The Instigator
Mhykiel
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Sswdwm
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

The most basic living cell was Intelligently Designed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
Sswdwm
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,212 times Debate No: 53581
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (114)
Votes (9)

 

Mhykiel

Pro

The first basic living cells were intelligently designed. serious debate.
Sswdwm

Con

I gratefully accept the debate. Judging by the forum exchanges this should be a good debate!

Notes for Pro: Please define most basic living cell, as this can mean several things (can do so in the comments if you wish)

Anyway, best of luck!
Debate Round No. 1
Mhykiel

Pro

I want to thank Sswdwm for debating this topic with me.

Inferred Design, for this debate begins with these premises.

P1. An intelligent designer constrains, refines, arranges natural processes to produce a fabrication
P2. A fabrication will have a significant number of attributes arising from the design process

I intend to show the premises are logical, the evidence accurate, the inferences sound, and therefore the resolution is a reasonable assertion. I present 4 arguments

1. Non bias investigation of the evidence.
2. The Inferred Design principles defined for this debate.
3. The process as it applies to the basic cell.
4. The chemical arrangement of information.

My opponent will have to debate that it is not reasonable to assert the resolution based on the evidence at hand. He will have to show that based on the evidence, it is more likely that an abiotic (natural) process formed the basic cell. Or he will have to show that the process of Inferred Design can not be used to draw scientific conclusions from.

1. Non bias investigation of the evidence.

I will address the red herring in the room. Inferred Design, henceforth abbreviated as ID, is a scientific method. It postulates that based on the final product we can assert with reasonable validity if a subject was naturally occurring or produced by an intelligently governed process.

Some will say of the basic cell:

P1. The living cell was not intelligently designed because there is no evidence for an intelligent designer.
P2. There is no intelligent designer because there is no evidence of anything being intelligently designed.
C1. Where ever your at in the cycle refer to the other premise.

This is circular logic. ID (Inferred Design) makes no case for the nature of the designer. A beaver builds a dam. When the ID process is applied to a beaver dam, it concludes it was designed. It makes no assertions to who, what, or where this designer is. It does not even correlate to how intelligent the designer is. It merely states there is evidence that exhibit attributes of design.

Formalized as: A(natural) + B(intelligently governed) = designed. So in the case of the beaver dam, it would look like this: A (wood, mud, water, environment... natural occurring) + (wood unnaturally shaped, mud unevenly applied, environment can not account for arrangement) = (intelligently designed. maybe by a beaver or a man or something else???)

Creationist can be formalized as B(God made the wood...) + B(God made the beaver) = God designed everything. The mirror to this, as is most adopted by atheist and scientist is A(wood, mud, etc.. is naturally occurring) + A(beaver is naturally evolved) = everything is naturally occurring. If these are the views some one holds to, then there will be no evidence possible to change their mind. It requires a circular reasoning to be accepted.

Some may argue that if it is man-made it is designed, If man didn't make it, it is natural. If your of the naturalist persuasion then why would man not be a product of environment and considered natural? The delineation is subjective. I contend that it is based on bias and ego. Prescribing a special honor on to mankind with out supporting evidence or rationale. A chimpanzee can stack 3 boxes atop each other to get a banana. The chimpanzee designed a stack of boxes for a purpose of getting a banana.

Inferred Design is testable and verifiable. An ID proponent can go into a laboratory with either a creationist, a naturalist, or anyone for that matter, and investigate the natural processes that form a subject. If before going into the lab the ID scientist hypothesises that something is designed. He can record all the design attributes. Other scientist can investigate and experiment to see if the attributes can not be described by a natural process. after the evidence is collected if A+B=designed turns out to be A+0= Natural. Then the ID proponent will have to accept the results. Science is constantly growing and it grows based on the evidence.

There was a time when the status quo of the academic and scientific community thought the universe was eternal and infinite in all directions. Einstein to conform to this Argument of Popularity injected a cosmological constant into his formulas for special relativity. He claims this was the biggest blunder he ever made. The Big Bang for the same reason was initially ridiculed.



The Inferred Design process defined for this debate

For this debate it will be a dimensional analysis of the following attributes:

Attributes of Design:

A. Scope

Scope will be the subject and one level down. It is important to describe scope so the sample space is delineated and to see what component parts are taken into consideration.

B. Environment

If a part exists then there is some environment in which the part could arise from. Use the evidence at hand to determine the properties of the environment. If unknown only infer what needs to be inferred. Assume natural if unknown

C. Form naturally follows Material Morphology

This states that the shape and edges of a part are directly related to the material the part is made of. Each breaking of this natural principle is a point for design. Each repetitious breaking, as a whole, is counted as one point.

D. Micro-Environments are naturally compatible, nested or convergent

If the environment needed for one part is destructive to another and can not be nested to sustain 2 parts it is a point for design.


When applied to set of similar subjects (Set A: butter, yogurt, cheese etc...) (set B: Hammer, screw driver, pliers, etc...) A standard deviation of plus or minus 10% of the total number of points is arrived at.


It's interesting to note that when applied to some designed subjects the result is "Natural". Especially obvious in cases of fermentation. Beer, wine, butter, cheese though known to be of complex manufacturing tend to conclude a natural process. I think this is because the principles are non temporal and do not accurately account for changes in temperature. As well as the scope does not take into consideration how the yeast cells got there to begin with.


Sswdwm

Con

Thanks Pro.

I. Preface
Strangely enough Pro has not taken the opportunity to state his case for intelligent design(ID), I am sure that he will present his case in earnest in the next round, but for now he has not satisfied his burden of proof at all.

II. Why Intelligent Design is a bad theory
Determining an intelligently designed thing from an unintelligently designed cannot easily be done so objectively. You are probably thinking to yourself 'But wait! It's obvious my iPhone is intelligently designed and a rock is not'. This is true, we humans recognise design by contrasting what we see with what we already know to be designed by humans, but take the following examples, of natural bridges.



For somebody who has no idea about the natural processes available on earth, how would they be able to objectively determine if these bridges were intelligently designed or not? It sure seems like an organized effort to carve out a specic part of this rock face if required to achieve the design needed. One could also infer some prehistoric purpose these bridges could have served, perhaps for an ancient race to cross rivers.

How are we to determine that cave if intelligently designed or not? As we could infer tha from the multiple attributes that make caves useful and purposeful, such as running water, narrow openings, shelter and regulation of temperature. These seem on the face of it to be attributes of something one would perhaps expect of something that is intelligently designed.



The lack of objective means of determining design is the major weakness of any ID theory. Moreover, it is largely unfalsifiable, as virtually anything could be considered to have been made by an intelligence, including mountains or piles of poo. There could be a purpose they were erected for that is beyond our current understanding. ID fails on essentually every account on what a good theory should be.

III. Lack of purpose of life:
To the best of our understanding, life has no intrinsic purpose beyond a species' drive to survive and reproduce. One can look at a knife and presume without much thought it's purpose is to cuts thing, or look at a car and presume it's purpose is to move things. There are perhaps a few things that life might be useful for to an intelligent designed for, such as the production of natural organic products, but these traits have taken billions of years to arise and it seems prima facie implausible that an intelligent agency would willingly wait this long for this utility.

Given that an intellgent agency that produced life would have a good understanding of natural processes, chemistry, physics, etc. Then it seems somewhat absurd that early life would have ever has any useful purpose to an intelligent agency, as many of the useful things life produces can be accomplished synthetically, for example useful natural products are often synthesized artifically today. Given that Pro is postulating ID for life, then it's reasonable to ask just what kind of purpose would life have been designed for? The absense of which seems to make ID that much less plausible.

IV. The problem of negative Arguments for ID:
One of the most common arguments for ID are those from probability. Which essentially attempts to find odds of life arising non-intelligently, and then the remaining chance would be that of an intelligent designer. This is known as a negative-proof, or proof by the implausibility of the contrary. Ignoring the fact that this reasoning assumes that life ever had to arise in the first place, even assuming as much in practice it makes for a poor argument for intelligence, as I will now demonstrate.



Here I have dealt myself a 52 card hand, look at the order I have just dealt myself. Just imagine the odds of my getting this hand non-intelligently. Well that is easy to calculate, it's simply 52 factorial, or 8x10^67. An astonishingly small chance. I could be dealing myself hands till the death of the universe and I most certainly would never get this hand non-intelligently. All the cards that would have to appear in precise order in order to achieve this hand, it's just unthinkable I even got it in the first place without some intelligent selection process occurring.

Obviously this is fallacious, and it applies to our current situation in many ways:

1. Just how many of these potential hands could there be winners? Most of them? All of them? Only one of them?
2. How many hands can we deal ourselves?
3. We are moving the goalposts, that is we are starting with the result after we have already obtained it

These relate directly to life in the following ways:
1. It's quite plausible that life could have arisen in many different ways, we just don't know as we have a sample size of one.
2. We already know there are multiple potential 'attempts' at life.
3. When look in retrospecive at how we got to or result, then any long chain will seem astonishingly unlikely, as we are starting with the result (life) and looking backwards (anthropic principle)

To expand on point #2 some more, the observable universe is ~13.7 billion years old, and contains 10^24 planets, an astonishingly large number yes, a large number of 'attempts' are possible. But this doesn't even account for planets outside the observable universe, which is theorized to be several orders of magnitude greater[1]. Given large sample sets, even the most improbable of non-intelligent events becomes inevitable.

Point #3 is also important, as we are only ever going to be raising this question on planets where life has already arisen (anthropic principle), lookig back form anh result onc eyou have already obtained it will naturally yield an astonishingly small probability. Another example is what are the chances of me existing? A particular sperm needed to hit a particular egg, back several hundred generations. The chances of me existing in the absense of an intelligent process are going to be rediculously small. However this is obviously a rediculous statement.

Point #1 is arguably the least well understood variable.We just do not know all the conditions that could give rise to life. We have a sample size of one on Earth, and there is no reason to think that many other, different ways, and conditions could also give rise to life.

V.Existing non-intelligent explanations:
We already know of a very powerful process already involved in life that very plausibly drives the formation of 'intelligently designed' attributes, which is evolution via. natural selection. A process that is purely driven by what is effectively one big autocatalytic process, which catalyses the transformation of high-energy stuff (photons of light from the sun, organic matter, other high energy molecules) into lower-energy stuff with a release of energy and therefore, overall increase in entropy. Therefore, overall life appears to be one big entropy-increasing machine, and entropy is essentially the biggest driver of any process in nature.

In evolution, increasingly complex structures which perform the same functions better, or other beneficial functions are realized via a cumulative and iterative process. Complex structures such as the bacterial flagellum [2], and the blood clotting cascade[3], which were originally poster childs of ID are found to exist in simpler, smaller structures with different/same functions. Given that we have this process which develops the illusion of 'intelligently designed' components, to postulate anything in life is intelligently designed without direct evidence seems prima facie, highly unsound.

VI.Conclusion:
I hope I have briefly sketched out the case against ID. Note that this positive anti- argument is not needed for me to win this debate, as Pro has the burden of proof. But considering he has yet to make any argument for ID, I have preempt end the gun. Back to Pro!

VII. References:
[1] http://arxiv.org...
[2]http://www.nature.com...
[3] http://www.sciencedirect.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
Mhykiel

Pro

Thank you my opponent for posting his argument. I instigated and have the burden of proof. My opponent has not addressed the points I put forward. He did not defend the circular logic being used to deny the evidence, in point 1 of round 1. Nothing in my first argument was for Intelligent Design, which holds to probability and irreducible design. He shows pictures of natural bridges and caves, and yet subjectively he exclaims they could be mistaken for designed. Not with the method of Inferred Design as I put forward. Inferred Design method just from environmental factors like wind and erosion, and form from substance would declare these things "Natural". It's important to note that the method I outlined can give a false "Natural", because it fills in the gaps of understanding a process by assuming a natural process.

My argument is not an Argument from Design (AFD). It is an Argument from Construction (AFC). I will show it has roots in Non-Intelligent Design and Non-Creationist research.

Inferred Design is being used in Computer Science stating that form follows implementation.[1] This is a top-down approach investigating the environments or implementations needed to produce a living cell. George V. Luader, an evolutionary biologist from Harvard wrote a paper in criticism of AFD. He finishes the paper with these words:

"Let us refashion the argument from design. Instead of aiming to infer processes retrospectively from a design endpoint, we could choose to focus on the process of building the design: Argument of construction...The extent to which such research will contribute to our understanding of biological design will be a function of how willing we are to abandon assumptive practices about evolutionary mechanisms to focus instead on patterns of biological design and the many possible mechanisms by which such patterns may have arisen."[2] Dr. Luader says this is a Darwinian fabrication.

Taking a Top-Down approach and treating the biological system as a designed system is not unheard. As stated in round 1, design is the constraining, refinement, or arrangement of natural processes. Not surprising evolutionary biologist are using this to discern the principles in this act of design.

"It is becoming increasingly recognized that new interdisciplinary approaches are needed in biology to transform data and information into knowledge about general principles that explain the function and evolution of life. We are developing a complex systems biology framework to meet this need."[3]

Another article that says such lessons can be applied to engineering and computer science is from Macmillan Magazines.[4] There are university departments that look to glean engineering principles from biological "design". [5] The cases all attempt to make design attributes more objective, scientific and measurable.


Most take the stance that it is evolution that does the designing (the point my opponent tries making). The problem with this is the origins of life are chemical and mechanical. Before life there was no evolution. Unless of course you want to say evolution is a principle inherent in the matter and energy of the universe, a principle physicist have been completely blind to. This must be because it takes billions of years for galaxies to exhibit Natural Selection.

My opponent has not addressed my point 1 from round 1. He has not disputed the attributes of design I set forth, He has not shown how they are reflected in his natural bridges or in his 52 card pickup?

3. The Inferred Design process as it applies to the basic cell

A. Scope: A basic cell the Halobacteria

B. Environment: Micro-environments are the environments needed to make a cell part. The overall environment is the Archeon Ocean as described by a Non-enzymatic glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway-like reactions in a plausible Archeon ocean paper (2014)[6] Archean ocean was carbon rich and contained significant concentrations of Na, Cl, K, BO3, F, PO4, Mg, Ca, Si, Mo, Co, Ni and Fe. To clarify this iron is ferrous Iron Oxide.

C. Form follows Material Morphology: For sake of time and space I'll move on to the next point for cellular life. But while here I'll remark that B and C would be enough to determine my opponent's caves and land bridge as "Natural".

D. Micro-Environments are not naturally compatible:

In the cell we have DNA, and it's almost identical half RNA. We will talk about RNA, because its use is critical to the RNA world hypothesis. The backbone of the RNA chain is ribose sugar. The inside is nucleotides. The Sugars are right handed orientation, or chirality. And the Nucleotides are left handed. Is chirality needed for the first life forms? Most certainly as stated by Georges H. Wagnière in his book [7] He states, "In the absence of homochiral structure of the polymer, the long range order induced by the H-bonded base pairs could not exist."

What kind of natural environment could produce right handed sugars? Biologically useful chemicals are three dimensional structures. They are effected by mechanical vectors called kinetics. Stirring is a simple kinetic to accomplish this.[8] However if the stirring is to produce left handed sugars this would also produce left handed nucleotides. So we need 2 stirring actions moving in different directions. This would make them mutually destructive to each other.

So we have 2 parts that must be produced in different micro-environments before being brought together to make RNA. Then, when being brought together in a convergent environment, it could not be the Archeon ocean that has a alkaline condition. That would be destructive to the RNA by aiding in self cleaving hydrolysis.


There are thousands of such examples in cellular biology of pathways being mutually destructive to each other. This is why, and credit belongs to the scientist for their honesty, papers describing such molecular biology more often than nought have a phrase like, "...there must be a protective mechanism..." The cellular machinery is implausible to have arrived in a natural abiotic conditions.

4. The chemical arrangement of information

Nature is capable of odering things. Stoichometric minerals and crystals all order themselfs based on their atomic structures. If there was a natural enviroment capable of bringing cellular molecules into existence the arrangements of their chains would be either totally random or repetative. The evidence not support this. The arrangement has an inherent meaningfulness to it. As you well know the DNA is called the blue print of the cell. It does more then describe how to make things. In basic life like Halobacteria it is also the controler for signals of when to devide and where to go. This information has to be encoded and decoded. But before even addressing this chicken/egg problem lets think about how chemicals actually act. If these chemicals came together in an enviroment, what forces would control one set to correctly read another component of the cell, say the cell wall, and transport this information to be transcribed into DNA. None.

There are some papers saying this spontaneous information can occur in RNA. They are known to interact with each other and trade information and are used in correcting transcription errors from DNA. This is different then them reacting with other cellular components and recording the information to build say a cell wall.

[1]http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu...
[2]http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu...
[3]http://systemsbiology.case.edu...
[4]http://ebookbrowsee.net...
[5]http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu...
[6]http://msb.embopress.org...
[7]http://www.wiley.com...
[8]http://arxiv.org...
Sswdwm

Con

Thanks Pro.

I. Preface:
The distinction between inferred design and (traditional) ID is understood, but given that no argument was made for the ID of life, which the title of this debate specifies, I proceeded to provide my own arguments. And from Pro's second round arguments, these arguments remain very much relevant. Pro shoots himself in the foot by not advocating for any IDer, since it greatly reduces the number of testable traits of design to determine it.

II. The arguments against ID:
Pro has so far dropped my argument regarding purpose in life. The argument formally follows like so:

P1. All things designed are done so with purpose
P2. Life intrinsically has no purpose
C1. Life is not designed

P1 is defended by similar reasoning to what Pro uses to justify 'design attributes', without purpose there is no reason for a design to arise, and would violate the PSR. P2 I have defended in 2 ways, first are the long timescales involved in life, which is a good fraction if the age of the universe. Second is the lack of useful products life produces to what would need to be a highly advanced intelligence.

Pro also attempts to circumvent criticism of ID by mapping the arguments in the his cycle:

P1. The living cell was not intelligently designed because there is no evidence for an intelligent designer.
P2. There is no intelligent designer because there is no evidence of anything being intelligently designed.
C1. Where ever your at in the cycle refer to the other premise.

However this of course is not how the criticism is performed. One makes the following argument against ID:

P1. Anything intelligently designed requires an intelligent designer
P2. No intelligent designer existed at the OOL
C1. Before life existed, there was no intelligent designer

Of course the premise in contention is P2, and Pro would need to show how this is unsound. I already made the argument that all IDers known are life-based. Moreover this 'circular logic' isn't even an argument, as it depicts a process rather than an argument, and could easily be broken by inserting 'there is evidence in the cell that it is intelligently designed' or 'there is evidence of an intelligent designer', or by showing evidence of examples of life that are intelligently designed (in the context of the origin of life).

A good argument for ID will be that it will have established examples of life being intelligently designed, perhaps on planets, around the time of OOL on Earth, if the probability of an intelligent designer is greater than that it occurring non-intelligently, then we can conclude that ID is the best explanation for life on that instance. Which if course, Pro has not done.

III. Pro's argument for ID:
It is unclear what pro is attempting to show with his initial argument, as no conclusion logically follows from them:

P1. An intelligent designer constrains, refines, arranges (CFA) natural processes to produce a fabrication
P2. A fabrication will have a significant number of attributes arising from the design process

I will attempt to formulate Pro's argument for him.

P1. Life contains a number of attributes arising from a design process
P2. A fabrication will have a significant number of attributes arising from the design process
C1. Life is a fabrication

P2. An intelligent designer CFA's natural processes to produce a fabrication

C2. An intelligent designed CFA'd natural processes to produce life

This argument is fallacious, of course, but there was no argument to argue against otherwise. C1 is a non sequitur from P1 and P2, since a correct P2 would need to be "P2ii. All things with a significant number of attributes arising from a design process". Which is a Premise that Pro has not sustained whatsoever. Even if we accepted C1, C2 is also invalid, as the correct P2 would be "All fabrications are from an intelligent designer that CFA'd natural processes to produce it"

IV. Design attributes:

"This states that the shape and edges of a part are directly related to the material the part is made of. Each breaking of this natural principle is a point for design. Each repetitious breaking, as a whole, is counted as one point."

This is one of the more interesting takes on design, but by what reason do we have to accept this statement? Pro provides zero argumentation for such, and as a matter of fact, most things that we know are designed are done so with simplicity in mind, extraneous 'repetitious breaking' is a trait of poorly, or non-designed things.

"If the environment needed for one part is destructive to another and can not be nested to sustain 2 parts it is a point for design"

The example Pro uses, is an already 'advanced' form of life, why should we accept that the halobacteria did not evolve from a simpler precursor when we have abundant evidence of other life forms doing the same non-intelligently over the life course of the Earth? Pro makes the point that before life there was no evolution, so it appears that he is now arguing against abiogenesis, which does not address the formation of halobacteria, it addresses the formation of a much, much simpler organism than this. [4]

Moreover Pro is now making it crystal clear his argument is indeed, another negative argument against non-intelligence to show intelligence, which I have already argued is unsound.

V. Negative Argument against RNA:
Firstly, this is an argument ad ignorantum, jumping from 'I don't know how it could occur non-intelligently, therefore design' falls flat the second a non-intelligent explanation is found. The search space of possible ways for it to occur needs to be fully addressed, and the other variables, such as the number of cards one has to deal, the versatility in the order they can be dealt and still have a 'winning hand', and the number attempts one gets at making a winner.

While the stereochemistry of life today lacks a cogent explanation, it doesn't necessarily have to be a problem at all. Pro argues that connecting a polymeric chain of racemic (left and right headed) monomers will yield a useless material. I would argue against the fact that such a chain is perhaps unlikely to arise in the first place. One potential explanation is well understood in the kinetic resolution of chiral compounds, one chiral molecule will preferentially react with a specific enantiomer of another molecule, due to thermodynamic/kinetic reasons.

One famous example is the reaction of menthol with mandelic acid,[4] with each specific isotope 'choosing' which isomer of mandelic acid it reacts with, based on its own stereochemistry.

Now extrapolate this to RNA, with each nucleotide 'choosing' a specific isomer of other nucleotides from the racemic mixture to oligomerize with. Ergo, the 'mutually destructive effect' is nowhere near as significant. I am not claiming this is the solution, but the simple fact that a plausible pathway exists boldly highlights the fact this is simply a bad argument ad ignorantum. Moreover chiral amplification of nucleoside precursor has already been reported several times.[6]

VI. Chemical arrangement of information:
Pro's final argument attempts to establish that DNA is information, which falls pretty much in line of what 'mainstream' ID attempts to show. I freely grant that there is an appearance of 'meaningfulness' in the arrangement of cellular structures. However, this is one gigantic appeal to intuition, as it does not set an objective criteria for determining the 'meaningfulness' of any particular arrangement.

Moreover, we already have non-intelligent mechanisms (such as evolution) that would drive the formation of what appear to be meaningful arrangements as previously discussed.

VII. Conclusion:
Pro has a long way to go before establishing that life is ID.

VIII. References:
4. http://www.nature.com...
5. http://rsbm.royalsocietypublishing.org...
6. http://www.nature.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Mhykiel

Pro

My opponent is still attempting to straw man my arguments by collectively referring to them as Intelligent Design. The resolution is, "The most basic living cell was Intelligently Designed". The method used to come to this conclusion is Inferred Design. A top-Down approach to the processes and environments needed to produce the subject in question. It relies on the evidence at hand. My opponent says it is an argument of ignorance because we don't know how the origins of life happened. But that is what science is about making predictions based on the evidence at hand then further testing to see if the micro-environments truly are self destructive and so forth and so forth. It is why I pointed out that this process is being investigated by biologist to include evolutionary abiogenesis biologists! The conclusion life is intelligently designed may change as more evidence presents itself. But to hold back the merit of an investigation performed in this manner in the hopes that one day it will be explained is a show stopper. In fact this process leads research into what kind of experiments are central to the explanation.

Rebuttals Purpose

Because designing needing purpose was your argument not mine. We can not know the purpose of an object from it's form or any other markers. Refer to Ariel in little mermaid when upon asking what a fork was used for was told by a seagull it was to straighten ones hair out. She used the fork as a hair brush. Again my opponent attempts a straw man and is an argument or assertion of purpose driven design I never took up. Design is the refining or constraining of natural processes.

Rebuttal Circular Logic

My opponent rewrites my words.

"P1. The living cell was not intelligently designed because there is no evidence for an intelligent designer.
P2. There is no intelligent designer because there is no evidence of anything being intelligently designed.
C1. Where ever your at in the cycle refer to the other premise.

However this of course is not how the criticism is performed. One makes the following argument against ID:

P1. Anything intelligently designed requires an intelligent designer
P2. No intelligent designer existed at the OOL
C1. Before life existed, there was no intelligent designer"

To Shift the burden of proof so that I have to proof there was some other life intelligently designed. or that there is a non human intelligent designer some where. Neither of these is possible with out the circular logic I addressed in round one being confronted. My opponent and any one else that prescribes to that logic will never be able to see any evidence for an intelligent designer because their circular minds will regurgitate back there is no intelligent designer but man. What would be good evidence of an intelligent designer?? What I am presenting. That the components of something could not arise from natural process alone!

I don't care who you may think the intelligent designer at the OOL is. My opponent assumes if it wasn't man it was God. But I am not making a case for God. I am making a case that the construction of the living cell was an intelligently governed process.

He further minces my words into syllogisms of his own making. The premises are simple. Fabrications will have attributes of design. Life has attributes of design. Life is a fabrication. I have already shown that some biologist accept this but prefer to state that evolution is a natural designer. This does not apply at the beginnings of life.

Rebuttals of Design Attributes Criticism

Form follows Substance: My opponent reasons, "This is one of the more interesting takes on design, but by what reason do we have to accept this statement? Pro provides zero argumentation for such, and as a matter of fact, most things that we know are designed are done so with simplicity in mind, extraneous 'repetitious breaking' is a trait of poorly, or non-designed things"

No most things exhibit a repetitious breaking or constraining of the natural form a substance wants to take. This is how we can tell the difference between an arrow head and a banged up rock. The silhouette is symmetrical and though possible not likely from a natural process. The arrow head is chipped. This is different then rocks chipping each other in that the chipping exhibits linear progressions along concentric to the arrow head edge. Countless other examples can describe how an ice crystal is formed from it's atomic structure, and why a hammer's iron head is designed because it's flat surface is unusual and non natural.

My opponent states, "Pro makes the point that before life there was no evolution, so it appears that he is now arguing against abiogenesis, which does not address the formation of halobacteria, it addresses the formation of a much, much simpler organism than this" I have been arguing abiogensis since the resolution.

The example I provide is RNA. This is not indicative to just halobacteria. It is in everything. Even the Virus. It is directly related to any less developed precursor to halobacteria. The case being made is that a nonliving archeon ocean environment would be implausible to make a substantial amount of RNA for use. EVEN if that use was in a precursor to life.

Finally my opponent attempts to attack the chirality, kinetics, and ... Oh he does not address that the early ocean would destroy RNA in the alkaline conditions. And in his explanation to discredit the chirality argument he refers to a simpler acid that is mostly inert accept for the one bond used to make mandelic acid. This is what RNA looks like:



It has many parts ready to chemically react to other things.

My opponent cites and links to a paper that the readers of DDO will more than likely not have access to reading. I think experiments like this have great benefit. I'll consume my characters to break it down to the readers. The researchers started with a near even split of equal chiral amino acids. Dissolved in ethanol. Let that evaporate and remove any excess waste. Then added water and a truly equal or racemic molecules. These were not RNA, or event he precursor to RNA. The reaction then made a precursor to RNA if the water was cooled -4 degrees Celsius. So this is a completely different micro-environment scenario to make the precursors of RNA. Where did the Amino Acids come from? They did not form in the Archeon Ocean. No the researchers allude this to meteorites. Amino Acids found in meteorites are of such a low parts per million this could not be a sustained process to account for all the RNA needed to make even the first self replicating chains of 300 molecules. And the paper my opponent uses did not make homochiral RNA.

Information

In the previous paper my opponent cited, the chiral amino acid was proline. This is what's called a non essential amino acid because it is produced biosynthetically in the cell. So Essentially the first precursors to life were, "hey this stuff we get from meteorites is cool, lets start making it ourselves" The question arises if the environment to make such an amino acid is literally out of this world, how did it get absorbed to a intracellular environment? It can not. Where did the information to make the proteins to produce proline from glutamate come from? The collection of this information for the synthesis would destroy or block the pathway from performing. And then to record this information in DNA, a centralized deposit. To have the transcription of the information stopped and then moved to the spot in the cell where the process is then un-paused and allowed to continue, is remarkable.

We do not know if nature can do all these things. What we do know is that chemicals react. They do not coordinate with each other in goal orientated activites. Based on the evidence we do have of the properties of these biological chemicals. It is reasonable to conclude that the most basic living cells at the origin of life were intelligently designed.
Sswdwm

Con

I am grateful to Pro for this fierce, and unusual debate. I welcome him to DDO and I wish him well in his future debates.

I. Intelligent Design, Poor Logic
I am somewhat perplexed by Pro's argumentation. There doesn't appear to be any linear flow of logic from the facts he has attempted to present to the conclusion he is trying to reach. The arguments made so far seem to follow this type of logic:

P1. All Welshman are named Tim
P2. My landlord is called Tim
C1. My landlord is a Welshman

This obviously is invalid, and not sufficient to determine the nationality of my landlord, as it ignores the fact that other nations could have people named Tim, and the probability of my landlord being Tim in light of this fact is influenced by a plethora of variables. Pro simply has not connected the dots whatsoever to demonstrate that the simplest of cells, or anything at all is intelligently designed. He has also dropped my points regarding how to determine if a 'fabrication' is intelligently designed or not.

My arguments are only a strawman if they misrepresent my opponent's arguments, ignoring the fact that my opponent appears to have provided very little argumentation towards his conclusion, my other attacks on intelligent design are very much relevant since that is the topic under debate, irrespective of how Pro is attempting to argue for it (Inferred design or otherwise).

There is a real difference between what is done in science to determine evolution and Inferred/Intellident Design. Evolution makes positive predictions, nested heiracies are necessary, common ancestry is necessary, linear cumulative change is necessary. All these positive predictions are objectively testable, and would completely falsify evolution if demonstrated wrong. This is not the case with intelligent/inferred design. The arguments are subjective, are unfalsifiable, and makes zero testable predictions, ergo a bad theory.

II. Anti ID Arguments:
Pro drops my two anti-intelligent design arguments, which are the dependence of intelligent designers on being alive (and therefore never existed at the OOL), and the argument from lack of intrinsic purpose. I have (however weakly) supported all the premises in the arguments, and the conclusion will follow if the argument is sound, which Pro has not even attempted to do.

III. Circular Logic:
Pro appears to complain that he is forced to argue via circular reasoning, I have already argued how one could make a logically valid argument for intelligent design, but in either case it isn't my problem. The BoP is on Pro, and if he cannot make his point without falling into circular logic, then his argument is rightly unsound.

Moreover I have not once mentioned or even implied god in this debate, therefore I fail to see his complaint.

IV. No Objectivity:
As I have iterated throughout this debate, there appears to be no way to objectively test for these design attributes, and all the argumentation provided so far is very much subjective in their execution. How would we objectively be able to determine that enough 'repetitious breaks increases the chances of ID? Or what such repetitious breaks would objectively be? What number of attributes would constitute a fabrication? How is it affected by other factors?

V. Negative arguments:
Pro drops my points regarding ID being one big negative argument against non-intelligent emergence. Rather amusingly, Pro has fallen back on his assertion of inferred design (and the ell eagerly positive arguments for design) and focused most entirely on negative arguments. I am quite disappointed this had happened to be honest, as any theory should be able to stand on it's own two feet without relying on the 'implausibility of the contrary' arguments. These arguments all assume life ever had to arise in the first place, and are addressed in part by this and the anthropic principle.

VI. Hitchen's Razor:
"What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence".

Pro makes a number of assertions regarding the implausibility of RNA forming, with zero evidence or argument to support them. Such as the argument regarding RNA in alkaline water, whilst providing no evidence of this assertion, nor any context to the alkaline conditions involved, and how they relate to the environment of huge early Earth. Were alkaline conditions common on huge early earth?

VII. Anti-Abiogenesis:

Amusingly Pro attacks a brief comment I made regarding numerous reports of nucleoside amplification (to tend towards homochirality), I never made the claim this was what happened at the OOL, which would be a bold one indeed, instead it highlights in black and white that pathways to resolve the issue Pro attempts to raise do exist in non-intelligently, and given that the paper I cited was published in 2011, extremely recent science, is it really sound to conclude that a process is non-intelligently implausible on the early Earth? That would be like telling a silicon chip manufacturer that we will never get to 11 nanometer chips because it's so hard at present, ignoring the fact we said the same thing about 45, 22 and 16 nm...

Moreover I have presented two completely independent solutions to this issue Pro puts forth, one from chiral resolution (en contrary much more complicated examples exist, but was provided for simplicity of understanding). The fact we have several plausible pathways around this seems to make Pro's argument unsound.

We simply have not addressed the search-space as thoroughly as Pro requires to make an objective negative-argument against non-intelligent emergence. We don't know the versatility of the card hands, nor how large (how much 'luck' is required) a hand is required.

The researchers don't appear to be specialised in abiotic amino acid synthesis, which was already highlighted to be available abiotically in the famous Urey-Miller experiments, but even if Pro could come up with a puzzle for which I lack a cogent non-intelligent process for, it does not in any way verify intelligent design, this is argument ad ignorantum straight-up.

VIII. Information:
Unfortunately for Pro, the synthesis of amino acids, nor RNA doesn't appear to require any 'information'. Amino acids are comparatively very simple molecules which are quite water-stable, and RNA is more difficult to produce, but has been recently found to have robust abiotic synthetic pathways available. [7]

Once again I ask, how does one objectively determine the information required for a fabrication, or if it's required at all?

IX. Evolution, life & thermodynamics:
Unfortunately for Pro, we already have non-intelligent candidate explanations for life that exists today, evolution as I had already mentioned. Halobacteria, however simple, are thought to have evolutionary pathways from simpler life in the past. Life itself as I already mentioned is essentially one big autocatalytic process driven by thermodynamics, which will drive the formation of 'fabricated' structures.

Moreover, all of Pro's arguments are completely futile if life did not even originate via. The RNA world hypothesis he so reverently attacks. Multiple hypothesis' exist for the origin of life via non-intelligent means, such as lipid world, metabolism first, etc. These fields are very much new in science, and we simply do not know how likely it is to originate non-intelligently. I suspect it's an almost certainty, but my subjective opinion does not matter for this debate, and neither should anybody else's.

X. Conclusion:
With no objective means of determining design attributes, no response to the requirements of an intelligent designer, and a lack of positive argument for intelligent/inferred design, this debate has all but fallen flat. The resolution has been negated, Vote Con!

XI. References:
7. http://www.nature.com...
Debate Round No. 4
114 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Two profound RFD's now!
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Lol... Profound RFD....
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
Mhykiel
@mhawk10 I think you will need more descriptive RFD or it will get reported. especially if you are awarding 7 points.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
Mhykiel
@BradK like you said at the end you can not shake the feeling of that, but your analogy is not logical proof to have such a feeling. It is subjective. Inferred Design is not an attempt to apply intelligence to what we don't know. It is to discern from the properties we do know. It is not a today is true and for ever it is true.

What the approach tries to do is eliminate that subjective reasoning you are using for intelligent vs natural.

Refer to the approach applied to the beaver dam, beehive, or termite mound.
Posted by BradK 2 years ago
BradK
I don't mean to derail the debate, this is just my opinion: Calling something "intelligent" is just another way of saying "I am too stupid to work out all the possibilities". One of my favourite themes of life is the stupidity of man.

For example, think about the game plinko. When you drop the puck, you know it has to land in one of say 10 bins. No one says that the puck is intelligent because it HAS to land in one of the 10 bins. Once it's dropped, it's guaranteed to land in 1 of the 10 bins. Since we can calculate all the possible outcomes, we don't think that the puck has any intelligence.

However, if you drop a human down the chute instead of the puck, there's no way to determine what will happen.... well not at our current level of intelligence anyways. The human might decide to go with it and fall down the chute. Or maybe the human will climb out and start his own plinko game show. Or maybe the human will get mad at you and climb out and throw you down the chute instead. Essentially, you cannot calculate all the different possibilities of dropping a human down the chute. Because we don't know all the possibilities, we say humans are "intelligent".

But suppose you drop a rat down the chute. Is a rat smart enough to crawl out of the bin? Maybe. If you think the rat will get stuck and die in there unless you lift it out you would assume the rat is not intelligent. If you think the rat can climb out and do things you didn't expect, you call the rat "intelligent". Insects are kind of on the border of what we consider "intelligent", because we can almost predict everything they could possibly do. There's a video of a group of ants stuck walking in a circle. You might see people call the ants "non-intelligent", or "dumb" in the comments for that video since the ants are stuck in an infinite loop that is fully understood.

So "intelligent" is just a word we use to describe things we don't understand. I can't shake this conclusion, so I'm not going to vote.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
|The homepage system is retarded though, and should only be determined by # of likes...
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Lol, yes :-p
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
LOL. Off of the homepage with one debate, onto the home page with the other debate, huh Envisage? ;) ;)
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
1. Why is it a who?
2. If it's a who, why is it a he?
3. Why would a non-life based designer have cells?
Posted by LifeMeansGodIsGood 2 years ago
LifeMeansGodIsGood
Who designed the first basic cells of the Designer? was it you? Or was He self-exixtent with no designer?
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by joepalcsak 2 years ago
joepalcsak
MhykielSswdwmTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: In every round, con insisted on arguing against his own bad misrepresentation of Intelligent Design theory. Trying to reduce Intelligent Design to mere complexity, arguing against the motives of a designer, shifting the goal posts to a question of proving the existence of a designer rather than focusing on the question of evidence for or against design, and asserting that the theory makes no predictions: all of these bogus claims against the theory are easily refuted if one has the intellectual integrity to venture past websites like talk.origins. The funny thing is, as bad as his arguments against Intelligent Design are, they are all beside the point! Con addresses his burden of proof only by listing, without defending, naturalistic options. In other words, con did nothing to fulfill his burden. On the other hand, pro presented a solid, logical case. Con wins grammar. Pro wins the debate.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
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Reasons for voting decision: Firstly, I am penalizing Con for spelling and layout. Wow it was crazy. Anyway back to argument points and the real meat of my reason for my vote. Pro require far to much faith to reach the intelligent design conclusion, this is even more impressive as it is done by excluding god. However, this also means its basically word games made to confuse. By this I mean Pro uses philospohical arguments, but provides no evidence that this is factual or makes sense in any accredited scientific manner. Additionally, I dont think I can trust everything Pro said, as their were logical errors in the manuscript such as "However if the stirring is to produce left handed sugars". This seems to me to be grasping at anything for confirmation bias. As such points for arguments must go to Con.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 2 years ago
MrJosh
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Reasons for voting decision: Plain and simple, PRO didn't meet his BOP. His first point, "Non bias investigation of the evidence," was an attack at a perceived counterargument, not an argument for his case. PRO also noted in R2 that his resolution "is a reasonable assertion." Even if this is true, it does not satisfy his BOP; reasonable ≠ evidence. That's about as far as PRO got; really, all CON had to do was show up and she would win because PRO didn't satisfy his burden. S&G equal, sources equal, conduct equal.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by demonlord343 2 years ago
demonlord343
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a great debate topic, especially since something similar is going on in Forums. Pro was very organized, along with Con. However, when it came down to the arguments, I was often lost repeatedly with Pro's argument. The transitions and logic threw me off constantly. Con was very smooth with effective transitions for the logic used. So, arguments go to Con. Spelling and grammar, well, Pro is gonna have to lose this point. I am not sure that it was Con's fault when the argument didn't format properly. The grammar was pretty good aside for Con. The sources were even. Yes, Pro did use a lot of them, but Con took the time to create some information for her (?) own benefit. Conduct was about even. Great debate peeps!
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was shooting at shadows, I don't think Con understood Pro's arguments and sources, the lack of fine tuning in the universe has demonstrated that somehow, Life has found a way to occur in many environments, the design may come from natural forces and reactions (Einsteins God), but life does appear to have a talent for appearing and thriving in an uncaring universe, if we can model it, it may be a product of Natural Design, no designer's mind is necessary, just the combination of natural forces producing it. Well I think I get it???
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 2 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
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Reasons for voting decision: This was an awful debate. Pro can't spell and Con's text doesn't format correctly.
Vote Placed by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to provide any significant evidence to support his claim, and did not address several rebuttals that Con made. Con offered a more complete argument on this topic.