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Emergence as an Explanation for Living Systems

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Yesterday I watched a re-run of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode.

There. I said it.

I love Star Trek. Notwithstanding the many absurd evolution-based plotlines.

In this specific episode, Data referred to a particular characteristic of a newly-developing lifeform as an “emergent property.”

I’ve looked into the “emergence” ideas in the past, and the related self-organization hypotheses, and have never been too impressed. But it has been a while, so I thought I’d quickly navigate over to the Wikipedia page on the subject to see what it says. Now I’m a big fan of the general concept behind Wikipedia and it is a very useful tool, if used properly. Yet everyone knows that Wikipedia is a questionable source on controversial subjects. Want to know Abraham Lincoln’s birthday or the text of the Gettysburg Address? Wikipedia is great. Want to get an objective description of a controversial subject like — oh just to pick at random, say, evolution or intelligent design — and you will be sorely misled.

Emergence itself is not necessarily controversial, at least not in its simple, observationally-based definition. Wikipedia describes it as “a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and regularities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties.” Fine. Nothing particularly controversial there. I’m willing to accept that as a reasonable working definition for purposes of discussion.

The problem arises when researchers or theorists imagine that emergence is an explanation for a particular phenomenon. For example, the very next paragraph on Wikipedia states, “the phenomenon life as studied in biology is commonly perceived as an emergent property of interacting molecules . . .” By labeling “life” as an “emergent property of interacting molecules” a researcher can fool herself into thinking that she has understood something foundational about life, that she has provided some kind of explanation for life. Yet she has done nothing of the sort. She has simply applied a label to her ignorance, has simply given a name to something she doesn’t understand.

The word “emerge” is typically defined as “to come forth into view or notice, as from concealment” or “to come up or arise” or “to come into existence” or “to develop”.

This is straightforward enough, and allows us to say that, in its most basic sense, the concept of “emergence” simply means that A + B leads to or develops into C. This can be deterministic or stochastic, but either way, it is quite simple. The following two sentences are substantively equivalent:

A plus B develops into C.
C is an emergent property of A plus B.

Notice that with the first sentence we would immediately ask the follow-up question: “How?” Yet with the second sentence we don’t naturally follow up with that question. Indeed, the wording gives the impression that the “how?” has been answered by the very term “is an emergent property.” But in reality, no explanation at all is offered. No “how” has been given. We don’t know one iota more about the real, underlying processes at work after reading the second sentence than the first. So we should still follow up the second sentence with an emphatic “How?”, yet the very rhetorical stance taken in the second sentence tends to discourage that critical follow-up question.

Calling a living organism an “emergent property” of various molecules, is about as helpful and intellectually vacuous as saying that the Space Shuttle is an “emergent property” of glass, metal and plastic. It isn’t helpful. It hasn’t added anything to our knowledge of what actually brought the system into being. Worse, it all too often gives the false impression that an explanation has been offered.*

Let me be clear. I am not arguing that the word “emergence” be stricken from our language. I am not suggesting that the concept, as commonly defined, might not be a helpful shorthand label that we can use in certain situations.

What I am saying is that we must be scrupulously careful to not allow the label of “emergence” to be treated as more than it is: a label that does not carry with it an actual explanation, a label that does not provide a detailed analysis, a label that (unless we are extremely vigilant) tends to mask ignorance, rather than shed light.

So, for our dear readers, two questions:

1. What, if anything, does the concept of “emergence” add to our understanding of natural phenomena? And how is calling X an “emergent property” any different from simply observing that X occurred?

2. Even if there are some phenomena that can be helpfully thought of as emergent phenomena (Wikipedia cites snowflakes, hurricanes, ripple patterns in a sand dune, etc.), what relevance does that have to the origin and development of living systems?

—–

* Laughably, Wikipedia even tries to suggest that irreducible complexity is nothing more than a case of emergence, as though that label explains the existence of irreducibly complex biological systems. Worse, not capable of seeing the irony, the intellectual pygmies who tyrannically maintain the irreducible complexity page call irreducible complexity “a pseudoscientific theory.”

262 Replies to “Emergence as an Explanation for Living Systems

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    I just don’t understand in what sense “emergence” is an explanation. I don’t doubt that it is in some sense real. take H2O. Water “emerges” when you combine hydrogen and oxygen in a specific way explains what, precisely?

    Why this and not something else “emerges,” now that might be explanatory.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    Perhaps emergence is the new finality. Aristotle lives on.

  3. 3
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Laughably, Wikipedia even tries to suggest that irreducible complexity is nothing more than a case of emergence, as though that label explains the existence of irreducibly complex biological systems.

    Every once in a while I check out the Talk page – it’s an on-going warfare and now even some principled atheists are weighing in to try to get more objectivity. After all these years, the watchdogs remain on alert 24/7 and even the slightest pro-ID edits to that page are immediately overwritten.

    As some predicted (actually Larry Moran would probably agree) the anti-ID hostility from Wikipedia actually generated more sympathetic support for ID. It’s hard to argue that there’s not a persecution against the ID concept after looking at the Talk and History pages there.

  4. 4
    mike1962 says:

    SA: After all these years, the watchdogs remain on alert 24/7 and even the slightest pro-ID edits to that page are immediately overwritten.

    The funny thing is, that such non-objectivity has a corrosive effect on their position because neutral people (a large number) detect the charade, which causes them to lose more and more credibility. So I say to them, keep it up, pile it on. The more the better.

    I know this from personal experience. Time and time again.

    You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  5. 5
    Box says:

    Eric Anderson has a knack for pointing out explanatory vacancy of widely accepted standard concepts. A few years ago he pointed me to an old manuscript of his on “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest”. Unfortunately I don’t have it anymore. All I remember that Eric meticulously removed all meaning from those concepts.

  6. 6
    Mapou says:

    Anderson:

    Notice that with the first sentence we would immediately ask the follow-up question: “How?” Yet with the second sentence we don’t naturally follow up with that question. Indeed, the wording gives the impression that the “how?” has been answered by the very term “is an emergent property.” But in reality, no explanation at all is offered. No “how” has been given. We don’t know one iota more about the real, underlying processes at work after reading the second sentence than the first. So we should still follow up the second sentence with an emphatic “How?”, yet the very rhetorical stance taken in the second sentence tends to discourage that critical follow-up question.

    Excellent argument. Materialists, Darwinists and atheists have always used their own ignorance as a weapon with which to conquer the feeble minded.

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    Mapou: Materialists, Darwinists and atheists have always used their own ignorance as a weapon with which to conquer the feeble minded.

    They conquered themselves?

  8. 8
    mike1962 says:

    Mapou: Materialists, Darwinists and atheists have always used their own ignorance as a weapon with which to conquer the feeble minded.

    Religionists are no less guilty, of course.

    It’s not really a supernaturalist/materialist thing, it’s more of a human nature thing.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    Mung:

    They conquered themselves?

    They start with themselves, of course. Superstition evolves like this: First you convince yourself, then you use every means at your disposal to convince everyone else.

    mike1962:

    Religionists are no less guilty, of course.

    Materialists, Darwinists and atheists are all hardcore religionists.

  10. 10
    ppolish says:

    “Emerged” is the secular way of saying “Created”.

    Create implies a Creator. But emerge does not imply an Emerger. No such as. Emerge just happens. Boom Poof.

  11. 11
    mike1962 says:

    Mapou: Materialists, Darwinists and atheists are all hardcore religionists.

    But aren’t you hardcore too?

  12. 12
    Box says:

    Assume a universe *poof*, then assume robust *poof* organisms *poof* capable of reproduction *poof*, then assume that random mutation can produce new body plans *poof*, then assume consciousness *poof*.

  13. 13
    Mapou says:

    mike1962:

    But aren’t you hardcore too?

    Absolutely. The main difference between them and me is that I admit it and they don’t. Their weakness is that they cannot change their minds. They are stuck in stupid mode. May the best religion win.

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    You folks do not understand emergence. Emergence is not magical poofery. It’s organized poofery. It’s repeatable poofery. It is, therefore, scientific. Unlike ID.

  15. 15
    mahuna says:

    ” The following two sentences are substantively equivalent:

    A plus B develops into C.
    C is an emergent property of A plus B.”

    Well, no they are NOT.

    “A plus B develops into C” implies that A & B cease to exist as separate, distinct entities, while “C is an emergent property of A plus B” suggests not only that A & B continue to exist independent of C, but that A & B also have other properties besides C. So except for chemical reactions, I think it’s more common that “C emerges from A”, while B stands around and watches.

    Any number of new political ideas emerged from the French Revolution, while very few new political ideas (I can’t think of ANY) emerged from the American Revolution.

    For example, Napoleon emerged from the French Revolution and caused a string of events only distantly related to the Revolution.

    But Washington was already the richest man in the Colonies before the Revolution and was responsible for… US presidents being called “Mister President” rather than “Your Highness”.

  16. 16
    englishmaninistanbul says:

    As I see it the real controversy over emergence is whether or not living things–and consciousness in particular–are sums of material parts only.

    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
    -Genesis 2:7

    So as far as the Bible is concerned, the soul is an emergent property of our material bodies AND a God-given “breath of life”.

    From a science perspective, if life is intelligently designed and we have no real reason to limit the nature of that intelligence to the material realm, there is every reason to keep an open mind as to whether or not our constituent parts are entirely material.

    The closer we get to synthetically replicating life the more this will become clear. In other words, if we make a chemically exact replica of a cell or a human brain and it doesn’t work, we will know something’s missing.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Eric, your article reminds me of the quote featured on UD a few days ago:

    Louis Pasteur on life, matter, and spontaneous generation – June 21, 2015
    “Science brings men nearer to God.,,
    Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.,,
    The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the below things. They are the ones who gave us one of the most beautiful words in our language, the word enthusiasm: a God within.,,,
    I have been looking for spontaneous generation for twenty years without discovering it. No, I do not judge it impossible. But what allows you to make it the origin of life? You place matter before life and you decide that matter has existed for all eternity. How do you know that the incessant progress of science will not compel scientists to consider that life has existed during eternity, and not matter? You pass from matter to life because your intelligence of today cannot conceive things otherwise. How do you know that in ten thousand years, one will not consider it more likely that matter has emerged from life? You move from matter to life because your current intelligence, so limited compared to what will be the future intelligence of the naturalist, tells you that things cannot be understand otherwise. If you want to be among the scientific minds, what only counts is that you will have to get rid of a priori reasoning and ideas, and you will have to do necessary deductions not giving more confidence than we should to deductions from wild speculation.”
    [en francais, Pasteur et la philosophie, Patrice Pinet, Editions L’Harmattan, p. 63.]
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....eneration/

    And in that regards, due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt:
    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    Quote of note:

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

  18. 18
    Popperian says:

    The word “emerge” is typically defined as “to come forth into view or notice, as from concealment” or “to come up or arise” or “to come into existence” or “to develop”.

    Let’s not confuse the statement “The man emerged from behind the building.” with emergent properties, for which we have many concrete examples of.

    For example, if one wants to make tea, they need not be concerned about the exact number of water molecules, their exact starting position, predicting their exact movement, the exact state of affairs outside of the pot, etc. The fact that calculating these factors would be Intractable for modern day supercomputers running for millions of years does not prevent us from making tea. Fortunately for us, we simply need not care about all of those details. We can solve problems in their absence.

    What I’ve just described is a class of high-level phenomina that is quasi-autonomous and nearly self-contained. When explicably resolves at this higher, quasi-autonomous level, that explanation is an example of emergence, which is the context which is relevant to the discussion.

    As such, to say something is an emergent property isn’t an explanation, per se, but a class or level of explanation. However, this doesn’t mean that we have no explanation of how to make tea, either, despite the fact that our explanation of making tea is emergent.

    The problem arises when researchers or theorists imagine that emergence is an explanation for a particular phenomenon. For example, the very next paragraph on Wikipedia states, “the phenomenon life as studied in biology is commonly perceived as an emergent property of interacting molecules . . .” By labeling “life” as an “emergent property of interacting molecules” a researcher can fool herself into thinking that she has understood something foundational about life, that she has provided some kind of explanation for life. Yet she has done nothing of the sort. She has simply applied a label to her ignorance, has simply given a name to something she doesn’t understand.

    Again, see the definition above. Emergence is when explicably resolves in a way that is quasi-autonomous and nearly self-contained. So, there is an explanation, but at a higher level. To say there is no explanation is to say that we cannot use emergent explicably to solve problems, such as making tea, because we are ignorant about specific problems, such the exact number of water molecules, their exact starting position, predicting their exact movement, the exact state of affairs outside of the pot. Again, we simply need not care about those details to solve problems

    However, if you’re not actually interested in solving problems, but looking for some ultimate justification then, sure, you will find emergence lacking. But that would be a problem for you, not me.

    IOW, just because an explanation is not reductionist in nature or serves as some ultimate justification does not mean it’s not an explanation.

  19. 19
    Dionisio says:

    Please, see the papers referenced in posts 587 & 588 in this thread:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-569435

    Any idea why the author of the referenced papers used the word ‘miracle’?

    Is that author somehow related to ID?

    Also see the paper referenced in the post #561 in this thread:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-569129

    Any comments on why the authors wrote the word ‘miraculously’ ?

    Are those authors ID proponents?

    Do those terms belong in scientific literature?

    Are they valid scientific terms?

  20. 20
    Popperian says:

    Notice that with the first sentence we would immediately ask the follow-up question: “How?” Yet with the second sentence we don’t naturally follow up with that question. Indeed, the wording gives the impression that the “how?” has been answered by the very term “is an emergent property.” But in reality, no explanation at all is offered. No “how” has been given. We don’t know one iota more about the real, underlying processes at work after reading the second sentence than the first. So we should still follow up the second sentence with an emphatic “How?”, yet the very rhetorical stance taken in the second sentence tends to discourage that critical follow-up question.

    Even if we ignored what I wrote above (which apparently every one disagrees with, but has no criticism of), it’s unclear how ID fairs any better.

    Take the following paragraph: An ultimate designer that “just was”, compete with the knowledge of just the right genes, that would result in just the right proteins, which would result in just the right biological features, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with the knowledge of just the right genes, that would result in just the right proteins, which would result in just the right biological features, already present. Neither explain the origin of that knowledge. And no, the latter is not evolutionary theory

    On the other hand, take the mere claim that an abstract designer with no limitations designed biological organisms.

    IOW, notice that with the first paragraph about the ultimate designer, I would immediately ask the follow up question, “what is the origin of the knowledge the designer used?” Yet, with the second sentence, ID proponents don’t naturally follow up with that question. Indeed, the wording gives the impression that the “origin of that knowledge?” as already been answered by very term “designer”. But in reality, no “explanation” has been given. We don’t know one iota more about the origin of that knowledge after reading the second sentence than we do after reading the paragraph. So, we should still follow up the second sentence with an emphatic “what is the origin of the knowledge the designer used?”, yet the very rhetorical stance taken by the second sentence tends to discourage that critical follow-up question.

  21. 21
    anthropic says:

    20 Popperian

    “What is the origin of the knowledge the designer used?”

    If the designer is the orthodox, Judeo-Christian God, this question makes no more sense than asking “What is the origin of God?”

    There is no origin. The God of the Bible did not begin, but rather exists as an eternal now: “I AM”, as God repeatedly calls himself. Of course, light exists in an eternal now as well.

    A related question: If God caused the universe, what caused God? The answer, of course, is that only things that begin to exist, like the universe, have a cause. God never began to exist.

    PS Just because we are ignorant of where the knowledge came from a designer to do something does not mean that we can’t infer design. If we never figure out exactly how the Stonehenge builders did it, or learned how to do it, we still can infer intelligent design.

  22. 22
    EugeneS says:

    Emergence in my opinion does not and cannot explain anything. It is only a figure of speech.

  23. 23
    Dionisio says:

    anthropic @21

    Exactly clear. I could not have said it better. Thank you.

    As far as I understand it, it seems like what the ID folks propose is simply that, based on the known (until now) evidences, the observed elaborate information processing choreographies, orchestrated within the biological systems, can only be associated with the result of an intelligent design process.

    Other attempts to explain the origin of all that complexity have failed so far. The Darwinian/neo-Darwinian “second way” was followed by a newer “third way”, but so far they can only speculate.

    It seems like the ID proponents include an amalgam of all kinds of theological and philosophical worldview positions, but they all coincide on the general concept of intelligently designed systems, though disagreeing on details.

    In order to prove the ID proposition wrong, all that is needed is to present detailed explanations of how the known biological systems could have arisen through natural means.

    Instead of dwelling on the gross extrapolation of the built-in adaptation capability of the Galapagos finch, just show how we got the finch to begin with, from its FUCA and LUCA. That should shut up the ID folks for good.

    Perhaps one reason why the ID guys are so loud today is that no one else has presented a comprehensively coherently logically complete alternative OOL theory that holds water.
    Meanwhile, the unending debates continue, on and on, until the end of this world, at the end of the current Age of Grace.

    BTW, I’m not an ID proponent, or a YEC, or an OEC. The central Gospel message does not deal with any of that. I’m just a miserable sinner, forgiven by the grace of God through saving faith in Christ alone. To me the OOL is not an issue at all. What fascinate me is the way things work in biology, specially seen from the perspective of engineering design software development. That’s why I look forward, with much anticipation, to reading newer research papers, that shed more light on the amazing complexity seen in biology. I don’t like the gaps in knowledge. I like what is known, hence I mark up whatever is still awaiting for additional explanation, in order to keep track of future papers that could clarify it.
    As professor John Lennox said, Christians don’t worship any gods of the gaps, but the God of the whole show, the Creator, the ultimate reality.

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Popperian @ 18

    For example, if one wants to make tea, they need not be concerned about the exact number of water molecules, their exact starting position, predicting their exact movement, the exact state of affairs outside of the pot, etc.

    Here you’re talking about how to make tea versus an explanation of tea. You didn’t provide an explanation. If that is what is meant by “life is an emergent property interacting molecules”, then it’s not an explanation either. At best, the analogy would be saying “we know how to make life but we don’t know how to explain the molecular interactions and processes that occur”.

    But it’s easy to see how that concept falls apart also because one would need to demonstrate that life is a property of molecular interactions, not merely claim it.

    Like making tea. You can show how it is done, even though it cannot be explained at the molecular level.

    The same is not true of life from non-life. So, not only does ’emergence’ fail to explain anything, it’s meaningless with regards to demonstrating something in this case.

    “The mind is an emergent property of the brain”.

    This has not been demonstrated and it remains unexplained.

  25. 25
    Axel says:

    ‘So as far as the Bible is concerned, the soul is an emergent property of our material bodies AND a God-given “breath of life”.’

    No, englishmaninistanbul, the Bible states that the material body has no intrinsic title to the breath of life at all. Life is a gratuitous inspiration by the Creator into an otherwise dead piece of meat.

    Eugene S, re the term, emergence, being devoid of any explanatory indication, its proponents are like the child who knocks a vase off a shelf, and when one of his parents hurries into the room to see what’s happened, blurts out, ‘the vase broke…’*

    Note: Borrowed from a description of the findings of the official 9/11 Enquiry.

  26. 26
    Popperian says:

    If the designer is the orthodox, Judeo-Christian God, this question makes no more sense than asking “What is the origin of God?”

    If by saying “this question makes no sense”, you’re implying that ID has no explanation for the origin of that knowledge, then we’re in agreement.

    That’s a problem in the case of biological organisms as the knowledge they contain what is effectually a receipe of the transformations of raw materials an organism needs to perform to make a copy of itself. So the origin of an organism’s features is the origin of that knowledge. Again, this is why ID’s ultimate designer serves no explanatory purpose.

    Saying that knowledge previously existed in some designer, then was copied into an organism, doesn’t explain the origin of that knowledge. It merely pushes the problem up a level without improving it. Furthermore, your designer would be a complex, knowledge laden entry, which would itself be well adapted to serve the purpose of designing organisms. Again, this pushes the problem up a level without improving it.

    If your designer is simple and has no dependence on knowledge to will the first organisms into existence, that act of creation would represent the spontaneous generation of that knowledge, which is something that ID proponents mistakenly accuse neo-Darwinism of.

    In either case, one could more efficiently state that organisms, “just appeared” complete with this knowledge, already present. Adding your designer to the mix doesn’t add to the explanation.

    PS Just because we are ignorant of where the knowledge came from a designer to do something does not mean that we can’t infer design. If we never figure out exactly how the Stonehenge builders did it, or learned how to do it, we still can infer intelligent design.

    Stonehenge doesn’t contain a recipe of what transformations of matter are required to make a copy of itself. As such, it’s necessary for us to look external to it. This is not the case with biological organisms.

  27. 27
    anthropic says:

    Dionisio, thanks for the kind words.

    Popperian, most ID proponents are theists of some type, though there are a number of agnostics and even a few atheists. For the theists, the question of where God got the knowledge to design life is absurd. God always was, is, and will be; He is the great I AM who lives in the eternal now. He never “got” knowledge from somewhere else, He IS knowledge (and lots of other things, too, such as love, justice, and power).

    Now you can disagree that such a God exists; lots of folks do. But for a theist your question isn’t even wrong, it is a category error.

    However, that’s not the question at issue. The question at issue is what best explains what we observe in life, intelligence or unguided processes? The evidence points to an unwelcome answer for materialists, which is why they often make efforts to change the subject.

  28. 28
    mike1962 says:

    Popperian: Saying that knowledge previously existed in some designer, then was copied into an organism, doesn’t explain the origin of that knowledge. It merely pushes the problem up a level without improving it.

    ID is not concerned with explaining the origin of information universally or trans-universally, or the nature of any putative designers. ID is concerned with the proximate origin of biological information within earth’s lifeforms. For example, concerning OOL: are the “laws” and constituent objects of nature, such as subatomic particles, and chance and necessity sufficient to explain it? Or something else that possesses foresight?

    When a crime scene investigator sets about to determine the cause of death of a decedent, he need not concern himself with how the murderer (if there turns out to be one) came to exist in any ultimate explanation. If he had to explain the ultimate origin of the criminal, no crimes would ever get solved. It’s all about proximate causes.

  29. 29
    Popperian says:

    @Anthropic,

    You seem to think I’m confused about your position as a theist. However, I don’t think that I am. Rather, I think I’ve anticipated your clarifications and have already taken them into account. For example…

    For the theists, the question of where God got the knowledge to design life is absurd.

    That’s a distinction without a difference. We both seem to be in agreement that ID doesn’t explain the origin of that knowledge. If you consider it absurd to explain that knowledge or not, is the result still the same?

    God always was, is, and will be; He is the great I AM who lives in the eternal now. He never “got” knowledge from somewhere else, He IS knowledge (and lots of other things, too, such as love, justice, and power).

    Again, we do not actually seem to disagree. It’s unclear how what you just described differs from a designer that “just was”, compete with the knowledge of just the right genes that would result in just the right proteins, that result in just the right features, already present. If you define God as being inexplicable, you’ve defined the origin of that knowledge inexplicable as well. As such, you’re the one making the claim, not me.

    Now you can disagree that such a God exists; lots of folks do. But for a theist your question isn’t even wrong, it is a category error.

    The absence of an explanation remains, regardless. At best, when theistic ID proponents are presented with the fact that some species of Salamanders can re-grow entire limbs, including bone, muscles and nerves, while Human beings cannot, they can only say “That’s because an inexplicable mind that exists in an inexplicable realm have wanted it that way for some inexplicable reason we cannot comprehend”

    But this grossly underestimates the role that knowledge plays. Specifically, one organism, the Salamander, contains the knowledge of how to regrow limbs, while the other organism, the Human being, does not. Transformations that result in Salamanders occurs when the requisite knowledge is present. As such, the origin of that knowledge is the origin of those features. Introducing God or an abstract designer into the equation doesn’t add to the explanation. Explanations are either absent, irrational or supernatural, of which the latter cannot explained by definition.

    However, that’s not the question at issue. The question at issue is what best explains what we observe in life, intelligence or unguided processes? The evidence points to an unwelcome answer for materialists, which is why they often make efforts to change the subject.

    Again, see above. Unlike cars or computers, organisms contain a recipe that indicates what transformations of matter (raw materials) should be performed by that organism to build a copy of itself. The specific concrete features of an organism are the result of those transformations. Nor do organisms to not appear out of thin air? As such, the origin of those features is the origin of that knowledge. That’s the question at issue.

    Why don’t you start out by explaining how this knowledge grows, then point out how neo-darwinism doesn’t fit that explanation. Please be specific.

  30. 30
    Box says:

    Popperian: “What is the origin of the knowledge the designer used?”

    Based upon our uniform and repeated experience there is one type of cause that has demonstrated the power to produce this type of information. Intelligence or mind.

    What is the origin of your posts? Your mind.

  31. 31
    Mung says:

    Popperian:

    You seem to think I’m confused about your position as a theist. However, I don’t think that I am.

    I have no idea what the position is of the person you are responding to, but you are without doubt confused abut the position of classical theism, regardless of whether you think you are.

    It is in fact a rather amateurish mistake that you make. Call it a beginner level mistake.

    God does not obtain knowledge from anywhere. Knowledge does not exist inside God. Knowledge is not something God acquired. Knowledge is not something God needs to access. Knowledge has no origin.

  32. 32
    anthropic says:

    Hey, Popperian.

    I see you are stuck on the notion that because God is knowledge, this somehow makes the instantiation of that knowledge irrational/supernatural/just plain spooky by definition. That is, your objections are couched in scientific terms, but really are philosophical in nature.

    That means the information necessary to build and run a human brain, or regrow a salamander limb, had its origin in unguided, mindless processes. There is no need to “get” knowledge, of course, because there is no knower. But it is our experience on this planet that functional complex specified information systems always come from a mind, a knower. Never chance.

    If you don’t like theism, maybe you’d prefer aliens. Or (more speculatively) the universe itself in some sense “wants” life: biocentrism. God is not necessarily entailed by ID; you can consider the arguments compelling without commitment to any particular faith. David Berlinski and Michael Denton do, and that’s pretty good company.

  33. 33
    Box says:

    Mung: Knowledge has no origin.

    Doesn’t knowledge spring from God—according to classical theism?

  34. 34
    Popperian says:

    @Mike

    ID is concerned with the proximate origin of biological information within earth’s lifeforms. For example, concerning OOL: are the “laws” and constituent objects of nature, such as subatomic particles, and chance and necessity sufficient to explain it? Or something else that possesses foresight?

    First, are you suggesting the designer could be a highly advanced alien civilization?

    Second, I’m suggesting that ID proponents grossly underestimate the role that knowledge plays in the biosphere. Specifically, the proximate cause of the features of organisms is that knowledge. The transformations of raw materials that result in an organisms features occur when the requisite knowledge of what transformations to make is present. So, the origin of those features is the origin of that knowledge.

    For example, I possess foresight, right? I know that if the telomeres on the ends my chromosomes continue to shorten, my DNA will degrade, my cells will age quicker, etc. So, in exercising my foresight, I would want to arrest the process of the shorting of my telomeres, or even reverse it all together. However, that would only occur if the requisite knowledge of what transformations of matter necessary to bring that about was actually somehow actually present. My ability to identify the problem ahead of time, along with my desire to solve it, isn’t sufficient.

    Furthermore, imaging I ordered a drug that was shown to reverse the process of telomere shorting all together. However, instead of sending me that drug, I was accidentally shipped a drug designed to, say, cure foot fungus. Would my foresight of, or my intent somehow result in the reversal of the shorting of my telomeres, regardless? No, it would not. Knowledge is objective in that it is independent of anyone’s beliefs.

    My point is, the proximate cause of the features of an organism is the physical instantiation of the knowledge of what transformations of raw materials should be performed to make a copy of itself. To say a designer “just was”, complete with this knowledge, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with that knowledge, already present. Neither of which add to the explanation, beyond definition.

    When a crime scene investigator sets about to determine the cause of death of a decedent, he need not concern himself with how the murderer (if there turns out to be one) came to exist in any ultimate explanation. If he had to explain the ultimate origin of the criminal, no crimes would ever get solved. It’s all about proximate causes.

    Indeed. The proximate cause is that knowledge. Trying to find an ultimate justification or source for that knowledge doesn’t add to the explanation.

    Adding ID’s designer doesn’t add to the explanation because it is abstract and has no defined limitations. Saying something merely has the property of “design” is like saying fire has the property of “dryness”. “Design”, in this abstract sense, could just as well be applied to a world that looked completely natural, because some abstract designer could just have well intended it to look that way too. And a designer without limitations of what it knows, when it knew it, etc. could have created organisms in the order of most complex to least complex, or even all at once. Human designers are good expansions for human designed things because of our human limitations. But ID’s designer has no such limitations. This is, well, by design.

    Adding God makes the origin of that knowledge an inexplicable mind that exists in an inexplicable realm. It merely pushes the problem up a level without actually improving it. What you’re left with is God as a authoritative source of knowledge, which makes theism a special case of justificationism. That’s just bad philosophy.

  35. 35
    Popperian says:

    That means the information necessary to build and run a human brain, or regrow a salamander limb, had its origin in unguided, mindless processes. There is no need to “get” knowledge, of course, because there is no knower. But it is our experience on this planet that functional complex specified information systems always come from a mind, a knower. Never chance.

    First, the term “knowledge”, as I’m using it here, refers to information that plays a causal role in being retained when embedded in a storage medium. This includes brains, book and even genomes. Knowledge is objective in that is independent of belief or a knowing subject. See my response to Mike for an example.

    Second, you’re treating “design” as if it is an immutable primitive that cannot be explained. Why don’t you start out by explaining how knowledge grows in a knowing mind, then point out how Darwinism doesn’t fit that explanation.

    Sure, if you start out with the idea that knowing minds are inexplicable and justified by a supernatural authoritative source that exists in an inexplicable realm, then there can be no explanation. And, since natural process are not authoritative sources, then it could not be an explanation for any knowledge beyond “that’s just what some designer must have wanted.” But that doesn’t actually add to the explanation.

    So, we’re back to the proximate cause – the knowledge in the organism.

  36. 36
    Virgil Cain says:

    The designer of earth and life on earth could be a different designer than the designer of the universe. So yes, ET could be the designer of earth and life on it.

    Adding a designer tells an investigator quite a bit. For one you have eliminated entire classes of causes and have focused in on one class. We understand Stonehenge better as an artifact than we would as a natural formation.

  37. 37
    Popperian says:

    God does not obtain knowledge from anywhere. Knowledge does not exist inside God. Knowledge is not something God acquired. Knowledge is not something God needs to access. Knowledge has no origin.

    Ok, then, by your own definition, you haven’t added to the explanation. All you’ve done is pushed the problem of this knowledge into an inexplicable mind that exists in an inexplicable realm.

    If such a being willed an organism into existence, yet did not actually posses, acquire or need knowledge, then the knowledge of what transformations that were necessary to make a copy of an organism would have just spontaneously appeared when that organism was created.

    This would be the spontaneous creation of knowledge, right? Which happens to be a common, and misunderstood, objection against Darwinism.

    Again, this is why adding God doesn’t add to the proximate cause of those features: the knowledge of what transformations are needed for an organism to make a copy of itself. That’s what needs to be explained. And, by definition, you’re saying there can be no explanation. So, you’re the one taking God out of the running, not me.

    At this point, we can more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared” complete with the knowledge of which genes would result in just the right proteins that would result in just the right features, already present.

  38. 38
    EugeneS says:

    Popperian,

    Life starts out as an organized complex irreducible whole. The simplest life forms known exhibit levels of organization that are to be found nowhere in inanimate nature. Emergentism and, consequently, Darwinism do not cope with evidence regarding the design and implementation of organized semiotic systems. Chance and necessity are not enough to explain organization. Information (knowledge) as per scientific observations traces back to a knower, a coder, a mind. In relation to the volume of scientific observations supporting information tracing back to intelligence, ID adds the falsifiable adverb ‘always’.

  39. 39
    Popperian says:

    @Virgil Cain

    Stonehenge doesn’t contain a recipe of what transformations of matter would be required to make a copy of itself. So, yes. This is an important clue that tells us we must look external to it.

    However, this is not the case with organisms.

  40. 40
    Popperian says:

    Life starts out as an organized complex irreducible whole. The simplest life forms known exhibit levels of organization that are to be found nowhere in inanimate nature.

    This ignores what we know about the conditions under which fossilization occurs, and a number of other factors that would make it difficult for us to actually find simpler forms of life.

    We need not know exactly how the first replicators arose or what form they took to explain the growth of biological complexity using template replicators.

    To quote Mike

    When a crime scene investigator sets about to determine the cause of death of a decedent, he need not concern himself with how the murderer (if there turns out to be one) came to exist in any ultimate explanation.

  41. 41
    Virgil Cain says:

    Popperian:

    Stonehenge doesn’t contain a recipe of what transformations of matter would be required to make a copy of itself.

    That is the very thing that your side cannot explain.

    This is an important clue that tells us we must look external to it.

    Reproduction is an important clue that tells us we need to look external to it.

  42. 42
    EugeneS says:

    “We need not know exactly how the first replicators arose”

    I don’t think we need to know that exactly. Certain things can be ruled out based on what we already know.

    For a replicator one needs to provide:

    1. a description of what to replicate that is radically different from the system to replicate;
    2. a memory;
    3. the triplet {code,coder,decoder} to read from/write to the memory;
    4. the import/synthesis/export of materials for rebuilding.

    That absolutely requires control, planning and foresight. Not only must Maxwell’s demon be informed about the future choices but it needs to make those informed choices to manufacture a replicator.

    Replicators are a practical impossibility without intelligence.

  43. 43
    Virgil Cain says:

    EugeneS- Don’t forget that there is a huge difference between molecular replicators and a reproducing living organism. The cell division processes required for bacterial life is irreducibly complex and out of the reach of mere molecular replication.

    The origin of life is essential to understanding any and all subsequent evolution, just as the origin of Stonehenge is essential to understanding it.

  44. 44
    phoodoo says:

    Seversky,

    Can you point me to where you have mentioned your problem with Degrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Dan Dennet, Seth Shostak, Steven Novella, Michael Shermer, Lawrence Krauss, Steven Weinberg, Steven Pinker, Karl Giberson…et al espousing their thoughts on evolution?

  45. 45
    niwrad says:

    Emergentism is simply an alias of evolutionism.
    Both are void words because emergentists/evolutionists provide no detailed explanation on the process of emergence/evolution.

    See my post:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....emergence/

  46. 46
    Mung says:

    Box: Doesn’t knowledge spring from God—according to classical theism?

    Human knowledge, yes.

    But God doesn’t get knowledge from anywhere. Knowledge itself is not anything that had a beginning or an origin because God had no beginning and no origin, and God was never without knowledge.

  47. 47
    Mung says:

    Popperian: First, are you suggesting the designer could be a highly advanced alien civilization?

    Designers. Multiple alien civilizations. Some more or less advanced than others. The one who created that blind spot in the eye was one of the less advanced.

  48. 48
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Popperian: First, are you suggesting the designer could be a highly advanced alien civilization?

    Mung: Designers. Multiple alien civilizations. Some more or less advanced than others. The one who created that blind spot in the eye was one of the less advanced.

    Then what designed life?

    If aliens are themselves alive, then they are not the cause of life.

    Therefore living aliens are proof that something with the complexity of life did not require an intelligent designer.

  49. 49
    RWalk says:

    Those who continue to believe the frequent assertions that the vertebrate eye is “wired backwards” might want to brush up a bit on anatomy…

    There are many reasons for the design as it is, and it works rather well.

    For a few details and pointers to more see Eye Exquisitely Designed

    This info is not new…it is simply ignored. Almost 20 years ago Dr. George Marshall (Ph.D. in Ophthalmic Science) wrote “The idea that the eye is wired backward comes from a lack of knowledge of eye function and anatomy.”

  50. 50
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: If aliens are themselves alive, then they are not the cause of life.

    So?

    Maybe they are dead now.

  51. 51
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    If aliens are themselves alive, then they are not the cause of life.

    They could be the cause of life on earth. One step at a time. Proximate first.

    Therefore living aliens are proof that something with the complexity of life did not require an intelligent designer.

    That doesn’t follow.

  52. 52
    mike1962 says:

    Ideas, ideas, everyone has ideas

    The gods must be laffing

    Think about it

    Or not

  53. 53
    anthropic says:

    RWalker 49

    Yes, I remember the 2014 article in Phys.Org (?) detailing the incredible design features of the eye and once again debunking the notion that it was wired suboptimally.

    One of the reasons I’ve come to think that ID is probably on to something is that the more we learn the more implausible it is that unintelligent, unguided processes can account for it.

  54. 54
    EugeneS says:

    Virgil Cain #43

    Nice point. Yes, crystals replicate without the extra complexity that living systems require.

  55. 55
    EugeneS says:

    In addition to my comment #54,

    The key differentiator is whether the system to be replicated is heterogeneous or homogeneous. For heterogeneous systems there must be an irreducibly complex semiotic core with a description and translation of information.

  56. 56
    Popperian says:

    I’m the one that is confused?

    Mung:

    God does not obtain knowledge from anywhere. Knowledge does not exist inside God. Knowledge is not something God acquired. Knowledge is not something God needs to access. Knowledge has no origin.

    Mung:

    But God doesn’t get knowledge from anywhere. Knowledge itself is not anything that had a beginning or an origin because God had no beginning and no origin, and God was never without knowledge.

    On one hand, knowledge isn’t something God needs to access or does not exist inside God. But, on the other hand, God was never without knowledge?

    Did God ever not know how to build any organism that has, does or could exist? If so, he “just was” complete with the knowledge, already present. But this serves no explanatory purpose, as one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with this knowledge already present.

    Again, my criticism is that explanations for this knowledge are either absent, irrational or supernatural, of which the latter cannot explained by definition.

    Before we replace one theory with another, the replacement needs to explain not only the same phenomena just as well, but explain even more phenomena even better. ID doesn’t meet this criteria.

    Take the OPERA experiment. Neutrinos where observed traveling faster than the speed of light. However, this could not be reproduced in other experiments. Before those observations falsified Einstein’s speed limit, we would need a better explanation that not only explained the same phenomena at least as well, but explain why neutrinos traveled faster than light in OPERA, but not other experiments. No such explanation was found. Rather, we discovered a miss-calibrated timer and a loose ethernet cable. So, observations could falsify the theory, or falsify assumptions behind the observation itself.

  57. 57
    Mung says:

    Popperian: On one hand, knowledge isn’t something God needs to access or does not exist inside God. But, on the other hand, God was never without knowledge?

    That is correct. When you understand that, you will no long be confused.

    Existence is not something God has to access either. And existence is not something inside God. Yet God has always existed.

  58. 58
    Mung says:

    Popperian, your additional error comes from thinking that knowledge arises from molecules bumping into each other in just the right ways.

  59. 59
    Popperian says:

    @mung

    Popperian:

    On one hand, knowledge isn’t something God needs to access or does not exist inside God. But, on the other hand, God was never without knowledge?

    Mung:

    That is correct. When you understand that, you will no long be confused.

    What is correct? Repeating what appears to be merely a definition doesn’t help us move forward.

    To illustrate, if you have a quick memory, a good ear and exhibit attention to detail, you could repeat back a sentence someone spoke to you in Japanese. However, this doesn’t mean you actually understood what they said. To show you understand, you could re-phrase the contents of the sentence in a way that says the same thing, but using different Japanese words. Or, even better, you could go further and include consequences of the what they said if they were not explicit in the original sentence.

    If someone said they were “picking up a big fan”, merely repeating it back doesn’t necessarily mean you understand it either. You could try to indicate you understood what they said by responding with a consequence, such as “you must need to move a lot of air” or, “I bet they are excited to meet you”, as a way to gauge your level of understanding. Fans of the air moving variety do not get excited and fans of human variety do usually not move allot of air.

    In the same sense, I’m trying to do the same here regarding what you’ve said about God and knowledge. Yet, based on your response, I’m getting the feeling that there simply isn’t any such consequences that you can agree or disagree with that will clear things up. Rather, you seem to be suggesting I would no longer be confused if I merely accept the statements you’ve made as definitions about God and knowledge in the form of some kind of revealed truth.

    IOW, to understand what you mean, as opposed to you meaning something else, I’m trying to identify some actual state of affairs regarding God and knowledge that has different consequences than some other actual state of affairs about God and knowledge.

    This is why, in an attempt to clarify what you mean, I wrote:

    If your designer is simple and has no dependence on knowledge to will the first organisms into existence, that act of creation would represent the spontaneous generation of that knowledge, which is something that ID proponents mistakenly accuse neo-Darwinism of.

    and

    Did God ever not know how to build any organism that has, does or could exist? If so, he “just was” complete with the knowledge, already present. But this serves no explanatory purpose, as one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with this knowledge already present.

    Yet, you seem to have ignored my attempts at clarification completely.

    Again, I’d suggesting that ID proponents grossly underestimate the role that knowledge plays in the biosphere. Their explanation for it is either absent, irrational, supernatural, or some combination of the above.

    So, in an effort to move forward, let me repeat and expand on my question:

    Did God ever not know how to build any organism that has, does or could exist? That is, did he ever not know what transformations of matter would be necessary for an organism to create a copy of itself using raw materials?

  60. 60
    EugeneS says:

    Mung,

    I heard that amino acids can form by themselves in space as a result of collisions of stones. Mind you, they still have to explain the path from amino acids to proteins. Or maybe I am wrong. They already explained: proteins just emerged.

  61. 61
    Mung says:

    EugeneS,

    Yes, and hydrogen and oxygen can combine to form water. But I don’t see that as an increase in knowledge in any meaningful sense of the word.

  62. 62
    Carpathian says:

    Mung and Virgil Cain,

    Carpathian: If aliens are themselves alive, then they are not the cause of life.

    Mung: So?

    Maybe they are dead now.

    If living aliens designed life on Earth, the aliens cannot have been alive since you would have living beings being the cause of life.

    We have a paradox where life designed life, unless the aliens were not themselves alive in which case we have to ask, did non-living aliens require intelligent design.

    If they did not require intelligent design then the cause of their existence and therefore life on Earth, did not require ID to come into existence.

    What I’m saying is that an alien argument does not in any way support the notion that life is the result of ID.

    The alien argument also flies in the face of the ID argument that life itself is too complex to have arisen without ID, and this includes alien life.

  63. 63
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    If living aliens designed life on Earth, the aliens cannot have been alive since you would have living beings being the cause of life.

    The aliens would be alive but not on earth. Life on earth shows evidence of having been created by intelligence. Then you might wonder what created the alien life that created life on earth. It could be another kind of alien life. So, this also is the result of intelligence.

    If you’re proposing that a non-intelligent source created the aliens that created the alien life that created life on earth, then that would need to be demonstrated somehow.

    So, the challenge remains. Show us how unguided, blind, unintelligent, non-rational forces create rational intelligence.

    Failing that, intelligence is the most reasonable explanation.

  64. 64
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    The aliens would be alive but not on earth.

    According to ID, life itself has too much CSI to have arisen without an intelligent designer and that means anywhere.

    If you’re proposing that a non-intelligent source created the aliens that created the alien life that created life on earth, then that would need to be demonstrated somehow.

    The same goes for ID. If you believe that an intelligent designer created life, that would need to be demonstrated somehow.

    The first question a designer would need to answer is, “What should I design?”.

    How does a designer prepare a specification for life that would need to exist in a future environment?

    Without being able to see the future, how do you know what to build?

    Only God fits the requirements of the ID designer.

    No one else can see the future, make the future or fine tune the laws of physics.

  65. 65
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: If living aliens designed life on Earth, the aliens cannot have been alive since you would have living beings being the cause of life.

    That’s your final answer?

    Humans obviously cannot be alive to design anything then. And yet here we are, designing our little hearts out.

    You’re not alive either, Carpathian.

    And artificial life? Forget it. And life in the lab. Forget that too. Life only comes from dead stuff.

    But since none of us are alive, that should be no problem!

  66. 66
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    According to ID, life itself has too much CSI to have arisen without an intelligent designer and that means anywhere.

    ID is a scientific project. It’s based on observable, empirical evidence. We observe life on earth, right? Do we scientifically observe life anywhere else?

    When you say “that means anywhere” you’re adding something to the ID argument. When we talk about life being somewhere else, that’s hypothetical. Agreed? When it is proposed that “a designing intelligence” is required for the CSI of life, that means “an intelligence capable of creating the complexity of life, nothing less than that”.

    We know of different kinds of intelligence, don’t we?
    If you agree, then on that basis, one can hypothesize about “alien intelligence”.

    ID is not looking for the final or ultimate cause of things. Do you agree?

    If you believe that an intelligent designer created life, that would need to be demonstrated somehow.

    ID demonstrates that only intelligence is the source of CSI of the level that we find in life. There is no demonstration from the materialist view that non-intelligent sources can create that kind of CSI.
    So, ID is the most reasonable explanation for the CSI we observe, based on that demonstration.

    The first question a designer would need to answer is, “What should I design?”.

    That is debatable. But it’s not the ID argument anyway. There’s no scientific way to indicate what the first question a designer would answer is. It could be “why should I design”? “What are the potentials for design?” “What if I don’t design”. Many other starting points could be chosen.

    How does a designer prepare a specification for life that would need to exist in a future environment?

    When you design software you have to answer that question.

    Without being able to see the future, how do you know what to build?

    A characteristic of intelligence is the capability to see the future, to some extent. You have that capability as a human being yourself.

    Only God fits the requirements of the ID designer.

    No one else can see the future, make the future or fine tune the laws of physics.

    You could be absolutely correct here, yes – that might be a reasonable conclusion to reach from studying the data. Many scientists have concluded the same. But the data and evidence that ID presents only indicates that intelligence is the cause. It doesn’t seek to answer the philosophical question of ultimate causes.

    Any science encounters the same thing. When observing the Shroud of Turin, science say point out that there is no known natural cause for the image and it also shows evidence of having been designed by intelligence. A reasonable interpretation of the data is that God created the image. But that goes beyond what science can show.

  67. 67
    Popperian says:

    @Silver Asiatic

    ID is a scientific project. It’s based on observable, empirical evidence. We observe life on earth, right? Do we scientifically observe life anywhere else?

    What needs to be explained about biological organisms is not that they merely serve a purpose, but that they are well adapted to serve that purpose. That is, you could not vary them significantly without greatly impacting their ability to serve that purpose nearly as well, if even at all. Furthermore, they are well adapted because they contain the knowledge of what adaptations (transformations of matter) should be performed when making a copy of themselves.

    So, the origin of those features is the origin of that knowledge.

    For example, Paley’s rock could serve the purpose of a building material, a paper weight, a weapon, heat storage, etc. However, rocks could be modified significantly and yet still serve these purposes just as well. As such, they are not well adapted to serve those purposes. On the other hand, the watch cannot be explained as a raw material. Nor could it have existed in that form forever. Rather, it is a rare configuration of matter. It doesn’t just serve a purpose, but is well adapted to the purpose of keeping time. We cannot vary it significantly without also significantly impacting it’s ability to serve that purpose.

    The problem with merely proposing an advanced alien “designer” for the origin of that knowledge is, by nature of their role, they too would be well adapted to serve a purpose: designing organisms. Since they too exhibit the very thing about biological organisms that needs to be explained, this doesn’t actually improve the problem.

  68. 68
    Popperian says:

    When you say “that means anywhere” you’re adding something to the ID argument. When we talk about life being somewhere else, that’s hypothetical. Agreed?

    The ID argument wouldn’t apply to alien designers as well? Wouldn’t they not also be well adapted to the purpose of designing organisms and therefore exhibit the very same features as organisms on earth that need to be explained? As such, wouldn’t they be unable to play that role under ID?

    When it is proposed that “a designing intelligence” is required for the CSI of life, that means “an intelligence capable of creating the complexity of life, nothing less than that”.

    But you’re grossly underestimating the role that knowledge play in design.

    For example, I’m intelligent designer. Yet, if I found myself in a vitamin-c starved environment, this would not cause by vitamin-c synthesis gene to be repaired. If it did, it would because I was a genetic engineer that possesses the knowledge of what transformation of matter would be necessary to repair it, how to make just those changes, while causing the remainder to be unmodified, etc.

    IOW, repairing that gene occurs when the requisite knowledge is present. Not merely because I didn’t want to die, or intended it to occur, etc.

  69. 69
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: If living aliens designed life on Earth, the aliens cannot have been alive since you would have living beings being the cause of life.

    Mung: That’s your final answer?

    If the amount of CSI required for life on Earth cannot be attained without an intelligent designer, then that amount of CSI cannot be attained without an intelligent designer anywhere, regardless of what form that amount of CSI may take.

    If aliens can come into being with a CSI below the limit that requires an intelligent designer, then anything they design had a root cause that did not require an intelligent designer and thus those designs are not dependent on ID in order to exist.

    Once again, accepting living non-ID aliens results in a chain of events whose root cause was non-ID.

    This would include all life on Earth designed by those non-ID created aliens.

  70. 70
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    When ID talks of life one of its attributes are CSI and that is what ID claims is required for life.

    Whether it’s alien life, human life or the designer of the universe is irrelevant to the CSI argument.

    ID cannot escape its own assertions.

    If human life has a CSI of x, why would aliens who designed us have a CSI so low they could come into being without being designed?

    By addressing questions like these, we can determine whether certain explanations are probable.

    It does not seem plausible that Earth life has less CSI than alien life.

    Thus alien life-forms as designers of Earth life is not a plausible answer unless they themselves were designed.

  71. 71
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    ID is not looking for the final or ultimate cause of things. Do you agree?

    I don’t agree here at all.

    One of the claims that ID makes is that the universe was fine-tuned for life.

    This requires a universal designer, not simply alien life-forms.

    When evolutionists say that evolution is concerned only with how life changes, kairosfocus insists that the OOL must be considered.

    You cannot reasonably suggest that only one side needs to answer that question.

  72. 72
    EugeneS says:

    Mung,

    Of course, no meaning. I was joking. Our evolutionist friends don’t see any meaning anywhere 😉 why should one expect them to be meaningful as regards how life started?

  73. 73
    Box says:

    Carpathian: If the amount of CSI required for life on Earth cannot be attained without an intelligent designer, then that amount of CSI cannot be attained without an intelligent designer anywhere, regardless of what form that amount of CSI may take.

    How can you know this without first studying the origin of alien life forms? Why is it so important for you not to keep an open mind? Maybe natural circumstances at planet X are very favorable for the origin of this unknown alien life. We don’t know, do we?

  74. 74
    Daniel King says:

    Box:

    How can you know this without first studying the origin of alien life forms? Why is it so important for you not to keep an open mind? Maybe natural circumstances at planet X are very favorable for the origin of this unknown alien life. We don’t know, do we?

    Oh, the irony, it burns…

  75. 75
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    How can you know this without first studying the origin of alien life forms? Why is it so important for you not to keep an open mind? Maybe natural circumstances at planet X are very favorable for the origin of this unknown alien life. We don’t know, do we?

    But Earth life has been studied and most scientists believe that circumstances on Earth were very favourable for the origin of life on Earth without ID.

    If the aliens managed to originate without the help of an intelligent designer, either their CSI is below 500 bits, or an intelligent designer is not required for high values of CSI to exist.

    It’s one or the other.

  76. 76
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    ID demonstrates that only intelligence is the source of CSI of the level that we find in life.

    Then the aliens required an intelligent designer.

    If the aliens did not have an intelligent designer, they either must have a CSI below ~500 bits or they originated from purely natural non-ID sources.

    If the aliens designed Earth life but they themselves originated without ID, then the chain of events that led to us, did not require an intelligent designer.

    Thus an intelligent designer is not necessary for the origin of life.

  77. 77
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Then the aliens required an intelligent designer.

    OK. So what? We can’t say anything about that as we are unable to study them. We can study life on earth. And that life screams of intelligent design.

    But Earth life has been studied and most scientists believe that circumstances on Earth were very favourable for the origin of life on Earth without ID.

    They don’t have any evidence. They don’t have any testable hypotheses. They don’t have any models. They don’t have any science.

  78. 78
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: If the aliens designed Earth life but they themselves originated without ID, then the chain of events that led to us, did not require an intelligent designer.

    LoL!

    IF the aliens designed earth life THEN the chain of events that led to us did require an intelligent designer.

    Carpathian, you may as well go away and come back under a new name, because this is one you are not going to live down. [Along with your theory of immaterial data transfer.]

  79. 79
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: If the aliens designed Earth life but they themselves originated without ID, then the chain of events that led to us, did not require an intelligent designer.

    Mung: LoL!

    IF the aliens designed earth life THEN the chain of events that led to us did require an intelligent designer.

    E1: Aliens originate without an intelligent designer.

    E2: Aliens use ID to create life on Earth.

    E1 -> E2, where E1, the start of the chain, did not require ID.

    This means that God must have been surprised at what non-ID processes eventually led to, since he was not involved in the alien ID scenario.

    The second problem for ID is that if ID accepts that the CSI of aliens complex enough to design us did not require ID, why did we?

  80. 80
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, You seem to enjoy humping strawmen.

  81. 81
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Aliens use ID to create life on Earth.

    Carpathian: therefore the chain of events that led to us, did not require an intelligent designer.

    Pardon me while I pause to ponder the meaning of this.

  82. 82
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian, You seem to enjoy humping strawmen.

    Why attack me instead of addressing the argument?

    If the aliens that designed us didn’t need the help of ID, anything after that event X was not an intention of an intelligence at point X.

    In other words, if God is not needed for life on Earth, you can’t claim that life on Earth was an intention of God.

    An alien designer would be evidence against Genesis.

  83. 83
    55rebel says:

    Virgil Cain: “They don’t have any evidence. They don’t have any testable hypotheses. They don’t have any models. They don’t have any science.

    What you talk about Virgil?! ….They think, therefore… it is! And FYI, it’s called: Mind over Reality–a VERY precise science…. BTW.

    ….Pffff!!

  84. 84
    Mung says:

    Carpahtian: If the aliens that designed us didn’t need the help of ID…

    This makes no sense. If they designed us they needed the help of ID.

  85. 85
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Why attack me instead of addressing the argument?

    The strawman argument? 😉

    If the aliens that designed us didn’t need the help of ID…

    What does that mean? If aliens designed us then life on earth was the result of ID.

    In other words, if God is not needed for life on Earth, you can’t claim that life on Earth was an intention of God.

    ID doesn’t require God nor does it say anything about God. However if God designed and instructed first life to go forth and further populate the universe then obviously life on Earth was an intention of God.

    An alien designer would be evidence against Genesis.

    “Come flail away. Come flail away, come flail away with me, yeah”

  86. 86
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    What does that mean? If aliens designed us then life on earth was the result of ID.

    ID’s biggest argument is CSI.

    If the CSI of aliens who designed life on Earth is below 500 bits, ID says intelligent design may not have been involved.

    Our DNA is in the millions of bits of information.

    If the aliens who designed us were more complex than we are, their DNA would probably be larger than ours, but at the least, it would not be much less.

    Q: Why would something with at least as much CSI as we contain, NOT need ID to explain their existence but ID is necessary to explain ours?

    Let threshold of design in informational bits, tdCSI = 500
    Let human information, hCSI = 2,000,000
    Let alien information, aCSI = 2,000,000

    Why are the two values of CSI for humans and aliens treated differently?

    ID doesn’t require God nor does it say anything about God. However if God designed and instructed first life to go forth and further populate the universe then obviously life on Earth was an intention of God.

    The fine-tuning argument of ID most definitely requires God.

    What other entity could determine the relationships that the the laws of physics would have to have?

  87. 87
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    ID’s biggest argument is CSI.

    No, it isn’t.

    If the CSI of aliens who designed life on Earth is below 500 bits, ID says intelligent design may not have been involved.

    LoL! If the level is below 500 bits then it isn’t CSI. CSI is 500 bits or more of SI.

    Q: Why would something with at least as much CSI as we contain, NOT need ID to explain their existence but ID is necessary to explain ours?

    You are confused. We can’t say anything about them until we can study them. We are focused on life on earth. Grow up and get an education already.

    Why are the two values of CSI for humans and aliens treated differently?

    We don’t know anything about the aliens. As we have said you have other issues.

    The fine-tuning argument of ID most definitely requires God.

    No, it doesn’t.

    What other entity could determine the relationships that the the laws of physics would have to have?

    Q

  88. 88
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Then the aliens required an intelligent designer.

    OK. So what? Our focus is life HERE. Only a fool would want to focus on the entity that designed us.

  89. 89
    Virgil Cain says:

    If aliens designed us then life on earth was the result of ID. Period, end of story.

  90. 90
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    If the CSI of aliens who designed life on Earth is below 500 bits, ID says intelligent design may not have been involved.

    LoL! If the level is below 500 bits then it isn’t CSI. CSI is 500 bits or more of SI.

    I get the feeling you either want to duck this question or can’t understand it.

    It’s very simple.

    If 500 bits of “whatever” is the dividing line between an ID object and a non-ID object, does it or does it not apply to alien life?

    Before answering think about this:
    Alien life does not have to be investigated to answer questions about CSI.

    The question applies to CSI.

    Alien life is a possibility ID has put forward, it’s not a strawman.

    You yourself have suggested that life on Earth could have been designed by aliens but you don’t seem to understand the implications for ID.

    If aliens, whose own existence did not depend on ID, created life on Earth, then an intelligent designer and fine-tuning are not required for the existence of life on Earth since the “first cause”, i.e. the aliens, did not require ID.

    Also, the existence of non-ID aliens is evidence that humanity could have also originated without ID since the aliens did.

    Again, this is about CSI, ID’s main argument.

    Dembski and kairosfocus both refer to CSI for their arguments against “Darwinism”.

    The alien designer argument is terribly flawed.

  91. 91
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    If 500 bits of “whatever” is the dividing line between an ID object and a non-ID object, does it or does it not apply to alien life?

    It applies to everything. It is universal.

    You yourself have suggested that life on Earth could have been designed by aliens but you don’t seem to understand the implications for ID.

    What implications?

    If aliens, whose own existence did not depend on ID,…

    That is your strawman. We cannot say anything about them. We study what we have and what we have screams of intelligent design.

    If aliens intelligently designed life on earth then life on earth was intelligently designed and has to be studied as such in order to understand it.

    That said, the safe bet is that ET was also intelligently designed.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, you just caught my eye. Kindly show a significant case of functionally specific complex organisation and/or information beyond 500 – 1,000 bits, that has been observed to come about spontaneously by blind chance and mechanical necessity. You cannot, for the simple reason that the blind, needle in haystack serch implied by config spaces of 3.27*10^150 – 1.07*10^301 or more are so big that the atomic and temporal resources of our sol system or the observed cosmos would be fruitlessly exhausted in a search that stands to a haystack comparably thick as our galaxy, at the low end. FSCO/I — on trillions of cases in point — is a reliable sign of design as cause, but obviously a very unwelcome one. KF

  93. 93
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain and anyone who believes that aliens designed life on Earth,

    Here’s some questions for everyone:

    1) Do any of you believe that aliens designed Adam and Eve?

    2) Do any of you believe that aliens designed the “immaterial mind”?

  94. 94
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian, you just caught my eye. Kindly show a significant case of functionally specific complex organisation and/or information beyond 500 – 1,000 bits, that has been observed to come about spontaneously by blind chance and mechanical necessity.

    Evolution and many other processes are “dynamic”.

    Evolution is not the analogical role of a 2 billion sided set of dice.

    The Manhattan skyline did not appear intact overnight.

    Your CSI argument is irrelevant to a bit by bit build of “information”.

  95. 95
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    1) Do any of you believe that aliens designed Adam and Eve?

    It is possible.

    2) Do any of you believe that aliens designed the “immaterial mind”?

    They may have designed an immaterial mind.

    Evolution and many other processes are “dynamic”.

    ID is NOT anti-evolution. Unguided evolution cannot be modeled. Intelligent Design evolution can and has been.

    Your CSI argument is irrelevant to a bit by bit build of “information”.

    You don’t have a mechanism capable of producing CSI, bit-by-bit. So your tantrum is irrelevant.

  96. 96
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    You don’t have a mechanism capable of producing CSI, bit-by-bit.

    There is no mechanism for design.

    There is no way of gathering information from a future environment that doesn’t exist yet.

    A specification can therefore not be written.

    There is no way of predicting what is going to happen unless you can see the future.

    ID cannot work without something as powerful as God.

    Many IDists have touched on the concept of fine-tuning which doesn’t work unless you’re the designer of the universe also.

    Unless you can come up with a mechanism non-gods can use, ID is creationism.

    Show me how design can work.

  97. 97
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    There is no mechanism for design.

    Design is a mechanism.

    There is no way of gathering information from a future environment that doesn’t exist yet.

    Strawman

    A specification can therefore not be written.

    That doesn’t follow.

    ID cannot work without something as powerful as God.

    Cuz you say so.

    Many IDists have touched on the concept of fine-tuning which doesn’t work unless you’re the designer of the universe also.

    OK, so what? The designer of the universe does not have to be the designer of life on earth.

    Unless you can come up with a mechanism non-gods can use, ID is creationism.

    Cuz you say so.

    Show me how design can work.

    Show us that you have an intelligence capable of grasping science. Unfortunately you have already dug a hole too deep for that.

    But nice hissy-fit tantrum.

  98. 98
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    You don’t have a mechanism capable of producing CSI, bit-by-bit. So your tantrum is irrelevant.

    Sure there’s a mechanism and it’s called sexual reproduction.

    A child of two parents might look more like one than the other, but they inherit “bit changes” from both parents.

    Here’s two bit patterns:

    1001011011011001
    0011010110110110

    The child will inherit a pattern that is a combination of bit fields from the parents which might look like this:

    0011011010111101

    Note that the difference in generations is not limited to 1 or 2 bits.

    Since physics is not random, some combinations will not prove survivable which means some combinations, those that can survive, will prove to be more likely in each generation.

  99. 99
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Cuz you say so.
    Cuz you say so.

    Are these the two best arguments you could come up with for defending ID?

    Carpathian: Many IDists have touched on the concept of fine-tuning which doesn’t work unless you’re the designer of the universe also.

    Virgil Cain: OK, so what? The designer of the universe does not have to be the designer of life on earth.

    Of course he does. Designing an Earth that doesn’t support life like ours would be an insurmountable barrier to alien designers.

    To say that Earth did not require fine-tuning destroys the fine-tuning argument.

    To say that the aliens searched and rejected billions of planets in the universe before coming to ours would not be feasible due to the fact the universe is only billions of years old and there would not be time enough to visit and study them all.

    If on the other hand, there are many worlds that would support life like ours, then the “Privileged Planet” theory doesn’t fly.

  100. 100
    Andre says:

    Carpathian

    seal reproductive organs are not your friend… where did they come from? Did they just emerge? Evolved?

  101. 101
    Carpathian says:

    Can anyone show how ID would work?

    It is incredibly frustrating listening to ID proponents knock “Darwinism” and yet not have even superficially evaluated whether ID is possible.

    How do you know what to build?

    How do you make your “specification”?

    Do you have to release all of an eco-systems designs at once or are organisms introduced singly or in groups?

    These are all questions scientists who promote ID should ask since the first test a theory has to pass is that of its own proponents.

    If ID is not plausible, then it should be abandoned.

  102. 102
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Sure there’s a mechanism and it’s called sexual reproduction.

    Unfortunately for you your position cannot account for sexual reproduction. If you could then that would be enough to deal a fatal blow to ID.

    Are these the two best arguments you could come up with for defending ID?

    They are all that is required to respond to your childish strawmen.

    The designer of the universe does not have to be the designer of life on earth.

    Of course he does.

    Of course you are wrong. The designer of the engine doesn’t have to also design the car.

    Designing an Earth that doesn’t support life like ours would be an insurmountable barrier to alien designers.

    How do you know? Show your work.

    To say that Earth did not require fine-tuning destroys the fine-tuning argument.

    Just because Earth requires fine-tuning doesn’t mean the designer of the universe designed earth.

    If on the other hand, there are many worlds that would support life like ours, then the “Privileged Planet” theory doesn’t fly.

    That doesn’t follow. If all those worlds have the same factors as us then the “Privileged Planet” is confirmed.

  103. 103
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Can anyone show how ID would work?

    Yes, ID works by first determining intelligent design exists and then studying it.

    If we listen to Carpathian we would wonder how we managed to design anything. We couldn’t have designed cars as we didn’t know all the environments they would be subject to.

    Look Carpathian, your ignorance doesn’t phase ID. If you want to get rid of ID then go out and find support for an alternative.

  104. 104
    Carpathian says:

    Andre:

    seal reproductive organs are not your friend… where did they come from? Did they just emerge? Evolved?

    When I speak of sexual reproduction I am talking about the blending of the information contained in two different strings, not reproductive organs.

    This is life at a very basic level and is something that IDists should be addressing, i.e. the combining of two libraries of information.

    When IDists claim that bit by bit evolution doen’t work, they completely ignore the combining of information.

    “CSI” changes rapidly when two organisms pool their DNA when creating the next generation.

  105. 105
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian- those organisms and their ability to reproduce is what requires an explanation in the first place. When evos claim that evolution works some way or another they always ignore the fact that they cannot account for anything to begin with.

  106. 106
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Look Carpathian, your ignorance doesn’t phase ID. If you want to get rid of ID then go out and find support for an alternative.

    LOL! ID is supposed to be the alternative to “Darwinism” !

    Yet when asked to show how it would work, every IDist has ducked the question I’ve asked.

    Simply, how would you do it?

    If any IDist had actually thought about it, he would have the answer at his finger tips.

    Since no one has answered the question, I have to assume no IDist has considered it.

    When you do, you’ll find its impossible.

  107. 107
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    ID is supposed to be the alternative to “Darwinism” !

    Darwinism and all of its variants are nonsense that is why there is ID. If Darwinism had something there wouldn’t be ID.

    Yet when asked to show how it would work, every IDist has ducked the question I’ve asked.

    You haven’t asked anything relevant to ID. If you ever do I a sure someone will respond.

    Simply, how would you do it?

    By figuring out what was required and then designing it.

  108. 108
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    By figuring out what was required and then designing it.

    Well of course you should do that but no one has!

    There is not a single IDist I’ve seen here who has in any way indicated that they have actually investigated whether or not ID is plausible.

    You may not like it but proponents of “Darwinism” have done that very thing ID won’t which is to try and verify whether “Darwinism” is something that can work.

    ID has zero evidence in favour of it but has instead generated a lot of reasons why a theory outside ID is implausible which is not helping ID as a theory at all.

  109. 109
    Mapou says:

    Who is this Carpathian fool? I suspect that a lot of the more dense, cowardly and vocal Darwinists who comment here in disguise are actually more famous members of the Darwinist gang. Do Dawkins, Myers and Coyne and the the other loud internet jackasses comment here without us knowing?

  110. 110
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    There is not a single IDist I’ve seen here who has in any way indicated that they have actually investigated whether or not ID is plausible.

    The evidence says that the design is real. And if your position had something we wouldn’t even be talking about ID, yet here we are.

    You may not like it but proponents of “Darwinism” have done that very thing ID won’t which is to try and verify whether “Darwinism” is something that can work.

    We know darwinism doesn’t work. It can’t be modeled and offers nothing to test.

    ID has zero evidence in favour of it…

    There is plenty of evidence for ID and nothing for your position.

    Living organisms are evidence for ID. The earth and solar system are evidence for ID. The laws of nature are evidence for ID.

  111. 111
    Virgil Cain says:

    Mapou, Carpathian is someone who doesn’t understand science and loves to misrepresent ID.

  112. 112
    Andre says:

    Carpathian

    It is impossible for a mind but absolutely nothing could do it? Ok chump off the cough medicine…

  113. 113
    Carpathian says:

    Mapou:

    Who is this Carpathian fool?

    Seriously?

    You have a theory that has no means of explaining what its promoting.

    Show that biological design works like ID claims.

    That’s all you have to do to win this for your side.

    That will never happen though because the only “evidence” I see from IDists is focused is focused on investigating “Darwinism”.

    Why can’t any body answer the first question?

    How do you know what to design?

    Show the “Darwinist” side the studies you would need to make to understand what the environment would be like in a 100 years.

    And why is this necessary?

    Because you have to no what your specification will be.

    If you have no target, you have no spec.

    So far I’ve seen IDists hand-wave but I’ve seen no answers.

    ID is not a “theory” that is anywhere close to being ready to be taught.

    The textbooks would run less than five pages.

  114. 114
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Mapou, Carpathian is someone who doesn’t understand science and loves to misrepresent ID.

    I don’t see ID as scientific theory when their entire case for ID is a case against “Darwinism”.

    The scientific method is comprised of asking questions and getting answers.

    I ask questions but I get no answers.

    Try that with high school students.

    Every time they ask a question that ID can’t answer just call them fools.

    After all it must be their fault you don’t have any evidence for your “theory”.

  115. 115
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    You have a theory that has no means of explaining what its promoting.

    Nice projection. ID is about the detection and study of intelligent design in nature. It explains what it promotes via our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    Show that biological design works like ID claims.

    We have- your position cannot explain it AND it matches ID’s criteria.

    ID is not a “theory” that is anywhere close to being ready to be taught.

    We can teach how to detect design in nature. You wouldn’t like it as your position would be swept aside because it has nothing to offer.

    The textbooks would run less than five pages.

    You wouldn’t know what a textbook is.

  116. 116
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: There is not a single IDist I’ve seen here who has in any way indicated that they have actually investigated whether or not ID is plausible.

    Virgil Cain: The evidence says that the design is real. And if your position had something we wouldn’t even be talking about ID, yet here we are.

    You haven’t answered the question at all.

    Assertions are meaningless without evidence.

    Show your evidence for ID, not criticisms of someone’s opposing theory.

  117. 117
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    I don’t see ID as scientific theory when their entire case for ID is a case against “Darwinism”.

    That is incorrect as Dr Behe and others have presented the positive case for ID. But yes science mandates that materialistic alternatives be eliminated first.

    The scientific method is comprised of asking questions and getting answers.

    That is why evolutionism isn’t science.

    I ask questions but I get no answers.

    Your questions prove that you are on an agenda of obfuscation and diversion.

    After all it must be their fault you don’t have any evidence for your “theory”.

    There is plenty of evidence for ID.

  118. 118
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Show your evidence for ID, not criticisms of someone’s opposing theory.

    What opposing theory? And we have shown our evidence for ID. Why do you think your ignorance is a refutation of that claim?

  119. 119
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpthian: Show that biological design works like ID claims.

    Virgil Cain: We have- your position cannot explain it AND it matches ID’s criteria.

    You’ve done nothing of the sort.

    Just simply write down five steps that an intelligent designer would need to do to design biological life and fit it into an existing ecosystem.

    Let’s take the Cambrian Explosion.

    When would you need to redesign an organism?

    What prey would it hunt?

    What would be the effect of releasing a million such organisms into that environment with hundreds of thousands of different designs already occupying it?

    Not easy is it?

    Actually, it’s impossible.

  120. 120
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    That is incorrect as Dr Behe and others have presented the positive case for ID. But yes science mandates that materialistic alternatives be eliminated first.

    Dr. Behe claimed there was no evidence for evolution when presented with a table full of books, all evidence for evolution.

    The number of scientists backing “Darwinism” is thousands of times larger than those backing ID.

    There was no positive case for ID.

    Behe’s IC argument is a negative argument against “Darwinism”.

    ID reads like this, “Your argument is wrong, therefore ours is right”.

    It never introduces its own mechanisms.

    If ID is a theory, then it cannot be a mechanism.

    For example, carpentry is not a mechanism, but using a hammer to drive a nail is.

    If ID has no mechanisms, how could it possibly work?

  121. 121
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Just simply write down five steps that an intelligent designer would need to do to design biological life and fit it into an existing ecosystem.

    Geez, Carpy, how many times do you have to be told that has nothing to do with ID, which pertains to the detection and study of intelligent design in nature?

    As we have said, you are clueless and apparently proud of it. Hump that strawman!

    Let’s take the Cambrian Explosion.

    When would you need to redesign an organism?

    Right after lunch.

    What prey would it hunt?

    The villainous grasses.

    What would be the effect of releasing a million such organisms into that environment with hundreds of thousands of different designs already occupying it?

    Perfect coexistence- at least that is what our models indicate.

  122. 122
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Perfect coexistence- at least that is what our models indicate.

    What models?

    You have no models because you have no specifications.

    You can’t model something when you have no description of what it should look like.

  123. 123
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Dr. Behe claimed there was no evidence for evolution when presented with a table full of books, all evidence for evolution.

    You are confused as Dr Behe never made such a claim.

    Behe’s IC argument is a negative argument against “Darwinism”.

    It is also a positive case for ID.

    If ID is a theory, then it cannot be a mechanism.

    Dude, you are dense. Design is a mechanism and ID is NOT about the mechanisms used. That comes AFTER.

    You are truly ignorant. FIRST design is detected. We do NOT need to know how the design was implemented in order to detect and study it.

    So first you need an education and then but all the vowels cuz you are clueless.

  124. 124
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    What models?

    The models that show we won’t have any issues with your strawman. Duh.

  125. 125
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: Let’s take the Cambrian Explosion.

    When would you need to redesign an organism?

    Virgil Cain: Right after lunch.

    So you’re reduced to comedic relief are you?

    I would say you reflect the current state of ID, no answers.

  126. 126
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The number of scientists backing “Darwinism” is thousands of times larger than those backing ID.

    The number of scientists who can support “Darwinism” with actual evidence is zero.

  127. 127
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    So you’re reduced to comedic relief are you?

    We are following your lead. You have proven to be a joke.

    I would say you reflect the current state of ID, no answers.

    No one should answer your strawman and irrelevant questions.

  128. 128
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    You are truly ignorant. FIRST design is detected. We do NOT need to know how the design was implemented in order to detect and study it.

    You have to test that your premise is viable which is exactly the argument ID uses against “Darwinism”.

    The case for ID is based on asking “Darwinists” to prove their theory a viable explanation.

    I’m asking you to prove ID is viable and you claim that is not a requirement.

    Unbelievable!

    Are students to be taught that science doesn’t need positive evidence for a theory?

    How would you teach this in school?

  129. 129
    Carpathian says:

    Anyone,

    Show how ID could be implemented.

    Does anyone have any answers?

    Is ID just going to be a case of hand-waving away students’ questions?

    Can ID exist at all without “Darwinism” to refer to?

  130. 130
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    You have to test that your premise is viable which is exactly the argument ID uses against “Darwinism”.

    Willfully ignorant it is, then. Look, Darwinism claims to have a step-by-step process for explaining the diversity of life. That means it is up to evos to demonstrate such a thing. ID does NOT make such a claim and that means ID does NOT have to support it.

    The case for ID is based on asking “Darwinists” to prove their theory a viable explanation.

    Because if you could then ID is a non-starter.

    I’m asking you to prove ID is viable and you claim that is not a requirement.

    The design exists so obviously it was viable.

    Can ID exist at all without “Darwinism” to refer to?

    Yes, however it would still have to eliminate materialistic explanations first. Science mandates that.

    Are you really that ignorant, Carpathian?

  131. 131
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Are students to be taught that science doesn’t need positive evidence for a theory?

    Evolutionism 101- except it isn’t a theory…

  132. 132
    Box says:

    Carpathian:

    How do you know what to design?

    Show the “Darwinist” side the studies you would need to make to understand what the environment would be like in a 100 years.

    And why is this necessary?

    Because you have to no what your specification will be.

    Anyone,

    Show how ID could be implemented.

    Four possibilities (there are undoubtedly more):

    1. The designer(s) designed the eco-system first, so they knew the specifications wrt environment in advance.
    2. The designer(s) equipped organisms with in-built adaptability.
    3. The designer(s) kept monitoring the process and made adjustments when necessary.
    4. The designer(s) were just lucky.

  133. 133
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: How do you know what to design?

    I talk to the customer.

    Carpathian: Is ID just going to be a case of hand-waving away students’ questions?

    So you’re a student of design now are you?

  134. 134
    Virgil Cain says:

    Mung:

    I talk to the customer.

    But do you listen to the customer?

  135. 135
    Mapou says:

    I believe it was a dude named Isaiah who wrote that the earth was created/formed to be a habitable place for intelligent beings. Obviously, there must have been some major ecological fine tuning happening somewhere along the way.

  136. 136
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    Four possibilities (there are undoubtedly more):

    1. The designer(s) designed the eco-system first, so they knew the specifications wrt environment in advance.
    2. The designer(s) equipped organisms with in-built adaptability.
    3. The designer(s) kept monitoring the process and made adjustments when necessary.
    4. The designer(s) were just lucky.

    Finally!

    Someone with the guts to actually talk about ID as a replacement for “Darwinism”.

    I think number 1 is the most probable ID scenario. There is no way ID is possible without controlling everything around it.

    Number 2 is drifting into “Darwinism” and suggests that if a small level of “hands-off” mutation is possible then accumulated “hands-off” mutation over millions of years is really what IDists call Darwinism.

    Number 3 is the most difficult and suggests incomplete design. If the designer had the power to “fine-tune” the universe, it suggests he had the power to build feedback into the system to control mutation without requiring any further intervention.

    Number 3 would also require massive amounts of information to be collected and processed if hands-on mutation was required, which would mean a massive monitoring system incorporating millions of personnel.

    Number 4 is ID’s view of “Darwinism” and assumes the improbability that goes with it.

  137. 137
    Carpathian says:

    Mapou:

    I believe it was a dude named Isaiah who wrote that the earth was created/formed to be a habitable place for intelligent beings. Obviously, there must have been some major ecological fine tuning happening somewhere along the way.

    If you’re trying to make a connection between Creationism and ID, I’m going to accept that connection.

    ID as a science doesn’t work unless you can answer material questions about it.

    Quoting the Bible doesn’t promote ID as science.

  138. 138
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Someone with the guts to actually talk about ID as a replacement for “Darwinism”.

    Except it has nothing to do with ID!

    I think number 1 is the most probable ID scenario. There is no way ID is possible without controlling everything around it.

    That isn’t in number 1.

    Number 2 is drifting into “Darwinism” and suggests that if a small level of “hands-off” mutation is possible then accumulated “hands-off” mutation over millions of years is really what IDists call Darwinism.

    Wrong. Evolution by design is not Darwinism. Read “Not By Chance” and buy a vowel.

    Number 4 is ID’s view of “Darwinism” and assumes the improbability that goes with it.

    No such assumption required as it is inherent in the process.

    ID as a science doesn’t work unless you can answer material questions about it.

    ID answers material questions about the design- as in how to detect and study it. OTOH your position can’t answer anything.

  139. 139
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain,

    Do I have to spell things out for you?

    Carpathian: Number 2 is drifting into “Darwinism” and suggests that if a small level of “hands-off” mutation is possible then accumulated “hands-off” mutation over millions of years is really what IDists call Darwinism.

    Virgil Cain: Wrong. Evolution by design is not Darwinism. Read “Not By Chance” and buy a vowel.

    “Hands-off mutation” means the “hands are not on mutation”, i.e, not “Evolution by design”.

    I have some questions for you.

    Why do you pretend not to understand what’s actually said to you?

    Is this part of a debating tactic on your part?

    If this is how ID intends to establish a relationship with students, it’s going to fail.

    When a high school kid asks a question, your side has to have better answers than what you’re giving.

  140. 140
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, We have already spelled things out for you and you still don’t get it.

    “Hands-off mutation” means the “hands are not on mutation”, i.e, not “Evolution by design”.

    Evolution by design is hands-off. Also this 2. The designer(s) equipped organisms with in-built adaptability. is EXACTLY what Spetner posited in “Not By Chance”. Your ignorance is staggering.

    Why do you pretend not to understand what’s actually said to you?

    Nice projection as you have misrepresented almost all we have said to you. What you don’t misrepresent you ignore.

    When a high school kid asks a question, your side has to have better answers than what you’re giving.

    High school students are much smarter than you and either wouldn’t ask irrelevant questions or would understand the irrelevance once explained.

  141. 141
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    High school students are much smarter than you and either wouldn’t ask irrelevant questions or would understand the irrelevance once explained.

    And you don’t think they’re they’re smart enough to see ID doesn’t have an an answer to how ID works?

    You’re going to tell high school students that you’re going to replace “Darwinism”, which includes mechanisms, with ID, which doesn’t have any?

    What kind of lab experiments will ID have?

    The relevant question they will ask will be, “What are the steps in modifying an organism?”.

    Another one is “Where do we get the new specification?”

    ID has no answers because it has no mechanisms.

    Show me how it’s done.

    ID is full of opinions but no actual concrete steps.

    ID is missing what you claim is missing from “Darwinism” and that is actual evidence that ID is capable of bringing forth the organisms or “information” that we see.

    Your textbook would consist of a foreword and last page.

  142. 142
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: And you don’t think they’re they’re smart enough to see ID doesn’t have an an answer to how ID works?

    I think they know they are designers themselves and probably think it’s kind of silly to ask how design works.

    Carpathian: Show me how it’s done.

    All you have to do is observe yourself in action.

  143. 143
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    And you don’t think they’re they’re smart enough to see ID doesn’t have an an answer to how ID works?

    They are smart enough to understand that ID is about the detection and study of design in nature.

    You’re going to tell high school students that you’re going to replace “Darwinism”, which includes mechanisms, with ID, which doesn’t have any?

    Design is a mechanism. And so is “built-in responses to environmental cues”. But I digress. We don’t know how Stonehenge was built- its mechanism- and that is within our capabilities.

    ID is not about the mechanism and never has been.

    ID is missing what you claim is missing from “Darwinism” …

    Oh my, you are proud to be willfully ignorant. Comment 130:

    Willfully ignorant it is, then. Look, Darwinism claims to have a step-by-step process for explaining the diversity of life. That means it is up to evos to demonstrate such a thing. ID does NOT make such a claim and that means ID does NOT have to support it.

    High school students will grasp that. Middle school kids do.

    The relevant question they will ask will be, “What are the steps in modifying an organism?”.

    That isn’t relevant but it has been answered.

  144. 144
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: And you don’t think they’re they’re smart enough to see ID doesn’t have an an answer to how ID works?

    Mung: I think they know they are designers themselves and probably think it’s kind of silly to ask how design works.

    The question isn’t whether things like cars can be designed, the question is how would you design a biological organism.

    If you answer questions that aren’t asked you’re not answering the questions that are asked.

    Here are some direct questions for ID that a designer would have to have an answer for.

    How would you put together a specification for a future environment that does not exist yet?

    How long do you have to introduce millions of organisms into an environment if you wait for the environment to change before you respond with new biological information?

    Students will ask these questions.

    If you don’t have answers for these students, then ID is a failure as a replacement for “Darwinism”.

    Carpathian: Show me how it’s done.

    Mung: All you have to do is observe yourself in action.

    Here is what I have observed about myself:

    I cannot fine tune the properties of the physical universe.

    I have no control over a future environment.

    I can’t see the future so I don’t know what’s going to happen until it does.

    Because of this, I will fail as an intelligent designer of biological organisms.

    Show me how ID would get around these problems.

  145. 145
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The question isn’t whether things like cars can be designed, the question is how would you design a biological organism.

    And we don’t have to know that in order to determine that life was intelligently designed.

    Here are some direct questions for ID that a designer would have to have an answer for.

    Those questions don’t have anything to do with ID.

    Students will ask these questions.

    Only if they are willfully ignorant as to what ID is and what it claims.

    If you don’t have answers for these students, then ID is a failure as a replacement for “Darwinism”.

    That is your ignorant opinion.

  146. 146
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Design is a mechanism.

    Design is not a mechanism any more than luck is a mechanism.

    Mechanisms perform actions.

    A hammer and nail are a mechanism for joining two pieces of wood, but the term carpentry in itself does not describe a mechanism.

    Mechanisms can fit under the term carpentry.

    ID is a failure since it has no mechanisms that can produce its claims.

    If ID, i.e. biological design, cannot be done by anyone less than God, then ID is purely and simply creationism.

  147. 147
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, Design is a mechanism by definition. So buy a dictionary as your ignorance, while entertaining, is sad and pathetic.

    That you selectively quote my posts prove that you are nothing but a willfully ignorant arse.

  148. 148
    Virgil Cain says:

    design:

    to plan and make (something) for a specific use or purpose

    mechanism:

    a process or system that is used to produce a particular result

  149. 149
    Mung says:

    Show me how ID would get around these problems.

    1. I cannot fine tune the properties of the physical universe.

    So? You can fine tune a software program, right? What mechanism did you use to do that? Ever had to write a paper and fine tune it before turning it in? Intelligent designers fine tune things all the time. Not a problem.

  150. 150
    Mung says:

    So now a hammer and a nail are a mechanism, lol.

    Is a taco and a burrito a mechanism?

  151. 151
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    design:

    to plan and make (something) for a specific use or purpose

    mechanism:

    a process or system that is used to produce a particular result

    Read your definition for mechanism again.

    It agrees with my definition.

    A mechanism is a very specific set of actions to produce a a particular result.

    ID has none.

    If I’m wrong, show me one.

    Show me how to go and change the “information” in the Cambrian.

    Do I drug the complete population of a certain species and transport them to my lab?

    Should I use an Adam and Eve method where I only change two members of a population and hope that in the next 100 generations it becomes the only “information” in that species?

    These are questions that would have to be answered if ID were possible.

    They can’t be answered though which proves ID highly unlikely, less likely in my opinion than “Darwinism”.

  152. 152
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Is a taco and a burrito a mechanism?

    Yes.

    Now show me an ID mechanism for implementing a DNA change in the field.

    Do the organisms have to be transferred to a lab or could you do it without their noticing it?

    How many could you do in a year?

    10 million, 100 milion..?

    How much staff would be required for the particular mechanism you are using?

  153. 153
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, You obviously cannot read for comprehension. A mechanism is a process or system that is used to produce a particular result. That is what design is.

    And AGAIN ID is NOT about the mechanism. We first determine design is present before even asking about the specific mechanism. There are plenty of artifacts that we don’t know exactly how they were made, but guess what? They are all still artifacts.

    That said “built-in responses to environmental cues” is a specific design mechanism. Both genetic and evolutionary algorithms model intelligent design evolution- targeted search is another specific design mechanism.

    Why do you think your willful ignorance is an argument?

  154. 154
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    If ID, i.e. biological design, cannot be done by anyone less than God, then ID is purely and simply creationism.

    Dog breeding is biological design.

  155. 155
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: Show me how ID would get around these problems.

    1. I cannot fine tune the properties of the physical universe.

    Mung: So? You can fine tune a software program, right? What mechanism did you use to do that? Ever had to write a paper and fine tune it before turning it in? Intelligent designers fine tune things all the time. Not a problem.

    So?

    Talk about ducking the question.

    I tell you I can’t do what many IDists suggest was done, i.e. fine-tune the universe, and you tell me to do something else as proof that the thing that can’t be done is possible.

    Why can IDists not answer the question that was asked?

    If you ask me what colour my car is I would not say, “Cars are painted all the time in many different colours”, I would instead say, “Blue”.

    Why won’t you answer the questions I ask?

    I’m going to bet it’s because you would eventually have to come to the same conclusion I have, and that is that ID is not possible.

    You can’t actually change living organisms in the field.

    You also have no way of selectively getting rid of organisms, that are no longer up to date “information-wise”.

  156. 156
    Virgil Cain says:

    design:

    : to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan

    plan:

    2a : a method for achieving an end
    b : an often customary method of doing something : procedure
    c : a detailed formulation of a program of action
    d : goal, aim

    mechanism:

    b : a process, technique, or system for achieving a result

    method:

    a procedure or process for attaining an object: as
    a (1) : a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art (2) : a systematic plan followed in presenting material for instruction
    b (1) : a way, technique, or process of or for doing something (2) : a body of skills or techniques

    OK so both mechanism and design are “(a) method or means of achieving a desired result”

  157. 157
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Why won’t you answer the questions I ask?

    They are irrelevant to ID. High school students can grasp that simple fact.

    You can’t actually change living organisms in the field.

    They change themselves as needed. That was designed-in.

    You also have no way of selectively getting rid of organisms, that are no longer up to date “information-wise”.

    So what? If they are inferior then nature will take care of it.

  158. 158
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Why do you think your willful ignorance is an argument?

    This is the way I feel about the answers I get from IDists.

    I am going to accept any definition you want for “mechanism” provided you can show me one.

    Saying ID is not about a mechanism makes no sense since it is the concept and “mechanisms” of “Darwinism” that ID is supposed to replace.

    If theory X is to be replaced by theory Y, the new theory Y has to answer the questions that theory X did.

    Again, if ID is not possible , of what use is it to discuss it.

    This blog has been around for ten years and still no attempts at seeing if it is even plausible.

    What are students supposed to study under this new theory?

  159. 159
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    Carpathian: If ID, i.e. biological design, cannot be done by anyone less than God, then ID is purely and simply creationism.

    Silver Asiatic: Dog breeding is biological design.

    That’s not even close to the same thing.

    Take a German Sheppard, change it’s DNA so that it now has two stomachs but leave the rest of the dog unchanged.

    This is the sort of thing ID claims was done during the Cambrian with massive amounts of new body plans.

    You can’t do it with breeding and I see no way of introducing changes into a population.

  160. 160
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain,

    At #157 you have actually described what we call “Darwinism”.

    Those were Darwin’s observations.

    Organisms change themselves as needed and if they’re inferior”, nature takes care of it.

    So what is ID for?

  161. 161
    Upright BiPed says:

    ID is a failure since it has no mechanisms that can produce its claims.

    Carp, I think I told you this once before and you didn’t respond. Representationalism is the mechanism used to implement design in the genome. Without it, you got nothing. You cannot organize the heterogeneous living cell without it, and ID advances the only mechanism ever demonstrated as capable of the singular type of representationalism found in the genome (i.e. representations that are individually recognized in their system by their spatial orientation). What this means is that ID is in line with universal experience, while materialist and reductionist accounts have preceisely zero empirical support.

    It is well understood that demonstrated facts do not deter you from your chosen path, even for the most minute fraction of a second. Feel free to move the goalpost.

  162. 162
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, you have serious issues:

    Saying ID is not about a mechanism makes no sense since it is the concept and “mechanisms” of “Darwinism” that ID is supposed to replace.

    Of course it makes sense as first we have to determine design exists before even thinking about the specific mechanisms used. That is how it works in archaeology and forensic science. And archaeology cannot explain how many artifacts came to be yet they are all still artifacts.

    If theory X is to be replaced by theory Y, the new theory Y has to answer the questions that theory X did.

    1- There isn’t any theory “y”

    2- darwinism/ neo-darwinism couldn’t answer any questions

    What are students supposed to study under this new theory?

    The DESIGN- how to detect it and how to properly study it so it can be fully understood.

  163. 163
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    Again, if ID is not possible , of what use is it to discuss it.

    You continue to discuss it, so it must be possible.

  164. 164
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    At #157 you have actually described what we call “Darwinism”.

    Only to people who are ignorant of what darwinism entails.

    Organisms change themselves as needed and if they’re inferior”, nature takes care of it.

    WRONG! Darwin said organisms just change by chance and sometimes that change helps.

    You are just totally clueless.

  165. 165
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    Organisms change themselves as needed and if they’re inferior”, nature takes care of it.

    So what is ID for?

    ID takes care of nature.

  166. 166
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Carpathian: ID is a failure since it has no mechanisms that can produce its claims.

    Upright BiPed: Carp, I think I told you this once before and you didn’t respond. Representationalism is the mechanism used to implement design in the genome.

    First of all, “representationalism” is not a mechanism, it is a term you are using to as an aid in understanding something conceptual.

    Here is a “mechanism” that ID would need:

    X is a process whereby changes are made to cells while they are in their host bodies.

    Process X will change all cells in the body by transmitting a signal to each unchanged cell with the new “information” that will cause a chemical change in the DNA of each cell which will take affect immediately.

    This is the sort of mechanism that is required if you are actually going to perform ID.

    Talking about ID is one thing but if you go the extra step and try to come up with a way of implementing it, you will find it’s impossible both singly and population wide.

    If there was an “update” for human DNA, how would you change all six billion copies within one generation?

  167. 167
    Virgil Cain says:

    Repeat until the troll acknowledges it:

    And AGAIN ID is NOT about the mechanism. We first determine design is present before even asking about the specific mechanism. There are plenty of artifacts that we don’t know exactly how they were made, but guess what? They are all still artifacts.

    That said “built-in responses to environmental cues” is a specific design mechanism. Both genetic and evolutionary algorithms model intelligent design evolution- targeted search is another specific design mechanism.

  168. 168
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    it is the concept and “mechanisms” of “Darwinism” that ID is supposed to replace

    What ID reference do you have for that claim? Behe? Dembski? Meyer? Any of the others you’ve read? Failing to provide a reference, it would be best to admit that you’re mistaken.

  169. 169
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    First of all, “representationalism” is not a mechanism, it is a term you are using to as an aid in understanding something conceptual.

    I believe that you said that a taco is a mechanism. I’d call that a term you’re using as an aid to your argument, but nothing that can be validated in reality.

  170. 170
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    And AGAIN ID is NOT about the mechanism.

    It has to be about the mechanism since ID wants to replace a theory that does have mechanisms.

    What I don’t understand is that not one ID proponent has taken the step I have which is to simply see if ID is possible.

    Why wouldn’t IDists be their best critics?

    If you have a theory, try your best to prove it wrong.

    If you fail to prove your theory wrong, that is one point in your favour.

    To not do it at all is not practicing science.

  171. 171
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian- That you are forced to quote-mine my posts proves that you are a willfully ignorant coward.

    It has to be about the mechanism since ID wants to replace a theory that does have mechanisms.

    ID isn’t replacing a theory and we have provided mechanisms.

    You are a troll and a loser. Good luck with that.

  172. 172
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    I believe that you said that a taco is a mechanism.

    Yes, a taco is a mechanism for getting nutrients and calories into those organisms we call human beings.

    You can actually prove it by eating a taco when you’re hungry and noting it’s effect on your body.

    Now give me an example of “representationalism” in the same way.

    You’ll find you can’t because “representationalism” is a conceptual term while tacos actually exist and perform a specific function.

  173. 173
    Upright BiPed says:

    “representationalism” is not a mechanism

    Really? Let’s test that out.

    Let’s say that you wanted the light on your porch to stay off during the daylight hours, but turn on during the night. What would you do?

  174. 174
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    ID isn’t replacing a theory and we have provided mechanisms.

    ID is supposed to replace the “theory of evolution”.

    Secondly, you have provided absolutely zero mechanisms.

    You can’t even come up with a means of putting together a spec.

    What intelligent designer would not know what to build?

    When you think about answering that question you’ll find out that on the scale of species wide intervention, you would need to know the future with 100% accuracy.

    If not, you may doom an entire species to extinction.

  175. 175
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Let’s say that you wanted the light on your porch to stay off during the daylight hours, but turn on during the night. What would you do?

    Good question.

    I could design a controller with a built-in timer that I could set with a WiFi device.

    Then I would put this device between my light and the current power source it’s plugged in to.

    No you show me how you would make changes in the human genome to allow for full-term 6 month pregnancies.

    Would you change all six billion current living humans or would you only make changes to a select group of parents?

    If a select group, how many generations would it take for all humans to have this new change?

    How would you make people without the change select a partner that has the change?

  176. 176
    Mung says:

    If not, you may doom an entire species to extinction.

    So? Designed things often go extinct. Entire species of designed things.

  177. 177
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: If not, you may doom an entire species to extinction.

    Mung: So? Designed things often go extinct. Entire species of designed things.

    So?

    So all your previous design work is gone.

    One mistake, and 6 billion humans are gone.

    That’s why ID must be infallible.

    Only God could do it and because of that, ID is creationism, not science.

  178. 178
    Upright BiPed says:

    I could design a controller with a built-in timer

    A timer? A thing that uniformly clicks off units of time. And you would use this device to do something at a certain value of units. So your design would require a representation after all. Imagine that.

    I guess the use of representations is a mechanism for implementing design after all.

  179. 179
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    ID is supposed to replace the “theory of evolution”.

    There isn’t a scientific theory of evolution. If you think otherwise then please link to it. The “modern synthesis” is a name given to a collection of ideas gleaned from different books (it is the name of one of those books), but those ideas do not amount to a scientific theory.

    Secondly, you have provided absolutely zero mechanisms.

    1- Design is a mechanism, by definition
    2- Built-in responses to environmental cues is a specific design mechanism- as specific as any evolutionism has to offer
    3- Targeted search is another specific design mechanism

    ID is about the detection and study of design in nature. We first determine design is present before even asking about the specific mechanism. There are plenty of artifacts that we don’t know exactly how they were made, but guess what? They are all still artifacts.

    That said “built-in responses to environmental cues” is a specific design mechanism. Both genetic and evolutionary algorithms model intelligent design evolution- targeted search is another specific design mechanism.

    Darwinism/ neo-darwinism claim to have a step-by-step mechanism for producing the diversity of life. We want evolutionists to support that claim. ID doesn’t make any such claim so ID doesn’t have to support a claim it doesn’t make.

    ID claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for determining if intelligent design is present or not. So biology classes would consist of identifying biological systems, sub-systems, structures and sub-structures and use that methodology to determine if what you are discussing/ studying is intelligently designed.

  180. 180
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    One mistake, and 6 billion humans are gone.

    And yet darwinism and neo-darwinism rely on mistakes…

  181. 181
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Only God could do it and because of that, ID is creationism, not science.

    If only that followed from anything you argued. But it doesn’t.

    Intelligent design does not require perfect design (if such a thing as perfect design is even attainable).

    So all you have is a question-begging argument that assumes it’s own conclusion. #claps4you

  182. 182
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: One mistake, and 6 billion humans are gone.

    Virgil Cain: And yet darwinism and neo-darwinism rely on mistakes…

    Yes!

    And that’s what makes “Darwinism” a possibility without an infallible designer.

    ID however requires infallibility which requires an infallible designer, i.e. God.

    Unless you can come up with a reasonable assessment of whether ID is possible it can’t be taught in schools.

    What do you expect students to do, answer the questions that Dembski and Behe couldn’t?

  183. 183
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: Only God could do it and because of that, ID is creationism, not science.

    Mung: If only that followed from anything you argued. But it doesn’t.

    Of course it follows unless you know of a designer who could see into the future and never make a mistake when modifying DNA.

    This pertains not only to individuals, but to entire populations and other species who interact with the modified organisms.

  184. 184
    Carpathian says:

    Mung and anyone who thinks ID is possible:

    Mung: Intelligent design does not require perfect design (if such a thing as perfect design is even attainable).

    Then why don’t you lay out a plan to perform ID.

    You don’t actually have to modify organisms.

    As a test, select an organism for modification and decide what needs to be modified.

    Determine what effects it may have on the food chain above and below it.

    Then determine the logistics of rolling out the changes into the ecosystem.

    What would be the effects of a one-time roll-out as opposed to doing it in stages?

    Would possible mates avoid your new organism?

    Would you have to make your new organism more sexually attractive than the current organisms?

    Would you go out into the field to make your changes or bring creatures back to the lab one by one?

    Would it just be you or would you need a staff?

    Are other designers responsible for making changes to other organisms that your modified organisms interact with?

    Would you need to meet with other designers to make sure the impact of your changes aren’t negatively affecting their planned modifications and that theirs are not affecting yours?

    Once you start attempting to actually do it, you’ll find ID is less plausible than “Darwinism”.

  185. 185
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    And that’s what makes “Darwinism” a possibility without an infallible designer.

    That doesn’t follow and ID doesn’t require an infallible designer. Obviously you are confused.

    What do you expect students to do, answer the questions that Dembski and Behe couldn’t?

    When you grow up and make it to high school you will see that the students are smart enough not to ask irrelevant questions. High school students are smart enough to understand everything I have explained to you. Science doesn’t mix with willfully ignorant people.

  186. 186
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, You are so dense that you are a walking black hole. ID is about the detection and study of DESIGN in nature. All of your other strawman baggage just expose your agenda of willful ignorance.

    Nice job.

  187. 187
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    High school students are smart enough to understand everything I have explained to you. Science doesn’t mix with willfully ignorant people.

    Yes high school students are definitely smart enough to ask questions.

    If they ask an auto mechanics teacher how an internal combustion engine works he can tell them.

    He can also tell them how it’s made and modified .

    These are the questions that ID is not prepared to answer when the students ask them about ID theory.

    Why?

    In the ten or so years of this blog, no one from the ID side has made an attempt to truly see if ID is possible.

    Try and break your theory.

    Instead of spending 100% of your time analyzing and criticizing “Darwinism”, spend some time analyzing the hard problems associated with ID.

    Be your own worst critic and try to perform ID without unlimited powers.

    It can’t be done.

  188. 188
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian, You are so dense that you are a walking black hole. ID is about the detection and study of DESIGN in nature. All of your other strawman baggage just expose your agenda of willful ignorance.

    Nice job.

    You should use this exact insulting response to students who dare question ID.

    You are all insults and no answers.

  189. 189
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    You should use this exact insulting response to students who dare question ID.

    It is an OBSERVATION, not an insult. I can answer all relevant questions.

    Yes high school students are definitely smart enough to ask questions.

    Yes, on topic questions.

    If they ask an auto mechanics teacher how an internal combustion engine works he can tell them.

    We can tell them how living organisms work.

    He can also tell them how it’s made and modified .

    One can fix a car without knowing how it is made. And ID has an answer as to modification. You ignored it because you are willfully ignorant.

    Look you are incapable of learning. And your position cannot answer how life came to be nor how it was modified to produce the diversity observed. You lose.

  190. 190
    Virgil Cain says:

    1- Design is a mechanism, by definition
    2- Built-in responses to environmental cues is a specific design mechanism- as specific as any evolutionism has to offer
    3- Targeted search is another specific design mechanism

    ID is about the detection and study of design in nature. We first determine design is present before even asking about the specific mechanism. There are plenty of artifacts that we don’t know exactly how they were made, but guess what? They are all still artifacts.

    That said “built-in responses to environmental cues” is a specific design mechanism. Both genetic and evolutionary algorithms model intelligent design evolution- targeted search is another specific design mechanism.

    Darwinism/ neo-darwinism claim to have a step-by-step mechanism for producing the diversity of life. We want evolutionists to support that claim. ID doesn’t make any such claim so ID doesn’t have to support a claim it doesn’t make.

    ID claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for determining if intelligent design is present or not. So biology classes would consist of identifying biological systems, sub-systems, structures and sub-structures and use that methodology to determine if what you are discussing/ studying is intelligently designed.

    High school students would grasp all of that. Perhaps once you grow up it will all sink in.

  191. 191
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    A timer? A thing that uniformly clicks off units of time. And you would use this device to do something at a certain value of units. So your design would require a representation after all. Imagine that.

    I guess the use of representations is a mechanism for implementing design after all.

    The use of “representations” is not a mechanism for implementing design anymore than analogies are.

    If you wanted to stretch the point then yes, “representations” are included in documents, drawings, storage etc., but that is far removed from the additional mechanisms that are needed.

    Imagine a blueprint a welder refers to when constructing a part.

    Now let the welder decide what he needs to actually build parts.

    He’ll choose the welding equipment.

    “Representations” play a part, but you can’t claim that on their own they are sufficient mechanisms.

    I am focusing on all the mechanisms required for ID.

    If you think about it like I have, you’ll find the logistics are overwhelming.

    Just gathering the data required to determine if and when a change should be made across billion member populations that affect other billion member populations, would require design teams comprised of millions of engineers, technicians and support staff.

    Unless you can answer these sort of questions, ID is not ready to replace anything in schools, especially “Darwinism”.

  192. 192
    Virgil Cain says:

    Darwinism doesn’t have any answers, Carpathian. It doesn’t belong in schools.

    If you think about it like I have, you’ll find the logistics are overwhelming.

    You are incapable of thinking. You are incapable of reading. High school students would point and laugh at you if you asked those questions in an ID class after being told what you have been told already.

  193. 193
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    One can fix a car without knowing how it is made. And ID has an answer as to modification. You ignored it because you are willfully ignorant.

    The first answer ID needs to provide when making a modification is this; “Why?”

    You have no way of knowing what to modify.

    ID cannot determine the “target” .

    For example, the “target” may be damaging to the population you introduce it to because of future climate changes.

    You can get around this problem by knowing what that climate is going to be.

    How do you do that?

    If you say that organisms respond to built-in cues, just how many bits are allowed to be responded to automatically?

    Enough for an IC component?

    More than 500 bits?

    If so, all of Dembski’s and kairosfocus’ and Behe’s arguments against unguided evolution are no longer valid.

  194. 194
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Virgil Cain: Darwinism doesn’t have any answers, Carpathian. It doesn’t belong in schools.

    Carpathian: If you think about it like I have, you’ll find the logistics are overwhelming.

    Virgil Cain: You are incapable of thinking. You are incapable of reading. High school students would point and laugh at you if you asked those questions in an ID class after being told what you have been told already.

    More insults, zero answers.

  195. 195
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The first answer ID needs to provide when making a modification is this; “Why?”

    That has NOTHING to do with ID so why does ID have to answer it?

    Obviously you have other issues and you require professional counseling. Good luck with that.

  196. 196
    Virgil Cain says:

    Observations are not insults, Carpathian. And just because you are too dim to understand the answers doesn’t mean they were not provided.

  197. 197
    Upright BiPed says:

    Carp,

    I am not stretching anything. I told you that the use of representations was a mechanism to implement design. I gave you a problem to solve in order to demonstrate the point, knowing all along that your solution would not be possible without a representation. Not only would it not be possible, but that the representation would be at the very center of your solution. I could have very easily changed the problem to another example and ended up at the same point.

    How did I know this? It has to do with the type of effect required by the solution. It’s a matter of physics.

    Perhaps, someday, when you put away your religious politics and try a little empiricism, you may even figure out why.

  198. 198
    wookieeb says:

    Carpathian:

    Virgil Cain: And yet darwinism and neo-darwinism rely on mistakes…

    Yes!

    And that’s what makes “Darwinism” a possibility without an infallible designer.

    ID however requires infallibility which requires an infallible designer, i.e. God.

    How can you say that Darwinism, which is based on totally random occurrences, can accomplish something, wherein Design, which is directed and planned occurrences, could not accomplish something? At the least, any actions of design are a subset of the presumable actions of Darwinism, so Design would always be at least as possible as Darwinism.

    And what do you even mean by “infallibility” when it comes to a designer. That term is irrelevant. ID requires nothing of the sort.

  199. 199
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    How did I know this? It has to do with the type of effect required by the solution. It’s a matter of physics.

    Perhaps, someday, when you put away your religious politics and try a little empiricism, you may even figure out why.

    Of course you’re stretching.

    You have named no mechanism for the welder’s torch, only his blueprints.

    You make it seem that a person could build a complete house with just a carpenter’s tape measure.

    Perhaps you should try to solve the ID problem then with just “representations”.

    You’ll fail without more mechanisms.

    Show me the mechanism you would use to find the “target”.

    It is impossible to know what to build unless you can foresee the future.

    Show me the mechanism that will get you around this problem.

    No IDist is willing to do the work to just find out how to determine the “target”.

    Where is the mechanism for that?

  200. 200
    Carpathian says:

    wookieeb:

    And what do you even mean by “infallibility” when it comes to a designer. That term is irrelevant. ID requires nothing of the sort.

    ID is a polar opposite of “Darwinism”.

    In a nutshell, “Darwinism” makes millions of individual “mistakes” which get eliminated resulting in small positive changes over a long period of time.

    ID claims sudden and explicit targeted changes are made to entire populations all at once, which is a requirement of IC structures according to ID.

    That is why ID needs infallibility and “Darwinism” doesn’t.

    If a change with negative effects is put into an entire population at once, the results would be deadly.

  201. 201
    Upright BiPed says:

    Carp,

    Of course you’re stretching … You make it seem that a person could build a complete house with just a carpenter’s tape measure

    Good grief man, listen to yourself. You don’t even know where the ball is.

    You think the representation I was talking about is back on a workbench somewhere in the form of a drawing or something … that is why you said this: If you wanted to stretch the point then yes, “representations” are included in documents, drawings, storage etc

    This is a demonstration that you simply do not think clearly enough for this kind of issue.

    The representation is in your solution. Your solution could not exist without it.

  202. 202
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    In a nutshell, “Darwinism” makes millions of individual “mistakes” which get eliminated resulting in small positive changes over a long period of time.

    That is the propaganda, anyway.

    ID claims sudden and explicit targeted changes are made to entire populations all at once,…

    ID does NOT make such a claim. Obviously you are proud to misrepresent ID and oversell Darwinism. Typical but still pathetic.

  203. 203
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed,

    Put some substance into your argument.

    There is no need for quibbling about definitions if you would just explicitly show me how ID could be performed .

    Don’t beat around the bush with metaphorical terms which is what your term “representation” comes down to.

    Show me explicitly how you would determine your “target” “representation”.

    You can’t do it because you don’t have a mechanism to make that determination.

    Is the only required mechanism, “representation”?

    Then show me the form of “representation” that works as a mechanism to determine the “target”.

    Again, every time I ask, people try to avoid the question.

  204. 204
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, YOU need to put some substance in YOUR “arguments”. All you do is misrepresent ID and say ID has to answer questions that have nothing to do with ID.

  205. 205
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: ID claims sudden and explicit targeted changes are made to entire populations all at once,…

    Virgil Cain: ID does NOT make such a claim.

    Of course it does.

    Irreducible Complexity is an ID term which describes structures that must appear all at once.

    And then there’s the “Cambrian Explosion”, an ID claim of mass targeted changes.

  206. 206
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain,

    ID claims that the body forms that we see are best explained by ID.

    If ID however, cannot be performed on living populations in their ecosystems, then ID cannot be considered as an explanation for the body plans we see.

    This is the argument ID uses against “Darwinism”, i.e. that “Darwinism” is not plausible in the real world.

    This is exactly my argument against ID.

    It is implausible.

    To say that the ID side doesn’t need to address the same real world problems that “Darwinism” does is ridiculous.

    We are all in this real world, and both sides have to address the problem of the plausibility of their theories in that context.

    If ID is implausible, it gets ruled out.

  207. 207
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, Please reference any ID literature that makes the claim you say ID makes.

    Irreducible Complexity is an ID term which describes structures that must appear all at once.

    WRONG! With ID any IC structure can be built up over time.

    And then there’s the “Cambrian Explosion”, an ID claim of mass targeted changes.

    Wrong again. Not even Meyer makes that claim.

    Obviously you have something wrong and should seek help, quickly.

  208. 208
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    ID claims that the body forms that we see are best explained by ID.

    There isn’t any other explanation.

    If ID however, cannot be performed on living populations in their ecosystems, then ID cannot be considered as an explanation for the body plans we see.

    Strawman as ID doesn’t require any of that.

    This is the argument ID uses against “Darwinism”, i.e. that “Darwinism” is not plausible in the real world.

    So to refute ID all you have to do is show that what we say is designed can arise via necessity and chance.

    This is exactly my argument against ID.

    You argue from ignorance hence no one listens.

    To say that the ID side doesn’t need to address the same real world problems that “Darwinism” does is ridiculous.

    To ignore the explanation for that and prattle on like a little baby proves you are a loser.

  209. 209
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Irreducible Complexity is an ID term which describes structures that must appear all at once.

    WRONG! With ID any IC structure can be built up over time.

    You’ve just contradicted Behe!

    “Irreducible” means “not “reducible”.

    That was Behe’s argument against “Darwinism”, that IC parts must have appeared in one shot and that therefore, “Darwinism” was incapable of building those parts.

    It is also kairosfocus’ 500 bit argument.

    You claim I’m misrepresenting ID and you have just claimed that one of it’s leading proponents, Behe, is wrong.

  210. 210
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, Behe was talking with respect to DARWINISM- you even paraphrased him saying that. Intelligent agents produce IC structures piece by piece all of the time.

    Have you no shame at all?

    You have serious issues.

  211. 211
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: If ID however, cannot be performed on living populations in their ecosystems, then ID cannot be considered as an explanation for the body plans we see.

    Virgil Cain: Strawman as ID doesn’t require any of that.

    Yes it does.

    If you can’t make a “change” then “changes” can’t be made.

    Instead of hand-waving away questions, just answer them.

    How do you determine what to do if you can’t see the future?

    Why would you change organisms for no reason?

    Clearly there must be a reason and the designer must know that a change will be required.

    How do you know a change will be required in the future?

    If ID can’t answer these questions then the designer’s changes will be as random as “Darwinism”, with exactly the same functionality and success.

  212. 212
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian, Behe was talking with respect to DARWINISM- you even paraphrased him saying that. Intelligent agents produce IC structures piece by piece all of the time.

    Behe’s argument was that IC structures were irreducible.

    Behe’s argument against “Darwinism” was that “Darwinism” could only produce IC structures in stages but that IC structures were required to be built all at once, hence the term “irreducible”.

    You are suggesting that both ID and “Darwinism” do not produce irreducibly complex structures, and further, that there is no requirement for it.

  213. 213
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    Behe’s argument was that IC structures were irreducible.

    Materialist reductionism. Please google that and read the first 5 links you find. It will begin to explain what Behe was talking about. You might then consider reading Behe.

    Behe’s argument against “Darwinism” was that “Darwinism” could only produce IC structures in stages but that IC structures were required to be built all at once, hence the term “irreducible”.

    I think the only reason you haven’t been banned yet here for trolling and wasting people’s time is that it seems you are kind of sincere — that is, you’re totally lost but you might be willing to learn something. Then again, you have a problem with God for some reason and that is causing you to talk in circles.

    You are suggesting that both ID and “Darwinism” do not produce irreducibly complex structures, and further, that there is no requirement for it.

    I doubt anyone will be able to sort all of this out for you at this point. You have to go back to the beginning and try to figure out what ID is. Then come back some day and try another argument.

  214. 214
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Behe’s argument was that IC structures were irreducible.

    Yes and intelligent agencies make them all of the time.

    Behe’s argument against “Darwinism” was that “Darwinism” could only produce IC structures in stages but that IC structures were required to be built all at once, hence the term “irreducible”.

    I explained that and you still prattle on. For natural selection to work an IC structure has to be built in one fell swoop because there isn’t anything for NS to work with until the entire thing is up and running.

    You are suggesting that both ID and “Darwinism” do not produce irreducibly complex structures, and further, that there is no requirement for it.

    You are a moron if that is what you think I said.

    Grow up.

  215. 215
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, Seeing that you refuse to reference your claims it is clear that you are nothing but an insipid troll.

    I have forgotten more about ID than you will ever know and I don’t forget.

  216. 216
    Upright BiPed says:

    Carp,

    Put some substance into your argument.

    I did. But it appears to have gone completely over your head. This is not completely surprising, you’ve done absolutely nothing to try to understand your position; you simply cling to it instead.

    There is no need for quibbling about definitions if you would just explicitly show me how ID could be performed

    As a matter of fact, that is exactly what I did. But you are driven by a neediness to prove your point, and in that state of mind, you simply have not yet realized I gave you exactly what you asked for. As for definitions, I have no problem defining my terms. From a physical perspective, a representation is an arrangement of matter that evokes a functional effect within a system, where the arrangement of the medium and the effect it evokes are physicochemically arbitrary.

    Don’t beat around the bush with metaphorical terms which is what your term “representation” comes down to.

    If there is anyone here speaking in metaphorical terms, it is certainly not me. Perhaps you are one of those that think only human beings use representations. I doubt the remainder of the living kingdom is impressed by that.

  217. 217
    wookieeb says:

    Carpathian:

    Carpathian: If ID however, cannot be performed on living populations in their ecosystems, then ID cannot be considered as an explanation for the body plans we see.
    Virgil Cain: Strawman as ID doesn’t require any of that.

    Yes it does.

    No, ID does not require any of that. Though an intelligent designer could make a change to an existing artifact if they wanted to, it is not REQUIRED.

    A designer making a change to an already established artifact happens all the time (ie: automobiles went from drum brakes to disc brakes, a programmer takes a perfectly running program and can add/delete/change code as they see fit). The amount of prior-existing information making up the original artifact that the designer wants to keep or discard is completely up to the designer. Or a designer could just create something completely new.

    If you can’t make a “change” then “changes” can’t be made.

    Neither VC, nor ID ever said that.

    How do you determine what to do if you can’t see the future?

    Why do you suppose a designer could not see the future? Granted, how full an extent one would need to look into the future might be debatable. But to some degree, all designers are ‘seeing into the future’ with respect to their designs, otherwise they would not be designing. It is part of the design “method”.

    Why would you change organisms for no reason?

    Nobody is saying a designer would not have a reason to change (or create) something. Of course they have a reason. But that reason does not have to occur because of some future environmental need. A designer can change or create something anew simply because they want to, irregardless of what may or may not occur in the future.

    Clearly there must be a reason and the designer must know that a change will be required.

    Yes, there is a reason, but the change is not necessarily required.

    How do you know a change will be required in the future?

    Assuming a particular change is required (and not all changes need to be “required”), designers typically have a measure of foresight with regards to their creations.

    If ID can’t answer these questions then the designer’s changes will be as random as “Darwinism”, with exactly the same functionality and success.

    Answered in principle, and still not as “random as “Darwinism””

  218. 218
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: How do you determine what to do if you can’t see the future?

    How did you determine what to do when coding your WEASEL+ program?

    How did you look into the future and determine that no one would ever feed it an ASCII string containing a NUL character?

  219. 219
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: ID claims that the body forms that we see are best explained by ID.

    Where does ID claim this?

  220. 220
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: ID however requires infallibility which requires an infallible designer, i.e. God.

    Yet you managed to design and code your WEASEL+ program without being infallible.

  221. 221
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: ID however requires infallibility which requires an infallible designer, i.e. God.

    Mung: Yet you managed to design and code your WEASEL+ program without being infallible.

    My infallibility at coding a Weasel program would not result in an extinction of species.

    If an ID designer makes a mistake however, Earth could end up being lifeless with just one mistake in a strain of bacteria.

    “Coding” life is a serious undertaking and you are ducking the seriousness of my comment when you answer like this.

    Your lack of a real answer to this suggests that neither does ID.

  222. 222
    Carpathian says:

    wookieeb:

    Carpathian: If you can’t make a “change” then “changes” can’t be made.

    Neither VC, nor ID ever said that.

    That’s true because I said it.

    The logic is simple.

    If “ID” cannot be used to make changes in the ecosystem, then changes to the ecosystem cannot be made by using ID.

    The above statement is true.

    The reason I make it is to somehow drive home the actual point I am making which everyone is evading:

    “How would someone perform ID?”

    My position is that it is impossible.

    Anyone can prove me wrong by simply showing how it would be done.

    I don’t know why this is difficult as anyone who believes in ID should have already explored their answer privately and come to the conclusion that it is possible.

    Every time I write some software I become my own worst critic and it pays off because I find problems that I missed when developing it.

    Any science should be done this way.

    Anyone who posits a theory but doesn’t try to find its flaws is not performing science.

  223. 223
    Virgil Cain says:

    Earth to Carpathian, the insipid troll-

    You are asking things of Intelligent Design that were never part of Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design is NOT about how life was designed. Intelligent Design does not prevent anyone from trying to answer that question. It is a separate question from whether or not life was intelligently designed.

    The SCIENCE of Intelligent Design is in the detection and study of design in nature.

    ID claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for determining if intelligent design is present or not. So biology classes would consist of identifying biological systems, sub-systems, structures and sub-structures and use that methodology to determine if what you are discussing/ studying is intelligently designed.

    We do not have to know who the designer was nor how it was manufactured in order to determine if design is present. As a matter of fact we first determine design is present before even asking about the specific mechanism. There are plenty of artifacts that we don’t know exactly how they were made, but guess what? They are all still artifacts.

    You need to get a grip and stop whining about ID. If your position had something then we wouldn’t be having a discussion about ID.

  224. 224
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    From a physical perspective, a representation is an arrangement of matter that evokes a functional effect within a system, where the arrangement of the medium and the effect it evokes are physicochemically arbitrary.

    You have answered a question I haven’t asked.

    If I had asked, “How would you describe a material object”, this would have been a good answer, but I didn’t ask that.

    What you have described could be a hammer or a piece of software and is irrelevant to my question.

    My first question is: “How do you determine what to do?”

    This is the first problem of an ID designer.

    If he does nothing, the global ecosystem on Earth would continue to be stable, to degenerate, or to thrive.

    The global ecosystem might on average be stable but what about local ones?

    Which ecosystems are more important in the opinion of the designer?

    Might one species, ours, be favoured above others?

    All these questions, and they are just a few that would be asked by students, are relevant in determining whether ID is plausible.

    If ID is not plausible, then it is simply not science.

  225. 225
    Virgil Cain says:

    ID is obviously plausible as the design exists and we are living in it and are part of that design.

    We use science to determine that Intelligent Design exists. We use science as ID has testable entailments which have been tested and confirmed.

  226. 226
    Box says:

    Carpathian: If an ID designer makes a mistake however, Earth could end up being lifeless with just one mistake in a strain of bacteria.

    And according to you such a catastrophe cannot happen? And only the God of the Bible can fine-tune things that way? And therefor ID is creationism?
    Is that your argument?

  227. 227
    Virgil Cain says:

    Box, Carpathian loves humping strawmen. You have noticed its penchant for ridiculous absolute extremes. It is entertaining, well it was but now it just keeps repeating its refuted nonsense, like a broken record.

  228. 228
    Carpathian says:

    Everyone,

    Box is the only one who has actually taken any steps in pondering these questions.

    I can’t believe no one has asked these questions of themselves when thinking of ID.

    How can you simply promote something you haven’t tested yourselves.

    There are more questions than what to do.

    How would be just as difficult and would be a logistics nightmare for a staff of thousands.

    Anyone who believes otherwise should grab a pencil and paper and attempt to do it.

    Imagine that changing the actual DNA is trivial.

    All the other questions will show ID more implausible than the needle in the haystack.

  229. 229
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    ID is obviously plausible as the design exists and we are living in it and are part of that design.

    We use science to determine that Intelligent Design exists. We use science as ID has testable entailments which have been tested and confirmed.

    No they haven’t.

    You have simply made assertions.

    Pretend you’re the designer.

    Try to actually do it.

    Show me I’m wrong by writing the specs for organisms and then implementing them.

  230. 230
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Box, Carpathian loves humping strawmen. You have noticed its penchant for ridiculous absolute extremes. It is entertaining, well it was but now it just keeps repeating its refuted nonsense, like a broken record.

    In all your responses you have typed more chars telling me that I am wrong than you would have typed showing me that you were right .

  231. 231
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, You aren’t anyone to say anything about science. Intelligent Design has the methodology whereas your position simply makes assertions.

    We use science to determine that Intelligent Design exists. We use science as ID has testable entailments which have been tested and confirmed.

    Your flailing will never change that fact.

  232. 232
    Virgil Cain says:

    In all your responses you have typed more chars telling me that I am wrong than you would have typed showing me that you were right .

    Research shows that I am right. All of the ID literature says that I am right. You have never supported anything that you have said about ID. Never. You just keep saying it even after you have been corrected several times. You are pathological.

  233. 233
    Virgil Cain says:

    I can’t believe no one has asked these questions of themselves when thinking of ID.

    They don’t have anything to do with ID. Once science determines the design exists it is obviously plausible. And science has determined that design exists and there isn’t any other plausible explanation.

  234. 234
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    And according to you such a catastrophe cannot happen? And only the God of the Bible can fine-tune things that way? And therefor ID is creationism?
    Is that your argument?

    In a nutshell that is exactly my argument!

    Try being a fallible designer when it comes to introducing changes to inter-connected lifeforms.

    Imagine that you cannot fine-tune the universe as in the “Privileged Planet”.

    Imagine that you cannot foresee a change occurring until it happens.

    How fast can a non-god react?

    Instead of just answering, try to do it first.

  235. 235
    Virgil Cain says:

    Where does Carpathian live:

    In a nutshell…

    That says it all

  236. 236
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Research shows that I am right. All of the ID literature says that I am right.

    And all of the “Darwinist” literature says that you are wrong.

    Why don’t you just sit down with a paper and pencil and try to do it?

    You’ll see the logistics alone of using ID make it impossible.

  237. 237
    Virgil Cain says:

    The SCIENCE of Intelligent Design is in the detection and study of design in nature.

    ID claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for determining if intelligent design is present or not. So biology classes would consist of identifying biological systems, sub-systems, structures and sub-structures and use that methodology to determine if what you are discussing/ studying is intelligently designed.

  238. 238
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Where does Carpathian live:

    In a nutshell…

    That says it all

    More insults, still zero answers.

    That says it all.

  239. 239
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    And all of the “Darwinist” literature says that you are wrong.

    About what? There isn’t any darwinian literature that demonstrates natural selection can build multi-protein structures.

    Why don’t you just sit down with a paper and pencil and try to do it?

    Obviously it is way above our capabilities, duh. We have trouble doing that with artifacts that people built. Grow up.

    The SCIENCE of Intelligent Design is in the detection and study of design in nature.

    ID claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for determining if intelligent design is present or not. So biology classes would consist of identifying biological systems, sub-systems, structures and sub-structures and use that methodology to determine if what you are discussing/ studying is intelligently designed.

  240. 240
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    More insults, still zero answers.

    Observations are not insults and you ignore the answers.

    THAT says it all

  241. 241
    Virgil Cain says:

    If the darwinain literature had something then ID would be a non-starter as ID claims that natural selection is incapable of producing the diversity of life.

    Carpathian humps ID strawmen and lies for darwin. How typical

  242. 242
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    ID claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for determining if intelligent design is present or not. So biology classes would consist of identifying biological systems, sub-systems, structures and sub-structures and use that methodology to determine if what you are discussing/ studying is intelligently designed.

    Regardless of how it appears , if ID is impossible from an implementation point of view, then ID did not happen.

    If something can’t be done then it didn’t happen.

  243. 243
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    If the darwinain literature had something then ID would be a non-starter as ID claims that natural selection is incapable of producing the diversity of life.

    If ID is impossible to implement then it didn’t happen.

    Show me how you would do it.

  244. 244
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Regardless of how it appears , if ID is impossible from an implementation point of view, then ID did not happen.

    I will go with science. Your emotional and irrational pleas mean nothing.

    If something can’t be done then it didn’t happen.

    Which is why your position is bogus- NS can’t do it and you don’t have any other mechanism capable.

  245. 245
    Virgil Cain says:

    If ID is impossible to implement then it didn’t happen.

    So we just scrap science for your emotional and irrational pleaing?

  246. 246
    Box says:

    Carpathian: If an ID designer makes a mistake however, Earth could end up being lifeless with just one mistake in a strain of bacteria.

    Box: And according to you such a catastrophe cannot happen? And only the God of the Bible can fine-tune things that way? And therefor ID is creationism?
    Is that your argument?

    Carpathian: In a nutshell that is exactly my argument!

    Why do you hold that things are so incredibly (divinely) fine-tuned that catastrophes cannot happen?
    BTW obviously such a claim is not part of ID.

  247. 247
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    Why do you hold that things are so incredibly (divinely) fine-tuned that catastrophes cannot happen?
    BTW obviously such a claim is not part of ID.

    I don’t believe in the fine-tuning argument at all.

    That is something the ID community has come up with.

    Catastrophes can happen and that is why ID cannot be implemented by fallible beings.

    The point I have been trying to make all along is that ID cannot be performed by beings simply because they’re intelligent.

    If ID cannot be performed by anyone less powerful than God, then ID is creationism.

    No one but you has even made an attempt to answer questions of methodology.

    If implementing ID is possible, then it may be probable.

    If however, implementing ID is highly unlikely, then it can’t be viewed as an alternative to evolution and certainly should not be taught in schools.

  248. 248
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: If ID is impossible to implement then it didn’t happen.

    Virgil Cain: So we just scrap science for your emotional and irrational pleaing?

    If ID is impossible it’s not science.

  249. 249
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: If ID is impossible it’s not science.

    Scientists do the impossible every day.

    Carpathian: If ID is impossible it’s not science.

    ID is science, therefore it is possible.

    Carpathian: If ID is impossible it’s not science.

    You designed and implemented a software program. Therefore ID is not impossible.

  250. 250
    Mung says:

    Carpathian:

    My first question is: “How do you determine what to do?”

    This is the first problem of an ID designer.

    Talk to the customer.

    Carpathian:

    My first question is: “How do you determine what to do?”

    This is the first problem of an ID designer.

    What did you do when you designed your WEASEL+ program.

  251. 251
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: If ID is impossible it’s not science.

    Mung: Scientists do the impossible every day.

    LOL! It would be great if they could!

  252. 252
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: My first question is: “How do you determine what to do?”

    This is the first problem of an ID designer.

    Mung: What did you do when you designed your WEASEL+ program.

    I designed within my limitations.

    Let’s see what the limitations are with designing life.

    1) Find out what every life-form on the planet is doing.

    2) Decide whether some need to be modified.

    3) Determine a new “representaion” or CSI configuration.

    4) Determine how all other life-forms will be affected.

    5) Determine new “representations” for all other applicable life-forms to support your change to the first.

    6) Determine at what rate the life-forms of all affected populations would have to be changed.

    7) Determine how many support staff would be required to make this change.

    8) Roll out the changes.

    9) Repeat for all eternity.

  253. 253
    Box says:

    Carpathian: Catastrophes can happen and that is why ID cannot be implemented by fallible beings.

    Why not? The worst thing that can happen is a catastrophe. Suppose aliens created life on earth and tomorrow some global catastrophe takes place. All dead.
    Now what’s ID’s problem with this scenario from a scientific/philosophical standpoint?

    Carpathian: The point I have been trying to make all along is that ID cannot be performed by beings simply because they’re intelligent.

    Well it certainly helps to be intelligent. Why do you hold that blind forces can do a better job?

    Carpathian: If ID cannot be performed by anyone less powerful than God, then ID is creationism.

    Well, I don’t understand why ID cannot be performed by lesser beings than God. You will probably say: “but then a catastrophe may happen” and my answer will be: so what?
    I don’t understand your point.

  254. 254
    Mung says:

    Carpathian:

    Let’s see what the limitations are with designing life.

    1) Find out what every life-form on the planet is doing.

    One would assume that designing life in this case would be just a tad redundant.

    1) Find out what every life-form on the planet is doing.

    This doesn’t seem to be holding back the AI people.

    1) Find out what every life-form on the planet is doing.

    I bet people are trying right now to create life in a lab somewhere without worrying one bit about what every life-form on the planet is doing.

  255. 255
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    If ID is impossible it’s not science.

    The science says the design is real. And the science says yours is the impossible position.

    Let’s see what the limitations are with designing life.

    1) Find out what every life-form on the planet is doing.

    What is like to hump a strawman a day?

    A strawman a day keeps the facts away. 😎

  256. 256
    Carpathian says:

    Box:

    Well, I don’t understand why ID cannot be performed by lesser beings than God. You will probably say: “but then a catastrophe may happen” and my answer will be: so what?
    I don’t understand your point.

    Then we and our “immaterial minds/souls” are no more important to the universe than a vegetable.

    Where did the aliens get the immaterial minds/souls to put in our bodies?

    Are the aliens responsible for an absolute moral code?

    Did aliens design humans and then Jesus?

    Why would God give the job of creating life on Earth to aliens?

    Did God fine-tune the laws of physics so that aliens would have an easier time of designing life?

    Did the aliens design themselves?

    If not, why wouldn’t the designers of the aliens simply design us also?

    All of these questions become relevant if aliens are considered to be the designers of life on Earth.

    Consider how close the alien argument comes to Scientology.

    One by one, the arguments of ID proponents disappear if aliens are involved.

    While I could accept creationism as being a possibility, the alien argument is ridiculous.

  257. 257
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: If ID is impossible it’s not science.

    Virgil Cain: The science says the design is real. And the science says yours is the impossible position.

    ID has come nowhere close to proving its position.

    If it had you would be able to answer my question, “How is it done?”

  258. 258
    Box says:

    Carpathian,

    Box:
    Well, I don’t understand why ID cannot be performed by lesser beings than God. You will probably say: “but then a catastrophe may happen” and my answer will be: so what?
    I don’t understand your point.

    Carpathian: Then we and our “immaterial minds/souls” are no more important to the universe than a vegetable.

    That doesn’t follow. But even so, it’s no problem for ID.

    Carpathian: Where did the aliens get the immaterial minds/souls to put in our bodies?

    Why do you think that this question concerns ID?

    Carpathian: Are the aliens responsible for an absolute moral code?

    Why do you think that this question concerns ID? Is there an absolute moral code according to ID?

    Carpathian: Did aliens design humans and then Jesus?

    Why do you think that this question concerns ID?

    Carpathian: Why would God give the job of creating life on Earth to aliens?

    Why do you think that this question concerns ID? ID doesn’t posit the existence of God nor Jesus.

    Carpathian: Did God fine-tune the laws of physics so that aliens would have an easier time of designing life?

    ID doesn’t posit the existence of God. Maybe powerful aliens from another universe created and fine-tuned our universe. Who knows?

    Carpathian: Did the aliens design themselves?

    We don’t know. Everything we say now would be pure speculation.

    Carpathian: If not, why wouldn’t the designers of the aliens simply design us also?

    We don’t know. Maybe they didn’t feel like it? Again: why do you think that this question concerns ID?

    Carpathian: All of these questions become relevant if aliens are considered to be the designers of life on Earth.

    If so, these are mostly no questions for ID.

    Carpathian: Consider how close the alien argument comes to Scientology.

    So what?

    Carpathian: One by one, the arguments of ID proponents disappear if aliens are involved.

    Not at all. ID argues that certain features of life and the universe are best explained by design. ID doesn’t commit itself to the identity of the designer(s). One of the candidates are ‘aliens’.

    Carpathian: While I could accept creationism as being a possibility, the alien argument is ridiculous.

    Whatever. If you want truly ridiculous, take a look at your “dirt-did-it argument”.

    Though intelligent design, like its materialistic evolutionary counterparts, does address questions about the origin of living things and may, therefore, have implications for metaphysical questions about ultimate reality (see Chapter 2), it does not proffer a comprehensive system of belief about that reality. Intelligent design does not answer questions about the nature of God or even make claims about God’s existence. The theory of intelligent design does not promulgate a system of morality or affirm a body of doctrines about the afterlife. It doesn’t require belief in divine revelation or tell adherents how to achieve higher consciousness or how to get right with God. It simply argues that an intelligent cause of some kind played a role in the origin of life. It is a theory about the origin of biological information and other appearances of design in living systems.
    Moreover, the theory of intelligent design does not involve any of the practices or have any of the institutional structures or features typically associated with religions. It does not involve worship or meditation or recommend a system of spiritual disciplines. It does not have sacred texts, ordained ministers, rabbis, or priests; there are no intelligent-design liturgies, prayer meetings, or intelligent-design holidays. Advocates of intelligent design have formed organizations and research institutes,2 but these resemble other scientific or professional associations rather than churches or religious institutions.
    Despite this, some critics, such as Robert Pennock and Gerald Skoog, have gone so far as to characterize the theory of intelligent design as narrowly “sectarian.”3 Yet upon examination, this claim evaporates into nothing more than the observation that the theory of intelligent design is popular with some Christians and not others. In any case, the theory of intelligent design does not affirm sectarian doctrines. It has nothing to say about, for example, the virgin birth, the immaculate conception, predestination, infant baptism, the validity of Islamic law, salvation, original sin, or the reality of reincarnation.
    Moreover, the belief that a designing intelligence played a role in the origin of the living world is hardly unique to Christians or to religious persons in general. Historically, advocates of design have included not only religious theists, but nonreligious ones, pantheists, polytheistic Greeks, Roman Stoics, and deistic Enlightenment philosophers and now include modern scientists and philosophers who describe themselves as religiously agnostic.
    [Stephen Meyer]

  259. 259
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    ID has come nowhere close to proving its position.

    Science isn’t about proof. However science says that living organisms have all of the characteristics of intelligent design. Further science has exposed your position as less than zero.

    If it had you would be able to answer my question, “How is it done?”

    That doesn’t follow and exposes your ignorance. Nice own goal.

    A strawman a day helps keep the facts away.

  260. 260
    Virgil Cain says:

    One by one, the arguments of ID proponents disappear if aliens are involved.

    Perhaps in your very limited mind. But ID proponents don’t care what strawman humpers say.

    A strawman a day helps keep the facts away.

  261. 261
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Where did the aliens get the immaterial minds/souls to put in our bodies?

    Where do you get your immaterial data from for the physical layer of your OSI model?

    You’ve already confessed to being a dualist, why do you try to pretend like you haven’t?

  262. 262
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    Why would God give the job of creating life on Earth to aliens?

    Humans have the job of creating certain things.

    While I could accept creationism as being a possibility …

    You probably should explain this more since I believe you already said that ID was impossible.

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