RVB8 tries to dismiss ID as failed science
|May 29, 2017||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Back to Basics of ID, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, evolutionary materialism's self-falsification, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
. . . with yet another list of talking points. Namely:
>>The irony of a scientific idea, ‘Intelligent Design’, with no experimentation?
Accordingly, I have replied:
>>More failed talking points:
>>The irony of a scientific idea, ‘Intelligent Design’, with no experimentation?>>
1 –> False. Cf Axe et al, cf Scott Minnich et al, cf Durston et al, [–> Forgot, Marks, Dembski et al, Behe too] cf work by others that impinges on the same, cf the work of the astronomers on the cosmology side, cf others. Starved of resources and so less than otherwise, yes; absence of experiments is a claim in defiance of duties of care to truth before commenting.
>>The irony of a scientific idea, ‘Intelligent Design’, with no predictive qualities?>>
2 –> Doubly false.
3 –> Many scientific ideas work by unifying rather than being predictive, and
4 –> The design inference carries the implication that FSCO/I will continue to be caused by intelligently directed configuration [and indeed RVB8’s objecting remarks as a case in point add to the observational base of trillions], also that in the fossils, there will be a clear marker of gaps at body plan level.
5 –> The breakdown of the notion that junk was what up to 95 – 98% of DNA was predicted by ID supporting workers on order of a decade ago and more, and is coming to pass as we speak.
>>The irony of a scientific idea, Intelligent Design’, that refuses to identify, or even look for, the Designer?>>
6 –> The irony of a strawman caricature that refuses to acknowledge that there is a difference between a design and its designer, and that given that many things must be studied from traces, we are often forced to examine and account for traces on causal factors seen to do the like effects in the here and now.
7 –> The further irony that recognising presence of design on empirically grounded reliable signs is then a basis to seek the patterns of design, the styles of design, the technological evolution of designs [per TRIZ etc] and so to characterise the type of designer candidates that may be relevant.
8 –> The still further irony of refusing to accept that there is a difference between what is accessible on empirical evidence and what is not, but may be discussed in light of well grounded empirical findings.
>>My scientific idea has no irony,>>
9 –> Evolutionary materialistic scientism is worse than merely ironic, it is self-refuting by undermining scientists themselves, as say J B S Haldane long since pointed out:
“It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays , Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in a current book, Finding Truth.)]
>> it does what it sets out to do; prove origins,>>
10 –> OoL on evolutionary materialism is in utter chaos and puzzlement, precisely because absent intelligently directed configuration, neither an FSCO/I-rich metabolic entity nor its von Neumann kinematic self-replicating facility are explainable.
11 –> Which is precisely a prediction of ID. (And, the long running offer to host at UD a summary essay on the empirically warranted case for evolutionary materialistic origin of life and body plans up to our own is still open after several years, with no serious takers.)
12 –> Proof, BTW, is not in the remit of science, not when it comes to theories which are inherently abductive explanatory frameworks that infer a best current, empirically anchored explanation.
13 –> At best, scientific theories can achieve empirical reliability and credibility that leads us to trust them in say engineering or medicine.
>>prove life is one system linked by evolution,>>
14 –> The tree of life icon, pivoting on incremental changes has long since fallen on hard times, due to the abrupt discontinuities in the body plans of life, starting with the first, the living cell.
15 –> As Walker and Davies point out with particular reference to the very first body plan, islands of funciton are a hard fact of life, per the underlying physics that would have to drive a Darwin’s warm pond or the like pre-life environment:
In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.
We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).
[–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]
Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker  for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]
16 –> Then, too, we face the landscape of AA sequence space, in which protein domains fall in deeply isolated islands.
>> and prove life can be understood without holding God’s hand.>>
17 –> This actually puts the cart before the horse, as Philip Johnson pointed out nigh on 20 years back in his reply to Lewontin’s infamous NYRB piece reviewing Sagan’s last book:
For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.
[–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:
“Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”
Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural.” Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.]
And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And it is not an appeal to ever- diminishing- ignorance to point out that design, rooted in intelligent action, routinely configures systems exhibiting functionally specific, often fine tuned complex organisation and associated information. Nor, that it is the only observed cause of such, nor that the search challenge of our observed cosmos makes it maximally implausible that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such.]
That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
. . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]>>
Let’s discuss. END
PS: It may be helpful — and less embarrassing — for persistent objectors to take a time out and read then ponder the UD Weak Argument Correctives and other information under the Resources tab on this and every UD page. (And BTW, this is actually one of the most read pages at UD.)