In a comment to a recent thread I made the following challenge to the materialists:
Show me one example – just one; that’s all I need – of chance/law forces creating 500 bits of complex specified information. [Question begging not allowed.] If you do, I will delete all of the pro-ID posts on this website and turn it into a forum for the promotion of materialism. . . .
There is no need to form any hypothesis whatsoever to meet the challenge. The provenance of the example of CSI that will meet the challenge will be ACTUALLY KNOWN. That is why I put the part about question begging in there. It is easy for a materialist to say “the DNA code easily has more than 500 bits of CSI and we know that it came about by chance/law forces.” Of course we know no such thing. Materialists infer it from the evidence, but that is not the only possible explanation.
Let me give you an example. If you watch me put 500 coins on a table and I turn all of them “heads” up, you will know that the provenance of the pattern is “intelligent design.” You do not have to form a chance hypothesis and see if it is rejected. You sat there and watched me. There is no doubt that the pattern resulted from intelligent agency.
My challenge will be met when someone shows a single example of chance/law forces having been actually observed creating 500 bits of CSI.
R0bb responded not by meeting the challenge (no surprise there) but by suggesting I erred when I said CSI can be “assessed without a chance hypothesis.” (And later keith s adopted this criticism).
I find this criticism odd to say the least. The word “hypothesis” means:
A proposition . . . set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena, either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide investigation (working hypothesis) or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts.
It should be obvious from this definition that we form a hypothesis regarding a phenomenon only when the cause of the phenomenon is unknown, i.e., has not been actually observed. As I said above, in my coin example there is no need to form any sort of hypothesis to explain the cause of the coin pattern. The cause of the coin pattern is actually known.
I don’t know why this is difficult for R0bb to understand, but there you go. To meet the challenge, the materialists will have to show me where a chance/law process was “actually observed” to have created 500 bits of CSI. Efforts have been made. All have failed. The now defunct infinite monkeys program being just one example. It took 2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years to get the first 24 characters from Henry IV part 2.
R0bb responds at comment 11:
That’s certainly true, but we’re not trying to explain the cause of the coin pattern. We trying to determine whether the coin pattern has CSI. Can you please tell us how to do that without a chance hypothesis?
To which I responded:
1. Suppose you watched me arrange the coins. You see a highly improbable (500 bits) pattern conforming to a specification. Yes, it has CSI.
2. Now, suppose you and I were born at the same time as the big bang and did not age. Suppose further that instead of intentionally arranging the coins you watched me actually flip the coins at the rate of one flip per second. While it is not logically impossible for me to flip “all 500 heads,” it is not probable that we would see that specification from the moment of the big bang until now.
So you see, we’ve actually observed the cause of each pattern. The specification was achieved in scenario 1 by an intelligent agent with a few minutes’ effort. In scenario 2 the specification was never achieved from the moment of the big bang until now.
The essence of the design inference is this: Chance/law forces have never been actually observed to create 500 bits of specified information. Intelligent agents do so routinely. When we see 500 bits of specified information, the best explanation (indeed, the only explanation that has actually been observed to be a vera causa) is intelligent agency.
To meet my challenge, all you have to do is show me where chance/law forces have been observed to create 500 bits of specified information.