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The Shallowness of Bad Design Arguments

The existence of bad design, broken design, and cruelty in the world inspires some of the strongest arguments against the Intelligent Design of life and the universe. I consider the “bad design” argument the most formidable of the anti-ID arguments put forward, but in the end it is shallow and flawed. I will attempt to turn the “bad design” argument on its head in this essay.

The “bad design” arguments have at least two major themes:

1. An Intelligent Designer like God wouldn’t make designs that are capable of breaking down

2. God (as the Intelligent Designer of Life) doesn’t exist because of all the cruelty and evil in the world

To address the first point, consider the synthesis of computer languages like: Java, C, C++, Ada, Pascal, Basic, FORTRAN, COBOL, Jovial, PL1, Modula-2, LISP, Prolog, etc.

The designers of these languages admit the possibility of syntax and semantic errors in the uninterpreted/uncompiled source code presented by programmers to a computer. Is it possible in principle to implement a computer language that is both non-trivial and capable of meaning while simultaneously impervious to software developers making errors (especially semantic errors)? I’d say no. And by way of extension, can there be a meaningful design without the potential for breakdown? Every example of engineering is vulnerable to breakdown. So, the hypothesis: “An Intelligent Designer like God wouldn’t make designs that are capable of breaking down” is rooted in pure theology, not in terms of any engineering experience. The potential for breakdown is the norm for intelligent design.

Furthermore, there is a rather peculiar property about reality. It seems appreciation for what is good is made possible by the existence of what is bad. Consider the Super Bowl where over 30 National Football League teams compete for the coveted title of Super Bowl Champions (the title went to the Saints a few years back, God bless them). But would such a title have any meaning if there were no losers in the NFL? This was an intelligently designed sport. It would be a flawed argument to say “the competitions leading to the Super Bowl are not intelligently designed because they result in losing teams”, yet the same sort of illogic is used by Darwinists to argue against ID.

How can we say an Intelligently Designed world would not admit the capacity for some to be at the losing end of a Divine Drama? We may not like it, but not liking something is not a justification for rejection of truth. I’ve often speculated the evil in this world might make meaningful the good in another world. This is not far from the thoughts of one insightful thinker who said almost 2000 years ago:

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”

Paul of Tarsus
2 Cor 4:17

Now to the other “bad design” argument, namely, “God (as the Intelligent Designer of Life) doesn’t exist because of all the cruelty and evil in the world”. I addressed the issue that an Intelligent Designer can make designs capable of breaking down. But on a more fundamental level, can we glibly assert there is no Intelligent Designer merely because of the existence of cruel acts? Consider Darwin’s argument:

That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Some have attempted to explain this in reference to man by imagining that it serves for his moral improvement. But the number of men in the world is nothing compared with that of all other sentient beings, and these often suffer greatly without any moral improvement. A being so powerful and so full of knowledge as a God who could create this universe, is to our finite minds omnipotent and omniscient, and it revolts our understanding to suppose that his benevolence is not unbounded, for what advantage can there be in the suffering of millions of the lower animals throughout almost endless time? This very old argument from the existence of suffering against the existence of an intelligent First Cause seems to be a strong one; whereas…the presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection.

So Darwin argues against the existence of an Intelligent God because he sees cruelty in the world. Would one argue that Darwin doesn’t exist because Darwin acted cruelly? Darwin himself said:

I acted cruelly, for I beat a puppy, I believe, simply for enjoying the sense of power;

Charles Darwin

Darwin's Puppy

Would I then argue Darwin doesn’t exist because Darwin acted cruelly? No. Yet Darwin uses the same illogic to argue the Intelligent Designer doesn’t exist. The irony of his own remarks is apparently lost on Darwin.

So even by Darwin’s own testimony, it would seem the existence or non existence of an Intelligent Agency is not determined by the existence (or lack thereof) of cruel acts or a cruel world. It may raise questions about the nature of the Intelligent Designer, but it is not, fundamentally a reason to disbelieve the existence of an Intelligent Designer like God. It may be the God that exists isn’t exactly agreeable to what we want out of God.

Finally, there is one side issue that our colleague Allen MacNeill raised and one which I felt was very well reasoned and worth addressing and one which I promised to address. Though somewhat peripheral to the issue of “bad design” it raises an interesting question. Allen wrote here: Natural Selection, Sparrows, and a Stochastic God . Allen writes:

Why does this last implication raise the hackles? Because it implies that God is a stochastic agent; He aims, but sometimes misses. A stochastic process (from the Greek stochos, meaning “a target”) is any process that includes a random component; one aims at a target, but doesn’t always hit it in the gold. In other words, a stochastic process is a probabilistic process, rather than an entirely determined one – there is a small, but irreducible probability that one will miss the target.

But consider the issue of computer languages. Without the potential for “misses” the world of computer languages would be meaningless, by way of extension, so would the biological world which is rich with computer language implementations (only some of which the IEEE and ACM are beginning to decipher)!

Can an immutable God be stochastic in His actions? Consider the axioms of math. For the systems the axioms describe, the axioms are immutable laws. But do immutable laws admit the possibility of non-deterministic results? Yes, as Godel incompleteness theorem deduced. As Chaitin put in Irreducible Complexity in Mathematics

Omega is an extreme case of total lawlessness; in effect, it shows that God plays dice in pure mathematics.

Thus, the existence of stochastic behavior does not imply something is not immutable. It only underlies the inability of finite beings to apply finitistic reasoning to infinitely complex entities. We see this in the ubiquitous existence of non-computable numbers that have no deterministic description. We don’t argue that these numbers don’t exist merely because we can’t comprehend or compute them. The same would appear true of any descriptions of the Intelligent Designer.

But questions of stochastic behavior are peripheral to the main point of this essay, namely, “bad design” arguments are flawed and shallow. Hopefully this essay shows that the “bad design” argument leads to all sorts of philosophical and logical complications and questions, not the least of which is: “Will a Perfect Intelligent Designer design something as Perfect as Himself”?

Photo Credit:
Puppy waiting for mom.

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62 Responses to The Shallowness of Bad Design Arguments

  1. This is an important topic.

    Too often this topic is addressed without considering the problem of evil. We can marvel at the beauty and complexity of Creation. All good in the beginning, but something went terribly wrong. How was the design corrupted? and is there any hope?

    If we can, through genetic engineering, modify living systems, is not possible there is more than one designer? Also, limitations in the current design open the possibility for redemption.

  2. The sum of all good+evil is a conserved quantity. Increasing order or harmony of some system (good) is always offset by the equal increase of disorder or disharmony in another system. If you feed a hungry child, there will be some dead animal or plant compensating for your good deed.

    People understand this balance instinctively e.g. parents of a child victim may seek to transform their tragedy into some noble cause i.e. they feel there is some good being created somewhere, just waiting to be revealed.

  3. “by way of extension…”

    “This was an intelligently designed sport.” / “an Intelligently Designed world.” – Salvador

    Could you please explain why you capitalize the second statement, but don’t capitalize the first, i.e. small-id (human beings) vs. Big-ID (“An Intelligent Designer like God”)?

    E.g. sports are human-made things, so they are small-id; our world is a non-human-made thing, so it is Big-ID?

    Intelligent Design theory surely doesn’t treat these two examples equally, does it?

  4. 4

    I think the “bad design” argument stems from the core issue with atheistic materialists, they are fond of their own cleverness to the point of intellectual smugness, and delight in pointing at things they think they could have done better, or more kindly, or more fairly, or more intelligently, and then gleefully rejoicing that because of this – because they could have done better(at least in their minds) – surely there could be no god worth the title.

    The ego necessary in claiming “I could have done better” is truly astonishing, and once again points towards madness.

  5. all,

    pardon, have question of disappeared staments made in topic of torture morality by Barry arrington. three statments of mine are disappaered without reason explained. many peoples statments are also disappeared but contain reason explained. have my statements offended?

    Barry arrington say “You don’t have the courage to answer the questions. But don’t you realize that you have failed. Your attempts to run from the questions are answer enough”

    above statement pointed to me and others. no understanding of reason for first statement of mine equal to “attempts to run from the questions”. Barry arrington wishing to receive statements of disagree, not of support for torture wrongness? thank you for response, pardon for topic interrupt.

    sergio

  6. all,

    addition of statement 5. many statemnts of supporters not disappeared. missed some rule particular in topic torture morality? thank you for response.

    sergio

  7. sergio,

    Please stay on topic. I’ll delete your posts if you don’t. Comprende? Other wise, it’s hasta la vista baby.

    Sal

  8. Sal –

    Excellent reasoning all the way around! One thing I will add regarding stochastic processes – if you admit the reality of other agents in the world than God, the question is this – how do you prevent such beings from creating destructive processes. The answer is, interestingly, stochasticity.

    The actual mathematical meaning of mathematical randomness is that, for an infinite process, all algorithmically chosen infinite subsets will have the same probability distribution as the original. In other words, one cannot build a defeater an algorithmic defeater algorithm for it. Put even more simply, no weapon formed against it shall prosper.

    In other words, having a truly stochastic component can be used to prevent other agents in the system from building defeater processes.

  9. johnnyb:

    Excellent reasoning all the way around!

    Oh my. So you think Sal knows C and C++ and Java?

    My bet is that he could not code a solution to a problem in 50% of the languages he mentions. Heck, I’d go with 25%.

    Sal:

    Each of these languages admits the possibility of syntax and semantic errors.

    Brilliant. Yet ignorant.

    In order to execute a program written in the C language, the program must first be compiled. C++ and Java are also compiled languages, I’ll not go through all the languages Sal appeals to in support of his position.

    The compiler checks for adherence to the syntax and semantics of the language.

    It’s completely moronic and uninformed to assert that the language “admits the possibility of syntax and semantic errors.”

    The English language “admits the possibility of syntax and semantic errors,” I suppose.

    But unlike someone who understands English perhaps being a bit forgiving about syntax and grammar mistakes, compilers are not so forgiving.

    Typically, the code fails to compile. Not just partially non-functional, completely non-functional.

  10. Mung -

    Actually, the reference to specific computer languages was quite gratuitous, I took Sal for what he was meaning, which was quite true enough. In fact, one need not reference a specific language to get his meaning, but rather the theory of computation itself.

    Any language strong enough to be Universal (in other words, capable of being formed to the arbitrary will of an agent) is also strong enough to allow errors (specifically, infinite loops). One cannot create a language that is both Universal (i.e. Turing-complete) and universally efficacious (i.e. any given program will do *something* right). In order to get the former, you must let go of the latter. This is a fundamental principle of computability. Sal was merely expressing it in more concrete, rather than abstract, terms.

  11. “bad design” = PRATT. maybe “they” think if they can repeat the PRATT faster than we can expose it, they win.

    And had Darwin known anything about the God of the Bible, he would have known about the fall from grace/ man’s want for our own knowledge, our way (despite ourselves). But obviously he didn’t know anything about the position he tried to refute.

    So how many of Darwin’s strawman arguments still exist?

    1- the fixity of species

    2- cruelty and suffering

    3- the nonsense of natural selection being a designer mimic- oops, not a strawman, just evidence-free nonsense…

  12. It’s completely moronic and uninformed to assert that the language “admits the possibility of syntax and semantic errors.”

    For sure a language admits semantic errors (like computing undesired results). So even syntactically correct statements can miscompute. So what I said with respect to semantics is correct.

    A compiler is not the same as a languge, you’re confusing the two and a misunderstanding on your part. “A language admitting the possibility of syntax errors” means not all possilbe character streams (in fact a small set) are gramatically correct. But I’ll word it differently the next time around. So what I said with respect to syntax is correct if you had read it right.

    Oh my. So you think Sal knows C and C++ and Java?

    My bet is that he could not code a solution to a problem in 50% of the languages he mentions. Heck, I’d go with 25%.

    And for your information, I’ve coded in C, C++, Java, COBOL, BASIC, Ada, LISP, and Prolog. Come to think of it, I don’t know that I’ve ever come across a C+ compiler (so I’ll remove it from the list). I learned some of these languages in the study of compiler theory and computer science (one of my 4 science degrees). But my level of knowledge relative to yours isn’t the subject of this thread is it?

    You obviously misread my comment.

  13. You made assertion Sal, and in support of your assertion you offered your “knowledge” of computer programming languages.

    To address the first point, consider the synthesis of computer languages like: Java, C, C+, C++, Ada, Pascal, Basic, FORTRAN, COBOL, Jovial, PL1, Modula-2, LISP, Prologue, etc.

    I have no idea what it means to “consider the synthesis” of these languages. Please enlighten me.

    And if your appeal to these languages fails to support your first point, then what?

    But then consider your later statement:

    But consider the issue of computer languages. Without the potential for “misses” the world of computer languages would be meaningless…

    To me, someone familiar with C, C++ and Java (among other languages), this is just so much gibberish.

    In each of these languages a “miss” results in a failed compilation. Not just non-functional garbage, but no garbage at all.

    You’re appealing to computer languages to support your argument, but to someone familiar with programing in those languages it’s just so much hooey (yes, I have programmed in all three, and more).

    You wonder why people have issues with your articles. Well, I am one of them. Stick to what you know, Salvador. Because when you wander off into things which you don’t know, you embarrass not only yourself but the entire ID community.

  14. Salvador:

    A compiler is not the same as a languge, you’re confusing the two and a misunderstanding on your part.

    So you conclude, from my comments, that I don’t know the difference between a programming language and a compiler?

    wow

    http://gcc.gnu.org/

  15. Salvador:

    I learned some of these languages in the study of compiler theory and computer science (one of my 4 science degrees). But my level of knowledge relative to yours isn’t the subject of this thread is it?

    You may have learned some of these languages, but that doesn’t mean you learned how to program. What you learned about compiler theory might be relevant, if you decide to share it.

    I don’t have a CS degree. Nice to hear you have four degrees. What I have is real-world experience. What good are your degrees?

    Pretty sure I can code circles around you and your four degrees. Haskell? Erlang?

    You now seem to be arguing that compilers don’t catch semantic errors.

    Even though your program may be syntactically correct, the compiler may discover a semantic error (i.e., an error in usage). One example would be if your program tried to use a variable that has never had an initial value set.

    http://www.otherwise.com/Lesso.....rrors.html

  16. In each of these languages a “miss” results in a failed compilation. Not just non-functional garbage, but no garbage at all.

    A compiler is not the same as a language, in fact a compiler can only practically implement a small fraction of all possible linguistic constructs of a language (since in principle the number of constructs is conceptually infinite).

    You obviously missed the previous post since you are repeating the same error.

    “Synthesis of a language” means to intelligently design one from scratch. The point was, that this language will not preclude the possibility of semantic errors (for sure).

    As far as syntax, we presume that there is a character set which will construct character streams. For the syntactically valid constructs to exist in the first place, there must be the possiblity (nay, necessity) that there are syntactically invalid constructs that the character stream can in principle realize. That is what I meant. You misread what I said. That’s fine, that’s why I posted this article to clean it up.

    For a computer language to exist, it implies that the many of the character streams that can in principle be presented (not recognized) by a compiler will be syntactically invalid. Programmers know this from experience. :-) But you misread what I said.

    But I tried to illustrate the point that a world with the possibility of the existence of bad design is a necessary but not sufficient condition intelligent design to exist in the first place. Thus, the existence of “bad design” cannot be used as an argument against intelligent design.

    The next iteration of this essay will change the wording so sophistry such as what you offered in this thread will have less traction in the future. To that end, your response was helpful.

    You wonder why people have issues with your articles. Well, I am one of them.

    Well, in your case it seems you just don’t like me.

  17. You now seem to be arguing that compilers don’t catch semantic errors

    I didn’t say that, but compilers don’t catch most semantic errors for the basic reason compilers don’t have access to the actual intentions of the software developer to compare it to what the developer wrote. If that were the case, we could fully replace programmers with compilers.

    Would you care to offer any more strawmen before I toss you from this discussion?

  18. Er Mung,

    I think you’re having syntax problems. But I assert the existence of the possiblity of bad syntax in your post is consistent with intelligent design of the English language — a point you can’t seem to comprehend.

    Sal

  19. And I think you’re having honesty and integrity problems.

  20. What’s you’re point Salvador?

    That you have the powers of a god and the morals of a serpent?

    granted

  21. Beg my forgiveness before you get banned from UD.

  22. Mung –

    I think the point is that you are simply driving the conversation away by being pointlessly nitpicky on something irrelevant. I’m not a fan of censorship, but, really, you have been quite trollish in this thread. It would be one thing if you were being a troll about a substantial claim, but instead you’re being a troll on a question of wording. This takes away from people who want to make substantive comments – including substantive criticisms – of Sal’s points.

  23. johnnyb,

    So you support Sal’s actions.

    Nice to know.

  24. Mangle this Sal:

  25. You support that, johnnyb?

  26. What’s you’re point Salvador?

    That the possibility of bad syntax (such as evidenced in your disemvoweled post) is a consequence of the universe that makes languages possible (be they human or computer languages). If the universe of character or symbol streams did not admit the possibility of syntactically flawed constructs, languages would not be possible even in principle.

    Ergo, the possibility of intelligent design cannot exist without also the possibility or even actuality of bad design.

    To say otherwise would be like saying the English language is not intelligently designed because the character streams from which it selects valid constructions also allows the possibility of bad syntax (like that in your disemvoweled post).

    The fact that most teams seeking to win the superbowl will have losses does not imply the game of football is not designed. That death and sickness exist in the universe is not evidence against the design of the universe.

    Further, bad design could be in the eye of the beholder such as those here:

    The Reason for Imperfect Self Destructing Designs – Passover and Easter Thoughts

  27. In response to:

    Slvdr:
    cmplr s nt th sm s lngg, n fct cmplr cn nl prctcll mplmnt smll frctn f ll pssbl lngstc cnstrcts f lngg (snc n prncpl th nmbr f cnstrcts s cncptll nfnt). Ths f blv cmplr s th sm s lngg, ’r th n vdncng cncptl rrrs!

    f r gng t bn nn fr rctng strwmn, pls bn rslf.

    ddn’t vn mntn cmpltn n r P.

    Mung asks:

    You support that, johnnyb?

    Are you asking, Mung, about the intelligent design evidenced in the bad design of a disemvoweled post, and hence proving that bad design is no argument against intelligent design?

  28. When it comes to you, Salvador, I am not appealing to either truth or reason. You’re a despot.

    Smile all you like.

  29. Mung,

    There was some bad design and syntax in that disemvoweled post. Are you asserting that the bad design is evidence of intelligent design? If so, thank you for helping prove an important point.

  30. I’m asserting that you have no shame.

    Thank you for helping prove that God’s laws are irrelevant when it comes to “supporters” of ID.

  31. Hey Mung,

    There was some bad syntax in your disemvoweled post, are you saying the English language precludes the existence of bad syntax.

    Oh wait, you’re the same guy who conflates compilers with languages. No wonder you’re so confused. Now that you don’t have a compiler to process your attempts at the English language, the error of your conflations is painfully evident isn’t?

    I wrote:

    Each of these languages admits the possibility of syntax and semantic errors.

    The English language presumes the possibility that there can be bad syntax, such as that evidenced in your disemvoweld post.

    Now back to my question, are you asserting the bad syntax in the bad design of your disemvoweled post is evidence of intelligent design on someone’s part?

  32. you have neither the right not the moral authority to do so.

    But your mangled posts are bad design and bad syntax so they can’t be the product of an intelligent designer with intent to humiliate you (in terms of Darwinist logic that is).

    Oh wait, weren’t you the one that had issues about the possibility of bad syntax being consistent with intelligent design? If we were to follow your illogic, it would imply your mangled posts were not the product of an intelligent designer.

  33. Sal, you can ask me to forgive you, and as a Christian, I just may do so. But that does not change the fact that you should repent.

  34. Salvador:

    Oh wait, you’re the same guy who conflates compilers with languages. No wonder you’re so confused.

    And you’re a liar.

  35. Repent, Salvador.

  36. Is there anyone here who thinks that Salvador did not change the content of my posts?

    ABUSE OF POWER!

    REPENT!

  37. Dear Mung,

    A compiler gives error messages if the syntax in the source code presented to it is in error.

    Tell the readers, how it is that such error messages can exist in the first place if the designers of the compiler didn’t admit the possibility of such errors. Oh, you’ll have a tough one with that because that would mean that the construction of the compiler admits the possiblity of syntax errors existing in the source code, which means the language admits the possibility that syntax errors can exist in source code.

    Oh, I see your mistake, you thought I was talking about compilable code, not source code in general. Too bad for you, since even Netbeans admits the possibility of such source code existing:

    Uncompilable Source Code Exception

    which means the designers of the language admit the possibility of syntax errors in the source code.

    OOOOPS. In light of that, your whole original argument makes about as much sense as your disemvoweled posts.

  38. Is there anyone here who thinks that Salvador did not change the content of my posts?

    What? And admit they believe the bad syntax and bad design in your posts is evidence of my intelligent design? That would be kind of humorous wouldn’t you say since that was my claim in the OP that bad design can’t be used as evidence against intelligent design.

    PS
    By the way, you were warned about your drivel before you posted more of it. Your subsequent posts were fair game after that.

  39. 51

    This is the first time I remember seeing “disemvoweling” on UD. Is this tactic common to those of our persuasion?

    It’s a bit creepy.

  40. Need anyone add that Mung’s own internal compiler missed an error when he wrote:
    “What’s you’re point Salvador?”
    Think he meant “your”?

  41. As to a atheist arguing against God because of the existence of evil in the world, this has always struck me as quite a peculiar thing. Theists, and Christians in particular, because of Christ’s triumph over sin and death, have never, ever, denied the existence of evil in the world. We, as Christian Theists, have always maintained that we live in a fallen world that is not perfect. Moreover, if someone is to make a argument from evil against God, then that person making the argument from evil is forced to presuppose, as a starting position, that the person he is trying to convince of his argument from evil can recognize the objective reality of evil in the world. But for evil to be considered objectively real requires the objective reality of perfect goodness, i.e. the objective reality of a perfectly good God, since evil is merely a departure from the good way things ought to be. Thus, the atheist is forced to presuppose the existence of a perfectly good God in order to make his argument from evil:

    Does God Exist – Albert Einstein and his answer to his Professor ! – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLOZDpE1rkA

    i.e. It is a self defeating argument!

  42. I thought it was quite amusing the way ‘the argument from evil’ (the argument from ‘bad design’) played out with John Avise’s book “Inside the Human Genome”

    Evolution Professor: Special-Creation “Effectively Eliminated” – Cornelius Hunter – June 2012
    Excerpt: In his book Inside the Human Genome evolution professor and National Academy of Science member John Avise continues with the usual evolutionary religious claims that the evil and inefficiency of biological designs—at the molecular level in this case—necessitate evolution, for such designs would never have been designed or created by a loving higher intelligence. As usual, it’s all about religion.

    In his chapter on non intelligent design, Avise points out that the world is deeply flawed right down to the fundamental, molecular level, and he repeats his religious belief that ascribing such a world to a Creator God is tantamount to blasphemy:

    If, on the other hand, natural causation is denied, and a caring Intelligent Designer is to be held directly responsible for life’s imperfect features, then the theodicy challenge remains poignant. How could a Creator God have engineered such a deeply flawed biological world, right down to its most elemental molecular features? Unless we pretend that biological defects do not exist, we seem forced to conclude that any Intelligent Designer is either technically fallible, morally challenged, or both. Furthermore, if the intelligent designer is deemed to be the Abrahamic God (rather than a Martian, for example), then are we not guilty of blasphemy in ascribing to Him a direct hand in sponsoring the molecular genomic flaws that plague human health? [156]

    ,,, Dr. Hunter comments in another post on Avise’s theological concerns,,,”There you have it. Evil exists and a loving higher intelligence wouldn’t have done it that way. It is a powerful argument for evolution, but its power comes from religion, not science. And that is the story of evolution. From the pre Darwin Enlightenment years to today, these metaphysical arguments have mandated an evolutionary narrative. But the science reveals monumental problems. What Darwin and the evolutionists have done is to manipulate the science to fit our religious requirements. Theology is, and always has been, the queen of the sciences.”
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ation.html

    Does it even enter John Avise’s mind that the scientific evidence, that he himself cites, is absolutely SCIENTIFICALLY crushing for Darwinism? For example in his book we also find:

    Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design – Pg. 57 By John C. Avise
    Excerpt: “Another compilation of gene lesions responsible for inherited diseases is the web-based Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD). Recent versions of HGMD describe more than 75,000 different disease causing mutations identified to date in Homo-sapiens.”

    I went to the mutation database website cited by John Avise and found:

    HGMD®: Now celebrating our 100,000 mutation milestone!
    http://www.hgmd.org/

    This is simply incredible. A scientific fact of a overwhelmingly deleterious mutation rate, a overwhelming rate that is crushing to Darwinian thought is, in the mind of a Darwinist, turned into positive evidence for Darwinism because of ‘theological concerns’??? It is simply ‘Alice in Wonderland science’ for this type of reasoning to even be given serious consideration as a scientific argument! But to be more specific as to the insurmountable ‘scientific’ problem this overwhelmingly negative mutation rate presents for neo-Darwinism,,,

    *3 new mutations every time a cell divides in your body
    * Average cell of 15 year old has up to 6000 mutations
    *Average cell of 60 year old has 40,000 mutations
    Reproductive cells are ‘designed’ so that, early on in development, they are ‘set aside’ and thus they do not accumulate mutations as the rest of the cells of our bodies do. Regardless of this protective barrier against the accumulation of slightly detrimental mutations still we find that,,,
    *60-175 mutations are passed on to each new generation. – Dr. John Sanford (quote taken from ‘Down, Not Up’ video lecture)

    i.e. This ‘slightly detrimental’ mutation rate of 60 to 175, per generation is far greater than what even evolutionists agree is an acceptable mutation rate, since detrimental mutations will accumulate far faster than ‘selection’ can eliminate them from any given genome:

    Beyond A ‘Speed Limit’ On Mutations, Species Risk Extinction
    Excerpt: Shakhnovich’s group found that for most organisms, including viruses and bacteria, an organism’s rate of genome mutation must stay below 6 mutations per genome per generation to prevent the accumulation of too many potentially lethal changes in genetic material.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....172753.htm

    Human evolution or extinction – discussion on acceptable mutation rate per generation (with clips from Dr. John Sanford) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC_NyFZG7pM

    Genetic Entropy – Dr. John Sanford – Evolution vs. Reality – video
    https://vimeo.com/35088933

    Using Computer Simulation to Understand Mutation Accumulation Dynamics and Genetic Load:
    Excerpt: We apply a biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program to study human mutation accumulation under a wide-range of circumstances.,, Our numerical simulations consistently show that deleterious mutations accumulate linearly across a large portion of the relevant parameter space.
    http://bioinformatics.cau.edu......aproof.pdf
    MENDEL’S ACCOUNTANT: J. SANFORD†, J. BAUMGARDNER‡, W. BREWER§, P. GIBSON¶, AND W. REMINE

    Perhaps John Avise, and other neo-Darwinists, who rail against what God should and shouldn’t do with allowing genetic entropy to be the prevailing principle governing all biological adaptations, should instead concern themselves primarily with the fact that this ‘science’ empirically crushes their Darwinian presupposition before they plunge full depth into deep Theological arguments on Theodicy that they are, as biologists, ill equipped to handle?

    The role of theology in current evolutionary reasoning
    http://www.springerlink.com/co.....037038134/

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Further note:

    Kimura’s Quandary
    Excerpt: Kimura realized that Haldane was correct,,, He developed his neutral theory in responce to this overwhelming evolutionary problem. Paradoxically, his theory led him to believe that most mutations are unselectable, and therefore,,, most ‘evolution’ must be independent of selection! Because he was totally committed to the primary axiom (neo-Darwinism), Kimura apparently never considered his cost arguments could most rationally be used to argue against the Axiom’s (neo-Darwinism’s) very validity.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 161 – 162

    A graph featuring ‘Kimura’s Distribution’, and the insurmountable problem it presents for neo-Darwinism, is shown in the following video:

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – Andy McIntosh – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086

  43. footnotes on theodicy:

    If God, Why Evil? (Norman Geisler, PhD) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtOOPaNmJFY

    It is interesting to note that Theism anticipated the second law, entropy, centuries before science discovered it:

    Psalm 102:25-26
    In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    notes on the ‘top down’ view of decay in the universe:

    Thermodynamic Argument Against Evolution – Thomas Kindell – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4168488

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

    Physicist Rob Sheldon offers some thoughts on Sal Cordova vs. Granville Sewell on 2nd Law Thermo – July 5, 2012
    Excerpt: This is where Granville derives the potency of his argument, since a living organism certainly shows unusual permutations of the atoms, and thus has stat mech entropy that via Boltzmann, must obey the 2nd law. If life violates this, then it must not be lawfully possible for evolution to happen (without an input of work or information.)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....aw-thermo/

    Thus, despite John Avise’s theological concerns that God would not allow such decay to happen to his creations (I believe blasphemous was the word he used) after he created them, the fact is that finding decay in created things, in this ‘fallen’ universe, after God’s creative acts brought those things into being, are, in fact, foundational presuppositions to mainstream Theological reasoning!

  44. Someone is acting like a loony in the exchange above. Difficult to tell who it is.

  45. Mung wrote:

    I am not appealing to either truth or reason.

    That’s rather obvious.

    By the way, please tell our reader’s why compilers generate error messages when they encounter uncompilable code or generate messages warning of some semantic errors (like uninitialized variables)? Is it because the authors of the language admit the possiblity of syntax and semantic errors by the software developers?

    Yet you said:

    Mung:

    It’s completely moronic and uninformed to assert that the language “admits the possibility of syntax and semantic errors.”

    The score? Mung (no computer science degree) says Sal (1 compute science degree + 3 other science degrees) is moronic and and uninformed about computer languages.

    Please answer the question Mung, your posts are off-target and for the most part content-free.

  46. Re Darwin’s ‘take’ on cruelty’s disqualifying the existence of God, I hadn’t realised how childish he was in his thinking.

    I’d thought it was only his less intellectually-apt followers who thought in a childish way. But when I read scordova’s bald statement of point 2, I couldn’t help convulsing with laughter:

    ‘God (as the Intelligent Designer of Life) doesn’t exist because of all the cruelty and evil in the world.’

    What should we call it, the atheists’ ‘argument from animus’? Scientism and reason. What an awesome symbiosis!

  47. scordova: “The existence of bad design, broken design, and cruelty in the world inspires some of the strongest arguments against the Intelligent Design of life and the universe.”

    By “strongest” I presume you mean “most passionate” or something along those lines. If you mean to say that the bad design set of arguments are the strongest in terms of substance, then you must think there are no other decent arguments at all, because the bad design line of arguments are wholly anemic in terms of their substance.

  48. By “strongest” I presume you mean “most passionate” or something along those lines.

    Yes. I meant most persuassive. Ironically, the first versions of this essay used the “persuassive” wording. I think future iterations will re-incorporate it in light of your comments. Thanks.

    PS
    for me personally, the “bad design” argument almost put me in Dawkins camp many years ago. More than any other anti-ID argument, this one gave me the greatest challenges.

    The “bad design” argument seems reasonable to many people. I get it a lot when I give ID talks, and I know the question often come from people genuinely sympathetic to ID.

    I wrote the essay because the topic is important to many who are on the fence regarding ID.

  49. OK, so to recap you mean that bad design is a “strong” argument to someone who sees it as evidence against their preconceived notion of a flowers-and-sunshine, pleasure-and-comfort-all-the-time creator who would surely never allow any discomfort, pain or sorrow to enter the world.

    But once the person sits down and thinks through the logic for a moment, they realize that “bad design” is an utterly absurd line of argumentation.

    Fair enough. :)

    —–

    BTW, I think your effort to address the issue is valuable, because there are unfortunately still a lot of folks who appear to be accurately described by my first paragraph . . . Dawkins, Ayala, Miller, Matzke (although the latter is probably just having fun; I suspect he realizes it is a terrible argument).

  50. Oh Mung,

    Where are you? You have some unfinished business.

    Mung wrote:

    I am not appealing to either truth or reason.

    That’s rather obvious.

    By the way, please tell our reader’s why compilers generate error messages when they encounter uncompilable code or generate messages warning of some semantic errors (like uninitialized variables)? Is it because the authors of the language admit the possiblity of syntax and semantic errors by the software developers?

    Yet you said:

    Mung:

    It’s completely moronic and uninformed to assert that the language “admits the possibility of syntax and semantic errors.”

    The score? Mung (no computer science degree) says Sal (1 computer science degree + 3 other science degrees) is moronic and and uninformed about computer languages.

    Please answer the question Mung, your posts are off-target and for the most part empty.

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