samadhi (I’m going to switch to the term “union,” which is what samadhi means). And one of those characteristics is what I might term “distinctive agreement.” Among serious union practitioners who’ve written (and not many have) you find each speaking uniquely about his or her experience, yet overall they are pointing to exactly the same thing. There is a great difference between how the Buddha pointed to it and how Jesus pointed to it, but if you know what to look for you can see it is exactly the same thing. And then, sometime the reports are indistinctively similar too. If you study people who practiced union in the Christian monasteries (particularly the early Greek Orthodox monasteries), and compare them to say Nanak in India, you find the same type of reports.

Another characteristic of serious union practitioners is how many years they practice, usually from when they begin until the end of their lives. The great Ch’an (Zen) master Joshu practiced 40 years before teaching; Teresa of Avila also practiced 40 years. Union realization is a lifelong endeavor requiring thousands of hours of practice.

What makes it difficult to talk about union meditation is that very few people know it is different than the pop meditation lots of people are rather casually doing now. Even fewer people know how far union meditation can be taken with the right inner methods. Some people, for example, have a “union” experience soon after attempting meditation (early in one’s practice it seems to occur quite accidentally; getting back to it again is a whole other story). Because the experience makes them feel separate from their body, afterwards they believe they are enlightened. The experience may have happened, and it may have opened their eyes to a whole other realm they were formerly unaware of, but did they really achieve enlightenment?

What they don’t know is that union experience, though powerful (especially the first time), is actually the vehicle required for working toward enlightenment. Serious practitioners have to learn how to achieve union at every sitting. It took me 20 years of daily practice to get that skilled. During those years I meditated 2 or 3 times a day, often for a total 4 or 5 hours. I would go on solitary retreats to forests (Yosemite in the Fall was my favorite) and spend two weeks meditating all day. Only for the last twelve years have I been experiencing union at each sitting, which I can now achieve in under an hour. Yet most people I talk to are way too casual about practice, and don’t even know they haven’t gotten to first base yet. Listening to them they think they really are skilled because they can sit and get calm. I know several people like that who teach others! Talk about the blind leading the blind.

How many people do you know who are willing to do the “PhD” kind of work to realize something purely internal? Yet today everybody and their uncle claims to have spiritual realization, often after nothing more than some flash of insight or after reading a few books or taking LSD or whatever. From an objective point of view, it is virtually impossible to tell them apart, so you can see that if I am correct, this is a subject that’s not easy to find the facts about.

But to answer your question directly, I do not believe anyone who actually experiences union will report anything contradictory if their report is accurate. At least, I’ve never heard anyone do it (besides the historical figures I spoke of, I also have quite a few friends who practice as I do).


wave said:
5) Can anything useful (for the physical world) result from evidence of the nonphysical? Better medicine, faster computers, etc. would certainly qualify as useful.

Nope, but why should we care either? We already are amazingly skilled and equipped to understand and work with the physical world, that’s not where we need help. Where help is needed is with our inner contentment and happiness and wisdom. That is what self-realization offers.

What you have to understand about this path is that it all about the individual. It isn’t something to prove, or make more money with. It is personal, intensely so. Each person achieves certainty for himself, you can’t get by on anyone else’s certainty. That is why religion is so clearly off target . . . because it recommends (demands even) believing things that are not established through the certainty of one’s own repeated experience (many of the religious actually practice believing like that).

When Evo offers her (uninformed) opinion, it isn’t an opinion derived from knowing anything about the serious practitioners, it is from knowing how religion operates. Too bad because people are reacting to something the same way serious inner practitioners may react to it, except they are generalizing their disdain to include spiritual experience instead of keeping it limited to religion. I like to say that it’s ironic that religion has created more atheists than any other single force on the planet.

I didn’t want to repeat myself, but I want to tell you this one last thing I’ve described before. After someone experiences union enough, something can happen to one’s consciousness which those who aren’t experiencing it can find hard to understand, and skeptics may call a delusion, psychotic episode, hormone-induced, brain stimulation in a certain spot, seizure . . .

The phrase “the third eye” is not so far from describing this experience where your consciousness suddenly brightens and seems to join with the whole universe. Your mind feels like it’s become part of the sky, everything is one big experience instead of only details. The detailed awareness is still there, but now added is the awareness of this oneness background. A favorite quote of mine is by the monastic Angela of Foligno, who in 13th century A. D., Italy said, “The eyes of my soul were opened, and I beheld the plenitude of God, whereby I did comprehend the whole world, both here and beyond the sea . . . so that through excess of marveling the soul cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘This whole world is full of God!’ Wherefore did I now comprehend that the world is but a small thing . . .”

That experience is very convincing to someone practicing union because we recognize it as an extension of union; that is, what was formerly limited to something brief with eyes closed, suddenly and permanently expands awareness (FYI, I do not believe this is enlightenment either, which is yet another union step away). Of course the inexperienced skeptics can dream up all sorts of reasons why reports like Angela’s are not to be taken seriously, but those who are experienced see them as talking out of their backside. Why listen to speculation by people out to reinforce their own belief system or discredit rather than objectively investigate?

Anyway, it is the stages of union experience, in my opinion, that are the best source of reliable evidence of “something more.” When Jesus said, “I and my father are one,” he wasn’t speaking metaphorically, but actually. Oneness, full union, is what has attracted so many people to those who’ve achieved it. What those inspired by that then made up to try to explain it all, and to try to conjure up a taste of the experience, is where religion comes in. The further away from the original experience, the more exotic the explanation and practices become until what the religion claims and what really happened are utterly contradictory. And that’s why religions disagree, but all the union practitioners of the originating teachers speak in agreement.
 
  • #123
loseyourname said:
Again, simply look at the definition - a change in allele frequency in a given population due to differential reproductive success.
Actually, I doubt that this is the definition of evolution. I can see how you can describe the difference between a blue-eyed individual and a green-eyed individual as coming from two alleles of a given gene. But different species have different genes, not different alleles of the same gene. Some even different numbers of genes. If this were the definition of evolution, then it couldn't account for the origin of species. Again, I am not a biologist, but I feel that this might be a definition of one aspect of evolution, not a definition of evolution itself.
 
  • #124
jimmysnyder said:
Actually, I doubt that this is the definition of evolution. I can see how you can describe the difference between a blue-eyed individual and a green-eyed individual as coming from two alleles of a given gene. But different species have different genes, not different alleles of the same gene. Some even different numbers of genes. If this were the definition of evolution, then it couldn't account for the origin of species. Again, I am not a biologist, but I feel that this might be a definition of one aspect of evolution, not a definition of evolution itself.

I was using it as the definition of natural selection. Evolution in its entirety involves more than differential reproductive success.
 
  • #125
loseyourname said:
I was using it as the definition of natural selection. Evolution in its entirety involves more than differential reproductive success.
Natural selection is a change in allele frequency in a given population?
 
  • #126
loseyourname said:
I was using it as the definition of natural selection.
Are you saying that natural selection does not explain the origin of species, only the relatively minor changes within a single species?
 
  • #127
loseyourname said:
Evolution is defined as a shift in allele frequencies from generation to generation in any given population.
Your post #101
 
  • #128
Jimmy, I'm saying everything I've said. You've misread me three times in your last three posts. Evolution is a shift in allele frequencies from generation to generation. Natural selection is a shift due to differential reproductive success. Actually, to be perfectly precise, natural selection is the mechanism by which the shift occurs, due to the differential reproductive success conferred on each organism by the phenotype associated with the genotype of each allele in question (I'm deliberately trying to make this as simple as possible so forgive me for trying to express these things in single sentences). There are people who would further divide natural selection into two mechanisms - one by which a trait is selected for survival value, another by which a trait is selected because it makes one more attracted to the opposite sex, but obviously this division can only be applied to sexual species so we'll avoid it for now. Either way, do you see the difference between how I am defining "evolution" vs. how I am defining "natural selection?"

With regard to whether or not natural selection is responsible for the origin of species, no, it isn't. It plays a part, but it is not the only part. The evolution of species involves at least three steps:

1) The production of genetic variation. This is accomplished in many ways. Mutation and recombination are the most obvious in sexual species, but there are plenty of others.

2) Some means by which to shift the genetic frequencies from generation to generation. These means can be either selective (natural selection, including sexual and survival selection) or random (genetic drift). There are also mechanisms such as bottlenecking and the founder effect.

3) Speciation events. These are when one species becomes two species. There are various ways in which this can occur, the most common of which are probably reproductive isolation, geographic isolation, and hybridization. All of the speciation events that we have actually observed occurring fall into one of these categories.

Notably, the most common observed occurences of speciation events are domesticated plants and animals, which have been deliberately bred into new species by humans. These actually provide a very good case study of how macroevolution can occur. Random mutation and recombination events provide a base level of genetic variability within the species to be domesticated. The difference is that, instead of natural selection, what is called "artificial selection" is used to shift the allele frequencies from one generation to the next. That is, a trait confers an increased chance of reproductive success on a given organism not because it would help survival or attractiveness in the wild, but because human breeders are choosing organisms with these traits to breed. The process of change is pretty much exactly the same, only the environmental pressures are controlled in such a way as to push evolution in a direction amenable to human usage.

Interestingly enough, there are ID advocates who actually point to this as evidence for intelligent design. The problem here should be obvious. If we were going to postulate that all environmental pressures that create change in a population are controlled by God, that would require us to abandon our naturalistic understanding of causation in the world. That is, climate changes, natural disasters, the preferences of sexual species, and other such occurences that drive speciation events, happen not because of natural reasons, but because God intervened in the world and caused them to happen. Such things as meteorology, geology, climatology - indeed, all of the Earth sciences - would be doomed to irrelevancy if this were the case.
 
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  • #129
Les Sleeth said:
When Evo offers her (uninformed) opinion, it isn’t an opinion derived from knowing anything about the serious practitioners, it is from knowing how religion operates. Too bad because people are reacting to something the same way serious inner practitioners may react to it, except they are generalizing their disdain to include spiritual experience instead of keeping it limited to religion. I like to say that it’s ironic that religion has created more atheists than any other single force on the planet.
My opinion on ID is quite informed Les. Serious practioners of what Les? ID? You're not making any sense. Your post is, however, completely off topic.
 
  • #130
Why does everyone make the assumption that an omnipotent beings motives are unfathomable? Why doesn't it make more sense to think an omnipotent being operates by the same logical principles as us plain mortals? I personally believe that if an omnipotent being existed, his motives would operate logically and a logic that could be understood by any intelligent mortal, albeit with the need for an explanation sometimes but still understandable. I think that the idea that you can't understand a Gods motives is nothing more than religious brainwashing ingrained in us from childhood.

That said, can anyone think of a scenerio where it would make more sense to create us imperfect when we could just as easily have been created perfect? The only one that comes to my mind is that the premise that we are here to better ourselves and make ourselves worthy for heaven is false. That we are here for Gods amusement.

For the record I am an agnostic, I think there is only a small chance God exists or ID is true in any shape or form.
 
  • #131
Evo said:
My opinion on ID is quite informed Les. Serious practioners of what Les? ID? You're not making any sense. Your post is, however, completely off topic.

Have you followed this thread? PSI 5 did not make it clear that we were to talk about Christian ID, he basically asked if there might be intelligence involved in the design of creation. So you might be familiar with Christian ID, but you seem to be unfamiliar with how the theme of this thread has broadened.

I thoroughly explained what the term “serious practioners” means a couple of posts ago. Geez, do you think it is worth any effort to actually read and absorb someone else’s point of view? I challenge you to show me and the world where I fail to make sense.

And off topic? Isn’t that you trying to use your mentor muscle to gain an advantage? Show me where I am off topic please and I will apologize and repent.

You know, I wasn’t trying to insult you with the “uninformed opinion” comment, I was hoping you might see there is more to the spiritual side than you imagine.

My comments about your opinion being uniformed stemmed from this:


Evo said:
Ok, we need to stop here because #1 There is no evidence of a "designer". That is merely something that has been thrown out to be considered, without anything to substantiate it, I might add.

There is evidence, you just haven’t looked at it. I have posted extensively what the best evidence is, have you checked it out?


Evo said:
ID is nothing more than handwaving. At least evolution has evidence to support it. ID has none.

Isn’t it so that you think anything to do with a creator is nonsense, and so you just drop your opinion on us so confident you are correct you don’t need to make your case?


Evo said:
ID is fine as a religion, an idea based on faith, but it has no merit as science. That is the problem with ID. You want to teach it as a belief in a god or alien beings, something without any tangible proof, fine. You want to teach it as science, then come up with scientific evidence which can be studied. Otherwise, it's not science.

?? Where do you see me advocating teaching “a god or alien beings, something without any tangible proof”? Strawman tactics are beneath you my friend. Plus, are you familiar with what’s missing in the theory? Why do you think it’s fine to jump to the conclusion science can explain it all before it actually can?

No, you are just dumping your personal opinion on us. You may hate religion, but that doesn’t give you the right to molest anyone who disagrees with your hate object.
 
  • #132
We have been intelligently designing ourselves from day one. Our chemical properties require a certain set of environmental factors, and we constantly adjust to variations in that environment. The social environment changes continually and with enormous variation, and we change our survival tactics to meet what the social environment offers, hostile or abundant. The environment for reproduction changes fundamentally, even chemicals in the environment that will determine the sex of our offspring in some cases, and still we design means to survive this. Our intelligence has changed the face of this planet, our planetary environment on a grand scale. We did this all by ourselves. So much in survival depends on split second decisions, and day to day decisions that determine our whereabouts may not be intelligent enough to ensure our safety. I feel that we design ourselves, whether intelligently or not, is certainly a good question.

I don't think an intelligent designer would make lethal flaws, unless the intelligent designer intended for the experiment to end. The incredible and random and exquisite nature of our world, holds a beauty and variation that implies no central governing intelligence at all.

I feel the same way about the oceans of dunes on Mars. They have the look of a virgin scene, where massive chemistry happened because it happens as it does, rather than some obsessive compulsive organizer of empty sand came in with a special crew, to give it that "Martian Freeze Dried Ocean" look, that is so popular among fourth planetary designers.

I think that attributing the design of us and this world, to someone like us, only better at being us; shows a serious lack of respect for the forces that brought this whole universe into being.

We are a very social species with an unfortunate propensity for projection. We project some of our most evil characteristics on something we are won't to call God, and then call them good. I think that we are a work in progress, and some of our more unfortunate characteristics are devastating to this world that we have evolved, to walk upon. We forget that we need the exercise of walking on this world, instead we turn the whole thing into a roadway, and complain about getting fat. There are days when I feel that we behave more like locusts than primates. I think that we have used our intelligence to survive our own worst characteristics again and again, and that does not necessarily lead to improvements in the overall way that we interface with this world.

Back to the question, "Are we intelligently designed?", well yes and no. We will eventually get it right, or erase the board entirely.
 
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  • #133
Before I begin, I would like to clarify that I am not trying to discredit your beliefs or convince you of anything. I am just trying to explain why scientists have a hard time with experientialism.

Les Sleeth said:
wave said:
1. How do you verify to yourself that your evidence is valid?

Repeated experience is all I have in regard to certainty about anything


OK, I am willing to accept that.

Les Sleeth said:
wave said:
2) How do you convince someone else that your evidence is valid?

You don’t. You just experience and become certain yourself.

Then why would you blame physicalists and scientists for not accepting your evidence? You accuse them of not considering the nonphysical, yet you take no responsibility to persuade them. Are they suppose to take your word for it?


Les Sleeth said:
wave said:
3) Suppose a condescending physicalist claims that samadhi revealed gene fairy as a mechanism for evolution. How do you prove them wrong?

I’d have to say that person is lying about what samadhi revealed since “fairies” are not what samadhi is about.

That may be clear to you, but from the scientists' point of view it's your word against theirs.


Les Sleeth said:
wave said:
4) Suppose someone genuinely used samadhi and revealed contradicting evidence. How do you tell who is right or wrong?

But to answer your question directly, I do not believe anyone who actually experiences union will report anything contradictory if their report is accurate.

If my scenario is possible, then we're back to the original question. If not, then it's your word against theirs and no one can convince anyone of anything except (possibly) to themselves.


Les Sleeth said:
wave said:
5) Can anything useful (for the physical world) result from evidence of the nonphysical? Better medicine, faster computers, etc. would certainly qualify as useful.

Nope, but why should we care either?

So the experiences you gain from union have no implications on the physical world, besides inner contentment and happiness and wisdom? It's not my intension to diminish those wonderful things. I just want to know what difference it would make, if we change Evolution to the way you want it to be.
 
  • #134
Les Sleeth said:
My point was, when it comes to defining the human being, consciousness, and the origin of life and all else, there is a strong effort amongst many scientists to proclaim to the world it is all physical. But they are only looking at and working with the physical! It’s their sledge hammer. And if you try to get them to look at anything else, it can’t pass the physicalistic filter and therefore is “dismissed” as irrelevant.

Can you blame them? First, you admit there is no scientific evidence for the nonphysical. Second, you admit you can't convince someone else that your union experiences are valid. Third, if union experiences are scientifically admissible then it would be impossible to settle disputes between contradicting claims.


Les Sleeth said:
You might say we don’t have to play the science game, but that isn’t true since science seems to have assigned to themselves the role of almighty judge in terms of what’s acceptable or not when it comes to incredibly important issues.

I think it is the people that assigned science to that role. Perhaps we will switch the paradigm when union becomes more useful than science.


Les Sleeth said:
All it meant was, as far as anyone can observe, natural selection/genetic variation can only produce superficial changes.

How do you define a superficial change versus a non-superficial change, in terms of genetics?


Les Sleeth said:
I am sure you know the babies-with-tails claim (caudal appendages) is highly controversial. All true tails have bones in them that are posterior extensions of the spinal column, and have muscles coupled with their vertebrae which allow tail movement. There has never been a single documented case of a human caudal appendage having any of these features.

That is false. First, not all true tails have bones in them. Some Old World monkeys have fleshy tails with no vertebrae. Second, vertebrae and cartilage have been found in human tails. There are some nice x-ray images if you search the literature. Third, some human tails have specialized muscle and nerves (as you would expect from animal tails) and they can voluntarily wag their tail.


Les Sleeth said:
The same is true of the vestigial organs. In the 1800's, Darwinists listed over 100 vestigial organs in the human body. The functions for virtually all have now been found.

Vestigial organs are not necessarily functionless, as defined by evolutionary biologists. So under this definition and corrections above, do you still claim that we haven't observed "midstage stuff" and "new organs-in-progress"?


Les Sleeth said:
First, I accept speciation because it is observed. But the speciation that’s been observed doesn’t show the production of new organs!

I don't understand what you mean by "new" organ. If an organ alters its function or structure, does that qualify as a new organ? Or do you expect an organ to pop into existence?


Les Sleeth said:
Because it has not been observed, I do doubt that natural selection and accidental genetic variation alone can produce complex and functional organ systems. If so, this leaves a serious evidence/logic gap in the current evolution theory.

That's a strawman. Nonphysical can't be observed, unless you claim that it is possible through union. Even then you can't convince anyone else of it.
 
  • #135
Evo said:
Your post is, however, completely off topic.

I must take some responsibility since I asked him for an explanation. However, I would argue that his post is on topic because his claims are very similar to those of ID from a epistemological perspective.
 
  • #136
jimmysnyder said:
Are you saying that if I do this and the bacteria don't grow resistance then natural selection will have been falsified?

It is slightly more complicated, but basically, yes, on the condition that it is POSSIBLE for them to grow resistance by genetic mutation. For instance, heating them to 2000 degrees will probably never have them grow resistance to heat.
But if you know that certain genetic modifications are going to induce resistance (because, on another strain of similar bacteria, this HAS been the case), and it doesn't happen, then, yes, natural selection will have been falsified. But as there is a random factor in it (the mutations), this is a statistical question. It is not because one single set of bacteria didn't grow resistance that this is sufficient of course. The could have had "bad luck".
Also, you can augment the rate of mutations (by irradiating them with low level X-rays for instance), and this should have an effect on the speed with which they grow resistance (you accelerate the mutation clock).

Then it would seem that either it falsified NS, or it is not a falsifying test. Which is it?

I don't understand that. A correct theory will of course not be falsified !
A falsifying test is a test which OPENS THE POSSIBILITY of falsifying the theory (eg, could have a different outcome than the theory predicts). It doesn't have to falsify them !

You could watch a population of animals of one species and see if they evolve into a different species. If they do, then ID is false. This cannot be performed in the lab, because it occurs on too long a time scale. Does this experiment make ID falsifiable? Does it make it "historical science"?

Well, it depends what ID PREDICTS should happen. But for predictions that take experiments to be too long in the lab, you just have to use the historical record to find out if you don't find any evidence against the predictions. Cosmology has the same difficulty. You have to accept that the historical record is an extension of your lab.

I say this especially because one of the harshest arguments against ID is that it is not falsifiable.

It depends. If ID says that dinosaurs didn't exist, then it IS falsified. If ID says everything that NS says, then these are two "equivalent" theories in their predictions. Only, one theory (NS) has a KNOWN MECHANISM based in other sciences (physics, chemistry etc...), and the other one has TO POSTULATE AN UNKNOWN MECHANISM. Then it is a matter of Occam's rasor to eliminate the unnecessary hypotheses.
 
  • #137
A remark: "intelligent design" depends of what is "intelligent". Certain algorithms have "intelligent behaviour" in the sense that they can solve problems for which the explicit solution has not been coded (the programmer didn't know the solution to the problem). As such, one can say that "intelligence" is an emerging property of the algorithm.
These are the kinds of algorithms that are studied by Artificial Intelligence. Rule-based expert systems are such examples, neural networks are such examples, and random search optimising algorithms are such examples. Particular cases of this last version are *genetic algorithms*.
If one can call genetic algorithms "intelligent" (because indeed, they succeed in solving problems of which the author didn't know how to do so), then in a certain way, Natural Selection IS an intelligent algorithm. As such, you can classify Natural Selection as a version of "intelligent design" :smile:
An example of an "intelligent" algorithm is the Integrate function of Mathematica. Contrary to the D operator, which applies simply differentiation rules which have been explicitly coded into Mathematica, Integrate works differently. It does a "random search" in function structures, applies the D operator and finds out if it comes close to the integrand ; then goes tweaking again to the trial function, until it finds a function such that when you apply D to it, it is identical to the integrand (or until something indicates it that it is drifting away from a possible solution in which case it gives up).
The people who programmed this DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO PERFORM CERTAIN INTEGRALS, but Integrate succeeded in doing so. The best proof is that they found errors in certain standard integration tables. Look at the Wolfram site for an explanation.
 
  • #138
jimmysnyder said:
You could watch a population of animals of one species and see if they evolve into a different species. If they do, then ID is false. This cannot be performed in the lab, because it occurs on too long a time scale. Does this experiment make ID falsifiable? Does it make it "historical science"?

I didn't notice this before because it was apparently a response to vanesch, but this statement isn't true. Intelligent design advocates do not make the claim that species cannot evolve into new species. For the most part, ID was developed by scientists and they are not idiots. They know that species today evolved from older species. It's simply that their explanation of how evolution occurs is different. The evolutionist claims that the explanation is entirely naturalistic - that whatever is going on, the laws of physical causation are all that is responsible. The only "intelligence" involved in evolution is the intelligence of animals that make up the environment of the species that is evolving (including itself if it is an intelligent species). An ID advocate, on the other hand, would look at the emergence of a new species and claim that physical causation does not explain the occurence; rather, that God must have intervened in the physical processes, presumably either by directing mutations in a direction that would produce favorable phenotypes, or by manipulating the environment so as to create favorable conditions for certain phenotypes. There is no dispute from the ID camp that evolution - both micro- and macroevolution - occurs and has been occurring ever since the emergence of life on this planet.
 
  • #139
loseyourname said:
An ID advocate, on the other hand, would look at the emergence of a new species and claim that physical causation does not explain the occurence; rather, that God must have intervened in the physical processes, presumably either by directing mutations in a direction that would produce favorable phenotypes, or by manipulating the environment so as to create favorable conditions for certain phenotypes.
I don't know enough about all variants of ID to say whether this covers all of them or not. If all ID claims is that the random events we observe are in fact the will of a deity, who steers what's happening down here while respecting average statistical laws, then this is of course a totally non-falsifiable theory extension of whatever scientific theory that uses stochastic methods, and as such an unnecessary hypothesis which one can nevertheless cling on for personal convenience. I would say that such an attitude is what makes religion compatible with science, as the religious part never attempts to contradict science. From a scientific viewpoint, however, the extra hypothesis is totally non-falsifiable and is hence cut away by Occam's razor.
However, it could be that ID proponents go further than this, and claim that the hand of the deity steers the *apparently random* events into a course of its liking, WITHOUT the respect of average statistical laws. As such, a sufficiently detailled calculation could distinguish NS from ID evolution, in that the ID evolution would result in ridiculously low probabilities from the point of view of NS. This claim is sometimes made by proponents of ID: they say that NS seems to suggest that a whirlwind going through a garbled set of components is supposed to assemble a 747.
It is very difficult, and has even problems of principle, to calculate something like what's the probability for a dinosaur to devellop in the course of a few billion years from scratch.
However, more quantitative tests might be envisioned for evolution of bacteria in the lab. I don't know enough of the field to say if this is envisionable or not: can one calculate "from scratch" what is the average time it takes for a colony of bacteria with known DNA content to devellop resistance against a certain poison, based upon the necessary genetic modifications and the probability of random mutations ?
 
  • #140
loseyourname said:
Intelligent design advocates do not make the claim that species cannot evolve into new species.
The one on my back does.
 

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