Home » Intelligent Design » If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…

If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…

… it’s probably a duck. I was reading John Lynch’s blog Stranger Fruit and ran across this comment by Tiax who is a frequent commenter from the loyal opposition here:

It strikes me as odd that they would use the word ‘intuitive’ when the folks at Uncommondescent are so happy to point out the very intuitive nature of design detection. “This looks very designed to me” is often a good enough rationale

It strikes me as odd that people who have no problem believing that a few fossilized bone fragments or teeth “that look like a transitional species” is always a good enough rationale to call it a transitional species would complain about us calling something with the appearance of design a design. Help me out here. Is Tiax applying a double standard or what?

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17 Responses to If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…

  1. Dave,

    What some people seem to forget is that if something looks designed that should be enough for someone to check and see if it was designed.

  2. Is Tiax applying a double standard or what?

    No double standard at all. You see, you’re confused about a very basic issue. Yes, there is a standard that ID must meet, but there is no standard for the evolutionist to meet. So, no double standard at all.

  3. Something that should be pointed out is that it takes a tremendous amount of effort to explain design away. When so much energy, imagination and speculation are required to do away with something that seems to stare us in the face as self-evidently obvious, perhaps one should conclude that design is real and “apparent design” is fiction, not the other way around.

  4. If one decides to argue against ID by saying that all of the arguments boil down to “it looks designed therefore it must be designed”, one must then argue against _any_ scientific inference or deduction. You could just as well argue that a “temperature inference” from a thermometer is invalid because “it looks hot therefore it must be hot”.

  5. ““This looks very designed to me” is often a good enough rationale.”

    Well, here we go again as if learning by typical MSM criteria, all one has to do is state something as a fact to broad stroke an entire community. In this case who is Tiax referring to?

    Dembski? Behe? Meyers? Wells?

    All have done work in their areas to ascertain truth of observations. They did not simply make the statement, “this looks very designed to me”, wave their hands in the air and shout Halleluiah.

    No, they went about with discernment, testing, more observations, the application of experimental evidence, the use of math, so on and so forth.

    But this is the usual blather put out by the opposition. Its a hit below the intellectual belt. Meant to discredit scientist or anyone involved in support of ID. Its just another version of the sarcastic dim wittery of “God did it”. Evolutionist spoon feed themselves and their uninformed supporters with this warmed over porridge. Not even Oliver himself would dare as for more, no matter how the hunger pains progress. These repeated assertions which are never true, damns their own cause more than those whom they believe to have put in their place. Oliver having fed on this grotesque pottage for so long, seeks to break out into the light and partake of greater freedom, good food upon which to build a healthy body and strong mind.

    The Claypole’s of this world eventually awaken to see that all the orphans are leaving.

  6. Uncommondescent are so happy to point out the very intuitive nature of design detection. “This looks very designed to me” is often a good enough rationale

    The scientists at Sandia Labs have developed a computer that essentially says the same thing. The computer, via it’s program code, says “This looks like intent to me”. How much do you wanna bet that probability and/or pattern recognition is part of the code?

  7. Intuition is a powerful thing. It boggles the modern psychological community. How can intuition possibly be considered “real”? In other words, is intuition an actual measurable parameter, and if so is the intuitive recognition of design a component or participant in that measure?

    In speaking with friends in disparate fields about this, they all agree that intuition is an important factor in their day to day lives. Doctors rely on intuitive feelings many times to determine an initial diagnosis and thus the course of initial testing. Engineers rely on intuitive feels for complexity, risk, and resource requirements associated with implementing complex technologies such as software, computer chips, and sky scrapers. Many times, they are wrong.

    The problem with intuition is that one cannot come to absolute conclusions about the particular matter at hand based on it alone. One needs to admit a-priori that this or that particular judgment is based on intuitive analysis – and that the validity of that judgment is subject to the collective wisdom of those making the claim and their ability to follow it up with quantitative studies supporting their intuition.

    As an engineer, I would argue that half of my work is driven by intuition, while the other half is proving out that initial judgment. Is it the same for the Research (capital “R”) community? How many researchers do you know who start their research based on some intuitive feel for the suspected answer and then model their research around proving that intuition correct? This is a genuine question to everyone on both sides of this issue, and one that I argue should be taken up seriously by research institutions worldwide.

    Darwin, in his epiphany spanning some 25 years, determined that life evolved from some primitive form of goo into the complex forms we see today. He admitted an assumption of an existing cell filled with silly putty that somehow came to being in the deep chasms of time. Starting with that simple goo-cell, Darwin’s intuition told him that life evolved by RM and NS in the way we’ve all grown tired of hearing about. But he didn’t just propose a theory based on his intuition (since he had virtually no data as foundation), he also identified specific conditions that would disprove his intuitive theory – conditions that have been more than met by Behe and Dembski, and many, many more researchers.

    Darwin’s intuition having been proven wrong, we now look to the emerging fields of alternative origins and specifically those based on the input of an intelligence preceding the life forms it designed. These intuition-based conclusions are no less valid than Darwin’s own self-admitted intuitive model of the origin of species. Over 150 years of research has proven his intuition wrong. But now the intuitive leap beyond Darwin’s self-limiting theory – one that connects quantitative measurements of sub-cellular machinery with the age old argument for design’s obviousness – is unrelenting in it’s inevitable overthrow of naturalistic, random, unguided, undirected origin and evolution of life.

    So to answer your question, DS, it seems obvious there is a double standard being applied that began with Darwin’s origin of species proposal. The scientific/naturalistic community jumped on his bandwagon and have driven it down the road to oblivion in desparate searches for supporting data, only to find gaps that only subjective, misguided “intuition” driven by emotional reactions and religious dogma could span. But of course, this isn’t truy intuition as one might think of it in a general sense.

    On the other hand, Intelligent Design theory is based on intuition-driven conclusions spanning centuries of effort by objective deep-thinking scientists and philosophers. The big difference is that Darwin’s intuition has had it’s chance and lost, while Dembski, Behe, and the ID community are following real data, developing mathematical models around it, and quantifiably confirming their theories – leading to undeniable conclusions. As the saying goes: follow the evidence where it leads. Intuition can get you started, but in the end you’d better have real data to support it, else end up a sad example of failure to back up your intuition with real data just as Darwin has done.

  8. Darwin, in his epiphany spanning some 25 years…

    Yet more evidence (as if any more were needed) that Darwinism is a religion.

  9. You guys are quite fond of posting links to discoveries of fancy things in nature, making a smart comment or two about how designed it looks and ending it at that, not to mention the postings of those string randomizers that give an ‘intuitive’ sense of just how hard it is to make stuff randomly.

    It’s rather revealing that you have to so oversimplify the identification of transitional fossils to get it down to the level of being comparable to the above practices. Of course, it’s a bit surprising that a man who claims to believe in common descent would so denigrate the concept of transitional fossils. I guess it comes down to whatever suits the point you’d like to make, eh Dave?

    On one end of the spectrum, we have the nano-pistons that PaV thought looked a lot like flagella (and that was convincing enough for him – didn’t even need to read the captions), and on the other end we’ve got cases like Tiktaalik – and I don’t think I need to go into it to make the differences clear.

    I didn’t denigrate the transitional inference by pointing out that if it looks like a transitional and it is located like a transition it probably is a transitional. I think that’s perfectly valid! What I did was elevate the design inference by equating it with the identification of transitional fossils. If it looks like a design and works like a design it’s probably a design. Now please go smooth your feathers and/or unbunch your undergarments. Inference from fit and function are perfectly valid whether it’s a fossil or a microscopic protein factory driven by a digital program code. -ds

  10. It’s rather revealing that you have to so oversimplify the identification of transitional fossils to get it down to the level of being comparable to the above practices.

    ok, I’ll bite. What’s a “transitional fossil?”

  11. Mung-
    Ask Dave what it is, he seems to know. :)

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Tiax. I certainly do know. And if Mung reads this he will too. I haven’t had this much fun with an encyclopedia since before I finished memorizing the World Book Encyclopedia in the 5th grade. I continued to get the Science Supplement every year until I was 18 but at a measly 300 pages it only provided a day of distraction. -ds

  12. I’m working on a post about transitionals and chimeras, but have been busy. It should post in a few days. The fact is, the fossil record has very few transitionals, and this is consistent with both special creation and common descent forms of ID. You only need “transitionals” if you are looking at Darwinian evolution. Telic evolution, even if from a common ancestor, needs no Darwinian transitionals for its primary forms. Don’t confuse transitional habitat with transitional form.

  13. Alright, here’s one:

    This stuff looks designed. When you see it for the first time, pick it up, juggle it, you get a distinct feeling it’s been made.

    You’re then told that it’s not.

    “No way!” you say.

    “Way,” you’re told.

    But, as it turns out, this stuff is very natural. It’s not designed. Your gut-feeling, your intuition, your design-detecting part of your brain will say otherwise, but you’d be dead wrong.

    So “It looks like it’s designed” is not a robust rationale. At least not for the scientific community.

    Maybe it looks designed to you but not to me. I use an example of a digitally programmed protein factory (DNA and ribosome) and you offer me a rock with a couple of square crystals in it as a rejoinder? You’re out of here. Go waste someone else’s time and bandwidth. -ds

  14. Hi SME

    Nice post at first glance…although…not so nice for you when you really think about it! Firstly your argument doesn’t rule out a designer categorically. Secondly lets compare apples with apples.

    1. You see no one’s denying crystalline symmetry can be found in INorganic nature; in fact orthorhombic lattices are the basic atomic arrangements in carbon structures. Stands to reason then that one would expect cubic formations in carbon crystals. This however is a far cry from organic material. Furthermore if a ‘designer’ specified/created the fundamentals of carbon then one could justifiably say they were designed – front loaded on an atomic level.

    2. We here are specifying design in ORGANIC, (unstable to some degree) highly irregular organisms. Genetic code in subsystems operating to a finely tuned timetable is WAAAAY different to fixed latticed carbon.

    Please take your blinkers off. Paradigm shift is the clue.

  15. Error: sorry above should read

    “orthorhombic lattices are A basic atomic arrangements in carbon structures” not ‘the’.

  16. It’s rather revealing that you have to so oversimplify the identification of transitional fossils to get it down to the level of being comparable to the above practices.

    MUNG: ok, I’ll bite. What’s a “transitional fossil?”

    JGUY: i’m goinna guess it’s either:
    1. a bone that’s part way to becoming an impression in a rock.
    2. any controversial fossils being boxed up & moved to the back shelves of the Smithsonian.

  17. Tiax: It’s rather revealing that you have to so oversimplify the identification of transitional fossils to get it down to the level of being comparable to the above practices.

    Mung: ok, I’ll bite. What’s a “transitional fossil?”

    Tiax: Ask Dave what it is, he seems to know.

    Dave: Thanks for the vote of confidence, Tiax. I certainly do know. And if Mung reads this he will too.

    A transitional fossil is the fossil remains of a creature that exhibits certain primitive (or basal) traits in comparison with its more derived descendants.

    According to the definition Dave provided, for a fossil to be a transitional fossil, the fossil must be the remains of a creature which must have descendants. If the creature had no descendants, or if those descendants cannot be identified, it is not possible to establish that the creature “exhibits certain primitive (or basal) traits in comparison with its more derived descendants.”

    Any disagreement?

    Now, how do we empirically establish that any given creature as identified by it’s fossil remains had descendants, and who those descendants were?

    There is no such thing as a transitional fossil, not in science anyways. Perhaps in the religion of Darwinism such things exist.

    Tiax:

    It’s rather revealing that you have to so oversimplify the identification of transitional fossils to get it down to the level of being comparable to the above practices.

    Well, now I finally know how to respond. What transitional fossils?

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