ARRRG! Enough Already With the “150 Years of Evidence” Bluff!!!
|August 17, 2012||Posted by Barry Arrington under Intelligent Design|
David W. Gibson writes in a comment to a prior post:
Joe, I think you have identified the problem here. In order to make his case airtight (i.e. that no other possible process can produce his entailments), Upright BiPed must prove a negative [Editors, i.e. that only intelligent agents produce semiotic* systems]. And I think he realizes this, which is why he simply continues to assert this. When the number of possibilities is unknown, process of elimination is not a valid means of picking one. I’d be willing to bet that Bill et. al. feel that they have indeed identified an alternative process, backed by 150 years of increasingly detailed scientific research. Their alternative may not meet what you feel are the necessary requirements (chance and necessity), but it’s possible that there are MANY possible alternatives. Upright BiPed’s semiosis might be one, chance and necessity might be another, biological evolution might be a third. If the third alternative should happen to be correct, you can’t deem if false simply because it isn’t the second alternative! And if you are fixed on one of many possible alternatives, and unluckily you happened to pick the wrong one, you run the serious risk of dismissing evidence for the right alternative because if it’s not evidence for YOUR alternative, you may not realize that it’s evidence at all.
David, it is true that Darwinists have been working feverishly for over 150 years. It is NOT true that they have demonstrated – I said “demonstrated,” not assumed – that a chance/necessity process can produce an abstract digital code. On his side Upright Biped has common everyday experience demonstrated billions of times each day – intelligent agents routinely create abstract digital codes. On their side Darwinists have 150 years of question begging.
Upright Biped does not assume the consequent. Here is his logic.
1. Intelligent agents are the only observed cause of semiotic systems.
2. DNA is an example of a semiotic system.
3. The best explanation for the existence of DNA is that an intelligent agent caused it.
Now certainly in response to this you can assert that it is not logically impossible for a chance based process to create a semiotic code, whether it is DNA or trillions of monkeys pounding on their proverbial typewriters. In response to your response KF has demonstrated over and over and over again that with respect to the configuration space we are talking about, the size of the target (i.e., a meaningful digital code) is vanishingly small.
In other words, you are essentially saying, “Yea, intelligent agents routinely produce abstract digital codes, but maybe DNA was the result of pulling a needle out of a billion billion billion haystacks. Or maybe some process we haven’t even conceived of created the code.”
David, the entire ID movement would go away tomorrow if you or anyone else were able to point to ONE instance where a semiotic system was observed to have been spontaneously generated by chance or necessity or a combination of both. And when I say “observed” I mean “observed,” not inferred on the basis of question begging a priori assumption.
Don’t tell me there is 150 years of accumulated evidence. That’s a bluff! I call your bluff. Show me one – just one; that’s all I ask – concrete example.
I won’t hold my breath.
*“Semiotics” is the study of signs and symbols. In essence, Upright Biped’s argument is that the DNA code is an abstract symbol system and intelligent agents are the only known cause of abstract symbol systems.