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How do we know when something is designed?

Burzmali
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7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?
buddha49er
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7/7/2014 12:25:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I have a feeling you won't get very far because people who believe in ID will see patterns where none exist, and use these as proof. All humans do it, but that's what we have science for: to see if the patterns mean anything, or if we are all stupid.

One can't really try to convince people of intelligent design without trying to rationalize non-existent patterns, rendering the subject moot, I feel. But hey, it could be fun!
Mhykiel
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7/7/2014 1:31:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

Most people consider this to be an obvious trait of objects. But it is not objective. As I have tried to demonstrate earlier the way most of us assume something is designed is when we see patterns in it we do not normally see in natural settings.

This is a very real question not just for ID, but actually for anthropologist. If there was an objective measure there could be better discernment between a rubble of rocks and a destroyed settlement. There could be better classification of ancient tools.

Mineral examination is one manner. Man made minerals normally cooled faster and heated for less time than natural minerals. By studying the crystals we can discern if the material was man made.

But this is not a complete answer to whether something was designed. Best I could suggest here was if a natural process shows signs of being altered, refined, or combined in a manner contrary to natural events.

I'm not the only one thinking about it in this way. Christopher Alexander I feel doesn't get enough credit for the influence he has had on programming languages and other non-tangible designs. Which is funny because he is an architect talking about what he saw as the fundamentals to design.

You may find this book interesting because he applies his brand of fundamentals to nature. http://www.amazon.com...
slo1
Posts: 4,362
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7/7/2014 7:35:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

The only option is to use the scientific method to determine the cause of it. Until a cause is determined it is incorrect to lay claim that something was intelligently designed or not. Any general rule is general, thus such nonsense as straight lines have to be intelligently made are a bunch of hogwash.

When it comes to life, creationists already have a belief based upon faith that it was intelligently designed. Many in that group are unwilling to support any notion of empirical discoveries to prove whether it is possible to kick start the repetitive chemical and physical reactions that is life without intelligent design.

It is pretty sad because history has example after example of when certain religious belief has been disproved after scientific discoveries. It would be prudent to all to let this particular scientific work work through the theories and come to a conclusion before making a call.
Installgentoo
Posts: 1,420
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7/7/2014 8:41:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? ?

An object has to fit two criteria in order for one to be able to infer that it was designed. These criteria are,

1) the object works towards a specific purpose
2) the object is too complex to have been formed purely by chance

If biological organisms fit either of those criteria, then scientists should investigate if there was an intelligent agency which could have interacted with them in some way.

Of course that intelligent agency does not have to be the Christian god.
Mhykiel
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7/8/2014 1:22:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/7/2014 7:35:58 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

The only option is to use the scientific method to determine the cause of it. Until a cause is determined it is incorrect to lay claim that something was intelligently designed or not. Any general rule is general, thus such nonsense as straight lines have to be intelligently made are a bunch of hogwash.

When it comes to life, creationists already have a belief based upon faith that it was intelligently designed. Many in that group are unwilling to support any notion of empirical discoveries to prove whether it is possible to kick start the repetitive chemical and physical reactions that is life without intelligent design.

It is pretty sad because history has example after example of when certain religious belief has been disproved after scientific discoveries. It would be prudent to all to let this particular scientific work work through the theories and come to a conclusion before making a call.

So you are suggesting that the best way to determine if something is intelligently designed, is to perform the Scientific Method.

So repetitive intelligently controlled detail and well crafted experiments is the best way to confirm something is non-intelligently designed or naturally formed.

-0.o- seems logical to you doesn't it.
slo1
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7/8/2014 7:17:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/8/2014 1:22:56 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/7/2014 7:35:58 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

The only option is to use the scientific method to determine the cause of it. Until a cause is determined it is incorrect to lay claim that something was intelligently designed or not. Any general rule is general, thus such nonsense as straight lines have to be intelligently made are a bunch of hogwash.

When it comes to life, creationists already have a belief based upon faith that it was intelligently designed. Many in that group are unwilling to support any notion of empirical discoveries to prove whether it is possible to kick start the repetitive chemical and physical reactions that is life without intelligent design.

It is pretty sad because history has example after example of when certain religious belief has been disproved after scientific discoveries. It would be prudent to all to let this particular scientific work work through the theories and come to a conclusion before making a call.

So you are suggesting that the best way to determine if something is intelligently designed, is to perform the Scientific Method.

Yes and determine its origin.

So repetitive intelligently controlled detail and well crafted experiments is the best way to confirm something is non-intelligently designed or naturally formed.

Yes, the use of intelligence is the most efficient way to find the correct answer.
.
-0.o- seems logical to you doesn't it.

It seems very logical to me. It only does not seem logical to you because you assume that anything complex can not be made without intelligence. However your assumption is wrong.

A river making a perfect 50 foot circle is not intelligent. Imagine the data encoded in a circle and and how someone programming it in assembly has many lines of code to input to make a circle yet a dumb ol' river did it randomly. Nobody ever said the programmer can't do it faster.
Mhykiel
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7/8/2014 7:20:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/8/2014 7:17:16 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/8/2014 1:22:56 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/7/2014 7:35:58 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

The only option is to use the scientific method to determine the cause of it. Until a cause is determined it is incorrect to lay claim that something was intelligently designed or not. Any general rule is general, thus such nonsense as straight lines have to be intelligently made are a bunch of hogwash.

When it comes to life, creationists already have a belief based upon faith that it was intelligently designed. Many in that group are unwilling to support any notion of empirical discoveries to prove whether it is possible to kick start the repetitive chemical and physical reactions that is life without intelligent design.

It is pretty sad because history has example after example of when certain religious belief has been disproved after scientific discoveries. It would be prudent to all to let this particular scientific work work through the theories and come to a conclusion before making a call.

So you are suggesting that the best way to determine if something is intelligently designed, is to perform the Scientific Method.

Yes and determine its origin.

So repetitive intelligently controlled detail and well crafted experiments is the best way to confirm something is non-intelligently designed or naturally formed.

Yes, the use of intelligence is the most efficient way to find the correct answer.
.
-0.o- seems logical to you doesn't it.

It seems very logical to me. It only does not seem logical to you because you assume that anything complex can not be made without intelligence. However your assumption is wrong.


No, actually I do not think complexity is a fair measure of something being designed. I am aware that complex things can emerge from natural events.

A river making a perfect 50 foot circle is not intelligent. Imagine the data encoded in a circle and and how someone programming it in assembly has many lines of code to input to make a circle yet a dumb ol' river did it randomly. Nobody ever said the programmer can't do it faster.

Well, that is the problem is it not. An objective measure of design and information systems does not exist.
slo1
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7/8/2014 7:26:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/8/2014 7:20:00 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/8/2014 7:17:16 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/8/2014 1:22:56 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/7/2014 7:35:58 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

The only option is to use the scientific method to determine the cause of it. Until a cause is determined it is incorrect to lay claim that something was intelligently designed or not. Any general rule is general, thus such nonsense as straight lines have to be intelligently made are a bunch of hogwash.

When it comes to life, creationists already have a belief based upon faith that it was intelligently designed. Many in that group are unwilling to support any notion of empirical discoveries to prove whether it is possible to kick start the repetitive chemical and physical reactions that is life without intelligent design.

It is pretty sad because history has example after example of when certain religious belief has been disproved after scientific discoveries. It would be prudent to all to let this particular scientific work work through the theories and come to a conclusion before making a call.

So you are suggesting that the best way to determine if something is intelligently designed, is to perform the Scientific Method.

Yes and determine its origin.

So repetitive intelligently controlled detail and well crafted experiments is the best way to confirm something is non-intelligently designed or naturally formed.

Yes, the use of intelligence is the most efficient way to find the correct answer.
.
-0.o- seems logical to you doesn't it.

It seems very logical to me. It only does not seem logical to you because you assume that anything complex can not be made without intelligence. However your assumption is wrong.


No, actually I do not think complexity is a fair measure of something being designed. I am aware that complex things can emerge from natural events.

A river making a perfect 50 foot circle is not intelligent. Imagine the data encoded in a circle and and how someone programming it in assembly has many lines of code to input to make a circle yet a dumb ol' river did it randomly. Nobody ever said the programmer can't do it faster.

Well, that is the problem is it not. An objective measure of design and information systems does not exist.

I didn't so much say it, but the implication was that there is no objective rule set thus every area in question on whether it was designed or not requires its own investigation. The scientific method can't solve all investigations, but it has the best odds of reducing type 1 and type 2 errors out of any other logic method.
Envisage
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7/8/2014 7:32:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Virtually all intelligent design arguments to as follows:

1. For A, either it was intelligently designed, or not
2. Probably not not intelligently designed
C. Probably intelligently designed

Which is perfectly valid reasoning, except 'probably' is usually conflated with it's intrinsic probability. 'Probably' refers to the number of intelligently designed examples compared with the number of non-intelligently designed examples, and not just the overall unlikelihood of it occurring non-intelligently.

I.e. We need a baseline understanding of the intrinsic positive probability of something being intelligently designed.

In other words, even if the probability of something occurring non-intelligently is extremely low, if the probability of it occurring intelligently is lower, or zero, then they have simply not demonstrated ID.

Each and every single example of ID when applied to life overall that I have come across runs into this fallacy, and hence fail every single time as a result.
v3nesl
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7/8/2014 9:49:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

I like to point out that we have a program most people would consider scientifically based: SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence). So clearly someone thinks there are metrics that can be used to identify life, or at least find interesting data for intelligent agents to look at more closely.

And that brings me to a second point: It's not logical to suppose we can have non-intelligent metrics that conclusively determine intelligent design. We should expect that only an intelligent agent using his intelligence will be able to recognize design. A voltmeter can measure volts, but it cannot recognize a voltmeter. Only the intelligent technician can say "that's a voltmeter".

It seems to me ID opponents are trying to find some way around an obvious reality: Humans can recognize design. Note carefully: I'm not saying we can always recognize design - a round lake, for instance, we might be unsure of whether it's natural or man-made. But, when we do recognize design, well, it was designed.
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v3nesl
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7/8/2014 9:50:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific,

And if you don't mind a personal observation: It's great to get to the point where you aren't afraid to have your own opinion and your own curiosity, and don't feel the need to tell the faithful that you aren't being unfaithful.
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Burzmali
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7/8/2014 11:14:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/8/2014 9:49:25 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

I like to point out that we have a program most people would consider scientifically based: SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence). So clearly someone thinks there are metrics that can be used to identify life, or at least find interesting data for intelligent agents to look at more closely.

SETI has parameters that they look for in order to essentially triage what they find and determine if something deserves further investigation as possibly originating from an intelligence. They don't have hard and fast metrics that say "that is definitely a sign of intelligence." By comparison, ID proponents seem adamant that they see design in life and the universe.

And that brings me to a second point: It's not logical to suppose we can have non-intelligent metrics that conclusively determine intelligent design. We should expect that only an intelligent agent using his intelligence will be able to recognize design. A voltmeter can measure volts, but it cannot recognize a voltmeter. Only the intelligent technician can say "that's a voltmeter".

What is a "non-intelligent metric?" Is that supposed to be synonymous with "objective?"

It seems to me ID opponents are trying to find some way around an obvious reality: Humans can recognize design. Note carefully: I'm not saying we can always recognize design - a round lake, for instance, we might be unsure of whether it's natural or man-made. But, when we do recognize design, well, it was designed.

You've pretty well exemplified the point I'm trying to get at. We have no objective way to determine design. Yet that doesn't stop ID proponents from claiming design when they see it. And, with the exception of the debunked irreducible complexity and fallacious fine-tuning ideas, the supporting arguments generally come down to "just look at how designed this thing is."
v3nesl
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7/8/2014 12:18:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/8/2014 11:14:59 AM, Burzmali wrote:
At 7/8/2014 9:49:25 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

I like to point out that we have a program most people would consider scientifically based: SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence). So clearly someone thinks there are metrics that can be used to identify life, or at least find interesting data for intelligent agents to look at more closely.

SETI has parameters that they look for in order to essentially triage what they find and determine if something deserves further investigation as possibly originating from an intelligence. They don't have hard and fast metrics that say "that is definitely a sign of intelligence." By comparison, ID proponents seem adamant that they see design in life and the universe.


Yeah, it's pretty obvious.

And that brings me to a second point: It's not logical to suppose we can have non-intelligent metrics that conclusively determine intelligent design. We should expect that only an intelligent agent using his intelligence will be able to recognize design. A voltmeter can measure volts, but it cannot recognize a voltmeter. Only the intelligent technician can say "that's a voltmeter".

What is a "non-intelligent metric?" Is that supposed to be synonymous with "objective?"


a "non-intelligent metric" would be one that doesn't require an intelligent agent to process. "If temperature is greater than setpoint then turn fan on" - that's a non-intelligent bit of logic, a mechanical thermostat can do it.

It seems to me ID opponents are trying to find some way around an obvious reality: Humans can recognize design. Note carefully: I'm not saying we can always recognize design - a round lake, for instance, we might be unsure of whether it's natural or man-made. But, when we do recognize design, well, it was designed.

You've pretty well exemplified the point I'm trying to get at. We have no objective way to determine design.

Well, let's look at it from the other direction: Something is designed or not. That's a simple fact about some apparatus, right? It's not subjective, it's not like "i think it's kind of warm in here". It's objective, of the "It's 79 degrees in here" sort.

So, if design is an objective reality, then why shouldn't we have objective ways to determine design? We do, in fact, most directly by seeing the design process. But just as we can solve crimes we don't actually see, we can infer design when we don't see the actual design process. It's generally pretty obvious - complexity, non-randomly-generated forms, a clear purpose, etc.

So, we ARE determining an objective fact about life. Don't mistake the difficulty of finding the videotapes of creation for the fact that 'design: yes/no' is a simple binary option that is certainly objective if it can be determined.

Yet that doesn't stop ID proponents from claiming design when they see it. And, with the exception of the debunked irreducible complexity

Sigh. Irreducible complexity has not been debunked. In fact, the case has been made even stronger by noting that the self-assembly of these IC structures by new cells is itself an irreducibly complex process using other irreducibly complex construction tools. The first cell could no more have evolved than the first car could have gone without wheels.

... the supporting arguments generally come down to "just look at how designed this thing is."

Yeah, kind of like "oh, look, it's lunch time". Some times things are simple, and obvious. I really can't explain how a generation of scientists have gone SO far out in left field, but the fact of design is in fact quite obvious. Microbiology is the final nail in Darwin's coffin, if you ask me - there simply is no intellectually honest way to continue to argue for the ecosystem self assembling from some simple, ancient precursor.
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lifemeansevolutionisgood
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7/8/2014 12:22:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/7/2014 8:41:16 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? ?

An object has to fit two criteria in order for one to be able to infer that it was designed. These criteria are,

1) the object works towards a specific purpose

Can you give an example of something that isn't designed that does not work towards a specific purpose?

2) the object is too complex to have been formed purely by chance

Can you list anything that is not complex enough to allow it to form from chance?

If biological organisms fit either of those criteria, then scientists should investigate if there was an intelligent agency which could have interacted with them in some way.

Of course that intelligent agency does not have to be the Christian god.
Installgentoo
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7/8/2014 12:34:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/8/2014 12:22:51 PM, lifemeansevolutionisgood wrote:
At 7/7/2014 8:41:16 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? ?

An object has to fit two criteria in order for one to be able to infer that it was designed. These criteria are,

1) the object works towards a specific purpose

Can you give an example of something that isn't designed that does not work towards a specific purpose?

Sure, tonnes of things, wasps, petals, galaxies, whales, etc., etc.

2) the object is too complex to have been formed purely by chance

Can you list anything that is not complex enough to allow it to form from chance?

Yeah, any object which is found in nature all the time, like a cliff or a beach.

If biological organisms fit either of those criteria, then scientists should investigate if there was an intelligent agency which could have interacted with them in some way.

Of course that intelligent agency does not have to be the Christian god.
Burzmali
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7/8/2014 4:13:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/8/2014 12:18:02 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 7/8/2014 11:14:59 AM, Burzmali wrote:
At 7/8/2014 9:49:25 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 7/6/2014 11:51:54 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Preface: I don't believe that Intelligent Design is scientific, but this is an honest question that I've never seen answered in any satisfactory way.

ID proponents frequently point to different aspects of life and the universe and claim them as evidence of design. Frequently, this involves a comparison to a watch. To properly understand these claims, though, I think it would be helpful to just have a discussion about design in general. So this is the way I like to ask the question: if you and I came upon a body of water (river, lake, canal, etc), how would we know if it was designed (like a canal) or not (like a natural river)? And with that in mind, what of those attributes (if any) do you see in the universe and/or life?

I like to point out that we have a program most people would consider scientifically based: SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence). So clearly someone thinks there are metrics that can be used to identify life, or at least find interesting data for intelligent agents to look at more closely.

SETI has parameters that they look for in order to essentially triage what they find and determine if something deserves further investigation as possibly originating from an intelligence. They don't have hard and fast metrics that say "that is definitely a sign of intelligence." By comparison, ID proponents seem adamant that they see design in life and the universe.


Yeah, it's pretty obvious.

Yet when pressed for what makes "intelligence" or "design" so obvious, ID proponents seem unable to provide such information with any acceptable level of detail.

And that brings me to a second point: It's not logical to suppose we can have non-intelligent metrics that conclusively determine intelligent design. We should expect that only an intelligent agent using his intelligence will be able to recognize design. A voltmeter can measure volts, but it cannot recognize a voltmeter. Only the intelligent technician can say "that's a voltmeter".

What is a "non-intelligent metric?" Is that supposed to be synonymous with "objective?"


a "non-intelligent metric" would be one that doesn't require an intelligent agent to process. "If temperature is greater than setpoint then turn fan on" - that's a non-intelligent bit of logic, a mechanical thermostat can do it.

Okay, no one is asking for a metric like that.

It seems to me ID opponents are trying to find some way around an obvious reality: Humans can recognize design. Note carefully: I'm not saying we can always recognize design - a round lake, for instance, we might be unsure of whether it's natural or man-made. But, when we do recognize design, well, it was designed.

You've pretty well exemplified the point I'm trying to get at. We have no objective way to determine design.

Well, let's look at it from the other direction: Something is designed or not. That's a simple fact about some apparatus, right? It's not subjective, it's not like "i think it's kind of warm in here". It's objective, of the "It's 79 degrees in here" sort.

So, if design is an objective reality, then why shouldn't we have objective ways to determine design? We do, in fact, most directly by seeing the design process. But just as we can solve crimes we don't actually see, we can infer design when we don't see the actual design process. It's generally pretty obvious - complexity, non-randomly-generated forms, a clear purpose, etc.

So, we ARE determining an objective fact about life. Don't mistake the difficulty of finding the videotapes of creation for the fact that 'design: yes/no' is a simple binary option that is certainly objective if it can be determined.

ID proponent language gets very lazy when pressed about those terms, though. For instance, what is the "clear purpose" of the universe? What is "non-randomly generated" about life? I'm not just asking for a one phrase example. I want specifics.

Yet that doesn't stop ID proponents from claiming design when they see it. And, with the exception of the debunked irreducible complexity

Sigh. Irreducible complexity has not been debunked. In fact, the case has been made even stronger by noting that the self-assembly of these IC structures by new cells is itself an irreducibly complex process using other irreducibly complex construction tools. The first cell could no more have evolved than the first car could have gone without wheels.

How many times does an irreducibly complex process or structure need to be shown to be reducible before we can all agree that IC is ridiculous? Behe claims the eye is irreducibly complex. Debunked. He claims the flagellum is irreducibly complex. Debunked. He claims cilia is irreducibly complex. Debunked. IC is just a god of the gaps fallacy dressed up with scientific language.

... the supporting arguments generally come down to "just look at how designed this thing is."

Yeah, kind of like "oh, look, it's lunch time". Some times things are simple, and obvious. I really can't explain how a generation of scientists have gone SO far out in left field, but the fact of design is in fact quite obvious. Microbiology is the final nail in Darwin's coffin, if you ask me - there simply is no intellectually honest way to continue to argue for the ecosystem self assembling from some simple, ancient precursor.

Can you explain, in detail, how the universe or life is so obviously designed? That's the point of this thread: complete answers to questions that are normally answered with flimsy language.
v3nesl
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7/9/2014 9:55:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/8/2014 4:13:04 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Yeah, it's pretty obvious.

Yet when pressed for what makes "intelligence" or "design" so obvious, ID proponents seem unable to provide such information with any acceptable level of detail.

...

Okay, no one is asking for a metric like that.


Clearly you ARE asking for such a metric. You want an answer that does not require you to use intelligence to recognize intelligence.

How can I pick a face I know out of a crowd, instantly and with high accuracy? I don't really know, but I can.

The argument I'm making is much more logical that it might appear at first blush. Basically you can argue that if human intelligence is what it appears to be, then it must have an intelligent source, however indirect that source may be. I'm arguing that the intuition of design in life is thoroughly consistent with an assumption of intelligence in myself, whereas the assumption of objective ability in humans is not consistent with evolution. The paradox of evolution is that if man evolved, he could never know it, in the philosophical sense of 'know'. The evolved apparatus can only react to stimuli, it cannot know.


ID proponent language gets very lazy when pressed about those terms, though. For instance, what is the "clear purpose" of the universe? What is "non-randomly generated" about life? I'm not just asking for a one phrase example. I want specifics.


I don't think it's lazy, at all. I just think you're making a category error and looking for answers in the wrong place. You will not find the beauty of a rose in mathematical formulas. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, so you want a psychologist if you want to understand why a rose is perceived as beautiful. The math plays a part - proportion, color, etc., but it would be silly to demand an equation for beauty. I think it's equally silly to demand an equation for design. Design comes from the intelligence realm, not the computing realm.


How many times does an irreducibly complex process or structure need to be shown to be reducible before we can all agree that IC is ridiculous?

Well, if it's irreducibly complex, it can't be reduced, that's just what the word means.

You would debunk [the implications of] IC by, for instance, evolving a flagellum in the lab by some pseudo-random process. Obviously nothing within a thousand light years of this has been done, so, sorry, but IC is not debunked. Some last stand evolutionists have rolled out the "same only different" observation to claim that IC structures were ported from some previous, unrelated purpose, but they obviously have not (and can not) offer any real proof of this.

No, it's again intuitively obvious that a whole bunch, and I mean a WHOLE BUNCH, of things had to happen at once for even the simplest one-celled animal to begin. Suggesting that a complex, highly inter-dependent, self-assembling, self-reproducing, self-fueling, self-healing apparatus could emerge one small, undirected step at a time is just theater of the absurd. It's total nonsense, worthy of a literal ROFL.

And if you dispute that last statement, no problem - just show me how it's done. No one to date in human history has been able to do anything remotely like that, but I try to be open to reality. But I'm a scientist - show me your experiments, don't expect me to buy wild speculations.
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Burzmali
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7/9/2014 10:53:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 9:55:54 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 7/8/2014 4:13:04 PM, Burzmali wrote:
Yeah, it's pretty obvious.

Yet when pressed for what makes "intelligence" or "design" so obvious, ID proponents seem unable to provide such information with any acceptable level of detail.

...

Okay, no one is asking for a metric like that.


Clearly you ARE asking for such a metric. You want an answer that does not require you to use intelligence to recognize intelligence.

How can I pick a face I know out of a crowd, instantly and with high accuracy? I don't really know, but I can.

The argument I'm making is much more logical that it might appear at first blush. Basically you can argue that if human intelligence is what it appears to be, then it must have an intelligent source, however indirect that source may be. I'm arguing that the intuition of design in life is thoroughly consistent with an assumption of intelligence in myself, whereas the assumption of objective ability in humans is not consistent with evolution. The paradox of evolution is that if man evolved, he could never know it, in the philosophical sense of 'know'. The evolved apparatus can only react to stimuli, it cannot know.

I want an answer that is more than just "it is so," which is most of what comes from ID proponents. Your face example is actually more appropriate than you might realize. Face recognition is something that can be done with software. Facebook does it. Any camera made in the last couple of years does it. Google+ does it. Clearly there is a way to methodically look for faces and say, with some level of certainty, that something is a face and even who that face belongs to. I don't understand why it's unreasonable to ask for something similar when it comes to the certainty of ID proponents about the design they claim to see in life and the universe.

Also, why can't intelligence arise from non-intelligence? Maybe intelligence is just a reaction to stimuli.


ID proponent language gets very lazy when pressed about those terms, though. For instance, what is the "clear purpose" of the universe? What is "non-randomly generated" about life? I'm not just asking for a one phrase example. I want specifics.


I don't think it's lazy, at all. I just think you're making a category error and looking for answers in the wrong place. You will not find the beauty of a rose in mathematical formulas. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, so you want a psychologist if you want to understand why a rose is perceived as beautiful. The math plays a part - proportion, color, etc., but it would be silly to demand an equation for beauty. I think it's equally silly to demand an equation for design. Design comes from the intelligence realm, not the computing realm.

I'm not asking for an equation for design. I'm asking for an explanation of what people claim to see. If design proponents can simply claim to see it, then those of us who don't can simply claim we don't, and we get nowhere. How can we have a discussion about alleged design if you can't even describe your evidence for it beyond saying you just see it that way?


How many times does an irreducibly complex process or structure need to be shown to be reducible before we can all agree that IC is ridiculous?

Well, if it's irreducibly complex, it can't be reduced, that's just what the word means.

You would debunk [the implications of] IC by, for instance, evolving a flagellum in the lab by some pseudo-random process. Obviously nothing within a thousand light years of this has been done, so, sorry, but IC is not debunked. Some last stand evolutionists have rolled out the "same only different" observation to claim that IC structures were ported from some previous, unrelated purpose, but they obviously have not (and can not) offer any real proof of this.

No, it's again intuitively obvious that a whole bunch, and I mean a WHOLE BUNCH, of things had to happen at once for even the simplest one-celled animal to begin. Suggesting that a complex, highly inter-dependent, self-assembling, self-reproducing, self-fueling, self-healing apparatus could emerge one small, undirected step at a time is just theater of the absurd. It's total nonsense, worthy of a literal ROFL.

And if you dispute that last statement, no problem - just show me how it's done. No one to date in human history has been able to do anything remotely like that, but I try to be open to reality. But I'm a scientist - show me your experiments, don't expect me to buy wild speculations.

That's not what Behe's irreducible complexity is. He says that the eye, the flagellum, and cilia are comprised of parts that have no other purpose. And that they could not function if any particular parts were removed. But that's simply not true. The flagellum is comprised of proteins and structures that all have other roles in other organisms. There are wide ranges of functioning eyes in nature that have only some parts of what our or other mammals' eyes have. You don't have to show how the flagellum evolved to debunk it as an irreducibly complex structure. You just have to show that its individual parts have other functions, which they do.
v3nesl
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7/9/2014 12:43:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 10:53:29 AM, Burzmali wrote:

I want an answer that is more than just "it is so," which is most of what comes from ID proponents. Your face example is actually more appropriate than you might realize. Face recognition is something that can be done with software. Facebook does it. Any camera made in the last couple of years does it. Google+ does it.

Ok, you make a good point. Just because I personally don't know how it's done doesn't mean it's inherently mysterious. On the other hand, my lack of knowledge of the process doesn't negate my ability to recognize faces.

I basically think you're barking up the wrong tree, and that's why we're talking past each other a little bit. I don't think the problem is nailing down some markers for design. The issue is that evolutionists believe there is a process that can create the appearance of design - something that looks designed, but isn't. So the disagreement here isn't that life appears designed, but whether it actually is or not.

I would venture that any metrics that could be established that would differentiate, say, a bowling ball from river rock, or a house from a cave, would put life in the design category. That's not really the argument here.


Also, why can't intelligence arise from non-intelligence? Maybe intelligence is just a reaction to stimuli.


No, if the word 'intelligence' is to have any meaning, it has to be something other than deterministic physical action/reaction. When we say "intelligence" we mean something metaphysical, something that can manipulate the physical world. It's like concept of a medium - the pits on a CD may encode Beethoven's 5th, but music is not pits on a CD.

So, can metaphysics somehow arise from the physical? It's the same as asking if there could be a spaghetti monster no one has seen yet. Yes, there may be, but there is zero evidence for either.


I'm not asking for an equation for design. I'm asking for an explanation of what people claim to see. If design proponents can simply claim to see it, then those of us who don't can simply claim we don't, and we get nowhere.

Well, fine: Life consists of cells that are remarkable electro/chemical/kinetic machines. They self-assemble, self-reproduce, self-fuel, and self-repair. Can you not see the radical difference between a cell and a rock slide, for instance?

And when you come to humans, cells self-differentiate. How is that possible? List just a few of wonders of the human body: The lymph system, the circulatory system, muscles, bone, heart, lungs, and, don't forget, the brain. Then consider that all of these systems self assemble from two microscopic cells, sperm and ovum. As the merged cell divides, varying sorts of cells are produced, somehow producing a brain, eyes, skin, knee joint, etc. etc.

Do you really mean to tell that, given two options, designed or random, unguided occurrence, you would put life in the rockslide category? I don't think so. I can't think you're being intellectually honest here.

That's not what Behe's irreducible complexity is. He says that the eye, the flagellum, and cilia are comprised of parts that have no other purpose.

No, you're conflating the argument against Behe with his argument. Behe, when studying the cell, noticed that many of the machines in the cell were, to coin an equivalent phrase - 100% optimized. That is, you could not remove a single element of the machine and still have it carry out it it's function. You can't have locomotion with the flagellum tail, or without the rotor, or without the bearing, etc. So that's what "Irreducibly complex" means, and as such it's not arguable, it's a definition, a feature of certain apparatuses.

What is debated is the conclusion Behe drew from this observation - such machines couldn't have evolved one piece at a time, since the apparatus has no function until the final piece is in place. There's no point in having a propeller if you don't have a motor to drive it, for instance. The argument that evolutionists made to this is to propose that the parts of the flagellum (for instance) had some other purpose before they were reused as a flagellum. But as I say, that's just a proposal, there's no evidence that this is the case. You might say the similarity of parts of the flagellum to other devices is evidence, but that evidence fits as well or better with design reuse, so I'm pointing out that there is no evidence that uniquely supports the evolutionary position (as it the case with most of evolution's evidence, btw).
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v3nesl
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7/9/2014 12:52:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 10:53:29 AM, Burzmali wrote:
. You don't have to show how the flagellum evolved to debunk it as an irreducibly complex structure. You just have to show that its individual parts have other functions, which they do.

I just feel the need to clarify the language and the logic here: The individual parts [of the flagellum] do NOT have other functions. The rotor of the flagellum is always the rotor of the flagellum, never anything else.

You mean to argue, I'm sure, that something similar to the rotor exists elsewhere in the cell. That does not prove much of anything really, it's like arguing that because the living room and the kitchen are both made from brick, one had to evolve from the other. The elbow is a lot like the knee in many ways, that doesn't mean some primate somehow modified the elbow when evolving a knee. It's a bit of a nonsense argument, really, which is why I call them 'last stand evolutionists'. Clearly they are in hunker down mode, not "ok, let's think about what this means" mode.
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RoyLatham
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7/9/2014 1:16:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The way we usually tell if something is a human design is by recognizing geometric figures in the structure: straight lines, circles, and so forth. But nature sometimes produces geometric figures. The Devils Postpile is natural construct in which hexagonal structures are packed together like a box of pencils. That is a product of crystals. Snowflakes are complex and regular, and suggest design. Early astronomers saw straight lines on Mars and some claimed they were "canals," then supposing a Martian civilization built them. Some human structures look organic. The Great Wall of China viewed from space looks like a natural feature; it wanders like a river.

Claiming "purpose" begs the question. Snowflakes are complex and regular, but how can we tell by looking at them whether or not they serve a purpose? Snowflakes make snow packs light, so maybe the purpose is to protect plants for being crushed ... or make up something else. Could the purpose of the Great Wall be deduced from a satellite photo of it? Close up, one could guess the purpose was to keep out invaders, because we happen to know the invaders had no airplanes and were restricted by technology. Without more information, we might suppose than rivers were constructed with the purpose of keeping out invaders.

ID proponents suppose they can construct scientific definitions of measures that will prove impossible leaps in evolution, or whatever. It has not happened. The concepts depend upon intuition of what is designed and what is not, like the canals of Mars.
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7/9/2014 1:45:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 1:16:16 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
The way we usually tell if something is a human design is by recognizing geometric figures in the structure: straight lines, circles, and so forth. But nature sometimes produces geometric figures. The Devils Postpile is natural construct in which hexagonal structures are packed together like a box of pencils. That is a product of crystals. Snowflakes are complex and regular, and suggest design. Early astronomers saw straight lines on Mars and some claimed they were "canals," then supposing a Martian civilization built them. Some human structures look organic. The Great Wall of China viewed from space looks like a natural feature; it wanders like a river.

Claiming "purpose" begs the question. Snowflakes are complex and regular, but how can we tell by looking at them whether or not they serve a purpose? Snowflakes make snow packs light, so maybe the purpose is to protect plants for being crushed ... or make up something else. Could the purpose of the Great Wall be deduced from a satellite photo of it? Close up, one could guess the purpose was to keep out invaders, because we happen to know the invaders had no airplanes and were restricted by technology. Without more information, we might suppose than rivers were constructed with the purpose of keeping out invaders.

ID proponents suppose they can construct scientific definitions of measures that will prove impossible leaps in evolution, or whatever. It has not happened. The concepts depend upon intuition of what is designed and what is not, like the canals of Mars.

I think the cell is a little more complex than canals on Mars. These are trivial examples. It's not like life has a few odd features that look like design: Oh look, some straight lines! No, it's the fact of DNA being equivalent to libraries of encyclopedias, the information necessary to construct and maintain and reproduce a human being rolled up inside every cell in our body. It's wonder upon wonder, a mind blowing three ring circus of super-human genius.
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Burzmali
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7/9/2014 2:08:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 12:43:13 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:53:29 AM, Burzmali wrote:

I want an answer that is more than just "it is so," which is most of what comes from ID proponents. Your face example is actually more appropriate than you might realize. Face recognition is something that can be done with software. Facebook does it. Any camera made in the last couple of years does it. Google+ does it.

Ok, you make a good point. Just because I personally don't know how it's done doesn't mean it's inherently mysterious. On the other hand, my lack of knowledge of the process doesn't negate my ability to recognize faces.

I basically think you're barking up the wrong tree, and that's why we're talking past each other a little bit. I don't think the problem is nailing down some markers for design. The issue is that evolutionists believe there is a process that can create the appearance of design - something that looks designed, but isn't. So the disagreement here isn't that life appears designed, but whether it actually is or not.

I would venture that any metrics that could be established that would differentiate, say, a bowling ball from river rock, or a house from a cave, would put life in the design category. That's not really the argument here.

No one can seem to explain, specifically, what the "appearance of design" even is, so I don't see how you can accuse evolutionists of believing a process can create it. And you can believe that any metrics might put life in the design category, I guess, but without any metrics that's just a blind assertion.

Also, why can't intelligence arise from non-intelligence? Maybe intelligence is just a reaction to stimuli.


No, if the word 'intelligence' is to have any meaning, it has to be something other than deterministic physical action/reaction. When we say "intelligence" we mean something metaphysical, something that can manipulate the physical world. It's like concept of a medium - the pits on a CD may encode Beethoven's 5th, but music is not pits on a CD.

So, can metaphysics somehow arise from the physical? It's the same as asking if there could be a spaghetti monster no one has seen yet. Yes, there may be, but there is zero evidence for either.

You may mean something metaphysical when you say "intelligence," but I certainly don't. Literally everything we know to be physical can be boiled down to action/reaction. Even some things that many people consider to be metaphysical, like love, we have a scientific, action/reaction understanding of. So why is "intelligence" somehow special in this regard? We assign meaningful terms to other action/reaction relationships, why can't "intelligence" be meaningful if it is the same kind of relationship?

I'm not asking for an equation for design. I'm asking for an explanation of what people claim to see. If design proponents can simply claim to see it, then those of us who don't can simply claim we don't, and we get nowhere.

Well, fine: Life consists of cells that are remarkable electro/chemical/kinetic machines. They self-assemble, self-reproduce, self-fuel, and self-repair. Can you not see the radical difference between a cell and a rock slide, for instance?

And when you come to humans, cells self-differentiate. How is that possible? List just a few of wonders of the human body: The lymph system, the circulatory system, muscles, bone, heart, lungs, and, don't forget, the brain. Then consider that all of these systems self assemble from two microscopic cells, sperm and ovum. As the merged cell divides, varying sorts of cells are produced, somehow producing a brain, eyes, skin, knee joint, etc. etc.

Do you really mean to tell that, given two options, designed or random, unguided occurrence, you would put life in the rockslide category? I don't think so. I can't think you're being intellectually honest here.

I'm comfortable saying I don't know if it's designed or not, and acknowledging that the evidence that we do have is not sourced from an outside intelligence.

That's not what Behe's irreducible complexity is. He says that the eye, the flagellum, and cilia are comprised of parts that have no other purpose.

No, you're conflating the argument against Behe with his argument. Behe, when studying the cell, noticed that many of the machines in the cell were, to coin an equivalent phrase - 100% optimized. That is, you could not remove a single element of the machine and still have it carry out it it's function. You can't have locomotion with the flagellum tail, or without the rotor, or without the bearing, etc. So that's what "Irreducibly complex" means, and as such it's not arguable, it's a definition, a feature of certain apparatuses.

What is debated is the conclusion Behe drew from this observation - such machines couldn't have evolved one piece at a time, since the apparatus has no function until the final piece is in place. There's no point in having a propeller if you don't have a motor to drive it, for instance. The argument that evolutionists made to this is to propose that the parts of the flagellum (for instance) had some other purpose before they were reused as a flagellum. But as I say, that's just a proposal, there's no evidence that this is the case. You might say the similarity of parts of the flagellum to other devices is evidence, but that evidence fits as well or better with design reuse, so I'm pointing out that there is no evidence that uniquely supports the evolutionary position (as it the case with most of evolution's evidence, btw).

The known flagella are definitely not "100%" optimized. The E. coli flagellum usually cited by ID proponents has about 40 proteins in it. But there are flagella that have fewer and some that have more. Only 23 of those proteins are common across known flagellates, and only two of those 23 don't have some other function elsewhere in the cell. The design (and "reuse") argument doesn't hold when so many parts for a supposedly "irreducibly complex" machine are so different and sometimes not even present.

As far as the "propeller" is concerned, it serves other functions in other organisms from the same position on the cell membrane and wall. It may not make any sense to have a "propeller" without a "motor", but we're talking about something more akin to turning a windmill weather vane into a generator by attaching a turbine. The filament was already functional on the cell, it just changed function through the addition of another structure.

This is the kind of stuff that directly contradicts Behe's claims of irreducible complexity.
RoyLatham
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7/9/2014 2:10:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 1:45:31 PM, v3nesl wrote:
I think the cell is a little more complex than canals on Mars. These are trivial examples. It's not like life has a few odd features that look like design: Oh look, some straight lines! No, it's the fact of DNA being equivalent to libraries of encyclopedias, the information necessary to construct and maintain and reproduce a human being rolled up inside every cell in our body. It's wonder upon wonder, a mind blowing three ring circus of super-human genius.

You rely entirely upon your feeling amazement, which is not a measure of science. For example, look at a map showing all the rivers and streams of North America. Isn't it amazing how all the flowing water goes through the complex system to reach the oceans? If you say, no, it really is not that amazing, I will just give you a another expression of wonder at the complexity of the hundreds or thousands of interconnected tributaries working to minimize flooding by carrying water to the oceans, and I would then proclaim it obvious that the system was a product of design.

The same could be done for the complexity of the solar system, the interactions of the Standard Model of particle physics, or the operation of extremely complex climate system. They are all complex and wonderful.

You are free to be amazed by existence, and to attribute it to God. However, that is an emotional reaction, not a scientific derivation. Many agree with the emotional majesty of creation, but think that God accomplished it with a relatively few natural laws. A really smart God would figure out how to do it without continual interference.
Burzmali
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7/9/2014 2:10:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 12:52:13 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:53:29 AM, Burzmali wrote:
. You don't have to show how the flagellum evolved to debunk it as an irreducibly complex structure. You just have to show that its individual parts have other functions, which they do.

I just feel the need to clarify the language and the logic here: The individual parts [of the flagellum] do NOT have other functions. The rotor of the flagellum is always the rotor of the flagellum, never anything else.

You mean to argue, I'm sure, that something similar to the rotor exists elsewhere in the cell. That does not prove much of anything really, it's like arguing that because the living room and the kitchen are both made from brick, one had to evolve from the other. The elbow is a lot like the knee in many ways, that doesn't mean some primate somehow modified the elbow when evolving a knee. It's a bit of a nonsense argument, really, which is why I call them 'last stand evolutionists'. Clearly they are in hunker down mode, not "ok, let's think about what this means" mode.

We're talking about proteins, which are used throughout the cell, not the equivalent of joints and tissues. That analogy would only work if animals were capable of moving their elbows to other parts of their bodies.
v3nesl
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7/10/2014 7:20:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 2:08:33 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 7/9/2014 12:43:13 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 7/9/2014 10:53:29 AM, Burzmali wrote:

I want an answer that is more than just "it is so," which is most of what comes from ID proponents. Your face example is actually more appropriate than you might realize. Face recognition is something that can be done with software. Facebook does it. Any camera made in the last couple of years does it. Google+ does it.

Ok, you make a good point. Just because I personally don't know how it's done doesn't mean it's inherently mysterious. On the other hand, my lack of knowledge of the process doesn't negate my ability to recognize faces.

I basically think you're barking up the wrong tree, and that's why we're talking past each other a little bit. I don't think the problem is nailing down some markers for design. The issue is that evolutionists believe there is a process that can create the appearance of design - something that looks designed, but isn't. So the disagreement here isn't that life appears designed, but whether it actually is or not.

I would venture that any metrics that could be established that would differentiate, say, a bowling ball from river rock, or a house from a cave, would put life in the design category. That's not really the argument here.

No one can seem to explain, specifically, what the "appearance of design" even is, so I don't see how you can accuse evolutionists of believing a process can create it.

Read "The Blind Watchmaker", by a prominent evolutionist. You seem to be just digging your heels in now, and that's boring.
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v3nesl
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7/10/2014 7:34:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 2:08:33 PM, Burzmali wrote:


You may mean something metaphysical when you say "intelligence," but I certainly don't. Literally everything we know to be physical can be boiled down to action/reaction. Even some things that many people consider to be metaphysical, like love, we have a scientific, action/reaction understanding of. So why is "intelligence" somehow special in this regard? We assign meaningful terms

breaking this down since the whole context is getting so big.

So, if you assign something, is it not necessary that the thing assigned is not the thing itself? So in fact you are agreeing to metaphysical when you say "assign meaningful terms" It is intelligence that lets you assign something to physical arrangements, ergo, intelligence is not itself essentially physical. Either you have this abstract thing we call intelligence, or you don't. If you choose "physical only" you are saying you don't have the metaphysical thing called intelligence and our discussion is over.

The filament was already functional on the cell, it just changed function through the addition of another structure.


Do you understand and/or are you willing to see, that this is just a guess? There is no evidence, beyond "same only different", that flagellum came from a filament. I know the circular reasoning runs deep in evolution, and if you're raised on it, you may accept circular reasoning as acceptable.

This is the kind of stuff that directly contradicts Behe's claims of irreducible complexity.

It does not. It suggests a possible answer to the dilemma. It's nothing more than a guess at a possible solution. Me, I ask myself why a community would present guess as settled science. I certainly don't implicitly trust people who will do that.
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v3nesl
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7/10/2014 7:47:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/9/2014 2:10:24 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 7/9/2014 1:45:31 PM, v3nesl wrote:
I think the cell is a little more complex than canals on Mars. These are trivial examples. It's not like life has a few odd features that look like design: Oh look, some straight lines! No, it's the fact of DNA being equivalent to libraries of encyclopedias, the information necessary to construct and maintain and reproduce a human being rolled up inside every cell in our body. It's wonder upon wonder, a mind blowing three ring circus of super-human genius.

You rely entirely upon your feeling amazement, which is not a measure of science. For example, look at a map showing all the rivers and streams of North America. Isn't it amazing how all the flowing water goes through the complex system to reach the oceans? If you say, no, it really is not that amazing, I will just give you a another expression of wonder at the complexity of the hundreds or thousands of interconnected tributaries working to minimize flooding by carrying water to the oceans, and I would then proclaim it obvious that the system was a product of design.


But you don't proclaim it obvious that rivers are designed. Nobody does. So you're creating an artificial example. It's not so easy to come up with actual examples of things people were sure were designed but aren't.

The same could be done for the complexity of the solar system, the interactions of the Standard Model of particle physics, or the operation of extremely complex climate system. They are all complex and wonderful.


And at some level a Christian thinks they all were designed. So, to narrow the evolution debate down to scientific terms, we could ask something more like "Can noise produce life, or was intelligently directed action required?"

You are free to be amazed by existence, and to attribute it to God. However, that is an emotional reaction, not a scientific derivation.

And you probably are unthinkingly supposing that "science" is something fundamentally different from emotion. But I'm afraid they both come from the same physical organ, don't they? An organ (the brain) that by your lights is the way it is ONLY because a brain like ours tends toward reproduction and survival. So belief in evolution will either tend to promote the human species or it will be selected out. Whether it's factually correct is completely irrelevant to natural selection.

So those who dismiss intuition are just not thinking it through very well. When you do think it through you realize that man can only recognize truth, or else never know it. Logic is a useful tool, but ultimately we can only know truth if we were designed to know truth. The only voltmeter I will use on my bench is one that was designed to be a voltmeter and calibrated before it was sent to me.

Many agree with the emotional majesty of creation, but think that God accomplished it with a relatively few natural laws. A really smart God would figure out how to do it without continual interference.

And so he has. And then people are frustrated that they don't see more of him.
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RoyLatham
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7/10/2014 11:19:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/10/2014 7:47:56 AM, v3nesl wrote:
But you don't proclaim it obvious that rivers are designed. Nobody does. So you're creating an artificial example. It's not so easy to come up with actual examples of things people were sure were designed but aren't.

You said that a degree of human amazement was the standard for telling whether something was designed or not. I argued that is not a good standard because the degree of amazement is not objective, so whether someone is amazed at all or to what degree they are amazed is irrelevant. One of the primary religious motivations is to explain the amazing. Why are their earthquakes? That's because the goddess Pele is displeased. Why is their rain and droughts? The gods are pleased or displeased. Why did hurricane Katrina strike New Orleans? Heavy sinning displeased God. The Argument from Amazement is one of the most common and enduring.

I argued that the system of rivers was amazing enough, on it's merits, to deserve a claim of design. You said that nobody had claimed design, so it was not a good example. Yes, that makes the point that what is amazing is purely subjective, and hence not a scientific argument. Many people do cite the organization of the universe as an example of wondrous design that proves God. Others do not. It's subjective.

The same could be done for the complexity of the solar system, the interactions of the Standard Model of particle physics, or the operation of extremely complex climate system. They are all complex and wonderful.

And at some level a Christian thinks they all were designed. So, to narrow the evolution debate down to scientific terms, we could ask something more like "Can noise produce life, or was intelligently directed action required?"

That's the wrong question. The question is "Can the laws of the universe acting upon the matter of the universe, produce life?" The counter argument is, "God is either not capable of designing a self-sufficient universe or chose not to, so divine intervention is necessary to bring about God's plan." The organization of the universe, the system of rivers, and climate system are all accept as operating not as "noise" but as products of the laws of nature. Many people consider them wondrous nonetheless.

You are free to be amazed by existence, and to attribute it to God. However, that is an emotional reaction, not a scientific derivation.

And you probably are unthinkingly supposing that "science" is something fundamentally different from emotion. But I'm afraid they both come from the same physical organ, don't they?

If there is no difference between subjective and objective, then modern medicine and a shaman beating a drum are on an equal basis for treating disease. No, science is all about keeping score on what works and what doesn't, and finding verifiable theories. that the brain is both emotional and objective doesn't destroy the distinction.

So those who dismiss intuition are just not thinking it through very well. When you do think it through you realize that man can only recognize truth, or else never know it.

"Intuition" is a different matter. Intuition can, I think, be a product of the subconscious mind processing clues. Intuition is sometimes right and sometimes wrong. After every plane crash, there are passengers who say they had an intuition ahead of time that it was going to crash. That's because some passengers have that intuition on every flight, no matter that most planes don't crash. Intuition may be helpful in recognizing truth sometimes, but it is certainly not reliable.

I thing it is best to just get used to not having complete certainty about anything. That doesn't prevent acting based upon likelihood.

Logic is a useful tool, but ultimately we can only know truth if we were designed to know truth. The only voltmeter I will use on my bench is one that was designed to be a voltmeter and calibrated before it was sent to me.

Agreed. Truth, in the sense of absolute certainty, is not knowable.

Many agree with the emotional majesty of creation, but think that God accomplished it with a relatively few natural laws. A really smart God would figure out how to do it without continual interference.

And so he has. And then people are frustrated that they don't see more of him.

Well, demanding God must have continually intervened to set things right denies that God could have worked entirely through natural laws. Deism, the religion of Madison and Jefferson, embodies the belief that God does not intervene by performing miracles. Buddhism teaches that is a waste of time to seek the unknowable, so that a person should not even ask about the existence of God.