Intelligent Design

An Exchange With FG

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In response to my last post here, Faded Glory writes:  “But Barry, the way the design inference is formulated, it is not limited to a particular example like the one you present here. It is presented as a very general rule, as per your earlier post.”

This statement is simply false.  ID never asks “What is the source of all design?”  It asks, “Is this particular thing designed?”  And it answers this question by determining whether that particular thing exhibits complex specified information (or irreducible complexity, which is a subset of CSI).

Faded Glory writes:  “The moment someone uses the inference, in a non-controversial, way like your concrete example, anyone is warranted use exactly the same inference on any other example of CSI and IC one cares to investigate. Why not, after all?”

You are exactly correct.  Anyone is warranted to use exactly the same inference with respect to any other example of CSI or IC.  Why does this surprise you?  This is what we have been saying all along.  Indeed, this is the essence of the ID project.

Faded Glory writes:  “Don’t blame us for following the inference where it leads.”

 Actually, I would never blame anyone for following the ID inference where it leads.  I would blame someone for following the inference where it does not lead, i.e. to the infinite regress.  As even you agree, my example shows that the inference does not lead there.

39 Replies to “An Exchange With FG

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Barry, are you a lawyer?

    This penchant for clarity, your cross-examining style, the attempts to undermine the credibility of the witness, shame on you.

  2. 2
    faded_Glory says:

    Let me repeat my response to yhis from the other thread:

    Barry, I disagree that it is false to state that the design inference as you presented it is a very general rule.
    Let me copy it here out again, straight from your OP in the other thread:
    ———-

    Question to be Investigated: What is the origin of complex specified information (CSI) and irreducibly complex (IC) mechanisms seen in even the simplest living things?

    Hypothesis: CSI and IC have never been directly observed to have arisen though chance or mechanical necessity or a combination of the two. Conversely, CSI and IC are routinely observed to have been produced by intelligent agents. Moreover, intelligent agents leave behind indicia of their acts that can be objectively discerned. Therefore, using abductive reasoning, the best explanation for CSI and IC is “act of intelligent agent.”

    The intelligent design project is, essentially, the scientific investigation of this hypothesis.

    —————-

    Right at the start you say that even the simplest living things contain CSI and IC. So why can’t we consider the first life forms, which presumably are the simplest living things, and apply your inference?

    Doing so one concludes from your argument that these simplest life forms were generated by something intelligent.

    Unless we agree that it is possible for non-living things to be intelligent (I am open to that suggestion, by the way), it fllows immediately that therefore first life, the simplest of living things, is generated by something that is alive.

    Which, of course, is a logical absurdity.

    Therefore, there is a problem somehere in the way you have formulated your argument. As a scientific hypothesis it fails miserably. That is all I am saying.

    I really don’t know how I can make it any clearer than this.

    fG

    ——

    I think this is a perfectly clear and straightforward objection to the way you have formulated your argument.

    Let me ask you directly then: can you please apply your argument to the first life form, talk us through the steps and show how it does not inevitably lead to the logical contradiction that first life was created by something already alive? If you can do this I will retract my objection.

    Alternatively, if you don’t want to apply the argument to the first life form please explain why not.

    Thanks,

    fG

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    FG:

    Kindly see from here on, in context.

    GEM of TKI

  4. 4
    ScottAndrews says:

    FG,

    it fllows immediately that therefore first life, the simplest of living things, is generated by something that is alive.

    Which, of course, is a logical absurdity.

    As before, this is misstated to make it seem absurd. I’d like to assume that it’s not intentional.

    A more accurate statement (if a little redundant) would be

    it follows immediately that therefore first life, the simplest of known living things, within the obvious context of known life is generated by something that is alive.

    Your statement effectively excludes the unknown. Since the unknown is what we’re looking for, that’s a logical absurdity.

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    FG, I wrote “ID never asks ‘What is the source of all design?'”

    If you can tell me which part of this sentence you do not understand, perhaps I can help you.

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    fg,

    Even the very first living biological organism to appear on this earth must have consisted of one or more irreducibly complex systems.

    All intelligent agents are biological organisms descended from the first living biological organism to appear on earth.

    Therefore all intelligent agents are self-created.

  7. 7
    faded_Glory says:

    Barry,

    I take it that this means you don’t want to show how your argument applies to the first life forms?

    Would you care to answer my second question then: why not?

    Also, does this mean that, in your view ID, is agnostic on the origin of first life?

    Thanks,

    fG

  8. 8
    faded_Glory says:

    Scott, I don’t see how your re-phrasing helps at all. Saying that there could be some kind of unknown life that created known first life doesn’t answer my objection, because in that case we could apply Barry’s reasoning to that unknown life and be back in the same conundrum. Also, of course, it means that the ‘known first life’ isn’t really first lI would like to see clarification on.

    There really is a problem with the way Barry has formulated his argument. I think that at least he should clarify the limits of its applicability. If it doesn’t apply to all design, what design then does and does it not apply to?

    fG

  9. 9
    ScottAndrews says:

    fg,

    I must be missing the point. Could you perhaps reword why it is absurd or illogical for the first life on earth to have been designed by another intelligent life that came before it? There may be other objections, but it’s not illogical at face value.

    It’s only illogical or absurd if we eliminate the possibility of intelligent life before the first life we know of, on earth or elsewhere. How is that eliminated?

  10. 10
    ScottAndrews says:

    fg,

    Would it answer your question to say that ID can only be applied to what can be examined?
    Determining that a thing was designed does not automatically make the designer subject to the same examination.
    That’s not to say that that whoever designed first life is necessarily beyond any examination forever, just that we’re only at the step of determining that it exists.
    But we’ll hardly ever get to examine a designer by assuming that it must not exist. That’s a science-stopper if there ever was one.

  11. 11
    faded_Glory says:

    Scott, the problem is that according to Barry even the simplest of living things contain CSI and IC. Therefore, your hypothetical intelligent life that came before life as we know it also contained CSI and IC. So, we can ask of it the same question Barry asks of known first life (what is the origin of that CSI and IC).

    According to Barry’s reasoning, there should then be even earlier intelligent life that created your hypothetical intelligent life that came before life as we know it. And we’re right back at the problem.

    Don’t blame me for this, I am just applying Barry’s reasoning!

    As I said above (I now see my post got mangled somehow, sorry for that), it would be helpful if Barry could expand his argument to make it clear to onlookers exactly when it applies and when not. Also, I think he should make it clear why some life, CSI and IC is exempt from his reasoning, as it seems to be.

    fG

  12. 12
    ScottAndrews says:

    fg,

    IOW you’re arguing infinite regression. That logic can be equally applied to refute the existence of anything, observed, inferred, or otherwise, including you and me. It’s useless. Why invoke it?

  13. 13
    faded_Glory says:

    Scott,

    Limiting the argument to only what can be examined would indeed help, but it would also severely limit its applicability. For instance, we can’t examine the first life forms on Earth because we don’t have much of a record of those. Does that mean that the ID argument doesn’t apply to those? In other words, is ID agnostic on the question of the origins of first life on Earth? Does ID then not rule out that it might have originated from non-living physical and chemical processes?

    fG

  14. 14
    faded_Glory says:

    Scott, I am not the one invoking infinite regression, it follows straightaway from the way Barry has formulated his argument, using simple logic.

    If you don’t like these implications, you should ask Barry to reformulate his argument so it doesn’t logically follow from it.

    Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.

    fG

  15. 15
    ScottAndrews says:

    fg,

    Are you saying that ID could apply to cells and DNA and proteins, but that those same things could also have arisen without design from some unknown form? The two seem mutually exclusive.

  16. 16
    Mung says:

    fg:

    the problem is that according to Barry even the simplest of living things contain CSI and IC.

    Of course, he was speaking of BIOLOGICAL organisms that are CURRENTLY alive ON THIS EARTH.

    Your attempts to have him saying otherwise notwithstanding.

    1. Can he apply his argument to first life, and show that it does not lead to the logical contradiction that first life was created by something that was alive itself?

    How is he supposed to know that the FIRST BIOLOGICAL LIFE ON EARTH exhibited IC or CSI without BEGGING THE QUESTION?.

  17. 17
    ScottAndrews says:

    It’s unknown whether the first life was what we see now, or, if something else, what form it was. We can’t even say whether it’s observable because it could be what’s right in front of us or something long gone.

    How can you study something that either never existed or existed in a form that may or may not have even been hypothesized?

    Isn’t that high bar to set for someone who just wants to examine what he can see?

  18. 18
    Mung says:

    It is fg’s argument that the first biological life on earth must have have exhibited CSI and IC by logical necessity or by definition.

    All things that have ever lived exhibit CSI and IC, this obviously includes the first life on earth and any living God or gods or space aliens that are alive.

    First life could not have been created by a computer program.

    blah blah blah

  19. 19
    ScottAndrews says:

    Mung,

    I try to express myself, but I always like your answers better.

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    thanks Scott

    If IC is required to make the first IC, what made the first IC?

    If CSI is required to make the first CSI, what made the first CSI?

    Who made God?

    Now lets see if we can make Barry’s argument fit.

  21. 21
    Barry Arrington says:

    FG, you admitted that I demonstrated to your satisfaction that a design inference can be perfectly valid even if one knows nothing about the designer and therefore the infinite regress argument does not defeat ID. Then you say, “but what about the infinite regress argument?” You seem to be stuck in a cognitive rut. If I could help you out of it I would, but I don’t know how. Sorry.

  22. 22
    faded_Glory says:

    Barry,

    When applied to a single concrete example like the one you gave, your inference could be valid (I am not saying it is necessarily valid, just agreeing that it is not logically inconsistent).

    Concluding from this that the infinite regress problem does not defeat ID is a non-sequitor. The infinite regress problem is real and does defeat ID the moment your argument is invoked to explain first life.

    Can I take it therefore that we are in agreement that your argument should not be used to explain what caused first life?

    fG

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    FG:

    Have you burned your match half way and turned the head up yet?

    Did you see it try to go out?

    Do you now see the nature of external, necessary causal factors for a contingent being?

    As shown by concrete example — not convoluted debate?

    Have you found an exception to the truth expressed in 2 + 3 = 5 year, or found a possible place and time where it does not hold?

    If so, do you now understand that there are necessary beings that do not have a beginning, and cannot cease from being?

    If not, why not?

    Have you now considered that a contingent cosmos, such as we credibly inhabit, points — even through a multiverse speculation — to an underlying necessary being with the power, purpose and knowledge as well as skill to build a cosmos that is fine tuned for C-chemistry, cell based life?

    If you reject the above, why, why specifically — apart from mere talking points?

    [For details cf here. Observe the comment by SB, a philosophically sophisticated observer, and a communication professional.]

    The above shows that your imagined objections are overturned. There is no necessary infinite regress of causes for our observed cosmos and features in it that show signs of design [and that is a side track in any case as the issue is whether THIS ifrem per tested reliable signs is best understyood as designed], and there is no “absurd” inference that original life must have come from a non-living intelligence, your put up strawman.

    For, if there is good reason to see that the contingent cosmos comes from a necessary being, and that in the case of our observed — fine tuned for C chemistry cell based life — cosmos, that necessary being manifests signs of purpose, knowledge, and creative action, that terminates the chain in something that is intelligent and self-moved, thus en-souled or living.

    GEM of TKI

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    Onlookers: see why it is that we keep going in circles with objectors who refuse to actually engage issues on the merits, but seemingly only come here to spread talking points in the teeth of any and all corrections? What does this tell us about the real balance of the case that infers from empirically reliable sign to design as cause, on the merits? GEM of TKI

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: FG was corrected in several threads over the weekend, but has insisted on disregarding the above summarised and linked correction on a lame excuse — s/he finds it hard to follow so s/he will act as though it is not there — in order to push the drumbeat objection above ass thought here is not an obvious and long since corrected error in it. If you have a problem with the issues of cause and contingent vs necessary being, then you should be asking questions and working through answers, not pushing fallacious talking points.

    –> Otherwise, FG, you are being irresponsible — and after a certain point of repeatedly disregarding corrections so you either know or should know the truth on the matter but are refusing to acknowledge it — willfully deceptive.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    SA:

    It’s unknown whether the first life was what we see now, or, if something else, what form it was. We can’t even say whether it’s observable because it could be what’s right in front of us or something long gone.

    How can you study something that either never existed or existed in a form that may or may not have even been hypothesized?

    Isn’t that high bar to set for someone who just wants to examine what he can see?

    Science of course is about the world of the observable, and controls explanation by reference to such observations.

    When one sees this sort of resort to metpahysical specula9iton presented in a lab coat, tha tis philosphy in drag not science.

    And if the party involved then refuses to engage the issues tied to that: cause, necessary cause, contingent being, necessary being — on some lame excuse or other — the implication is that we are dealing with ideological talking points not a serious discussion of a scientific issue with philosophical — epistemological and logical especially — constraints.

    Tha tis what has been happening ac5ross the weekend, and I hope FG stops, thinks and then seriously addresses the issue.

    S/he should start by getting out a match box and doing the half burned match experiment. then, report to us on findings and implications for the nature of cause.

    Or, maybe, you might want to do the exercise to help move the ball forward.

    Barry, do you want to try as well?

    Mung — don’t take excuse to light a cigar with the match first!

    (I have of course done the exercise myself.)

    GEM of TKI

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Just did it again.

    It reliably goes out when the match head with 1/2 a burned match below (or even a lot less) is tipped straight up.

    Fuel is a necessary causal factor for that being, a fire.

    FG, have you done the exercise?

    If so, what did you see and what does it mean?

    If not, why not, in the context of the reality of necessary causal factors an implications of contingent vs necessary beings and infinite regresses or non regresses.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: did it again. Same result. Looks like a law of nature in action . . . absent all necessary causal factors an effect will not begin, or if already in being, will cease to be.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Or equivalently: that which begins or may cease has a cause.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 3: Where have we seen this before?

  31. 31
    faded_Glory says:

    kf,

    Seriously, I have no idea what you’re on about and why you keep going on about it.

    I asked Barry two perfectly straightforward questions about the argument for ID he presented earlier.

    From his respones I gather that he has answered my first question, can we apply his argument to first life, with a negative.

    That’s fine with me.

    He hasn’t really answered my second question yet, I think. That’s fine as well, he doesn’t have to.

    Someone else suggested we can’t apply it to first life because we don’t know what first life looked like, so we can’t investigate it to see if it contains the CSI and IC that, acording to Barry’s argument, needs a living intelligence to generate it.

    I am fine with that too.

    I conclude from this conversation that ID, in the form of Barry’s argument, is agnostic as to what caused first life. I think that is an interesting finding and one that was worth the time spent on this.

    Feel free to carry on with your own conversation, if you like. I am happy with the answers I got and will leave it at that.

    fG

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    FG:

    Pardon, but if you do not know enough to know what is at stake and what he key concepts and issues are, you should be asking rather than trying to make talking points and imagine that you are refuting what you do not understand.

    I again invite you to do the match experiment, as this is the first step to understanding cause, necessary vs sufficient causal factrors, contingency and necessity of being.

    If you do not understand these things you cannot seriou8sly address what you are claiming to address.

    And, the issues have been repeatedly laid out for you.

    So, go fetch the match and try the 1/burned match tilt-up expercise. What does that tell you about necessary causal factors, and thence about contingency vs necessity of being?

    After that, look at the truth expressed in 2 + 3 = 5.

    Can you find a possible world in which that truth would not be so?

    ANS: No. But you can try. This is an example of a necessary being.

    The issue of the origin of life that bears in it signs of intelligent cause, traces ultimately to the roots in a necessary and intelligent being that has set up the cosmos in which we live.

    That is at worldviews level once the empirically based inference from fine tuned functional organisation of the cosmos to design has been settled as a scientific inference.

    But if you refuse to even do and think through the match exercise and the 2 + 3 = 5 exercise, then that tells us a lot, none of it to your advantage.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  33. 33
    Mung says:

    f_g:

    Seriously, I have no idea what you’re on about and why you keep going on about it.

    Definition of sand.

    A place to bury my head.

  34. 34
    Mung says:

    But kf, If I take a match and light it, and I use that match to light another match, and I use that match to light another match, etc., doesn’t that just prove that there is an infinite regress problem?

    Therefore Barry’s argument fails.

  35. 35
    faded_Glory says:

    Mung,

    Can I ask you a personal question?

    When you talk to people face to face, do you talk in the same way as you do here?

    I ask this, because I find the way you post here amazingly rude. I wonder if that is just because here you are anonymous on an Internet site, or if you are actually like that in real life.

    How do you keep those real life conversations going?

    fG

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung:

    First, get your infinity of matches.

    Bad enough, but the real problem on that is that of traversing the infinity. We count: 1, 2, 3, . . . but we will never ever in succession count,” . . . infinity – 1, infinity.” A countable infinity cannot be traversed in successive steps.

    And this also holds in reverse.

    I was just speaking with a local carpenter on the problem. Take a chain of links, and count hem. Okay, now in imagination extend the chain on one side to infinity. And, now, count backwards: -1, -2, – 3 . . . again we never arrive at minus infinity. AND, JUST SO, WE COULD NOT TRAVERSE THE INFINITE CHAIN OF SUCCESSIVE CAUSAL EVENTS TO REACH TO NOW.

    Causal chains are inherently finite, if they terminate in a now.

    Which is also the lesson of thermodynamics for our observed cosmos: if it had been infinitely old, it would have reached heat death, whereby energy gradients have so diffused that there is no relevant difference to drive changes. That’s before we come to the observation of Hubble expansion.

    Which points to the 14 or so BYA terminus, not only on 2.7 K radiation, etc but on things like the astrophysics of hydrogen rich balls and the time for these balls to go through a stellar life cycle, which is reflected in the HR diagrams of clusters. We may differ with the explanation, but the evidence provided cumulatively points to 10 – 20 BY as age of the observed cosmos — the ONLY observed cosmos BTW, so multiverse speculations slip across the border into philosophy, not science.

    And so, we come to the difference between my carpenter friend — BTW a murder convict who by meeting God has been transformed, and is on a transition to release programme. One of many people who I know who claim to have met and been miraculously transformed by God — and if you are on the phil and worldviews side of the border, FG, such things are also on the table. Just a footnote.

    Anyway, our man spotted that a lit match does indeed go out if tipped up, as it is running out of its necessary “feed.” He had no problem recognising that this points to a match flame as having necessary causal factors, and that the flame is a contingent being that has a beginning and could have an end.

    When I contrasted 2 + 3 = 5, he also saw that this will always be true, and so the truth in this is of a different order from the being of a fire. Once I labelled this a necessary being and pointed out that this has no beginning or end, he was able to follow that too.

    When I then turned to a simplified version of pointing out the way the universe we observe has a beginning, he readily saw that this means it is caused and depends on something beyond it. Since he was moving toilets in a hardware shop storage area, we did not take time to discuss fine tuning etc, but the joint implications of a caused, fine tuned cosmos set up for C-chemistry cell based intelligent biological life are not too hard to draw out, even if one insists on being on the phil side of the border and bringing in multiverse speculations. We are looking at a necessary, intelligent, creative, purposeful, powerful being as the best root explanation of the cosmos we observe.

    And, in that case, we see that we are not at all locked up to infinite regresses, nor are we in a conundrum to see that life has its root in Life. After all, on this side of the border, we know that a long time ago now, Plato went on record, 360 BC, in The Laws Bk X:

    Ath. [[The avant garde philosophers, teachers and artists c. 400 BC] say that the greatest and fairest things are the work of nature and of chance, the lesser of art [[ i.e. techne], which, receiving from nature the greater and primeval creations, moulds and fashions all those lesser works which are generally termed artificial . . . .

    Ath. Then, by Heaven, we have discovered the source of this vain opinion of all those physical investigators; and I would have you examine their arguments with the utmost care, for their impiety is a very serious matter; they not only make a bad and mistaken use of argument, but they lead away the minds of others: that is my opinion of them.

    Cle. You are right; but I should like to know how this happens.

    Ath. I fear that the argument may seem singular.

    Cle. Do not hesitate, Stranger; I see that you are afraid of such a discussion carrying you beyond the limits of legislation. But if there be no other way of showing our agreement in the belief that there are Gods, of whom the law is said now to approve, let us take this way, my good sir.

    Ath. Then I suppose that I must repeat the singular argument of those who manufacture the soul according to their own impious notions; they affirm that which is the first cause of the generation and destruction of all things, to be not first, but last, and that which is last to be first, and hence they have fallen into error about the true nature of the Gods.

    Cle. Still I do not understand you.

    Ath. Nearly all of them, my friends, seem to be ignorant of the nature and power of the soul [[ = psuche], especially in what relates to her origin: they do not know that she is among the first of things, and before all bodies, and is the chief author of their changes and transpositions. And if this is true, and if the soul is older than the body, must not the things which are of the soul’s kindred be of necessity prior to those which appertain to the body?

    In short, serious alternatives have been improperly kept away from the table of comparative difficulties, and that is where the strawman caricatures and dismissals come from.

    And if a carpenter can follow the argument, so can we, if we want to.

    If . . .

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  37. 37
    Mung says:

    f_g,

    This is a moderated forum so no, I’m not saying the things I’d be saying elsewhere.

    But that doesn’t mean I have to sit here and pretend people are being reasonable when the facts show otherwise.

    Tolerance is over-rated.

    If I were being an a** I’d be probably be offended too if someone pointed it out to me, but I’d get over it.

  38. 38
    rhampton7 says:

    “The issue of the origin of life that bears in it signs of intelligent cause, traces ultimately to the roots in a necessary and intelligent being that has set up the cosmos in which we live.”

    Scientifically, I have two problems with this statement:

    1) ID Theory makes no such claim, nor does it require an Intelligent Entity to create the Universe. ID only attempts to explain detectable information within life.

    2) ID Theory does not posit that the designer(s) of the first cell and the designer(s) of Man, are in fact the same. Given that they are events billions of years, and given that every known form of intelligent agent lives for much smaller frames of time, multiple, independent intelligent agents must be considered to be a very likely possibility. Furthermore, there is no requirement that the designer(s) be currently active or even alive.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    RH7:

    Re your: Scientifically, I have two problems with this statement . . .

    Kindly, first note my remarks above about slipping over the border from science into wider worldviews analysis, often unannounced or even unrecognised.

    You will note that I have specifically distinguished between what scientific work does, i.e. point to design on empirically tested and reliable sign, and the onward logical and epistemological issues connected thereto.

    Now, on your particular notes, I will interleave points:

    _____________

    >> 1) ID Theory makes no such claim,

    a –> Misdirected, as the issue is on the worldviews analysis on logic and epistemology side

    b –> For instance, it is a well established point of logic that a countable infinity cannot be traversed in steps, for reasons already pointed out.

    nor does it require an Intelligent Entity to create the Universe.

    c –> Au contraire, the observed universe shows a pattern of a beginning at a finitely distant point in the past, and functionally specific complex organisation that — even through a multiverse speculation [which last is on the far side of the border as there is no empirical observable data point to test it . . . ] points to being purposefully set to a fine tuned operating point that facilitates C-chemistry, cell based life on dozens of points. this leads to inference to design as empirically anchored best explanation. Cf introductory discussion here.

    d –> In fact, this side of the design theory framework is older and more firmly established than the side that addresses evidence of design as causal process in cell based biological life. Just, it is not as commonly discussed.

    ID only attempts to explain detectable information within life.

    e –> This is an [understandable] error on several fronts, most notably as just discussed. Cf for instance the Conference compendium delayed by 10 years, Nature of Nature.

    g –> In addition, design theory extends to issues in statistics, forensics, archaeology and even evolution of technology, cf TRIZ.

    2) ID Theory does not posit that the designer(s) of the first cell and the designer(s) of Man, are in fact the same.

    h –> Qua theory, ID theory does not posit anything about designers, but instead is a process of empirically warranted inference to design as best causal explanation of some observable phenomena, including but not limited to certain features of cell based life.

    i –> it is objectors who are obsessed with inferences tot he designer. As I have often said, that tweredun comes before whodunit.

    Given that they are events billions of years, and given that every known form of intelligent agent lives for much smaller frames of time, multiple, independent intelligent agents must be considered to be a very likely possibility.

    j –> Once we look at the cosmological design side, the game changes drastically.

    k –> In short, your comment shows the problem of the focus on just one aspect of the problem.

    l –> Kindly, dot he match experiment and the “truth in the expression 2 + 3 = 5” thought exercise, and reflect on causal factors, necessity vs sufficiency of causal factors, contingency and necessity of being.

    m –> In that context, you will see that intelligence is not necessarily connected to contingency, but may well apply to necessary beings as well.

    n –> As to unity or diversity of cause, the unified structure of our cosmos points to unity.

    Furthermore, there is no requirement that the designer(s) be currently active or even alive.

    o –> Again, kindly cf the issue of necessary causal factors in light of what happens when one is removed from a flame as going concern.

    p –> Thence, reflect on the difference between contingent and necessary being, something else that has been suppressed from our education programmes due to the dominance of evolutionary materialism.

    q –> It might surprise you that the old Steady State universe hypothesis held sway for decades precisely because it was a candidate to be the necessary being that explained the observed contingent beings within it.

    r –> But then, starting in the early 1960’s, it was definitively overturned, that is why the oscillating universe was then put forth, which has fallen to the issue of the bounce and the rise of entropy, so that eternal oscillation is not credible (apart form the evidence of flatness and even of accelerating expansion).

    s –> So, we have to account for an observed contingent cosmos that credibly had a beginning, usually put as some 13.7 BYA. One that is set to a locally precise operating point that facilitates C-chemistry, cell based life.

    t –> For instance, this is what Nobel-equivalent prize holder (and reputedly life-long agnostic) Sir Fred Hoyle observed (and notice, I am deliberately selecting astrophysical rather than cosmological tuning issues):

    From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16]

    u –> The key point here is that H, He, O, C and N are the top five on abundance, and this depends on careful balances in basic nuclear forces and circumstances. Multiply this by the peculiar properties of water and carbon, and we see a cosmos that from its outset was set to an operating point that makes for C-chemistry, cell based life.

    u –> One can go on to the usual lists of dozens of fine tuned parameters, but the focus on this is enough to make the key point, our cosmos shows signs that point to careful, purposeful design.

    v –> Bring to bear, issues on its contingency and we are looking at root cause explanation — even through a multiverse speculation — that points to a necessary being with power, capability and purpose to design and fashion a cosmos as we observe.

    w –> Notice, once a contingent world exists, we entail a necessary being as its causal root, a being that unlike a contingent one, has no external dependence on necessary causal factors.

    x –> Such a being therefore has no beginning or ending — it is the issue of unmet necessary causal factors that leads to things with a beginning, and ending.

    y –> The real question is, what is that necessary being, not if there is one, once we see that we live in a world of contingency.>>
    _____________

    So, let us all go strike a match and ponder on the profound logical and epistemological consequences of so familiar an act.

    GEM of TKI

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