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November 30, 2015

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no rigorous testable basis for detecting design in subject items of unknown provenance. Therefore claims of 'design' are just plain false.

This is just silliness.

Mike's assertion:

“no testable basis” = claims of design are just plain false

Even if the first part were true (which it certainly isn’t) it wouldn’t follow that claims of design are “just plain false”.

Again, how silly.

Wisdom Lover

I hardly "sawed the branch off I was sitting on". As I noted, all the 'greats' of ID recognise that there is a problem with detecting 'design' in artefacts of unknown provenance. For example, are sand dunes designed? Snow flakes? Smooth pebbles?

"I don't see why the statement "It looks designed, so unless and until proven otherwise, I'm going with the assumption that it is designed" is bad."

That statement would be ok - thats a hypothesis. But:
1. Thats not whats going on - design and the existence of a designer is the conclusion, meant to be taken as a fact
2. If that were a hypothesis its long since been crushed by the mountains of evidence for evolution

"Of course, if you've got a nice proof that, in this case, looks are deceiving, then the case is different"

Well therein lies the rub - there is a mountain of evidence for evolution and precisely zero to support intelligent design.

You see the assertion of design is is an infinitely flexible ad-hoc rationalization. Ive seen on here assertions that even features like the recurrent laryngeal nerve is an example of design - deliberately designed badly - yet in the same breath people forget that the alleged designer has attributes like perfect, omniscient, omnipotent etc etc. Anything can be claimed to be designed if you simply refrain from making any constraints on what the designer was trying to achieve.

My beef with ID is that to jump from "it looks designed (i.e. well suited to its environment - a function/form observation) therefore its was designed I.E. THERE WAS A DESIGNER" is simply intellectually lazy and agenda driven thinking.

Im all up for a discussion about design - look, Im doing it right now - BUT - artefacts arising from known manufacturing processes are qualitatively different from the rest of the world, and said artefacts are not self-replicating entities. Therefore taking everyday experience and applying that to the rest of the world is simply wrong. We have to think more deeply about the processes that were involved - which is why we have arrived at the spectacularly successful theory of evolution.

"But it doesn't look like you've got such a proof. Instead, it looks like you reject that things are as they seem just because this method is at play."

Nope. For reasons Ive just explained above, people that are claiming that artefact x is designed need to pony up evidence as well as define what they mean by "designed". And the IDers understand that as I explained earlier - thus CSI and all that gobbledegook.

And I never mentioned the universe.

Not seeing this refuted...

I'm not seeing it defended.

It's a disjoint collection of disjoint, vague, unsupported claims.

Still, I'll make a start.

But, in the end it is only a metaphor. In the words of the antenna designers, what they did is a "stochastic search and optimization technique". It is "inspired by natural evolution"

Only a metaphor?

No. A metaphor is a figure of speech. Typically, a metaphor offers one or two points of comparison for the purpose of entertainment.

The programs simulate evolution. If a simulator accurately captures the essential features of the simulated, it's expected to perform like the simulated. That goes far far beyond metaphor.

Stochastic search and optimization technique?

Sounds like it simulates evolution. What is supposed to be a problem here?

Inspired by natural evolution?

Sure enough.

Is that meant to show that the programmers did antenna design?

there is a problem with detecting 'design' in artefacts of unknown provenance.
That is, there is a problem with detecting design in things not known to be designed.

Unless one first produces the designer, you can't prove design?

Is that it?

My beef with ID is that to jump from "it looks designed (i.e. well suited to its environment - a function/form observation) therefore its was designed I.E. THERE WAS A DESIGNER" is simply intellectually lazy and agenda driven thinking.
Yes, you'd already said that.

So it seems that we can never assume that things are as they seem. That's lazy agenda-driven thinking.

How were you going to do science then?

As for this notion of defining "design", it seems at least possible to me that that's a lot like defining "red"...maybe you just know it when you see it. After all, if we didn't just see design in things, how could people even say that X has the appearance of design?

Might I ask how you define "design"?

Finally, on the idea that evolution research has mountains of proof that things aren't designed.

For starters, at the absolute maximum, evolution research produces evidence that things might not be designed. That positing a designer is not necessary to explain the appearance of design. It does not show that things are not designed. So the best argument leads to this situation:

  1. Some things seem designed
  2. We have evidence suggesting that they might not be.
Mightn't it still be reasonable in that case to proceed from the assumption that, things are as they seem?

The topic was the compatibility of design and evolution.

RonH,

The topic was the compatibility of design and evolution.

An omnipotent God managing an informationless process or an unguided process is incoherent. (God is the creator of all information)

Those things can’t coexist.

In other words, an omnipotent God that has the foreknowledge of every single jot and tittle of every thing that comes to pass causes the question to be nonsensical.

If a Christian wants to embrace some form of evolution, the only option is to say that God has and will manage it all.

The whole thing.

To the Christian:

What does God not guiding an impersonal process look like anyway?

No pesky human free will to explain away God not getting his way.

KWM,

We're talking about an intelligent designer, not an omnipotent God.

RonH,

We're talking about an intelligent designer, not an omnipotent God.

But that’s the problem.

Where are the folks that believe in just an intelligent designer?

The problem is the intelligent designer is (supposedly) not necessarily anyone in particular.

One claim ( not the topic here) is that living things look designed (by someone intelligent).

The odd claim we are dealing with is that such designer couldn't design evolution to get living things looking the way they do.

What if evolution and ID are compatible only if the designer is omnipotent?

Is that impossible?

RonH,

The odd claim we are dealing with is that such designer couldn't design evolution to get living things looking the way they do.

Odd how?

Do you think that your antennae example makes it more feasible that an intelligent designer could have designed evolution (as it’s defined by evolutionary scientists) than if you had no antennae example?

Surely you see a difference between asking if some person can use a genetic algorithm to evolve an antenna and an intelligent designer that designed the evolutionary process.

Such designer...is not an omnipotent God.

So what other qualities would you strip this intelligent designer of? I imigine you’d strip this intelligent designer of all qualities god-like?

Eventually you’d just have some sort of cosmic NASA designer or something.

That’s odd.


evolution and ID are compatible only if the designer is omnipotent


An odd and interesting claim.

But I don't see a contradiction off hand.

Are not the NASA guys evidence against?

Are you making the claim?

I accidently posted my comment above before I was finished. It reads more snarky than if I had had time to edit. Apologies.


evolution and ID are compatible only if the designer is omnipotent …Are you making the claim?.....

No I’m not. My point was that the Christian had to totally redefine evolution so as to make it unrecognizable to the evolutionary scientist and Ron to advance it.

If they don’t:

Then they make God unrecognizable to the Christian.

the Christian had to totally redefine evolution


Who is 'the Christian'?

The Biologos 'crowd' we hear about from Greg?


Then they make God unrecognizable to the Christian.

But wait.

The ID'er is not necessarily a god, right?

The ID'er is not necessarily a god, right?

Precisely.

So what would this ID’er be exactly?

You have no idea, to be sure. Would this ID’er be like Poseidon, Zeus, Jupiter?

This is the problem:

We need a Christian to advance that God is the ID’er and that He designed evolution as an unguided process. I’ve already addressed the problems there.

OR

We need someone to say they’re not a Christian, but they believe in an ID’er who designed evolution as an unguided process.

So far, I don’t see any takers.

So where does Ron fall?

You’re neither, of course. But you’d like a Christian to acknowledge that it’s reasonable to believe that an ID’er is not God.

Would that be a victory for you? Not really. You would shine the light on foolishness though.

Can Intelligent Design and Evolution Both Be True?

It's nothing to do with Christianity.

It's nothing to do with Christianity.

Oh come on. Nothing?

Then who exactly are you engaging here?

Here we are on a Christian website.

If what you say is true, I’m still waiting for the takers.

Poseidon, Zeus, Jupiter anyone?

And again, if this has nothing to do with God (or Christianity) where are those who believe what you’re advancing makes any sense at all?

I hear crickets. You certainly don’t believe it. Why are you bent out of shape about anyone else rejecting it?

You could just as easily say this has nothing to do with atheism.

If you pushed this beyond this forum, you’d be forced to tell anyone who objects to this that it has nothing to do with their objections. Christianity, Deism, Islam, Atheism, etc.

So what would that tell you?

Here we are on a Christian website.

So?

And again, if this has nothing to do with God (or Christianity) where are those who believe what you’re advancing makes any sense at all?

I said before I'm not advancing it.

Actually, I don't defend it or believe it. All I'm saying is there's no contradiction in it.

All I'm saying is there's no contradiction in it.

That’s pretty unremarkable.

Especially when you set all your own definitions to assure no contradiction:

“The ID’er is not God.”

“The ID’er is not omnipotent.”

“The ID’er doesn’t have foreknowledge.”

“The ID’er is not personal.”

“The ID’er can design an unguided process.”

On and on.

So what, Ron?

There’s no contradiction in Poseidon is the god of the sea.

Maybe this powerful ID’er is just a NASA scientist designing A.I. software for an antenna?

The ID’er is just a figment of imagination – we all know that.

Still no takers.

That’s pretty unremarkable.

Sorry. But it's exactly the question at hand.

But it's exactly the question at hand.

And thanks to this exchange we’ve defined it down to be meaningless.

"We've defined it down to be meaningless"

Well stated.


Also, again, still not seeing this refuted:


".....The term 'evolution' (for what went on in the antenna design) is a metaphor that makes it easier for scientists to explain what went on. But, in the end it is only a metaphor. In the words of the antenna designers, what they did is a "stochastic search and optimization technique". It is "inspired by natural evolution", but it is not the same thing. There are dozens of stochastic search techniques (hill climbing, simulated annealing) each of which uses a different metaphor to describe how it works. We shouldn't be confused by the metaphor. (Hence my first link in a previous post: Metaheuristics—the metaphor exposed.) If someone had invented harmony search before evolutionary algorithms, we'd say that harmonies were used to refine the antenna, not evolution, and we might not be having this discussion...."

"Also, again, still not seeing this refuted:"


No need, its not relevant.

The only relevant thing here is the staggering lack of evidence for ID.

Are snowflakes designed scbrownlhrm?

KWM, you said

Ron, you set all your own definitions to assure no contradiction:
“The ID’er is not God.”

“An ID’er is not omnipotent.”

“An ID’er doesn’t have foreknowledge.”

“An ID’er is not personal.”

“An ID’er can design an unguided process.”

I think you misquote me.

I would say a generic ID'er might or might not be a god. Might or might not be omnipotent. Might or might not have foreknowledge. And I would say a generic ID'er could design an unguided process.

I also think the Discovery Institute promotes a generic ID'er like this one.

But whereas I also would say an ID'er might or might not be personal, I think the DI would probably disagree on that. Whereas I think you could program a computer to design the way people do, the DI probably would say you could never do that.

The DI claims to begin without assuming any ID'er. They claim that an ID'er is a possible/reasonable/inescapable conclusion you can reach by looking at, and reasoning about, the available evidence.

Of course, the DI want's to conclude that the ID'er (probably) is God. They would not say He designed an unguided process.

Maybe they'd even say an unguided process (evolution), designed or not, could not produce (for example) an eye. The example of the NASA guys is a problem for them.

You say "we've defined down" Tim's question...

Can Intelligent Design and Evolution Both Be True?
... to be meaningless.

I would say we've actually 'defined up' Tim's question.

Consider a different question...

Can an Eye Be Both Intelligently Designed and Evolved?

This is the question Tim actually addressed because he assumed the design had to be in the living thing itself as opposed to in the process of evolution.

The answer here is: No, there's a contradiction.

Design requires planning - that's a defining element.
Evolution, by definition, doesn't include planning.

An eye can't be both designed and evolved because it can't have been both planned and not planned.

But, as we've seen, that doesn't mean ID and evolution can't both be true.

What we've done in this exchange is not meaningless.

Some theists, including some Christians, believe evolution is true.

Do you want to persuade them evolution is false?

Is that important (meaningful) to you?

If it is, you had better understand the difference between

Can Intelligent Design and Evolution Both Be True?
and
Can an Eye Be Both Intelligently Designed and Evolved?

Evolution, by definition, doesn't include planning.
So if I write an evolutionary algorithm for designing a widget, but I'm such a super-genius that I know how it will turn out, and I chose to write that algorithm rather than another because it fits my plan to do so, that the algorithm somehow becomes non-evolutionary? But the exact same algorithm is evolutionary if written by a less competent programmer who does not know exactly how it will turn out?

Sorry, no sale.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-wallace/intelligent-design-is-dea_b_1175049.html

This guy is Christian and a cosmologist

"stochastic search and optimization technique" in snowflakes? Huh?

Computer programmers, computer programs, stochastic searches, and optimization techniques in snowflakes?

That's news. Irrelevant news. But news. Odd that it was introduced here though.

RonH,

And I would say a generic ID'er could design an unguided process.

Generic? Generically meaningless.

All you’re saying, again, is "Look at my antennae example".

And everyone should say, “Cool, but so what?”

This is what you're doing:

Generic ID’er = Jason Lohn (NASA scientist)

Evolution = Antenna

We’re still in the same spot. If you want to say there's no contradiction there because you get to define all the terms, complete with some sort of Acme Co. ID'er, fine.

The contradictions start flying when the questions come rolling in about terms and definitions.

The DI would not say He designed an unguided process.

Because it's hard say that with a straight face.

Still no takers.

Are snowflakes designed?

I'm not speaking for scbrownlhrm, but what’s so special about snowflakes? It seems they were designed for all the reasons Christians believe the universe is designed.

You think just because we understand what makes snowflakes look the way they look, they aren’t designed? Or just because we can do it ourselves, snowflakes aren’t designed?

WL,

You said

So if I write an evolutionary algorithm for designing a widget, but I'm such a super-genius that I know how it will turn out, and I chose to write that algorithm rather than another because it fits my plan to do so, that the algorithm somehow becomes non-evolutionary? But the exact same algorithm is evolutionary if written by a less competent programmer who does not know exactly how it will turn out?
I wondered if someone would say/ask this.


What do you mean that you 'know how it will turn out'?

In other words, how do you know how it will turn out.

What kind of super-genius do you have?


KWM

So you think snowflakes are designed?

But we understand the processes involved in creating snowflakes. And we can replicate them.

No designer - intelligent or not - required.

Now if you are saying that God created a universe that is endowed with the ability to produce beautiful objects such as snowflakes - and therefore the universe was designed - this is a WHOLLY different claim to that made by ID about design and designers.

Oh - why snowflakes is a question I should answer.

Looking at a snowflake, its seductively easy to say that something so beautiful, so ornate, and so logically and precisely structured must be a product of an intelligence.

I mean - its obvious isnt it? Its common sense?

Snowflakes?

The topic was Can Intelligent Design and Evolution Both Be True?

Mike asked about snowflakes for some reason.

Computer programmers, computer programs, stochastic searches, and optimization techniques prove that both can be true. "Bench-tops" come in all sorts of "sizes" and "worlds". All one needs is Mind + Stuff. Discover *evil* too and it's case closed.

The point of snowflakes is that, as schlbrown all too readily shows, it's all too easy to spot 'design'.
Until ID shoes how to determine 'designed' from 'non-designed' then it's not going to get out of the starting blocks.
So the answer to the question is just a resounding 'No'; it's tedious that the question gets asked I the first place

""stochastic search and optimization technique" in snowflakes? Huh?

Posted by: scbrownlhrm | December 07, 2015 at 01:20 AM

Computer programmers, computer programs, stochastic searches, and optimization techniques in snowflakes?

That's news. Irrelevant news. But news. Odd that it was introduced here though"

you missed the point again scbrownlhrm

The point is that claims of design by people that back ID are nothing more than 'it looks designed therefore it was designed therefore there must be a designer'

The point of the snowflake is that the illusion of design is just that - because we understand that this seemingly designed thing was not designed at all - we understand the natural processes involved. NO need for God - oh sorry, I mean the intelligent designer.

ID has zero evidence to support it.

Therefore the answer to the title of this thread must be "no".

Let me put it another way: The topic is not how to spot design or how easy it is to do so or who asked about them.

What's the topic?

Them snowflakes, that is.

The point of the snowflake is that the illusion of design is just that - because we understand that this seemingly designed thing was not designed at all

Mike, snowflakes don't exhibit the kind of design we're talking about. Simple patterns (ABABAB) in things like crystals do not necessitate design. They're a result of physical properties. The kind of design cited in things like DNA happens when the particular way the building blocks came together was not determined by physical properties (i.e., there's no natural law that determined that amino acids must come together in a certain order—they can combine in a vast number of combinations)—in the same way that the physical properties of ink and paper don't determine the arrangement of letters on the page. These aren't simple, repeating patterns, these are encyclopedias of information—meaningful information that directs the development of the organism.

To illustrate the difference, imagine I drop some oil on the surface of some water. The patterns that emerge may be pretty, but that won't indicate design. If, on the other hand, I dip something in the oil and use it to write a sentence on the ground next to the water, the message I write will unmistakably indicate design.

Mike,

YOUR claim that I've so much as made even a hint of any claim at all here that snowflakes are designed or any derivative thereof is not MY claim that snowflakes are designed nor any derivative thereof since I'VE never claimed any such thing.

Stop putting words in my mouth.

imagine I drop some oil on the surface of some water

Amy,

Are you claiming that's analogous to evolution?


This is the last thing I’ll say about snowflakes.

Mike brought them up. His question was:

Are snowflakes designed?

I said yes. They are designed. I did not say that it was just like evolution.

Amy responded that snowflakes don’t exhibit the same kind of design. True. They don't.

But they are designed. Christians believe that all nature was designed. So if a Christian says snowflakes aren’t designed then most likely they aren't thinking it through fully.

KWM,

Individual snowflakes seem to form via a natural process.

Do you think they are individually designed?

Amy

Im glad you agree that its important to be able to detect design. So now the question is how you go about doing this.

Is this about '(meaningful) information'? Do I need to remind you of IDs failed attempts to detect design using Complex Specified Information?

Look people - on the current balance of evidence, ID is dead. It isnt useful in expanding our knowledge of the way the universe works. Plenty of theists have abandoned it and more still ignored it in the first place. I know you all hates evilution but evolution is entirely compatible with the bible and religion. The Pope and The Archbishop of Cantebury both think so - do you guys know more than them?

Mike

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