Keith brought in an argument he claimed to be a “bomb” for ID. It turned out to be a failed suicide mission where the only person that got blown up was Keith.
(Please note: I am assuming that life patterns exists in an ONH, as Keith claims, for the sake of this argument only. Also, there are many other, different take-downs of Keith’s “bomb” argument already on the table. Indulge me while I present another here.)
In my prior OP, I pointed out that Keith had made no case that nature was limited to producing only ONH’s when it comes to biological diversity, while his whole argument depended on it. He has yet to make that case, and has not responded to me when I have reiterated that question. We turn our attention now to his treatment of “the designer” in his argument.
First, a point that my have been lost in another thread:
From here, keith claimed:
3. We know that unguided evolution exists.
No, “we” do not. ID proponents concede that unguided natural forces exist that are utilized by a designed system (even if perhaps entirely front-loaded) to accomplish evolutionary goals; they do not concede that unguided process (including being unguided and unregulated by front-loaded designed algorithms and infrastructure) can generate successful evolution, even microevolution, entirely without any guided support/infrastructure.
Keith claims that we have observed “unguided microevolution” producing ONH’s, but that is an assumptive misstatement. Douglas Theobald, his source for “evidence” that unguided evolution has been observed generating ONH’s, makes no such claim or inference. Theobald only claims that microevolution produces ONH’s. Observing a process producing an effect doesn’t necessarily reveal if the process is guided or unguided.
Keith agrees Theobald makes no such claim or inference. The “unguided” modifying characteristic, then, is entirely on Keith; he can point to no research or science that rigorously vets microevolutionary processes as “unguided”.
When challenged on this assumption, Keith makes statements such as “even YEC’s agree that microevolution is unguided”, or that some particular ID proponent has made that concession; please note that because others elect not to challenge an assumption doesn’t mean that everyone else is required to concede the point. If challenged, the onus falls upon Keith to support his assertion that unguided microevolutionary forces are up to the task of generating ONH’s, otherwise his entire argument fails because of this unsupported premise.
Keith’s response to the challenge about the “unguided” nature of microevolution:
As you know, we actually observe microevolution producing ONHs, and microevolution does not require designer intervention, as even most YECs acknowledge.
This is simple reiteration of the very assertion that has been challenged. Keith circularly refers back to the very source that provides no support for his “unguided” inference. This has been pointed out to him several times, yet he repeats the same mantra over and over “we know unguided microevolution can produce ONH’s.” Reiterating an assertion is not providing support for the assertion. As I’ve asked Keith serveral times, where is the research that makes the case that microevolutionary processes/successes are qualitatively “unguided”? Keith has yet to point us to such a paper.
That said, here is the suicidal portion of Keith’s argument.
I’ve repeatedly challenged keith to answer this question:
Are you saying that it is impossible for natural forces to generate a mismatched (non-ONH) set of trees [diversity of life pattern]?
This question follows a point I made in the Black Knight thread:
If, as Keith’s argument apparently assumes, natural forces are **restricted** to generating biological systems as evolutionary in nature and conforming to Markovian ONH progressions, why (and perhaps more importantly, how) would a designer work around these apparently inherent natural limitations and tendencies in order to generate **something else**?
It’s like Keith expects a designer to defy gravity, inertia and other natural forces and tendencies in order to get a rocket to the moon and back, just because keith imagines that a designer would have trillions of options available that didn’t need to obey such natural laws and tendencies.
Keith’s argument relies upon his claim that the designer could have generated “the diversity of life” into “trillions” of patterns that were not ONH’s, and that no such options were open to natural forces. If a designer and natural forces both had the same number of options open to them, there would be no advantage in Keith’s argument to either. However, Keith’s “trillions of options” argument requires that the designer can instantiate living organisms into the physical world in a manner that natural forces cannot, thus generating “diversity of life” patterns nature is incapable of producing.
Keith’s response was:
You think that the Designer was limited by natural forces? You might want to discuss that assumption with your fellow IDers, who may not be quite so enthusiastic about it as you are. Besides the conflict with your fellow IDers, you have another problem: what is the basis for your assumption about the limitations of the Designer? How do you know what the Designer can and cannot do? Be specific.
Note the attempt to shift the burden, as if I was the one making a claim about what the designer “can and cannot do”. I made no such claim. The claim was in Keith’s assertion that the designer could have generated trillions of “diversity of life” patterns that nature could not by instantiating life forms into physical existence in a manner that nature could not. Later, Keith modified his claim:
There are trillions of logical possibilities, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.
What an explosive, self-contradictory blunder. If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in. Whether or not unguided natural forces can generate any of the same “trillions of possibilities” of diversity of life pattern (alternatives to ONH) depends on what we know about those natural forces and how they operate. Obviously, Keith doesn’t assume that unguided natural forces can instantiate life in “trillions” of ways that would not conform to an ONH. Not knowing anything about “the designer” doesn’t give Keith license to simply assume the designer has “trillions of possibilities” open to actually instantiating a “diversity of life” into the physical world. If we disregard actual capacity to produce biological diversity, the same number of purely “logical” alternatives are open to both natural forces and any designer. You have to know something about the causal agencies to know what it is “possible” for them to do or not do. Keith admits he knows nothing about the designer.
Read what Keith said again:
You think that the Designer was limited by natural forces?
Something becomes clear here: Keith’s argument must assume that the designer is supernatural, and can magically instantiate biological life into the world in any way imaginable, without regard for natural laws, forces, or molecular tendencies and behavioral rules, and without regard to what would limit any other causal agency – it’s actual capacity to engineer particular outcomes in the physical world.
Yet, Keith says that we know nothing about the designer:
After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.
If we assume that natural forces are capable of creating non-ONH patterns, Keith’s argument fails. If we assume that natural forces can only produce an ONH, then Keith must assume extra characteristics about the designer – that it is capable of instantiating “diversity of life” patterns that natural forces cannot. Keith’s assumptions are not equal. For the assumptions to be equal, we either assume both unguided forces and the designer can only produce ONH patterns in a diversity of life landscape, or we can assume both are capable of non-ONH patterns. We cannot assume that unguided forces can actually only produce ONH, and assume that the designer can actually produce trillions of other patterns, and keep a straight face while insisting our assumptions are equal and that “we know absolutely nothing about the designer”.