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Tonight In Seattle, “Is Intelligent Design Science?”

Come along this evening (7-9pm) to the Lake Hills Library in Seattle for a discussion hosted by the Seattle Analytic Philosophy Club on “Is Intelligent Design Science?” Casey Luskin, myself (Jonathan M.) and Josh Youngkin from Discovery Institute will be there. Go here for details!

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32 Responses to Tonight In Seattle, “Is Intelligent Design Science?”

  1. OT: James Bond – ‘Darwin was wrong’ – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VW9u62_tAs

  2. OT: The level of complexity being revealed in molecular biology is at such a extreme level, that it truly does reflect what we expect to see if we were truly the handiwork of a infinitely powerful creator, i.e. God. And it, the complexity being revealed, certainly does not look like it was the product of the trial and error process of Darwinian evolution. Here is an excellent article that shows that the complexity being dealt with in molecular biology is so extreme that even when factoring in future advances in computer technology, man will never be able to completely understand the complexity in molecular biology:

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 2012
    Excerpt: In a recent Perspective piece called “Modular Biological Complexity” in Science, Christof Koch (Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle; Division of Biology, Caltech) explained why we won’t be simulating brains on computers any time soon:
    “Although such predictions excite the imagination, they are not based on a sound assessment of the complexity of living systems. Such systems are characterized by large numbers of highly heterogeneous components, be they genes, proteins, or cells. These components interact causally in myriad ways across a very large spectrum of space-time, from nanometers to meters and from microseconds to years. A complete understanding of these systems demands that a large fraction of these interactions be experimentally or computationally probed. This is very difficult.”
    Physicists can use statistics to describe a homogeneous system like an ideal gas, because one can assume all the member particles interact the same. Not so with life. When describing heterogeneous systems each with a myriad of possible interactions, the number of discrete interactions grows faster than exponentially. Koch showed how Bell’s number (the number of ways a system can be partitioned) requires a comparable number of measurements to exhaustively describe a system. Even if human computational ability were to rise exponentially into the future (somewhat like Moore’s law for computers), there is no hope for describing the human “interactome” — the set of all interactions in life.
    “This is bad news. Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year. ”
    Even with shortcuts like averaging, “any possible technological advance is overwhelmed by the relentless growth of interactions among all components of the system,” Koch said. “It is not feasible to understand evolved organisms by exhaustively cataloging all interactions in a comprehensive, bottom-up manner.” He described the concept of the Complexity Brake:
    “Allen and Greaves recently introduced the metaphor of a “complexity brake” for the observation that fields as diverse as neuroscience and cancer biology have proven resistant to facile predictions about imminent practical applications. Improved technologies for observing and probing biological systems has only led to discoveries of further levels of complexity that need to be dealt with. This process has not yet run its course. We are far away from understanding cell biology, genomes, or brains, and turning this understanding into practical knowledge.”
    Why can’t we use the same principles that describe technological systems? Koch explained that in an airplane or computer, the parts are “purposefully built in such a manner to limit the interactions among the parts to a small number.” The limited interactome of human-designed systems avoids the complexity brake. “None of this is true for nervous systems.”,,,
    to read more go here:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    One of the first hints I received that this level of extreme complexity was present in molecular biology was when I first learned that there are multiple overlapping codes in the DNA. This finding is astonishing because when man writes a computer program he writes a ‘simple’ single linear sequence of code that is read in only one direction, whereas DNA has multiple overlapping codes that are embedded on top of other codes, and within codes, that have multiple reading frames for the same sequence of code. Code that can be read forward and/or backward. Here are some of my collected notes to that effect:

    ‘It’s becoming extremely problematic to explain how the genome could arise and how these multiple levels of overlapping information could arise, since our best computer programmers can’t even conceive of overlapping codes. The genome dwarfs all of the computer information technology that man has developed. So I think that it is very problematic to imagine how you can achieve that through random changes in a code.,,, More and more it looks like top down design and not just bottom up chance discovery of making complex systems.’
    - Dr. John Sanford
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YemLbrCdM_s

    Overlapping & Embedded Genes – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGnOQv76jcU

    John Sanford, a leading expert in Genetics, comments on some of the stunning poly-functional complexity found in the genome:

    “There is abundant evidence that most DNA sequences are poly-functional, and therefore are poly-constrained. This fact has been extensively demonstrated by Trifonov (1989). For example, most human coding sequences encode for two different RNAs, read in opposite directions i.e. Both DNA strands are transcribed ( Yelin et al., 2003). Some sequences encode for different proteins depending on where translation is initiated and where the reading frame begins (i.e. read-through proteins). Some sequences encode for different proteins based upon alternate mRNA splicing. Some sequences serve simultaneously for protein-encoding and also serve as internal transcriptional promoters. Some sequences encode for both a protein coding, and a protein-binding region. Alu elements and origins-of-replication can be found within functional promoters and within exons. Basically all DNA sequences are constrained by isochore requirements (regional GC content), “word” content (species-specific profiles of di-, tri-, and tetra-nucleotide frequencies), and nucleosome binding sites (i.e. All DNA must condense). Selective condensation is clearly implicated in gene regulation, and selective nucleosome binding is controlled by specific DNA sequence patterns – which must permeate the entire genome. Lastly, probably all sequences do what they do, even as they also affect general spacing and DNA-folding/architecture – which is clearly sequence dependent. To explain the incredible amount of information which must somehow be packed into the genome (given that extreme complexity of life), we really have to assume that there are even higher levels of organization and information encrypted within the genome. For example, there is another whole level of organization at the epigenetic level (Gibbs 2003). There also appears to be extensive sequence dependent three-dimensional organization within chromosomes and the whole nucleus (Manuelides, 1990; Gardiner, 1995; Flam, 1994). Trifonov (1989), has shown that probably all DNA sequences in the genome encrypt multiple “codes” (up to 12 codes).
    Dr. John Sanford; Genetic Entropy 2005

    DNA – Evolution Vs. Polyfuctionality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4614519

    “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

    The next evolutionary synthesis: Jonathan BL Bard
    Excerpt: We now know that there are at least 50 possible functions that DNA sequences can fulfill [8], that the networks for traits require many proteins and that they allow for considerable redundancy [9]. The reality is that the evolutionary synthesis says nothing about any of this; for all its claim of being grounded in DNA and mutation, it is actually a theory based on phenotypic traits. This is not to say that the evolutionary synthesis is wrong, but that it is inadequate – it is really only half a theory!
    http://www.biosignaling.com/co.....X-9-30.pdf

    Scientists Map All Mammalian Gene Interactions – August 2010
    Excerpt: Mammals, including humans, have roughly 20,000 different genes.,,, They found a network of more than 7 million interactions encompassing essentially every one of the genes in the mammalian genome.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142044.htm

    Time to Redefine the Concept of a Gene? – Sept. 10, 2012
    Excerpt: As detailed in my second post on alternative splicing, there is one human gene that codes for 576 different proteins, and there is one fruit fly gene that codes for 38,016 different proteins!
    While the fact that a single gene can code for so many proteins is truly astounding, we didn’t really know how prevalent alternative splicing is. Are there only a few genes that participate in it, or do most genes engage in it? The ENCODE data presented in reference 2 indicates that at least 75% of all genes participate in alternative splicing. They also indicate that the number of different proteins each gene makes varies significantly, with most genes producing somewhere between 2 and 25.
    Based on these results, it seems clear that the RNA transcripts are the real carriers of genetic information. This is why some members of the ENCODE team are arguing that an RNA transcript, not a gene, should be considered the fundamental unit of inheritance.
    http://networkedblogs.com/BYdo8

  3. The Extreme Complexity Of Genes – Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8593991/

    Dual-Coding Genes in Mammalian Genomes – 2007
    Abstract: Coding of multiple proteins by overlapping reading frames is not a feature one would associate with eukaryotic genes. Indeed, codependency between codons of overlapping protein-coding regions imposes a unique set of evolutionary constraints, making it a costly arrangement. Yet in cases of tightly coexpressed interacting proteins, dual coding may be advantageous. Here we show that although dual coding is nearly impossible by chance, a number of human transcripts contain overlapping coding regions. Using newly developed statistical techniques, we identified 40 candidate genes with evolutionarily conserved overlapping coding regions. Because our approach is conservative, we expect mammals to possess more dual-coding genes. Our results emphasize that the skepticism surrounding eukaryotic dual coding is unwarranted: rather than being artifacts, overlapping reading frames are often hallmarks of fascinating biology.
    http://www.ploscompbiol.org/ar.....bi.0030091

    Mammalian overlapping genes: the comparative perspective. – 2004
    Excerpt: it is rather surprising that a large number of genes overlap in the mammalian genomes. Thousands of overlapping genes were recently identified in the human and mouse genomes. However, the origin and evolution of overlapping genes are still unknown. We identified 1316 pairs of overlapping genes in humans and mice and studied their evolutionary patterns. It appears that these genes do not demonstrate greater than usual conservation. Studies of the gene structure and overlap pattern showed that only a small fraction of analyzed genes preserved exactly the same pattern in both organisms.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14762064

    Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to Biopolymeric Information – David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors – Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, page 8
    “No man-made program comes close to the technical brilliance of even Mycoplasmal genetic algorithms. Mycoplasmas are the simplest known organism with the smallest known genome, to date. How was its genome and other living organisms’ genomes programmed?”
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....2-2-29.pdf

    And these linear sequences in the DNA, as hard as it may be to believe, are the ‘bottom rung of the ladder’ as far as the information hierarchy of the cell is concerned. We have levels of complexity above these linear sequences that we can only stare in wonder at:

    Multidimensional Genome – Dr. Robert Carter – 10 minute video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8905048/

    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

    verse and music:

    Psalm 139:14
    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

    Johnny Diaz – More Beautiful You
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DPGYD7NX

  4. There it is again!
    The attempt to say ID/YEC is not science is a attempt to discredit its intellectual claims to evidence for its ideas and for its criticisms of the other ideas.
    It truly is silly!
    Its like they are saying if it IS science then one can consider the merits of its arguments but if it ISN’T then one should not consider the merits!!!

    On the merits and not on titles will ID stand or its opponents stand.

    Truly it all shows, or hints, evolution and company NEVER made their case on the merits of the evidence but on the merits of its being advocated by trusted researchers using trusted methodology!!
    AHA!
    Got’im!
    That’s why evolutionism uniquely has stood while true science eliminates wrong ideas.
    Evolutionism stands on trust and not the merits.
    The very opposite of what science claims to be.!
    Of coarse this has been evolutions intellectual history.

  5. The perpetual dynamism of living things is, itself, no more nor less than an endlessly accumulating proof that random chance is quite simply, a non-starter, as a dis-proof of the absolute requirement for a Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

    Random chance could not in one’s most exotic flights of fancy, explain the endlessly purposive, as well as, irreducibly complex ‘meanderings’ of that putative process of random chance.

    Time might explain coincidences of ‘random’, random chance, but not on the scale of either nothing turning itself into everything, or even a protein self-assembling out of ‘something’.

    As a metaphysical, never mind, scientific, hypothesis, it is not that it doesn’t possess ANY merit, but that it possesses all the merit of a vacuum, even a ‘black hole’, swallowing its adherents’ intelligence, whole. It truly makes the devotees of wooden or metal idols seem enlightened.

  6. Of related interest, Casey Luskin has a article up on ENV:

    More on How We Can Know Intelligent Design Is Science – Casey Luskin – November, 2012
    Excerpt: ID Doesn’t Offend the Spirit of MN: Proponents of MN often justify this rule by arguing that it ensures that science uses only testable, predictable, and reliable explanations.11 However, as we have seen, intelligent design generates testable hypotheses based upon our knowledge of how the world works, and can be reliably inferred through the scientific method. In this way, intelligent design does not violate any mandates of predictability, testability, or reliability laid down for science by MN. In fact, ID and neo-Darwinian evolution are methodologically equivalent.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66841.html

  7. MN above refers to Methodological Naturalism

  8. “ID and neo-Darwinian evolution are methodologically equivalent.” – Casey Luskin

    Thanks for bringing humour to the discussion, BA! = ))

    “Intelligent agents are natural causes that we can understand by studying the world around us. This makes intelligent agency a proper subject of scientific study.” – Luskin

    I guess that answers my question about ‘natural intelligent causes’ on the other thread.

    “Are the ‘intelligent causes in nature’ that Big-ID is looking (detecting) for ‘natural intelligent causes’ or not, i.e. are they detecting for non-natural or extra-natural intelligent causes?” – Gregory

    Luskin is obviously being a naturalist in his view of ‘intelligent agency’ in the statement above.

    Tip for Casey: claims of a single entity called “the scientific method” are obviously false. Read Feyerabend to catch the drift.

    I had lunch with Casey and have met him several times. Not a bad guy, but certainly not qualified or competent of high level discussion in philosophy of science (PoS). I’m sure he’d admit this is not his home field. Luskin is a lawyer with a degree in geology so that is not a surprise. Why Luskin’s pretense to pontificate on PoS (ID *is* science) at evolutionnews?

    “ID does not claim to scientifically detect a supernatural creator.” – Luskin

    Right, but ID claims to natural scientifically detect the work of an ‘intelligent agent’ that is a ‘transcendent designer/Designer.’ Supernatural creator vs. transcendental designer – big difference?

  9. Of related note:

    In the following video, Pastor Joe Boot, especially around the 24:00 minute mark, clearly explains why naturalists will always wind up in epistemological failure as to ever coherently understanding and explaining reality:

    The Revelation of God in Creation – Pastor Joe Boot – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67L90gpTKl0

  10. Gregory, I agree very strongly with your view, especially the distinction between Supernatural creator vs. transcendental designer that you made. Since the demarcation clearly demarcates what we are looking at in the evidence. i.e. The evidence from science is certainly ‘detecting’ a ‘transcendent’ designer (Quantum entanglement in molecular biology on a massive scale!) as opposed to not detecting a ‘Supernatural Designer who is commonly assumed to not be detectable by science. Although I believe that Casey, in his defense, is assuming that since intelligence is something that we experience first hand, then it is on the same footing as the ‘natural’ explanations of MN, and he does have something of a valid point. But this ‘compromise’ on Casey’s part, if it is fair to call it a compromise, fails to address, fully elucidate, and draw something very important out: Namely this ‘short cut’ on Casey’s part, IMPO, fails to draw out that our ‘intelligence’ (small i) is totally set apart from all the naturalistic processes of the universe, and fails to bring to fruition the very important knowledge that we are made in the image God.

  11. Thanks, Born Again.

    “I believe that Casey, in his defense, is assuming that since intelligence is something that we experience first hand, then it is on the same footing as the ‘natural’ explanations of MN, and he does have something of a valid point.”

    I teach this topic to 18-20 yr-old Eastern Europeans who are generally more developed in their understanding of PoS than Casey. This can be understood in part by the gross absence of courses in PoS in the USA. I doubt Casey ever took a course in PoS in his university studies (which doesn’t take away from his gigantic prowess as an attorney of Law).

    That doesn’t make him a bad guy, just a guy one can’t trust or perhaps even take seriously on the topic of PoS.

    The ‘intelligence that we experience first hand’ differs from non-human intelligence, only if one considers non-intelligence as different in kind, rather than in degree from human intelligence.

    “our ‘intelligence’ (small i) is totally set apart from all the naturalistic processes of the universe”

    Yes, that’s the key point, isn’t it?

  12. 12
    Kantian Naturalist

    With regards to the argument raised by Boot, and it’s many, many iterations: if one begins by asking Cartesian questions, one is going to look for Cartesian answers.

    If the starting question is, “how can I know that my private mental contents correspond to how things really are?”, then — but only then — will Cartesian answers like “I can know that my private mental contents correspond to how things are if, but only if, God guarantees the correspondence” seem so attractive.

    If one accepted the Cartesian starting-point, and then added atheism to it, one would have to be a solipsist. That much is fairly obvious. (Though I’m always surprised at how many of my students fail to grasp this perfectly obvious point.)

    If, on the other hand, one simply rejects the Cartesian starting-point and offers a different account of what mindedness and rationality are, then the problems Boot points out are simply side-stepped.

    The key step to rejecting Cartesianism is to reject a hidden premise of the starting-point. The starting-point assumes that it is logically possible to have self-consciousness (“I know what my mental contents are!”) without any external things to which my thoughts refer. This is, of course, the logical possibility of skepticism. The response, first made by Kant and then significantly expanded upon by many others since, is to notice that if our thoughts were not already in contact with things, we could not have the kinds of thoughts that we manifestly have.

    There’s a truly excellent version of this argument available, which unfortunately is behind the JSTOR paywall, called “Thoughts and Things“. I do recommend it, if it’s available to you. Basically, he shows how to vindicate realism without the Cartesian starting point.

  13. as to “different in kind, rather than in degree”, you may appreciate these few notes I have on that topic:

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Ian Tattersall, Jeffery H. Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5–1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis.”,,,,
    “Unusual though Homo sapiens may be morphologically, it is undoubtedly our remarkable cognitive qualities that most strikingly demarcate us from all other extant species. They are certainly what give us our strong subjective sense of being qualitatively different. And they are all ultimately traceable to our symbolic capacity. Human beings alone, it seems, mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities. When exactly Homo sapiens acquired this unusual ability is the subject of debate.”
    http://www.annualreviews.org/d.....208.100202

    Darwin’s mistake: explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. – 2008
    Excerpt: Over the last quarter century, the dominant tendency in comparative cognitive psychology has been to emphasize the similarities between human and nonhuman minds and to downplay the differences as “one of degree and not of kind” (Darwin 1871).,,, To wit, there is a significant discontinuity in the degree to which human and nonhuman animals are able to approximate the higher-order, systematic, relational capabilities of a physical symbol system (PSS) (Newell 1980). We show that this symbolic-relational discontinuity pervades nearly every domain of cognition and runs much deeper than even the spectacular scaffolding provided by language or culture alone can explain,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18479531

    The authors of the preceding papers try to find some evolutionary/materialistic reason for the extremely unique ‘information capacity’ of humans, but of course they never find a coherent reason. Indeed why should we ever consider a process, which is utterly incapable of ever generating any complex functional information at even the most foundational levels of molecular biology, to suddenly, magically, have the ability to generate our brain which can readily understand and generate functional information? A brain which has been repeatedly referred to as ‘the Most Complex Structure in the Universe’? The authors never seem to consider the ‘spiritual angle’ for why we would have such a unique capacity for such abundant information processing.

    Genesis 1:27
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

    John 1:1-1
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Supplemental note:

    “Museum of Comparative Anthropogeny” Human Uniqueness Compared to “Great Apes” (Hundreds of differences listed between humans and ‘great apes’, including mental abilities, with references for each difference listed)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dx8I5qpsDlsIxTTPgeZc559pIHe_mnYtKehgDqE-_fo/edit

  14. Genetic Entropy in Human Genome is found to be ‘recent’ (Don’t gloat too much Robert Byers :) ):
    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    “Having so many of these new variants can be partially explained by the population explosion in the European population. However, variation that occur in genes that are involved in Mendelian traits and in those that affect genes essential to the proper functioning of the cell tend to be much older.” (A Mendelian trait is controlled by a single gene. Mutations in that gene can have devastating effects.)
    The amount variation or mutation identified in protein-coding genes (the exome) in this study is very different from what would have been seen 5,000 years ago,,,
    The report shows that “recent” events have a potent effect on the human genome.
    Eighty-six percent of the genetic variation or mutations that are expected to be harmful arose in European-Americans in the last five thousand years, said the researchers.
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132259.htm

  15. OT:
    Ice sheet melt massively overestimated, satellites show – November 28, 2012
    Excerpt: A new analysis of data from dedicated satellites shows that one of the main factors predicted to drive rising sea levels in future has been seriously overestimated, with major implications for climate talks currently underway in Doha.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2.....te_change/

    I don’t think Al Gore, or the NCSE, will change their mind.

  16. @ Gregory
    Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but I find your tone arrogant and condescending whenever you comment on DI staffers. Are you even able to state in clear, conventional prose why you seem to have such a distaste for their work?

  17. @ Optimus

    1) Are you a DI staffer? (John 18: 34)

    2) Do you wish to say that you think Casey Luskin (law, geology) is qualified at (anywhere near) the highest level to teach about Philosophy of Science ?

    3) I would be willing to publically debate Casey on much of what he wrote in his recent PoS article (“More on How We can Know…”) and on the topic “Is Intelligent Design Science?”. The conditions would be agreeable to him (re: editing/message control). But I don’t think he’d risk it, given his weakness in PoS. You can pass that challenge along to him if you’d like.

    p.s. an ironic accusation of arrogance, Optimus, given your pseudonym! ;)

  18. Gregory,

    Given your weakness for responding to what people actually say/ post, and given your penchant for strawmen, you aren’t in any position to challenge anyone to a debate.

    Just sayin’…

  19. “Joe” (if that’s really your name}

    I think your “penchant for strawmen” was supposed to be “PFS”. And you should have capitalized the “w” in weakness (i.e.“Weakness”) in order to signify the strong form of the word. Let’s step up the accuracy next time, okay? Thanks.

    :)

  20. Yeah but “PFS” can be arbitrarily confused with “Pretty Foot Smell”, and then my post wouldn’t have the impact I was looking for:

    Given your Weakness for responding to what people actually say/ post, and given your pretty foot smell, you aren’t in any position to challenge anyone to a debate.

    ;)

  21. Ah yes, I see now. The acronym and its referent are not connected by a direct physical mechanism. But still, you’ll never become the Playground Organizer that Gregory is if you don’t stop attacking your adversary’s positions and start dividing people into meaningless political entities.

    :)

  22. Casey doesn’t have pretty foot smell (PFS), at least from my memory. ;) But my nose sometimes doesn’t work so well to discover the truth. He did turn ill and was unable to present himself to the Summer Program. At least we had a chance to speak at lunch the day before. The PoS lesson of course didn’t come from Casey.

  23. Yeah but the smell IS connected to the pretty foot via a physiochemical reaction.

  24. Sensory input is physiochemically driven, but “pretty” is a qualitative cognition, and is therefore ‘context specific, not inexorable law’.

    :|

  25. At least we had a chance to speak at lunch the day before. The PoS lesson of course didn’t come from Casey.

    So, Gregory, please explain exactly why intelligent design in nature by an unknown designer cannot, in principle, be detected by the natural sciences. Here’s your chance to awe us all with your superlative mastery of philosophy ;)

  26. The idea that feet stink is purely arbitrary. It’s all just biochemistry after all.

    And we can model ASCII as a code, but it’s really just electro-chemistry.

  27. @ Genomicus #25

    Well, I certainly wouldn’t claim to have mastered philosophy. Rather, one is humbled by it and drawn into it, continually learning from it, even inspired by it. Wisdom is something to be both respected and in awe of, not reduced or debased into something like mere biology or genomics.

    In regard to “why intelligent design in nature by an unknown designer cannot, in principle, be detected by the natural sciences,” of course it can, by defintional fiat.

    Have you read Adrian Bejan, Genomicus? His book “Design in Nature” (2012) says ‘design in nature’ *is* (by definitional fiat) a natural scientific topic. He doesn’t speak of ‘intelligent design/Intelligent Design’ because he rejects it as a religious fantasy. This is because he is non-religious, as you have suggested you are also.

    Indeed, Bejan says ‘no designer/Designer’ of ‘design in nature’ – the problem is actually the English language, which implies all ‘design/Design’ is ‘designed/Designed’ by a ‘designer/Designer.’ Probably you’d quite like Bejan, Genomicus. This would also allow you not to think about what ‘intelligence/Intelligence’ means (i.e. transcendence) in Big-ID theory.

    The burden is on the advocate of Big-ID theory to ‘prove’ (if that’s what you’re trying to do) the notion of ‘intelligent design/Intelligent Design’ in natural sciences. So far, the outcome doesn’t look good in so far as Big-ID piggybacks on human-social (historical) scientific ‘design theory,’ trying to extend it to origins of life (for which we have no ‘uniform experience’) based on the acceptance of imago Dei. That’s not often said explicitly, of course, but it’s clearly implied, as Fuller enlightens us to recognise. A secular Big-ID theory is a contradiction in terms!

    Another way to look at it: “The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens. There is no doubt of that, but it proves nothing against the heavens, for heaven simply means: the impossibility of crows.” – Franz Kafka

    If ‘intelligent design in nature’ to you simply means ‘secular natural science,’ Genomicus, no doubt you have as much work still to do in philosophy of science (PoS) as Casey Luskin does, though he would likely not (from the other side) support ID=secular natural science. Luskin didn’t ‘love wisdom’ enough to do his PhD (in geology or law) and how much most biologists ‘love wisdom’ even if they have a ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ degree in biology (PhD) is highly controversial.

    Biologists may be amongst the most philosophically deprived and spiritually immature PhDs in the university today! Have another 10 hours in the lab, young man/woman, and stop thinking critically about life’s most important questions…

  28. Well, I certainly wouldn’t claim to have mastered philosophy. Rather, one is humbled by it…

    Apparently not, Gregory. With all due respect, you’re the very antithesis of humility.

  29. @ #28:
    A delicious irony again, coming from a man who wants to exclude philosophy and theology/worldview from direct relevance on a topic of great meaning to humanity, dealing with purpose, self- and collective-identity, origins and destiny. Surely almost everyone reading this post will agree that ID (whether you specify it Big-ID as I do or not) is about just that.

    ‘Just leave it all to us natural(istic) scientists, child, we’re the only ones who are qualified to speak about it. Let our knowledge trickle-down to you, ignorant ones. Hail biology, queen of the sciences!’

    Uplift philosophy and one gets accused of arrogance and pride. Seek wisdom in humility and be called names for it!

    Point out that the United States of America is educationally highly under-developed in PoS and be called a liar?

    Optimus = 1, Genomicus = 2, who named pseudonamed -us will be next?

  30. Gregory @17
    I am not a Discovery Institute staffer, nor am I professionally affiliated with DI. My remarks concerning your incivility are due entirely to observing your conduct here at UD. The reason I object to your statements is that they are mean-sprited and fail to address any actual arguments advanced by people like Stephen Meyer, Casey Luskin, etc. You seem to gain considerable pleasure from lording your academic credentials over others, but in the entire time you’ve commented at UD, you’ve written nothing I would consider to be cogent, thoughtful, or even coherent. UD is a cool space because it provides a forum for people to discuss concepts that are often marginalized. Indulging in juvenile ad hominems, speculative motive-mongering, and generally trollish behavior misses the whole point of what the site is about. BTW my screen name has nothing to do with self-aggrandizement – it is a scifi reference.

  31. There is little need to defend oneself from such on-line attacks. Optimus was at the headline discussion in Seattle, so it made sense to inquire if he/she is a DI staffer. No doubt he/she is a diehard IDist.

    I’m on good terms with DI staffers, at least, those who are not ideologues. There are good people in the DI and I have defended DI staffers in other venues. But here at UD, a massive pro-ID propaganda campaign seems to be all that is allowed; no critical thinking – no questioning whether or not Casey Luskin (law, geology) is actually qualified to speak on the topic, to write (nay, to pontificate at eVo News and Views) about philosophy of science (PoS). Again I repeat: he is not and that’s a fact.

    Notable is that Optimus did not address the question:
    2) Do you wish to say that you think Casey Luskin (law, geology) is qualified at (anywhere near) the highest level to teach about Philosophy of Science?

    Enough not said to draw a conclusion.

    Imputing bad motives, ‘mean-spiritedness’ or ‘incivility’ changes nothing.

  32. Gregory:

    2) Do you wish to say that you think Casey Luskin (law, geology) is qualified at (anywhere near) the highest level to teach about Philosophy of Science?

    At the graduate level. Probably not. But no one is saying that he is. So that’s a red herring.

    What’s your point? That Casey Luskin is not qualified to say anything about Philosophy of Science to anyone?

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