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January 13, 2014

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Well, theist claims design, theist needs to back up said claim and with that goes the need to explain why some allegedly 'designed' features are sub optimal - which is putting it nicely.
Actually all this is rather secondary to the rather tricky problem of:
1. Creating a robust methodology for segregating entities into 'designed' and 'not designed'
2. Showing that this methodology is empirically robust
3. Showing that the methodology can be applied to the items of unknown provenance in question
4. Demonstrating that having examined the feature of unknown provenance, the answered 'designed' comes back unambiguously.

That would be the rigorous way being able to assert that 'x is designed' and I think it's fair and reasonable. If anyone can get past number 1 I'll be impressed.

So Mr Pratts excuses for his particular brand of deity rather fall by the wayside. This is tired Paley being trotted out again.

TGS-

Do you think you could get past item 1?

There clearly are some things in the world that are designed and some that are not. My refrigerator for example. Do you think you could tell us how you could determine, just by inspecting the refrigerator and not having seen it (or similar items) being designed, that it is designed? Could you provide the "robust metodology" you speak of?

And if you can't why would you think that that requirement is fair and reasonable to expect?

Wisdom Lover

It's not me asserting that things are designed.

If you dont think my proposed methodology is fair, why not? How do you decide whether something of unknown provenance is designed or not?

I think design could fairly be inferred by the elimination of randomness as a cause of a purposeful entity. For example, a volcano may spew lava that cools into rocks of various shapes and sizes. That would be random. Now if the same volcano regularly spit out lava that cools in the shape of the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and the London Bridge then we need to investigate the likelihood of a designer.

Then if, over time, these things are defaced by wind, water, and erosion, would we fault the volcano for creating a sub-optimal design?

There comes a point that statistical improbability eliminates all reasonable claim to randomness. If the same person won Powerball 3 weeks in a row, an investigation into fraud should necessarily ensue. To deny biological design is to denigrate science in solipsism.

While science may be able to infer design and consequently a designer, it cannot tell us much about the designer. Just like backward engineering Microsoft Windows or an asylumed MIG fighter plane can't tell us much about the person who designed it. We only get that when the designer decides to reveal who they are.

Since when is science inferring design?

So you are assuming design negatively - it appears when you rule other things out. However, that methodology isn't rigorous.

The volcano instance is interesting - Giants Causeway is a famous example of order arising from natural processes such as volcanos. Or is that designed as well? Snowflakes?

"There comes a point that statistical improbability eliminates all reasonable claim to randomness." Which point would that be? When you say so?

So I think your methodology needs some work before you can start claiming that x, of unknown provenance, is designed

??? Creating a robust methodology for segregating entities into 'designed' and 'not designed' ???

To assert that there is something that exists that is not designed fails to account for its source.

If it is definable by observable characteristics, then it is designed to exist with those characteristics.

Chance is not a force of nature. We live in cosmos, not chaos.

It may appear that some things are random, but that is just due to our lack of knowledge and vision.

From atoms to humans, everything is designed to function according to specifications.

Only our Creator is not designed. All other things that exist are necessarily designed.

That didn't take long - congratulations Scott.

Your argument - It's 'designed' because it looks 'designed', therefore it had a designer.

That isn't an argument - that's blind assertion.

TGS,

It's not me asserting that things are designed.

You assert constantly. You couldn’t get through a day without asserting that anything is designed. Unknown provenance or not. A hot air balloon can be of unknown provenance.

So,

How do you decide whether something of unknown provenance is designed or not?

How about we start off with the person who laid out a 4 part “rigorous way” of doing such a thing?

So how about it?

TGS-

What do you mean by "designed"?

If you can't answer that question, then you are in no position to criticize any criterion of design, e.g. Scott's. Whether or not you think you can dodge behind some silly burden of proof fallacy.

To put it another way, you seem to think that it will be difficult to get past your item #1. Well, show that it's even possible to get past your item #1. If it isn't even possible, then the problem is that your item #1 is simply not a reasonable demand. That does not amount to a problem with the design argument per se.

KWM

I do no such thing. Who is saying that biological organisms are designed? Who is saying that design is the way that organisms ended up in their current form?

What hot air balloons do you know that are of unknown provenance?

Wisdom Lover

I don't have to answer the question "What do you mean by "designed"?" for the reasons I've given above. I'M NOT ASSERTING IT.

So it does amount to a problem with the the design argument - because you cant tell me what design IS when it comes to items of unknown provenance. So on that basis, you don't have anything.

As I understand Neo-Darwinism, nothing that evolves can be said to be "sub-optimal", because the evolutionary process itself is an optimizing process: evolution inexorably tweaks organisms to function optimally in their respective niches. All life, essentially by definition, is therefore "optimal".

Now if someone wants to claim that a particular creature might function better in some certain way than has been provided for by the optimizing process of evolution, that injects a third party into the picture.

Therefore, the observation that certain creatures are "sub-optimal" is really an argument *for* a designer, not *against* one. Putting "evolution" and "sub-optimal" into the same sentence is oxymoronic.

TGS-

You are asserting, for example, that this view is wrong:

If it seems designed, it is (i.e. that when it comes to design, appearance=reality)
I'm simply asking, for the third time, "Why?"

If you can't answer that, I'm not sure why we should take your objection, even against a simplistic view like the one just floated, seriously.

You're providing all sorts of criteria that you think the proponent of the design argument must satisfy (for future reference, let us refer to these as teleological criteria). For all I know, your teleological criteria may be good. But you ARE the one asserting that those teleological criteria must be satisfied. At a minimum then, you must show that they CAN be satisfied.

Otherwise, why shouldn't I say that, before any teleological criteria can be put forward, the presenter of those criteria must first square a circle. When you ask me whether it's even possible to square a circle, why can't I reply that I'm not the one putting forth the teleological criteria?

TGS,

Why do you mention “biological” now? You made no such reference to “biological” in your first comment.

In any event, how do you know the hot air balloon flying over your house isn't of unknown provenance? Unless, by known provenance you just mean things that TGS just knows are designed.

Does that satisfy your #1? I don’t think it does.

I don't have to answer the question "What do you mean by "designed"?

So just to recap: You’re the first commenter on this thread. You lay out a self-assessed “rigorous” criteria to determine if something is designed or not. You further assessed it "fair and reasonable". Now, you refuse to define the term “designed”.

Got it.

With that, even if your criteria were met perfectly, the best you could hope to do is scratch your head because you have no idea what you’re talking about.


Didnt think much of the 1st paragrpah but I'll let that slide for now.

"Now if someone wants to claim that a particular creature might function better in some certain way than has been provided for by the optimizing process of evolution, that injects a third party into the picture."

Why does a 3rd party have to be introduced?

"Therefore, the observation that certain creatures are "sub-optimal" is really an argument *for* a designer, not *against* one."

Ah I see - so if things are well "designed" there was a designer, and if they weren't well "designed" there was a designer. Nice.

"Putting "evolution" and "sub-optimal" into the same sentence is oxymoronic." Hmmm, you are the one that did that. So take your own medicine.

KWM

Oh dear. I have evidence that hot air balloons are made by people. I can see them made at hot air balloon workshops. Are we seriously arguing about whether hot air balloons are designed or not? Is that up for debate? Are hot air balloons of unknown provenance?

However, the OP was about biological systems and whether they are designed or not. In the context of biological systems, I don't know how one can claim that something was designed. And seeing as you are all very keen to assert that biological systems were designed, you should be able to tell me how you do that. If you are comparing hot air balloons and living things, tell me why that is a reasonable comparator.

So, one more time - I'm not asserting design. You apparently are.

I've laid out what I think is a reasonable way of applying a test. You can propose an alternative if you like - I'm not dogmatic.

Wisdom Lover

So "it seems designed, therefore it is" is a good robust argument?

My teleological criteria were just just suggestions. They are all relevant to the task at hand, unlike squaring a circle. We can discuss why they aren't relevant or suitable if you wish?

In the context of biological systems, pray tell, how can one claim that they are not designed?

Biological information is not an inherent property of the materials that carry the information.

Biological information must have an intelligent source, as raw material, raw energy, chance and luck could never generate the Biological information that all living things have as their design specifications.

BTW – Mr. Great Suprendo, you are like a hot air balloon.

TGS,

Just how difficult is it to lay out a "rigorous" criteria for design under the 'lack of proof' umbrella?

Again:

You laid out a “rigorous” criteria to determine if something is designed or not and you assessed that it was "fair and reasonable".

So again, even if your criteria were met perfectly, how would you know?

So "it seems designed, therefore it is" is a good robust argument?

I never asserted that (in truth, I don't even know what it means for an argument to be robust...I've never heard that term applied to arguments...so I could hardly have asserted that). I just said that thus far, you haven't put forth any reason that I or anyone else must accept to deny that appearance=reality in this case (and appearance=reality is actually a good starting point you know).

My teleological criteria were just just suggestions. They are all relevant to the task at hand, unlike squaring a circle.

If one of them is in fact impossible, then it is no more relevant to the task at hand than any other impossibility, like squaring the circle.

You began your discussion here by suggesting that you doubted that anyone would even be able to meet your first teleological criterion. Now I'm suggesting that maybe there's a reason for that. Maybe what you're asking for, once you flesh out just what you men by "robust methodology for segregating entities into 'designed' and 'not designed'" is actually impossible.

We can discuss why they aren't relevant or suitable if you wish?

Do let's.

Perhaps you could begin by showing us what you even mean by "robust methodology for segregating entities into 'designed' and 'not designed'" and how it is even possible to have one.

"that I or anyone else must accept to deny that"

Ugh! What a confusing abomination!

Please replace this:

I just said that thus far, you haven't put forth any reason that I or anyone else must accept to deny that appearance=reality in this case
With this:
I just said that thus far, you haven't put forth a reason that compels anyone to deny that appearance=reality in this case

I agree with Wisdom lover that there are some things in the world that are designed and some that aren't.

I also agree with TGS that we need some kind of criteria to distinguish between them.

But I don't agree that the criteria needs to be robust. After all, there is a wide spectrum of things that are designed, and it's easier to tell that some are designed than others.

For example, it's easy to tell that hot air balloons are designed. We have a criteria for that that TGS has already told us. We know they're designed because we happen to know that people make them.

But what about a garden? Supposed we're faced with two acres of various plants, and one of them is designed by a landscaper, and the other is naturally occurring. Is there any way for us to tell the difference without knowing ahead of time that a landscaper was involved?

Well, if it happened that the bushes were trimmed in squares, and the flowers were in neat rows, and it generally looked well-manicured, that might be enough to suggest that that acre was designed.

But some landscapers attempt to make their creations look as natural as possible. In that case, it isn't as easy to tell that it's designed.

I used to know a guy who worked for a zoo. He was an artist, and he designed all the artificial rocks that were in the zoo. They looked very real, and I didn't know they were designed until I met the guy who made them. It was his intention to make them look natural.

So it seems to me there are some things that are easy to identify as being designed, and there are other things that are difficult to identify as being designed.

TGS has given us one criteria we can use to determine that something is designed, but I don't think that's the only criteria we could possibly use. I suspect that if we took an iphone back in time 2000 years and left it for some random Roman to find, he would have no problem identifying it as being designed even though he has no knowledge of any human creating anything like it. In the same way, I suspect that if some piece of alien technology were found in the desert or on the moon, we would be able to recognize that it had been designed even if the technology was beyond human capability. IN that case, we're probably know it when we saw it even though we wouldn't necessarily have a robust set of criteria. I suspect in that case, we might come up with criteria based on the fact that we already recognize it's designed. In other words, we'd start with a clear case example of something that is designed, then do some seriously reflect on how it is we recognize it as being designed. So the recognition would come before the criteria. Then we could use that criteria to identify other things that are designed.

With the garden example above, we have to look at specific features of the garden to determine that it's designed. Some gardens are more obviously designed than others. It may not be easy to come up with a robust criteria to distinguish between a designed garden and a naturally occurring acre of plants. But if we think about it enough, we might be able to come up with something a little more robust than simply knowing it when we see it.

And that's what some people are doing with the intelligent design thing. I read Steven Meyer's book, Signature In the Cell, and he went into some detail about how to distinguish information from noise, and he explained why a crystal (like a snowflake) does not contain information, but a few lines of computer code does. I vaguely remember him saying that William Dembski had done a lot of research in this field--how to identify design/information and distinguish it from what it not designed or what is not information.

It made me think of the irony of how opponents of intelligent design considering ID to be lazy. People like Richard Dawkins think it's a science stopper because if you just throw up your hands and say, "God did it," then there's no reason to roll up your sleeves and keep looking for a natural solution.

But people like Richard Dawkins aren't doing any research at all toward coming up with criteria to distinguish what is designed from what is not designed. We undoubtedly know that some things are designed and some things are not, so it's not as if it's a fruitless enterprise. ID people seem to be the only people who are engaged in this type of research, and it seems to me they could just as well say to Richard Dawkins and people like him that they are being lazy. They're throwing up their hands and saying, "Well nature did it" just because they don't yet have a robust methodology for distinguishing between design and not design.

Steven Meyer could just as well say to Richard Dawkins, "When IDers are faced with the difficulty of distinguishing between design and not design, they don't just throw up our hands and say, 'Well nature did it.' Rather, they roll up their sleeves and get to work on the problem." And that's what they're doing. I just got a glimpse of it in Meyer's book. Apparently, Dembski has a lot more information on it.

I also agree with TGS that we need some kind of criteria to distinguish between them.

I think, first, we must be shown that such a criterion is even possible.

"I saw it designed" is not a sufficient criterion because it gets it wrong both ways...designed things will obviously often be mis-identified as non-designed (e.g. cave paintings) and non-designed things may even be mis-identified as designed (e.g. I might think that the image of the virgin Mary in the tortilla is designed because I saw someone design the tortilla factory).

"It seems designed" suffers from the same sorts of problems.

On the other hand, I wonder whether there can be any such criterion. It is certainly not self-evident truth that there is one.

If something is designed, then there must be a design somewhere separate from the thing and pre-existing the thing. A design is like a model or a plan. If we can see that the design depicts the finished product, then we know the product was designed.

You'll never know something is designed just by looking at it, but you'll know it's designed by looking at the blueprints, or the scale model, or building instructions, or the explicit strategy of the designer. Without seeing such a thing, we can't know something was designed.

So cave paintings are not designed...got it.

Surely the cave artists planned their paintings before executing them. Their plans were just in their thoughts, but that counts as a pre-existing design.

WL, what I meant to suggest is that there might be several criteria, any of which could be sufficient to identify something as designed. Knowing that humans make something is just one criteria. But we could come up with other criteria that does not entail knowing that humans make something.

If you mean to say that there may not be a set of criteria such that if X meets the criteria, then it's designed, but if X does not meet the criteria, then it's not designed, then I agree with you.

So the garden is designed, but the forests made of the same plants that are far more complex than any garden are NOT designed?

What?

Plants that convert sunlight to sugar/energy in a highly efficient, oxygen producing chemical process.

Plant that exploit their environment and follow distribution patterns that are more successful than most “designer” gardens.

Plant that produce materials like fuel, food, clothing, shelter, medicine, perfume, dyes, and inspiration like peace, joy, warmth, love, beauty, awe, worship, etc.

The seeds have distribution systems.
The roots have communication systems.
The growth has Fibonacci or fractal patterns.
Multiple canopies.

Come on! Can you not see the forest through the trees? Have you been to the forest??? Is it random and chaotic? Or is it pleasing and beautiful?

Scott, my garden example doesn't address the question of whether the plants in the garden or the natural acreage are designed, but whether the lay out of the landscape containing them is designed.

The folks at Uncommon Descent wrestle with this topic endlessly. Their FSCI/O Functionally, Specified, Complex, Information/Organism lay out a paradigm/criteria that allows one to reasonably determine design from non-design. I wonder if this is of any interest to you all?

There's an interesting and complimentary post at UD where a preview of William Dembski's upcoming book speaks about forwarding the conversation between design proponents and opponents. The Design proponents have to fight for legitimacy as science, it has been a battle, and I think a legitimate challenge, that has to be met...otherwise, characters like TGS will continue their unreasonable dismissals of design inference at sites like STR.

"Biological information must have an intelligent source, as raw material, raw energy, chance and luck could never generate the Biological information that all living things have as their design specifications"

Oh dear. More opinion masquerading as fact. This is a massive strawman. I'm not aware that anyone has ever proposed 'chance and luck' as mechanisms for biological diversity.

Wisdom Lover

So "appearance=reality" is what you have to decide if a biological organism is designed or not? Is that good enough?

BradB What's unreasonable about anything I've said? I think its absolutely fair that if YOU are claiming something natural of unknown provenance is designed, then YOU need to reveal how you arrived at that conclusion.

Can anyone here tell me why "it looks designed so it was" is the best way of doing this and why it is robust?

"The Design proponents have to fight for legitimacy as science" Hilarious. They should just get on with doing some research, show that said research yields results, etc etc etc. Like wot real scientists do.

"Plants that convert sunlight to sugar/energy in a highly efficient, oxygen producing chemical process." Amusing. I'm sure I have a paper somewhere about using evolution to make photosynthesis more efficient. Again, poor 'design' = designed, good 'design' = designed. Much easier being a theist than actually doing some work to really try to model what's going on.

One more time. If you say it's designed, tell me how you know, and why the rest of the world should trust your methodology.

JM-

Claim 1:

You'll never know something is designed just by looking at it...Without seeing such a thing [a plan of design], we can't know something was designed.
Claim 2:
Surely the cave artists planned their paintings before executing them. Their plans were just in their thoughts, but that counts as a pre-existing design.
Claims 1 and 2 conflict.

By claim 1, we've seen no plans, ergo we can't infer design just by looking at the artifact produced. As such, we certainly cannot infer a plan that the caveman artist must have had.

But claim 2 just is the claim that we can infer a plan that the caveman artist must have had. BTW, the plan is even conjectured to exist only in the mind of the artist (which, if true, is another reason we can't see the plan and so, again by claim 1, cannot infer design).

FWIW, I think claim 1 is false. I think it is a misguided attempt to recast the following as a criterion.

Claim 0:

If a thing is designed, then there was a plan for its design (at least in the mind of the designer)
This claim is true. Indeed, it is a logical truth. As such, the following (by Contraposition) is also a logical truth.

Claim 0':

If there was no plan for a thing's design (not even in the mind of the designer), then it was not designed
But what does not follow from this is that we can't see the design just because we can't see the plan. There may be other ways to see design, and from that to infer, by claim 0, a plan. And that's exactly what happens with cave paintings in claim 2.

I think we are perfectly within our rights to look at the cave paintings and infer design. From that inferred design, we are also within our rights to infer a plan, within the mind of the caveman if nowhere else, just by looking at the artifact produced, i.e. just by looking at the cave painting.

But since, as I think is now evident, claim 1 is false, we don't yet have a robust methodology (whatever that means) such as TGS demands for distinguishing the designed from the undesigned.

TGS-

So "appearance=reality" is what you have to decide if a biological organism is designed or not? Is that good enough?
Once again, I never said that. What I did say is that a good place to start is to assume that things are as they seem. If there is a compelling reason to move from that position, then by all means, move.

BTW, I don't think anyone in this thread has asserted "If it seems designed, then it is". Not even Scott Richardson...whom you first accused of that. What he actually said is that the fact that the universe and its contents sometimes seems random or undesigned does not undercut the claim that it is designed. And, BTW, that statement, the one that Scott actually made, is clearly true.

While you have been free with the attribution of the view that if it seems designed, then it is, which no one has affirmed, you have been somewhat lax in saying exactly what you take to be wrong with it.

Now, after several failed attempts at getting you to even do that much, I'm starting to think that you can't actually say what is wrong with that view.

Similarly, after several attempts to see whether the teleological criteria you put forward are even coherent, you seem unwilling to show that they are or even what you mean by them.

Indeed, you first put your teleological criteria forward almost as if they would be impossible to satisfy. But what you fail to recognize is that if they really are impossible to satisfy, that suggests that there is something wrong with your criteria (i.e., they are incoherent) rather than that there is anything wrong with the design argument.

Sam-

If you mean to say that there may not be a set of criteria such that if X meets the criteria, then it's designed, but if X does not meet the criteria, then it's not designed, then I agree with you.
I was just underscoring the fact that TGS seems to be requiring a criterion like the one you are in doubt about.

I should also note that I am not convinced that any such criterion is even logically possible. I was hoping (probably in vain) that TGS would make an effort to at least show that.

Wisdom Lover

"From atoms to humans, everything is designed to function according to specifications."

Seems to me that's a statement of 'it looks designed, therefore it is.

Whatever, maybe no-one's said it (although you seemed be getting rather wrapped around the axles about it despite no-one having stated it)

But I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's entirely arbitrary. I would have thought that's obvious.

The best place to start is definitely NOT to assume that things are as they seem - I'm guessing you arent a scientist.

You don't like my methodology - fine. It's noted that you won't say what's wrong with them beyond whining about how you cant get past #1. It wasn't meant that way, but it shows you how tricky being rigorous is. Maybe that should tell you something about biology.

So propose your own methodology. How would you go about demonstrating that a biological organism is designed or not?

If you cant do that, you cant claim it was designed. Or do you think that's unfair as well?

So is someone going to reveal to me how anyone is able to claim that any biological organism is designed? Or is it some secret?

Brad-

The folks at Uncommon Descent wrestle with this topic endlessly. Their FSCI/O Functionally, Specified, Complex, Information/Organism lay out a paradigm/criteria that allows one to reasonably determine design from non-design. I wonder if this is of any interest to you all?
I think that FCSI is onto something.

But I'm pretty sure that the FSCI/O criterion would fail to have that elusive property of "robustness".

Here's the argumentative trap that we face. The atheist provides us with a list of reasonable seeming, but actually unclear and possibly incoherent criteria. We are charged with providing a methodology to segregate designed from undesigned that satisfies their criteria. We work hard trying to provide such a methodology. But because the criteria were vaguely specified in the first place, when we do provide said methodology, the atheist simply demurs that that's not what they meant. That we are actually dunderheads for not understanding what they meant.

My thinking is that we should eliminate the idle intervening step. Let's go straight to the part where theists are uncomprehending dullards.

As such, if atheists want to put forward these criteria, let them first explain what they mean, show that what they are saying is even logically coherent, give examples of what it would look like to meet the criteria, and so forth. So that even IDiots can get what they are asking for.

Barring that, they haven't provided one tiny reason not to simply assume things are as they seem: designed.

(And just to be clear, that last sentence is not an endorsement of the view that if it seems designed, then it is.)

Ooops. Should have said "I think that FCSI/O is onto something."

I was not meaning to suggest that there was something wrong with the "/O" part.

TGS,

Again:

You laid out a “rigorous” criteria to determine if something is designed or not and you assessed that it was "fair and reasonable".

So again, if your criteria were satisfied, how would you know?

So is someone going to reveal to me how anyone is able to claim that any biological organism is designed? Or is it some secret?

Apparently, it's no secret. You laid out the "rigorous" criteria already. So please answer the question posed. If you can't, how can the criteria be described as "fair and reasonable"?

That doesn't sound fair and reasonable to me.

TGS

On Teleological Criteria:

You don't like my methodology - fine. It's noted that you won't say what's wrong with them beyond whining about how you cant get past #1.
I never said I, in particular, can't get past #1. I suspect that no one can get past #1, because it's an incoherent criterion. You certainly seem unable to give even an example of getting past #1.

On Appearance and Reality

But I'll tell you what's wrong with [the view that things are as they seem]. It's entirely arbitrary. I would have thought that's obvious.
So, for example, when the litmus paper appears to be pink, and I infer the presence of an acid, that's actually completely arbitrary, because my assumption that the litmus paper is pink, from the fact that it appears pink is itself, totally arbitrary.

Real scientists would:

1. Create a robust methodology for segregating entities into 'pink' and 'not pink'
2. Show that this methodology is empirically robust
3. Show that the methodology can be applied to the items of unknown ruddiness in question
4. Demonstrate that having examined the feature of unknown ruddiness, the answer 'pink' comes back unambiguously.

Because then things would be super-duper robust and such.

And if we can't provide the methodology for showing that the litmus paper is pink, we can't claim that it is pink.

What's more we can't infer an acid that rendered it pink.

Got it.

Wisdom Lover/KWM

Are you claiming biological organisms are designed? (Yes or no will suffice)

If yes - why?

Thanks

TGS,

The problem here is of your own making. Perhaps we could’ve had an interesting debate, but you showed your hand in your opening comment. You basically came out and said that no matter what anyone says, you’ll plug your ears tell them they’re full of it.

Everyone in the forum with eyes to read knows you laid out criteria in your first post (that you assessed as fair and reasonable). So far, you haven’t given any reasons why the criteria include what they include. Further, you haven’t even explained how you could evaluate a methodology based on your own criteria.

What I’m pretty sure of, is that you regret laying out that criteria in your first post.

Are biological organisms designed? Yes, clearly.

By "Why?" I assume you mean "How do I know?"

My answer is: "Dunno"

I can't tell you how I know cave paintings or automobiles are designed either. But it's pretty obvious that they are.

You haven't really given me any reason, thus far, to be any more reflective than that.

KWM

The problem is of your own creation. Why you claim design, you need to back it up with reason. If you don't, I can simply dismiss it as opinion.

The methodology I proposed seems reasonable; it simply lays out a path for you, based on logic. That's all I used. Meanwhile you haven't proposed an alternative whilst trying to rubbish what I did on your behalf.

You probably don't like my method because, when applied to biological organisms and indeed the natural world, claiming design is VERY tricky. There simply aren't comparators as there are with the man made objects that dominate our lives. Ask the ""Intelligent" Design" community. Wisdom Lover has at least shown his or her hand; "dunno". And WL, you should be reflective because it's you making the claim! So until you come up with some decent reasons, I can simply dismiss your claims.

There is no living biological organism that does not have information encoded within it to govern its makeup, its processes, its functionality, and its purpose.

This type of information is not the result of any known natural processes, as there is no sufficient means of self-assembling the raw materials by chance selection of random molecules into viable code.

To assert that living biological organisms are not designed begs the question of how could they could arise from mere raw materials without guidance.

If mere raw materials could self-assemble or fortuitously auto-arrange, then laboratories around the world would easily create myriad new life forms from simple ingredients.

Living biological organisms require a source of life, a source of information, and a source for their design.

Monsanto and Genentech don’t use mere chance to design their GMO’s and neither does our Creator.

Sorry TGS, but it's you making the claim that there's something wrong with my naiive argument.

Some error exists according to you.

I don't need to prove that it doesn't. That's on you.

Until then I simply dismiss your claim.

Scott

"This type of information is not the result of any known natural processes, as there is no sufficient means of self-assembling the raw materials by chance selection of random molecules into viable code"

1. You really should avoid the strawmen here
2. I've got a list of over 300 papers somewhere that lay out a lot of the evidence as to how DNA 'evolved' (for want of a better word) Care to read them? - and blimey, we've only known DNA's structure for 50 years. The bible hasn't been particularly illuminating in the last 2000 years on the matter has it?
3. Reading between the lines, your argument is "I cant understand how all this complexity arose, therefore God". Nice.

"To assert that living biological organisms are not designed begs the question of how could they could arise from mere raw materials without guidance"

1. Wrong way around - you are asserting design. Where's your evidence
2. Without picking apart the "mere raw materials bit" - there a stack of evidence for evolution - how much would you like?

Go and read some science books. What is it with American fundamentalist Xtians? The Pope doesnt have a problem with evolution - why do you?

Wisdom Lover

"Sorry TGS, but it's you making the claim that there's something wrong with my naiive argument.
Some error exists according to you.
I don't need to prove that it doesn't. That's on you.
Until then I simply dismiss your claim."

*sign*

You are claiming biological organisms are designed. You haven't offered any evidence to support that claim.

You lose.

Unless you think that ludicrous assertions stand until someone offers evidence to deconstruct them? What a waste of time we could have doing that! Mr Aubergine asserts gravity caused by chains of minuscule invisible leprechauns pulling things together - breakthrough? But hey, I cant say its wrong, so maybe its right!

This is the stance you are taking.

That which gets asserted with evidence gets summarily dismissed seems a much more efficient way of doing business.

TGS-

Well, I guess your taste for infantile dives behind the burden of proof only bothers you when they are employed against you. Not when you yourself are using them.

That, at least, has been cleared up.

As for the evidence, I haven't yet seen any reason that I need evidence beyond the overwhelming appearance of design in the world. Give me a reason not to just assume that's the way things are. I have the same evidence for design in the world that the chemist I was mentioning a few posts up has for pinkness on the litmus strip.

Or, just as an example to a dullard, show me how you would go about proving that, say, cave paintings are designed.

"2. I've got a list of over 300 papers somewhere that lay out a lot of the evidence as to how DNA 'evolved' (for want of a better word) Care to read them? - and blimey, we've only known DNA's structure for 50 years."

Oh, please Mr. Stupendo...please pick your best one and illuminate us all with it, produce it or link to it, so we can see what you call evidence or proof.

"As such, if atheists want to put forward these criteria, let them first explain what they mean, show that what they are saying is even logically coherent, give examples of what it would look like to meet the criteria, and so forth. So that even IDiots can get what they are asking for. Barring that, they haven't provided one tiny reason not to simply assume things are as they seem: designed."

I couldn't agree with you more in this W/L. The UD contributors are a mixed bunch that seem determined and content to answer the materialist on their terms. This has proved to be an elusive challenge, mostly because of the same kind of logical dullness that TGS displays, not to mention the obvious loathing toward anything that theists promote. [TGS displays this with the common kind of dishonest debate that goes on on this topic because at the root of their worldview is and embarrassing incoherence that they simply dont want to face up to.]

For everyone, the design inference is like a slap in the face. If anyone denies the sting it produces, it makes those ones look foolish when they deny the mark it leaves on their person and they do it with an open, unabashed, and obvious pretense. These fools are evermore present and unafraid to display their unwillingness to inspect their presuppositions, thinking like a young child who hides his own eyes that no one can see them--these think the kind of argumentation displayed by TGS sufficiently hides them--it doesn't.

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