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January 13, 2014

Comments

Great Suprendo,

Your premise does begin with the presupposition that most living biological organisms are not designed. You assert that some form of evolution has been discovered that has proven sufficient to provide empirically robust methodology that demonstrates its provenance of all living biological organisms. I doubt that any form of evolution is capable of such magnificent provenance. It’s not that I am incapable of understanding. All I have heard or read are the "could have been", “might have been”, and typical mumbo-jumbo of the power of "evolution" to create.

Since you did mention it, please tell us which scientist has proven that life comes from non-life. And please tell us what living biological organisms have been created by his experiments. Please tell us where we can get his paper or book. As yet, I have not heard that such evidence exists.

I tried the simple way (infantile BOP diving) and I thought about trying the “No Free Lunch” Dembski route, but since I worked at Genentech I would like to continue that line of thought. Though it is only slightly deeper BOP diving.

Does E.Coli become designed only after it has been modified by insertion of non-E.Coli genes?

Obviously we can segregate the modified E.Coli from the non-modified E.Coli.

But, if we did not know that it had been modified and did not know what to look for, (say we found the strain in a septic tank) would it still be a designed E.Coli?

Yes it would, because the inserted genes and their products would be detectable, if we eventually knew what to look for.

The inserted genes are the indicator of design (patent).

But what about all of the other E.Coli genes?

What is the robust methodology that demonstrates unambiguously that all of those other genes are not-designed?

What if the E.Coli had been bred through selective means in the lab? Are they also designed?

I understand that the information and processes already present in the cell give it the ability to evolve or adapt to various environments through various means. But I don’t understand how the ability to evolve or adapt can be extrapolated to explain the origin of ALL known species from a single celled organism within the available time since its creation (still without need of a better word).

See, here's the thing, I know that cave paintings are designed. I do not have a robust thingy by which I can tell they're designed. But I can tell that they are.

I doubt that anyone has a robust thingy to show that the cave paintings are designed.

The idea that anyone needs a robust thingy in the case of the cave paintings is nonsense.

Now, if someone comes along and tells me that they think it's up to me to provide a robust thingy, or else they won't buy the idea that the cave paintings are designed, I'm not going to look at that as my problem. It seems to me that it's their problem. I can tell that the cave paintings are designed without any robust thingy. Can't you?

I'm not sure why I should treat any of the countless instances of design in physics, biology, chemistry and so on any different than the cave paintings and why I'm in any need of a robust thingy there either.

Oh, I suppose that making robust thingies and having them shot down (or not) might be a mildly diverting academic pastime, but the soundness of the design argument does not turn on it.

Ive asked one simple question - what evidence do you have to support your assertion that biological organisms were designed?

Ive had one answer - "dunno"

Is that the best you have?

"Your premise does begin with the presupposition that most living biological organisms are not designed." No it doesn't. The default position is "I dont know" From that point we gather evidence.

Here's the ting Wisdom Lover - if we have an object of unknown provenance, x, and you come along and say it was designed. I say, hmmm, Im not so sure about that. It's not your problem to defend your assertion? Really? "I can tell that x's are designed without any robust thingy. Can't you?" Really?

Guess I can propose that gravity is caused by chains of minuscule pixies forming chains and dragging things together - its not my problem to defend that assertion. You have to tell me I'm wrong.

By the way - that isn't infantile - its an extreme analogy in response to an uncompromising position.

So one who believes the cave paintings are designed has to defend the proposition that they are.

Got it.

BTW, the problem with your pixie story is that it doesn't even remotely appear to me that pixies are pulling me back to earth when I jump. What appears to be the case is that some invisible force is involved.

"some invisible force is involved" caused by invisible miniscule pixies.

Or do you not have a sense of humour and know an analogy when one is presented to you?

The point is - having raised that, should I not have to propose reasons why it's valid? According to you, no I don't. According to you, you'll have to find reasons why its wrong.

Crack on........

Are biological organisms designed? Yes, clearly.

There's nothing clear about it. Virtually every biologist on earth disagrees with you, and yet it's "clear"? I think not.

By "Why?" I assume you mean "How do I know?" My answer is: "Dunno"

So you have no criteria to assess whether something is designed, and yet it's "clear" when something is? Do you live your whole life based on hunches?

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

Truly amazing. You can't tell how you know an automobile is designed? I can. It's because I know people who design them for a living. You can actually go to a plant and watch cars being built by actual people. Likewise, I have seen people painting so it is clear that cave paintings were painted by people. Of course, there is an almost infinitely small probability that random paint droplets happened to end up on a cave wall in a recognizable pattern, but it's so small that it is zero for all practical purposes.

But NO ONE has ever seen an entity create a biological organism from pure matter and energy, so there is no reason to assume that's what happened, and it certainly isn't clear that it did.

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

You're not trying very hard.

As for the evidence, I haven't yet seen any reason that I need evidence beyond the overwhelming appearance of design in the world.

Isn't it great how The Designer gave us the same opening for eating and for breathing? Except for that whole choking thing...

Isn't it great how The Designer gave us an inguinal canal to allow the contents of our abdomen to become pinched off resulting in hernias? Well, not really...

Isn't it great how The Designer gave us an almost completely useless organ like the appendix that can rupture and kill us in a most painful manner?

Isn't cancer great? It's designed too.

If there is a Designer he either is really bad at it or he hates us all. Of course, evolution can explain all of these things and more, because we are not designed at all. We are the product of a mindless algorithm that can only work on the forms that have come before, so we're largely stuck with all these problems.

TGS-

There's no appearance of pixies in your gravity analogy. That's why its a bad analogy you see.

AJG-

"You can't tell how you know an automobile is designed? I can. It's because I know people who design them for a living. You can actually go to a plant and watch cars being built by actual people."

You saw the cave paintings painted?

So your robust thingy is If I saw it designed, then it's designed.

This is a complete disaster.

It includes things it shouldn't, software bugs are not designed...though people may see the program being written.

It does not include things it should...like cave paintings.

"Likewise, I have seen people painting so it is clear that cave paintings were painted by people."

This quote suggests that maybe you have this slightly more hopeful formula in mind: If I saw it or something like it designed, then it is?

That one at least has a chance of bringing in the cave paintings. But it's nonsense too.

For starters, it's still too broad because it does nothing for software bugs and their ilk...the unintentional effects of a failure to completely design a thing. You may witness the design of a thing, you may even be the designer, but those effects are not designed.

And I might never have seen a car or anything like it designed, but I'd absolutely know, just by looking at it in action, that it was. I don't know how I'd know it. It rather wears its design on its sleeve.

In all events, the criterion is still too narrow.

And then there's this little problem. What exactly do you mean by "something like it"? In then end, I suspect that your robust thingy will only come close to actually working if the one thing is like the other in its seeming to be designed.

As I suspected from post one, you really can't come up with the very robust thingy that TGS is requiring of everyone else.

And it's not because you aren't clever enough. You're plenty clever. But you are trying to square a circle.

You saw the cave paintings painted?

Of course not, but I've seen a process that produces similar results. There is no such parallel in the biological realm, so there is not even a good reason to suspect design there.

So your robust thingy is If I saw it designed, then it's designed.

No, but if I have seen an example that has been designed, the probability that another similar thing has been designed is greater than not.

This is a complete disaster. It includes things it shouldn't, software bugs are not designed...though people may see the program being written

How is this even relevant? I would agree that some things that are designed can behave in ways that are counterproductive to the designer's intent. Don't tell me you're now going to argue that inguinal hernias are software bugs now, are you?

And I might never have seen a car or anything like it designed, but I'd absolutely know, just by looking at it in action, that it was. I don't know how I'd know it. It rather wears its design on its sleeve.

You know this because there is no naturally occurring version of the automobile. Its form defies the natural world (four wheels? plastics?, etc). Once again, a living cell, or any other organism, occurs only within nature and no Designer of Cells has ever been seen or detected. It's wishful thinking to introduce him.

As I suspected from post one, you really can't come up with the very robust thingy that TGS is requiring of everyone else.

Tell me what a non-designed cell would look like? If it's clear that cells are designed, what would a non-designed cell look like? That should be clear as well.

Note that I have NEVER claimed a cell, or anything else, is not designed. It is possible that it is, but natural selection is a better explanation with evidence to back it up than introducing an invisible, undetectable designer.

And it's not because you aren't clever enough. You're plenty clever. But you are trying to square a circle.

And you're being deliberetly obtuse about what constitutes design other than "I know it when I see it". Your worldview depends upon you seeing design where none is obvious. You're just begging the question by (A) assuming god exists, (B) knowing god designed the world, and (C) pointing to design as evidence for a designer (god). I may not be able to adequately define design (although I never made a claim to be able to do such a thing), but at least I don't commit logical fallacies to support my position.

Of course not, but I've seen a process that produces similar results.

If you consider seeing a process that produces similar results to be necessary, then can you give an example of a natural, undesigned process that produces something that appears to be designed but is not (e.g., a process that arranges physical objects to communicate meaningful information that could be expressed through other types of media — that is, a meaningful arrangement of physical objects that can't be explained by the physical necessity of its parts)?

You said that virtually every biologist on earth disagrees that organisms are clearly designed, but that's not quite accurate. They agree that organisms appear to be designed, they just reject that they are. As Dawkins says, "Biology is the study of complex things that appear to have been designed for a purpose." Since even Dawkins agrees things appear to be designed, I'm just asking if you can give an example of anything in nature that appears to be designed by an intelligent being but isn't. You can't use "all of creation" for this, because that's begging the question. You need to point to something we can observe, because that's your criteria.

Wisdom Lover

"As I suspected from post one, you really can't come up with the very robust thingy that TGS is requiring of everyone else" AJG doesnt need to - he isnt suggesting things are designed. Where you will go next is to say "AH HA but he is saying things arent designed....." and start to replay my suggested methodology back. But that isnt quite the case, because what AJG (I suspect, dont want to put words in his/her mouth) is doing is saying that natural things fit into a different class of things to man made objects, and we have a filter to differentiate between those. And then he is suggesting a means by which natural things can take on the form they have - so the logic is good.

Amy

I take the point about the illusion of design - I would agree. This isn't about "rejection" so much as there being zero evidence to support the "it was designed hypothesis".

Have you got something better than "it looks designed, therefore it was"?

Appears designed =/= it was designed.

"give an example of anything in nature that appears to be designed by an intelligent being but isn't"

Snowflakes.

"can you give an example of a natural, undesigned process that produces something that appears to be designed but is not"

The Bergeron Process. Or evolution. Take your pick.

I'm just asking if you can give an example of anything in nature that appears to be designed by an intelligent being but isn't.

Any organism that natural selection has formed to survive in a given environment. Here's a good one that is so bizarre it's hard to believe some devious being didn't design it:

"Tell me what a non-designed cell would look like? If it's clear that cells are designed, what would a non-designed cell look like? That should be clear as well."

Hardly. the fact that it's clear that cars are designed does not imply that we can say what a non-designed car would look like or that that should be clear as well.

Indeed, where is is clear that things of type X are designed, I should think that it's probably well-nigh impossible to say what a non-designed X would be like. (Though, no, I don't have a robust thingamajig to show that.)

"How is this even relevant?"

Criteria can go wrong in two ways related to their extension. First, they might be too narrow, not picking out things that they should. Second, they can be too broad, picking out things they shouldn't.

Both of the criteria suggested by your remarks suffer from both of these defects. The software bug is an example showing that the criteria are too broad.

And that's why the remarks about software bugs are relevant.

AJG, as I said, using a biological organism to give me an example is begging the question. Also, it's not a process I can see. You need to show me something that's happening now if you're to meet the criteria of seeing a process that produces the results of creating something that appears to be designed but is not.

Have you got something better than "it looks designed, therefore it was"?

Yes, I gave one specific example above. (Though I think WL's appeal to cave paintings is a perfectly adequate answer to show that we're able to recognize design when we see it.)

Snowflakes.

No, the repeating patterns of crystal formations don't meet the criteria I gave.

Your worldview depends upon you seeing design where none is obvious. You're just begging the question by (A) assuming god exists, (B) knowing god designed the world, and (C) pointing to design as evidence for a designer (god). I may not be able to adequately define design (although I never made a claim to be able to do such a thing), but at least I don't commit logical fallacies to support my position.
Actually, I don't need the design argument to support my world view. So I don't need to see design whether it is obvious or not. (Though I do see it, and it is obvious.)

By making the (obvious) claim that complex living organisms are designed, I'm not assuming that God exists (your item A). I might say that and hold some panspermia type view that says that intelligent aliens seeded our world. Where the intelligent aliens came from, I may not know. Perhaps if you saw them and understood the science they used to seed the earth, you might see how they could exist without a designer. I don't think that's a good bet, but the point is that I have not assumed that God exists just because I believe in the painfully obvious fact of design.

The previous paragraph also undercuts the claim that I'm assuming God designed the world (your item B).

Though I must admit, I do think that evidence of design is evidence of a designer (your point C).

And isn't it?

(BTW - I think I also just showed that you do commit logical fallacies to support your position, or at least to undercut your opponent's. In this case, the fallacy you've committed is called straw man)

I agree that you never did claim to be able to define design. You did try to do so. But I am willing to grant that your definition was meant as a provisional sort of thing. I asked whether anyone can even provide what TGS was asking for, and you stepped up with an effort (even though it failed). So thanks for that.

AJG-

Sorry, in case it wasn't clear, the last three posts were directed to your earlier comments. I did not address them to you, but should have.

AJG-

if I have seen an example that has been designed, the probability that another similar thing has been designed is greater than not.
So right now, it is not probable that organically grown cell is designed. But if, at some point, some scientist designs and builds a cell with nanotechnology or something, then it immediately becomes more probable than not that the old-fashioned organically grown cells are all designed?

Your last question/challenge is perfect WL, this points to the foolishness so evident in these radical "dont know design when you see it" agnostics. Clowning yourself so as to not forthrightly deal with a challenge to a sacred cow of your worldview whether it deals with a technical definition, especially one your own position cannot state, or showing logical ineptness in understanding why that is so, simply highlights the case.

Also, if AJG wants to back the discussion up to see whose presuppositions are unsubstantiated, it'll be easy to see who is question begging.

Not many posts remain for this thread, so let’s get down to it.

1. Genesis 1:1-28 says God created all living things according to their kinds.
2. Matthew 19:4 says Jesus ascribed creation of man to God.
3. Acts 17:22-31 says God gives life to all living things and verifies it by raising Jesus Christ from the dead.

Not very scientific, but logically coherent argument for design based on appeal to Biblical authority.

Now to the menagerie:

Disease, death, and extinction = curse/judgment and global reduction of pristine state of highest biological information and ecological complexity.
Genesis and fossil record agree. BTW - When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around.

Appendix = repository of immunological beneficial flora, not superfluous or vestigial organ.

Cars = obviously designed, but suffer disease, death, and extinction too.
Also cars are sub-optimally designed, as my KIA suffered from so many failures that it garnered the LEMON label.
However, cars are not biological, so not very helpful to the discussion.

Cave paintings = perceptible design by conformation to known patterns of non-natural highly complex specific information commonly produced by human agents.
However, cave paintings are not biological, so not very helpful to the discussion.

Snowflakes = not designed. But by what robust methodology has this been proven?
One would have to assume that H2O is not designed.
Also one would have to assume that Hydrogen and Oxygen are not designed.
Also one would have to assume that our atmosphere and solar system and physical laws are not designed.

OK, now to the point of the whole matter.

TGS - “I take the point about the illusion of design - I would agree.”

GMO’s = designed
Naturally occurring “organically grown” organism = not-designed
But how can we be sure that biological organisms are actually the result of only natural, unguided processes?

When identifying GMO’s we know what genes to look for. We look for the perceptible design by conformation to known patterns of non-natural highly complex specific information.

But in the case of the GMO’s genes, they “naturally” occur in other organisms that are not GMO’s.

So the difference between the ILLUSION OF DESIGN and DESIGN is TGS’s #1 and also AJG’s assertion “There is no such parallel in the biological realm, so there is not even a good reason to suspect design there.”

When we insert a gene into a living organism it becomes a designed and patentable GMO. We recognize that we are editing the genome of the organism to give it novel functions. Now, this is directly analogous to editing software code to generate new functions within a software program. Software programs must be written by programmers for specific functionality within specific hardware. The programmer may copy some code from another other program to give his program the relative function. But the other code or program must also have been written by a programmer or perhaps by a program written by a programmer.

GMO’s are designed by copying genes from one organism and inserting them into the genome of the GMO. This can only be done because the original genes are part of a functional genome. And just like the software program, that functional genome must have been written by a programmer or perhaps by a program written by a programmer because it demonstrates conformation to known patterns of non-natural highly complex specific information by the very nature of its viability and functionality within the living organism.

Illusions of design are not viable and functional, nor are they made from highly complex specific information and materials. Clouds may look like cars (illusions of design), but they are not cars (design). Living organisms don’t just look designed, but they also function according to highly complex design specifications encoded within their respective genomes and proteomes. Living organisms exhibit exquisite information storage, processing and communication, manufacturing capabilities, advanced physical and chemical property exploitation, nano-mechanical assemblies, etc. within each and every living cell.

Only design is capable of generating viable and functional software programs and likewise biological organisms.

AJG - “Any organism that natural selection has formed (created) to survive in a given environment.”
Natural Selection and mutation are not sources of highly complex specific biological information. Neither is the environment.
Evolution is insufficient to account for the generation of the host of highly complex specific biological information presently alive and extinct in our world in the available time since the beginning of life.

Design is the only known way to generate the highly complex specific biological information and the viability and functionality of living organisms.
No other source is sufficient to the task.
Non-life does not become living without design.
New forms of life do not come into existence without design.
Software programs do not occur naturally and likewise living organisms do not either.

Amy

So you want "an example of a natural, undesigned process that produces something that appears to be designed but is not" and then you went onto ask for "an example of anything in nature that appears to be designed by an intelligent being but isn't"

And a snowflake or AJGs example isnt relevent because.......?

It doesn't change the fact that some people assert that biological organisms were designed "because they appear that way" and dont have a better explanation than that. Not only that, but they cant even define what 'design' MEANS when it comes to nature.

For instance we have "I do think that evidence of design is evidence of a designer" - what evidence is that - because it looks that way?

Then we get back to "Have you got something better than "it looks designed, therefore it was"?
Yes, I gave one specific example above."

Where did you? What example?

Lets move onto Brad B

"Clowning yourself so as to not forthrightly deal with a challenge to a sacred cow of your worldview" I think my irony meter just broke.

"Also, if AJG wants to back the discussion up to see whose presuppositions are unsubstantiated, it'll be easy to see who is question begging."

We can do Philosophy if you like. But it doesnt change the fact that you allege design, but cant say what it is or what evidence you have to back up that assertion beyond "well it looks that way" Luckily others have been more curious than you.

Then we get to Scott, who immediately sets out his case by referring back to the bible and says it's "not very scientific" I would have put it slightly stronger than that.

"Design is the only known way to generate the highly complex specific biological information and the viability and functionality of living organisms."

Define 'complex'
Define 'specified'
Define 'information'

"Software programs do not occur naturally and likewise living organisms do not either."

Sure, ok. So how? What's the mechanism?

"Living organisms exhibit exquisite information storage, processing and communication, manufacturing capabilities, advanced physical and chemical property exploitation, nano-mechanical assemblies, etc. within each and every living cell."

Loving the appeal to the 'perfection' of living
things as evidence of design. Nice try Scott - see AJGs comments. So again, perfect deign = design, imperfect design = design. Soooooo easy being a theist. Free lunch anyone?

Scott, we know that GMOs are manufactured. We can go to the labs and see. But the initial organism - not so much. Furthermore, processes leave traces - like cave paintings - I know nothing about them, but one could look for 'brushstrokes, look at the 'paint' used etc etc. One gathers evidence.

Which brings me back to Amy

"it's not a process I can see. You need to show me something that's happening now if you're to meet the criteria of seeing a process that produces the results of creating something that appears to be designed but is not"

1. Right back at you. If this is important, then show me how the design of biological organisms is happening right now. I want to see the process.
2. Actually, you need to define why this has to be included as a criteria. The fact is that much of science is analysing traces left by processes over time - from which we can infer what happened to a reasonable degree. And lo, when we test theories built from those inferences, we find them to be correct. If we don't, we test and adjust, building better and better models. So your demand to see it in action is unwarranted. It's the 'were you there' fallacy.
But it matters not because all that guff is just a derail.

The fact of the matter is that STILL, design is being asserted in biological organisms.
STILL you cant say what 'design' is in that regard.
STILL you cant propose a mechanism by which this 'design' occurs.

If you are claiming design, show the evidence to support your assertion. It's really that simple.

Unless Wisdom Lover thinks it's his job to tear down my assertion that gravity is caused by invisible minuscule pixies in chains pulling things back together. And again, that's not infantile. Its an exaggerated analogy in response to an uncompromising stance. So actually, the burden of evidence is on you, because other my pixies are just as real as your 'design'.

Great Suprendo;

"We can do Philosophy if you like"
No, I dont think you can...actually I dont think you really want to. If you did, you'd recognize that your whole worldview rests on nothing. You and AJG convince yourselves that you can do logic, and can reason well but when it comes down to foundational, ultimate propositions, that all flies out the window. You build your structure on nothing and dont care that this is so because the only other option that gives foundational/ultimate support is beyond what you are willing to concede.

If you wanted me to offer more, I'd want to see you do the same...confront your baseless worldview forthrightly. All this other chatter about what you know and dont know, what you can know and cant know, all the while using philosophy that you cant even justify is why I say you are clowning yourself as you've demonstrated that you cant follow WL's responses to you.

Brad

I think its more that no-one has been able to defend the assertion that 'biological organisms are designed' with anything more than 'we know that because they appear that way'

"No, I dont think you can" Oooooh I can - I've got a degree in it.

"You build your structure on nothing" Really? Whereas yours is built on the axioms that:

1. A god 'exists' - timeless, beyond nature, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent -i.e. inconceivable by humans
2. That God is the God of the Bible.

Interesting.

So what's up with my world view?

I'd really really like it if someone would tell me how they are so sure biological organisms are designed tho.

It always amsuses me when people knock science (its just a means of acquiring knowledge) whilst typing away on some form of computer (tablet/PC/Mac/phone whatever)

I’ll echo Brad as it relates to Wisdom Lover’s last question to AJG.

TGS,

A few questions:

If we trace human history back, when was the first design (of any sort) designed? Humans didn't just start throwing cars together obviously. (A crude example: Homo habilis lays 3 sticks end to end forming a triangle). How would you know the triangle was designed even if you went back in time and saw the undesigned Homo habilis construct it? It, of course, would be the first design of all designs. The first of its kind. There are no comparisons to make, etc.

Does design exist separate and apart from any ability to interpret it? In other words if the undesigned Homo habilis did form a triangle with sticks, would that necessarily be a design?

Another example could be an ant-hill formed by undesigned ants 50 million years ago. Designed?

Pick an earlier example of an undesigned biological organism designing something if you like, it doesn’t matter. The questions still stand.

KWM

You are derailing.

You allege biological organisms are designed, back it up with evidence.

Thanks

TGS,

I’m not derailing. You’re dodging. These are questions that have answers. Put your "degree" to use.

Answer my very simple to understand questions on design. What’s stopping you?

TGS-

I'm not even going to try to unwind the conceptual tangle of your two posts. Instead, I'll try presenting my argument in a semi-thorough fashion. In doing so, I imagine that I will address a number of the issues that have been raised by you and others throughout this thread.

Here is the argument in a nutshell.

  1. There are in nature multiple and varied instances of apparent design.
  2. As a general rule, we assume that appearance=reality unless and until there are strong reasons not to.
  3. No strong reasons have been presented in the case of apparent design not to assume appearance=reality.
  4. So, a good assumption is that for at least some of these instances of apparent design, appearance=reality.
  5. So, a good assumption is that there are instances of design in nature.
  6. So, a good assumption is that there is a designer.
Now, as an initial remark, anyone can see that the conclusion of this argument is that that there is a designer. No premise includes that claim. No premise includes the claim that God exists. This is clear. And because this is clear, I hereby declare further charges of circular reasoning, begging the question, etc. against this argument to be drivel.

Furthermore, the argument form is pretty clearly valid. If the premises are true, the conclusion follows. So the only question that really remains is whether the basic premises (items #1, #2 and #3) are true.

Even so, I think there is one attack in this thread against how item #4 follows from #s 1-3. So I'll briefly deal with that also.

On item #1

Some effort has been made to reject item#1, but that really doesn't go anywhere. For starters, even the most prominent atheists admit to the appearance of design. That's not what's at issue. What's at issue is whether there really is any design.

And if you go back and pull on the loose ends of what's been said in this thread apparently against item #1, I think that's what we have here as well. In other words, what people are objecting to is not that things seem designed, but that they are. They are rejecting the assumption declared good in item #5.

Now, there's nothing wrong, per se, with the opinion that there are no instances of design in nature (or that it's not a good assumption that there are at least some). But it does not help in an attack against this argument. That's because item #5 is a logically derived point. If you want to attack it, you have to attack what is wrong in what it is derived from (i.e., in #1, #2, #3 or the inference from those to #4).

On item #2

This premise has been mocked and ridiculed as arbitrary and unscientific.

No attacks apart from that have really been raised.

The litmus paper argument I gave above showed that this mockery is poppycock. You have to start with the assumption that things are as they seem in order to get anywhere.

When you read the litmus paper, you assume that if it seems pink, then it is. You don't remain neutral on that point. And even if you did, then what? Would you have to prove that the litmus paper not only seems pink, but is, in fact pink? How would you do that other than by constructing some test to detect the pinkness of the litmus paper. But that test would be subject to the same concerns that the litmus paper test is subject to. You have to assume that when your testing apparatus seems to give some result, that really was the result.

If we are always neutral or opposed to the idea that appearance=reality, only an opaque skepticism can follow. We have to take things as they seem, until we have a good reason not to.

So item #2 is pretty obviously true.

On item #3

This is where I would have expected to see attacks. Instead I saw mantras. "I'm not claiming anything, so I don't need reasons, Ommmm..."

The premise here is that there are no reasons no to stick with the initial assumption that appearance=reality. If think there are, then what are they?

On the inference from #1, #2 and #3 to #4

One attack that, I think, might fit in here is the pixie controversy. You allege that you can't attack every view just because its put forward. You can't attack the pixie theory of gravity, just because someone proposes it.

Presumably the same goes with the design view. You're not obliged to attack that view just because someone puts it forward.

The problem is that the design view is not just some view that someone has put forward. It is the way things actually seem. The same cannot be said for the pixies. As such, there is no pixie argument like #1-#4 (let alone #1-#6). And how would it go anyway?

  1. There are in nature multiple and varied instances of apparent pixie-gravity.
  2. As a general rule, we assume that appearance=reality unless and until there are strong reasons not to.
  3. No strong reasons have been presented in the case of apparent pixie-gravity not to assume appearance=reality.
  4. So, a good assumption is that for at least some of these instances of apparent pixie-gravity, appearance=reality.
But there's an immediate problem in item #1 from this argument. Once again, when I jump in the air, it does not seem that pixies are pulling me back down.

To put it another way, the pixie-gravity theory cannot proceed from the assumption that things are as they seem. If things are just as they seem, then there are clearly no pixies.

In contrast, the design theory can and does proceed from the assumption that things are as they seem. Because there are lots of instances of apparent design.

Wisdom Lover

You really arent grasping this whole burden of evidence piece are you?

"There are in nature multiple and varied instances of apparent design."

An observation, ok.

"As a general rule, we assume that appearance=reality unless and until there are strong reasons not to."

What? When? Who says? Besides, the fact that scientific endeavour has presented an alternative mechanism, that fits the observed phenomena, with MULTIPLE strands of interlocking, complementary evidence, rather blows this premise out of the water.

Seeing pink is not the same as looking at a biological organism and concluding it was designed. Why not? - because all your comparators re: design are demonstrably MAN MADE. Your knowledge of what design IS stems from man made objects - you need to justify WHY that applies to the natural world. That WHY item 1 of my methodology is important and why its difficult- we can easily apply it to man made objects and have a methodology for doing so. Not so the natural world. This isnt the same as a bowl of spaghetti and a car.
With Pink we have objective standards of what pink is a references which we can learn from. So your analogy fails.

All precisely because "Its designed because it looks designed" wasn't accepted.

"No strong reasons have been presented in the case of apparent design not to assume appearance=reality."

Equally no strong reasons have been proposed for anyone to accept this. In fact it worse than that. Nothing has been proposed.

"So, a good assumption is that for at least some of these instances of apparent design, appearance=reality."

No its not - see above.

"So, a good assumption is that there are instances of design in nature."

Its a rubbish assumption - see above.

"So, a good assumption is that there is a designer."

GIGO - see above.

You really aren't grasping this whole burden of evidence piece are you?
I don't think law-court categories apply here. That's what you aren't grasping. I'm not going to engage in a philosophical discussion as if we were arguing in court.
WL: As a general rule, we assume that appearance=reality unless and until there are strong reasons not to.

TGS: What? When? Who says?

What's your alternative? Neutrality regarding the identity of appearance and reality? Denial of the identity? You take either approach and there is no escape from opaque skepticism.
Seeing pink is not the same as looking at a biological organism and concluding it was designed.
Too true, seeing pink is more like seeing design. This is because seeing is a type of appearance, not a type of inference. Looking-and-concluding on the other hand, is one part appearance, one part inference.
all your comparators re: design are demonstrably MAN MADE.
Really???

Demonstrably man-made???

The only demonstration for a lot of those demonstrably man-made comparators is the fact that they seem designed, so I infer a human designer (see: cave paintings).

With Pink we have objective standards of what pink is a references which we can learn from.
Wow!

You're not joking here are you?

And just how were you planning on determining that your 'objective standards of what pink is' apply? I should think that you would start by running tests based on those standards, making observations and finding out what seems to be the case (and concluding from that what is the case).

Equally no strong reasons have been proposed for anyone to accept this.
By "this" I assume you mean the assumption that appearance=reality in the case of apparent design.

If so, so what? Does that somehow make premise #3 untrue? It seems to have no bearing on #3.*

[I will skip over the remainder of your comments simply because they seem to do little more than belabor the meaning of the word "so".]

--------------------------------------

* I should have stated #3 a little differently.

Some English denials have an annoying ambiguity. We often say "don't believe" when we mean "disbelieve" rather than "lack a belief that" for example.

I think I fell prey to that sort of ambiguity with #3. It could be better stated like this:

No strong reasons have been presented in the case of apparent design to assume that appearance≠reality.
I don't think that this is likely to have made much difference in how TGS would have replied here. It does render #3 even more plausible than it was.

TGS,

You really arent grasping this whole burden of evidence piece are you?

Let’s say you just convinced me (you didn’t, but let’s say you did). You convinced me that there’s no reason to believe that biological organisms are designed. Let’s further assume that I believe biological organism aren’t designed.

But let’s also assume that because I now believe biological organisms aren’t designed, I believe there is nothing that is designed, biological or otherwise. Design, as it’s typically understood, comes from biological organisms necessarily so I throw out the whole thing.

Your knowledge of what design IS stems from man made objects - you need to justify WHY that applies to the natural world.

So what? Design comes from the natural world necessarily. The natural world is what we have to work with. Biological organisms design things. How do you account for that? That’s why I asked you about the first designed design. That’s why I asked you if you thought ant-hills constructed 50 million years ago were designed. That’s why I asked you about the Homo habilis.

In short, you couldn’t even begin to convince me that design, as you understand it, even exists. It would seem you’d have the burden of proof if we start with biological organisms not being designed. Cave paintings, hot air balloons, cars, whatever. Going to the factory to see them put together? Blue prints in our undesigned heads? Please.

What gave rise to or caused design at all?

Yet again, everyone is very quick to claim design. However, there is a marked reluctance to :

1. Define what design IS
2. Say how we know when we see it

All you are doing is rehashing the "it looks designed" (no definition supplied) argument, which is naive, simplistic and ultimately lacks any trace of explanatory power.

The deep suspicion is that this is all to lend support to your particular brand of mythology.

And Wisdom Lover; we could agree on what pink is. You are claiming biological
Organisms are designed, so tell me what designed means.

This is like getting blood from a stone. It seems all you want to do is claim x and then be immune to criticism, making the skeptic the one that does the work. That isn't efficient for all the reasons I've given before - pixies anyone?

Right back at you. If this is important, then show me how the design of biological organisms is happening right now. I want to see the process.

TGS, I think you missed my point. I was specifically responding to AJG with his own criteria, applying it to his claim.

AJG said he recognized cave paintings were designed because he’s “seen a process that produces similar results.” (Incidentally, this is actually precisely why I think intelligent design is true—I’ve seen a process that produces similar results, and it’s always coming from a mind.)

Because AJG needs to see a "process producing similar results" in order to know that random natural processes could have created biological organisms, I asked:

If you consider seeing a process that produces similar results to be necessary, then can you give an example of a natural, undesigned process that produces something that appears to be designed but is not (e.g., a process that arranges physical objects to communicate meaningful information that could be expressed through other types of media — that is, a meaningful arrangement of physical objects that can't be explained by the physical necessity of its parts)?

If he can’t, then that criteria does not justify his beliefs in this case.

That example I gave also rules out crystals, which are merely patterns determined by the physical properties of the crystal. This is unlike something like a book that expresses meaningful information through the use of ink and paper by arranging said ink and paper in a way that will express that information (though it could have been expressed using another medium). It’s not the properties of ink and paper that determine the arrangement of the letters, it’s a mind. And that mind could use a different medium, for example typing into a computer, to express the same information.

In the same way, there's nothing in the physical parts of DNA that required them to form together in the patterns that they did.

So what I’m asking for is an example of a current random process creating this kind of thing--something like a book with meaningful information, blueprints, anything. Using a biological entity as an example is begging the question. I’ve only ever seen a mind create such a thing, which is why even according to AJG’s criteria, I’m justified in thinking a mind created the beginning of biological information. (This is also a response to your “show me how the design of biological organisms is happening right now” challenge, for we see meaningful information being created by intelligent agents all the time.)

Remember, even Dawkins admits that creation has the “appearance of design.” For that reason, I’d say that the burden of proof falls on those who deny what we see (just as WL said very well in more detail).

Amy

The issue - were Cave paintings 'designed' by humans. The answer - comparisons with things humans are currently doing/documented to have done. Can we detect traces of the 'designer' in cave paintings? The evidence is that we can. I'm not sure on the whole that the cave paintings analogy is particularly useful; it's not mine but I've gone with it for now.

I suspect you deliberately interpret 'seen' too narrowly to suit your own ends - one doesnt need to be there. Processes leave traces.

So, this is in justifying the hypothesis that cave paintings were 'designed' by humans (again I think this is clumsy) -we have analogous processes from humans by way of comparison.

I dont think AJG is claiming biological organisms were designed. You are. Therefore its actually YOU that needs to apply this same criteria to biological organisms - because its YOU claiming that biological organisms were 'designed'. You need to suggest a process (on top of other things)

So; we've got to a state of play where we are doubtful of the 'design' hypothesis. So it would be useful if we can find out what's going on. I can lay out a process that creates biological organisms - its called evolution. And I have numerous strands of evidence that are cross discipline, independently found, interlocking and complementary. It explains not only the appearance of 'design' but why there are instances of poor 'design'. But for some reason, that isnt admissible????

So I can lay out that process - but you insist it has to be random? Why?

Im also suspicious that you are playing fast and loose with the term 'information', Information to me is nothing more than the observational data that is extant about the current state of a system. I'm also suspicious of your use of the term 'random' which in scientific terms does NOT mean 'without rhyme or reason' but is instead "we have insufficient information about the actual process that took place at the requisite time - we know broadly the processes that took place"

"Remember, even Dawkins admits that creation has the “appearance of design.” For that reason, I’d say that the burden of proof falls on those who deny what we see (just as WL said very well in more detail)"

Appearance of design =/= it was designed. To bridge that gap and justify YOUR CLAIM you need:

1. Told me what designed means
2. Tell me how you'd detect it in the case of biological organisms
3. Suggest a process by which it was designed

P.S. I still don't understand this or why its a necessary requirement:

"(e.g., a process that arranges physical objects to communicate meaningful information that could be expressed through other types of media — that is, a meaningful arrangement of physical objects that can't be explained by the physical necessity of its parts)"

KWM

It is indeed interesting that undesigned organisms gave rise to 'design' - apes are able to adapt objects to enhance their ability to do 'jobs'. But very simple starting conditions do give rise to amazing complexity. Latterly of course we have realised that our 'design' in some cases isnt as good as applying evolutionary processes in determining the optimal form of things- there are many examples of this outside of biology also.

Appearance of design =/= it was designed. To bridge that gap and justify YOUR CLAIM you need:

1. Told me what designed means
2. Tell me how you'd detect it in the case of biological organisms
3. Suggest a process by which it was designed

I don't have to do any of those things with cave paintings.

The issue - were Cave paintings 'designed' by humans. The answer - comparisons with things humans are currently doing/documented to have done.

The issue – was DNA ‘designed’ by an intelligent agent. The answer - comparisons with things intelligent agents are currently doing/documented to have done.

I suspect you deliberately interpret 'seen' too narrowly to suit your own ends - one doesnt need to be there. Processes leave traces.

It’s not my criterion, it’s AJG’s. I was responding to him using his criterion and interpreting it the way he used it.

I dont think AJG is claiming biological organisms were designed. You are. Therefore its actually YOU that needs to apply this same criteria to biological organisms - because its YOU claiming that biological organisms were 'designed'. You need to suggest a process (on top of other things)

1. No, I don’t. I was pointing out to him that he hadn’t applied his own criterion to his beliefs.

2. Even so, I did describe something we only see intelligent agents creating. Then I asked him to show me an example of something like that coming into existence apart from an intelligent agent, purely from the workings of nature. To use a biological organism is merely to beg the question. If such a thing is possible, then we should see an example of it happening, according to AJG's criterion.

Ironically, design passes AJG's test while his view does not.

So I can lay out that process - but you insist it has to be random? Why?

First of all, I wasn’t asking you to do this, I was asking AJG to apply his own rule to himself.

Second, I insist he can’t assume the very thing he’s trying to prove when he’s giving an example of the creative power of natural forces.

Third, by “random,” I mean that it’s not an arrangement brought together by necessity because of the physical properties of the pieces. That’s what the ink/paper example was meant to explain. And yes, it must be this, because that is the kind of thing we find in DNA. There’s nothing in the building blocks of the code that cause them to be fitted together in a particular way, exactly as there’s nothing in ink and paper that requires the words to come together in a particular way. And yet, though most arrangements of adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine would produce nothing, they came together to build working animals.

If we’re going by what we observe in the world, this kind of thing only happens when an intelligent agent puts the pieces together in a purposeful fashion.

That may not satisfy you, but it ought to be mean something to AJG.

Amy

You've moved a little quickly there.

If you are asserting that biological organisms were 'designed', then we need to understand what that means. Noone has defined that yet.

All I've had is that appearance = reality - which could equally lead one to the conclusion that the earth is flat, or the earth is fixed and the sun and stars move around it. So I think 'appearance = reality' is naive.

So if you decide what 'design' actually means in the natural world, how do you detect it?

We can understand 'design' in ape made objects - when it comes to natural objects, how did the designer design for instance, the genetic code or biological organisms, and when did he design them?

Meanwhile, the flip side of the coin is that evolution suggests a process by which biological orgnaisms take their current form without recourse to the 'design' hypothesis.

In the case of DNA, its more tricky, but work continues - take this paper for example (I can provide a link:

"Caetano-Anollés et al 2013 wrote:
Abstract
The genetic code shapes the genetic repository. Its origin has puzzled molecular scientists for over half a century and remains a long-standing mystery. Here we show that the origin of the genetic code is tightly coupled to the history of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase enzymes and their interactions with tRNA. A timeline of evolutionary appearance of protein domain families derived from a structural census in hundreds of genomes reveals the early emergence of the 'operational' RNA code and the late implementation of the standard genetic code. The emergence of codon specificities and amino acid charging involved tight coevolution of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and tRNA structures as well as episodes of structural recruitment. Remarkably, amino acid and dipeptide compositions of single-domain proteins appearing before the standard code suggest archaic synthetases with structures homologous to catalytic domains of tyrosyl-tRNA and seryl-tRNA synthetases were capable of peptide bond formation and aminoacylation. Results reveal that genetics arose through coevolutionary interactions between polypeptides and nucleic acid cofactors as an exacting mechanism that favored flexibility and folding of the emergent proteins. These enhancements of phenotypic robustness were likely internalized into the emerging genetic system with the early rise of modern protein structure."

A proposed method by which DNA could have involved, using phylogenetics as evidence. Processes leave traces.

Lastly, I think you introduction of the 'random' factor is arbitrary. I also don't understand the part about question begging - I may be being thick, so if you can step me through it that would be kind (Im not be snarky here - I genuinely don't understand!)

What I don't get is why this is so central to Christianity? Why do people get upset by people, who happen to be scientists, looking at the natural world and drawing reasonable conclusions.

I find that very odd. And it makes me sad inside. You are intelligent people - I just dont get it.

I tried to respond to some things last night but the site wouldn't take my response so I am just quickly going to give TGS something to think about.

Above, you radically defame sense perception as a means for reliable means of detecting reality--then in the same breath, same context you praise sense perceptions for giving your version of reality evidence that blows WL's preimise out of the water. You dont even recognise that you cut the branch you are sitting on to maintain a ridiculous position.

I'll echo back to you, your last words to Amy above. I find that very odd. And it makes me sad inside. You are an intelligent person, with a degree in philosophy no less-I just dont get it.

All I've had is that appearance = reality - which could equally lead one to the conclusion that the earth is flat, or the earth is fixed and the sun and stars move around it. So I think 'appearance = reality' is naive.
Then you haven't been listening. Because what I said is that we assume that appearance=reality unless there is good reason not to. And that doesn't "equally lead one to the conclusion that the earth is flat" or any of the rest.

And it's that "unless there is a good reason not to" that you've been studiously avoiding all along with talk of pixies causing gravity and dodges behind the burden of proof and other rhetorical gimmicks.

Sorry if someone has already covered this.

If Pratt has a good argument against the argument from poor design, then doesn't he also have one against any telelological argument as well?

Brad

"Above, you radically defame sense perception as a means for reliable means of detecting reality--then in the same breath, same context you praise sense perceptions for giving your version of reality evidence that blows WL's preimise out of the water."

Slow down. The observation is "things appear designed". I have no great qualms with that, although I would say its a slightly colloquial way of putting it. But the naive leap is then to say "so they are designed" because one should have a comparator by which to do so.

This ties in with WLs next point:

"Then you haven't been listening. Because what I said is that we assume that appearance=reality unless there is good reason not to. And that doesn't "equally lead one to the conclusion that the earth is flat" or any of the rest."

Well, "it looks flat, so its flat" WAS the reasoning in the past. The earth being fixed and everything else revolving around it WAS the conclusion.

So therefore your qualification of "unless there is good reason not to" should actually be "I should be skeptical about my hypothesis because this really hasnt worked well in the past".

But no, you conclude design, and thus infer a designer.

They arent rhetorical gimmicks.

You claim something, back it up with evidence.

I can do so for evolution - not for every itsy bitsy detail, but there's a mountain of evidence to show that evolution is almost a fact.

RonH - Ive read Pratts blog and he is in the good design = designed, bad design = designed" camp.

TGS,

The observation is "things appear designed". I have no great qualms with that, although I would say its a slightly colloquial way of putting it. But the naive leap is then to say "so they are designed" because one should have a comparator by which to do so.

This is just isn’t true. One does not need a comparator to say things are as they appear. This is demonstrably false.

On your view, there was once a time where design in any form did not exist. In other words, design came about.

1. Biological organisms and the natural world were the first things to exist.
2. Biological organisms and the natural world are not designed
3. Design exists outside of the biological and natural realm
4. Design came into existence
5. Therefore, there once was no comparator for what we call design

What do you disagree with in the above?

Apologies for the grammatical errors above. Sheesh.

If you are asserting that biological organisms were 'designed', then we need to understand what that means. Noone has defined that yet. All I've had is that appearance = reality - which could equally lead one to the conclusion that the earth is flat, or the earth is fixed and the sun and stars move around it

No, I gave you an example of something that we uniformly observe only comes from intelligent agents and showed an example of it in biology. That is very different. There are certain creative powers that nature (wind against sand, molecules bumping together) does not have. Only minds have them.

Lastly, I think you introduction of the 'random' factor is arbitrary. I also don't understand the part about question begging - I may be being thick, so if you can step me through it that would be kind (Im not be snarky here - I genuinely don't understand!)

Certainly. The very thing in question is whether or not organisms were designed by an intelligent agent. AJG said you can know a kind of thing is designed if you see that process (e.g., people painting) happening. This is how he knows people made cave paintings. So, since he stated a principle for how to know about a thing that happened in the past, I challenged him to show an example of nature expressing a particular kind of creative power (of which the fact that it does not depend on the physical properties of the materials is essential). The purpose of this is to see if it’s legitimate to assign “non-design” to biological organisms. Therefore, it’s question begging to assume that biological organisms were not designed and then use that as an example of a creative process we see in order to prove that biological organisms aren’t designed. You see? It begs the very thing in question.

As for “random” being arbitrary, it certainly isn’t. The fact remains that the physical properties of DNA (like ink and paper) did not determine their arrangement. It may be the case that I’m not explaining this well, but regardless, the fact that it’s still unexplained to you means that you’ve missed the core arguments for ID that are being made out there, and that means you’ve never actually given it a fair shake.

What I don't get is why this is so central to Christianity? Why do people get upset by people, who happen to be scientists, looking at the natural world and drawing reasonable conclusions.

Why is it so central to you? I certainly don’t find it at all reasonable to go against our uniform observation of nature and say that suddenly, in this one case in the past, nature expressed a creative power of a mind. That seems like an extremely far-fetched way of propping up a pre-existing commitment to denying a designer.

The most reasonable explanation is that the appearance of design, which everyone agrees exists, is real, and that an intelligent agent brought about that design.

That doesn’t disprove the idea of common descent, which would require additional arguments no one has brought up here, but it’s amazing to me that anyone finds it reasonable to say there was no designer that brought this about.

Well, "it looks flat, so its flat" WAS the reasoning in the past. The earth being fixed and everything else revolving around it WAS the conclusion.

So therefore your qualification of "unless there is good reason not to" should actually be "I should be skeptical about my hypothesis because this really hasnt worked well in the past".

What do you mean it "really hasn't worked well in the past"?

Do you think about stuff like that before writing?

Both of the conclusions you mention worked fantastically. Had ancient navigators not assumed things are as they seem, humans would never have left the land.

Once good reasons came along for thinking otherwise, we changed our view.

Beginning with the assumption that things are as they seem and revising that view only if there are good reasons to think otherwise has proved to be a really, really helpful strategy. All the history of human innovation and discovery bears this out.

So once again, do you have some good reasons for me to think that what seems designed isn't?

Or will you just repeat your mantras again?

Amy,

there's nothing in the physical parts of DNA that required them to form together in the patterns that they did.

What patterns do you mean?

And, who claims that the physical parts of DNA required them to form together in that way?

Amy

"No, I gave you an example of something that we uniformly observe only comes from intelligent agents and showed an example of it in biology. That is very different"

Ho ho ho. So you are asserting some natural (DNA) is designed by reference to man made things. We've been here before. The same thing applies whether you like it or not.

Besides, I then presented some actual science to present evidence for a natural process by which DNA came about. Infinitely more evidence then anyone else here has managed to present. Studiously ignored. Noted.

"The very thing in question is whether or not organisms were designed by an intelligent agent."

Yes.

"AJG said you can know a kind of thing is designed if you see that process (e.g., people painting) happening. This is how he knows people made cave paintings."

He reasoned by analogy to demonstrate the point.

So, since he stated a principle for how to know about a thing that happened in the past, I challenged him to show an example of nature expressing a particular kind of creative power (of which the fact that it does not depend on the physical properties of the materials is essential).

Ah ha - here's the flaw. AJG says he has an alternative to the deign hypothesis and can propose a mechanism. The need to reason by analogy is yours - you've just told me that. And you have no comparators - as Ive said time and time now.

"The purpose of this is to see if it’s legitimate to assign “non-design” to biological organisms."

He's proposed a mechanism for which we have evidence - there's no need to reason by analogy.

"Therefore, it’s question begging to assume that biological organisms were not designed and then use that as an example of a creative process we see in order to prove that biological organisms aren’t designed. You see? It begs the very thing in question."

No. That assumption isnt baked in AT ALL. Scientists just looked at what was going on and discovered a natural process. So you are wrong on this - see above.

"you’ve missed the core arguments for ID that are being made out there, and that means you’ve never actually given it a fair shake"

Oh. Maybe Ive missed the core tenants of the flat earthists, holocaust deniers, alien abductees etc etc etc. Until they stump up some evidence, Im not interested. Or are we back to taking my pixies causing gravity seriously?

"Why is it so central to you?"

Because I dont like people abusing science to prop up their bronze age mythology.

"I certainly don’t find it at all reasonable to go against our uniform observation of nature and say that suddenly, in this one case in the past, nature expressed a creative power of a mind."

Cart before horse. And besides, as I have shown, you've observed and then simultaneously drawn a conclusion. "It looks designed so it was designed" And STILL you havent

1. Defined design
2. Said how youd detect it
3. Provided a mechanism for your designer to 'design' biological organsisms

"That seems like an extremely far-fetched way of propping up a pre-existing commitment to denying a designer."

Sure. Far better to suggest that magic happened. Im not being flippant here - thats EXACTLY what you are implying.

Wisdom Lover

"What do you mean it "really hasn't worked well in the past"?"

I mean that appearance = reality shouldnt lead you automatically to the conclusion "so thats the way things are". Treat it as a hypothesis, find more evidence to support ones assertion - but thats not whats happening here. You've made an observation, drawn a conclusion, and ceased enquiry. Idle.

"Both of the conclusions you mention worked fantastically"

Rubbish. Naively fixing your point of view on the basis of insufficient evidence is stupid and shown to be prone to error and its lazy to say that others should have to work to prove you wrong.

And you still havent presented any evidence for your naive conclusion of 'design' and a deisgner.

Oh and by the way, its bltantly obvious that the 'intelligent agent' Amy speaks of is the God of the bible. Back door creationsism.

There is no controversy. Stop trying to use science to support your particular brand of mythology.

I certainly don’t find it at all reasonable to go against our uniform observation of nature and say that suddenly, in this one case in the past, nature expressed a creative power of a mind.

That's not the claim. It is our uniform observation today that nature displays creative power. You subscribe to 'micro'-evolution, right? The claim of evolutionary theory is that nature has been, for some time now, about as creative as it is today.

I mean that appearance = reality shouldnt lead you automatically to the conclusion "so thats the way things are". Treat it as a hypothesis, find more evidence to support ones assertion - but thats not whats happening here. You've made an observation, drawn a conclusion, and ceased enquiry.
Let's take a look shall we, at the conclusions I actually drew rather than those you wish I had drawn
4. So, a good assumption is that for at least some of these instances of apparent design, appearance=reality.

5. So, a good assumption is that there are instances of design in nature.
6. So, a good assumption is that there is a designer.

When will any of these assumptions stop being good?

When we have good reason to think that appearance has come adrift of reality in the case of apparent design.

Notice that these conclusions, none of them, say "so that's the way it is...stop looking".

Read first. Then criticize.

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