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Question for Atheists and TEs

joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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2/18/2015 8:22:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?

It sounds like you're gradually going down the line of "what if we made synthetic life that is indistinguishable from naturally occurring life? then how would we differentiate the two?" I think you can see the problem here.

Realistically, if we made synthetic life, it would probably say "Made by xxxx corporation" or something on it. I'm not sure that the question you have posed here leads to any interesting or though provoking discussion.
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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2/18/2015 8:25:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?
I don't mind having a conversation over the subject. I will ask for some fairness though. I will try and answer your questions. But, if you side step mine then the conversation is over. In other words, extend me the courtesy I will extend you.
If it had the exact DNA, then got loose in the wild, then I would think it would be hard to distinguish between natural DNA and that which had been arranged with intent. However, I would also think, we are then using the DNA that is here to create our own animal, so we really didn't create life.
Can life arise naturally? It appears as though it has. We have zero evidence that it didn't. Can life arise non naturally?
Also, you side stepped the question I asked you. So here it is again. How would we distinguish the difference from life that arose naturally, compared to life that is intelligently designed? You claim to be an intelligent design advocate, if this is true, you should be able to answer this question. If you cannot, then you have no justification for that position.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/19/2015 3:13:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

I'm not a geneticist but an informatic engineer, JP, however I can attest that engineering decisions are usually discernable to other engineers just from inspecting design.

When we know how things are made -- and which things are easy or hard to produce -- then we can see where the effort has gone, and the effort tends to go where the highest value is.

Engineers can also see where short-cuts have been made, where ideas have been repeated, and where a designer's mind (or requirements or constraints) has changed. This comes about from understanding key design patterns, what they do, why they are used and their strengths and weaknesses,

A lot of the reason we know that terrestrial life wasn't planned is that we can see designs building on designs, taking new turns, then backtracking later. This is visible in both form and genetics of related species, and plain enough that even an informatic engineer like myself can understand it reasonably well.

I hope that may help.
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,225
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2/20/2015 12:58:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

Then it wouldn't be 'synthetic'. We already make like that has DNA exactly like it does now. Monsanto makes it, regularly.

Husbandry is based around this concept. All you are doing is taking a shortcut through the process and wanting to call it 'synthetic' for purposes of an argument. The word you are looking for is 'engineered', which we already know what the ramifications are regarding identification: we don't care. Such a creation either serves a purpose, or is discarded in a fashion befitting of its intent.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
http://www.debate.org...
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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2/20/2015 1:39:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.

This line of questioning completely sidesteps the real issue. ID theorists, as much as they like to deny it so that it doesn't come up at the school board meetings, are talking about something supernatural, i.e. their god. "Nuh-uh, the designer could be anything. Maybe it's aliens!" If you're honestly including aliens as possible designers, then you haven't done anything to explain the origins of life because the aliens are presumably living and that means the question remains the same: where did (alien) life come from? And, unless you're now going to be honest and reference your god, we're back at natural processes, i.e. abiogenesis.

So, in the interest of honesty, do you want to just fess up and admit that you're talking about your god as the designer? I am happy to entertain the hypotheticals you're talking about as long as we start from a place of honesty.
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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2/21/2015 8:28:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

Actualy transgenics and genetic modified organisms are already intelligently designed, aren't they?

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

Indeed.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

Not really. You don't have to identify that a robot is intelligently designed to realize it is a robot. In the same way, you don't need to identify that a human, or a dog is designed by nature in order to realize it is a human or a dog.

Also, if we were able to emulte the human brain to create such an IA, we would also be able to emulate the human body, and in the end, that being would be indistinguishable from a human. Even those who claim humans have souls, wouldn't be able to distinguish those beings, because nobody has a soul-detector.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

In an age of very advanced synthetic life, no, we wouldn't. They could be anatomicaly identical, and and smart enough to pretend to be human.

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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2/21/2015 11:11:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 8:25:03 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?
I don't mind having a conversation over the subject. I will ask for some fairness though. I will try and answer your questions. But, if you side step mine then the conversation is over. In other words, extend me the courtesy I will extend you.
If it had the exact DNA, then got loose in the wild, then I would think it would be hard to distinguish between natural DNA and that which had been arranged with intent. However, I would also think, we are then using the DNA that is here to create our own animal, so we really didn't create life.
Can life arise naturally? It appears as though it has. We have zero evidence that it didn't. Can life arise non naturally?
Also, you side stepped the question I asked you. So here it is again. How would we distinguish the difference from life that arose naturally, compared to life that is intelligently designed? You claim to be an intelligent design advocate, if this is true, you should be able to answer this question. If you cannot, then you have no justification for that position.

Forgive me. The way to clearly distinguish intelligently designed life from any hypothetical life arising from purely natural processes would be the presence of the signature of intelligent activity. Say for example we were to discover a living system that was maintained by several inter-connected advanced information processing systems. Surely that would be a clear signature of intelligent activity.
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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2/21/2015 11:17:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 8:22:19 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?

It sounds like you're gradually going down the line of "what if we made synthetic life that is indistinguishable from naturally occurring life? then how would we differentiate the two?" I think you can see the problem here.

Realistically, if we made synthetic life, it would probably say "Made by xxxx corporation" or something on it. I'm not sure that the question you have posed here leads to any interesting or though provoking discussion.

You are free to think what you wish. Nonetheless, let me go with the answer you have just given: if we made synthetic life, it would probably say "Made by xxxx corporation" or something on it.

If I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that there would be some sort of signature of intelligent agency that would lead us to the conclusion that the living organism in question was the product of intelligent agency. If this is what you are saying, I agree. I further submit that another great example of a signature of intelligence would be a living system that was maintained by a meta-system of shared information platforms. Wouldn't you agree that that would be another great example of the signature of intelligent agency?
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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2/21/2015 11:26:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/19/2015 3:13:55 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

I'm not a geneticist but an informatic engineer, JP, however I can attest that engineering decisions are usually discernable to other engineers just from inspecting design.

When we know how things are made -- and which things are easy or hard to produce -- then we can see where the effort has gone, and the effort tends to go where the highest value is.

Engineers can also see where short-cuts have been made, where ideas have been repeated, and where a designer's mind (or requirements or constraints) has changed. This comes about from understanding key design patterns, what they do, why they are used and their strengths and weaknesses,

A lot of the reason we know that terrestrial life wasn't planned is that we can see designs building on designs, taking new turns, then backtracking later. This is visible in both form and genetics of related species, and plain enough that even an informatic engineer like myself can understand it reasonably well.

I hope that may help.

You mean designs like the molecular machines that make life possible? Molecular machines that are far more advanced than any feats of engineering that intelligent designers like us have been able to achieve? Molecular machines that we are studying in the hopes that one day in the future we may be able to come close to mimicking them? Those kind of designs?
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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2/21/2015 11:48:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/20/2015 1:39:00 AM, Burzmali wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.

This line of questioning completely sidesteps the real issue. ID theorists, as much as they like to deny it so that it doesn't come up at the school board meetings, are talking about something supernatural, i.e. their god. "Nuh-uh, the designer could be anything. Maybe it's aliens!" If you're honestly including aliens as possible designers, then you haven't done anything to explain the origins of life because the aliens are presumably living and that means the question remains the same: where did (alien) life come from? And, unless you're now going to be honest and reference your god, we're back at natural processes, i.e. abiogenesis.

So, in the interest of honesty, do you want to just fess up and admit that you're talking about your god as the designer? I am happy to entertain the hypotheticals you're talking about as long as we start from a place of honesty.

I am always happy to talk about God as the designer. Of course if you truly understand ID theory, then you also understand that if you are ready to talk about God as the designer, you have already reached the conclusion that ID is the best causal explanation for the origin of life.

You see, ID theory - whether you like it or not - makes the case that the best causal explanation for the origin of life is intelligent agency. The primary (but not exclusive) evidence for this is the information of life. The type of information that is manifest in living systems - it has been called functional information, prescriptive information, universal information, wetware, etc - always comes from a mind. Whether we can agree on the identity of the designer is irrelevant to the explanatory power of the proposition.

Now let's have a little intellectual honesty from you: we have a lot of empirical experience with physical artifacts that are the products of intelligent agency. Your smart phone would be an example. No laws of nature were broken in the creation of your functional smart phone, yet I am confident you and I can both readily agree that for a functional smart phone to emerge from purely natural processes without the hand of a deliberate intelligent agent, is beyond the scope of purely natural processes. Now I want to know exactly what you mean when you use the word "supernatural." Would you say that your smart phone is the product of a supernatural event? If your answer is yes, then by your definition, supernatural events occur all the time and we have no shortage of empirical verification. On the other hand, if you answer is no, then you must concede that the physical effects of deliberate intelligent agency do not constitute supernatural events.

I have an idea: I have invited a very easy and very logical falsification of ID theory. I have invited it so very many times here on DDO that I have lost track. Here's the thing. No one has been able to falsify ID. I recently created a thread, "Falsify ID." While I appreciate that you want to join in the conversation, I think it is obvious that what you would really like to do is falsify ID. Let me refer you to that forum!
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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2/22/2015 2:16:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 11:48:06 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/20/2015 1:39:00 AM, Burzmali wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.

This line of questioning completely sidesteps the real issue. ID theorists, as much as they like to deny it so that it doesn't come up at the school board meetings, are talking about something supernatural, i.e. their god. "Nuh-uh, the designer could be anything. Maybe it's aliens!" If you're honestly including aliens as possible designers, then you haven't done anything to explain the origins of life because the aliens are presumably living and that means the question remains the same: where did (alien) life come from? And, unless you're now going to be honest and reference your god, we're back at natural processes, i.e. abiogenesis.

So, in the interest of honesty, do you want to just fess up and admit that you're talking about your god as the designer? I am happy to entertain the hypotheticals you're talking about as long as we start from a place of honesty.

I am always happy to talk about God as the designer. Of course if you truly understand ID theory, then you also understand that if you are ready to talk about God as the designer, you have already reached the conclusion that ID is the best causal explanation for the origin of life.

No, it's only once the ID proponent admits that they're trying to push their god that we can talk about ID honestly. Because the only way that ID can possibly be explanatory about the origin of life is for that origin to not, itself, be living. So are you saying your god is not alive?

You see, ID theory - whether you like it or not - makes the case that the best causal explanation for the origin of life is intelligent agency. The primary (but not exclusive) evidence for this is the information of life. The type of information that is manifest in living systems - it has been called functional information, prescriptive information, universal information, wetware, etc - always comes from a mind. Whether we can agree on the identity of the designer is irrelevant to the explanatory power of the proposition.

Now let's have a little intellectual honesty from you: we have a lot of empirical experience with physical artifacts that are the products of intelligent agency. Your smart phone would be an example. No laws of nature were broken in the creation of your functional smart phone, yet I am confident you and I can both readily agree that for a functional smart phone to emerge from purely natural processes without the hand of a deliberate intelligent agent, is beyond the scope of purely natural processes. Now I want to know exactly what you mean when you use the word "supernatural." Would you say that your smart phone is the product of a supernatural event? If your answer is yes, then by your definition, supernatural events occur all the time and we have no shortage of empirical verification. On the other hand, if you answer is no, then you must concede that the physical effects of deliberate intelligent agency do not constitute supernatural events.

I have an idea: I have invited a very easy and very logical falsification of ID theory. I have invited it so very many times here on DDO that I have lost track. Here's the thing. No one has been able to falsify ID. I recently created a thread, "Falsify ID." While I appreciate that you want to join in the conversation, I think it is obvious that what you would really like to do is falsify ID. Let me refer you to that forum!

As you've so well illustrated with the smartphone example, we are part of nature. That means we're part of natural processes, which means we are examples of natural processes producing code. And that's exactly what you asked for in that falsify ID thread. So I guess it's falsified. Or would you like to head over there and move the goalposts?
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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2/22/2015 9:36:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 11:17:49 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:22:19 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?

It sounds like you're gradually going down the line of "what if we made synthetic life that is indistinguishable from naturally occurring life? then how would we differentiate the two?" I think you can see the problem here.

Realistically, if we made synthetic life, it would probably say "Made by xxxx corporation" or something on it. I'm not sure that the question you have posed here leads to any interesting or though provoking discussion.

You are free to think what you wish. Nonetheless, let me go with the answer you have just given: if we made synthetic life, it would probably say "Made by xxxx corporation" or something on it.

If I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that there would be some sort of signature of intelligent agency that would lead us to the conclusion that the living organism in question was the product of intelligent agency. If this is what you are saying, I agree. I further submit that another great example of a signature of intelligence would be a living system that was maintained by a meta-system of shared information platforms. Wouldn't you agree that that would be another great example of the signature of intelligent agency?

No, I don't agree that would a good example of a signature. There is no ambiguity if it literally said "Made by xxxx" on it. If you have to infer that it was made by someone, it's not a clear signature. What do you even mean by 'meta-system of shared information platforms' in this context? I don't see that we observe this for life on our planet. DNA is similar across living organisms, but information is not shared.
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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2/22/2015 1:55:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 11:11:12 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:25:03 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?
I don't mind having a conversation over the subject. I will ask for some fairness though. I will try and answer your questions. But, if you side step mine then the conversation is over. In other words, extend me the courtesy I will extend you.
If it had the exact DNA, then got loose in the wild, then I would think it would be hard to distinguish between natural DNA and that which had been arranged with intent. However, I would also think, we are then using the DNA that is here to create our own animal, so we really didn't create life.
Can life arise naturally? It appears as though it has. We have zero evidence that it didn't. Can life arise non naturally?
Also, you side stepped the question I asked you. So here it is again. How would we distinguish the difference from life that arose naturally, compared to life that is intelligently designed? You claim to be an intelligent design advocate, if this is true, you should be able to answer this question. If you cannot, then you have no justification for that position.

Forgive me. The way to clearly distinguish intelligently designed life from any hypothetical life arising from purely natural processes would be the presence of the signature of intelligent activity. Say for example we were to discover a living system that was maintained by several inter-connected advanced information processing systems. Surely that would be a clear signature of intelligent activity.
Sorry, can you clarity what you are meaning in that response. "the presence of the signature of intelligent activity." What does that mean exactly? "a living system that was maintained by several inter-connected advanced information processing systems." I'm still not sure what exactly you are referring to. Is this the irreducible complexity that has largely been refuted? I know of Michael Beebe, the Dover trials, and his comparison to ID to astrology. Can you give me an example of what you are referring to? Also I would like to know how you know that can't arise naturally.
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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3/3/2015 9:17:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 2:16:27 AM, Burzmali wrote:
At 2/21/2015 11:48:06 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/20/2015 1:39:00 AM, Burzmali wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.

This line of questioning completely sidesteps the real issue. ID theorists, as much as they like to deny it so that it doesn't come up at the school board meetings, are talking about something supernatural, i.e. their god. "Nuh-uh, the designer could be anything. Maybe it's aliens!" If you're honestly including aliens as possible designers, then you haven't done anything to explain the origins of life because the aliens are presumably living and that means the question remains the same: where did (alien) life come from? And, unless you're now going to be honest and reference your god, we're back at natural processes, i.e. abiogenesis.

So, in the interest of honesty, do you want to just fess up and admit that you're talking about your god as the designer? I am happy to entertain the hypotheticals you're talking about as long as we start from a place of honesty.

I am always happy to talk about God as the designer. Of course if you truly understand ID theory, then you also understand that if you are ready to talk about God as the designer, you have already reached the conclusion that ID is the best causal explanation for the origin of life.

No, it's only once the ID proponent admits that they're trying to push their god that we can talk about ID honestly. Because the only way that ID can possibly be explanatory about the origin of life is for that origin to not, itself, be living. So are you saying your god is not alive?

You see, ID theory - whether you like it or not - makes the case that the best causal explanation for the origin of life is intelligent agency. The primary (but not exclusive) evidence for this is the information of life. The type of information that is manifest in living systems - it has been called functional information, prescriptive information, universal information, wetware, etc - always comes from a mind. Whether we can agree on the identity of the designer is irrelevant to the explanatory power of the proposition.

Now let's have a little intellectual honesty from you: we have a lot of empirical experience with physical artifacts that are the products of intelligent agency. Your smart phone would be an example. No laws of nature were broken in the creation of your functional smart phone, yet I am confident you and I can both readily agree that for a functional smart phone to emerge from purely natural processes without the hand of a deliberate intelligent agent, is beyond the scope of purely natural processes. Now I want to know exactly what you mean when you use the word "supernatural." Would you say that your smart phone is the product of a supernatural event? If your answer is yes, then by your definition, supernatural events occur all the time and we have no shortage of empirical verification. On the other hand, if you answer is no, then you must concede that the physical effects of deliberate intelligent agency do not constitute supernatural events.

I have an idea: I have invited a very easy and very logical falsification of ID theory. I have invited it so very many times here on DDO that I have lost track. Here's the thing. No one has been able to falsify ID. I recently created a thread, "Falsify ID." While I appreciate that you want to join in the conversation, I think it is obvious that what you would really like to do is falsify ID. Let me refer you to that forum!

As you've so well illustrated with the smartphone example, we are part of nature. That means we're part of natural processes, which means we are examples of natural processes producing code. And that's exactly what you asked for in that falsify ID thread. So I guess it's falsified. Or would you like to head over there and move the goalposts?

If you are claiming that the cause of life is purely natural processes, I would love for you to provide one single shred of empirical support for such a proposition.

But for now, let's give your outrageous claim a pass in the interest of fleshing this conversation out a little bit: would you then say that there is no way for us to be able to distinguish the physical effects of an intelligent agent acting with intent and purpose ( oh, say for example, a human ) from the physical effects of the blind forces of nature in at least some instances? For example, in the instance of a smart phone?

I would love for you to directly address this question. If you value truth more than you value the blind faith belief that the blind forces of nature are responsible for this deeply ordered universe and the cybernetically programmed living systems that inhabit it, such an exercise just might prompt you to consider what is actually reasonable to believe. Of course, on the other hand, if you value your blind faith belief more than you value truth, you will most definitely wish to continue to find new ways to dodge or even ignore my direct question.
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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3/3/2015 9:32:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 9:36:39 AM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 2/21/2015 11:17:49 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:22:19 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?

It sounds like you're gradually going down the line of "what if we made synthetic life that is indistinguishable from naturally occurring life? then how would we differentiate the two?" I think you can see the problem here.

Realistically, if we made synthetic life, it would probably say "Made by xxxx corporation" or something on it. I'm not sure that the question you have posed here leads to any interesting or though provoking discussion.

You are free to think what you wish. Nonetheless, let me go with the answer you have just given: if we made synthetic life, it would probably say "Made by xxxx corporation" or something on it.

If I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that there would be some sort of signature of intelligent agency that would lead us to the conclusion that the living organism in question was the product of intelligent agency. If this is what you are saying, I agree. I further submit that another great example of a signature of intelligence would be a living system that was maintained by a meta-system of shared information platforms. Wouldn't you agree that that would be another great example of the signature of intelligent agency?

No, I don't agree that would a good example of a signature. There is no ambiguity if it literally said "Made by xxxx" on it. If you have to infer that it was made by someone, it's not a clear signature. What do you even mean by 'meta-system of shared information platforms' in this context? I don't see that we observe this for life on our planet. DNA is similar across living organisms, but information is not shared.

Please study material on the epigenome. You also might wish to check out the growing fields of systems biology, bioinformatics, and biosemiosis.

But for now, let's examine this claim: If you have to infer that it was made by someone, it's not a clear signature

I'm struggling here and am hoping that you can help me. I cannot even imagine an example of a cybernetically programmed physical aritifact that would not constitute a clear signature of design. Let me give you an example of my struggle:

Let's say that you invented a time machine. To test the machine, you went back to the old west and then returned. When you realized that you had left your smart phone there, you attempted to return, but alas, your time machine had broken. Meanwhile, back in the old west, your smart phone has been discovered.

Even though no one in the old west would have the slightest idea of what a smart phone was, do you think for a second that anyone would ascribe its cause to purely natural processes?
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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3/3/2015 9:43:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 1:55:44 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/21/2015 11:11:12 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:25:03 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?
I don't mind having a conversation over the subject. I will ask for some fairness though. I will try and answer your questions. But, if you side step mine then the conversation is over. In other words, extend me the courtesy I will extend you.
If it had the exact DNA, then got loose in the wild, then I would think it would be hard to distinguish between natural DNA and that which had been arranged with intent. However, I would also think, we are then using the DNA that is here to create our own animal, so we really didn't create life.
Can life arise naturally? It appears as though it has. We have zero evidence that it didn't. Can life arise non naturally?
Also, you side stepped the question I asked you. So here it is again. How would we distinguish the difference from life that arose naturally, compared to life that is intelligently designed? You claim to be an intelligent design advocate, if this is true, you should be able to answer this question. If you cannot, then you have no justification for that position.

Forgive me. The way to clearly distinguish intelligently designed life from any hypothetical life arising from purely natural processes would be the presence of the signature of intelligent activity. Say for example we were to discover a living system that was maintained by several inter-connected advanced information processing systems. Surely that would be a clear signature of intelligent activity.
Sorry, can you clarity what you are meaning in that response. "the presence of the signature of intelligent activity." What does that mean exactly? "a living system that was maintained by several inter-connected advanced information processing systems." I'm still not sure what exactly you are referring to. Is this the irreducible complexity that has largely been refuted? I know of Michael Beebe, the Dover trials, and his comparison to ID to astrology. Can you give me an example of what you are referring to? Also I would like to know how you know that can't arise naturally.

All life - even the simplest living organism - is run by many information systems; indeed, all life is cybernetically programmed. Therefore, to put what I am saying here into the format of a logical proposition:

1. All life is cybernetically programmed
2. Cybernetic programming is a clear signature of the activity of intelligent agency
3. Therefore, life manifests the clear signature of the activity of intelligent agency.

This forum is not about Michael Behe or Dover, but it is clear that you have not really researched either. To say that "Behe has been largely refuted," is to say that you have read that there are some who have attacked his conclusions. It may therefore surprise you to know that those attacks have been thoroughly refuted. When one scientist advances proposals that do not sit well with other scientists, it is only natural that the other scientists attack the one. If you wish to explore exactly who or what has been successfully refuted concerning the work of Behe, by all means, launch a forum to that effect and I will be happy to contribute.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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3/3/2015 11:51:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/3/2015 9:17:37 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
If you are claiming that the cause of life is purely natural processes, I would love for you to provide one single shred of empirical support for such a proposition.

I'm not making any claims about the origin of life. I'm addressing your claim that it's intelligently designed, as well as the dishonesty of ID in general. I noticed you ignored my question up above. Is your god alive or no?

But for now, let's give your outrageous claim a pass in the interest of fleshing this conversation out a little bit: would you then say that there is no way for us to be able to distinguish the physical effects of an intelligent agent acting with intent and purpose ( oh, say for example, a human ) from the physical effects of the blind forces of nature in at least some instances? For example, in the instance of a smart phone?

We know that things are designed because we have designed them. Once we design a form of life, we'll be able to see what kinds of things we've designed into that particular life. However, I think it's very unlikely that anyone would be able to detect such design who did not know what had been designed into it in the first place. That's especially so if said life is designed and produced using processes that closely mirror non-human natural processes.

I would love for you to directly address this question. If you value truth more than you value the blind faith belief that the blind forces of nature are responsible for this deeply ordered universe and the cybernetically programmed living systems that inhabit it, such an exercise just might prompt you to consider what is actually reasonable to believe. Of course, on the other hand, if you value your blind faith belief more than you value truth, you will most definitely wish to continue to find new ways to dodge or even ignore my direct question.

I don't hold a belief about the origin of life. Please learn to read what is written. I admit that I don't know and am withholding belief in the absence of evidence.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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3/4/2015 12:21:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 8:22:19 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?

It sounds like you're gradually going down the line of "what if we made synthetic life that is indistinguishable from naturally occurring life? then how would we differentiate the two?" I think you can see the problem here.

Realistically, if we made synthetic life, it would probably say "Made by xxxx corporation" or something on it. I'm not sure that the question you have posed here leads to any interesting or though provoking discussion.

Really, you don't think 'made by xxxxx' could arise by chance?

What if this phrase was encoded in the life form, you don't think natural mutation could account for such a phrase?

What is it about 'made by xxxxx' that makes it unlikely to come from natural proccesses devoid of intelligent agency?

I'm curious to hear what properties you associate with design.
Sosoconfused
Posts: 237
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3/4/2015 12:40:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

It would be fairly easy to distinguish even if it were based on DNA models. Human designers would likely not include none-coding DNA/junk DNA. We wouldn't need to as it's design wouldn't warrant it. I understand that some non-coding DNA is used for gene expression, regulation, etc.., however, plants like the bladderwort show us that very little non-coding DNA is needed for complex life to exist (only 3% of it's genome is non-coding). Given that the human genome is 98% non-coding, it would be easy to discern synthetic life from non-synthetic based on the size of the genome alone.


What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would probably look very designed; i.e. eyes designed to see through air, stronger, faster, etc...perhaps even smarter. Designed to integrate with technology rather than just interact with it.....It would seem silly to limit synthetic life to our evolutionary progress if we could improve upon it.


Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?

Life that arose naturally is rather clumsy for the tasks it performs. For example, for an apex predator, we are very weak and slow. We only have our brains to thank for our survival. Synthetic life would be designed for specific tasks rather than allow environment and chance to affect design. I.e. strong versions for manual labor, extremely smart life forms for problem solving, very hardy life forms to work in extreme environments, etc.... They wouldn't be stumbling around being mediocre at everything, they'd be great at just one or two.

Why couldn't life arise naturally? Is there anything prohibiting it? The only argument against life forming naturally is our inability to produce it in labs at this very moment and the perceived unlikeliness due to the complexity we see today. However, the probability argument is fairly poor as the properties of the earliest "cell-like cluster" are unknown and purely speculative, thus we can't extrapolate how likely or unlikely it's to have formed.

The other question is also, what constitutes life? Viruses are interesting little buggers that bring about profound questions as to the properties of life. How can we even talk about the properties of early life when we don't have that great of a definition of life? How can we say that x is alive, but y and z aren't because they have almost all the properties of x save one or two? The question that first needs answering is how do we define life? When does a membrane of lipids become a living thing rather than a fatty acid membrane with random organic material inside of it?
Sosoconfused
Posts: 237
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3/4/2015 2:00:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

On a side note:
DNA will likely not be the base for the first synthetic life form. Sounds like they're working on XNA to create synthetic life forms. Kinda cool stuff

http://www.sciencealert.com...

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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3/4/2015 7:31:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/3/2015 11:51:12 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 3/3/2015 9:17:37 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
If you are claiming that the cause of life is purely natural processes, I would love for you to provide one single shred of empirical support for such a proposition.

I'm not making any claims about the origin of life. I'm addressing your claim that it's intelligently designed, as well as the dishonesty of ID in general. I noticed you ignored my question up above. Is your god alive or no?

But for now, let's give your outrageous claim a pass in the interest of fleshing this conversation out a little bit: would you then say that there is no way for us to be able to distinguish the physical effects of an intelligent agent acting with intent and purpose ( oh, say for example, a human ) from the physical effects of the blind forces of nature in at least some instances? For example, in the instance of a smart phone?

We know that things are designed because we have designed them. Once we design a form of life, we'll be able to see what kinds of things we've designed into that particular life. However, I think it's very unlikely that anyone would be able to detect such design who did not know what had been designed into it in the first place. That's especially so if said life is designed and produced using processes that closely mirror non-human natural processes.

I would love for you to directly address this question. If you value truth more than you value the blind faith belief that the blind forces of nature are responsible for this deeply ordered universe and the cybernetically programmed living systems that inhabit it, such an exercise just might prompt you to consider what is actually reasonable to believe. Of course, on the other hand, if you value your blind faith belief more than you value truth, you will most definitely wish to continue to find new ways to dodge or even ignore my direct question.

I don't hold a belief about the origin of life. Please learn to read what is written. I admit that I don't know and am withholding belief in the absence of evidence.

For God's sake, man, at least have kahonies enough to own up for the things you yourself have written:

As you've so well illustrated with the smartphone example, we are part of nature. That means we're part of natural processes, which means we are examples of natural processes producing code.


You are either saying something here or you aren't. If you really want to say that you are saying nothing, I can easily buy that. But if there is something to what you are saying, you ought to have at least a shred of integrity here.
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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3/4/2015 9:19:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Reply to Sosoconfused....

Human designers would likely not include none-coding DNA/junk DNA. We wouldn't need to as it's design wouldn't warrant it. ... Given that the human genome is 98% non-coding, it would be easy to discern synthetic life from non-synthetic based on the size of the genome alone.

The assumption that because about 98% of the genome does not code for proteins, it is therefore useless junk, comes from an evolutionary and abiogenesis framework. It has been proved to be an argument from pure ignorance and purely wrong. I strongly urge you to educate yourself on the some 30 plus public access papers by the ENCODE project. Encode was a massive several year effort to study the genome. Hundreds of scientists on several continents participated in the effort, and their findings have completely demolished the myth that most of the genome is useless junk.

Indeed, the saga of so-called "junk DNA" provides a fascinating study of two diametrically opposed views on life. Several design theorists are on record as predicting that we would discover that most of the genome is functional. Indeed, ENCODE has claimed to have found function for about 80% of the genome! So what of the non-protein coding function? It turns out that these are often higher level controls. So in fact, not only is crucial information encoded in the so-called junk, it turns out that much of this information is regulatory and represents an additional level of information that often exercises control over protein coding.

Thus, the design paradigm has proved to be correct and most helpful providing insights into the inner workings of life. Meanwhile, the evolutionary assumptions in this case have proved to be a science stopper.

It would probably look very designed

Even before the information of life was discovered, life looked very designed. Darwin's great achievement was not that his theory replaced the fact that life looked designed, but that it explained an appearance of design. Now that the information of life and the nanotechnology of life are coming to light, the appearance of design is looking more and more like actual design again.

Life that arose naturally is rather clumsy for the tasks it performs.

The technology of life lies completely beyond our capabilities. To call technology that exceeds our capabilities by many orders of magnitude "clumsy," seems to me to be the height of intellectual hubris.

Synthetic life would be designed for specific tasks rather than allow environment and chance to affect design.

Two problems with this claim:
1) You are imposing your own purposes onto the design. It is perfectly reasonable to acknowledge the very real possibility that the Designer has a different purpose in mind.
2) Are you saying that an ability to adapt is a negative?

Why couldn't life arise naturally?

To ask this question is to ask "Why can't semiotic language arise naturally?," or , "Why can't nanotechnology arise naturally?" To the intellectually honest, the answer is obvious.

The other question is also, what constitutes life? Viruses are interesting little buggers that bring about profound questions as to the properties of life. How can we even talk about the properties of early life when we don't have that great of a definition of life?

You are correct to point out that we don't have a single definition of life. However, we do know that everything that can be described as being alive manifests certain properties (an exhaustive list of these properties appears in the concluded DDO debate that I participated in: http://www.debate.org...). Certainly, everything that can be described as being alive contains DNA, to include viruses. DNA is genetic information, and underpins all living organisms. Therefore, it is fair to say that the origin of life is the origin of genetic information.
joepalcsak
Posts: 409
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3/4/2015 9:20:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/4/2015 12:40:00 AM, Sosoconfused wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

It would be fairly easy to distinguish even if it were based on DNA models. Human designers would likely not include none-coding DNA/junk DNA. We wouldn't need to as it's design wouldn't warrant it. I understand that some non-coding DNA is used for gene expression, regulation, etc.., however, plants like the bladderwort show us that very little non-coding DNA is needed for complex life to exist (only 3% of it's genome is non-coding). Given that the human genome is 98% non-coding, it would be easy to discern synthetic life from non-synthetic based on the size of the genome alone.


What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would probably look very designed; i.e. eyes designed to see through air, stronger, faster, etc...perhaps even smarter. Designed to integrate with technology rather than just interact with it.....It would seem silly to limit synthetic life to our evolutionary progress if we could improve upon it.



Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?

Life that arose naturally is rather clumsy for the tasks it performs. For example, for an apex predator, we are very weak and slow. We only have our brains to thank for our survival. Synthetic life would be designed for specific tasks rather than allow environment and chance to affect design. I.e. strong versions for manual labor, extremely smart life forms for problem solving, very hardy life forms to work in extreme environments, etc.... They wouldn't be stumbling around being mediocre at everything, they'd be great at just one or two.

Why couldn't life arise naturally? Is there anything prohibiting it? The only argument against life forming naturally is our inability to produce it in labs at this very moment and the perceived unlikeliness due to the complexity we see today. However, the probability argument is fairly poor as the properties of the earliest "cell-like cluster" are unknown and purely speculative, thus we can't extrapolate how likely or unlikely it's to have formed.

The other question is also, what constitutes life? Viruses are interesting little buggers that bring about profound questions as to the properties of life. How can we even talk about the properties of early life when we don't have that great of a definition of life? How can we say that x is alive, but y and z aren't because they have almost all the properties of x save one or two? The question that first needs answering is how do we define life? When does a membrane of lipids become a living thing rather than a fatty acid membrane with random organic material inside of it?

please find my response in the previous post
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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3/4/2015 1:27:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/4/2015 7:31:24 AM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 3/3/2015 11:51:12 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 3/3/2015 9:17:37 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
If you are claiming that the cause of life is purely natural processes, I would love for you to provide one single shred of empirical support for such a proposition.

I'm not making any claims about the origin of life. I'm addressing your claim that it's intelligently designed, as well as the dishonesty of ID in general. I noticed you ignored my question up above. Is your god alive or no?

But for now, let's give your outrageous claim a pass in the interest of fleshing this conversation out a little bit: would you then say that there is no way for us to be able to distinguish the physical effects of an intelligent agent acting with intent and purpose ( oh, say for example, a human ) from the physical effects of the blind forces of nature in at least some instances? For example, in the instance of a smart phone?

We know that things are designed because we have designed them. Once we design a form of life, we'll be able to see what kinds of things we've designed into that particular life. However, I think it's very unlikely that anyone would be able to detect such design who did not know what had been designed into it in the first place. That's especially so if said life is designed and produced using processes that closely mirror non-human natural processes.

I would love for you to directly address this question. If you value truth more than you value the blind faith belief that the blind forces of nature are responsible for this deeply ordered universe and the cybernetically programmed living systems that inhabit it, such an exercise just might prompt you to consider what is actually reasonable to believe. Of course, on the other hand, if you value your blind faith belief more than you value truth, you will most definitely wish to continue to find new ways to dodge or even ignore my direct question.

I don't hold a belief about the origin of life. Please learn to read what is written. I admit that I don't know and am withholding belief in the absence of evidence.

For God's sake, man, at least have kahonies enough to own up for the things you yourself have written:

As you've so well illustrated with the smartphone example, we are part of nature. That means we're part of natural processes, which means we are examples of natural processes producing code.


You are either saying something here or you aren't. If you really want to say that you are saying nothing, I can easily buy that. But if there is something to what you are saying, you ought to have at least a shred of integrity here.

Nice job focusing on a two sentence snippet and removing all context for it. Are we having a conversation or a war of one-liners? Please tell me, so I stop wasting time trying to elaborate, and we can just zing each other back and forth.

Anyway, I have no problem owning up to what I said there. It's a pretty direct counter to what you've posted in your Falsify ID thread. How you seemingly jump from that to the idea that I have some belief about the origin of life is beyond me, though.

That is a pretty cute dodge, by the way. Is your god alive or not?
tahirimanov
Posts: 43
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3/4/2015 1:40:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It all depends on how you define "life" or "alive".

Is it self-replication, or having intelligence?

It really doesn't matter, "Intelligent Design Argument" for universe or life on earth, is not the same, like "intelligent design argument" for chair.
I am smart.....
Sosoconfused
Posts: 237
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3/4/2015 3:14:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/4/2015 9:19:53 AM, joepalcsak wrote:
Reply to Sosoconfused....

Human designers would likely not include none-coding DNA/junk DNA. We wouldn't need to as it's design wouldn't warrant it. ... Given that the human genome is 98% non-coding, it would be easy to discern synthetic life from non-synthetic based on the size of the genome alone.

The assumption that because about 98% of the genome does not code for proteins, it is therefore useless junk, comes from an evolutionary and abiogenesis framework. It has been proved to be an argument from pure ignorance and purely wrong. I strongly urge you to educate yourself on the some 30 plus public access papers by the ENCODE project. Encode was a massive several year effort to study the genome. Hundreds of scientists on several continents participated in the effort, and their findings have completely demolished the myth that most of the genome is useless junk.

Indeed, the saga of so-called "junk DNA" provides a fascinating study of two diametrically opposed views on life. Several design theorists are on record as predicting that we would discover that most of the genome is functional. Indeed, ENCODE has claimed to have found function for about 80% of the genome! So what of the non-protein coding function? It turns out that these are often higher level controls. So in fact, not only is crucial information encoded in the so-called junk, it turns out that much of this information is regulatory and represents an additional level of information that often exercises control over protein coding.

The ENOCDE project was heavily criticized for their methodology in coming up with the 80% number. It claims that transcription = functions. Simply because the code is transcribed doesn't mean it has function. Here is a good article describing the criticism
http://www.scientificamerican.com...


Thus, the design paradigm has proved to be correct and most helpful providing insights into the inner workings of life. Meanwhile, the evolutionary assumptions in this case have proved to be a science stopper.

It would probably look very designed

Even before the information of life was discovered, life looked very designed. Darwin's great achievement was not that his theory replaced the fact that life looked designed, but that it explained an appearance of design. Now that the information of life and the nanotechnology of life are coming to light, the appearance of design is looking more and more like actual design again.

Life that arose naturally is rather clumsy for the tasks it performs.

The technology of life lies completely beyond our capabilities. To call technology that exceeds our capabilities by many orders of magnitude "clumsy," seems to me to be the height of intellectual hubris

Synthetic life would be designed for specific tasks rather than allow environment and chance to affect design.

Two problems with this claim:
1) You are imposing your own purposes onto the design. It is perfectly reasonable to acknowledge the very real possibility that the Designer has a different purpose in mind.

We design things for a purpose. The first forms of artificial life will likely be simple. Made to do a certain job; i.e. create fuels, etc... Why would we create synthetic life that didn't have a specific job? The application fuels design.

2) Are you saying that an ability to adapt is a negative?

No, I'm saying that if we can skip evolution and design a life form for a specific task we would do so. It just makes more sense. It's quicker and of more immediate usefulness. Synthetic life would likely be a tool for us to use rather than an experiment in evolutionary biology.


Why couldn't life arise naturally?

To ask this question is to ask "Why can't semiotic language arise naturally?," or , "Why can't nanotechnology arise naturally?" To the intellectually honest, the answer is obvious.

No; you presume your conclusion on the basis of false analogy. Nanotech is by no way the a good comparison to life. While semiotic language and DNA/RNA are analogous, doesn't mean they are equivocal. DNA/RNA is chemistry. To say it is impossible to get DNA/RNA is to suppose the answer before looking for the answer, it is just lazy.


The other question is also, what constitutes life? Viruses are interesting little buggers that bring about profound questions as to the properties of life. How can we even talk about the properties of early life when we don't have that great of a definition of life?

You are correct to point out that we don't have a single definition of life. However, we do know that everything that can be described as being alive manifests certain properties (an exhaustive list of these properties appears in the concluded DDO debate that I participated in: http://www.debate.org...). Certainly, everything that can be described as being alive contains DNA, to include viruses. DNA is genetic information, and underpins all living organisms. Therefore, it is fair to say that the origin of life is the origin of genetic information.

we have discovered that metabolism is possible without DNA/RNA

http://www.newscientist.com...

What would you call a "cell" that can metabolize foods, replicate (not genetics in terms of genetics, but simply membrane division) without DNA/RNA and thus be able to maintain homeostasis? wouldn't this be more "alive" than even a virus? Granted this is a hypothetical as we haven't actually discovered this kind of "cell". However, so is most of this discussion.
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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3/4/2015 6:03:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/3/2015 9:43:08 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/22/2015 1:55:44 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/21/2015 11:11:12 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:25:03 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 8:13:40 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
At 2/18/2015 6:25:26 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/18/2015 2:10:11 PM, joepalcsak wrote:
Those people who have complete confidence that life is the result of purely natural processes also tend to have a high confidence that synthetic life will one day be possible. If and when synthetic life becomes possible, several realities will logically flow:

1. At least some life on earth will be intelligently designed.

2. Synthetic life technology would become an instantly valuable wartime technology.

3. It is reasonable to believe that the day will come when our very survival could depend directly on our ability to identify life that is intelligently designed.

So I have two questions:

In an age of synthetic life, would we be able to determine whether life was intelligently designed?

If so, how?

This is one of four related forum topics which I have created simultaneously for the express unified purpose of putting to bed once and for all the irrelevant question of whether ID theory has merit, so we can get on to the much more interesting question of whether ID or purely natural processes best explain the origin and diversification of life.
It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life. You ask how. Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify. What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

It would seem to me, if we created the synthetic life, then we would be able to identify the synthetic life

it does indeed seem intuitively correct that if we - or any intelligence - created life - there would be a signature of intelligence. I agree with you so far...

Let's say (for the sake of argument) the synthetic life didn't have DNA like our own. It then would be easy to identify

for the sake of argument, let's make it a little tougher than that. What if it did have DNA, exactly like life does now?

What would intelligently designed life look like in comparison to life that arose naturally? How would we distinguish one from the other?

Great questions! How would we know what life that arose naturally would look like? Can life arise naturally at all?
I don't mind having a conversation over the subject. I will ask for some fairness though. I will try and answer your questions. But, if you side step mine then the conversation is over. In other words, extend me the courtesy I will extend you.
If it had the exact DNA, then got loose in the wild, then I would think it would be hard to distinguish between natural DNA and that which had been arranged with intent. However, I would also think, we are then using the DNA that is here to create our own animal, so we really didn't create life.
Can life arise naturally? It appears as though it has. We have zero evidence that it didn't. Can life arise non naturally?
Also, you side stepped the question I asked you. So here it is again. How would we distinguish the difference from life that arose naturally, compared to life that is intelligently designed? You claim to be an intelligent design advocate, if this is true, you should be able to answer this question. If you cannot, then you have no justification for that position.

Forgive me. The way to clearly distinguish intelligently designed life from any hypothetical life arising from purely natural processes would be the presence of the signature of intelligent activity. Say for example we were to discover a living system that was maintained by several inter-connected advanced information processing systems. Surely that would be a clear signature of intelligent activity.
Sorry, can you clarity what you are meaning in that response. "the presence of the signature of intelligent activity." What does that mean exactly? "a living system that was maintained by several inter-connected advanced information processing systems." I'm still not sure what exactly you are referring to. Is this the irreducible complexity that has largely been refuted? I know of Michael Beebe, the Dover trials, and his comparison to ID to astrology. Can you give me an example of what you are referring to? Also I would like to know how you know that can't arise naturally.

All life - even the simplest living organism - is run by many information systems; indeed, all life is cybernetically programmed. Therefore, to put what I am saying here into the format of a logical proposition:

1. All life is cybernetically programmed
2. Cybernetic programming is a clear signature of the activity of intelligent agency
3. Therefore, life manifests the clear signature of the activity of intelligent agency.

This forum is not about Michael Behe or Dover, but it is clear that you have not really researched either. To say that "Behe has been largely refuted," is to say that you have read that there are some who have attacked his conclusions. It may therefore surprise you to know that those attacks have been thoroughly refuted. When one scientist advances proposals that do not sit well with other scientists, it is only natural that the other scientists attack the one. If you wish to explore exactly who or what has been successfully refuted concerning the work of Behe, by all means, launch a forum to that effect and I will be happy to contribute.

You got something right. I haven't research the fraud that is creationism, or it's newest label, Intelligent design. But, I also haven't researched, astrology, homeopathy, aliens, big foot, alchemy and lots of other silly human beliefs.

But, I have researched evolution a bit. I've read the books. I've watched the lectures. The jury is in. There is far to much evidence that support evolution to bother with Christian fabrications. You don't have one stitch of evidence. You haven't made one prediction. You haven't conducted one experiment. ID has nothing. It is hollow. Why is evolution taught in every major university around the world? Because it happened. Grow up. Be honest. Stop your Christian lies. I'm so sick of your silly beliefs and pure dishonesty. I have no respect for you or your religion!!!