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ID: Living Things Appear To Be Designed Because They Are Designed

At its core ID affirms the truth of two statements and then makes a logical deduction:

Statement 1. Designers often leave behind objectively discernible indicia of design in the things they design.

Statement 2. Some aspects of living things exhibit these objectively discernible indicia of design.

Logical conclusion. Therefore, the best explanation for the existence of the aspects of living things that exhibit these objectively discernible indicia of design is that they were in fact designed.

In a comment to a prior post lastyearon says the ID project is “meaningless.” That is a powerful charge to make; therefore it is incumbent upon lastyearon to prove his case. That, in turn, is a very tall order, because statement 1 is obviously true, and everyone agrees that statement 2 at least appears to be true. Finally, the conclusion is a perfectly valid logical inference following from the truth of statements 1 and 2. Let us examine these claims.

Everyone agrees that statement 1 is true. Entire scientific disciplines (archeology, forensics, cryptology) rest on that being the case. The truth of the proposition is practically self-evident. What are these indicia of design? Certainly two such indicia are specified complex information and irreducible complexity.

As for statement 2, even atheistic naturalists such as Dawkins, Crick, Dennett, Huxley, and Simpson admit that living things appear to have been designed for a purpose:

“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design (New York; Norton, 1986), 1.

“Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988; reprint, London: Penguin: 1990), 138-139.

“At first sight the biological sector seems full of purpose. Organisms are built as if purposefully designed, and work as if in purposeful pursuit of a conscious aim. But the truth lies in those two words ‘as if.’ As the genius of Darwin showed, the purpose is only an apparent one.” Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action (1953; reprint, Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK: Penguin, 1963), 16.

Evolution itself seems to be such a mindless and cruel thing. How can such heartless culling produce the magnificent designs that we see around us? It seems just about impossible that such a simple mechanical sieve could produce such amazing design in the biosphere . . . First I want to remind you of what Francis Crick called Orgel’s Second Rule. ‘Evolution is cleverer than you are.’ Now what Crick meant by this jape, of course, was that again and again and again evolutionists, molecular biologists, biologists in general, see some aspect of nature which seems to them to be sort of pointless or daft or doesn’t make much sense – and then they later discover it’s in fact an exquisitely ingenious design – it is a brilliant piece of design – that’s what Francis Crick means by Orgel’s Second Rule . . . What you have to understand is that the process itself has no foresight; it’s entirely mechanical; has no purpose – but it just happens that that very process dredges up, discovers, again and again and again, the most wonderfully brilliant designs – and these designs have a rationale. We can make sense of them. We can reverse-engineer them, and understand why they are the wonderful designs they are.

Daniel C. Dennett, speech celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication of Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, London, March 16, 2006; full text of speech available on the web at http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/selfish06/selfish06_index.html
accessed May 27, 2006

A telescope, a telephone, or a typewriter is a complex mechanism serving a particular function. Obviously, its manufacturer had a purpose in mind, and the machine was designed and built in order to serve that purpose. An eye, an ear, or a hand is also a complex mechanism serving a particular function. It, too, looks as if it had been made for a purpose. This appearance of purposefulness is pervading in nature, in the general structure of animals and plants, in the mechanisms of their various organs, and in the give and take of their relationships with each other. Accounting for this apparent purposefulness is a basic problem for any system of philosophy or of science.

George Gaylord Simpson, ‘‘The Problem of Plan and Purpose in Nature,” Scientific Monthly (June 1947): 481.

Finally, the logical conclusion follows from the truth of the two premises. This is simple enough. “X” appears to be fit within Class “A” because it is in fact a member of Class “A” and not Class “B.” Indeed, it seems obvious that when any given thing appears to fit squarely within a class of things, the burden of proving that it is not in that class should be on those who deny it. In the case of the appearance of design in nature – which everyone on both sides admits – the burden should be on those who deny design, not the other way around. Be that as it may, certainly one valid inference from the appearance of design is that design in fact happened.

In summary, therefore, all reasonable Darwinists agree that statement 1 is true. Moreover, all reasonable Darwinists should agree that if statements 1 and 2 are true, then the conclusion logically follows. The only matter dividing Darwinists and ID proponents lies in the Darwinists’ denial of the truth of the second statement.

Let’s look at that statement again:

Statement 2. Some aspects of living things exhibit these objectively discernible indicia of design.

As we have seen, a Darwinist would modify this statement as follows (modifications indicated by capitals):

Statement 2. Some aspects of living things APPEAR TO exhibit these objectively discernible indicia of design. THIS APPEARANCE, HOWEVER, IS AN ILLUSION, BECAUSE CHANCE AND NECESSITY HAVE MIMICKED DESIGN.

ID, then, is the project of demonstrating that the appearance of design in living things is the product of actual design; and Darwinism is the project of demonstrating that the appearance of design in living things is an illusion.

The challenge ID poses to Darwinism is daunting, because Darwinists have yet to demonstrate in a non-question begging way that the appearance of design is false. On the other hand, ID proponents have demonstrated beyond doubt that complex specified information and irreducible complexity are beyond the ken of chance or necessity and the combination of the two.

Where, then, are we left with lastyearon’s charge? It turns out that the charge is so absurd. What is meaningless about investigating whether the appearance of design is real or an illusion? Lastyearon’s ideological blinders have left him literally unable to see the obvious absurdity of his statement.

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37 Responses to ID: Living Things Appear To Be Designed Because They Are Designed

  1. Barry,

    There were some lively, productive conversations around what constitute “objectively discernible indicia of design”, which is really the crux of the issue. That is, before you banned almost every one of the participants on one side of the debate.

  2. 2

    lastyearon, I see you want to change the subject instead of trying to defend your charge against ID. Not surprising since your charge was wholly false, irresponsible and bordering on idiotic. Does this mean you are going to withdraw the charge? I won’t be holding my breath while I wait for you to do the only honest and responsible thing.

  3. I disagree with your statement #1. I don’t think there are “objectively discernible indicia of design”. As a result, I disagree with the rest of your post.

  4. lastyearon

    I disagree with your statement #1. I don’t think there are “objectively discernible indicia of design”. As a result, I disagree with the rest of your post.

    …then I have some land to sell you in Florida…

    Seriously? So forensic science doesn’t exist in your universe?

  5. “I don’t think there are “objectively discernible indicia of design”

    Then kindly demonstrate the unguided rise of the relationships observed to exist in the transfer of recored information… otherwise do the personally honest thing and admit that you will not accept material evidence as an inference to design.

  6. 6

    lastyearon is so typical of many of the materialists who post on this site. Faced with unanswerable counters to their talking points they are all adrift, and resort to denying self-evident truth. Sad really.

  7. –lastyearon: “I don’t think there are “objectively discernible indicia of design”.

    The anthropologist who discerns the design inherent in an ancient hunter’s spear will be happy to know that.

    Are you for real?

  8. It is beyond surreal that the very sphere in which study of the design, specifications and the most precise measurements of everything from matter, itself, to every material object in the universe, is its sole speciality, should be at the mercy of the most improbable fantasists, whose sorry flights of fancy Jospeh Heller would have been at a loss to dream up in his darkest moments. And these same Walter Mittys actually constitute the empirical-science establishment.

    And we laugh at the medieval people who thought they were being cheated of part of their life, when the calendar year was changed, slightly truncated….

  9. I’d always found it strange that, I think in Wisdom or in at least one of the sapiential books of the Old Testament, incorrigible worldlings, wholly lacking in wisdom, were described as ‘simple’.

    It makes absolutely perfect sense now, of course, in the context of their thoroughgoing repudiation of empirical science, as well.

  10. OT:

    Are You Looking for the Simplest and Clearest Argument for Intelligent Design? – Granville Sewell – video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....56711.html

  11. Barry:
    lastyearon is so typical of many of the materialists who post on this site.

    What “many”? You got rid of most of them, remember? Let me rephrase that for you:

    “lastyearon is so typical of the few remaining materialists who post on this site.”

    UD Editors: Norm, do you have a substantive comment to make or do you just want to whine? If you just want to whine, that’s OK. Go ahead if it makes you feel better.

  12. I disagree with your statement #1. I don’t think there are “objectively discernible indicia of design”.

    And that’s fine, science isn’t for everyone. But look at the bright side- you can keep your convenience store clerk job.

  13. Yes, yes, we can all tell the effects of human design. (Archaeology, Stonehenge, messages-in-sand, yada yada.)

    No one here has demonstrated that there is a super class of “designedness” that is categorically distinct from nature (chance and contingency, blind undirected processes, whatever). You know,”objectively discernible indicia of design”.

  14. NormO, Joe — LOL! Thanks for keeping things light!

    ————

    lastyearon @13:

    If there are no objectively discernible indicia of design, why in the world were you so quick to agree to “archaeology, Stonehenge, messages in sand, yada, yada”? Think about it. It is because they contain indicia of design. That’s what we’re talking about.

  15. No one here has demonstrated that there is a super class of “designedness” that is categorically distinct from nature (chance and contingency,

    Yes they have, you just refuse to recognize it. Semiosis is only known to exist by the mechanisms available within the living kingdom. There is no mechanism within inanimate matter to create the relationships required for information to be recorded and transferred.

  16. –lastyearon: “Yes, yes, we can all tell the effects of human design. (Archaeology, Stonehenge, messages-in-sand, yada yada.)”

    LOL. You originally claimed that there are no objectively discernible indicators of design, which is another way of characterizing the recognizable effects of design, but now, after being refuted, you claim that you meant something else.

    –”No one here has demonstrated that there is a super class of “designedness” that is categorically distinct from nature (chance and contingency, blind undirected processes, whatever).”

    What is a “super class of designedness?” What does “categorically distinct from nature” mean?

    –”You know,”objectively discernible indicia of design”.

    How can we know what you mean if you don’t mean what you say?

  17. OT: This quote is just too good not to share:

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” – Eugene Wigner – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    Quote taken from the 4:35 mark of this video

    Physics, Metaphysics & the Consciousness Connection 4 of 18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giWvhm1puBc

    to reiterate the argument for God from consciousness:

    The argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kpDwWetu66fBRlPM7zjA5BpHzcu5wBY7AdB7gOz51OQ/edit

  18. As a so-far surviving member of the non-ID crowd here, let me point out that Barry’s argument is a prime example of embedding all sorts of assumptions into one’s premises in order to make something look like a “logical” argument. As we discussed in an earlier thread, there is a difference between a valid argument, in which the logic is correct, and a sound argument, for which the premises must be accurate reflections of reality. Leaving aside the issue of whether the premises are accurate reflections of reality, it looks to me like his argument isn’t logically valid.

    First, Barry’s argument is

    Statement 1. Designers often leave behind objectively discernible indicia of design in the things they design.

    Statement 2. Some aspects of living things exhibit these objectively discernible indicia of design.

    Logical conclusion. Therefore, the best explanation for the existence of the aspects of living things that exhibit these objectively discernible indicia of design is that they were in fact designed.

    Now consider this syllogism:

    All X are A
    Y is an A
    Therefore, Y is an X

    This syllogism is false.

    Barry’s argument takes this form, and is a false syllogism. Even though designers leave “objectively discernible indicia”, (and that itself is assuming a conclusion that is not “obviously true”), it is possible (the position of non-IDsts) that natural processes leave behind the same objectively discernible indicia (ODI). In this case, if designers leave behind ODI and natural processes also leave behind ODI, then the conclusion that life is designed because it has ODI is a false conclusion.

    In order to have a valid syllogism, Barry’s Statement 1 would have to say “designers, and only designers, leave behind …”. Otherwise, he has not precluded that other processes might leave behind the exact same “objectively discernible indicia” that designers do. This omission skips right over the very heart of the undecided issue: that there ODI that truly distinguishes designed form non-designed things, and more importantly, that there is an empirically reliable method of distinguishing things that must have been designed from those that arise through natural processes.

    So this “logical argument” is not very compelling: depending on how we read Statement 1, it is either logically invalid (if it just starts with “designers …” or it begs the question (if it starts with “designers, and only designers”, and it certainly skips over the very large empirical issues concerning the real-world validity of the concepts of specified complex information and irreducible complexity.

    I’m not here to argue the whole “specified complex information and irreducible complexity” thing. I’m just pointing out that putting it all in the form of a logical syllogism is an empty enterprise, burying all the conclusions and empirically undecided issues into the premises so that it all looks “logical”, as if that adds anything to the discussion of the real issues.

  19. No Aleta, it would be more like:

    Xs produce Y

    A contains Y

    Therefor X produced the Y in A

  20. Aleta, I’m glad you’re still around! :)

    I applaud you on getting close to the heart of the matter and I think you have some valid points, which perhaps I can address.

    Part of the ID enterprise as you know — certainly part of the work that ID scientists like Behe are doing — is identifying the boundaries of what natural processes can do and what requires design.

    In addition, there is no question that a serious discussion can be had as to the indicia of design and which indicia are reasonable. I don’t think that was the point of Barry’s post.

    If I may be so bold as to speak to Barry’s post for a moment, we have been in a long discussion with lastyearon about (i) whether ID is equal to, or a superset of, creationism, (ii) whether ID makes any testable claims, and (iii) whether ID is non-substantive.

    I agree with you that Barry’s statement #1 buries (or ‘incorporates’ is probably a better word) an important aspect of the discussion, namely whether designed things sometimes do leave behind objective indicia of design. That is why I prefer the formulation I used in my comment on a related thread:

    1. Are some things intelligently designed (as opposed to being the result of purely natural and material processes)?

    2. If so, is it possible to identify whether something was designed if we don’t know the actual historical account of its origin?

    Barry is answering these two questions in the affirmative and restating them as a single statement that, yes, there are designed things and they sometimes do leave behind identifiable indicia of design.

    Now, we could fault Barry for skipping a step in his explanation, but I do think it is instructive that his statement is correct, even as it relates to anti-ID folks. lastyearon, for example, has just acknowledged that archaeology, Stonehenge, etc. are examples of things that we can tell are designed.

    So, yes, formally we can split out the two aspects of Barry’s #1, and I would prefer to do so, but I don’t think you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this technical point, particularly as Barry’s formulation in this particular post was meant to focus attention on his #2, as evidenced by the rest of the post and the title of the post.

    Now, as to your point about whether there are natural and material processes that can mimic design, well, we are squarely back into the question of whether there are reliable incicia of design, aren’t we? Barry provides evidence that even prominent evolutionists acknowledge that many living systems “appear” designed. What does that mean? It certainly means that those living systems “appear” to have the indicia of design that would be recognized in other circumstances. If those same individuals were to see those same systems coming out of someone’s workshop or someone’s lab, they would conclude design. Thus, the question is whether design is a live possibility in the case of living systems. The only reason why those same folks insist that design cannot be present in life is due to philosophical biases. By definition they cannot object to design as a possible explanation on the basis of objective scientific criteria or on the basis of the indicia of design that they acknowledge appear to be present.

    Further, we know that designers can produce some of the same characteristics we find in life. Additionally, there is no evidence that such systems can arise through material and natural processes. And finally, based on our understanding of cause and effect in the world, the available resources, and so on, there is good positive evidence for concluding that natural and material processes cannot have brought such systems into existence.

    —–

    So I agree with you — the question of whether natural and material processes can mimic design is critical. ID proponents have put forward criteria that they argue are reliable indicators of design, and we could certainly have a discussion about whether those are reliable criteria.

    The fact remains, however, that (i) some things are designed, (ii) we can tell some things are designed by looking at their characteristics, and (iii) some living systems appear to be designed.

    The onus should be squarely on the proponents of mechanistic theories to demonstrate a causally-adequate mechanism for producing such an appearance of design. They most certainly have not done so.

  21. Joe, if X’s are the only thing that can produce Y, then you are correct. If Zs can also produce Y, you are not. I covered those two cases in my post.

  22. OT: Better link to Wigner quote:

    When the province of physical theory was extended to encompass microscopic phenomena, through the creation of quantum mechanics, the concept of consciousness came to the fore again: it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness. All that quantum mechanics purports to provide are probability connections between subsequent impressions (also called “apperceptions”) of the consciousness, and even though the dividing line between the observer, whose consciousness is being affected, and the observed physical object can be shifted towards the one or the other to a considerable degree, it cannot be eliminated. It may be premature to believe that the present philosophy of quantum mechanics will remain a permanent feature of future physical theories; it will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is an ultimate reality. –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’
    http://www.informationphilosop.....ts/wigner/

  23. 23

    Aleta,

    Barry’s statements are not compatible with the syllogism you used to characterize it with. You’ve offered nothing but a straw man.

  24. Aleta, Barry did not present a syllogism. So your X’s and Y’s and Z’s are all out of place. His argument is an informal and abbreviated review of something called an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE). As presented, it is quite correct and reasonable.

    The conclusion of a properly structured deduction is certain; the conclusion of a well-reasoned abductive argument is not. The latter type of argument cannot be “true” or “false,” as you suggest. Rather it can only be reasonable or unreasonable. His conclusion is reasonable.

  25. I guess I was misled by the phrase “logical conclusion”. :)

    Perhaps also the sentences

    Finally, the logical conclusion follows from the truth of the two premises. This is simple enough. “X” appears to be fit within Class “A” because it is in fact a member of Class “A” and not Class “B.”

    led me to believe me like he was claiming a logical deduction, since he did say that the “logical conclusion” followed from the premises.

    If he didn’t mean to offer his statements and conclusion as a logical deductive argument, then I withdraw my post, and will move on.

  26. Aleta, it was not meant as a logical deduction. However, it is a valid induction. And, as others have indicated, ID is an inference to the best explanation.

  27. 27

    Aleta, StephenB is correct. Thank you for your honorable withdrawal in 25. I can see how you might have been misled by my loose phrasing.

  28. I have to give some credit to lastyearon.

    I think it would be better to say that there are objectively discernible indicia of creation rather than design. We can explain how to get dust from stars and people, but not how to get people from dust and stars. It is more obvious that the cause of the particular arrangement of components in life is not of natural origin. Going beyond that and saying that this is THE way a designer would arrange it is more difficult. I think the subjective arguments for design are very good, but they are all based on how convenient and desirable the arrangements are found to be by humans.

    I think part of the problem is that we are trying to judge the intelligence of God instead of his power. His power is clearly seen (Romans 1:20) in creation, but his mind is inscrutable (Isa 55:9). We say, he made eyes so we could see, but only because we think seeing is awesome and we really like it, not because it would be the type of thing we could ever think of creating if eyes never existed.

    Maybe someone can say this more clearly than me. I also think that when we look at something and realize it is designed, our eyes and brain are processing thousands of the thing’s features that we are not consciously accounting for. If you had to write them all down, it would be impossible to apprehend in the same way. Thoughts?

    Also, are both humans and moon rocks 100% designed?

  29. John D

    “I think the subjective arguments for design are very good, but they are all based on how convenient and desirable the arrangements are found to be by humans.”

    I do not understand your objection. Are you saying that we must stop being humans in order to make an objective arguments for design? I can argue that entire human enterprise we call science is subject to “convenient and desirable”.

    Various Design Hypotheses found within IDT are based on observational evidence and valid scientific method “Inference to the Best Explanation”.

    When we observe molecular machines, for example, and all systems associated with it, inference to ID is scientifically unobjectionable. It makes no logical and scientific sense to call this evidence subjective just because it closely mirrors our human activity of building, lets say, a house.

    What lastyearon and his ilk have to show, in order to invalidate ID hypotheses, is that chance and necessity are able to “produce” same or similar systems. They should also stop using design language when referring to their pet mechanisms. See how far will that take them. But instead of doing so, they sidetrack the debate by redefining the meaning of science, referring to motives of Design theorist, focusing on various word semantics etc.

  30. Folks:

    Deduction, induction and abduction (inference to best explanation) are all “logical,” but in somewhat diverse ways. (This is one reason why I normally speak of warrant, not “proof,” as there is a question of degrees of substantiation.)

    Having noted such, it is quite plain that there are routinely relied upon signs of design. The issue is whether “only” intelligence can account for such signs.

    If one substitutes a deductive meaning, one may say there is a formal fallacy at work, affirming the consequent. So there, case over.

    NOPE.

    You just trashed the project of science by direct implication; which is open to the exact same objection. Let’s see:

    If theory (T) then Observations and predictions (O & P)

    On testing, O &P
    ___________________

    So, T

    That is: T => (O & P)
    (O & P)
    so T

    Let O & P = R

    T => R, R so T

    Another substitution instance: “if tom is a cat then Tom is an animal, Tom is an animal, so Tom is a cat.” Oops.

    Science is actually an example of inference to best explanation, which is provisional and empirically tested, wherein we observe apparent patterns and infer explanations, test on further predicted cases then inductively generalise. What it strictly delivers (in the best case) is a so-far empirical reliability, that we may have high but not absolute confidence in. But, in the weaker sense of the term knowledge, warranted credible belief, such claims may be called knowledge. Indeed, most of what we call knowledge is this, and we may hold it to even moral certainty such that to act as though it were false would be irresponsible. But, we should understand the limitations. (Yet more on principles of right reason.)

    In this context, we have a great many observed cases that show patterns that are candidate signs of design. these have been well tested and are empirically reliable. thus, we are entitled to generalise and even to trust them for cases we did not generally speaking directly observe. That is where we move into the province of origins science. If you trust geodating, the geochronology and the branching tree of life models as credibly representing the history of the earth’s deep past, then you are relying on this sort of reasoning. And, essentially invariably, darwinist objectors to design theory accept these things.

    So, what we are looking at is a case of selective hyperskepticism.

    As usual such reveals itself by the telling inconsistency in acceptable standards of warrant for what one is inclined to believe and what one is inclined to disbelieve in the teeth of generally similar epistemological circumstances.

    There are signs that point to design, and functionally specific complex organisation and associated information is a good one, especially where we have explicit digitally coded — linguistic — information to explain. In EVERY case where we directly can test it, FSCO/I especially dFSCI, is the product of intelligence. If you deny this, all you have to do is produce a case where within our solar system’s atomic and temporal resources — our practical universe — the equivalent of 72 or more ASCII characters wort of info [500+ bits] of such FSCI were observed to originate strictly by forces of blind chance and mechanical necessity. Similarly, one should provide a reason for dismissing the infinite monkeys and needle in haystack analyses that substantiate this as a reasonable inference.

    As can easily be observed in this current thread, objectors to the design inference have no real answer to this. So they consistently try to change the subject. As this thread above shows.

    So, let us invite objectors to answer to say the 101 summary here on why the design inference is put forward.

    In short, if you object to BarryA’s point 1, as an empirically based observation backed up by an analysis, kindly substantiate your objection.

    GEM of TKI

  31. IU: nice summary. KF

  32. Joe, if X’s are the only thing that can produce Y, then you are correct. If Zs can also produce Y, you are not. I covered those two cases in my post.

    Except there isn’t any evidence taht Zs can produce Y- so that would be a problem for the Zs and your “logic”.

    Ya see if there were any evidence that Zs could produce Y then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  33. Joe: Well said. In addition, the config space needle in the haystack search challenge is evidence — facts and related reasoned and/or mathematical argument — that points to how chance and necessity on relevant gamuts — solar system, observed cosmos — will face severe challenges making it all but certain that they will not produce the effects. That which is logically possible may be so implausible as to constitute a practical impossibility on chance plus necessity without intelligence. And that is what the 500 – 1,000 bits challenge threshold is about. KF

  34. I’m afraid Aleta and Co (or ‘remaining Co’, if your prefer, Aleta) are like the Road Runner when he’s overshot the edge of a cliff and is furiously treading air for a remarkable length of time.

    Thanks in large part to bornagain77′s compendium of binding, empirically-based arguments, if they failed to follow the evidence themselves, the materialists have finally reached the mountain top, and are currently staring in disbelief at the assorted, Christian theologians and churchmen, who have been comfortably seated there for millennia. But they jist cain’t believe their lyin’ eyes…. I do declare.

  35. “Living Things Appear To Be Designed Because They Are Designed”

    If only we could think of a materialist-friendly euphemism for that confounded word, Barry? It’s such bad form to use it. Heck, if only THEY could think of one.

  36. Aleta,

    Interesting discussion on logic, but I have a question for you.

    How does a materialist explain the laws of logic that you seem so intent on upholding?

    Here is a quote from crev.info dealing with this very issue:

    How do we know our senses give a true picture of the world? After all, the world would seem very different to a deep-sea fish living in the dark punctuated by bioluminescent glows. Such a fish, if it had a mind, might not even be cognizant of the watery medium in which lives, and define darkness as light. Consider that we’ve only known of the vast field of electromagnetic radiation outside visible light for a tiny fraction of human history. What else are we missing? (Consider Young’s Law, right sidebar.)

    One cannot escape faith. It takes faith to believe that our perceptions correspond to reality. Assumptions are assumed; axioms are axiomatic; but without them, one cannot reason.

    The Biblical world view provides the grounds for the faith that makes reason reasonable. All scientists depend on that world view, intentionally or not.

    Why? One cannot evolve truth and reality from a materialistic world view made up of particles and forces without begging the question whether truth is true and reality is really real. The laws of logic are concepts, not particles; to use them, one must assume that they are universal, timeless, and certain. And one must believe that communication in the conceptual realm, to be intelligible, must derive from a communicating Mind that is universal, timeless, and certain. One must, in short, be a theist. A corollary is that atheists are de facto theists in spite of themselves.

    Start with the Biblical world view – creation by a purposeful, designing intelligence – and the legitimacy (if not the reliability) of the quest for scientific knowledge logically follows. Only then can one hope to ask the right questions.”

    End Quote. (I don’t know how to do that with the html tags and attributes.)
    Anyway, materialism cannot account for the laws of logic. When a materialist uses them, he waves the flag of surrender to the theist.

  37. Oh, sorry. That quote was taken from this webpage entitled Rescuing Theories from evidence.

    http://crev.info/2011/01/rescu....._evidence/

    A similar post on this site is The Science of Atheism

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