Intelligent Design

We Assume We Are Not in the Matrix Too

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markf asks what observation would falsify ID.  Gpuccio responded that an example of an incredibly improbable digital string that was developed in a stochastic system would tend to falsify ID and gave as an example 500 coins tosses that when interpreted as a code spelled out a meaningful message.  

Not good enough says markf.  “Nothing can falsify ID if you make no assumptions about the designer – because a designer of unspecified powers and motives can produce anything.”  In other words, gpuccio’s example assumes that the designer does not capriciously intervene in the outcome of coin tosses.

Yes, we assume that.  And we also assume that we are not plugged into the Matrix with all of our sense impressions being fed to us by a super-computer.  Give me a break.

Quite by coincidence I was reading Burke tonight and came across this passage that reminded me of markf’s objection:

I do not, my dear Sir, conceive you to be of that sophistical*, captious** spirit, or of that uncandid dullness, as to require, for every general observation or sentiment, an explicit detail of the correctives and exceptions which reason will presume to be included in all the general propositions which come from reasonable men.

*Given to sophistry, i.e., a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.

**apt or designed to ensnare or perplex.

58 Replies to “We Assume We Are Not in the Matrix Too

  1. 1
    gpuccio says:

    Mark:

    It seems that I have difficulties in logging on the previous thread, so I answer you on this, related one.

    You ask:

    So what are those purposes and limitations?

    Well, they have to be inferred from what we know of the history of life, and any further improvement of our knowledge will be able to make our inferences more detailed.

    I have discussed this topic many times (maybe not with you). I have tried to present a few hypotheses, which appear reasonable to me. I will try to sum them up here:

    1) The purpose of the design we observe in life seems to be first of all to allow life itself, and second to evolve it towards greater complexity so that it may express new and differet functions. The highest function expressed by life at present could well be consciousness and intelligence, including the faculty to produce CSI and to design things.

    I wil try to detail a little some of these first points:

    a) Life is difficult to define, but I would be happy with some simple definition, like entities capable of self-replication, metabolism, and existence in a continuous far from equilibrium, ebtropy reducing condition.

    However we define life, we usually recognize it. The only form of life we know of rests on some biochemical features which are neither simple nor completely understood, do I would say that the first purpose of the designer must have been to create the conditions in which the first living beings emerged, so that life could start to exist in a minimal form. So we can assume that the designer is interested in the existence of life, and considers its existence as a worthwhile achievement.

    b) The gradual evolution of life is the basis for an important inference: the designer wants to develop hios initial project to express new functions. That is a very important point, and makes a big difference with the usual inference in darwinism, that the driving concept in evolution is survival. For me, function is the driving concept in evolution. In that, the work of the biological designer is very much similar to the work of human designers. Human designers designed command line operating systems, and then they added a graphical interface, then they reprogrammed all at 32 bits, then improved multitasking, and so on. We observe much the same thing in the biological world.

    I have argued many times that survival is at its highest in prokaryotes. If survival were the driving force, evolution could well have stopped there.

    Moreover, higher complexity is usually a cause of fragility rather than strength (more occasions for errors), and therefore the purpose of complexity is to allow higher functions. At the same time, the designer has to guarantee that the new complexity may remain reasonably stable. The many processes of DNA repair in living beings are a good example of “debugging” and error management in biological systems.

    c) In this general scenarios, the designer has many simpler and clearer local purposes: for instance to find and perfect molecular machines capable to effect specific biochemical tasks which would never be possible in a non controlled non living environment (such as enzymes).

    2) So, let’s go to the limitations. I have no clues about how “smart” the designer is, althoyugh it is obvious that he is at least much smarter than us humans (he has done many things that we still cannot even vaguely approach).

    But there are some basic limitations which are quite obvious if we look at what we know:

    a) The designer acts in a context. For OOL, that context is the planet in its conditions when life originated. Life is built with resources compatible with that context. For evolution of new species, the context is essentially what already exists. It is obvious, at least for me, that the designer acts on what he has already achieved, modifying and improving it. So, he follows a path of gradual development in time, exactly like we human designers do, although with different time frames.
    So, if the designer wants to add new functions to a new species, he reutilizes vastly what he has already designed, and adds the new necessary information. In that sense, we have to do with a parsimonious designer. His resources, although probably vast, are not unlimited.

    b) The designer inputs information. So, he has to possess it in some way. We don’t know if he possesses it in advance, or if he looks for it by a trial and error process. That is one point which can certainly find answers from data. In the present situation, I would say that both things are probably true, in different contexts.

    One thing is certyain: the designer knows well how to use a random search when that is useful. His implementations of the building of the basic antibody repertoire, and of antibody maturation after the primary immune response, in the context of the immune system, are clear evidence of that, as I have argued many times.

    As far as I can say, it is absolutely possible that the designer, in the biological context, makes errors and learns from them. Or just meets failures and tries again. I suppose that the apparent failure of the Ediacara explosion could be considered one such example.

    What does all that mean? It means that the designer of biological beings, even if he were an omnipotent God, does not act as an arbitrarily omnipotent God. He acts in a context, and respects specific rules.

    c) The designer, obviously, needs also a way to interact with the material world. In human design, that is achieved through the human body interface. While that could be also true for the biological designer, for example in the aliens scenario, I suppose that most of us would consider more reasonable that the designer be a conscious being who can interact with matter without a physical body (that does not mean necessarily a god).

    So, we need some theory of how a consciousness can interact with matter. Luckily, even that problem is not left tpo mere speculation: we have an empirical model, the interaction of human consciousness with its physical interface. There we can learn much. As I have argued often, I believe that an interface which works at least in part at quantum level is at present the best hypothesis, both for humans and for the designer. Such an interaction needs a modality too, and here various scenarios are possible, all of them subject to empirical verification: guided mutation, intelligent selection, or both are the first mechanisms which come to mind.

    d) Finally, I have spoken here of one designer, but I sincerely believe that the question of more possible designers remains open to empirical reasoning.

  2. 2
    markf says:

    Gpuccio

    Thanks. I will respond to your interesting post in detail when I have time.

    Right now I just want to point out that both you and Barry now accept that you have to make assumptions about the designer in order to falsify ID.

    You may find these assumptions obvious – but it seems to me an important principle has been establised. Ever since I can remember every ID person I have debated has asserted that the design inference is independent of any knowledge or assumptions about the designer.

    As I explained in another comment I personally find it a lot more plausible that something has the ability and motivation to influence 500 coin tosses to spell out a message than that something has ability and motivation to influence the whole universe to support life. But this may simply be a matter of our prior beliefs.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually Mr. Arrington, after seeing so many neo-Darwinists completely deny the reality of the overwhelming evidence against neo-Darwinism, and continuing to cling to wildly unsubstantiated delusions for neo-Darwinism, though patiently shown otherwise, I have often thought that neo-Darwinists live in the ‘Matrix’ of materialism, simply because the delusion of materialism is preferable over the ‘uncomfortable’ prospect for them to admit the reality of our accountability to God:

    The Matrix “The choice of the the truth”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhymzx6ovfQ

  4. 4
    above says:

    Since the discussion moved here I would like to ask my question again.

    Can anyone show me an instance where dFSCI was created without design?

    I’m not interested in arguing for or against. I’m simply curious to see if there is such an example for I have busted my head to find one and cannot…

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    above, welcome to the club. IDists on UD have been asking that particular question of Darwinists for years,,, for just one example of dFSCI being produced ‘naturally’ by Darwinian processes. With all examples put forth by them being mercilessly and rigorously shot down:

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    Stephen C. Meyer – The Scientific Basis For Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4104651/

    ———

    Keeping in line with the Matrix theme,,,

    I thought this fight scene in Matrix is reminiscent Dembski and Marks successful falsification evolutionary algorithms:

    Neo (Dembski & Marks) vs. Agent Smith (Evolutionary Algorithms)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VhfPN_6fcA

    LIFE’S CONSERVATION LAW – William Dembski – Robert Marks – Pg. 13
    Excerpt: Simulations such as Dawkins’s WEASEL, Adami’s AVIDA, Ray’s Tierra, and Schneider’s ev appear to support Darwinian evolution, but only for lack of clear accounting practices that track the information smuggled into them.,,, Information does not magically materialize. It can be created by intelligence or it can be shunted around by natural forces. But natural forces, and Darwinian processes in particular, do not create information. Active information enables us to see why this is the case.
    http://evoinfo.org/publication.....ation-law/

  6. 6
    arkady967 says:

    Doesn’t it seem, given the known statistical observations regarding the chance occurance of a code that writes a story more complicated than a Victorian novel (in the known universe, not including the speculated “Multiverse” of science fiction lore, that an objective player would tell us, “The scientific evidence is: there’s simply no means whereby this code could arise by the known laws of chance?”

    I’m betting the only reason there’s a controversy over design is due to the implications of that concept – this has nothing to do with science.

    If this issue was about a lottery, the lottery described would be illegal because no one could win.

  7. 7
    gpuccio says:

    above:

    the answer is simple: no.

  8. 8
    above says:

    Gpuccio

    Has this issue not been raised within the fields of biology? In the academy? How do darwinists respond to this?

  9. 9
    Upright BiPed says:

    above,

    “Has this issue not been raised within the fields of biology? In the academy? How do darwinists respond to this?”

    – – – – –

    1) They attack the motives of those who bring it up.

    2) They quarrel over the definitions of the terms until the conversation grinds to a halt (then they go back to using those exact terms to speak among themselves).

    3) They write attack articles in the popular press, reminding the cattle of the consensus.

    4) They hurl insults.

    5) They fondle the idea of stereochemistry, ignoing that stereochemistry would not place one nucleotide after the other.

    6) They displace the argument with a fondness for the RNA world hypothesis, forgetting the fact that such a hypothesis just pushes the information problem out of the way (instead of answering it), and they haphazardly ignore that the hypothesis has the largest set of intractable biochemical hurdles known to science.

    7) They talk about the Crusades. They tell us that Germany was a Christian nation, and talk about silliness of talking donkeys.

    8) They insulate themselves by reminding the faithful that origins has nothing to do with evolution, and evolution is a fact.

    …sorry, I can’t go on.

  10. 10
    markf says:

    above

    You ask:

    “Can anyone show me an instance where dFSCI was created without design?”

    I cannot speak for other “Darwinists” but here is my answer.

    1) It is not clear to me what dFSCI is. Gpuccio and I have been over this many, many times. He finds it extremely simple. I find it ambiguous (among many other things Gpuccio’s own definition is in conflict with William Dembski’s definition of CSI). I have tried to document some of my concerns on my blog.

    2) Under some of the interpretations of dFSCI it is limited to things that are designed or living things.

    3) However, there is no convincing case that living things are designed – so they are an example of dFSCI that was not designed (to the extent that we know that anything was not designed – see Barry’s post)

  11. 11
    gpuccio says:

    above:

    this point has been raised many times, by single researchers (see for instance Abel and Trevors, but even a few darwinist researchers are well aware of it), and recently essentially by the ID movement. The response of academy is to deny it and to fight ID with all possible means.

    Mark’s response here is a good example of a reasonable attitude in a reasonable darwinists (after long personal and respectful confrontations here). In no way it represents a standard.

    I believe that my definition of dFSCI is completely empirical and applicable to facts. Mark has reservations about that, and he is perfectly entitled to keep them. And it is true that my definition (which I believe is essentially shared by many here) is for some aspects different from Dembski’s last paper about specification.

    The main difference is that I (and many others) are satisfied with a functional specification. In my definition, that specification requires a conscious judgment and a formal definition from some observer in each case. That is a completely acceptable empirical procedure. If you are interested, we can go into the details of that.

    The fact is, if you apply that definition (dFSCI) to digital strings, such a property is found abundantly in human designed things and in biological objects, and nowhere else.

    Human designed things are designed by definition.

    Biological objects are, I believe, the object of our discussions. If we were certain that they were not designed (or that they were designed) why would we lose our time here?

    So, we in ID infer design as the best explanation for biological information on the basis of the above data. It is, as I have stated many times, an inference by analogy: analogy to human design.

    But please remember that, as I have discussed in my recent posts here and in the previous thread, the affirmation of dFSCI in biological strings requires as a prerequisite that the official darwinian explanation for that information (RV + NS) is not credible, indeed completely false.

    That is what ID believes and demonstrates. Darwinists don’t agree, but anyone must judge for himself which position is reasonable and which is not.

  12. 12
    gpuccio says:

    above:

    By the way, I suppose that UB’s post #9 is fairly accurate. I have chosen to discuss aminly the cognitive aspects, just to remain calm. But the behavioural aspects of the confrontation are really ugly.

  13. 13
    Upright BiPed says:

    My list is not just a sampling of the bahavoiral aspects of the response – it IS the response.

  14. 14
    Upright BiPed says:

    2) Under some of the interpretations of dFSCI it is limited to things that are designed or living things.

    dFSCI is limited to designed objects and living things. That limitation is an observation made without a single example of contrary evidence. That is exactly the point.

    You say this is no warrant for thinking that living things must then be designed. But your conclusion is divorced from the evidence, mark, demonstrated by your own words. Otherwise, you would write “dFSCI is limited to design, living things, and chance emergence.

    You betray a purely ideological bias.

    If dFSCI is limited to design and living things (but not chance emergence) then there sure as hell isn’t any reason to think it came about by chance emergence.

    On what grounds would one make that case?

    – – – – –

    Moreover, the very fact of dFSCI has its corollary streams of evidence itself.

    a) dFSCI is recorded information. How does any information come into existence? Only by the process of perception. Can matter, by way of chance, percieve itself?

    b) dFSCI has to be recorded by some means. It is recorded by the use of symbols. How do symbols come into existence? Only by the faculty of a concsiouness. Can matter create symbols, by means of chance?

    c) dFSCI must be recorded by symbols, but symbols must have meaning assigned to them in order to function as symbols. How is meaning assigned? Only through the process of foresight. Can matter display foresight, by means of chance?

    – – – – – –

    You not only ignore that the only causal force known to be able to create dFSCI is the act of design, but you ignore and obfuscate the corollary evidence as well (which is also without a single example of contrary evidence).

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    markf, perhaps we should make it more basic for you,,,

    Do you believe that any digital information resides in life at all?

    notes:

    Every Bit Digital DNA’s Programming Really Bugs Some ID Critics – March 2010
    Excerpt: In 2003 renowned biologist Leroy Hood and biotech guru David Galas authored a review article in the world’s leading scientific journal, Nature, titled, “The digital code of DNA.” The article explained, “A remarkable feature of the structure is that DNA can accommodate almost any sequence of base pairs—any combination of the bases adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T)—and, hence any digital message or information.” MIT Professor of Mechanical Engineering Seth Lloyd (no friend of ID) likewise eloquently explains why DNA has a “digital” nature: “It’s been known since the structure of DNA was elucidated that DNA is very digital. There are four possible base pairs per site, two bits per site, three and a half billion sites, seven billion bits of information in the human DNA. There’s a very recognizable digital code of the kind that electrical engineers rediscovered in the 1950s that maps the codes for sequences of DNA onto expressions of proteins.”
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....uskin2.php

    A comparative approach for the investigation of biological information processing: An examination of the structure and function of computer hard drives and DNA – David J D’Onofrio1, Gary An – Jan. 2010
    Excerpt: It is also important to note that attempting to reprogram a cell’s operations by manipulating its components (mutations) is akin to attempting to reprogram a computer by manipulating the bits on the hard drive without fully understanding the context of the operating system. (T)he idea of redirecting cellular behavior by manipulating molecular switches may be fundamentally flawed; that concept is predicated on a simplistic view of cellular computing and control. Rather, (it) may be more fruitful to attempt to manipulate cells by changing their external inputs: in general, the majority of daily functions of a computer are achieved not through reprogramming, but rather the varied inputs the computer receives through its user interface and connections to other machines.
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/7/1/3

    Splicing Together the Case for Design, Part 2 (of 2) – Fazale Rana – June 2010
    Excerpt: Remarkably, the genetic code appears to be highly optimized, further indicating design. Equally astounding is the fact that other codes, such as the histone binding code, transcription factor binding code, the splicing code, and the RNA secondary structure code, overlap the genetic code. Each of these codes plays a special role in gene expression, but they also must work together in a coherent integrated fashion. The existence of multiple overlapping codes also implies the work of a Creator. It would take superior reasoning power to structure the system in such a way that it can simultaneously harbor codes working in conjunction instead of interfering with each other. As I have written elsewhere, the genetic code is in fact optimized to harbor overlapping codes, further evincing the work of a Mind.
    http://www.reasons.org/splicin.....n-part-2-2

    Trifonov (1989), has shown that probably all DNA sequences in the genome encrypt multiple “codes” (up to 12 codes). (Dr. John Sanford; Genetic Entropy 2005)

    Donald Johnson has mentioned that up to 20 codes have been uncovered in the genome in his new book ‘Programming of Life”.

    “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107.”
    (The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

    The DNA Code – Solid Scientific Proof Of Intelligent Design – Perry Marshall – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4060532

    Biophysicist Hubert Yockey determined that natural selection would have to explore 1.40 x 10^70 different genetic codes to discover the optimal universal genetic code that is found in nature. The maximum amount of time available for it to originate is 6.3 x 10^15 seconds. Natural selection would have to evaluate roughly 10^55 codes per second to find the one that is optimal. Put simply, natural selection lacks the time necessary to find the optimal universal genetic code we find in nature. (Fazale Rana, -The Cell’s Design – 2008 – page 177)

    “Because of Shannon channel capacity that previous (first) codon alphabet had to be at least as complex as the current codon alphabet (DNA code), otherwise transferring the information from the simpler alphabet into the current alphabet would have been mathematically impossible” Donald E. Johnson – Bioinformatics: The Information in Life

    Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.
    Bill Gates, The Road Ahead, 1996, p. 188

    Bill Gates, in recognizing the superiority found in Genetic Coding, compared to the best computer coding we now have, has now funded research into this area:

    Welcome to CoSBi – (Computational and Systems Biology)
    Excerpt: Biological systems are the most parallel systems ever studied and we hope to use our better understanding of how living systems handle information to design new computational paradigms, programming languages and software development environments. The net result would be the design and implementation of better applications firmly grounded on new computational, massively parallel paradigms in many different areas.
    http://www.cosbi.eu/index.php/.....rticle/171

    Judge Rules DNA is Unique (and not patentable) Because it Carries Functional Information – March 2010
    “Today the idea that DNA carries genetic information in its long chain of nucleotides is so fundamental to biological thought that it is sometimes difficult to realize the enormous intellectual gap that it filled. . . . DNA is relatively inert chemically.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....formation/

    Stephen C. Meyer – Signature In The Cell:
    “DNA functions like a software program,” “We know from experience that software comes from programmers. Information–whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book or encoded in a radio signal–always arises from an intelligent source. So the discovery of digital code in DNA provides evidence that the information in DNA also had an intelligent source.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ligen.html

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is the Don Johnson quote:

    In the last ten years, at least 20 different natural information codes were discovered in life, each operating operating to arbitrary conventions (not determined by law or physicality). Examples include protein address codes [Ber08B], acetylation codes [Kni06], RNA codes [Fai07], metabolic codes [Bru07], cytoskeleton codes [Gim08], histone codes [Jen01], and alternative splicing codes [Bar10].
    Donald E. Johnson – Programming of Life – pg.51

  17. 17
    Upright BiPed says:

    Thanks BA, I must read this book.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    UB, well worth the read. Practically every page of the book has a gem to be garnered. (At least for me) I will have to re-read it with a highlighter. 🙂

  19. 19
    Upright BiPed says:

    BA,

    When materialists say there is no meaning in the cosmos, they’re describing a cosmos without life.

  20. 20
    above says:

    @Upright,

    Well actually, some come out and claim that the is no purpose period.

    Two exampes off the top of my head are provine with his now infamous “no ultimate purpose in life” quote and peter atkins who calls humans slime crawling on a planet.

    I’m sure there is a lot more.

  21. 21
    Upright BiPed says:

    …Dawkins, Coyne, Monod, etc, etc.

    It might be easier to list those who speak to the public otherwise.

  22. 22
    Upright BiPed says:

    They can state there is no purpose, they just can’t do it standing in front of a wallchart enlisting the Genetic Code.

  23. 23
    tribune7 says:

    Barry, here is how to falsify ID:

    Set up video cameras in a desert, then watch them record the rocks being moved via wind and earth tremors to spell a message in English.

    Now here is where it gets interesting: suppose the message was “ID is right, Jerry Coyne. Listen to Dembski you idiot”

    Would Jerry accept that as a definitive falsification of ID?

    Would anyone?

    🙂

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    StephenB and others,

    This video of a debate on the law of non-contradiction, between an atheist and a Christian, should be very interesting for you:

    Presuppositional Apologetics (1 of 5)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=056zh7VPxDc

  25. 25
    above says:

    @BA

    Watching it right now. The Christian is taking the guy to task eh? Notice how the atheist changed tone and demeanor half way through the video when he realized that he was being outplayed.

    I’m into the second section right now… This is funny stuff.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    above, that guy is almost as good as StephenB, maybe as good.

  27. 27
    above says:

    He’s very aggressive! It’s good though. I think atheists for a very long time have been on the offense… Time to turn the tables.

    I’m starting to feel bad for the atheist though, he’s having such a hard time trying to formulate an argument since the Christian has exposed him and his world view.

    Why does he keep on appealing to the shrodinger equation and his cat? How on earth does that go against the law of non-contradiction?

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    He certainly stayed on point though,,,, The beauty at the end of the video was that the Christian, Chad, was an Iraqi war vet.

  29. 29
    Gregory says:

    A bit of a different look on this. Not as interested in “Nothing can falsify ID…” as I am in another question:

    What are examples of things that are *not* designed? Iow, can we say ‘X’ is a non-designed object or thing?

    I’ve only posted a few times here so if this has been discussed elsewhere at UD, I’d appreciate someone directing me to it.

    Thanks, Gregory

  30. 30
    vividbleau says:

    BA Thanks for the link. What a hoot!! It is so ironic that we stupid IDiot theists are the ones defending rationality all the while the enlightened, super smart atheists embrace irrationality. You cant make this up.

    Furthermore the idiot atheist’s appeal to Shrodingers Cat is unaware that Shrodinger used the cat as away of pointing out the problems of the Copenhagen Interpretation.

    From Wiki

    “Schrödinger did not wish to promote the idea of dead-and-alive cats as a serious possibility; quite the reverse, the paradox is a classic reductio ad absurdum”

    Shrodinger wanted to show the absurdity of the idea. This atheist is using Shrodinger, who considered the idea absurd as some type of proof that the LNC does not always apply. LOL

    Vivid

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Gregory, IMO everything in the universe exhibits design in the overall sense, for example even ‘virtual’ particles are found to be necessary for life,,,,

    Virtual Particles, Anthropic Principle & Relativity – Michael Strauss – video

    even the amount of mass in the universe is found to be balanced to 1 in 10^60 (1 grain of sand)

    ,,,with facts like that, It would be interesting to find something that would not be considered to be designed anymore,,, but even if there were anything that would be found to be considered ‘not designed’ anymore my hunch would say that we just don’t know the purpose for the ‘anomaly’ of non-design yet.

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    here’s the link:

    Virtual Particles, Anthropic Principle & Relativity – Michael Strauss – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4554674/

  33. 33
    tgpeeler says:

    bornagain77 @ 24

    Concerning the law of non-contradiction, I ran across this yesterday morning:

    2Cor. 1:17 Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or that which I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?
    2Cor. 1:18 But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no.
    2Cor. 1:19 For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us — by me and Silvanus and Timothy — was not yes and no, but is yes in Him.

    Gee, Paul knew about the LNC. He also knew about causality, too. Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

    As did the writer of Hebrews. Heb. 3:4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

    And of course, my favorites, Exodus 3:14 I AM WHO I AM (Being and Identity) and Jesus in John 8:58 “before Abraham was I am.”

    and Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil… (a violation of the law of identity)

    I hope to find an explicit use of excluded middle soon.

    🙂

  34. 34
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Above,

    markf: “However, there is no convincing case that living things are designed – so they are an example of dFSCI that was not designed (to the extent that we know that anything was not designed”

    This is an example of assuming beforehand what one is attempting to prove – i.e., begging the question.

  35. 35
    CannuckianYankee says:

    TG,

    A little OT

    I think I found your excluded middle:

    “Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.” (1 Cor)

    The excluded middle is either there is resurrection or there is not. There is no middle ground here. If Christ is raised, there is resurrection, there cannot be no resurrection.

  36. 36
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Barry,

    “Not good enough says markf.”

    Well some things are good enough for markf, and some things apparently not. What are good enough are those elements which would seem to support his worldview, and what are not are those elements which do not.

    I think KF would refer to this as an example of “selective hyper-skepticism.”

  37. 37
    gpuccio says:

    Gregory:

    What are examples of things that are *not* designed? Iow, can we say ‘X’ is a non-designed object or thing?

    Well, as I see it, it’s rather simple.

    First we have to define “design” and “designed thing”.

    I suggest:

    1) “design” is a procedure where a conscious intelligent being contributes intentionally to the generation of a specific output imprinting on the output some form from his conscious representations. Therefore, the procedure of design implies:

    a) a conscious intelligent designer

    b) conscious intelligent representations

    c) a purpose

    d) an output modifies by those three things

    2) “Designed thing” is any output as in the previous point “1d”

    Design can be:

    a) Known

    b) Inferred

    Design is known when we know that a designer and a design procedure were involved in the generation of an output. We can know that directly (we are the designer, and we observe our conscious representations associated to the procedure of design); or indirectly (we observe other human designers in the process, or have anyway credible evidence that they were involved).

    In all these cases, we observe, or have evidence, of the designer and of the process of design.

    Most cases of human design are in that category. At present, only human design is part of that category.

    There are, anyway, many cases where human design is inferred, not because we have any direct or indirect evidence of a designer or of the process of design, but merely from the characteristics of the designed object.

    That is called “design detection”. It’s something that has always been done, in archeology as much as in forensics.

    ID has formalized that principle by asking explicitly: what is it that allows us to “detect design” in an output, even if we have no evidence of a designer?

    The concept of CSI, in all its form, is the answer.

    The concept of dFSCI, a subset of CSI, is an answer which is particularly manageable and useful in the field of digital strings.

    So, giving for granted that you know the ID theory, ID states that the presence of CSI is a mark of human design, in the sense that it allows us to detect design with no false positives, but with many false negatives.

    Now we have three categories of human designed outputs:

    a) Human outputs for which we “know” they are designed.

    b) Human outputs for which we “detect” design.

    c) Outputs which could be human designed output, but which do not fall in a) or b). For them we can suspect design, but not affirm it.

    And then there are things for which we have no reason to suspect that they are human outputs. For them we have no reason “a priori” to suspect that they are designed, because the only design we “know” is human design.

    So, we could expect them not to exhibit CSI or dFSCI.

    And that is true in all cases, with one important exception: biological beings, where the presence of dFSCI in great abundance is observable in genomes and proteomes.

    Other possible exceptions could be the universe as a whole (as a system), and some subsystems of it (for instance, life allowing planets). IMO, as I have recently discussed extensively with Mark, the argument about these cases is valid, but still quantitatively difficult, and I usually don’t discuss them here.

    But I do discuss biological information. There is nothing vague there. And we do have the tools to treat it quantitatively.

    So, going back to our discourse, we are in the following situation:

    1) We have a clear map of human designed things.

    2) We have a vast category of non human outputs which do not exhibit CSI. We have no reason to suspect, least of all affirm, design for them. Those are almost all the events we observe in nature. Please remember that many of those events are complex (the disposition of grains of sands in a beach is complex), but none of them is functionally complex.

    3) Then we have the remarkable exceptions. Leaving alone the case of the universe as a system, and of specific big sub-systems of it (where it is difficult to decide if CSI is present), the only known exception are living things. If we stick to dFSCI, I would definitely say that biological information is absolutely the only known exception.

    Now, we only need two simple steps to reach our final conclusion:

    a) We have no reason, “a priori”, to believe that consciousness and intelligence are limited to human beings in reality. It is true that we have empirical experience of them only in human beings, but it is equally true that there are sound philosophical reasons to believe that consciousness and intelligence are more general principles.

    b) That said, it is rather evident that, in absence of a dogmatic prejudice which restricts consciousness and intelligence to human beings “a priori”, an inference of design by analogy to human design remains the best explanation for biological information.

    With this big premise, it is easy to answer your question:

    1) We can never say: X is a non designed thing. That is not an interesting thing to say. Moreover, if we accept extreme philosophical concepts, everything could be designed by an omnipotent god. This kind of concepts, anyway, are useless, and have no scientific interest.

    2) Remaining empirical, we can well distinguish between things for which we have no reason to suspect or affirm design, and things which are or could reasonably be designed. This is a very reasonable, and scientifically useful, approach.

  38. 38
    gpuccio says:

    CannuckianYankee:

    I think KF would refer to this as an example of “selective hyper-skepticism.”

    Well, it’s usually known also as “confirmation bias”, and it’s the main form of cognitive bias.

    In a sense, as conscious beings with strong personal motivations, we can never be completely free of it.

    But I agree that in some of Mark’s reasonings it can be easily observed, although I am sure that he is completely sincere in that. As I am sure that he must think the same of my reasonings 🙂

  39. 39
    CannuckianYankee says:

    “But I agree that in some of Mark’s reasonings it can be easily observed, although I am sure that he is completely sincere in that. As I am sure that he must think the same of my reasonings.”

    Yes, I would agree in the sincerity held.

    I think I’m right with regard to selective hyperskepticism – confirmation bias is the motivation, and SH is the means. We are all prone to operate in this fashion.

  40. 40
    CannuckianYankee says:

    gpuccio,

    Sorry, I had to modify here – you’re right, the example I gave was confirmation bias – but I was referring to a tendency to consider certain arguments as not good enough when pertaining to ID as a case of SH. The fact that this is done with regard to ID, but not with regard to the other side, is CB. 🙂

  41. 41
    StephenB says:

    —markf: “Right now I just want to point out that both you and Barry now accept that you have to make assumptions about the designer in order to falsify ID.”

    —“You may find these assumptions obvious – but it seems to me an important principle has been establised. Ever since I can remember every ID person I have debated has asserted that the design inference is independent of any knowledge or assumptions about the designer.”

    Would it help if I reminded you that the subject matter in your second paragraph is different from the subject matter in your first paragraph? Would it help if I reminded you that speculating about how the designer could pull off a design is a different exercise than drawing scientific inferences about the probability of the designer’s existence?

  42. 42
    tribune7 says:

    gpuccio, post 37 is a keeper. Great job!

  43. 43
    gpuccio says:

    tribune7:

    Thank you!

  44. 44
    gpuccio says:

    nullasalus:

    It seems that today again, for some strange reason, I cannot log on the “three syllogisms” thread.

    So, I wil answer you here. I hope you can see his post.

    First of all, thank you for your further clarifications.

    Only a few comments:

    1) You say:

    “If “truly random” simply means “can be modeled as random”, though, then you’re on the same page as me anyway.”

    Yes, I am. By truly random (out of the QM discussion) I mean only “can be modeled as random”.

    I could only add that, at working level in formaing scientific hypotheses, we can usually agree that therer is at present no special scientific reason to believe that a system which can be modeled as random may be guided by some conscious entity. While everyone is free to believe that way from a philosophical point of view, I am not aware of any empirical utility of such an idea.

    So, for practical reasons, I may sometimes use “random” as a synonim of “unguided”. But the only empirical meaning I give to the word is anyway of something that “can be best modeled as random”.

    2) Y

  45. 45
    gpuccio says:

    nullasalus:

    I go on (I posted involuntarily the first part).

    2) You say:

    If “truly random” means “really is random, there is no guidance or plan behind the actual real-world results”, you’re off into metaphysics land. Which is fine, metaphysics is great. But it’s not a scientifically demonstrable claim.

    No, I have no intention to state or even less demonstrate such a thing.

    3) You say:

    Models are exactly that – models. Useful devices for predicting observed phenomena, with limits. But there’s reality beyond the model, and that’s the reality where the meat of the design question is in play. As far as I say, anyway.

    I agree. But ID is a model, anyway. The final decision about reality are, IMO, largely a personal choice. But good models are a good way to share experience, and to communicate. The ID model is a good model, and it is a good way to have a strong intuition of the reality of design. It has the limits which all models have, which are IMO the limits of science itself.

    4) Again, you say:

    Because ‘truly random’ is utterly and eternally beyond the reach of science. I have no problem with “random”, qualified to mean – and explicitly made clear to mean – ‘most conveniently modeled as probablistic’, or so on. Those are statements about our knowledge, our pragmatic situation, etc. Truly random, actually random, is something else. Science doesn’t get there, and frankly can’t in principle.

    I absolutely agree. I think we are clear on that. I don’t mean “truly” in that sense.

    5) You say:

    Some darwinists do qualify their statements in that way. Others go further and cross the threshold I’m speaking of (and cite Darwin’s supposed belief about this as warrant for doing so, as if that matters), and a lot of people accept that as what ‘science’ says. It’s, frankly, baloney. Unless science means ‘whatever I metaphysically claim is possible and compatible with the data’. In which case, I say that science tells us that the whole of the universe was created last thursday.

    Darwinists say so many wrong and inaccurate things at the elementary science level, why should we be surprised that they are even worse when they debate epistemology or phiolosophy?

    6) You say:

    I’ve seen way too many materialists/atheists show up on this very site and assert that things can burst into existence utterly uncaused from complete nothingness, and that *this has been observed by scientists*, to be that optimistic.

    I am not too optimistic, but things cannot go on that way forever (well, maybe that’s being optimistic 🙂 )

    7) You say:

    I was simply responding to T about why time doesn’t matter from a guidance/design standpoint. Really, it hardly matters much from a ‘chance’ standpoint either. If something happens that is ridiculously unlikely given the model, you cite luck, question the model, etc.

    Well, that’s what darwinists do. We in ID make computations pof probabilities and probabilistic resources, and believe in being quantitative about those things. And time is one of the quantities.

    8) You say:

    I thought ID was much broader than that – front-loading, impersonal telic processes, etc. Intervention being possible, but not strictly required. I’ve seen Dembski himself flat out claim that theistic evolutionists and front-loaders believe in ID by his view. I’ve seen front loading thinkers (Mike Gene, Denton if I read him right) cited favorably. I’ve seen prominent ID proponents praise other quasi-front loaders, like Simon Conway Morris.

    ID is certainly a big tent, but under that tent each one of us had a definite position.

    Mine has always been clear. Design is always the product of a conscious intelligent being, by definition. That’s what ID is about: the work of conscious intelligent beings.

    If somebody else wants to call that “telic processes”, I have no problem, but I would ask: are those “telic processes” something that exists and is conscious and is intelligent? If the answer is yes, I am fine, but will go on using my terminology. If the answer is no, then for me that is not ID. Even if it is under the big tent.

    TEs, for me, are not under that tent. At least what I understand as TEs. Some TEs are probably different, and they can be fine.

    Front loading is another story. Unless it is a variant of TE (the universe is front loaded to generate life), it should be something like: at some point in natural history the designer does intervene, but he does that only once, packs everything in some strange multipotential cell, and then remains to observe what happens.

    Well, that would be ID anyway. Dembski is right on that. So, that kind of front loading is under the tent.

    Unfortunately, I don’t believe in front loading 🙂 .

    9) You say:

    If you see science as defined in a different way than I do, that’s really that.

    Well, probably not too different, as far as I can see.

    10) You say:

    I think methodological naturalism is bunk

    Absolutely, absolutely true! 🙂

    11) You say:

    I think that the criticisms of ID are usually lodged by hypocrites

    Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely true! 🙂 🙂

    But there are exceptions: good and intelligent people, who just happen to think differently.

    12) You say:

    But I’m not going to pretend my definition of science is anything but my own, arrived at after looking at this issues. I’m no special authority.

    In that field, nobody is a special authority to me. But you are a person I definitely respect, which is much better.

  46. 46
    tgpeeler says:

    CY, thanks. I am very familiar with that passage and I think it does fit. Nice.

  47. 47
    gpuccio says:

    Mark:

    for the same logging difficulties, I answer here your post #49 on the other thread.

    I wrote:

    “It is easy for anyone or for any non intelligent system to generate a digital string of any complexity.

    It is impossible for any non design system to generate a functional complex digital string”

    You comment:

    “First you should change the second sentence to:

    (A)”It is impossible for any non living system to generate a functional complex digital string”

    unless you are assuming life is designed.”

    I stick to my version. While I appreciate that you are almost becoming a neo-vitalist, in my two sentences above I was intentionally leaving living beings apart.

    The reason is simple: the origin of the information in lvivng beings has been for years the object of our debates here. So, we cannot assume a priori neither that life is designed, not that it is not designed. Any conclusion about that argument must be the conclusion of our theories, and not the premise.

    So, my two phrases above were about the nature of dFCSI as we can observe it in the universe, outside of the single category we have doubts on (living beings).

    Moreover, as I have already said, living beings per se do certainly contain dFSCI, but we have no evidence that they can generate dFSCI. We have direct experience of dFSCI being generated “on the fly” only with humans.

    dFSCI in living beings is the object of our debate. Darwinists believe that it was generated out of any design intervention, we believe the opposite. Anyway, we have to motivate our conclusions with reasonable inferences.

    But again, living beings do not generate dFSCI in our experience. Conscious intelligent beings do. Design is the empirical originator of dFSCI, not life.

    But you are welcome anyway if you want to found with me a neo-vitalist movement!

    Regarding the ozone layer, I have already said, I believe, that while I have no difficulties in defining a function for it (there is no need to “stretch” anything), I have really no idea of how to compute its functional complexity.

  48. 48
    Gregory says:

    gpuccio,

    Thanks for your post, carefully explaining your view. It was the first time I’d heard of the term dfSCI, so thanks for adding to my education.

    You wrote: “the presence of CSI is a mark of human design”

    Hmmm…interesting! I hadn’t heard this before. Do you know who started this idea of ‘human design’ wrt CSI because from what I’ve read (though it’s been a few years since ID was really on my radar), CSI is primarily a mark of an ‘unembodied designer’ and does not involve ‘human design.’

    As you later note (if I understood you), looking (or detecting) for ‘human design’ is fundamentally not the same as detecting for design in ‘biology’ (or origins of life), which is what I thought ID was mainly about. Iow, there is currently no ‘positive’ theory of intelligent design in the social sciences, unless I am wrong (and if so, please correct me and direct me to texts; though note: applied sciences like programming and engineering are obviously not social sciences and do not count). I am stumped as to what contribution a theory of intelligent design in the social sciences could contribute that is not already covered in the social sciences because, as you well note, that humans design things is already ‘known.’

    “[D]esign detection,” you say, is “something that has always been done, in archeology as much as in forensics.”

    I’m curious if you know of anyone who calls this ‘activity’ by the same name, i.e. ‘design detection,’ in archaeology or forensics, or if there is another name for it in technical usage in those fields?

    Re: “sound philosophical reasons to believe that consciousness and intelligence are more general principles,” I wonder what you mean by this. Do you mean, in addition to human beings, (other) animals are ‘conscious’ and ‘intelligent’? I guess that’s not too controversial. Or were you referring to extra-terrestrials or angels/demons, or something else? Let me add that ‘intuition’ also would seem to play as large or perhaps even a larger role than ‘reasons’ in this hypothesis of non-human consciousness and intelligence, wouldn’t you agree?

    “an inference of design by analogy to human design remains the best explanation for biological information.” – gpuccio

    Hmmm, I’m not sure if that analogy is very strong or rather weak ‘within natural science’. But I guess each person is free to weigh the analogy for what it is. – The intelligence behind ‘Welcome to Victoria’ in flowers was almost certainly, imo, not the *same* intelligence that created/evolved the flowers themselves as a phenomenon of ‘natural history’. But maybe that’s just me and reverse engineering the imago Dei as a kind of ‘divine technology’ isn’t my cup of tea!

    I guess I’m to read your answer to my question then in the negative: There are *no* non-designed things.

    You wrote: “We can never say: X is a non designed thing.”

    So, then you agree with bornagain77: *Everything* is designed? There are *no* examples of things that are not designed?

    But I was under the impression that ‘intelligent design theory’ is *not* a ‘theory of everything’? Perhaps I’m wrong about this too.

  49. 49
    above says:

    @nullasalus, gpuccio and others

    -“6) They displace the argument with a fondness for the RNA world hypothesis, forgetting the fact that such a hypothesis just pushes the information problem out of the way (instead of answering it), and they haphazardly ignore that the hypothesis has the largest set of intractable biochemical hurdles known to science”

    Does RNA not contain dFSCI?

    If it does that would push the problem of information one level up. Is that what you mean when you say “pushes the information problem out of the way”? Or do you mean they simply ignore it altogether?

  50. 50
    nullasalus says:

    gpuccio,

    Yes, I am. By truly random (out of the QM discussion) I mean only “can be modeled as random”.

    Then we’re on the same page. The problem is that many people – including many scientists – try to parley these models into something more. They try to pass off metaphysics as science. And sometimes it seems like no one is taking them to task. (Or at least, they’re reluctant to on the subject of biology. At least some people were able to flat out say Hawking was dead wrong and going far beyond science with his recent book.)

    I could only add that, at working level in formaing scientific hypotheses, we can usually agree that therer is at present no special scientific reason to believe that a system which can be modeled as random may be guided by some conscious entity. While everyone is free to believe that way from a philosophical point of view, I am not aware of any empirical utility of such an idea.

    There’s two problems I have with that response.

    First, it seems flatly incorrect that there is no “reason to believe that a system which can be modeled as random may be guided by some conscious entity”. Putting “scientific” aside for a moment, that’s like saying there are no reasons to think someone may be cheating at poker. A poker game can be modeled in a probablistic fashion – but that doesn’t make an actual poker game, much less poker hand, probablistic. Sometimes those 4 aces showed up under a different model.

    Second, my position is that the status, or lack, of guidance in nature is beyond science anyway. Sure, there is ‘no special scientific reason to believe that a system which can be modeled as random may be guided by some conscious entity’. There’s also no ‘special scientific reason’ to rule it out, or to have any view on the question whatsoever. The model is what the model is, it performs how it performs, and thus ends the utility of science. The empirical utility of either metaphysical view is either equal, or favors the design side – because at the very least, we know design and guidance exists. We can verify that even from a first-person perspective. ‘No design at all’ is forever an assumption.

    Darwinists say so many wrong and inaccurate things at the elementary science level, why should we be surprised that they are even worse when they debate epistemology or phiolosophy?

    We shouldn’t be surprised. But I also think it’s a point that should be pounded home again and again. Admittedly, I seem to be the only guy on these sites who feels this strongly about it, but hey, I’ll do whatever I can on that front.

    If somebody else wants to call that “telic processes”, I have no problem, but I would ask: are those “telic processes” something that exists and is conscious and is intelligent? If the answer is yes, I am fine, but will go on using my terminology. If the answer is no, then for me that is not ID. Even if it is under the big tent.

    I was going by Dembski’s view here. From a sticky’d entry by him on this very site:

    ID’s metaphysical openness about the nature of nature entails a parallel openness about the nature of the designer. Is the designer an intelligent alien, a computional simulator (a la THE MATRIX), a Platonic demiurge, a Stoic seminal reason, an impersonal telic process, …, or the infinite personal transcendent creator God of Christianity? The empirical data of nature simply can’t decide.

    Mind you, I’m Catholic – I know what I think the ultimate designer is. But, there’s Dembski. And I admit, I admire him for taking a position like that. The same with Behe (if I recall correctly) arguing that if something horrible, like malaria, seems designed by ID estimation – then that’s that. It doesn’t somehow become ‘not designed’ because it’s harmful. That sort of talk makes ID exceptionally dangerous to a lot of critics, who almost instinctively reach for evil/bad design arguments to counter ID.

    In that field, nobody is a special authority to me. But you are a person I definitely respect, which is much better.

    Consider me honored, and I respect you as well. In fact, a lot of the ID proponents around here, I respect.

  51. 51
    above says:

    My previous post should have been addressed to UprightBiped and gpuccio primarily… Somehow nullasalus sneaked in there 🙂

  52. 52
    gpuccio says:

    Gregory:

    Some precisations:

    Hmmm…interesting! I hadn’t heard this before. Do you know who started this idea of ‘human design’ wrt CSI because from what I’ve read (though it’s been a few years since ID was really on my radar), CSI is primarily a mark of an ‘unembodied designer’ and does not involve ‘human design.’

    You have heard wrongly. CSI is observed first of all in human design. That’s how we hypothesize that it is a mark of design. Then we observe it in biological information, and we make the design inference there. This is the logical order of the reasoning.

    And the concept of unembodied designer has no relation with design detection itself.

    Iow, there is currently no ‘positive’ theory of intelligent design in the social sciences, unless I am wrong (and if so, please correct me and direct me to texts; though note: applied sciences like programming and engineering are obviously not social sciences and do not count).

    I don’t know what you mean with this discussion about social sciences. I don’t see that it is pertinent in any way.

    I’m curious if you know of anyone who calls this ‘activity’ by the same name, i.e. ‘design detection,’ in archaeology or forensics, or if there is another name for it in technical usage in those fields?

    Why are you so concerned about how it is called? It’s the same kind of activity. We call it design detection.

    I wonder what you mean by this. Do you mean, in addition to human beings, (other) animals are ‘conscious’ and ‘intelligent’?

    I do believe that other animals are conscious. Anyway, we have direct experience of consciousness in ourselves, and we strongly infer it in other humans. For higher animals, IMO the inference is still valid, even if weaker.

    Intelligence is another matter. It can be defined in different ways. With many definitions, higher animals certainly show grades of intelligence.

    I believe that probably even higher animals do not usually output CSI. I could be wrong. Anyway, compared with humans, who output it all the time in abundance, the difference is certainly striking. That’s all I can empirically say.

    Let me add that ‘intuition’ also would seem to play as large or perhaps even a larger role than ‘reasons’ in this hypothesis of non-human consciousness and intelligence, wouldn’t you agree?

    Yes.

    The intelligence behind ‘Welcome to Victoria’ in flowers was almost certainly, imo, not the *same* intelligence that created/evolved the flowers themselves as a phenomenon of ‘natural history’.

    Yes, but it’s an intelligence just the same.

    You wrote: “We can never say: X is a non designed thing.” So, then you agree with bornagain77: Everything* is designed? There are *no* examples of things that are not designed?

    No. Please, read more carefully what I have written. Affirming that we cannot exclude design in absolute in no way means that there are not designed things. The first statement is about an epistemological limit, the second about reality.

    Moreover, I do believe that we can say “empirically” that non designed things do exist. Renouncing to the realm of absolutes, we can say many useful things.

    But I was under the impression that ‘intelligent design theory’ is *not* a ‘theory of everything’? Perhaps I’m wrong about this too.

    ID is not a theory of everything.

  53. 53
    gpuccio says:

    above:

    The statement was of UB, so I leave to him to clarify it.

    Regarding RNA, there are various kinds of RNA. It is a much more dynamic molecule than DNA.

    DNA is essentially a mass memory. RNA performs many other tasks.

    In the “RNA world”, RNA is supposed to perform both the role of mass memory and of effector. That’s why the RNA world has been invented, without any evidence that it ever existed.

    mRNA is a copy (although a dynamic and remodeled one) of the information in DNA. In that sense, it essentially contains the same dFSCI which is in DNA. But there are also important differences. If you are interested, we can discuss them.

    Ribobomal RNA is an effector, which works with many proteins to translate mRNA ans synthesize proteins. So do the tRNAs, and their related enzymes.

    Nuclear RNA has many regulatory functions, most of them still poorly understood.

    I would say that, definitly, RNA exhibits dFSCI, and not only in the form of mRNA, where it is only a copy.

  54. 54
    above says:

    @gpuccion

    Well if RNA exhibits dFSCI then the darwinist just pushes the question one level up. He needs to account for the dFSCI in the RNA now instead of DNA. Am I getting this right?

  55. 55
    gpuccio says:

    nullasalus:

    I essentially agree with you. But I mean that, if we remain in an empirical context, there are concepts which make a difference in that context, and others which don’t.

    In a limited context, a coin tossing system which I can know is detail, and abouit which I can be reasonable sure that no human trcky intervention is at play, is an empirically random system. It behaves as I aspect according to my random model. That’s all. Larger views don’t help me. Poker is different. It is not a completely random system, because the will of the players intervenes. And, even in its random part (the shuffling), we must be sure that no reasonable trick is being performed.

    But I see no utility, in my scinetific reasoning, in the possibility that God intervens in the coin tossing even when the results are well described as random. That’s all I mean. On the general philosophical concepts, however, I do agree with you.

    Finally, I do agree with both Dembski and Behe. But I simply stick to the concept of “conscious intelligent being”. I have never made any reference to any special form of “conscious intelligent being”.

    I simply cannot renounce those fundamental concepts, because for me they have an empirical origin, from the observation of what the design process is in us humans.

    And thank you for the reciprocal respect 🙂

  56. 56
    above says:

    @nullasalus

    -“we shouldn’t be surprised. But I also think it’s a point that should be pounded home again and again. Admittedly, I seem to be the only guy on these sites who feels this strongly about it, but hey, I’ll do whatever I can on that front.”

    If you want to pound away on the abuses of the word random/chance by materialists you might also want to stress that it is merely another word for ignorance. I think voltaire said something along those lines if I remember correctly.

  57. 57
    allanius says:

    So there I was last night waiting for a certain leviathan government agency to put its stamp of approval on our latest world-saving wonder product when I happened to wander over to UD—and what did I see? Of all things, a whole thread devoted to responding to Markf!

    First of all, call me crazy, but I kind of doubt that Markf is “sincere.” In fact I don’t think he has a sincere bone in his postmodern body. Otherwise he wouldn’t be slumming over here at UD and driving all of you good people crazy.

    But I gotta say—I love his schtick. All he has to do is toss off a few lines of some outrageous proposition with that deadpan rope-a-dope faux earnestness of his, and the next thing you know he’s got 40 long posts hanging off him, each more intricately argued, sincere & heartfelt than the last.

    He spends about 2 minutes tweaking you, and you spend billions and billions of hours being tweaked. Honestly, I don’t know how you have the patience. It’s like sticking your head over and over again into a clogged toilet.

  58. 58
    Gregory says:

    gpuccio wrote: “CSI is observed first of all in human design.”

    Like I said, this is news to me and in fact it makes me happy to hear this. But I question if the term ‘CSI’ was first coined when Dembski was thinking about ‘human design.’ Could you please provide some evidence or a link to show how you reached this conclusion?

    “I don’t know what you mean with this discussion about social sciences.” – gpuccio

    Well, ‘human design’ involves human beings. People don’t study human beings in the natural sciences, unless perhaps they are ethologists, and that’s a stretch.

    A theory of ‘human design’ – what field(s) would this properly belong in?

    That’s why I asked about a theory of ID in social sciences. Please correct me if I am wrong in suggesting that such a thing doesn’t exist. You might say that it shouldn’t exist or needn’t exist, but that’s another topic.

    “Please, read more carefully what I have written.” – gpuccio

    I tried to understand it, but it still seems unclear.

    For example, you wrote: “Affirming that we cannot exclude design in absolute in no way means that there are not designed things.”

    The “in absolute in” part I don’t understand and it doesn’t seem like a normal English sentence. (Please forgive me if English is not your first language because I am just trying to understand, not to insult your language.)

    I’m aware of the difference between epistemology and ontology.

    “I do believe that we can say “empirically” that non designed things do exist.” – gpuccio

    Good! This is an answer to the very short and sweet question (with ’empirically’ added in) that I was asking. All else is add-ons. So, then, could you please give me some examples of ‘non-designed’ things that, as you say, “do exist.”

    What are examples of some ‘non-designed’ things?

    “ID is not a theory of everything.” – gpuccio

    Again, good! I’m glad to hear this. Because if, as bornagain77 suggested, “everything is designed,” then ID would be a theory of everything, wouldn’t it?

    Thanks for addressing my simple question if there is/are or is/are not ‘things that are/were not designed.’

    Just to repeat, I’m not asking about whether or not ID is falsifiable by asking about ‘non-designed’ things.

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