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
  • #176
loseyourname said:
I'm going to have to get back to you on the specific debunking of Behe's claims that I'm thinking of, as I am pretty certain that they cannot be found on the web.

Incidentally, Doolittle's criticism was first published in the Feb/March 1997 Boston Review, not on the Internet (though to be fair Doolittle's “refutation” of the irreducible complexity of the blood-clotting cascade can now be found on the web).
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #177
Tisthammerw said:
Incidentally, Doolittle's criticism was first published in the Feb/March 1997 Boston Review, not on the Internet (though to be fair Doolittle's “refutation” of the irreducible complexity of the blood-clotting cascade can now be found on the web).

The criticisms I am thinking of were published by Kenneth Miller as part of his book Finding Darwin's God, in which he infers the existence of God to justify his Christian faith using cosmological and ethical arguments, but only after first dismissing the most popular attacks on naturalistic evolution, insisting that divine intervention in the process actually runs contrary to Christian doctrine. It's quite refreshing to see a devout Christian who is not only not threatened by Darwinism, but indeed sees it as an affirmation of his faith.
 
  • #178
loseyourname said:
Les Sleeth said:
Paleobotanist Douglas Erwin of the Smithsonian Institution points to homeotic homeobox genes as the Precambrian triggers of the Cambrian explosion. These genes, also called Hox genes, control embryonic development. Primitive multicellular organisms such as jellyfish have 3 Hox genes. Now scientists believe that around 550 million years ago, some worm-like creature expanded its Hox cluster to six genes. ‘Boom!’ shouted Jablonski in his interview with Time. ‘Life crossed some sort of critical threshold.’
The key to remember here is that the development of phyla did not necessarily require any more genetic variation than exists today. It simply required variation in certain genetic loci that had noticeable morphological consequences. For instance, one variation on the hox genes could result in six limbs and another in four. One results in a spinal cord and another doesn't. The vast differences from phylum to phylum seen today most likely evolved to fit these new body types, rather than the other way around.

I appreciate any arguments you can make against my point that what happened during the Cambria period speaks against purely mechanistic genetic variation plus natural selection as the cause. Your suggestion for the “key to remember,” however, only shifts what’s uncharacteristic from the amount of variation to the quality of variation. It seems to me it has to be one or the other, and I see quality as an even bigger problem than quantity if high-functioning organization is to come about mechanically.

No matter what, if it’s chemistry and physics that are deciding the variation, you still end up dependent on a dumb decision-making process to produce genetic variation.


loseyourname said:
The explosion is certainly a phenomenon that cries out for explanation, but it isn't really something that makes me think that there was any kind of intelligence dictating the way in which mutations were taking place at that time. . . . Whatever happened was likely to have been a happy and unlikely coincidence, but let's face it, happy and unlikely coincidences have to happen at some point somewhere.

Although your preference expressed here is the view of a great many scientific thinkers, I totally do not understand the logic of it. Why do you believe that “happy and unlikely coincidences” are more likely to cause a high level of functionality than intelligence?

To me, there has to be a basis for faith in a process. Set up any non-living naturally-occurring situation you please and observe the degree of high-functioning organization that develops. There are few “happy and unlikely coincidences,” and certainly nothing reveals itself as capable of organizing itself into a living system. Most accidents are entropic, not constructive, so where is the basis for faith in accidents?

Similarly, the genetics within a living system have no mechanical reason to vary to the benefit of the organism. Why would any set of environmental conditions, whether polar wander or mutagenic cosmic rays, increase the percentage of genetic variations useful to the development of organs? Why would Hox genes do anything more than increase numbers (i.e., rather, again, than quality)? Why should we believe natural selection will do anything except “select” superficial changes that will either assist in mating or avoid being eaten? For organ development, where is the evidence genes can vary sufficiently or that natural selection would repeatedly chose a variation potentially valuable for something still many evolutionary developments steps away from being able to be utilized?

So in one theory we have no observational basis for faith in mechanics to achieve high-functioning organization on their own, and no observational basis for faith in genetic variation and natural selection to create organs/organisms in 5 to 10 million years.

What does the intelligence theory have to offer? Well, on this planet, the only organizing force we have ever observed creating high-functioning organization is . . . yep, consciousness (I am one of those who believe that all animal life exhibits a degree of consciousness). If consciousness is the only known force like that, then why isn’t it a contender amongst the speculations of what is behind great organizational mysteries like abiogenesis or the Cambrian explosion?

There is only one reason I can see and it is because physicalistic theorizers don’t like the idea of consciousness-guided evolution, and are committed a priori to a mechanistic accounting whether it makes the most sense or not.
 
  • #179
Psi 5 said:
Intelligent design is nothing but a veiled attempt to argue that we were created by an omnipotent being. So let's see how intelligent our design really is.

I haven't read through this thread so forgive me if this has been pointed out but your arguments are against an omnipotent being, which may or may not having anything to do with intelligent design. Surely you aren't arguing that I am not intelligent simply because the house I built has flaws?
 
  • #180
loseyourname said:
The criticisms I am thinking of were published by Kenneth Miller as part of his book Finding Darwin's God, in which he infers the existence of God to justify his Christian faith using cosmological and ethical arguments, but only after first dismissing the most popular attacks on naturalistic evolution, insisting that divine intervention in the process actually runs contrary to Christian doctrine. It's quite refreshing to see a devout Christian who is not only not threatened by Darwinism, but indeed sees it as an affirmation of his faith.

Indeed it is refreshing. It should be noted however that I and many other Christians have no religious problem with Darwinism (of course, there are many more conservative Christians who do have religious problems with it). Behe for instance is himself a Roman Catholic who was taught that evolution was part of God's way to create life. It wasn't until he became convinced for scientific reasons that orthodox evolution was not entirely correct (he doesn't completely reject common descent, but does believe there were instances of artificial intervention).

But more to the point, you can find Behe's response to Miller (in addition to a few other people) here. Incidentally, Miller (I believe) doesn't dispute the fact that the blood-clotting cascade is irreducibly complex in the book you were talking about, though he does claim that evolution of the cascade can still occur. Miller talks about things not related to blood clotting cascade of vertebrates (which Behe was talking about) and despite his somewhat lengthy description of how blood clotting works, his proposed model of evolution only takes up one paragraph. Behe claims that Miller's proposal here ignores critical details (e.g. the issue of regulation in blood clotting) and thus doesn't do an adequate job of overcoming the problem of irreducible complexity. On this point I think he's right. Miller's proposal really doesn't go into sufficient detail at all. (Incidentally, for those who have attempted to debunk Behe’s claims regarding global disciplinary failure to explain how Darwinian means could have evolved certain complex biochemical systems, ignoring critical details seems to be a common problem.)
 
Last edited:
  • #181
Les Sleeth said:
Although your preference expressed here is the view of a great many scientific thinkers, I totally do not understand the logic of it. Why do you believe that “happy and unlikely coincidences” are more likely to cause a high level of functionality than intelligence?

I'll respond to the rest later, but I have somewhere to go. Just on this point, it's not that I think a 'happy coincidence' is more likely to produce the needed conditions than intelligent guidance. It's that, given what we know of intelligence; that is, its existence seems to be contingent upon the existence of organisms with complex brains, I think it is more likely that there was no intelligent force around in the pre-Cambrian Era capable of creating the needed conditions. It's simply a world-view. When my crops are dying and suddenly a great rain hits despite the weatherman giving a 0% chance of precipitation, in the middle of a terrible drought, I do not see providence; I simply see luck. These things are bound to happen at some point and so I am not particularly surprised nor impressed by them. By the same token, despite the huge chain of 'happy coincidences' that needed to occur for something like the Cambrian explosion to take place, I don't stand in awe and fall back on an appeal to some intelligent guidance because I have no difficulty believing that improbable things can and will happen with or without intelligent intervention.

It almost seems to me as if proposing an explanation like that is just giving up. Nature, if it operates mechanically and predictably, can be understood. The Law of Universal Causation and the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature underpin the inductive reasoning that governs the way we live our lives. It is a key human intuition that nature is uniform; that is, the same laws of behavior apply under similar conditions, no matter the time and place. If we propose an explanation contrary to this intuition and say "the Cambrian explosion took place when it did and how it did not because of any laws of nature that can be understood, but simply because an intelligent force decided that it would," then we've lost the underpinning of our inductive reasoning. Suddenly things happen in nature simply because some force beyond our grasp decides that that is what is to happen. This is the kind of animistic reasoning we see employed in the old Greek Epic Poetry, wherein events occur for no reason other than the whims of powerful personal forces that cause events to occur. If nature is truly like this, then we must call into question whether or not science is even truly possible. Seeing how successful science has been makes me think it almost certainly is possible, and well-justified, and that nature does behave in a predictable manner that can be understood (allowing, of course, for the possibility of a certain arbitrariness to behaviors at the quantum-level that I would personally like to deny, but really can't at this point given the preponderance of evidence).
 
  • #182
Les Sleeth said:
Try reverse engineering one of my pizzas and see how many "accidents" there were on the way to that airy, light, crunchy crust. It is guided every step of the way by consciousness, and if it weren't you'd have a pasty blob at best.
I've read of your pizzas and that, I have to admit is, without doubt, the creation of a divine being. :approve:
 
Last edited:
  • #183
loseyourname said:
It's simply a world-view. When my crops are dying and suddenly a great rain hits despite the weatherman giving a 0% chance of precipitation, in the middle of a terrible drought, I do not see providence; I simply see luck.

Did you ever see the movie Signs?
 
  • #184
Tisthammerw said:
Did you ever see the movie Signs?

Nope. I would like to point out another problem I have with 'intelligent-design' hypotheses. That is, they assume the existence of the very thing they are trying to explain, which becomes question-begging. Let us say that there was some intelligence behind the process that resulted in the evolution of intelligent organisms on the planet earth. Well, evolution is itself a theory that attempts to explain how complex things like intelligent organisms can exist in the first place. If we simply postulate that it was the result of choices made by a separate intelligence, all we've done is postulate the existence of another entity that begs for explanation. It might be convenient to think of intelligence as fundamental, but it isn't particularly satisfying.
 
  • #185
loseyourname said:
Nope. I would like to point out another problem I have with 'intelligent-design' hypotheses. That is, they assume the existence of the very thing they are trying to explain, which becomes question-begging...

Excellent point, if you assume we are the result of intelligent design then you have to assume the designer is also a result of intelligent design, and the designer's designer, ad infinitum.
 
  • #186
loseyourname said:
I would like to point out another problem I have with 'intelligent-design' hypotheses. That is, they assume the existence of the very thing they are trying to explain, which becomes question-begging. Let us say that there was some intelligence behind the process that resulted in the evolution of intelligent organisms on the planet earth. Well, evolution is itself a theory that attempts to explain how complex things like intelligent organisms can exist in the first place.

So many unwarranted assumptions, so little time. :smile:

Evolutionists are trying to explain something that existed long, long before anyone was able imagine evolution theory. Why should our attempts to explain evolution mean anything to the causes of evolution itself? The forces behind evolution are whatever they are, and just because some group wants to look at it a particular way doesn’t mean that is all evolution is.


loseyourname said:
If we simply postulate that it was the result of choices made by a separate intelligence, all we've done is postulate the existence of another entity that begs for explanation.

Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with whether it’s true or not. Just because it’s possible that you can’t study it empirically, or explain it mechanistically, or even account for it ever at all, doesn’t mean you get to redefine reality in such a way so you can explain it. What sort of truth-seeking is that? If there are things beyond the human intellect then there are.


loseyourname said:
It might be convenient to think of intelligence as fundamental, but it isn't particularly satisfying.

Satisfying to whom? Do you mean satisfying to mechanistically-oriented thinkers? I think the convenient thing is on the other foot, on those who want to define creation purely in terms of what they are most competent at doing. The truths of reality don’t necessarily belong to any class of thinkers no matter how much they want to pump up the importance of, or are attached to, a particular epistemology.


loseyourname said:
Just on this point, it's not that I think a 'happy coincidence' is more likely to produce the needed conditions than intelligent guidance. It's that, given what we know of intelligence; that is, its existence seems to be contingent upon the existence of organisms with complex brains, I think it is more likely that there was no intelligent force around in the pre-Cambrian Era capable of creating the needed conditions.

Anthropomorphism everywhere! :-p A non-anthropomorphic statement might say that given what we know about human intelligence . . . Why would you assume human intelligence is the end-all in intelligence? Creation has been around maybe 130,000 times longer than modern humans, and then before that is a complete mystery.

If the only bike riding you’ve ever done has been using training wheels, are you justified in believing the only bike riding possible is with training wheels attached to a bike? As you have likely heard me propose before, it is a perfectly reasonable that the brain is housing, focusing, and organizing a more general realm of consciousness from which we originate. While in the brain, we are subject to it fully and that accounts for why brain manipulation affects human consciousness.

One way this proposal is supported is the reports of successful meditators who disassociate from the brain in the deepest meditation, not to mention the reports of those meditators encountering a greater realm of consciousness during the separation. But of course, we’re just going to ignore and dismiss those reports aren’t we :cool: since they can’t be investigated through mechanistic epistemology.


loseyourname said:
It's simply a world-view. When my crops are dying and suddenly a great rain hits despite the weatherman giving a 0% chance of precipitation, in the middle of a terrible drought, I do not see providence; I simply see luck. These things are bound to happen at some point and so I am not particularly surprised nor impressed by them. By the same token, despite the huge chain of 'happy coincidences' that needed to occur for something like the Cambrian explosion to take place, I don't stand in awe and fall back on an appeal to some intelligent guidance because I have no difficulty believing that improbable things can and will happen with or without intelligent intervention.

We aren’t talking about the religious concept of divine intelligence being involved in the details of everyday life. We are talking about why we should believe billions of happy accidents occurred in a ridiculously short time to form organs and organisms by genetic variation and natural selection alone. My proposal for including some sort of universal intelligence in evolution is practical, not out of religious commitment.


loseyourname said:
It almost seems to me as if proposing an explanation like that is just giving up. Nature, if it operates mechanically and predictably, can be understood. The Law of Universal Causation and the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature underpin the inductive reasoning that governs the way we live our lives.

Well, there you have it. Because it is how you want your mind to operate, you think you are justified in defining all of reality a certain way. This is externalizing and projecting one’s mental penchant for a type of study onto reality.

See, if you said that all YOU want to look at is what’s mechanical or predictable, that would perfectly fine. The problem with too many of the mechanistic guys these days is they are also preaching general ontology to the world. Their personal predilections are being broadcast into society, not as the mechanists’ personal preference (and limitations?), but as though they see the whole truth of reality with their favored epistemology.


loseyourname said:
It is a key human intuition that nature is uniform; that is, the same laws of behavior apply under similar conditions, no matter the time and place. If we propose an explanation contrary to this intuition and say "the Cambrian explosion took place when it did and how it did not because of any laws of nature that can be understood, but simply because an intelligent force decided that it would," then we've lost the underpinning of our inductive reasoning.

First of all, who says a universal intelligence isn’t bound by more basic laws of reality? We don’t have to adopt tired old religious concepts for our creationary consciousness. It doesn’t have to be all powerful or all knowing, eternal or infinite, supernatural or angry. It could be, for instance merely an organizing force.

And why do you keep making it an “either-or” situation? Why can’t there be both natural laws and intelligence? Our own lives are like that aren’t they? There is nothing counterintuitve about intelligence “deciding” is there? Don’t you, intelligence, decide?

My decision to let my pizza dough retard in the refrigerator for two days and using an enzymatically active ingredient was a conscious decision based on observing what the extended wait and enzymes achieved. But, it was also a decision based on the laws entailed in the breakdown of complex starches. I could “choose” to ignore how flour behaves under certain conditions, but then I can’t take advantage of the potentials I want. So being creator means not just creating an end product, and it doesn’t mean one is all powerful; it means understanding, working with, and submitting to the limitations and potentials of a natural situation.


loseyourname said:
Suddenly things happen in nature simply because some force beyond our grasp decides that that is what is to happen. This is the kind of animistic reasoning we see employed in the old Greek Epic Poetry, wherein events occur for no reason other than the whims of powerful personal forces that cause events to occur.

Why all the assumptions? Who says it has to be “whimsical”? And there already are great forces beyond our control. What is so unusual about that?


loseyourname said:
If nature is truly like this, then we must call into question whether or not science is even truly possible.

You’re doing the “either-or”thing again (and being a bit overdramatic). Of course science is possible! How could you even propose such a thing? The issue isn’t if science is possible, but if science can answer all the questions. Isn’t this what you want, to be safe and secure in your belief that you have the only epistemological skills you need to know reality? Would it be so terribly, awfully, dreadfully horrible if you just might have to learn another epistemological skill to be fully wise?


loseyourname said:
Seeing how successful science has been makes me think it almost certainly is possible, and well-justified, and that nature does behave in a predictable manner that can be understood (allowing, of course, for the possibility of a certain arbitrariness to behaviors at the quantum-level that I would personally like to deny, but really can't at this point given the preponderance of evidence).

Either-orism again. Nature does behave in a predictable manner and it can be understood. That doesn’t mean there isn’t something else which has to be understood in a different way, with a different epistemology. This “something more” can make sense and obey fundamental universal laws too, even if they are a different set of laws than those applied in physical settings. Why assume the only natural laws that exist are those which manifest in physicalness and mechanics? What’s wrong with the assumption that once it is all understood, there won’t be any contradictions, and it all will fit together perfectly?
 
  • #187
Psi 5 said:
Excellent point, if you assume we are the result of intelligent design then you have to assume the designer is also a result of intelligent design, and the designer's designer, ad infinitum.

Not so. Why couldn't consciousness have accidentally developed out of some set of unconscious conditions before the universe did, kept evolving for eons, and then participated in creation? You already assume the universe came about accidentally, and you assume consciousness came out of that. Since we know consciousness is possible (because we exist) why must we assume consciousness has to develop via physicalness? Why? Why? Why? (:-p) What's the big freakin' deal? :confused:
 
  • #188
Les Sleeth said:
So many unwarranted assumptions, so little time.

Les, you say the same thing to everybody and it gets tiresome, especially for someone who complains about others painting with a broad stroke. Nonetheless, I will address every point you brought up, even though we're going to end up in the same discussion that has been played out between you and countless others for the last three years in seemingly every thread you participate in, rather than a discussion of what I was actually bringing up.

Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with whether it’s true or not. Just because it’s possible that you can’t study it empirically, or explain it mechanistically, or even account for it ever at all, doesn’t mean you get to redefine reality in such a way so you can explain it. What sort of truth-seeking is that? If there are things beyond the human intellect then there are.

Notice my wording. If nature behaves in a manner that we cannot grasp, fine, I will have to accept that. What I said was the positing this as an explanation does not explain anything. It is simply giving up. It is permanently pasting a big huge question mark in place of an answer.

Satisfying to whom? Do you mean satisfying to mechanistically-oriented thinkers?

No, I do not think it should be satisfying to anybody. Intelligence is an incredibly complex thing. The ability to weigh options and make a rational choice is something that needs to be explained, especially in the context of the incredible amount of information that would be needed to control evolution at the molecular level. If there is some force out there making the decision to go G->A instead of G->C, then the existence of that force is just as mysterious as the existence of biodiversity in the first place. Are you beginning to see the point I'm making instead of just grouping me in with everything you hate about scientism? It isn't that it's completely impossible that there might be a choice-making entity controlling the lowest levels of nature, but that if there is, then we've only pushed back what we need to explain one step further.

The truths of reality don’t necessarily belong to any class of thinkers no matter how much they want to pump up the importance of, or are attached to, a particular epistemology.

I have never cited any particular epistemology, but I do hold to empiricism, as do you. And empiricism is based upon the twin foundations of universal causation (all events are caused) and the principle of the uniformity of nature (the laws dictating natural behavior do not change across time or space). If these are not true, and sometimes a G->A will take place, and other times a G->C will take place, under the exact same circumstances, then we run into a genuine problem. On the one hand, just like quantum mechanics, this might not have any pragmatic consequences to anyone other than a quantum physicist. On the other hand, there is the very real prospect that such a reality would call into question all inductive reasoning.

Anthropomorphism everywhere! :-p A non-anthropomorphic statement might say that given what we know about human intelligence . . . Why would you assume human intelligence is the end-all in intelligence?

I'm not talking about human intelligence. We have never encountered any form of intelligence that was not connected to an organism (or possibly a computer) of some sort.

As you have likely heard me propose before, it is a perfectly reasonable that the brain is housing, focusing, and organizing a more general realm of consciousness from which we originate. While in the brain, we are subject to it fully and that accounts for why brain manipulation affects human consciousness.

Consciousness is not the same thing as intelligence. Do you have to turn every discussion into a discussion of union and consciousness? If you think intelligence can also be dissociated from the brain, you're going to have a much more difficult time making your case. Why do our brains carry out computations at all then? Why does it take more brain activity to solve a difficult problem than a simple one? If the brain is simply a relay station for an intelligent entity that resides in something other than space, why do we not see nothing other than relaying taking place in the brain? All we should see are signals being received and sent. There would be no reason for all of the processing that takes place.

One way this proposal is supported is the reports of successful meditators who disassociate from the brain in the deepest meditation, not to mention the reports of those meditators encountering a greater realm of consciousness during the separation. But of course, we’re just going to ignore and dismiss those reports aren’t we :cool: since they can’t be investigated through mechanistic epistemology.

No, I'm not. For the last time, stop grouping me in with everything you hate about scientism. I'm serious. This has been pissing me off for almost a year now. I am giving your reports serious consideration. As far as I can tell, you report feeling a sense of unity. You have never said that you sensed a greater force that carries out computations and makes decisions. If you honestly have, then fine, I guess I will have to take your word for it. And if you've honestly sensed this force intervening at the molecular level of nature, I'll have to take your word for that, too.

First of all, who says a universal intelligence isn’t bound by more basic laws of reality? We don’t have to adopt tired old religious concepts for our creationary consciousness. It doesn’t have to be all powerful or all knowing, eternal or infinite, supernatural or angry. It could be, for instance merely an organizing force.

I'm not arguing against an organizing force. However, intelligence (what I am arguing against) is not merely an organizing force. Intelligence is the ability to know ahead of time what phenotype will be expressed by a given mutation and making the decision to go in that direction over another. If you want to argue for an organizing force, fine. You might enact a revolution in thermodynamics and it's quite possible that there really is a special property of living matter that causes it to behave against the laws of thermodynamics as we now know them. I'm not going to bet on that one, but it's certainly possible. That, however, is not intelligent design.

And why do you keep making it an “either-or” situation? Why can’t there be both natural laws and intelligence? Our own lives are like that aren’t they? There is nothing counterintuitve about intelligence “deciding” is there? Don’t you, intelligence, decide?

Sure, but I wasn't around during the pre-Cambrian era. If there was something capable of making the computations I am capable of making around back then, then it needs to be explained.

Why all the assumptions? Who says it has to be “whimsical”? And there already are great forces beyond our control. What is so unusual about that?

It's not that it has to be whimsical. The Greek gods often did things for what could be argued to be a good reason. The point is that the nature we know seems to behave uniformly (again, we have the principles of induction). If, for several hundred million years in the west of Wales back in Cambrian times, mutations took place according to different principles than they do today, then we have a problem. The entire study of chemistry becomes problematic because that would mean things are occurring in the beakers that aren't necessarily going to occur tomorrow, even if you duplicate the conditions exactly. Granted, Hume already left with that problem to some extent, but at least he wasn't able to find any real examples of causative laws being broken.

Then again, statistical dynamics does allow for aberrations, so it's entirely possible that I am just being melodramatic, but that doesn't mean these are not legitimate concerns. I'm not making this up. These issues have been discussed by epistemologists for hundreds of years at least and you aren't just going to sweep them under the rug.

Either-orism again. Nature does behave in a predictable manner and it can be understood.

Not if nucleotides behaved differently in pre-Cambrian times than they do today.

This “something more” can make sense and obey fundamental universal laws too, even if they are a different set of laws than those applied in physical settings. Why assume the only natural laws that exist are those which manifest in physicalness and mechanics?

These two statements are not compatible with the rest of your post. We are discussing the laws that govern the behavior of nucleotides, basically. These are the things that need to change to create genetic variation. They are physical entities, and so when they do change (G->A, a basic point mutation), they do so according to physical laws, correct? On the one hand, here, you are granting that, and saying that there might exist a different set of entities that are not physical and do not obey physical laws. Fine. On the other hand, you are saying that this non-physical entity can also intervene in physical affairs, causing one mutation to occur rather than another (or, if you believe in irreducible complexity, then postulating that this non-physical entity actually constructs sub-cellular structures from scratch). This means that matter at some point must behave in a manner contrary to physical laws.
 
  • #189
Psi 5 said:
Excellent point, if you assume we are the result of intelligent design then you have to assume the designer is also a result of intelligent design, and the designer's designer, ad infinitum.


Les Sleeth said:
Not so. Why couldn't consciousness have accidentally developed out of some set of unconscious conditions before the universe did, kept evolving for eons, and then participated in creation? You already assume the universe came about accidentally, and you assume consciousness came out of that. Since we know consciousness is possible (because we exist) why must we assume consciousness has to develop via physicalness? Why? Why? Why? (:-p) What's the big freakin' deal? :confused:

Sure it's possible, but which designer? The one that designed us or the one that designed him? Or was it the one before that?
 
  • #190
Before you go off again about my close-mindedness, allow me to explain what it is that I am at least trepidatious about, if not necessarily closed to the possibility. I have no problem postulating the existence of non-physical entities. I have no problem postulating that subjective consciousness is a non-physical entity.

These, however, are not what you are postulating. You are positing the causal non-closure of the physical world. You are saying that sometimes physical events are caused by non-physical entities that do not obey physical laws. Hence, sometimes physical entities behave contrary to physical laws. This is what I have a problem with, and your union experiences are not going to get you around this. This is where you are wrong and I actually am considering the reported qualities of your experiences. According to you, you dissociate from the physical world to a higher, more fundamental (or, more properly, different - everything else is speculation) realm. You have never once reported that you experienced a non-physical force manifesting a physical effect. You've never experienced a physical entity behaving contrary to physical laws.

Rather, you are extrapolating from your experience of the existence of a non-physical entity. What happens is that you see holes in evolutionary theory. You see that known physical laws might have some difficulty accounting for these holes. So you postulate "hey, maybe that thing I experience in union has something to do with it." You are extrapolating, which is fine, but stop pretending like everyone is ignoring this other realm of evidence that some non-physical entity is involved in evolution. You have no evidence other than your own speculation that this entity you experience had anything whatsoever to do with the Cambrian explosion.
 
  • #191
loseyourname said:
Nope. I would like to point out another problem I have with 'intelligent-design' hypotheses. That is, they assume the existence of the very thing they are trying to explain, which becomes question-begging.

How so? The very thing they are trying to explain is life on Earth. Obviously this theory assumes life on Earth exists, but how is this question begging?

Let us say that there was some intelligence behind the process that resulted in the evolution of intelligent organisms on the planet earth. Well, evolution is itself a theory that attempts to explain how complex things like intelligent organisms can exist in the first place. If we simply postulate that it was the result of choices made by a separate intelligence, all we've done is postulate the existence of another entity that begs for explanation.

Perhaps so, but that isn’t the same as circular reasoning (question-begging). And ID doesn’t propose to explain the ultimate origin of complexity or anything else; just life on Earth. Suppose for instance we find a nuclear power plant on Pluto. It would not be question-begging, incoherent, or anything of the sort to infer design even if we don’t know who the designer is or where the designer came from. We might well ponder such questions as where the designer came from, but that hardly implies design is an illegitimate explanation.
 
  • #192
Psi 5 said:
Sure it's possible, but which designer? The one that designed us or the one that designed him? Or was it the one before that?

You missed my point. I postulated the first "designer" to be a set of conditions which accidentally established consciousness. Aren't accidental conditions what you believe first manifested the physical universe, and then within that where consciousness developed? Why couldn't accidental conditions have produced an evolving consciousness first?
 
  • #193
loseyourname said:
Before you go off again about my close-mindedness, allow me to explain what it is that I am at least trepidatious about, if not necessarily closed to the possibility. I have no problem postulating the existence of non-physical entities. I have no problem postulating that subjective consciousness is a non-physical entity.

I wasn't saying you are closed-minded, I was saying that you seem to have embraced some epistemological and ontological assumptions prematurely, and those a priori assumptions are affecting what you accept and reject as plausible. To me you still seem pretty open-minded, but I admit I believe you also have externalizing-type filters in place which leave you less than neutral.

In fact, you admitted exactly what your filters are when you said “It almost seems to me as if proposing an explanation like that is just giving up. Nature, if it operates mechanically and predictably, can be understood. The Law of Universal Causation and the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature underpin the inductive reasoning that governs the way we live our lives.” On the one hand you claim you are open, yet that is (or leads to) pure physicalist epistemology and ontology if I’ve ever heard it.

What does “giving up” mean other than you are committed to a purely mechanistic explanation? But more to the point, not everyone agrees that reason alone should govern our lives. Some people have learned to trust our feeling nature; and among those, some others of us have taken feeling quite deeply to where it has become like another of the senses. That brings me to something you said in your previous post I want to address before I answer your specific point of this post.

You claim I can't drop the union thing. Well, that's only because virtually everybody around here talks like sense experience is the only way to know. It isn't me who is obsessed with a single epistemological method! I accept all that can produce results.

I am trying to crack the prematurely “decided” mind who seems to think what it's doing epistemologically is all that’s worth doing. You may be sick of hearing my complaint about it, but I am probably about as sick of hearing that same narrowly-educated perspective over and over and over. I could drop it and let people speculate blind to how another epistemology has been successful. Is that what you want? Who else is sticking up for all varieties of experienced-based knowledge-seeking around here rather than only what’s my personal preference? Are you?

Union in particular comes up because of threads about God, intelligent design, etc. Those utterly ignorant (and I do mean utterly) of what some people have achieved inwardly insist on applying outward evaluation techniques to everything. I don't see any other way to challenge their assumption that an externalizing epistemology is the only way to know, and their general belief that all inward-acquired knowledge is either nonsense or untrustworthy.

At least my opinions on innerness are derived from decades of study; they are scholarly, not baseless speculations. Plus I’ve gone to the trouble to practice what I’ve studied, and that helps me to understand why so many of the inner practitioners have reported an experience of “something more.” I mean really, what kind of opinion do you want offered here at PF on the source of God reports? Would you prefer me to justify my opinions by quoting the Bible or Koran or Bhagavad Gita or . . .

If Jesus and the Buddha, and Nanak, and Kabir, and Moses, and Mohammad, and . . . (I have a long list but most people don't know who they are) really did realize something through an inner epistemology, haven't they had a tremendous impact on human consciousness, and far more than science? So how are my repeated, well-researched references to what I claim was their epistemology (union) less justified than the scientism devotee's incessant reference to empirical epistemology?


loseyourname said:
These, however, are not what you are postulating. You are positing the causal non-closure of the physical world. You are saying that sometimes physical events are caused by non-physical entities that do not obey physical laws. Hence, sometimes physical entities behave contrary to physical laws.

This is a complete misunderstanding of my position. I have never (show me the quote if you disagree) suggested anything contrary to physical laws. In fact, if you read what I said in my last post to you it was, "What’s wrong with the assumption that once it is all understood, there won’t be any contradictions, and it all will fit together perfectly?" I have consistently proposed one set of bottom-line laws for existence of which all that we see is the result of different conditions of that one thing, and that that one thing is neither physical nor conscious. It is "neutral."

So physicalness is what that one thing looks like under a certain set of conditions, and consciousness is what that one thing looks like under another sets of conditions. In a way it doesn’t matter whether the one thing exists (though I’ve cited evidence it does); what matters most is that it opens the door for a way of exchanging ideas that is neither religious nor physicalistic. For the most part, it is the “fundamentalists” in both camps who are least willing to open their minds to the neutral approach.

In terms of neutrality, if both physicalness and consciousness share the same ground state, it doesn't mean one can be explained with the "conditional principles" of the other. Physical conditions require a physical explanation, and consciousness conditions require another explanation. Of course, if one is determined to explain everything only physically or spiritually, then anything that doesn't fit one's ideas will be rejected.

continued in the next post
 
  • #194
(continued from the previous post)

loseyourname said:
According to you, you dissociate from the physical world to a higher, more fundamental (or, more properly, different - everything else is speculation) realm.

NO! I disassociate from physical CONDITIONS. And it isn't "higher," it is "broader" because physical conditions are far more structured and concentrated.


loseyourname said:
You have never once reported that you experienced a non-physical force manifesting a physical effect.

That is incorrect. I have claimed that I, as consciousness, am a non-physical being that can manifest physical effects; I am here doing that every day. But I am saying I can separate from the "conditions" that determine physicalness and experience myself apart from that. Of course, if I want to participate in biology, I have to return. Nonetheless, in that experience it is clear that I am not limited to physical conditions in order to exist.

To those lacking the ability to separate from physical conditions, they have no basis for judging my claim. I understand this, and don’t expect to be “believed” by them. However, anyone can study the long history of reports, so even if you are determined to remain sense/brain-bound, you can still investigate and see that the consistency of the reports over time and across a verity of cultures gives reason to respect the reports.


loseyourname said:
You've never experienced a physical entity behaving contrary to physical laws.

That is correct.


loseyourname said:
Rather, you are extrapolating from your experience of the existence of a non-physical entity. What happens is that you see holes in evolutionary theory. You see that known physical laws might have some difficulty accounting for these holes.

Some difficulty? I wouldn't have a problem with "some difficulty," but I do have a problem with proposed physical properties that have NEVER been known to exist. Why should the weight of (dis)proof be on me for such assertions?

For example, please demonstrate the potential of physicalness to perpetually self-organize, which is what life seems capable of. It isn't me that is suggesting physicalness possesses this never-before-observed potential. It is only me, free of commitment to a belief system, who looks at that and thinks it's a crock. And by a "crock" I don't mean perpetual self-organization isn't possible; the crock to which I refer is that nothing yet warrants faith in perpetual physical self-organization happening. Yet all the physicalists express their undying faith that it really did happen. To my mind that's religion, not science.

I don’t think you quite get me. I am resisting blind faith, and to me it makes no difference whether the spiritual side or the scientific side is doing it, either way it’s the same sort of ignorance.


loseyourname said:
So you postulate "hey, maybe that thing I experience in union has something to do with it." You are extrapolating, which is fine, but stop pretending like everyone is ignoring this other realm of evidence that some non-physical entity is involved in evolution. You have no evidence other than your own speculation that this entity you experience had anything whatsoever to do with the Cambrian explosion.

Oh yeah. Put 'em up (just kidding). But you seem to employ a double standard when it comes what’s acceptable to extrapolate with. You don't have one bit of evidence that physicalness can perpetually self-organize, or that genetic variation and natural selection created virtually all the phyla in 5 to 10 million years. It doesn’t stop the physicalist crowd (and like it or not, your opinions consistently align with physicalism) from extrapolating the whole of existence is physical does it?

At least I have the logic of experience with accidents and physicalness that have virtually without exception shown it is incapable of anything creative. My preference for the "gap" is based on observing something (consciousness) that is known to behave in an organizing, creative manner. What you have for the gap is something which in real life has shown itself to be nothing more than a dumb, dead, mundane potential. So why do you think physicalist extrapolations are superior?

My experience from debating people here is that some individuals feel more comfortable with what they can touch, see, smell . . . i.e., sense experience. This potential I speak of where one can develop a non-physical sense takes work. So if you are someone disinclined to do the work, you are left at the mercy of other’s reports, which isn’t within the comfort zone of sense experiencers.

Here’s what I consistently offer as the solution. I don’t say others have to learn union, only that one should realize how much work has been done in this realm and that it is from union adepts that the most powerful and consistent reports of “something more” have come. I also say it isn’t fair to evaluate the question of “something more” based on religion, which has strayed too far from the original experience.

And then I suggest that physicalists stop ontologizing to the public IF they are representing their view as an objective “most likely.” I am not saying people can’t have their personal belief in physicalism, or they can’t express it as long as they don’t represent their personal belief as objective reporting. Right now physicalists theories are very often presented in such a way that they gloss over the huge gaps in the theory, as though we all have every reason to have faith that physicalist theories can (or soon will) explain all of existence. At best that is the delusion of blind faith, and at worst an out and out deception.

What would be fair is to openly acknowledge where the gaps are, and to stick strictly to presenting what physical factors are known. Leave out all direct or implied physicalistic “most likelies.” So no textbooks get to say, all life evolved through natural selection and genetic variation. Instead they have to say only what natural selection and genetic variation are known to have done, which as of now is merely superficial changes to an organism. They can’t say life “most likely” self-organized itself in Earth’s early oceans. They have to say evidence indicates life appeared first in the ocean; how, no one knows. What made chemistry organize into life, and what evolved organisms are to be left utterly untouched by either side.

This issue is only going to get more contentious you know. As I pointed out to Wave, a lot of smart people are starting to challenge physicalists’ exaggerations, so the dubious strategy of claiming “if you only knew more science you’d see the basis of our faith” isn’t going to work. Anyone who understands logic and human psychology can study the evidence and see what’s going on.
 
  • #195
Les Sleeth said:
You say I offer speculation, but what do you think much of evolution theory is?

That doesn't justify your complaint. Why should Evolutionists put a disclaimer in their theory to suggest there might be something nonphysical involved, when proponents of the nonphysical can't even define what that "something" is? I've asked you several times to define something, yet you have refused to do so. What would you do if scientists tell you "union is missing something, but we won't tell you what it is"? Does that give them justification to say union is inadequate in exploring the "inner dimension" and demand that you say so each time you address the public?


Les Sleeth said:
All you can prove is that life forms evolved in stages over time, and that natural selection-genetic variation can produce superficial changes.

That's a strawman, since you have refused to define "superficial". Do you seriously expect me to show you a counter example when you won't define what constitutes a non-superficial genetic change? So please tell me, what types of deletion, duplication, inversion, translocation, transposition, etc. are "superficial"? Do you have a concrete definition, or is it an ethereal concept that depend on your discretion?


Les Sleeth said:
For example, Dr. Howard Glicksman... http://www.arn.org

ARN? Oh... you mean http://www.creation-science.com" . :smile:


Les Sleeth said:
Towards the end of his article on how Vitamin D could have evolved http://www.arn.org/docs/glicksman/eyw_031104.htm he asks:

Which function did the liver cell develop first: the ability to start the activation of Vitamin D or to produce the Vitamin D transport protein? What good would it be for the liver to be able to start the activation process of Vitamin D if it hadn’t first produced the Vitamin D transport protein so that the Vitamin D could come to the liver in the first place? And what good would it be if the Vitamin D transport protein was able to transport Vitamin D, but the liver couldn’t start the activation process? And when did the kidney develop its ability to apply the final activating step without which Vitamin D activity in the body would be so reduced that intestinal absorption of calcium would be seriously hampered to the point of certain death? When did the intestinal cells develop a receptor that was specific for activated Vitamin D? Before or after Vitamin D could be activated? If before, what usefulness would they have for the body without activated Vitamin D? And if after, then how did activated Vitamin D exert its effect on the intestinal cell?

There is a subtle assumption in his argument that make the system seem paradoxical. For instance he assumes that the liver metabolize Vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D, so that the kidney can further metabolize it into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Then he asks why would the liver evolve the ability to produce 25-hydroxyvitamin D, unless the kidney can utilize it (and similarly for the converse). However, the liver could have produced 25-hydroxyvitamin D for a different purpose prior to its coupling with the kidney. Likewise, the kidney could have received 25-hydroxyvitamin D from a different source prior to its coupling with the liver. That is one of many possible evolutionary pathways that could have produced such a deceptively inseparable mutual dependence. His argument is only an interesting question worthy of investigation rather than evidence against Evolution, until we find some evidence to suggest there is no possible evolutionary pathway. Many systems have evolved to become mutually dependent and seemingly "irreducibly complex", so Vitamin D is not a special case. There are many well-studied and refuted examples such as blood clotting cascade and tricarboxylic acid cycle that IDists and Creantionsts like to use.


Les Sleeth said:
wave said:
We don't have a single claim regarding Evolution to which we can investigate with union.

What makes you think you can investigate every damn thing with science?

What makes you think that?


Les Sleeth said:
What I have been saying is:

PHYSICALISTS ARE PROMOTING PHYSICALIST ONTOLOGY TO THE PUBLIC IN THE GUISE OF OBJECTIVE FACTS ABOUT EVOLUTION.

Having sealed their minds tight against all avenues of knowing and thought except physicalness they, for example, convince the supreme court to let them teach physicalist ontology to our children.

I've replied to that objection several times - I will only defend why scientists don't promote nonphysical theories . If you propose one in a sensible way then you would have reason to complain. Otherwise we have no nonphysical theories to promote and there is no use complaining. We can't teach what we don't have. Do you understand? So can you give us a theory without running into those issues I mentioned in my previous post?


Les Sleeth said:
wave said:
Then aren't you guilty of your own charge? Who made you the keeper of "humanity's epistemological keys"? Why are your claims any better than those of "inexperienced" practitioners? Similarly, can you dismiss other nonphysicalists such as psychics and mediums without being a hypocrite?

Scientism devotees like to pretend they've got the epistemological keys because it is they who want to subject everything to scientific scrutiny and dismiss all that fails their tests. Where do you see me demanding physical factors be studied spiritually?

That is not my point. I am saying you can't use union to dismiss contradicting nonphysical claims without being a hypocrite.


Les Sleeth said:
For someone so smart you sure do miss the point. Who is asking you accept a claim?

I was only explaining why we can't accept nonphysical claims if someone were to make one.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #196
Tisthammerw said:
Perhaps so, but that isn’t the same as circular reasoning (question-begging). And ID doesn’t propose to explain the ultimate origin of complexity or anything else; just life on Earth. Suppose for instance we find a nuclear power plant on Pluto. It would not be question-begging, incoherent, or anything of the sort to infer design even if we don’t know who the designer is or where the designer came from. We might well ponder such questions as where the designer came from, but that hardly implies design is an illegitimate explanation.
I guess what loseyourname is really getting at is that ID does not so much “explain everything”, as just move the explanation out to another level. Of course, this is enough for some people (eg “now that I know God created me, I do not need to know where God came from”), but in science saying simply “we were designed that way” is not enough, it is simply replacing one question with another.

MF
 
  • #197
Psi 5 said:
I think another bit of evidence against intelligent design is the fact that the universe works by the laws of logic. That's right, logic implies a natural universe, not a created one. Why would an omnipotent being create a logical universe, just because he could? It would be better for his purposes to create a universe of magic and chaos where there were no logical physical laws. There would be no need for an infinite universe. The stars only need to be lights in the heaven. Another words, the universe only needs to be what people thought it was when religions were created. The logic of the universe has only become apparent in recent history, long after religion was invented. :devil:

I think this evidence argues against your conclusion. I do not believe that the universe works by the laws of logic. I believe that logic is designed by humans to explain the laws of the universe. Perhaps humans are the intelligent designer of both logic and God, and we use them to categorize explained and unexplained (magic) phenomena.

To assume that the universe has logic that it uses to create laws implies that the universe is capable of thought and hence capable of intelligent design.

I am not very clear on where the argument between creationism and evolution is in your argument. I see more reason for an intelligent designer to create a frail, imperfect creature than a perfect one. It is our imperfections that make life a struggle. Through the choices we make against these struggles we shape the people we become and the people around us. Will we choose to be wise or will we be foolish. Probably a little of both since we are imperfect. Evolution assumes that a species will not survive in an environment that it cannot adapt to. I don't mean short term survival of an individual here, but overall survivability of the entire species. So if we choose wisely we will be much more likely to survive. Where is the conflict between these two theories? Am I misinterpreting something?

What's wrong with an omnipotent being creating life just because it can? What other reason could an omnipotent being possibly have? If it already knows the beginning and end of all things then there is no reasaon for experiment. So if there is an omnipotent being that created us then I must assume that it created us just because it could.
 
  • #198
moving finger said:
I guess what loseyourname is really getting at is that ID does not so much “explain everything”, as just move the explanation out to another level. Of course, this is enough for some people (eg “now that I know God created me, I do not need to know where God came from”), but in science saying simply “we were designed that way” is not enough, it is simply replacing one question with another.
MF

Even if true, it is difficult to see why that would be a legitimate criticism in this case. Take for instance my thought experiment of finding a nuclear power plant on Pluto. We can rationally infer design even if we don't have a clue about where the designer came from, who the designer is etc.
 
  • #199
moving finger said:
I guess what loseyourname is really getting at is that ID does not so much “explain everything”, as just move the explanation out to another level. Of course, this is enough for some people (eg “now that I know God created me, I do not need to know where God came from”), but in science saying simply “we were designed that way” is not enough, it is simply replacing one question with another.
MF

What is the difference between moving the explanation to a creationary consciousness level, or sticking in never-before observed physical principles in the gaps?

Well, as I argued earlier, at least what the ID person fills the gap with, intelligence, has been observed acting creatively and with the ability to organize toward high functionality; while what the physicalists fill the gap with is strikingly dumb, plus when physical accidents occur (which is a large part of physcialist creation theory) usually changes are dis-organizing, not progressively self-organizing.

So tell me, whose faith is most supported by observation, is most logical, and therefore is most justified?
 
  • #200
Les Sleeth said:
Well, as I argued earlier, at least what the ID person fills the gap with, intelligence, has been observed acting creatively and with the ability to organize toward high functionality; ...
This is not correct, the ID person fills the gaps with god, which is outside natural causes, (e.g., the supernatural). Human or material based intelligent design is NOT part of ID philosophy, it is part of organic theory of evolution and thus explained, no ID argument is required to explain human or machine intelligence. Anyone that accepts ID argument of origins of universe and/or life on Earth must by definition operate outside logic of science which is constrained by using laws of nature to study nature--what is hard to understand that this is how science is constrained--science does not attempt to answer all questions. ID folks operate outside scientific method because they do NOT use laws of nature to define "intelligence", they use a supernatural first cause. Take for example the common mistake that ID folks accept that life on Earth first came from another place in universe, this is an organic based argument and within theory of explanation by organic evolution, it does not form part of ID philosophy for the simple reason that it is based on materialism, and if ID philosophy is anything, it is anti-materialism in terms of first cause. Now, I have no problem with folks having a belief in the ability of a supernatural agent using ID to create something as a first cause-effect, it is basic thinking to many religions based on belief (e.g., an anti-materialism philosophy), but let us not call this thought process "science"--it is not. And, of course, this is the reason why ID folks have been so busy trying to get local school boards in the USA to "redefine science" to allow the supernatural first cause to be something that science can study -- surely you are aware of this anti-scientific religious based political movement that is going on at this time in history to redefine science to allow anti-materialism to be a subject of valid science ? -- take a look at the Dover PA trial now in progress:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/11/30/MNGVNA3PE11.DTL
 
  • #201
Rade said:
This is not correct, the ID person fills the gaps with god, which is outside natural causes, (e.g., the supernatural). Human or material based intelligent design is NOT part of ID philosophy

Intelligent design (at least when applied to biology) doesn't actually identify the designer, only that artificial intervention took place. The artificial creation of life does not require the supernatural.


Take for example the common mistake that ID folks accept that life on Earth first came from another place in universe, this is an organic based argument and within theory of explanation by organic evolution

Not really, for the simple reason that we do not know what the designer is like or what the designer is composed of; ergo the origins of the designer are untestable. We can rationally infer design without knowing where the designer came from. Take for example the thought experiment of finding a nuclear power plant on Pluto. Who built it? Where did the designer come from? Such questions in this case are unanswerable, but that doesn't stop us from rationally inferring design.
 
  • #202
Tisthammerw, are you aware of what the stated goals are of the ID proponents? It's no secret, it's discussed on their own website since it was exposed. It's religious faith that they are trying to masquerade as science. You'd have to be cut off from the outside world to not be aware of the ruse.

Governing Goals

>To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.

>To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.


http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html

You do know that "The Wedge Strategy" is from the Discovery Institute, the inventors of Intelligent Design?
 
  • #203
Evo said:
Tisthammerw, are you aware of what the stated goals are of the ID proponents? It's no secret, it's discussed on their own website since it was exposed. It's religious faith that they are trying to masquerade as science.

Really? Please tell me what is so religious about life on Earth being artificially created.


You'd have to be cut off from the outside world to not be aware of the ruse.

I'm tired of both sides demonizing the opposition. I suppose these IDers are actively employing deception to introduce religion into classrooms?


Governing Goals
>To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
>To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.

http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html
You do know that "The Wedge Strategy" is from the Discovery Institute, the inventors of Intelligent Design?


The Discovery Institute is not the inventor of intelligent design. Intelligent design has been around long before this institute existed. And if this web page's Wedge strategy is identical to the institute you are referring to, how about getting it straight from the horse's mouth rather than getting it from a completely different source that may/may not represent the Discovery Institute? I'm not saying the web page you quoted is wrong, only that it would be better to get Discovery’s claims from the actual source. Why did you not get this description from Discovery's actual website? Or perhaps even read what they have to say regarding this issue? And though it may be easy to find a religious group who wants to push ID, I can just as easily find an atheist/agnostic site that supports evolution. Does this mean evolution is atheistic? Of course not. Additionally, attacking the motives of a theory's adherents is not the same as attacking the theory itself. The stated motive of Newton in forming some of his theories was to promote belief in God. Does this make Newtonian mechanics religious? No. Why not? Because the content of those theories is not religious. Similarly, there is nothing inherently religious about intelligent design (at least when applied to biology).

Do some ID adherents have religious motives? Sure. Do many ID adherents have scientific motives, believing ID is the best scientific theory? Absolutely. Is it possible that people at the Discovery Institute want to fight against materialism by putting forth what they believe to be a legitimate scientific theory (intelligent design) that conflicts with orthodox evolution? I think so. Some (e.g. Behe) have no religious objections to evolution, but nonetheless believe orthodox evolution is scientifically deficient in some way.

BTW, see post #146 when you get a chance.
 
Last edited:
  • #204
Tisthammerw said:
Really? Please tell me what is so religious about life on Earth being artificially created.
That would be the part about God.

I suppose these IDers are actively employing deception to introduce religion into classrooms?
That's correct.

The Discovery Institute is not the inventor of intelligent design. Intelligent design has been around long before this institute existed.
The current "Intelligent Design" that we are discussing in this thread is the creation of Stephen Meyers & Phillip E. Johnson, creators of the Discovery Institute. "The term intelligent design came up in 1988 at a conference in Tacoma, Wash., called Sources of Information Content in DNA," claims Stephen C. Meyer, co-founder of the Discovery Institute and vice president of the Center for Science and Culture, who was present at the phrase's re-creation, which he attributes to Of Pandas and People editor Charles Thaxton. The phrase appeared in the first edition Of Pandas and People in 1989, which is considered the first modern Intelligent Design book. The term was promoted more broadly by the retired legal scholar Phillip E. Johnson following his 1991 book Darwin on Trial. Johnson went on to work with Meyers, becoming the program advisor of the Center for Science and Culture and is considered the "father" of the Intelligent Design movement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_Design

And if this web page's Wedge strategy is identical to the institute you are referring to, how about getting it straight from the horse's mouth rather than getting it from a completely different source that may/may not represent the Discovery Institute?
As I said you can find it from the Discovery institute's own website. I got this link from the Discovery Institute's website. http://www.infidels.org/secular_web/feature/1999/wedge.html

If you think that ID is valid science, then please list some of their "proofs" that invalidate the findings that support evolution. What, can't find any? Oh, that's because they don't have any. No one needs to discredit the people that started ID, that's just icing on the cake, ID itself has failed to pass scientific muster. With the ruling in Australia, the ID movement is failing miserably.
 
  • #205
Rade said:
This is not correct, the ID person fills the gaps with god, which is outside natural causes, (e.g., the supernatural).

You are generalizing, probably because of your fear of religion interfering with science rather than looking at the issues involved. The religious don't own this topic, it is a question a lot of thinking people are pondering. In THIS thread, for example, we have been talking about whether it is logical that some sort of universally-present consciousness has been part of creation. The opening post was (as I pointed out earlier) to ask if humans are intelligently designed. The author did not frame the discussion in terms of Christian ID, so what gives you right to come into his thread and decide we are all talking about Christian ID?

If you are so freaked out by the term ID, then let's change the term to NIA, natural intelligence assistance. The difference between that and ID would be, those who want to discuss NIA cannot be trying to justify a particular religion's decryptions, predictions, or claims, and no supernaturalism allowed. The concept and question simply is, might some sort of intelligence be involved in the development of creation.


Rade said:
. . . if ID philosophy is anything, it is anti-materialism in terms of first cause. Now, I have no problem with folks having a belief in the ability of a supernatural agent using ID to create something as a first cause-effect, it is basic thinking to many religions based on belief (e.g., an anti-materialism philosophy), but let us not call this thought process "science"--it is not. And, of course, this is the reason why ID folks have been so busy trying to get local school boards in the USA to "redefine science" to allow the supernatural first cause to be something that science can study -- surely you are aware of this anti-scientific religious based political movement that is going on at this time in history to redefine science to allow anti-materialism to be a subject of valid science ? -- take a look at the Dover PA trial now in progress:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/11/30/MNGVNA3PE11.DTL

You are generalizing, grossly sir. Yes, there are Biblical creationists trying sneak their silly beliefs in. But here's the other side of it. You know that anti-materialist effort you are critical of? Well, materialists have been using the cloak of "science" to sneak their beliefs in, and one thing they are doing is exaggerating the evidence they have for evolution. I don’t know if you have followed this thread, but the bald truth is, the mechanisms science claims can account for the evolution of all life (genetic variation and natural selection) have never been observed doing anything more than making superficial adjustments to an organism. So tell me, why is every textbook on the planet packed with descriptions like what I took from a UC Berkeley website describing "lifting functional constraints through duplication":

"Even when a feature is absolutely necessary for survival it can be modified by natural selection for a different function if it is duplicated. For example, globin is a truly ancient protein. Billions of years old, it was present in the common ancestor of bacteria, plants, animals, and fungi. Globin performed an essential job: binding and carrying oxygen. You might imagine that natural selection would lock globin into that one job; however, through duplication and divergence, different copies of the globin molecule were adapted for different roles."

Now tell me, how does the author know natural selection achieved that? Natural selection has never been observed achieving such sophistication, so it is an unproven assumption which rather than being taught as theory is presented as fact. The student reading that doesn't know it is an unconfirmed assumption, and so universities are turning out all sorts of "believers" who think when they talk evolution their beliefs are supported by the facts (as I once did).

To me anyway, it is nauseating to witness the hypocrisy going on, where on the one hand you have certain (not all) holier-than-thou scientists banding together to fight the evil IDers, while they themselves pretend to have evidence they really don’t in order to propagate physicalism in the guise of science. Further, they employ McCarthyish tactics to, as Tisthammerw points out, demonize one side, and then wrap oneself in the scientific flag so they can force their theory down the world’s throat.

To someone like me who loves science, it is sad to see what’s being done to its reputation by physicalist extremists.
 
  • #206
Evo said:
. . . are you aware of what the stated goals are of the ID proponents? It's no secret, it's discussed on their own website since it was exposed. It's religious faith that they are trying to masquerade as science.

That may be true of that group, but it isn’t true of all people challenging the claims of evolution, and it doesn’t even represent all Christian views. It is a separate issue from what creationists are trying to sneak in as science from whether or not science is exaggerating its claims. And for a lot of people, that is the objection that is growing stronger by the week.

Evo said:
You'd have to be cut off from the outside world to not be aware of the ruse.

It’s just because you don’t want religion involved in anything that you are willing to overlook the scientism ruse. Believe me, I don’t want religion in there either, but scientism becomes religion when it start propagating its belief system over the facts. Do you really think you’ll be happier with a secular religion institutionalized into our society?

Here’s what I say the evidence is really like on the science side. Let’s say you went to a planet that was so hot you had to have an air conditioner to survive. Once there you meet air conditioner repairmen who have an evolutionary theory to account for all the air conditioners found around the planet. That is, they claim air conditioners originated by organizing themselves into a functioning system, and then evolved by adapting to temperature conditions.

Their evidence that the air conditioners evolved is that all contain thermostats, which do cause air conditioners to adapt. They say, “see, there is an adaptive mechanism, so that’s what is most likely the cause of evolution.” And then to explain how the first air conditioner got organized, they throw parts of the conditioner in a box and observe a magnet and a spring hooking up, and then say, “see, the magnet and spring have self-organized, and since they are part of the building blocks of an air conditioner, that is most likely how the first air conditioner got organized.”

Now air conditioner repairmen are geniuses at working with air conditioners, and the whole planet depends on them. So when they claim they have all the evidence needed to explain the origin and development of air conditioners, a great many people accept it as true based repairmen’s demonstrated ability overall. What people don’t realize is that the repairmen, enthralled with their own profession, have elevated air conditionerism to lofty heights, and are now preaching it as a religion, not as a fact.

There, Evo, is a ruse worthy of the Con Job Hall of Fame, far better than the Piltdown man. You know, this is REALLY stupid on part of the science community. Write this down so you will remember “I told you so.” What is going to happen is the exaggerations are going to be found out, fully exposed, for all the world to see. Science is going to take a blow to its credibility, and then what do you think the next development will be? Yep, opportunistic creationists are going to use that to get more of a foothold. This is so freakin’ stupid on the part of the evolutionists.

What they should do is back off from their claims that evolutionary theory is all but proven and admit where every, single solitary gap and problem is with the theory. It’s like the trial lawyer who knows his client has credibility issues and so brings them out before the opposing side can.
 
  • #207
Les Sleeth said:
Their evidence that the air conditioners evolved is that all contain thermostats, which do cause air conditioners to adapt. They say, “see, there is an adaptive mechanism, so that’s what is most likely the cause of evolution.” And then to explain how the first air conditioner got organized, they throw parts of the conditioner in a box and observe a magnet and a spring hooking up, and then say, “see, the magnet and spring have self-organized, and since they are part of the building blocks of an air conditioner, that is most likely how the first air conditioner got organized.”

Since I can't edit my posts yet without jumping through hoops (new software is on the way), I wanted to add this to my air conditioner analogy.

After citing the evidence, the repairmen then say "the evidence is overwhelming."

However, what they mean by overwhelming is that a thermostat can be found in millions and millions of air conditioners. Since they've not shown that thermostats alone can evolve an air conditioner, what "overwhelming" amounts to is huge pile of exactly the same unsubstantiated claim.
 
  • #208
Here’s how I would boil down the issue.

The theories of abiogenesis and evolution by genetic variation-natural selection both depend on pure mechanics which theorists claim can achieve high-functioning organizational systems. Since a very advanced level of complex functional organization is achieved, and no outside force is allowed, then for these theories to hold water mechanics/physicalness alone must possesses a very high self-organizing potential.

Question: Can physical substances and principles be manipulated to create high-functioning organizational systems?

Answer: Yes. This is proven since high-functioning organizational systems exist.

Question: Can scientists use physical substances and principles to create certain high-functioning organizational systems?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Does the fact that scientists can use physical substances and principles to create high-functioning organizational systems mean they understand physical substances and principles?

Answer: Yes, at least better than any other class of thinkers.


Okay, so we know physical substances and principles can be used to create high-functioning organizational systems, and we know scientists understand how to work with and even create such systems. Next set of questions.

Question: Can physical substances and principles organize themselves into high-functioning organizational systems?

Answer: No one knows.

Question: Are many scientists claiming physical substances and principles can and have organized themselves into high-functioning organizational systems?

Answer: Yes, emphatically so.

Question: Does scientists’ ability to use physical substances and principles to create certain high-functioning organizational systems justify making unsupported self-organizing claims?

Answer: No because self-organization is an entirely different issue from organization, and organization is all they proven they can either understand or create. They have shown absolutely no ability to recreate self-organizing systems with mechanics and physicalness alone.

Question: What justifies scientists’ physical self-organizing claims if they cannot support them properly with evidence?

Answer (mine anyway, feel free to offer your own): To the extent natural selection and genetic variation are being unmitigatingly taught as responsible for the development of entire organisms, it isn’t science but rather the belief system of a class of thinkers (and I do not mean all scientists) who believe their mechanical abilities make them RIGHT right about the universe's entire ontolgy, and that those of us who don’t (or aren't yet ready to) agree are merely ininformed, stupid or creationist zealots. They therefore feel justified both in not having to properly make their case to the vulgar classes, and in running roughshod over all disputants.
 
  • #209
Evo said:
Tisthammerw said:
Really? Please tell me what is so religious about life on Earth being artificially created.

That would be the part about God.

No deities and no supernatural forces are necessary to artificially create life. The theory that artificial intervention is necessary for the creation of life on Earth makes no reference deities, the supernatural, or founders of ancient religions.


Tisthammerw said:
I suppose these IDers are actively employing deception to introduce religion into classrooms?

That's correct.

See what I said earlier about demonizing the opposition. For one thing, ID (at least as it applies to life) makes no mention about God and yet you seemed to connect it with theism anyway (creationists have done a similar thing with evolution and atheism).


Tisthammerw said:
The Discovery Institute is not the inventor of intelligent design. Intelligent design has been around long before this institute existed.

The current "Intelligent Design" that we are discussing in this thread is the creation of Stephen Meyers & Phillip E. Johnson, creators of the Discovery Institute. "The term intelligent design came up in 1988 at a conference in Tacoma, Wash., called Sources of Information Content in DNA," claims Stephen C. Meyer, co-founder of the Discovery Institute and vice president of the Center for Science and Culture, who was present at the phrase's re-creation, which he attributes to Of Pandas and People editor Charles Thaxton. The phrase appeared in the first edition Of Pandas and People in 1989, which is considered the first modern Intelligent Design book. The term was promoted more broadly by the retired legal scholar Phillip E. Johnson following his 1991 book Darwin on Trial. Johnson went on to work with Meyers, becoming the program advisor of the Center for Science and Culture and is considered the "father" of the Intelligent Design movement.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_Design
That web article is flawed on many levels (see post #146). And in any case, while a certain group may have made ID popular, that doesn’t imply that they originated it, and they didn’t. (Just as Darwin did not invent the theory of evolution, nor did he invent the theory of natural selection, even if he did make the theories quite popular.)


As I said you can find it from the Discovery institute's own website. I got this link from the Discovery Institute's website. http://www.infidels.org/secular_web/feature/1999/wedge.html

That’s nice, but that still doesn’t answer my question on why you chose to get it secondhand instead of going straight to the source on what they have to say regarding this issue. Many people like to claim what the ID movement is about, but misunderstandings and unintentional distortions of the actual position are all too common, including in that wikipedia article.

If you think that ID is valid science, then please list some of their "proofs" that invalidate the findings that support evolution.

Technically, ID and evolution aren’t incompatible. One could always believe evolution happened via an artificial agency. My main beef is with abiogenesis anyway. I can state the case for this issue in a nutshell. Modern ID says that “artificial intervention is necessary.” From this we can deduce two empirical consequences: (1) We should never find a way undirected chemical reactions could produce life (because artificial intervention is necessary) and (2) we expect to find serious and significant obstacles to the naturalistic formation of life. Both these predictions have come true (so far). The first prediction, while it may not sound like much, at least makes ID falsifiable. In contrast, abiogenesis is not falsifiable and runs into a number of significant problems. Thus, ID seems to be the best explanation for the data.

By the way, if you think ID is not valid science, please list some “scientific reasons” why abiogenesis is a better scientific theory than ID. Regarding ID allegedly not being a legitimate scientific theory for philosophical reasons (e.g. ID is allegedly not falsifiable etc.) see post #146 (which, as I suggested before, is one list of reasons why the wikipedia article gets it wrong). Feel free to list some genuine philosophical reasons to discount ID.

What, can't find any? Oh, that's because you don't have any.

(You see, I can play that game too.)


With the ruling in Australia, the ID movement is failing miserably.

I’ll bite. What happened in Australia?

[Edit: typo correction]
 
Last edited:
  • #210
Psi 5 said:
I think another bit of evidence against intelligent design is the fact that the universe works by the laws of logic. That's right, logic implies a natural universe, not a created one. Why would an omnipotent being create a logical universe, just because he could? It would be better for his purposes to create a universe of magic and chaos where there were no logical physical laws. There would be no need for an infinite universe. The stars only need to be lights in the heaven. Another words, the universe only needs to be what people thought it was when religions were created. The logic of the universe has only become apparent in recent history, long after religion was invented.


Huckleberry said:
I think this evidence argues against your conclusion. I do not believe that the universe works by the laws of logic. I believe that logic is designed by humans to explain the laws of the universe...

You don't believe the universe works by the laws of logic? If the universe didn't work by logic you would be writing that message on a magic scroll instead of a computer. The laws of science discovered over the past couple thousand years ARE logic. Religions were first invented thousands of years before that. Probably because logic is inherent in the way the human mind works and it needed an explanation for things before scientific explanations were discovered. Without the explanations of science known, God was the substitute. It could explain everything, deus ex machina. Therefore my statement that the logical universe is unecessary, deus ex machina is all that is needed if it was created by a god.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Replies
9
Views
1K
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
24
Views
1K
  • Other Physics Topics
Replies
20
Views
2K
  • General Discussion
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • General Discussion
Replies
18
Views
2K
  • Programming and Computer Science
2
Replies
39
Views
4K
Replies
27
Views
5K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
6
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
1K
Back
Top