Home » Intelligent Design, theistic evolution » A Solution To A Problem That No Longer Exists

A Solution To A Problem That No Longer Exists

I give UD’s Denyse credit for having come up with this insightful observation.

In another UD thread I came across this link. It represents the Episcopal church’s views on ID, and it is full of misinformation and misrepresentations.

The proponents of the Intelligent Design Movement assert that it is possible to discern scientifically the actions of God in nature.

Wrong. Anyone familiar with any basic ID literature would not make this blatant misrepresentation. I therefore must assume that the author of this claim never took the time to investigate ID, and probably got his ideas from the popular press.

…the great majority of scientists say that claims of “Intelligent Design” have not been backed up by valid scientific research and evidence.

The great majority of scientists might make this claim, but it is false. Michael Behe and Doug Axe have backed up their claims with precisely valid scientific research and evidence.

Evolution happens gradually, sometimes at a rapid rate and sometimes slowly, but never with discontinuities.

The fossil record is overwhelmingly discontinuous, and the discontinuities continue to mount as we discover more, especially concerning the Cambrian explosion.

Evolution happens because of natural selection; in the face of environmental pressures, some organisms will survive at higher rates than others. Charles Darwin was the first to bring together all these ideas. Scientific researchers since Darwin have refined and added to them, but never thrown out his basic theoretical framework.

Natural selection as the be-all and end-all of evolutionary change is under major attack, even within the scientific community and among some of the Darwinian faithful. It represents a completely unsupported extrapolation from the micro to the macro, and empirical evidence (as elucidated by Behe and others) has demonstrated this mechanism’s limitations.

The claims of this author concerning ID I could just as easily have read in the mainstream press or in an atheistic diatribe from Richard Dawkins.

As a final note: No comment is made in this document concerning the origin-of-information problem in biology. I must assume that the author is unaware of this, and that it is at the heart of the ID thesis.

The bottom line is what Denyse has observed: Christian Darwinism is a solution to a problem that no longer exists, because Darwinism is junk “science” with its roots in 19th-century ignorance.

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30 Responses to A Solution To A Problem That No Longer Exists

  1. ‘No comment is made in this document concerning the origin-of-information problem in biology. I must assume that the author is unaware of this, and that it is at the heart of the ID thesis.’

    That is indeed the heart of ID:

    a few notes;

    Stephen C. Meyer – Signature In The Cell:
    “DNA functions like a software program,” “We know from experience that software comes from programmers. Information–whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book or encoded in a radio signal–always arises from an intelligent source. So the discovery of digital code in DNA provides evidence that the information in DNA also had an intelligent source.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ligen.html

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity – David L. Abel – 2009
    Excerpt: “A monstrous ravine runs through presumed objective reality. It is the great divide between physicality and formalism. On the one side of this Grand Canyon lies everything that can be explained by the chance and necessity of physicodynamics. On the other side lies those phenomena than can only be explained by formal choice contingency and decision theory—the ability to choose with intent what aspects of ontological being will be preferred, pursued, selected, rearranged, integrated, organized, preserved, and used. Physical dynamics includes spontaneous non linear phenomena, but not our formal applied-science called “non linear dynamics”.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf

    “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107.”
    (The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

    “In the last ten years, at least 20 different natural information codes were discovered in life, each operating to arbitrary conventions (not determined by law or physicality). Examples include protein address codes [Ber08B], acetylation codes [Kni06], RNA codes [Fai07], metabolic codes [Bru07], cytoskeleton codes [Gim08], histone codes [Jen01], and alternative splicing codes [Bar10].
    Donald E. Johnson – Programming of Life – pg.51 – 2010

    Book Review – Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
    Excerpt: As early as the 1960s, those who approached the problem of the origin of life from the standpoint of information theory and combinatorics observed that something was terribly amiss. Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren’t chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds. If you look at the chemistry, it gets even worse—almost indescribably so: the precursor molecules of many of these macromolecular structures cannot form under the same prebiotic conditions—they must be catalysed by enzymes created only by preexisting living cells, and the reactions required to assemble them into the molecules of biology will only go when mediated by other enzymes, assembled in the cell by precisely specified information in the genome.
    So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it’s a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/docume.....k_726.html

    Systems biology: Untangling the protein web – July 2009
    Excerpt: Vidal thinks that technological improvements — especially in nanotechnology, to generate more data, and microscopy, to explore interaction inside cells, along with increased computer power — are required to push systems biology forward. “Combine all this and you can start to think that maybe some of the information flow can be captured,” he says. But when it comes to figuring out the best way to explore information flow in cells, Tyers jokes that it is like comparing different degrees of infinity. “The interesting point coming out of all these studies is how complex these systems are — the different feedback loops and how they cross-regulate each other and adapt to perturbations are only just becoming apparent,” he says. “The simple pathway models are a gross oversimplification of what is actually happening.”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....0415a.html

    etc.. etc.. etc…

  2. So ID does know the answer to the origin-of-information problem in biology or is it seeking the answer? So there is positive evidence for an intelligent designer from which this information is dispensed, not just calculations purporting to show the improbability of a blind, random assemblage of a protein?

  3. paragwinn,

    Nice strawman. ID does not, does not claim to, and does not intend to identify the designer. That there is a designer, yes. The approach is called ‘inference to the best explanation’ and is a valid scientific approach. Probability calculations are relevant, both for comparison to known sources of information and to counter the alleged alternative explanation.

  4. Gildodgen

    …the great majority of scientists say that claims of “Intelligent Design” have not been backed up by valid scientific research and evidence.

    The great majority of scientists might make this claim, but it is false. Michael Behe and Doug Axe have backed up their claims with precisely valid scientific research and evidence.

    You don’t understand why scientists don’t consider ID to be backed up by scientific research.  The work of Behe and Axe may or may not throw some doubt on current evolutionary theory but that is not evidence for design.  The trouble is that it is not clear what would be evidence for design without a specific designer in mind and therefore it is not possible to devise a research programme.

  5. Markf,

    You seem to be a man of great faith – in chance. At least the object of a Christian’s faith – an Intelligent Creator – better explains what we see than the object of the atheist’s faith – blind, random, chance.

  6. Hi Mark,

    It is misleading to claim that “scientists don’t consider ID to be backed up by scientific research”. All of the greatest scientists who ever lived believed that their work was shedding light on an incredibly ordered and intricately planned universe. What you really mean is “those scientists who have an a priori commitment to materialism [mostly atheists too] don’t consider ID to be backed up by scientific research”. Put that way, that’s hardly surprising and pretty trivial.

    Are you claiming that we can only seek evidence for design if we have a specific designer in mind? If so, then you’ve just dismissed forensic science too. That can’t be right.

  7. paragwinn asks;

    ‘So there is positive evidence for an intelligent designer from which this information is dispensed, not just calculations purporting to show the improbability of a blind, random assemblage of a protein?’

    I think there is positive evidence for a Intelligent Designer from which the information is dispensed, and ‘not just improbability calculations’.

    Quantum Entanglement/Information, which can’t be reduced to a materialistic basis,,,

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.’…

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    ,,, has now been found in molecular biology on a massive scale,,,

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    ,,,In the preceding video, ‘Gretchen’ asked if quantum entanglement/information could also somehow be measured in protein structures, besides just DNA, and it turns out that quantum entanglement/information has already been detected in protein structures. Here is one such measure;

    Scientists get glimpse of how the ‘code’ of life may have emerged – March 2011
    Excerpt: Rodriguez discovered that when she made these changes to the enzyme, the binding of the amino acid to the protein was strengthened, even though the amino acid binds far away from the positions where the changes were made. “It is totally counterintuitive,” ,,, In all, Rodriguez found that separately removing seven different “gears” from a distant part of the molecule each caused the amino acid to bind more tightly to the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. Perona explained that this provides the first systematic analysis demonstrating long-range communication in an enzyme that depends on RNA for its function.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....erged.html

    ,,, It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, for how can the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) ’cause’ when the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ falsified material particles as its own ‘causation’ in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability calculations of various ‘special’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place! Yet it is also very interesting to note, in Darwinism’s inability to explain this ‘transcendent quantum effect’ adequately, that Theism has always postulated a transcendent cause for life. i.e. God. It is also interesting to note that if materialism tried to ‘save itself’, from this necessity for a transcendent cause to explain quantum information in life, by appealing to the non-reductive materialistic framework of many-worlds, or multiverses, then they will destroy any rational basis in science they had, if indeed it could be argued that materialist ever had a rational basis for doing science in the first place.

    ,,,BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    further notes;

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    Can atheists trust their own minds? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byN38dyZb-k

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

    “Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth.
    As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain.” Creation-Evolution Headlines

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.

    John Lennox – Science Is Impossible Without God – Quotes – video remix
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6287271/

    etc.. etc..

  8. Hi Paragwinn,

    Further to the replies you’ve already had I would add that the evidence for Design is coming at you from two fronts. One positive (through the manifestation of dFSCI in nature) the other negative: existence is either a product of chance or design. If you eliminate chance, that leaves you with design.

  9. semi OT: just up at ENV

    Junk DNA and the Darwinist Response so Far – David Klinghoffer
    Excerpt: Over the weekend, Jonathan Wells’s The Myth of Junk DNA broke into the top five on Amazon’s list of books dealing with genetics — a list normally dominated at its pinnacle by various editions of Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene. Not bad, Jonathan, considering that Myth hasn’t even officially been published yet. (The formal release date is May 31.)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46611.html

  10. paragwinn:

    So ID does know the answer to the origin-of-information problem in biology or is it seeking the answer?

    Beats me why anyone here bothers to respond to anything you write. You repeatedly come here, post a snide comment, then disappear without actually engaging.

  11. markf:

    The work of Behe and Axe may or may not throw some doubt on current evolutionary theory but that is not evidence for design.

    Even if it is true that the work of Axe and Behe only dispute the case for Darwinism, how does it follow that their work does not provide evidence for intelligent design?

    After all, Darwinism just is design (or the appearance of design) without a designer.

    The trouble is that it is not clear what would be evidence for design without a specific designer in mind and therefore it is not possible to devise a research programme.

    The trouble is that it is not clear what would be evidence for the presence if a gravitational effect without a specific body in mind…

    Balderdash.

    A research programme could study known designers and the effects that they bring about, and attempt to make generalizations, and then based on those generalizations, make inferences that don’t depend on the presence of a specific instance of a specific designer…

    Oh, wait. That’s how science works.

    surely you’ve made this same argument numerous times and had it refuted, so why do you continue with the same old canard?

  12. Chris

    It is misleading to claim that “scientists don’t consider ID to be backed up by scientific research”. All of the greatest scientists who ever lived believed that their work was shedding light on an incredibly ordered and intricately planned universe.

    It is not completely true that all the greatest scientists believed this – Paul Dirac for example was an atheist. Wikipedia has a list of atheist scientists. But the main point is that even those scientists, such as Newton, who did believe their work was shedding light on a divine plan did not find evidence there was a plan. They just found order.  This is not in itself evidence for design.

    Are you claiming that we can only seek evidence for design if we have a specific designer in mind? If so, then you’ve just dismissed forensic science too. That can’t be right.

    I am claiming that you can only seek evidence for design if you make some assumptions about the powers and motivations of the designer.  Forensic science makes all sorts of assumptions about potential designers – primarily that they are human with human motives and limitations.

  13. 13

    Mark,

    To mention Dirac in the same breath as Newton is preposterous. We’ll just have to agree to disagree that Paul Dirac is one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. And Newton would disagree with you that he didn’t find evidence of a plan. Again, all of the greatest scientists who ever lived believed that the Book of Nature complimented the Book of Scripture. Anyone – scientist or otherwise – who contemplates the cell, down to all the amazing details we currently know about it, will find ample evidence for design. Have you read Meyer’s “Signature In The Cell” yet? I hope so. If so, what did you think of it?
    The first thing a forensic scientist establishes is whether or not their subject died by accident/natural causes or design. If the latter, they cannot primarily assume that the cause of death was human: animals kill humans too. Even if the cause of death was human, forensic scientists do not concern themselves with motives: that is field work for detectives. So you see, assumptions about powers and motives are not central to forensic science after all. Nor are they to Intelligent Design. In all walks of life, we can find evidence of design without knowing the slightest thing about the designer.

  14. The bottom line is what Denyse has observed: Christian Darwinism is a solution to a problem that no longer exists, because Darwinism is junk “science” with its roots in 19th-century ignorance.

    That’s bound to happen when you set out to conform your metaphysics to *today’s* physics.

  15. … If you eliminate chance, that leaves you with design.

    Since “chance” does not and cannot cause anything to happen, the only options for causes of events and states are unintended necessity or intended contingency. Note that intention does not necessarily rule out the possibility of non-intention results and states, but necessarily non-intention does rule out any intentional result or state.

  16. Chris

    To mention Dirac in the same breath as Newton is preposterous. We’ll just have to agree to disagree that Paul Dirac is one of the greatest scientists who ever lived.

    Yes.  In the end deciding who is a great scientist is subjective.  I do admit that Newton is unique.  But then if you make him the standard there is only one great scientist!

    And Newton would disagree with you that he didn’t find evidence of a plan.

    Possibly – but he had all sorts of weird beliefs.  My point is that what he discovered was not in fact evidence of design. It was only evidence of order.  This might be considered evidence for an omnipotent being who loved order, just as a disordered universe might be evidence for an omnipotent being who loved disorder. In fact any state of affairs X might be considered evidence for an omnipotent designer who loved X.  You have to start to characterise the designer’s powers and motives to make a reasonable case.

    Have you read Meyer’s “Signature In The Cell” yet? I hope so. If so, what did you think of it?

    No.  There are so many ID books. I can’t afford the time to read them all.  Have you read Elliott Sober “Evidence and Evolution”?

    The first thing a forensic scientist establishes is whether or not their subject died by accident/natural causes or design.

    But they have to do this by balancing specific accounts of both design and natural. If you make no assumptions about the designer then they could have had the desire and ability to exactly mimic death by natural causes.  Let us take a  mundane example. There is no need to be so dramatic as murder.  Suppose I find my library card is missing from my wallet.  Was it natural causes or by design?  Well it is pretty firmly wedged in the wallet so it seems very unlikely to have dropped out.  But on the other hand there would be very little point in someone taking it (motivation) and it is not clear how and when they could have removed it (ability). I certainly don’t see why or how any animal that I know would take it. I think on balance I would dismiss the idea that someone took it and look for other explanations. Perhaps I took out some other card and it dropped out at the same time.  But the important thing is I am assessing specific hypotheses about what happened.

  17. #11 Mung

    A research programme could study known designers and the effects that they bring about, and attempt to make generalizations, and then based on those generalizations, make inferences that don’t depend on the presence of a specific instance of a specific designer…

    It could.  But you would be studying designers with known limitations and known motives and you would find that what they create is what they want to create within their powers to do it!  It would be fallacious to extrapolate that to designers with unknown powers and motives.

    surely you’ve made this same argument numerous times and had it refuted, so why do you continue with the same old canard?

    You are right I have raised it many times.  Obviously I don’t believe anyone has ever successfully refuted it or I wouldn’t raise it. 

  18. markf,

    But you would be studying designers with known limitations and known motives and you would find that what they create is what they want to create within their powers to do it! It would be fallacious to extrapolate that to designers with unknown powers and motives.

    It would not be fallacious to, upon observing human design, extrapolate that to ‘Well, we know designers in principle are at least capable of what we’ve seen thus far.’ Nor would it be problematic to speculate about what a given designer could be capable of A) knowing what we know about current capabilities, and B) making some reasonable assumptions about possible capabilities. (“If the russkies have knowledge X, in theory they could use it to do act Y”, to put it in fun Cold War terms.)

    Every human technological or scientific advance adds to what is possible for designers to do in principle. In fact, it’s knowledge that’s superior to knowledge about “what can take place in the utter absence of design”, since we don’t ever observe that with anything approaching the certainty we do with design. It is, and always will be, assumed.

  19. The proponents of the Intelligent Design Movement assert that it is possible to discern scientifically the actions of God in nature.

    I’m not sure but to me the 4 Nails in Darwin’s Coffin seem to be just that – a demarcation of the actions of the intelligent designer versus the product of natural processes. Isn’t that except for the exchange of the word God for intelligent designer exactly the same claim?

  20. H’mm:

    Re Paragwinn @2: there is positive evidence for an intelligent designer from which this information is dispensed, not just calculations purporting to show the improbability of a blind, random assemblage of a protein?

    Excuse me, what is the commonly, routinely and ONLY observed source of FSCI-bearing entities, again?

    “Blind chance and mechanical necessity, of course!”

    NOT!

    In short, you are trying to dismiss a KNOWN cause because it is not convenient to where you want to go.

    Next, you have mischaracterised say the threshold or X-metric tests: these are lack of search resource results, not probability calculations.

    That is, for instance take the Chi_500 metric. The number of Planck time quantum states for the atoms of our solar system — our effective universe [the rest is beyond our reach] — since the origin of the cosmos is about 10^102. This is 48 orders of magnitude below 10^150 possibilities.

    That means that even a Planck-time state speed search by the resources of our solar system would hopelessly too small to be a realistic search. The search rounds down to zero, on inadequacy of sample size to find something rare in the config space. Without specific need to carry out a probability calculation.

    And, at 1,000 bits worth of states, the resources of the observed cosmos would be even more hopelessly inadequate.

    Worse, the fastest — strong force — nuclear interactions take up about 10^30 P-time states, and the fastest — ionic — chemical reactions about 10^30.

    The resources to mount a credible search are simply not there: too much haystack and too few needles.

    That means that we do not only have a known and plainly superior causal force that we OBSERVE producing FSCI, but we have a known inferior cluster of alternative causes.

    That there is a clinging to a known inferior attempted explanation in the teeth of such a challenge and such a direct observation of known adequate cause, is utterly revealing.

    The problem is not a scientific one, it is an ideological captivity one. In short, evolutionary materialism is held to be a “must be” explanation, on ideological grounds, not scientific ones.

    GEM of TKI

  21. #18 nullasus

    I agree with everything you have written.

  22. As a final note: No comment is made in this document concerning the origin-of-information problem in biology. I must assume that the author is unaware of this, and that it is at the heart of the ID thesis.

    Does Information Really Exist?

  23. MN:

    Please, stop projecting strawman caricatures.

    By now you know or should know that the issue is that design as causative process often leaves characteristic traces, traces that on empirical evidence and related analysies, we have reason to see as reliable signs of design.

    The study of those traces and their credible import on process is — as by now you know or should know — not the same as identification of the particular agent of the process. The UD weak argument correctives have highlighted this for years on every UD page, top right.

    It may not be neatly convenient for the “ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo” slanderous lie — those who push it know or should know it is false and it is plainly intended to smear, but it is the truth.

    You will note that for instance I have fairly often pointed out that life on earth as a sufficient cause could be explained on say a molecular nanotech lab several generations beyond Venter’s work.

    The side of ID that — even through a multiverse speculative suggestion — does credibly speak to an intelligent cause beyond our observed cosmos is cosmological fine tuning, a side of ID that I notice most objectors are very reluctant to discuss in any serious way.

    Endless repetition of long since corrected, false and smearing materialist agenda talking points such as the “cheap tuxedo” smear, simply reveals a want of respect for truth, fairness and other people.

    GEM of TKI

  24. @ kairosfocus

    I appreciate that you tried to address my post but I have to admit that I don’t understand how your post is related to what I said.

  25. MN:

    Please, take a read of the intro and first several WACs, top right, this and every UD page.

    You know or should know that the implication you suggest: “cheap tuxedo,” is a slander. On based on refusal to see what the design inference is about. (You might also want to look at the definition of ID.)

    You have been around UD for long enough to know or be in a position to know.

    GEM of TKI

  26. @ kairosfocus

    So the sentence

    The proponents of the Intelligent Design Movement assert that it is possible to discern scientifically the actions of the intelligent designer in nature.

    would not be objectionable?

  27. I would find it objectionable on at least two points.

    1. It’s not been established that there is a single designer. Wallace, for example, believed in multiple designers.

    2. It’s not been established that the as yet unidentified designer or designers are still operating (acting) in nature.

  28. MN:

    You know or should know that the issue is not “the intelligent designer.”

    Why do you keep loading your statements so much with poisonous misrepresentations?

    Do you think the likes of a Barbara Forrest and her NCSE ilk or their media talking heads are going to be telling the full and fair truth when they are plainly trying to protect an inadvertently exposed imposition of materialist censorship on science?

    If you are a bully and censor defending the indefensible — and that is manifestly the case for NCSE, the most effective rhetorical strategy is the blame the victim, turnabout accusation.

    So, I ask: why do you keep on projecting the notion that ID “must” be assuming and imposing a metaphysical a priori ["creationism in a cheap tuxedo"], instead of facing the fact that ID is doing just what it explicitly says: examining the world of cause-effect patterns across the known factors, necessity on initial conditions, chance circumstances and dynamics, art; thus identifying credible cause on empirically justified signs?

    It has been pointed out to you, with specific links, that the pivotal issue is the detection of design as an empirically warranted conclusion — per best scientific explanation of the observed facts of signs of causal pattern.

    Let’s put it in simple steps:

    1 –> Cause-effect patterns are a commonplace of observations since the days of Plato and beyond, with particular reference to chance, necessity and art.

    2 –> Each of these often leaves characteristic signs, e.g. if you drop a heavy object it falls under a force of necessity, gravity. If the object is a fair die, it tumbles to a reading essentially at random. The die may alternatively be loaded or may be manually set to read a given value.

    3 –> Similar patterns are routinely studied in experiment design, e.g. think of ANOVA and its use in control-treatment study designs with blocks and treatments. In such a study, variation is traced to chance and to interventions, and lawlike patterns of necessity may be inferred to explain the action of the successful treatment.

    4 –> In simpler exercises like studying how a pendulum’s period etc vary with length, arc and weight etc, we separate out random scatter, bias, necessity, and “cooking.” We even detect such from plotted graphs that display the different influences and effects.

    5 –> So, the per aspect, explanatory filter approach is simply systematising and viewing from a fresh perspective a common enough scientific task.

    6 –> Once reliable signs of necessity [lawlike regularities tracing to forces of nature], chance [stochastic contingency], and art [directed contingency] are identified and justified, we have a perfect right to infer on such signs to their most credible explanation, even in cases of origins science where we are trying to reconstruct a remote and unobserved past — we were plainly not there — on observable signs in the present. An exercise that has been done since Lyell, Wallace and Darwin et al.

    7 –> The difference is, we are taking signs of design seriously, and are not imposing materialistic censoring a prioris that say, regardless of implausibility and utter want of search resources on solar system or cosmic scales, we must subject ourselves to materialistic censorship.

    8 –> Instead, we make the signs speak for themselves, and ask: if we have a known routinely observed cause of such a sign [e.g. FSCI] and empirical and analytical reason to see that the other known cause of highly contingent outcomes is not a credible source, we should infer on best explanation to the known adequate cause.

    9 –> Think: what best explains the FSCI in the text of this post? In the operating system of the computer you are using to view this? Would lucky noise be a credible explanation of such complex functional organisation and associated information?

    10 –> So, when we see very similar FSCO/I in the coded DNA in the living cell, that expresses itself algorithmically though starting, step by step processing and halting, what is the most reasonable explanation, absent a priori imposition?

    11 –> the answer is obvious: FSCO/I is an empirically well warranted adequate cause for such, and it is the ONLY well warranted cause for such.

    12 –> So, despite the preferences of the materialists, the FSCO/I in the living cell is best causally explained as the artifact of design. Which credibly calls for designers as the known source of design.

    13 –> But that is a secondary issue: THAT TWEREDUN comes before WHODUNIT.

    14 –> And, we may be able to answer the first without being able to decisively answer the second, as ever so many forensic cases show.

    _________

    Frankly, I am telling myself, why is it — other than countering poisonous talking points — that after so many years, and so many explicit presentations of the above, I find myself trying to explain it yet again, to one who knows or should know this?

    GEM of TKI

  29. OOPS: design is an empirically warranted causal explanation for FSCO/I.

  30. 30

    Hi Mark,

    No, I’ve not read Sober’s “Evidence and Evolution”. I’m currently reading Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth” and Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True” is next on the list. However, I’ll do you a deal. Having sneaked a peak at Sober’s book in light of your reference I’ll be more than happy to read that next instead, provided you will return the favour by reading “Signature in the Cell” next. As I live in Enfield, I will even post you a copy of it.

    Going back to your argument, if life, the universe and everything was designed to look like it all made itself then, even though it was actually designed, there would be no scientific basis for Intelligent Design. But that’s not how it is. When we ask ourselves how did our planet come to be, and how did life on Earth come to exist there really are only two possible explanations:

    1. It all made itself (chance/accident)
    2. It was all made (design/planned)
    With 21st century scientific knowledge, we can now eliminate the first explanation. For me, the killer blow comes through the most staggeringly, amazingly complex thing in the known universe: the cell. It simply could not have made itself. As Mr Turell says on another thread “The start of living matter, organic from inorganic is at the level of a miracle. 60 years of research and we have only learned negatives.” And that’s just the start. How you get from the first organic matter to the cell is an infinitely more complicated problem. And not only does the cell eliminate the first explanation, but it provides further evidence for the second explanation. Again, to quote Mr Turell, “DNA/RNA is a fantastic efficient coding system. Only an extremely superior intelligence could have created a code of that complexity and efficiency.” This is why I urge you to read “Signature in the Cell”: it raises the bar so high that I don’t believe it is possible to disagree with its conclusions.

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