Human evolution Intelligent Design

Another species of “hominin” still alive?

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Between Ape and Human: An Anthropologist on the Trail of a Hidden Hominoid by [Gregory Forth]

No, it does not make nearly that much sense. The Flores people were real.

Meanwhile, here’s the story by anthropologist Gregory Forth, author of Between Ape and Human (2022) — a summary of his book, more or less — advancing a remarkable claim about still-missing “hominins” at The Scientist:

Coming from a professional anthropologist and ethnobiologist, my conclusions will probably surprise many. They might even be more startling than the discovery of H. floresiensis—once described by paleoanthropologist Peter Brown of the University of New England in New South Wales as tantamount to the discovery of a space alien. Unlike other books concerned with hominin evolution, the focus of my book is not on fossils but on a local human population called the Lio and what these people say about an animal (as they describe it) that is remarkably like a human but is not human—something I can only call an ape-man. My aim in writing the book was to find the best explanation—that is, the most rational and empirically best supported—of Lio accounts of the creatures. These include reports of sightings by more than 30 eyewitnesses, all of whom I spoke with directly. And I conclude that the best way to explain what they told me is that a non-sapiens hominin has survived on Flores to the present or very recent times.

Gregory Forth, “” at The Scientist (April 2018, 2022)

So no one has ever found one of them but we are supposed to take this seriously?

Also:

Lio folk zoology and cosmology also include stories of natural beings, specifically humans, transforming permanently into animals of other kinds. And they do this, in part, by moving into new environments and adopting new ways of life, thus suggesting a qualified Lamarckism.

Gregory Forth, “” at The Scientist (April 2018, 2022)

Which is supposed to make the evidence stronger?

Our initial instinct, I suspect, is to regard the extant ape-men of Flores as completely imaginary. But, taking seriously what Lio people say, I’ve found no good reason to think so.

Gregory Forth, “” at The Scientist (April 2018, 2022)

There is no evidence for the existence of any such life form.

Okay. Untraceable hominins. Elves, fairies, the Abominable Snowman? So this is all “science” now?

Note: The Scientist story riffs off Flores Man, which was a genuine find.

218 Replies to “Another species of “hominin” still alive?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    The massive number of rediscovered “extinct” birds and mammals should lead to humility on this point. Despite surveillance satellites, there are lots of hiding places in the world. Deep jungles and caves are still unknown to outsiders.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    Someone wants attention.

    If such a entity exists, it would leave forensic evidence some place. But I assume none so it’s just imagination.

    There’s a typo in OP. It says Apr 2018, 2022 and should be Apr 18, 2022.

  3. 3
    Fasteddious says:

    Didn’t someone once try to cross humans and chimps to create an ape-person?
    Or maybe that was imaginary, or just hyped up “believe it or not” stuff.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Fe, yes, Stalin. Didn’t work. KF

  5. 5
    Sandy says:

    When a scientist presents cartoons and is drawing lines and imaginary trees or stories ,instead of presenting scientific evidences …watch out.

  6. 6
    dogdoc says:

    There is no evidence for the existence of any such life form. Okay. Untraceable hominins. Elves, fairies, the Abominable Snowman? So this is all “science” now?

    Pot calling the kettle black? Are gods, angels, devils, spirits, ghosts, and demons also imaginary? And disembodied intelligence designing biological organisms – is that “science”?

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    disembodied intelligence designing biological organisms – is that “science

    No, it is not science.

    It’s logic. Not all of it but some of it.

    One way to discredit something is to mock it. One way of mocking is to take something reasonable and associate it with something that is fantasy. Which is what you just did. But part of what you mocked is logic.

    The universe if incredibly fine tuned. How? Why?

    Life is incredibly complex. How? Why?

    If you have answers to these questions, provide anything logical besides a disembodied intelligence. Otherwise don’t mock.

    You just pigeon holed yourself. You added nothing and ignored logic.

    Aside: I hope this doesn’t entice the bloviators to join in.

  8. 8
    dogdoc says:

    Jerry,

    No, it [ID] is not science.

    Well, in that case I have much less of a beef with it. We all like making up answers to deep questions, and as long as we don’t pretend that our particular answers are somehow epistemologically privileged by empirical science (or formal logic) then it’s all good fun.

    It’s logic. Not all of it but some of it.

    The word “logic” has different meanings. You might mean that the conclusion of ID follows ineluctably from observable data; I’m sure that’s not true. Or, you might mean that it follows as an abductive inference, reasoning to the best explanation. In my view, this is neither right nor wrong, because it is under-specified. Calling something “intelligent” is just a vague, anthropomorphic intuition; it is insufficiently specified to evaluate against the evidence. For example, most accounts of intelligence entail the ability to learn from the environment and solve novel problems, but I doubt you would attribute these abilities to your conception of an Intelligent Designer.

    One way to discredit something is to mock it. One way of mocking is to take something reasonable and associate it with something that is fantasy. Which is what you just did.

    Not mocking it, really, no. You seem to think that some things like “Untraceable hominins. Elves, fairies, [and] the Abominable Snowman” are fantasies, while you seem to think that (at least some of) “gods, angels, devils, spirits, ghosts, and demons” are real. My point was not to mock; it was to suggest that when it comes to unobservable anthropomorphic entities, there are plenty of candidates, and most people believe in at least some of them but reject others as imaginary, without explicit demarcation criteria.

    The universe if incredibly fine tuned. How? Why? Life is incredibly complex. How? Why?

    Great questions! Nobody knows the answers! That’s OK!

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    No, it is not science

    ID is Science+.

    There is no legitimate scientific conclusion that ID disagrees with. What ID does is extend knowledge provided by science by appealing to logic as to what are the most probable explanations for some physical phenomena which seem beyond the purview of science.

    The word “logic” has different meanings. You might mean that the conclusion of ID follows ineluctably from observable data; I’m sure that’s not true.

    That’s an incredibly stupid statement. How can you be sure? You imply you know the answer which is ludicrous.

    The fine tuning of the universe very decisively points to a designing force, one that make choices. So what do you call such an entity. Most have used the term “god.” That is one of the terms you disparaged. I prefer to use the term ”creator.”

    ID says little about this entity, only that it makes choices and must be extremely powerful.

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    And disembodied intelligence designing biological organisms – is that “science”?

    The first life form, for example, emerged from an intelligent cause or an unintelligent cause.
    ID can demonstrate that the multi-level functional code within organisms can be modeled by human intelligence and proposes “an intelligent cause or agency” as the only known source for such.
    If you reject that, then just show how it is done through a blind, unintelligent process.
    As for “a disembodied intelligence” – ID does not state that.
    All ID says it that the observed thing is the result of an intelligent agency or cause. The cause is not accidental or through any known unintelligent natural process. That’s just basic forensics.
    So, if you don’t like “disembodied intelligence” feel free to propose an embodied intelligence.
    For the cause of the universe, you can propose that a physical agent caused the emergence of all physical reality, as illogical as that is, and ID is not going to correct you or argue with you.
    Again, ID has nothing to say about the nature of the designer.
    Your option is to accept the inference that a blind, unintelligent could not produce the effect, or to reject that.
    Saying you “don’t know” means that you think a blind, mindless random natural cause could do it.
    With that, you’re invited to demonstrate it, not just speculate about it.
    We can show what intelligence does, you’d merely need to show that an unintelligent cause can produce what we observe.
    Failing that, it would not be true to say “you don’t know” – since you can draw a reasonable conclusion from the inference and you have no alternative to propose.

    For example, most accounts of intelligence entail the ability to learn from the environment and solve novel problems, but I doubt you would attribute these abilities to your conception of an Intelligent Designer.

    ID has nothing to say about whether the designer learns and solves problems or not. It doesn’t even say that there is only one designer. There are Hindu IDists who are polytheistic.

  11. 11
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    ID…proposes “an intelligent cause or agency” as the only known source for such.

    All intelligent causes are living organisms, without exception. So you are apparently proposing that the cause of the first complex living organism was… another complex living organism, which is not a helpful theory.

    If you reject that, then just show how something that is not a complex living organism can do anything intelligent.

    As for “a disembodied intelligence” – ID does not state that.

    Either this hypothetical designer is supposed to be a disembodied intelligence, or else a complex living organism. If it’s a complex living organism then, again, you have a problem in that your theory is claiming that the first living thing came from some other living thing. And if it is not a complex living organism, then you have the problem that nothing in our experience is intelligent except complex living organisms.

    So, if you don’t like “disembodied intelligence” feel free to propose an embodied intelligence.

    Saying that they first life form was created by another life form is not a helpful theory.

    Saying you “don’t know” means that you think a blind, mindless random natural cause could do it.

    It’s not just me – nobody knows how the universe or the first life form came to exist.

    We can show what intelligence does,

    No, you can show what human beings do, or what chimpanzees, or parrots, or amoebas, or other complex organisms do. They are all complex living organisms, displaying various abilities.

    But what does intelligence do? Does it speak in grammatical sentences? Learn from interacting with its environment? Does it play piano? Solve algebraic equations?
    Intelligence isn’t a thing, it is a property of living things.

    you’d merely need to show that an unintelligent cause can produce what we observe.

    Nobody knows how any cause can produce the universe, or the first life form.

    ID has nothing to say about whether the designer learns and solves problems or not.

    If it doesn’t, then the designer would not qualify as intelligent according to many common definitions of the term.

    Anyway, all you are actually saying when you refer to an “intelligent designer” is “something that is capable of producing the complex form and function we observe”, without providing any other description of what that thing is. It’s like answering the question “Why is the Sun hot?” by answering “Because it somehow produces heat”.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    DD, circular argument and projection. You do not know that all life is cell based or that all intelligence is cell based; you do not — cannot, it is self refuting — know that what we see justifies inferring that evolutionary materialistic forces account for the world of cell based life . . . one cannot know the necessarily false save that it is self defeating. We exemplify that certain cell based life forms are intelligent and that intelligence is possible but cannot exhaust possibilities; intelligence is not the gostak distims the doshes. We can further know that responsible rational freedom cannot be reduced to computation on a substrate, as such is causally driven by dynamic stochastic process rather than by free inference guided by judgement. That was Haldane’s point 90 years ago. When we infer to intelligent design we infer to intelligently directed configuration on having established reliable signs of same. That is not the same as inferring any particular individual or class of individual agents, much less their ontological status. As was pointed out over and over, and as is readily accessible in the UD resources. In short, you are setting up and knocking over a strawman. KF

    PS, On defining intelligence and capabilities, the cell exhibits coded algorithmic strings using molecular nanotech. The designer of the cell would be language using, purposeful, capable of designing computational entities, also molecular nanotech rooted in deep understanding of polymer chemistry. Limited intelligences such as beavers do not use language, but effect designs.

  13. 13
    Fred Hickson says:

    KF says=>DD, circular argument

    Exactly. Design is the null. There is no way to distinguish design because everything is designed.

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dogdoc

    All intelligent causes are living organisms, without exception.

    AI systems are not living organisms.

    So you are apparently proposing that the cause of the first complex living organism was… another complex living organism, which is not a helpful theory.

    You’re putting words in my mouth here. ID speaks of an intelligent cause. You’ve built your own logic which is now refuted, but ID never proposed a living organism.

    You have three options:
    1. Yes, it’s an intelligent cause
    2. No, it’s an unintelligent cause
    3. It could be either – I don’t know.

    For the third option, saying “you don’t know” means it’s possible that an unintelligent cause produced the effect in question. Again, I invited you to show that and you simply repeated “no one knows”. Why should no one know if an unintelligent cause can produce complex, specified, functional information?
    As we speak, people continue to try to randomize some numbers and letters to see what results they observe.
    Try the monkeys typing Shakespeare experiment.

    Intelligence isn’t a thing, it is a property of living things.

    Again, with AI systems. We have conferred intelligence on non-living things through the use of code, electricity and physical material – through Intelligent Design. So, we can see that intelligence is something that can be transmitted and actually created in that way. It’s not a difficult inference to accept that the cause of the universe or of the first living organism is intelligent. As for what the intelligent designer is, you can consult philosophy (Aristotle had his arguments for the designer, for example) or religion.
    But ID is not a philosophical or religious project. It has to stop at what is empirical.

    Anyway, all you are actually saying when you refer to an “intelligent designer” is “something that is capable of producing the complex form and function we observe”

    Exactly. The choices were as above. It could be an unintelligent, blind natural cause – like gravity. Or it could be an intelligent cause, like human or other intelligences we know of.
    It’s a forensics project: Was the crime deliberate (intelligently designed) or was it accidental (blind, unintelligent cause)? We don’t start the investigation by asking “Ok, who killed him?” – ID just sorts through the first question: Design or chance. You’re demanding that ID answer every following question, but it’s not capable of that. The fingerprint team is not the DNA analysis team. There are various functions used in forensic research. ID is one function.

    …, without providing any other description of what that thing is. It’s like answering the question “Why is the Sun hot?” by answering “Because it somehow produces heat”.

    ID addresses the question of the origin of things, so it cannot use direct observations. It has to use inferences. So, it’s like the inference on the sun’s core. What is it like? We have to draw an inference because we can’t observe the core of the sun. We use what we can observe to infer that the sun’s core is hotter than the surface.
    We don’t say “the only solar heat we know of is what we see, therefore the core of the sun cannot be hotter than what we observe on the surface”.
    Of course, we infer there is a different degree of heat (even a heat unknown to humanity) at the core.
    But ID is not even going that far. ID is dealing with people who say “we don’t know if the core of the sun is hot. It might actually be very cold”.
    ID is just saying, in a sense, that there is heat at the core of the sun. What kind of heat, how hot, how big the core is? – are different questions.
    There are a lot of people, analogously, who claim that the core of the sun is cold. So, ID works to provide a convincing inference otherwise – based on what we know, then applied to what we don’t know or cannot see.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    Dogdoc is not an honest commenter. He revealed that in his first comment when he brought religion into the discussion and emphasized his dishonesty in his subsequent two comments with his evasions and baiting.

    So debating him is useless unless some think answering his evasions/diversion/false logic suddenly helps someone reading. He is not here to understand or react positively in any way. He’s just another anti religion person who makes up nonsense. His resorting to who is the designer trope is another example. He wants a religious answer.

    He is here like nearly all the rest to irritate. And UD commenters are quite willing to oblige because the objective seems to be generating comments which just allows more opportunities for irritation.

    Understanding is never the objective for most.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, it seems to me that — with a very active Internet and social media presence and institutional domination behind it — the stream of objections are rather thin gruel. That in itself sends a message regarding actual balance on merits. It also tells us something about message domination and the power of pushing an agenda. Behind, one can scent fear. First, the obvious fear from projections of ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked religious bogeymen. Second, the more important fear that the ideology of evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers actually is a spent force, having lost on merits and, significantly, is now leading to increasingly bizarre sociocultural and policy agendas. With serious inflationary and wider economic and geostrategic consequences . . . I just spent nearly US$ 8 per gallon for gas, reflecting the wider impact of policy failures. The only alternatives they see are those horrible right wing theocrats and Christofascists. It is time some slanders were broken and it is time to put fairly serious reform principles on the table that can lead to sounder ways than those of mutiny on the ship of state. KF

    PS, it is particularly important to note the utter unwillingness to acknowledge that there are reliable signs of intelligent cause. That reflects crooked yardstick thinking.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N, meanwhile, on the table from Smithsonian,

    https://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/genetics/human-skin-color-variation/modern-human-diversity-genetics

    People today look remarkably diverse on the outside. But how much of this diversity is genetically encoded? How deep are these differences between human groups? First, compared with many other mammalian species, humans are genetically far less diverse – a counterintuitive finding, given our large population and worldwide distribution. For example, the subspecies of the chimpanzee that lives just in central Africa, Pan troglodytes troglodytes, has higher levels of diversity than do humans globally, and the genetic differentiation between the western (P. t. verus) and central (P. t. troglodytes) subspecies of chimpanzees is much greater than that between human populations.

    Early studies of human diversity showed that most genetic diversity was found between individuals rather than between populations or continents and that variation in human diversity is best described by geographic gradients, or clines. A wide-ranging study published in 2004 found that 87.6% percent of the total modern human genetic diversity is accounted for by the differences between individuals, and only 9.2% between continents. In general, 5%–15% of genetic variation occurs between large groups living on different continents, with the remaining majority of the variation occurring within such groups (Lewontin 1972; Jorde et al. 2000a; Hinds et al. 2005). These results show that when individuals are sampled from around the globe, the pattern seen is not a matter of discrete clusters – but rather gradients in genetic variation (gradual geographic variations in allele frequencies) that extend over the entire world. Therefore,there is no reason to assume that major genetic discontinuities exist between peoples on different continents or “races.” The authors of the 2004 study say that they ‘see no reason to assume that “races” represent any units of relevance for understanding human genetic history. An exception may be genes where different selection regimes have acted in different geographical regions. However, even in those cases, the genetic discontinuities seen are generally not “racial” or continental in nature but depend on historical and cultural factors that are more local in nature’ (Serre and Pääbo 2004: 1683-1684).

  18. 18
    JHolo says:

    All known sources of design are the result of intelligence embodied in a physical cell-based life-form. Therefore, the most appropriate inference is that if life or the universe was designed, then it was designed by a physical cell-based life-form. Anything else would be speculation or projection from deeply held previous beliefs.

  19. 19
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry says dogdoc is not an honest commenter. On what basis does Jerry form that opinion? Is it that Jerry is so convinced of the rightness of his points that anyone who disagrees with him must inevitably be dishonest?

  20. 20
    JHolo says:

    And with regard to the universe, nobody has suggested that it was uncaused, or that it started from nothing. We have a fairly good idea of what happened from a point shortly after the start of the “big-bang”. The best conclusion to what caused it is “I don’t know”, not “intelligent design”. Again, invoking intelligence as the cause is a projection from personal belief, not evidence.

  21. 21
    jerry says:

    On what basis does Jerry form that opinion?

    By the fact that the commenter does not respond to questions with anything sensible or respond to answers to his comments. He then proceeds to makes up other nonsense.

    so convinced of the rightness of his points that anyone who disagrees with him must inevitably be dishonest

    If some provide evidence and logic in response to a question/remark then that has to be considered. Dogdoc has done neither.

    Otherwise the comment made is nonsense and non responsive.

    The best conclusion to what caused it is “I don’t know”,

    Why is the universe so finely tuned? How did it happen as such?

    To say “I don’t know” is an answer but hardly an adequate criticism of ID. In fact it’s an admission that ID is probably right. It commits the logical fallacy of “begging the question.”

  22. 22
    Fred Hickson says:

    Replying to Jerry (comment no 21)

    But how does any of what you write in that comment allow you to infer dishonesty in those with whom you disagree?

  23. 23
    Fred Hickson says:

    PS to Jerry

    Saying “I don’t know” to the question of how life got started on Earth if you really don’t know can hardly be called dishonest. Who does know?

  24. 24
    Fred Hickson says:

    PPS at Jerry
    ID has an explanation for the beginning of living organisms on Earth? I’d not heard that. Can you give a summary?

  25. 25
    Fred Hickson says:

    PPPS at Jerry

    Just to add I have been a regular reader here for a while mainly because of the amusement I get from Jerry’s comments and trying to decide which are tongue-in-cheek and which are serious.

  26. 26
    chuckdarwin says:

    Has anyone considered the obvious, that the Lio people must either be excellent b*llsh*ters having one over on the professor or high on some type of indigenous hallucinogen….

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    But how does any of what you write in that comment allow you to infer dishonesty in those with whom you disagree

    Not to answer something but go on to something irrelevant.

    I responded in #9. Why don’t you answer/respond to the comment made there?

    I have been a regular reader here for a while

    If this is true then you must know the ID position and that Dogdoc did not respond to it and diverted.

    You also must know that you misrepresented what I said.

  28. 28
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    DD:All intelligent causes are living organisms, without exception.
    SA:AI systems are not living organisms.

    Ah yes! Excellent point, SA! AI systems do indeed accomplish tasks that, if a human were to perform them, would be called “intelligent”! This is an example of something that is not a complex living organism, but still has a type of intelligence.

    Unfortunately this undercuts your beliefs in two different ways.

    First, while computers are not living organisms, they are most certainly highly complex, functional, physical systems. So this doesn’t really help with the “disembodied intelligence” option of ID.

    Second, computers are (generally) deterministic machines that operate according to the “blind” laws of nature. Since you believe that mechanistic processes are capable of intelligence, this undercuts your argument against mechanistic processes (such as evolutionary processes) being capable of producing complex form and function.

    Now let me anticipate your response: “But computers are designed by human beings!”. But that response doesn’t help you: AI computer systems are designed to be intelligent. It doesn’t matter than humans designed them – that’s just asking “who designed the designer?” Of course I could ask that same question of your brand of ID. After all, if being designed by something else meant something wasn’t really intelligent, then you would have to declare that we humans (being, in your view, designed by something else) are not actually intelligent ourselves.

    Purely deterministic mechanical systems can indeed be intelligent – we agree about that. That means ID can’t eliminate all possible “blind, natural” processes as causes of biological complexity.

    You’re putting words in my mouth here. ID speaks of an intelligent cause. You’ve built your own logic which is now refuted, but ID never proposed a living organism.

    No refutation, SA. You spoke of a “known cause” of complexity, and I simply point out that the only “known” causes of complexity are living organisms. You’ve chosen to add AI systems to that list, which I thought was a very good addition.

    You have three options:
    1. Yes, it’s an intelligent cause
    2. No, it’s an unintelligent cause
    3. It could be either – I don’t know.

    As I’ve said – and you have ignored – you would need to specify exactly what abilities and attributes you would be claiming to “intelligent cause” in order to evaluate that claim against the evidence.

    For the third option, saying “you don’t know” means it’s possible that an unintelligent cause produced the effect in question.

    Depends what you mean by “unintelligent”.

    Again, I invited you to show that and you simply repeated “no one knows”.

    Nobody knows what caused the universe to exist, nor life to begin. You can call it “intelligent” or “unintelligent” or “natural” or “supernatural” or whatever else, but it doesn’t change the fact that nobody knows what it is.

    Why should no one know if an unintelligent cause can produce complex, specified, functional information?

    AI systems are purely mechanical, deterministic systems that create CSI.

    As we speak, people continue to try to randomize some numbers and letters to see what results they observe.
    Try the monkeys typing Shakespeare experiment.

    Try GPT-3.

    Again, with AI systems. We have conferred intelligence on non-living things through the use of code, electricity and physical material – through Intelligent Design.

    Yes indeed! AI systems are bona fide intelligent agents (of a sort) even though they are deterministic mechanical systems. The creator of AI systems are also intelligent agents, which could be deterministic mechanical systems. And the creators of the creators of AI systems could be deterministic mechanical systems. And so on. How did it all get started? Nobody knows!.

    Still and yet: AI is fabulously successful at certain (intelligent) tasks, and hopelessly inept at others. This is why many people deny that AI systems are “intelligent” at all. This could also be true of the cause of the universe and first life. This is why it doesn’t mean anything to call some hypothetical cause “intelligent” – it just doesn’t tell you anything at all about what the cause is, and what it can and can’t do.

    There are a lot of people, analogously, who claim that the core of the sun is cold.

    Nobody knows, analogously, if the core is hot or cold. But it’s worse than that, really – ID can’t even say what it means, analogously, to be “hot”. It hasn’t even defined the concept, analogously, of “temperature”.

  29. 29
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry says I misrepresented him. Don’t think so, Jerry. I asked for clarification.

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    Jerry says I misrepresented him

    Yes you did.

    I put that in as a throw away. To see if that is what you would answer.

    You misrepresented in #23.

    By the way, the official position of ID is “we don’t know” to the questions I asked. But the science that describes these phenomena, points to some extremely unusual things about each that are not present anywhere else.

    ID is essentially a probability analysis.

  31. 31
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry says “You misrepresented in #23.”

    Don’t think so, Jerry.

  32. 32
    Fred Hickson says:

    My position is that there is design in nature. Evolutionary theory proposes an explanation for that design. ID argues that the mechanism evolutionary theory proposes is wrong ( Meyer) or insufficient (Behe). What I am unaware of is IDs mechanism of design. As Jerry says I should know, having read comments at this site for a while. But I seem to have missed that.

  33. 33
    JHolo says:

    Jerry: ID is essentially a probability analysis.

    Agreed. But it is an improper use of probability. It looks at the probability of a specific outcome rather than the probability of an unspecified outcome. A good analogy is a lottery. The approach ID takes is analogous to harping on the very low probability of Jerry winning the lottery rather than looking at the probability that someone will win the lottery. These are two very different probabilities.

  34. 34
    Fred Hickson says:

    I’d suggest it’s meaningless to talk about the probability of events without clearly stating what those events are.

  35. 35
    jerry says:

    The approach ID takes is analogous to harping on the very low probability of Jerry winning the lottery rather than looking at the probability that someone will win the lottery. These are two very different probabilities.

    Nonsense example.

    Someone I know once proposed a lottery that was based on one’s social security number. It’s 9 digits. Sounded like an interesting lottery when focus grouped. Till when they realized that the odds of winning were 1 in a billion and that it would be rare event when someone won, probably never.

    The lottery of life is similar except the odds are 1 in 10 to the million power or higher. Or essentially no time in a trillion universes or more to get the right combination. In other words no winners ever.

    That you proposed this means you haven’t a clue about ID. They have done the math.

    meaningless to talk about the probability of events without clearly stating what those events are.

    But they do.

    Why don’t you read Doug Axe and Stephen Meyer.

    Then there is the fine tuning of the universe. Here is one video on it. Based on probability

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE76nwimuT0

    Stephen Meyer goes through the history of fine tuning.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ7GBZm087Y

  36. 36
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DD

    So this doesn’t really help with the “disembodied intelligence” option of ID.

    I explained this to you twice already – here’s the third and last time. ID does not specify a “disembodied intelligence”. You continue to repeat that, even though you contradict yourself later in the very same post by saying that the cause of the universe could be physical.

    Now let me anticipate your response: “But computers are designed by human beings!”. But that response doesn’t help you: AI computer systems are designed to be intelligent. It doesn’t matter than humans designed them – that’s just asking “who designed the designer?” .

    The fact that humans designed them means their cause was not deterministic.

    Of course I could ask that same question of your brand of ID.

    I don’t have a brand of ID. I just use the standard texts from Behe, Meyer and others.

    No refutation, SA.

    You stated: “All intelligent causes are living organisms, without exception.”
    That was refuted. You bounced off of that, without much reflection on your mistake, and went running in a different direction. In the end, you’re taking one fall-back position. “We don’t know.”

    Purely deterministic mechanical systems can indeed be intelligent – we agree about that. That means ID can’t eliminate all possible “blind, natural” processes as causes of biological complexity.

    The source of the intelligence in such systems cannot be deterministic, mechanism. As with a computer. Design comes from an intelligent source. This is not controversial.

    Depends what you mean by “unintelligent”.

    The term “intelligence” is well understood in this context. Darwin knew what it was. Dawkins knows. All the anti-ID writers knows what is meant by intelligent design vs unintelligent cause. That’s the entire basis of the materialist system.

    You can call it “intelligent” or “unintelligent” or “natural” or “supernatural” or whatever else, but it doesn’t change the fact that nobody knows what it is.

    This is really all you’re saying. “Nobody knows”.
    There’s a body on the floor with three gunshots in it, a revolver found outside the room.
    Question for forensics team: “Was it an accident, murder or suicide”?
    Answer: “Nobody knows”.

    From that, we just have to walk away. Nobody knows what happened. Nothing more we can do about it.

    I make the challenge: “Show me how an unintelligent process can produce the complex design”.
    Answer: “Nobody knows what an unintelligent cause is”.

    If you want to investigate the cause of things, you have to look at what we do know and extend knowledge beyond that.

    Nobody knows how the first organisms in the Cambrian fossil layer developed.
    In fact, nobody has witnessed a new species of animal evolve from a previous one.
    But that hasn’t stopped evolutionists from making their claims.

  37. 37
    JHolo says:

    Jerry: That you proposed this means you haven’t a clue about ID. They have done the math.

    Then what is the probability of the flagellum evolving. Please show your math.

    Why don’t you read Doug Axe and Stephen Meyer.

    I have.

    Now, let’s see if you can answer this probability question. From a starting point of 500 years ago, what is the probability that you would be alive today?

  38. 38
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DD

    Nobody knows, analogously, if the core is hot or cold.

    That’s my point. Nobody knows. But it does not stop science from proposing inferences to reasonable explanations that are accepted by a consensus. Scientists don’t say “Nobody knows so it could be hot or cold”.

    But it’s worse than that, really – ID can’t even say what it means, analogously, to be “hot”. It hasn’t even defined the concept, analogously, of “temperature”.

    That is not correct. ID can be tested and falsified.

    You’ve proposed GPT-3. That’s an intelligently designed product.

    Instead, you need to use blind, unintelligent natural processes or random effects – with no input of human or other intelligence.

  39. 39
    Trumper says:

    @JHolo Post #18 that is a fascinating speculation… hmmmm

  40. 40
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry writes:

    That you proposed this means you haven’t a clue about ID. They have done the math.

    Not to me so apologies for bufting in. Do you have a link or reference to this math? And math can’t be relied on when it comes to reality. Bumble bees fly despite mathematical proofs to the contrary.

  41. 41
    jerry says:

    what is the probability that you would be alive today?

    Almost infinitely higher compared to the fine tuning of the universe.

    I find it funny that you are trying to discredit the ID argument based on irrelevant probability questions posed to me.

    Do you have a link or reference to this math?

    Both were provided.

  42. 42
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry writes, not to me:

    I find it funny that you are trying to discredit the ID argument based on irrelevant probability questions posed to me.

    I’d still like clarification on what the ID argument is, beyond evolutionary theory probably is wrong or insufficient. There’s no alternative theory, is there?

  43. 43
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry writes:

    Both were provided.

    Where was that, Jerry?

  44. 44
    Trumper says:

    In response to all the “I don’t know” response supporters…. I fully get it… maybe one does not know … and yeah….that is not necessarily a dishonest response….. at best it is just an intellectually lazy response. … I have a few ‘agnostic’ friends that just don’t want to engage intellectually and they try to just leave it at “I don’t know”…. I suppose they feel good at not wanting to know… but an example should expose this as just lazy thinking… suppose one gets pulled over and is cited for driving 20 over in a posted speed zone…. I guess the common response could be ‘ I didn’t know’… and legitimately so… the person likely did not know…and did not pay attention… but we are all on this road of life… and one can believe what they wish to as to it’s start and it’s destination… it would be wise to pay better attention to the signs that are scientifically posted along the way instead of just claiming ‘I don’t know’ …. maybe the more pressing question then to pose to those ‘I don’t know-ers’ …is what is more likely? Then if ‘I don’t know’ follows… it just becomes a known echo of the ignorant agenda.

  45. 45
    jerry says:

    Where was that, Jerry

    #35

    I believe you referred to this comment in an earlier comment.

  46. 46
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry, all I can see in that comment are links to YouTube.

  47. 47
    Fred Hickson says:

    Incidentally, I find the “fine tuning” argument unconvincing. We have a sample of one. The idea that universes can be constructed with alternative values for various parameters is speculation without evidential support.

  48. 48
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Trumper

    Good points. It can be very convenient to claim ignorance about the topic. Having to make a decision and accept the strong evidence can be troubling. So, the door is closed on that. The idea that there is a designer carries responsibility for further investigation. It’s a lot easier to just say “nobody knows” and that way it does not have to be investigated.
    At the same time, if the answer really was “we don’t know”, then it would be legitimate to discuss various possible solutions.
    The same people who said they “don’t know” also made it illegal to discuss ID in schools as one possible answer.
    So, it’s really “our solutions don’t work so we don’t know what to do about it – but it’s definitely not ID”.

  49. 49
    jerry says:

    In response to all the “I don’t know” response supporters

    This all started when Dogdoc made a snarky comment about the reference to elves, fairies in the OP about a supposedly hidden hominid. He brought up gods, angels, devils etc.

    I responded with the fine tuning of the universe that points to a creator. He then failed to address what I brought up and made a ludicrous comment. I responded later this was dishonest and off we went.

    Since then the comments have taken lots of turns. Right now it’s on probability. Who knows where it will end up.

    It has become a farce. But that is nothing new.

  50. 50
    Fred Hickson says:

    @ Silver Asiatic,

    So has a positive, testable, scientific hypothesis of Intelligent Design finally been proposed?

  51. 51
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry writes:

    I responded with the fine tuning of the universe that points to a creator.

    Well, it’s a reasonable idea that creation requires a creator. I wonder if we, the fruits of that creation, have the ability to understand or postulate on the methodology. We certainly have plenty of imagination.

  52. 52
    Silver Asiatic says:

    FH

    So has a positive, testable, scientific hypothesis of Intelligent Design finally been proposed?

    ID is an inferential science of origins. In that, it is historical science. Darwin’s friends cannot take the history of life on earth into the lab for testing. But, for some reason, we consider Darwinism a scientific theory.
    ID proposes, for example, that the first DNA code could only have been produced by an intelligent cause and not by blind, random nature. We can create and mimic similar code by use of intelligence.
    You or anyone can falsify the ID proposal. Just show us your results using a blind, unintelligent process. You can produce some functional code through a random character generator? Nice work – you have falsified the ID proposal. That is, if and when you can produce such code.
    Failing that, the ID inference stands.
    You’re free to accept or reject it at this point. Rejecting it means choosing another inference in preference to ID.
    The “I don’t know” solution means that you think blind, unintelligent matter can produce functional code. But again, we need you to show us the evidence for that.
    I can produce the code through an intelligent source.
    What can you do with an unintelligent source? If you can’t do anything, then you’ve got the best inference available for you right here with ID.

  53. 53
    Fred Hickson says:

    SA
    Let’s agree that evolutionary theory is at best a very incomplete explanation for the diversity of life. I hope we also agree that it is all it is intended to explain. (Not life’s origin, not why the universe, not morality.)

    I’m less clear about ID. I get that it is an argument against evolutionary theory. What I’m not clear on is whether there is any alternative mechanism for the observation that life on Earth is diverse yet related.

  54. 54
    Fred Hickson says:

    I’m also unclear about what you mean by “intelligence”. In common usage, it refers to a property of sentient beings, usually humans, involving the ability to perform complex tasks. It’s a property that organisms possess to a greater or lesser extent. It’s hard to define, let alone measure.

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    I’m less clear about ID. I get that it is an argument against evolutionary theory

    No.

    It’s an argument that there exist no good evidence for the origin of certain things. Given that there is no likely explanation for certain origins, it recognizes that these origins could be explained by an intelligence.

    So the possible explanations for certain origins are an unidentified natural process or an unknown intervention by some intelligence that is unknown.

    ID has examined all the known natural processes and accepts nearly all findings incorporating them except for a few instances where these process are apparently unable to account for some origins.

    In terms of evolutionary theory, the term micro evolution is often used. ID has no problem with what is referred to as micro evolution. It’s the origins of proteins and coordinated biological systems that involves often the simultaneous appearances of thousands of specific proteins that have no likely origin.

    Already irrelevant comments after this have been written. For example, I never said ID was a theory and never connected evolutionary theory to origin of life.

    you could just either tell me what the theory of ID is or concede there isn’t yet a positive scientific theory of ID.

    And can I point out again that evolutionary theory says nothing about life’s origin.

  56. 56
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry, you could just either tell me what the theory of ID is or concede there isn’t yet a positive scientific theory of ID. No need to repeat that ID is an argument against evolutionary theory.

  57. 57
    Fred Hickson says:

    And can I point out again that evolutionary theory says nothing about life’s origin.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Fred

    Let’s agree that evolutionary theory is at best a very incomplete explanation for the diversity of life. I hope we also agree that it is all it is intended to explain. (Not life’s origin, not why the universe, not morality.)

    Evolution attempts to explain the origin of all life forms beginning from the first (bacteria). Within that massive claim is the origin of morality, rational thought, spiritual awareness, consciousness and every human characteristic. Yes, it does not speak of the origin of the first life or of the universe. But I don’t think we can minimize what evolution attempts to explain. Every life form has to come from the first for the single reason that the entire diversity of life (oak trees, dolphins, spiders, falcons, cheetahs, elephants and Mozart) was required for survival and reproduction. Bacteria, supposedly, had a hard time finding nutrition and they couldn’t reproduce well enough – so they had to diversify. That’s the theory in blunt language. But even still, ID is just saying that some of that diversity could not have been caused by blind, unintelligent causes. That which is irreducibly complex, or that which would require two or more simultaneous mutations – are outside of the sphere of probability (see Behe’s “Waiting time for two mutations”).

    What I’m not clear on is whether there is any alternative mechanism for the observation that life on Earth is diverse yet related.

    Intelligent design is the mechanism proposed by ID. Again, returning to Mozart: What is the mechanism Mozart used to create an entire symphony in his mind before he wrote it on paper? It’s immaterial thought. The symphony was not a bunch of notes written on the gray-matter of his brain or stored on a physical hard-drive of consciousness. He designed the music in an immaterial manner. That’s the alternative mechanism to mutations and selection.

    I’m also unclear about what you mean by “intelligence”. In common usage, it refers to a property of sentient beings, usually humans, involving the ability to perform complex tasks. It’s a property that organisms possess to a greater or lesser extent. It’s hard to define, let alone measure.

    Intelligent design refers to a purposeful action emerging from a decision-process and rational thought.
    Was Stonehenge a product of intelligence or not?
    We know what that question means.
    Was Martin Luther King killed by a deliberate (intelligent) cause or was it an accident (non-intelligent cause)?

  60. 60
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    And can I point out again that evolutionary theory says nothing about life’s origin.

    1. There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution

    2. How life originated dictates how it subsequently evolved. An Intelligently designed OoL means that organisms were so designed with the ability and information to evolve and adapt. It is only if blind and mindless processes produced life would we infer they also produced its diversity.

    The bottom line is Intelligent Design offers the only scientific explanation for our existence. Without ID all you have to try to explain our existence is sheer dumb luck. And that is the antithesis of science.

  61. 61
    Seversky says:

    Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory.

    It deliberately refrains from identifying the Designer or offering any hypothesis concerning its nature. It does not offer any hypothesis of how the designer accomplished its designs. Yet all of those issues are proper subjects of scientific inquiry if that is the purpose.

    The theory of evolution does not address the question of the origins of life – that was never Darwin’s intention – but it does provide an explanation of how life diversified after it had appeared. What has been observed of life thus far is arguably consistent with the theory.

  62. 62
    Fred Hickson says:

    Hi Joe.

  63. 63
    Fred Hickson says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    Evolution attempts to explain the origin of all life forms beginning from the first (bacteria). Within that massive claim is the origin of morality, rational thought, spiritual awareness, consciousness and every human characteristic.

    Well, I’ll agree that evolution assumes the existence of self-replicating entities. It does not however explain nor attempt to explain their origin.

    Be that as it may, I’m still not aware of an ID alternative.

  64. 64
    dogdoc says:

    Trumper

    In response to all the “I don’t know” response supporters….that is not necessarily a dishonest response….. at best it is just an intellectually lazy response.

    You’re funny. I have been studying my entire life – religion, philosophy, physics, computer science. I have been fascinated by questions of ontology, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and origins for decades. What I think now is the result of countless hours of contemplation and analysis. Of course you may disagree with me, but it’s pretty lazy of you to pass off my views as the result of intellectual laziness.

    I have said here I believe nobody knows the answers to the question of origins of the universe and of life, and questions of speciation. I also believe nobody knows if the number of protons in the universe is even or odd. Do you have a belief about that? No? What are you, an intellectually lazy agnostic?

  65. 65
    dogdoc says:

    SA:

    Of course I already know that ID doesn’t specify a disembodied intelligence. I never said it did! It “leaves the option open”. That’s fine, I understand your motivation (wink).

    I’m simply pointing out that this “intelligent designer” that ID talks about must either be a complex physical organisms or not. (That’s not a controversial statement, it’s just the law of the excluded middle). And so we can consider both cases. In the case where ID’s hypothesis refers to something without a complex physical body but still displays intelligence, then it refers to something that does not exist in our experience. And in the other case, where the Intelligent Designer is just another complex life form, then ID becomes just another theory like panspermia where life comes from ETs. There is no other option.

    The fact that humans designed them [computers] means their cause was not deterministic.

    Eh? First you seem to be assuming metaphyscial libertarianism, which is not a scientific fact. Second, we’re talking about intelligent designers, and not the designers of intelligent designers.

    You stated: “All intelligent causes are living organisms, without exception.”
    That was refuted.

    Ah, very good, yes! You included AI as something that displays intelligence. I am so glad you did 🙂

    You bounced off of that, without much reflection on your mistake, and went running in a different direction. In the end, you’re taking one fall-back position. “We don’t know.”

    No, I have never changed my position of course. Nobody knows how the universe, or life, began. I couldn’t be more clear.

    The source of the intelligence in such systems cannot be deterministic, mechanism.

    I have explained this to you multiple times. Pay attention:

    1) At least some AI systems are capable of intelligent behaviors (you have already agreed about this)
    2) All AI systems are deterministic
    3) Therefore at least some deterministic systems are capable of intelligent behaviors

    In order to avoid this conclusion (which is fatal to ID), you insist on changing the subject, and talking about how the system came to exist. That is a different question.
    It doesn’t matter how the AI system originated, the system itself is both deterministic and intelligent. Period.

    Again, one could (and people have) use the same tactic against ID, asking “Who designed the designer?” ID rightly rejects that as an argument against it, but then you try the same tactic against my argument.

    Just think of it this way: Let’s say we have an AI system – it is intelligent. How did that arise? Maybe it was written by another AI system (there are of course AI systems that write programs). And how about that one? Well, maybe it was written by yet another AI system. Maybe it’s just AI systems all the way down. You want to deny that – you want to claim that there is some magic in there somewhere, some res cogitans, some libertarian free will, something that isn’t just mechanism. Well, you can believe what you want, but there isn’t an iota of scientific thought or evidence to back you up.

    The term “intelligence” is well understood in this context. Darwin knew what it was. Dawkins knows. All the anti-ID writers knows what is meant by intelligent design vs unintelligent cause. That’s the entire basis of the materialist system.

    You just wrote five sentences explaining to me that everyone knows what the term “intelligence” means in the context of ID. It would have been easier for you to simply provide the definition 🙂

    Nobody knows. But it does not stop science from proposing inferences to reasonable explanations that are accepted by a consensus. Scientists don’t say “Nobody knows so it could be hot or cold”.

    This is confused. Science proposes hypotheses, once confirmed they are theories that remain provisionally accepted as further research supports or disconfirms them. If there is no testable hypothesis, and no empirical confirmation, then there is no consensus, no scientific result at all.

    There are plenty of things that science just doesn’t know.

    * How does general anesthesia work?
    * Why do we sleep?
    * What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for conscious experience?
    * How does turbulence work?
    * Is the number of protons in the universe even or odd?
    * What is Dark Matter?
    * How did the universe come to exist?
    * How did life first arise?

    Some things, we just don’t know.

    ID can be tested and falsified.

    This is confused. You can’t test ID and falsify it by showing some other theory (evolutionary theory) can’t account for something. There is nothing that is inconsistent with ID, because ID refuses to define “intelligence” in a way that can be tested (in other words, there is nothing that “intelligence” in theory can’t do). So ID can not be falsified.

  66. 66
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry writes:
    For example, I never said ID was a theory and never connected evolutionary theory to origin of life.
    Glad you make that clear. I’ll stop asking you to tell me what the Intelligent Design hypothesis amounts to and how it might be tested scientifically.

    Although if anyone else can supply that information, I’d be interested to hear it.

  67. 67
    Fred Hickson says:

    Dogdoc:
    You can’t test ID and falsify it by showing some other theory (evolutionary theory) can’t account for something.

    Exactly.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, good to see you, trust you are okay. KF

  69. 69
    jerry says:

    Although if anyone else can supply that information, I’d be interested to hear it

    It doesn’t exist.

    That’s not what ID is about. Originally some wanted to find some mathematical applications that would logically show ID was valid. I believe some are still pursuing it.

    ID is a set of conclusions that the origin of some phenomena is best explained by an intelligent intervention. There are a very few phenomena that ID addresses. One of the ways that this is done is to show that these phenomena are probabilistically impossible by the forces of physics.

    I frequently say that ID is Science+ and by that I mean ID accepts all valid science conclusions but adds to science in certain limited areas where the study has no explanation for its findings. A typical science project has four parts: Background, Methods, Results and Conclusions/Discussion.

    For some studies there are no valid conclusions. For some of these where appropriate, ID will suggest that some intelligence is the best explanation.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, start here https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/lfp-55-defining-clarifying-intelligent-design-as-inference-as-theory-as-a-movement/ and look at the Resources tab. Any significant case of observing FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity without design would shatter the design inference. You will see infinite monkeys theorem tests. KF

  71. 71
    Sandy says:

    I saw a volcano spitting a Tesla. I’m sending this message while driving that Tesla. The battery is full. Imbelievable. These things happen all the time in nature if blind forces made people that are more complex than a Tesla why volcanoes shouldn’t do the same?
    PS: Who don’t believes that it’s science denier exactly like those who don’t believe in the fact of evolution.

  72. 72
    Fred Hickson says:

    Your comment at 69 is very helpful, Jerry. Are you sure yours is a consensus view among ID proponents?

  73. 73
    Fred Hickson says:

    Kairosfocus writes:

    Any significant case of observing FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity without design would shatter the design inference.

    Joe Felsenstein has addressed issue in several venus and on several occasions. A recent comment of his:

    (5 December 2019) Eric Holloway and others have been arguing that conservation theorems for Kolmogorov mutual information justified William Dembski’s argument that Complex Specified Information cannot be achieved by natural selection. I have argued that this is wrong. Algorithmic Specified Complexity, put forward by Ewert, Marks, and Dembski, addresses how much unusually simple the description of a bitstring is. This has nothing to do with fitness or the achievement of adaptation. Dembski’s CSI is at least defined in terms of adaptedness, but the whole Algorithmic Specified Complexity literature does not make any connection to fitness. I argue its total irrelevancy to what evolution can or cannot do.

    link

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    I’m simply pointing out that this “intelligent designer” that ID talks about must either be a complex physical organisms or not.

    I’ll just repeat. You’re saying “you don’t know” – and that means, a physical entity could be the cause of the physical universe. It also means that a blind, unintelligent effect could be the cause of first life and the development of all life.
    That’s what “I don’t know means”.
    You then attack ID on the basis of your ignorance of … everything.
    I have to turn the challenge to you. “I don’t know because unintelligent causes we observe”. That’s your claim.
    Now you just need to demonstrate it.

    Ah, very good, yes!

    That’s another way of saying, “Yes, I was mistaken about that and I built an entire argument on a false premise”.

    You just wrote five sentences explaining to me that everyone knows what the term “intelligence” means in the context of ID.

    Yes, and instead of responding to what I said, you replied with sophistry and the pretense that you don’t know what an intelligent cause is versus a blind, unintelligent natural cause.

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    You can’t test ID and falsify it by showing some other theory (evolutionary theory) can’t account for something.

    If a blind, unintelligent effect could account for the origin of the thing observed, then the ID inference would be falsified. That’s a basic test. We can show the intelligence can produce the effect. All you have to do is show the a blind, unintelligent action can produce it.
    That’s what evolution has to show. That’s what materialist origin of life has to show.
    You don’t just get to make a claim without demonstrating it.
    Again, ID can demonstrate that intelligence is a cause that can produce the effect.

  76. 76
    Sandy says:

    Fred Hickson
    Joe Felsenstein has addressed issue

    🙂 Why didn’t you post the quote of the argument ?If is true then you could be a millionaire and a Nobel winner. 😆

  77. 77
    Silver Asiatic says:

    That’s a common tactic. “Dembski’s definition of CSI is wrong”.
    Ok, what’s the correct definition then?
    Darwinist wisdom has a ready-made answer: “We don’t know”.

    Or another one:
    “Behe’s Edge of Evolution is wrong”.
    Ok, then what is the correct boundary of what evolution can produce?
    Answer: as above.

    Interesting how they can insist they know the origin of every life form on earth starting from the first bacteria. I never heard an evolutionist say “we don’t know” when it comes to their theory which is “more certain than gravity” and which is was affirmed “there are no weaknesses in evolutionary theory”.
    But then IDists try to get some specifics on what the theory is saying, and suddenly “nobody knows”.

  78. 78
    ET says:

    Joe Felsenstein doesn’t know anything about ID’s concepts.

  79. 79
    ET says:

    seversky:

    Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory.

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. However, Intelligent Design offers the only scientific explanation for our existence.

    It deliberately refrains from identifying the Designer or offering any hypothesis concerning its nature. It does not offer any hypothesis of how the designer accomplished its designs. Yet all of those issues are proper subjects of scientific inquiry if that is the purpose.

    Clueless. ID is about the DESIGN. Only fools think that ID has to say something about the designer.

    Reality dictates that in the absence of direct observations of designer input, the ONLY possible way to make any determination about the designer or specific processes used, is by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

  80. 80
    ET says:

    ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.
    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.
    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    And that means to falsify ID all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and mindless processes can produce the coded information processing systems that rule living organisms. To test ID all we need to do is find what is listed in 1 and 2.

  81. 81
    ET says:

    Again:

    How life originated dictates how it subsequently evolved. An Intelligently designed OoL means that organisms were so designed with the ability and information to evolve and adapt. It is only if blind and mindless processes produced life would we infer they also produced its diversity.

    The bottom line is Intelligent Design offers the only scientific explanation for our existence. Without ID all you have to try to explain our existence is sheer dumb luck. And that is the antithesis of science.

  82. 82
    Fred Hickson says:

    Sandy asks:

    Why didn’t you post the quote of the argument ?

    I did. Click the word “link” in my comment. Here is a direct link to one article Professor Felsenstein lists.

    If is true then you could be a millionaire and a Nobel winner.

    I doubt that.

  83. 83
    Fred Hickson says:

    ET writes:

    Without ID all you have to try to explain our existence is sheer dumb luck.

    I certainly don’t. Selection is the designing element. It is not random but biased.

  84. 84
    Fred Hickson says:

    That’s a common tactic. “Dembski’s definition of CSI is wrong”.
    Ok, what’s the correct definition then?
    Darwinist wisdom has a ready-made answer: “We don’t know”.

    The point Felsenstein makes is that Dembski’s definition excludes selection.

  85. 85
    Fred Hickson says:

    “Behe’s Edge of Evolution is wrong”.
    Ok, then what is the correct boundary of what evolution can produce?
    Answer: as above.

    The difference between micro and macro evolution is artificial. Due to selection, and with enough time, small changes can accumulate in populations to result in a large total amount of change. There’s no barrier.

  86. 86
    asauber says:

    “and with enough time, small changes can accumulate in populations to result in a large total amount of change”

    FH,

    How much time is enough time? Whatever it takes? lol

    What is a large amount of change? A lot? lol

    This is a joke.

    Andrew

  87. 87
    Silver Asiatic says:

    FH

    Due to selection, and with enough time, small changes can accumulate in populations to result in a large total amount of change. There’s no barrier.

    I added emphasis to your comment. Behe’s argument has to do with “waiting time” for mutations.
    But your last sentence really is the evolutionist’s claim. They’re not going to try to figure out a limit to what evolution supposedly does. It has to be capable of anything – including events that would require more than the age of the universe to be performed.
    Yes, miracles can happen.

  88. 88
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Andrew – I cross posted and you said it much better than I did. 🙂

  89. 89
    Sandy says:

    Fred Hickson
    I did. Click the word “link” in my comment. Here is a direct link to one article Professor Felsenstein lists

    Not the link , quote the argument here …if you know it of course. I’m very curious to (finally )find the answer about how in the world functional information emerge naturally.

  90. 90
    asauber says:

    “I cross posted”

    SA,

    We both saw that rotten banana right away. 😉

    Andrew

  91. 91
    Fred Hickson says:

    I’m very curious to (finally )find the answer about how in the world functional information emerge naturally.

    Felsenstein’s point in that article is very straightforward. Depending on whose definition of CSI one takes (there are several, Demsbki had one then changed it for another, KF has his own idiosyncratic one) Felsenstein concludes:
    1. There is no known correlation between fitness, or any other measure of degree of adaptation, and the simplicity with which we can describe an organism’s genotype or phenotype.

    2. A proof that the high levels of fitness that we see in living organisms cannot be achieved by evolutionary processes such as natural selection would be a major refutation of modern evolutionary biology. William Dembski’s Law of Conservation of Complex Specified Information attempted such a proof, but this proof fails, and Dembski’s LCCSI is no longer discussed by proponents of Intelligent Design, except in occasional mistaken assertions that such a law has been proven in a form that shows that high levels of fitness cannot be achieved from lower ones.

    3. By contrast, the ASC algorithmic complexity measure is argued to have proofs that can be made that, in effect, constrain how large a “randomness deficiency” can be achieved; in effect, how simple an algorithm can be achieved. Those purported proofs are disputed, with counterexamples provided by Tom English.

    4. Nevertheless, it has become common to argue that the alleged conservation of ASC shows that there are limits on what evolution can do. Holloway, Uncommon Descent, and the Discovery Institute’s website Mind Matters have all bought into this.

    5. However, the connection to evolution is lacking. There is actually no explanation as what the short computer program is computing. Is the issue how simple an algorithm is needed to compute a binary string which represents the genome? It is not hard to imagine a binary string which has one pair of bits for each base in the genome. Is it that binary string that is being computed? Or is the issue how simple an algorithm is needed to compute a detailed description of the individual’s phenotype? This uncertainty has not been addressed at all in the ASC arguments about evolving systems, rendering those arguments even more meaningless.

    6. If, as I argue, there is no correlation between high ASC and high fitness, then natural selection will not tend to bring about high values of ASC (hence simpler descriptions of whatever-it-is that is being described), because there will be no fitness reward for doing so. Observing organisms that are well-adapted, we can be reasonably sure that they have high Specified Information, where the specification is fitness. But we have no reason to believe that they have high ASC. In finding that they have high fitness, that they are in some sense well-adapted, we have not observed anything that is relevant to how simple or how non-simple are any descriptions of their genotypes or phenotypes.

    7. We may conclude that even if ASC of organisms could somehow be defined, and even if some limit on its change could somehow be proven, the non-increase of ASC would not establish any limits on what natural selection can do to improve fitness.

  92. 92
    jerry says:

    Are you sure yours is a consensus view among ID proponents?

    It’s what ID is about.

    Some will emphasize the improbability of the information necessary for life but that is only part of ID. That is one of the ways to show no natural mechanisms can work in OOL and macro evolution.

    Selection is the designing element

    Selection only works in micro evolution/genetics.

    And even there it is limited. Nothing major has ever been brought into existence by continual selection. To say it designed something is absurd.

    I often make the point that natural selection is self refuting. If it actually did anything major, it would destroy the species. So it is limited to minor adaptations. Or essentially it is part of genetics but is limited even there.

  93. 93
    Fred Hickson says:

    Briefly algorithmic specified complexity is not a coherent concept and has no bearing on whether selection improves fitness in populations over time.

  94. 94
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry

    Selection only works in micro evolution/genetics.

    Yes. Individual evolutionary events are small changes but they can add up.

  95. 95
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Individual evolutionary events are small changes but they can add up.

    They can add up to an albino dwarf with sickle-cell anemia. There aren’t any known microevolutionary events that add up to macroevolution.

  96. 96
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Briefly algorithmic specified complexity is not a coherent concept and has no bearing on whether selection improves fitness in populations over time.

    Natural selection is a process of elimination. It is nothing more than contingent serendipity. Even a loss of function can improve fitness.

  97. 97
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    The difference between micro and macro evolution is artificial.

    No, it isn’t. For example no one can demonstrate the macroevolutionary even that led to the evolution of eukaryotes from prokaryotes. That transition definitely required more than just a change in allele frequency over time. Endosymbiosis just accounts for one organelle- mitochondria in animals and chloroplasts in plants.

    Again, there aren’t any known microevolutionary events that can be added up to macroevolution.

  98. 98
    ET says:

    Someone has reading comprehension issues:

    Without ID all you have to try to explain our existence is sheer dumb luck.

    I certainly don’t. Selection is the designing element. It is not random but biased.

    Natural selection is a process of elimination. It is nothing more than contingent serendipity. And sheer dumb luck is all you have to explain the earth and living organisms.

  99. 99
    ET says:

    From “What Evolution Is” page 117:

    What Darwin called natural selection is actually a process of elimination.

    Page 118:

    Do selection and elimination differ in their evolutionary consequences? This question never seems to have been raised in the evolutionary literature. A process of selection would have a concrete objective, the determination of the “best” or “fittest” phenotype. Only a relatively few individuals in a given generation would qualify and survive the selection procedure. That small sample would be only to be able to preserve only a small amount of the whole variance of the parent population. Such survival selection would be highly restrained.

    By contrast, mere elimination of the less fit might permit the survival of a rather large number of individuals because they have no obvious deficiencies in fitness. Such a large sample would provide, for instance, the needed material for the exercise of sexual selection. This also explains why survival is so uneven from season to season. The percentage of the less fit would depend on the severity of each year’s environmental conditions.

    Fred doesn’t even understand the basics.

  100. 100
    jerry says:

    but they can add up.

    No they don’t.

    I know that’s the conventional wisdom. But there’s no evidence for it.

    And as I said. It’s self refuting.

  101. 101
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, JF is blowing blue smoke and using mirrors. Had you checked the link you would have seen that FUNCTIONALLY SPECIFIC, complex organisation and associated information, FSCO/I, is readily recognised and is obviously functionally relevant, The terminology is a summary that comes from Thaxton et al [1984] and beyond them Wicken and Orgel, i.e. back to 1973. In the cell, start with D/RNA algorithmic coded information, algorithms and associated molecular nanotech rooted in deep knowledge of polymer science. That’s language, algorithms so goal directed process, which are already deeply associated with intelligence. The reasons we can be confident it is maximally unlikely to emerge by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity are similar to those of the statistical mechanical analysis that undergirded and refined classical thermodynamics. Build a perpetuum mobile and it is dead but we will not hold our breaths. FYI, 500 bits is a search space of 3.27 *10^150 configs and 1000 is 1.07*10^301. Where a wide array of observation from protein fold domains in AA sequence space to the sharply diverse sex determination systems, point to how functionality based on configs comes in deeply isolated islands of function. Right parts, right orientation and organisation, coupled to yield function, no surprise. Available resources for blind search will be maxed out at sol system level 10^57 atoms, or cosmos level 10^80, long before anything more than a negligible fraction of such spaces will vbe searched. And as search is sampling of subsets, the set of searches is effectively the power set of the onfig space, with 2^[3.27*10^150] elements, at the low end of the threshold of interest, Search for a golden search is exponentially harder than direct search. As for Dembski, I bet JF failed to note that WmAD stated in NFL, that in biological systems, CSI is cashed out in terms of function. he tried to do a general analysis on search challenge relevant to deeply isolated target zones, and that has been rhetorically twisted every which way for 20 years. That is the context where I have declared intellectual independence and simply say, show us an actually obseerved case of FSCO/I by blind chance and mechanical necessity. The random doc people tried and they are a factor of 10^100 shy of the low end threshold config space so far with no serious hope for progress in sight. KF

    PS. just for record, Wiki testifying against interest on infinite monkeys:

    The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact, the monkey would almost surely type every possible finite text an infinite number of times. However, the probability that monkeys filling the entire observable universe would type a single complete work, such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time hundreds of thousands of orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but technically not zero). The theorem can be generalized to state that any sequence of events which has a non-zero probability of happening will almost certainly eventually occur, given enough time . . . .

    The theorem concerns a thought experiment which cannot be fully carried out in practice, since it is predicted to require prohibitive amounts of time and resources. Nonetheless, it has inspired efforts in finite random text generation.

    One computer program run by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to an article in The New Yorker, came up with a result on 4 August 2004: After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the “monkeys” typed, “VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t” The first 19 letters of this sequence can be found in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Other teams have reproduced 18 characters from “Timon of Athens”, 17 from “Troilus and Cressida”, and 16 from “Richard II”.[27]

    A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator, launched on 1 July 2003, contained a Java applet that simulated a large population of monkeys typing randomly, with the stated intention of seeing how long it takes the virtual monkeys to produce a complete Shakespearean play from beginning to end. For example, it produced this partial line from Henry IV, Part 2, reporting that it took “2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years” to reach 24 matching characters:

    RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r”5j5&?OWTY Z0d

    there are all but 1/50 millionth of time to heat death remaining, and not even that much more would make a practical difference, especially as we see FSCO/I in the world of life which we are told is about 1/3 way back to the singularlity.

    There is reason for high confidence in FSCO/I as a reliable, powerful sign of design, intelligently directed configuration or contrivance as key cause. Where as noted, a von Neumann self replicator facility such as in the cell vastly multiplies the quantity of FSCO/I. Every further bit doubles the search space.

    PPS, kindly note I am speaking in terms of search challenge not probability calculations, and the Newton rule that inferred causes should be observed to have the relevant causal power before being embedded into our schemes of conventionally accepted, institutionalised, claimed knowledge. Chemical evolution fails that test, and so design is candidate to beat for cell based life pivoting on language, codes, algorithms and linked molecular nanotech, thus the root of the tree of life. Perforce, the same applies to claimed mechanisms of body plan origin and the icon, the tree of life.

  102. 102
    Sandy says:

    Fred Hickson
    1. There is no known correlation between fitness, or any other measure of degree of adaptation, and the simplicity with which we can describe an organism’s genotype or phenotype.

    :))) How is this explaing the emergence of information from …physical laws?

  103. 103
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Again some classic responses today:
    In another case, the guy says he doesn’t know what Intelligence is. Let’s ignore the UD glossary and Wikipedia and every ID critic who says there is no evidence of Intelligence in the design of nature.
    No – all of a sudden, we don’t know what intelligence is. Thus our excellent answer: “Nobody knows”.

    Now in this next case, we supposedly don’t know what information is. No idea. Forget information theory. It’s all just a mystery in which we can say nothing.
    And specified functional complexity is another “incoherent concept”, supposedly. We can provide metrics, we can even use Dawkins’ Weasel which was set up to prove the materialistic origin of specified complexity – but again, “Nobody knows, and we’re not going to try to find out”.
    Next up: “Nobody knows what design means”.
    When you’re running away from something you don’t like, any direction will do the job – even running in circle will work, as long as you’re just staying ahead of the truth that is chasing you down.

  104. 104
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator

    The people doing this know exactly what they’re trying to prove. They know what they’re trying to falsify. It’s testing ID – and failing miserably. But they know what information is. They know what intelligent design is. If they ever succeeded (impossible as that is) the entire world would hear about how ID was falsified.
    But now that they’re a ridiculous failure, suddenly nobody really knows what intelligent design actually means. Nobody knows what information is. What is intelligence after all? Nobody knows. It’s all just a foggy concept and anything can happen, and the monkeys will eventually be successful. It’s only been 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years and, come on – they got the word Valentine.
    And you IDists thought the full text of Shakespeare was impossible!
    So it is just as they told us: “We proved evolution by the antibiotic resistance we observed in bacteria.”
    Therefore according to this, we should know for certain – bacteria clearly evolved into human beings and all other life forms on earth. It just takes some time.
    Who could doubt it with so much robust evidence?

  105. 105
    dogdoc says:

    SA:

    Here are five of my arguments to which you have failed to respond:

    1) You have assumed a libertarian metaphysics that has no scientific basis (by saying AI systems are deterministic while human beings are not)

    2) AI proves that deterministic mechanisms can exhibit intelligent behavior, which undermines ID’s entire argument against “naturalistic” processes not being able to produce CSI

    3) The fact that humans design AI systems in no way contradicts the fact that deterministic mechanism can exhibit intelligent behavior; my point about a regress of deterministic intelligent designers illustrated that point.

    4) ID does not define “intelligence” in a way that can be evaluated against the evidence. (In fact, you STILL haven’t provided any definition at all.)

    5) There is nothing wrong with saying there is no known answer to some question; in fact it is the only intellectually honest thing to do. (I provided a list of such questions that science can’t answer).

    Again: You have provided no responses to these arguments.

    That’s another way of saying, “Yes, I was mistaken about that and I built an entire argument on a false premise”.

    I originally said only complex living organisms exhibited intelligent behavior, leaving out AI because most ID proponents deny that AI systems exhibit intelligence (a very silly but pervasive response from ID folks).

    You then actually agreed that AI systems DO exhibit intelligent behavior, and I congratulated you on your correct position, and pointed out that your admission that AI exhibits intelligence undermines all of ID’s argument against natural processes producing CSI.

    That is what happened (it’s all here on this very page), and your attempt to spin this into something that undermines my argument is hilariously wrong.

    Yes, and instead of responding to what I said, you replied with sophistry and the pretense that you don’t know what an intelligent cause is versus a blind, unintelligent natural cause.

    Once again, simply provide a concise definition of the term “intelligence” in the context of ID and you will have made your point.

    But of course you won’t, because you can’t. Although the entirety of ID theory rests on this single concept, intelligence, ID can’t even provide a definition of the term that can be used to evaluate against the evidence.

    Go ahead – just try it. Here, I’ll start it for you:
    “According to ID, a cause is ‘intelligent’ if and only if it ______________”

    Tell me, what fills in the blank? Something that can be tested against our empirical observations? Nope.

    What is your answer? Maybe “Can learn from the environment” or “Can solve novel problems” or “Scores over 60 on an IQ test” or “Can speak in grammatical sentences” or “Can acquire and apply knowledge” or “Is neither deterministic nor random”? (Hint: If you simply answer “Can produce CSI” then you will have put yet another nail in the coffin of ID).

    If a blind, unintelligent effect could account for the origin of the thing observed, then the ID inference would be falsified. That’s a basic test. We can show the intelligence can produce the effect. All you have to do is show the a blind, unintelligent action can produce it.

    I just got through explaining to you that you can’t falsify one theory by showing that some other theory fails, or by showing that no theory succeeds at accounting for the phenomenon in question.

    Here’s an example:
    I believe that Dark Matter is made of a particular type of cheese that does not absorb, emit, or reflect light. You can only falsify my theory if you come up with some other answer that you can prove correct.

    See? If that was all it took to make a falsifiable scientific theory then everyone could do it.

    Nobody knows what Dark Matter is. And nobody knows how the universe or first life came to exist.

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, what is of course being dodged is how a simple description of a functional target distinguishes itself from having to quote the string for a randomly selected outcome like a winning lottery outcome. They are forgetting that we are dealing here with alphanumeric code, so language and worse that includes algorithms which are goal directed finite sequences of steps thus directly implicating design. In any sane world, once DNA had been identified and decoded it would have been recognised prima facie that this is design. Intelligently directed configuration. We are up against crooked yardstick thinking, driven by a priori commitment to Lewontin’s evolutionary materialistic scientism [and yes, there are fellow travellers, those ready to pounce . . . ], with institutional domination and a sometimes ruthless slaughter of the dissidents mindset. Remember the latest stunt we saw here, an attempt to reduce literally trillions of cases of observation of FSCO/I by design to one case and an alleged weak inference. There is something seriously rotten in the state of science and so of our civilisation. KF

  107. 107
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    Youi’re repeating things that I have answered already, and denying your own problems in assessing the ID inference.

    Once again, simply provide a concise definition of the term “intelligence” in the context of ID and you will have made your point.

    I invite you review to the UD Glossary:
    https://uncommondescent.com/glossary/

    You’ll find intelligence defined there.

    An AI system simulates human intelligence. It reflects a rational process and is built on software logic. Again, your challenge is to show any known natural process on earth that can produce an AI system, computer software or human intelligence. You could just produce some code like a Shakespeare play.
    Thus far, you’ve offered nothing but sophistry and a parsing of definitions.
    As I explained, even professional scientists who are ID opponents know what the challenge is.
    You’re pretending that you don’t understand and the idea of intelligence is a mystery that nobody can understand.
    You’ve claimed also that ID cannot be falsified. What do you think Dawkins was attempting with his Weasel? Or the Monkeys typing Shakespeare?
    There’s no mystery about it.
    The only thing you’ve offered so far was GPT-3 which is an intelligently designed product.
    The problem in this conversation is 100% your own. I cannot see that you’re taking any of the information that you have access to seriously.

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    DD,

    This is a public forum and I have just completed a key development phase so I can take a little time to respond on points to your assertions directed to SA:

    >>1) You have assumed a libertarian metaphysics that has no scientific basis (by saying AI systems are deterministic while human beings are not)>>

    1: The matter is antecedent to science, it is about basic credibility of reason and its products such as claimed knowledge.

    2: If we lack freedom to exert rational judgement and follow ground consequent or evidence, best explanation inferences, if our claimed rationality reduces to blind chance and necessity of GIGO driven computation on a substrate, then we reduce to grand delusion and knowledge, logic, mathematics, science, moral principles and more collapse.

    3: But we — including objectors — show that instead there are first principle, branch on which we sit first plausibles at work: we are evidently responsibly, rationally, significantly free, which CANNOT be reduced to GIGO-limited blind, dynamic-stochastic computation on a substrate.

    4: This is more plausible than its self refuting, self discrediting denial.

    >>2) AI proves that deterministic mechanisms can exhibit intelligent behavior, which undermines ID’s entire argument against “naturalistic” processes not being able to produce CSI>>

    5: AI is by and large exaggerated and at most it shows that intelligently designed software riding on good architecture can “can” intelligent behaviour.

    6: The attempt to appeal to known cases of intelligently directed configuration based FSCO/I to try to dismiss the observation that FSCO/I reliably comes about by design is a fallacy of desperation.

    7: In fact, it is tantamount to ceding the case.

    >>3) The fact that humans design AI systems in no way contradicts the fact that deterministic mechanism can exhibit intelligent behavior; my point about a regress of deterministic intelligent designers illustrated that point.>>

    8: The programs show that well designed algorithms work. The intelligence comes from the designers and are manifest in codes, algorithms so language and goal directed procedures.

    9: Of course, this inadvertently leads to the similar patterns in the living cell, and on FSCO/I as strong sign, warrant inference to design of cell based life.

    10: Determined denial on your part does not constitute overthrow of the design inference on our part.

    >>4) ID does not define “intelligence” in a way that can be evaluated against the evidence. (In fact, you STILL haven’t provided any definition at all.)>>

    11: Intelligence is a rather familiar concept, strongly illustrated by 7 billion cases just on the current population. Where we EXEMPLIFY, we do not exhaust.

    12: For starters try Wikipedia’s admissions against interest:

    Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. More generally, it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.

    Intelligence is most often studied in humans but has also been observed in both non-human animals and in plants despite controversy as to whether some of these forms of life exhibit intelligence.[1][2] Intelligence in computers or other machines is called artificial intelligence . . . . From “Mainstream Science on Intelligence” (1994), an op-ed statement in the Wall Street Journal signed by fifty-two researchers (out of 131 total invited to sign):[8]

    A very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—”catching on,” “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do.[9]

    From Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns (1995), a report published by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association:

    Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent: a given person’s intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of “intelligence” are attempts to clarify and organize this complex set of phenomena. Although considerable clarity has been achieved in some areas, no such conceptualization has yet answered all the important questions, and none commands universal assent. Indeed, when two dozen prominent theorists were recently asked to define intelligence, they gave two dozen, somewhat different, definitions.[10]

    13: If you don’t like that summary and the associated industry that measures intelligence, let us hear your alternative and its justification.

    >>5) There is nothing wrong with saying there is no known answer to some question; in fact it is the only intellectually honest thing to do. (I provided a list of such questions that science can’t answer).>>

    14: Why, trivially yes.

    15: However, that is not the present case. There are good, well warranted answers on the table but they are unwelcome so we see selectively hyperskeptical denial and crooked yardstick dismissiveness.

    KF

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: UD’s Glossary cited the same Wiki Article over a decade ago, notice it has not significantly changed from: >>Intelligence Intelligence – Wikipedia aptly and succinctly defines: “capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language [–> by inference, creatively, rationally and aptly . . . cf R/DNA in the cell vs machine code in embedded systems], and to learn.”>>

  110. 110
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF
    Great response – thank you.
    One additonal thought that DogDoc is confused on:
    Software (which is what AI is in implementation) is non-deterministic in the same way that a novel or sheet music of a symphony is not deterministic. Those are products of intelligence, reflecting rational, non-deterministic thought. They’ve been “determined” in a form by intelligence, and on their own cannot change or create new designs beyond what they’re programmed to do.
    But “determinism” is reserved for the regular, physical laws that govern energy and matter.

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, yes, programmed is not the same as determinism, it is after the fact of intelligent choice. KF

  112. 112
    Sandy says:

    Dogdoc
    ID can’t even provide a definition of the term that can be used to evaluate against the evidence.

    🙂 The base of life is the code/ the sign system that is dual : a part is visible(letters AGTC )and a part invisible, is NOT THERE (THE MEANING).
    If you recognize one purpose of tens of intertwined(but very different) sub-systems of the body that work like a unity ,you don’t believe in evolution.

    Kairosfocus
    In any sane world, once DNA had been identified and decoded it would have been recognised prima facie that this is design.

    Psalms: The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    This is the test. God allows it to “separate” goats from sheep.

  113. 113
    ET says:

    dog doc:L

    4) ID does not define “intelligence” in a way that can be evaluated against the evidence. (In fact, you STILL haven’t provided any definition at all.)

    So, archaeologists can’t determine an artifact from a rock? Forensic scientists can’t determine a homicide from a natural death? Seriously?

  114. 114
    ET says:

    dog doc:L

    4) ID does not define “intelligence” in a way that can be evaluated against the evidence. (In fact, you STILL haven’t provided any definition at all.)

    So, archaeologists can’t determine an artifact from a rock? Forensic scientists can’t determine a homicide from a natural death? Seriously?

  115. 115
    AndyClue says:

    @Silver Asiatic:

    But “determinism” is reserved for the regular, physical laws that govern energy and matter.

    What do you mean by “determinism” ? The laws of nature are products of intelligence, reflecting rational, non-deterministic thought. They are therefore non-deterministic.

  116. 116
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    1) You have assumed a libertarian metaphysics that has no scientific basis (by saying AI systems are deterministic while human beings are not)

    If you’re stating that human thought is deterministic, then that is self-refuting. I accept that evolution claims that humans have no free will and all thought is deterministic material outcomes. This denies logic and rationality. There’s no need to discuss, teach, argue, learn. Evolution tells you what to do. But if you believe that, you refute it by your actions in attempting to convince and argue.
    Design is the product of free choice and therefore rational thought.

    2) AI proves that deterministic mechanisms can exhibit intelligent behavior, which undermines ID’s entire argument against “naturalistic” processes not being able to produce CSI

    AI is the product of intelligent design. It is software designed by human beings. It is intelligent in the sense that it can engage a logical order. It cannot truly design in the sense of making free choices. I introduced AI to refute your idea that only biological agents have intelligence.
    If you walked in a room and saw a wood carving of Abraham Lincoln, you would know it was the product of intelligent design. But it could have been carved by an AI-enhanced robot. The robot represents an intelligent agent, but the intelligence it posseses is not its own – it is embedded with human intelligence. So, the robot cannot truly design on its own.
    AI does not refute ID at all. Either with a human carving the wood or a robot, both are products of intelligence – one the source of it (the human) and one a carrier of intelligence in human designed software.

    3) The fact that humans design AI systems in no way contradicts the fact that deterministic mechanism can exhibit intelligent behavior; my point about a regress of deterministic intelligent designers illustrated that point.

    A deterministic process that resembles intelligence, as with AI, is necessarily derived from a true, non-deterministic source. The fact that the AI system contains intelligence means there must have been a source for it. There cannot be an infinite regress of nothing but “derived intelligence”.

    4) ID does not define “intelligence” in a way that can be evaluated against the evidence. (In fact, you STILL haven’t provided any definition at all.)

    See the other posts with definitions.

    5) There is nothing wrong with saying there is no known answer to some question; in fact it is the only intellectually honest thing to do. (I provided a list of such questions that science can’t answer).

    When a strong inference is available, then the honest thing to do is to accept it until or unless a better one appears.

    Here’s an example:
    I believe that Dark Matter is made of a particular type of cheese that does not absorb, emit, or reflect light.

    You’d have to demonstrate something that is like what you’re talking about.

    We observe coded, functional language in the cell. It performs logic-based actions.
    I can demonstrate something that works and functions like what we see in the cell – namely software.
    You can try to produce the effect (software) with a non-intelligent cause.

  117. 117
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AndyClue

    What do you mean by “determinism” ? The laws of nature are products of intelligence, reflecting rational, non-deterministic thought. They are therefore non-deterministic.

    Yes, that’s certainly a reasonable view. The laws of nature cannot be the product of unintelligent, deterministic causes. They operate in an orderly and predictable manner and therefore indicate that they came from an intelligent cause.
    But we also know what the term “deterministic” means in this context and that is “determined by the laws of nature”. Since those laws have predictable outcomes we can call those outcomes “determined”, even though, as you rightly say, the order and predictability of the laws point to an initial order or lawmaker, so to speak. So, they’re evidence of intelligent design.

    But we can also contrast determinism of unintelligent, physical causes (like rocks rolling down a hillside) with non-deterministic, designed actions (like Mount Rushmore).

  118. 118
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    There are good, well warranted answers on the table but they are unwelcome so we see selectively hyperskeptical denial and crooked yardstick dismissiveness.

    There is quite a lot of wisdom packed into that one sentence.
    The key phrase: “they are unwelcome”.
    Yes, that’s it.

  119. 119
    dogdoc says:

    SA:

    I invite you review to the UD Glossary:
    https://uncommondescent.com/glossary/

    You’ll find intelligence defined there.

    Gosh, why didn’t you just use that earlier? Here it is:

    “capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn.”

    Now you’re half way there – all you have to do is actually show evidence that all of these abilities can be attributed to your hypothetical Intelligent Designer by scientific evidence.

    First up: Learning. How can you show that whatever caused the universe and first life actually learned how to do these things, rather than simply being able to do them by virtue of its nature, like an instinct? Could it learn to do something else besides cause the phenomena we are trying to explain? For example, do you have evidence that the Intelligent Designer could to play the piano, or how to play WORDLE, or to apply differential calculus to a problem it had never encountered? Obviously you have no evidence that any of these traits apply to the Intelligent Designer, so it really isn’t intelligent after all.

    What about “comprehending ideas”? Does that mean consciously comprehending ideas? If so, then strike two: You have no evidence that the Intelligent Designer of the universe experiences conscious awareness. Just because humans are consciously aware of some (but by no means all or even most!) of our thoughts doesn’t mean that something utterly foreign to us that does not even have a brain also experiences conscious awareness. As I’ve said, nobody knows the necessary and sufficient conditions for experiencing consciousness.

    And if you aren’t trying to claim scientific evidence for the conscious awareness of the Intelligent Designer (which would be a smart move), then what does it mean for it to “comprehend”?

    An AI system simulates human intelligence.

    Oh, I see you are trying to backtrack on your claim that AI systems are intelligent! Hahaha, I was waiting for that. Too late, I’m afraid, your position was stated on this very page. Anyway, this is nonsense – AI systems generate novel CSI all by themselves, period. If I could learn to play Go as well as an AI computer people would think that was an intelligent thing to do. Alpha Go learned to play Go better than any human – that isn’t a simulation, it happened in reality.

    It reflects a rational process and is built on software logic.

    Programmers did not tell Alpha Go how to play Go – they themselves had no idea how to beat world champion Go players. They built a system that could learn, and it learned to play Go all by itself.

    Again, your challenge is to show any known natural process on earth that can produce an AI system, computer software or human intelligence. You could just produce some code like a Shakespeare play.

    GPT-3 can produce text that is grammatical, meaningful, coherent, and can even adopt various styles (like Shakespearean English). And there is not non-natural or supernatural going on inside GPT-3! Just electrons, semiconductors, and other purely natural phenomena.

    Thus far, you’ve offered nothing but sophistry and a parsing of definitions.

    I’ve laid out my arguments against you for all to see, and even numbered them. Let’s see how you’re doing in response:

    1) You have assumed a libertarian metaphysics that has no scientific basis (by saying AI systems are deterministic while human beings are not)
    NO RESPONSE

    2) AI proves that deterministic mechanisms can exhibit intelligent behavior, which undermines ID’s entire argument against “naturalistic” processes not being able to produce CSI
    You try to backtrack and claim AI is only “simulated” intelligence rather than “real” intelligence, which is nonsense. And you claim that AI systems accomplish their intelligent feats because the logic of those tasks has been programmed by humans; but in most AI systems now their abilities are learned rather than programmed.

    3) The fact that humans design AI systems in no way contradicts the fact that deterministic mechanism can exhibit intelligent behavior; my point about a regress of deterministic intelligent designers illustrated that point.
    NO RESPONSE

    4) ID does not define “intelligence” in a way that can be evaluated against the evidence. (In fact, you STILL haven’t provided any definition at all.)
    Finally you provided a definition – well done! I was hoping for that, so I could provide a few reasons why by your own definition you have no way of showing that your Intelligent Designer actually qualifies as intelligent.

    5) There is nothing wrong with saying there is no known answer to some question; in fact it is the only intellectually honest thing to do. (I provided a list of such questions that science can’t answer).
    NO RESPONSE

    and now
    6) ID cannot be falsified because ID theory provides nothing whatsoever that is somehow outside the ability of an “Intelligent Designer”. Could it build a new biological species over 100 million years? Sure! Could it do the same thing in a fraction of a second? No problem! ID can explain anything, which as we all should know, means that it really explains nothing.
    Your response is to pretend that by showing no other theory can explain the existence of the universe or first life, that means ID must be true. I gave you an illustration of why that reasoning is invalid. Your response?
    NO RESPONSE

    AND NOW FOR YOUR NEXT RESPONSE. IT WOULD BE EASIER FOR ME IF YOU CONSOLIDATED YOUR RESPONSES IN ONE POST. ANYWAY, LET’S SEE WHAT YOU’VE ADDED…

    If you’re stating that human thought is deterministic, then that is self-refuting.

    You are claiming that you have solved the problem of free will. You have not. Contrary to what you might read here, determinism is not self-refuting or incoherent.

    I accept that evolution claims that humans have no free will and all thought is deterministic material outcomes.

    You don’t appear to be well versed in the topic at hand. Evolutionary theory makes no claims whatsoever about free will. Where did you ever get that idea?

    This denies logic and rationality. There’s no need to discuss, teach, argue, learn. Evolution tells you what to do.

    Wow, this is seriously confused. Again, you are confusing philosophy of mind with evolutionary theory; they are completely orthogonal (except of course when ID folks assume contra-causal libertarianism and don’t even realize what assumptions they are making).

    But if you believe that, you refute it by your actions in attempting to convince and argue.

    I find this silly, sophomoric argument particularly annoying. If the world is deterministic, then my actions are determined, and I could not refrain from making my arguments. How can you not understand that?

    My view is that libertarianism is incoherent, but I don’t claim that as a scientific result. Rather than argue about free will, I am simply saying that there is no scientific resolution of the problem. Evolutionary theory makes absolutely no statements about it – evolution is compatible with any possible position on the matter. However, ID requires libertarianism in order to make any sense at all, which is why I argue that its reliance on one particular view on free will makes ID unscientific.

    2) AI is the product of intelligent design. It is software designed by human beings. It is intelligent in the sense that it can engage a logical order. It cannot truly design in the sense of making free choices. I introduced AI to refute your idea that only biological agents have intelligence.

    This relies on the assumption of metaphysical libertarianism, so it is not scientific or proven in any sense (it is in fact the minority view among philosophers of mind, but that is neither here nor there). Please respond to my example of a regress of deterministic intelligent designers if you wish to counter my argument.

    If you walked in a room and saw a wood carving of Abraham Lincoln, you would know it was the product of intelligent design.

    I would know it was the product of HUMAN BEINGS, because I know a huge number of things about human beings. Nowadays I would also be open to the possibility that an AI system had designed it. But no, just like archeologists, forensic scientists, and so on, I would never posit that “an intelligent designer” was responsible, because that doesn’t mean anything useful.

    So, the robot cannot truly design on its own.

    Of course it can. Please take a course in AI – or at least read a book about it – before you say things like that.

    AI does not refute ID at all.

    You agreed that AI systems are intelligent. Real, bona fide, intelligence. Now you’re trying to backtrack and say no, they are just doing what their programmers tell them to do. That is factually incorrect; modern machine learning systems do things their programmers had no idea how to do. So you were right the first time – AI is intelligent. It is also deterministic. Deterministic intelligence undermines ID’s arguments.

    A deterministic process that resembles intelligence, as with AI, is necessarily derived from a true, non-deterministic source.

    You called AI an intelligent cause, not something that “resembles” intelligence. You were right the first time, why did you change your tune?

    Stop pretending that science has proven that brains aren’t deterministic, you’re just wrong about that. It’s just one position in an ancient and unresolved debate about metaphysics, not a foundation for a scientific theory.

    The fact that the AI system contains intelligence means there must have been a source for it.

    By that reasoning, the fact that the Intelligent Designer “contains” (?) intelligence means there must have been a source for that!

    There cannot be an infinite regress of nothing but “derived intelligence”.

    I didn’t say it was infinite, but nobody knows if it is or not, or how it got started.

    We observe coded, functional language in the cell. It performs logic-based actions.

    Yes – it is not a general purpose language like humans use; it is more like computer code.

    I can demonstrate something that works and functions like what we see in the cell – namely software.

    Right, obviously.

    You can try to produce the effect (software) with a non-intelligent cause.

    And here you go off the rails. You can’t prove one theory simply by showing that nobody else can explain it either.

    EDIT TO ADD:

    ID PERSON: If you can’t show another way that life began, then my theory about something with conscious beliefs, desires, and intentions (but was not necessarily even a physical thing!) is the best answer.
    ME: If you can’t show another thing that Dark Matter consists of, then my theory about it being made of cheese that doesn’t reflect, emit, or absorb light is the best answer.

    Yes, the Dark Matter = cheese theory is quite preposterous. But hopefully you can see that science doesn’t progress by making some hypothesis that can’t be falsified and then claiming yours is the best answer because no other theories explain the data without having been falsified! Go ahead, prove that Dark Matter isn’t cheese!

  120. 120
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    If the world is deterministic, then my actions are determined, and I could not refrain from making my arguments. How can you not understand that?

    Noting your outrage and self-refuting question here … "Because I was determined not to".
    See?

    And here you go off the rails.

    You’ve really got nowhere to go with this. The blind watchmaker cannot produce the results. But you claim “you don’t know” that is the case.
    i then challenge you to show what blind natural causes can produce.
    But clearly, that’s a waste of time.

    I didn’t say it was infinite, but nobody knows if it is or not, or how it got started.

    Nobody knows if we have traversed an infinite sequence to arrive at today?

    Yes – it is not a general purpose language like humans use; it is more like computer code.

    You’re saying “you don’t know” if a natural cause can produce something like a computer code.

    Stop pretending that science has proven that brains aren’t deterministic, you’re just wrong about that.

    If your thoughts are determined by an unintelligent cause, then being right or wrong is irrelevant. Those are categories used for a rational mind. A deterministic brain cannot be rational.
    Darwin knew that and was troubled by it.
    But I’m willing to accept your proposal: Your thoughts are determined by some non-intelligent physical cause, like gravity or chemistry.
    So why should anyone care about what you have to say?

  121. 121
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    Evolutionary theory makes no claims whatsoever about free will. Where did you ever get that idea?

    Search term: “evolutionary theory and free will”
    There are a few hundred articles by evolutionists explaining what evolutionary theory claims about this.
    How about Ken Miller?:

    There’s a wonderful quote by J. B. S. Haldane, the great evolutionary biologist, that basically says, “If my brain is wholly made up of atoms, and I see no reason to believe that it is not, then even my belief that atoms exist is determined by the atoms in my brain and therefore I have no reason for believing it to be true.”

    The argument that I tried to make is that if we do have genuine free will, it was evolution that gave it to us. Therefore, evolution is not the enemy of free will. Evolution, if free will exists, is actually its creator.
    https://behavioralscientist.org/the-human-instinct-a-conversation-with-ken-miller/

    Ken Miller, as usual, is irrational and incoherent. A deterministic process cannot create human freedom.

    [To my fellow IDists – Where is BA77? He’s got a dozen of these … we need his reference library posted somewhere]

  122. 122
    ET says:

    dog doc:

    Anyway, this is nonsense – AI systems generate novel CSI all by themselves, period.

    Not by means of blind and mindless processes. Everything AI systems do traces back to the minds that designed them.

    ID PERSON: If you can’t show another way that life began, then my theory about something with conscious beliefs, desires, and intentions (but was not necessarily even a physical thing!) is the best answer.

    Nice strawman. You and yours get the first shots at it. You have failed. The design inference is based on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships. Your position relies on your imagination and ignorance.

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    DD, you have point by point responses in this thread [much less elsewhere] to your five points above, from me in 108 https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/another-species-of-hominin-still-alive-cue-the-flores-people/#comment-752609 which was quickly endorsed by SA in 110, 109 being a citation of the UD glossary in the Resources tab on intelligence, which you and others have long been invited to attend to. He makes a further endorsement at 118. While, in 116, he replies point by point, with others commenting on points in between, see 116 https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/another-species-of-hominin-still-alive-cue-the-flores-people/#comment-752628 Yet in 119 there you are rhetorically posing on want of response. This then is a case of a strawman fallacy on your part and raises serious questions as to whether what SA endorsed at 118 is only too relevant: “There are good, well warranted answers on the table but they are unwelcome so we see selectively hyperskeptical denial and crooked yardstick dismissiveness.” I suggest, that you reconsider what you have done. KF

  124. 124
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, correct, DD is refusing to heed the logic of inference on tested, reliable sign. L cite as a simple summary . . . this traces to early diagnostics and Hippocrates, including his facies of death. Link:

    https://socialsci.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Communication/Argument_and_Debate/Arguing_Using_Critical_Thinking_(Marteney)/07%3A_Reasoning/7.03%3A_Types_of_Reasoning

    Sign reasoning involves inferring a connection between two related situations. The theory is that the presence or absence of one indicates the presence or absence of the other. In other words, the presence of an attribute is a signal that something else, the substance, exists. One doesn’t cause the other to exist, but instead is a sign that it exists. Football on television is a sign that Fall has arrived. Football on television does not cause Fall to arrive; they just arrive at the same time. A flag is flying at half-staff. is a sign that that there has been a tragedy or a significant person has died. The flag flying at half-staff did not cause the death. It is a sign that the situation occurred.

    As an example, over the past several weeks, the Ukraine flag has been flying alongside the Union Jack here, at HE Governor’s Office. The Governor being an officer of FCDO and representative of HM, Queen Elizabeth II.

    Obviously, there are also natural signs, a famous one being where there is smoke there is fire.

    Here, where there is code using alphanumeric text in strings, there is language, and where there is an algorithm expressed thereby, there is a stepwise goal directed halting procedure indicative of purpose. Such are signs of intelligence, and are not only found on the Internet but in the living cell.

    KF

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N, evo gave us free will fails as Miller should know, precisely as it is about survival not accuracy, multiplied by, computational substrates are dynamic stochastic entities, they do not reason, they simply play out cause effect chains based on architecture and programming. A sounder approach would pay closer attention to Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For

    if

    [p:] my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain

    [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes; notice, “my brain,” i.e. self referential]
    ______________________________

    [ THEN]

    [q:] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    [–> indeed, blindly mechanical computation is not in itself a rational process, the only rationality is the canned rationality of the programmer, where survival-filtered lucky noise is not a credible programmer, note the functionally specific, highly complex organised information rich code and algorithms in D/RNA, i.e. language and goal directed stepwise process . . . an observationally validated adequate source for such is _____ ?]

    [Corollary 1:] They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically.

    And hence

    [Corollary 2:] I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. [–> grand, self-referential delusion, utterly absurd self-falsifying incoherence]

    [Implied, Corollary 3: Reason and rationality collapse in a grand delusion, including of course general, philosophical, logical, ontological and moral knowledge; reductio ad absurdum, a FAILED, and FALSE, intellectually futile and bankrupt, ruinously absurd system of thought.]

    In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

    Then, Miller needs to answer to Provine instead of giving a clever confident manner clip:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    KF

  126. 126
    Viola Lee says:

    I just read an interesting and fairly reasonable article about these possible hominids. I agree it seems very unlikely they still exist, but it’s still an interesting situation.

    from livescience.com

  127. 127
    JHolo says:

    Agreed.

  128. 128
    ET says:

    Yes, Viola Lee. As interesting as Bigfoot, grassman, sasquatch and yeti sightings. Which, BTW, are indeed very interesting.

  129. 129
    Fred Hickson says:

    Most stories of large unknown creatures can be settled by simple ecology. What do Loch Ness monsters eat? What do yetis eat? Where do yetis go to the bathroom?

  130. 130
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    DD: If the world is deterministic, then my actions are determined, and I could not refrain from making my arguments. How can you not understand that?
    SA: Noting your outrage and self-refuting question here … “Because I was determined not to”.
    See?

    No, SA, I don’t see – you just don’t get it. Let me break it down for you.

    Assume hard determinism is true, and that everything that happens is determined from the beginning of the universe. Under determinisim, our actions do not proceed from free choices. Everything we do – and everything we think – is determined by antecedent cause. Got it?

    Ok now, still assuming determinism is true, I say to you “Hey SA, you ought to believe in determinism!”.

    You are arguing that it was “self-refuting” for me to try and convince you to believe in determinism, as though I could have decided not to say those words. But if determinism is true, then I did not decide to say those words. Just like everything else that happens, I was inescapably determined to think the thoughts I experienced and to say the words I said. If it was determined by the initial conditions of the universe to remain silent, then I would remain silent, and it wouldn’t be any more or any less “self-refuting” than any other action I was determined to take.

    You’ve really got nowhere to go with this. The blind watchmaker cannot produce the results. But you claim “you don’t know” that is the case.

    No, I’m not saying that that I don’t know whether or not a “blind watchmaker” can produce the CSI we observe. Rather, I’m saying:
    1) That the first CSI could not have been created by an intelligent being because according to our experience, all intelligent beings are chock-full of CSI already.
    2) I’m also saying that you have no evidence that any particular attribute of the Intelligent Designer you hypothesize (learning, consciousness, beliefs, desires, etc) is actually an attribute of whatever caused the universe to exist.
    3) I’m also saying that ID describes no limits whatsoever on what an “intelligent cause” is capable of doing, which means it is impossible for any observation to contradict the theory.
    4) I’m also saying that machine learning AI systems prove that deterministic mechanisms can produce novel CSI (which is in no way pre-programmed) which undermines ID’s assertion that no possible deterministic mechanism can produce CSI.
    5) ID requires metaphysical libertarianism to be true, while evolutionary theory is independent of any assumptions regarding metaphysics. (Remember, just because you can find people who believe in evolution and have ideas about metaphysics does not mean those metaphysics are entailed by evolutionary theory).

    By the way, now you are now arguing that AI systems are not actually intelligent on their own because they were designed by an Intelligent Designer, and that what they do only simulates intelligence. Do you also believe that human beings are not actually intelligent on their own because they were designed by an Intelligent Designer, and humans are also simply simulating intelligence? Let me guess: God gave humans free will so we have real intelligence – right? This is why people scoff at calling ID science.

    i then challenge you to show what blind natural causes can produce.

    Whether you ask for a “blind” (whatever that means) natural cause, or a “non-blind” unnatural cause, or a material cause, or an immaterial cause, or any other kind of cause – no matter what you want to call it – nobody has any evidence for any process, mechanism, entity, or any other type of thing that caused the universe.

    DD: Stop pretending that science has proven that brains aren’t deterministic, you’re just wrong about that.
    SA: If your thoughts are determined by an unintelligent cause, then being right or wrong is irrelevant. Those are categories used for a rational mind. A deterministic brain cannot be rational.

    A deterministic mind is completely, utterly, 100% indistinguishable from a mind that has contra-causal free will. If it wasn’t, then we could devise an experiment to decide if libertarianism was true or false and be done with the problem of free will. But we can’t.

    I think these attempts to show that ideas you don’t like are “self-refuting” are fashioned after Plantinga’s argument against naturalism – is that right? Such a terrible argument! Plantinga argues that if minds evolved by Darwinian selection, then our minds are probably not reliable, since evolution selects for reproductive advantage and not truth. But take another look:

    1) Either our minds are reliable (in Plantinga’s sense) or they are not
    2) If our minds are reliable, then Plantinga’s argument is moot – we ended up with reliable minds whether by evolution or divine creation.
    3) Else, if our minds are not reliable, then Plantinga’s argument and all other arguments are useless, because our minds are not reliable.
    4) Therefore, Plantinga’s argument is either moot or useless.

    But I’m willing to accept your proposal: Your thoughts are determined by some non-intelligent physical cause, like gravity or chemistry.
    So why should anyone care about what you have to say?

    Ok, just one more time, try hard: If our thoughts were determined by physics, then the reason we would care about something is because we were destined to care about it. Our caring about it is the result of physical interactions from the first instant of the universe. Get it?

    (Another way to think about determinism is that we are in a “block universe”, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternalism_(philosophy_of_time)

    Evolutionary theory makes no claims whatsoever about free will. Where did you ever get that idea?

    Search term: “evolutionary theory and free will”
    There are a few hundred articles by evolutionists explaining what evolutionary theory claims about this.

    That is your response? How about you find me a single citation that shows that evolutionary theory entails free will?

    How about Ken Miller?:

    There’s a wonderful quote by J. B. S. Haldane, the great evolutionary biologist, that basically says, “If my brain is wholly made up of atoms, and I see no reason to believe that it is not, then even my belief that atoms exist is determined by the atoms in my brain and therefore I have no reason for believing it to be true.”

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with evolutionary theory! This is a biologist who is quoted while dabbling in philosophy!

    Evolutionary theory has nothing to do with free will; it is a theory about how speciation occurs by means of the accumulation of small heritable changes from random variations that confer reproductive advantage. Nothing about free will at all.

  131. 131
    ET says:

    Earth to dog doc- There isn’t any naturalistic mechanism capable of producing living organisms nor developmental biology. So, forget about intelligence arising via blind and mindless processes

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. That is because evolution by means of blind and mindless processes is total untestable nonsense unless you are discussing genetic diseases and deformities

  132. 132
    jerry says:

    That is because evolution by means of blind and mindless processes is total untestable nonsense

    No, it’s testable.

    But they won’t do it because it will certainly fail. Then what?

    They will not be able to continue the farce. The farce has an objective. Justifying natural Evolution is not the objective, it just a tool, a means to and end.

  133. 133
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    If our thoughts were determined by physics, then the reason we would care about something is because we were destined to care about it. Our caring about it is the result of physical interactions from the first instant of the universe. Get it?

    Whether I get it or not would be irrelevant. Physics determines what you have to say. Your thoughts come from an irrational, non-living physical force. So, you say things. Rocks roll down the mountain. They’re not true or false. Your thoughts are rocks rolling. They come out because, supposedly, they provide survival advantage. But, contradicting this, you’re arguing as if I can freely evaluate what you say. But if your thoughts are determined by blind, mindless physics you’d be living an illusion to think I could freely respond to your ideas and give a rational response.
    Again, the logical process requires freedom of choice. You’re denying that we have that freedom.

    Evolutionary theory has nothing to do with free will

    I quoted Miller who said that it does. He’s an evolutionary biologist. Here’s Provine that KF already quoted:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    Evolution is the mythological belief that all biological organisms and all of their features (free will is a feature) evolved from the first life form. There’s no room for anything else. Free will, spirituality, rational thought, morality, aesthetics, science, philosophy … it all comes from the supposed evolutionary development for survival and reproduction. There are no purposes for evolution. There is no direction. Things emerge from a mindless, deterministic physical source. If free will exists, it came from evolution (as Ken Miller said).
    Haldane didn’t like that so he said there’s something other than physics involved.
    But you didn’t like that:

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with evolutionary theory! This is a biologist who is quoted while dabbling in philosophy!

    Evolution accounts for every change in biological organisms from the very first life form. Human rational thought, and therefore philosophy is supposedly an evolved feature traceable to mutations and selection.
    There is nothing more to it.

    On Plantinga’s argument:

    2) If our minds are reliable, then Plantinga’s argument is moot – we ended up with reliable minds whether by evolution or divine creation.

    No, if our minds are reliable then they are non-deterministic. Evolution cannot create a free, rational, logical thought process. It can only create a deterministic output which can not comprehend the difference between truth and falsehood. Chemical bonds do not go through a logical analysis and choose what is true. In materialism, everything just “is”. Evolution cannot create good versus evil, true versus false since it is mindless and has no categories for that.

  134. 134
    Fred Hickson says:

    132
    JerryApril 26, 2022 at 5:56 am

    That is because evolution by means of blind and mindless processes is total untestable nonsense

    No, it’s testable.

    You’re wrong about that but it’s not important as evolution is not a purely random process. The niche designs organisms.

  135. 135
    Fred Hickson says:

    Evolution cannot create good versus evil, true versus false since it is mindless and has no categories for that.

    Well, whoever suggested otherwise?

  136. 136
    jerry says:

    You’re wrong about that

    No, I’m right.

    Darwinian processes by small accumulations can definitely be tested.

    The niche designs organisms

    Zero evidence to support that.

  137. 137
    Fred Hickson says:

    I admire your self-confidence, Jerry. No kidding, the main reason I’m commenting here is to encourage you.

  138. 138
    Fred Hickson says:

    Regarding the way environments design organisms, it’s Darwin’s key argument.

  139. 139
    jerry says:

    Darwin’s key argument

    Darwinian evolution is self refuting.

    If it worked it would destroy the organism. It only applies to genetics.

    It is vey limited by definition and science has proved it is extremely limited.

    DNA has nothing to do with Evolution because DNA has nothing to do with new body plans and no one knows where that information is.

  140. 140
    Fred Hickson says:

    Great stuff, Jerry. <3

  141. 141
    asauber says:

    “environments design organisms”

    FH,

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve read today.

    Andrew

  142. 142
    Fred Hickson says:

    Well, Andrew, that’s evolutionary theory, believe it or not.

  143. 143
    asauber says:

    “that’s evolutionary theory, believe it or not.”

    FH,

    If you say so. Although, I was under the impression that evolutionary theory bent over backwards to avoid invoking things like design, lest people draw the wrong conclusions.

    Andrew

  144. 144
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    Chemical bonds do not go through a logical analysis and choose what is true. In materialism, everything just “is”. Evolution cannot create good versus evil, true versus false since it is mindless and has no categories for that.

    Calculators are nothing but plastic and metal, wires, buttons, transistors, diodes… Transistors do not go through a logical analysis and choose what is true. The electrons just go where they go because of conductors and semiconductors. Chips don’t understand what a square root is, or a cosine. Still and yet, when presented with a mathematical question they provide the correct answer.

    Of course you will, as always, dodge the point by saying that calculators are designed by humans. You will change the subject by talking about how the calculator originally came to exist rather than about what the calculator does. The fact remains, once the calculator comes into existence it is not guided by anything except its own internal structure, and it answers questions truthfully merely because of its structure.

    Alpha Go systems are nothing but electronics too. Just electrons whizzing around inside the computer, following nothing but the laws of physics. The electrons and transistors don’t understand Go. The programmers that put together the system didn’t understand the strategies that enable champion Go players to win. Still and yet, Alpha Go learned, all by itself, to be the best Go player on Earth.

    Human retinas and the visual cortex are made of cells. Cells don’t understand what a circle is, or a line. They don’t understand the geometry that enables us to perceive how far away an object is, or how it is moving. Yet somehow these cells work together and accurately identify geometrical shapes, compute the speed and direction of moving objects, and so on. Deeper in the cortex, the neurons – following nothing but the laws of physics! – recognize increasingly complex things like a particular person, or an abstract concept like an apartment building. Perhaps you will say that brains can do these things becuse brains were designed by God, but again you’d be missing the point.

    DD: Evolutionary theory has nothing to do with free will
    I quoted Miller who said that it does.

    No, you are mistaken. He did not say that evolutionary theory made any claims about free will. His comments expressed his own thoughts about the matter.

    He’s an evolutionary biologist.

    His opinions about free will have nothing whatsoever to do with evolutionary theory! If Miller said that snake oil cures cancer and Jennifer Anniston was an alien from Mars, would you say that came from evolutionary theory too? There is a huge literature of evolutionary biology in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. None of it deals with free will.

    And just so we don’t forget the outstanding arguments:

    1) That the first CSI could not have been created by an intelligent being because according to our experience, all intelligent beings are chock-full of CSI already.
    2) I’m also saying that you have no evidence that any particular attribute of the Intelligent Designer you hypothesize (learning, consciousness, beliefs, desires, etc) is actually an attribute of whatever caused the universe to exist.
    3) I’m also saying that ID describes no limits whatsoever on what an “intelligent cause” is capable of doing, which means it is impossible for any observation to contradict the theory.
    4) I’m also saying that machine learning AI systems prove that deterministic mechanisms can produce novel CSI (which is in no way pre-programmed) which undermines ID’s assertion that no possible deterministic mechanism can produce CSI.
    5) ID requires metaphysical libertarianism to be true, while evolutionary theory is independent of any assumptions regarding metaphysics. (Remember, just because you can find people who believe in evolution and have ideas about metaphysics does not mean those metaphysics are entailed by evolutionary theory).

  145. 145
    asauber says:

    “Still and yet, when presented with a mathematical question they provide the correct answer.”

    DogDoc,

    They don’t get presented with mathematical questions. They receive input patterns and present output patterns. Humans present and receive questions.

    Andrew

  146. 146
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The environment just likes to design things. What’s the problem?
    A little patch of land. Same spot on earth, same climate, humidity, geology, temperature — all environmental variables exactly the same.
    But the environment wanted to design some things. So, it created a thousand species of prokaryotes. Then another thousand eucaryotes. Then worms, moths, flies, beetles, spiders, some dozens of trees, vines, flowers, mosses. Then dozens of birds and then mice, moles, bats, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, deer, bears. Different locomotion, nutritional needs, digestive systems, skin, fur, photosynthesis, vulnerabilities, reproductive methods …
    All in exactly the same environment. Some magical mutations come along and did a great job every time.
    The environment designs organisms. Just like evolutionary theory said.

  147. 147
    asauber says:

    “But the environment wanted to design some things.”

    SA,

    And then it decided to design Evolutionists. Talk about bad design. Sheesh.

    Andrew

  148. 148
    asauber says:

    Wow. This place cleared out like we were on a high dosage of Metamucil.

    Andrew

  149. 149
    ET says:

    Jerry- Please tell us how to test the claim that blind and mindless processes produced any bacterial flagellum.

  150. 150
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    You’re wrong about that but it’s not important as evolution is not a purely random process. The niche designs organisms.

    Evolution is said to proceed via blind and mindless processes. Natural selection is nonrandom in a trivial sense in that not all variants have the same probability of being eliminated. The niche doesn’t design anything.

    GIVEN starting populations of prokaryotes there isn’t a naturalistic mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes. Endosymbiosis doesn’t help.

  151. 151
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Well, Andrew, that’s evolutionary theory, believe it or not.

    Well, Fred, there isn’t any scientific theory of evolution, believe it or not.

  152. 152
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    You will change the subject by talking about how the calculator originally came to exist rather than about what the calculator does

    This is why OOL researchers attempt to create life in a lab. They’re looking for the origin of life. They don’t merely say that life does certain things – like a calculator does. ID is about origins. Just like OOL research is. For evolution, it’s the difference between artificial selection and natural selection. One is designed by intelligence the other is not. So, to prove materialistic OOL, it cannot use human intelligence. In the same with evolution. It’s the same with comparing human designed mechanisms as if they were created by blind, natural processes. As stated before, the challenge for OOL is to come up with functional code in a self-reproducing organism, without the input of intelligence. Otherwise, it would be something Intelligently Designed. And that is definitely the point. We can’t even create a living cell using all of our intelligence – and we know that blind, natural mechanisms are not as effective as an intelligent agent.

    The programmers that put together the system didn’t understand the strategies that enable champion Go players to win. Still and yet, Alpha Go learned, all by itself, to be the best Go player on Earth

    We’re fully aware of the learning algorithm designed to create winning strategies. It’s merely a memory device that self-optimizes strictly based on the rules of the game. It’s like saying a deck of cards is more intelligent than a human being because we cannot predict what hand will be dealt after the shuffle. The AI product is entirely an output of human intelligence. It’s not the product of a deterministic output. It would be like simulating evolution with a computer as proof that it occurred in that way. No, the evidence has to be shown in the wild – without intelligently designed input.

    Deeper in the cortex, the neurons – following nothing but the laws of physics!

    That’s the hypothesis. As stated many times, to validate the claim, we need to see how the laws of physics can create the system. We don’t even have a coherent theory as to why evolution supposedly developed vision systems multiple times, completely independently via convergent evolution. It’s impossible to believe it happened once, but we’re told it occurred at least 7 times.

    His opinions about free will have nothing whatsoever to do with evolutionary theory! If Miller said that snake oil cures cancer and Jennifer Anniston was an alien from Mars, would you say that came from evolutionary theory too?

    The guy who was called in as the evolutionary expert in a court case against ID stated that “evolution created free will” but that’s like him saying something about Jennifer Anniston?

    Darwin himself said that evolution explains free will:

    “the general delusion about free will [is] obvious,” and that one ought to punish criminals “solely to deter others”—[not because they did something blameworthy].
    “one deserves no credit for anything… nor ought one to blame others.”
    Paul Barrett, et. al., Charles Darwin’s Notebooks, 1836-1844 (New York: Cornell University Press, 1987), 608

    In The Moral Animal, evolutionary psychologist Robert Wright says: “free will is an illusion, brought to us by evolution”9 and “[u]nderstanding the often unconscious nature of genetic control is the first step toward understanding that —in many realms, not just sex—we’re all puppets….”
    Robert Wright, The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), p. 350

    This is what evolutionists say about their theory. It’s not like they’re talking about movie stars or their favorite flavor of ice-cream. Evolution clearly presents itself as the origin of every biological feature since the theory purports to explain all life on earth. Every feature comes from a mindless, materialistic mechanism. There is no other option given.

    G. E. Moore himself pointed out at the dawn of the twentieth century, there is no way to derive morality from Darwinism precisely because morality is dealing primarily with the “ought” question. Moore called this “the naturalistic fallacy.”[20] In its simplistic form, the fallacy states that a person cannot justify any behavior morally by arguing that it is that natural selection favors it.

    Things don’t evolve to become good or bad or to make any free choices about anything. It’s not possible.

    Evolutionary biologist David P. Barash of the University of Washington: “there can be no such thing as free will for the committed scientist, in his or her professional life.” Yet two paragraphs later, Barash writes:
    I suspect that we all—even the most hard-headed materialists—live with an unspoken hypocrisy: even as we assume determinism in our intellectual pursuits and professional lives, we actually experience our subjective lives as though free will reigns supreme. In our heart of hearts, we know that in most ways that really count (and many that don’t count), we have plenty of free will, and so do those around us. Inconsistent? Yes, indeed. But like the denial of death, it is a useful inconsistency, and perhaps even one that is essential…In many ways, we are forced to live with a degree of absurdity, if only because to acknowledge it in our daily lives is to admit yet more absurdity!

    Evolutionary ethics deny free will as a direct outcome of mindless causes.

    Evolutionist E. O. Wilson, declared:

    Ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to co-operate. It is without external grounding. Ethics is produced by evolution but not justified by it, because, like Macbeth’s dagger, it serves as a powerful purpose without existing in substance.

    Richard Dawkins says …

    in The Selfish Gene: “We are survival machines—robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.”

    Blindly programmed.

    Evolutionary Ethics: Its Origin and Contemporary Face
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-9744.00227
    First, evolutionary ethical explanations were dependent on group-selection accounts of social behavior (especially the explanation of altruism). Second, they seem to violate the philosophical principle that “ought” statements cannot be derived from “is” statements alone (values cannot be derivedfrom facts alone). Third, evolutionary ethics appeared to be biologically deterministic, deemed incompatible with the free will required for ethics to be possible. Fourth, social policies based on evolutionary theory (for example, eugenics in the early part of this century) seemed patently unethical. Sociobiology (which coalesced as a field of study with Edward O. Wilson’s Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 1975) addressed several of these problems and provided a rich framework and a new impetus for evolutionary ethics. The lingering problems were the philosophical is-ought barrier and biological determinism.

    Quantum propensities in the brain cortex and free will
    Unpredictability of animal behavior provides a survival advantage and allows for evolutionary optimization of manifested free will.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0303264721001258

    On Free Will and Evolution
    William Simkulet
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21507740.2015.1032386?journalCode=uabn20

    Ivanitsky, A. M., “Determinism and freedom of choice in the operation of the brain,” Zh. Vyssh. Nerv. Deyat., 65, No. 4, 503–512 (2015).
    Dubrovsky, D. I., “The psychophysiological problem and an informational approach,” in: Methodological Aspects of Studies of Brain Activity, Nauka, Moscow (1986), pp. 108–134.
    Wegner, D. M., The Illusion of Conscious Will, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (2002).

    Your five points:

    1) That the first CSI could not have been created by an intelligent being because according to our experience, all intelligent beings are chock-full of CSI already.

    ID does not purport to explain “the first CSI” but only the CSI it observes in nature. That CSI is best explained by intelligence and not by a mindless, unintelligent source. You’re saying “you don’t know” if a blind, natural source can produce the CSI – but you do not show evidence. ID can show that CSI is and can be produced by intelligence.

    2) I’m also saying that you have no evidence that any particular attribute of the Intelligent Designer you hypothesize (learning, consciousness, beliefs, desires, etc) is actually an attribute of whatever caused the universe to exist.

    ID does not hypothesize about the attributes of the designer, but only that there is evidence of intelligence in the design. In the same way, if SETI found signals giving evidence of having been caused by intelligence, it would not need to (or likely be able to) provide information about attributes of the alien intelligence that produced it. That’s basic forensics. We don’t need to know who the murderer was to know it wasn’t an accident.

    3) I’m also saying that ID describes no limits whatsoever on what an “intelligent cause” is capable of doing, which means it is impossible for any observation to contradict the theory.

    Again, for the third time. If you can show a natural cause, then ID does not apply. Rain falls from clouds. We have a good physical theory for why and how. ID does not consider that a subject that “can only be explained by intelligent design”.

    4) I’m also saying that machine learning AI systems prove that deterministic mechanisms can produce novel CSI (which is in no way pre-programmed) which undermines ID’s assertion that no possible deterministic mechanism can produce CSI.

    If you’re saying that AI systems produced the first cell that is significant since we know that AI systems are programed with intelligence, and you would be admitting that an intelligent agent (even not truly a “designer” as AI systems cannot make a rational, conscious design decision) was necessary to explain the observation.
    That is an ID conclusion, in the same way that there are prominent IDists who think that life was seeded on earth by aliens. What that’s saying is that an unintelligent cause could not have created the first life. But moving from the production of novel CSI to what is actually required to build self-replicating cellular life along with free-rational thought itself (that can create AI systems) is more than a deterministic intelligence can produce.
    There are different levels of intelligence. Some will say that plants have a sort of intelligence. Insects, birds, fish, mammals. We can consider some primitive design that comes from some of those intelligent sources – like beaver dams. It’s more difficult to see plants actually designing purposefully – at only a very minor level perhaps. So, AI is a very low-level of intelligence which is entirely derived from human intelligence. But we don’t even need AI to see the production of novel CSI. Quite a lot of software can do that and even come up with unpredictable results.
    This is not an argument against ID. If one has to cite artificial intelligence as the cause of the CSI we observe in nature, that’s a validation of ID.

    5) ID requires metaphysical libertarianism to be true, while evolutionary theory is independent of any assumptions regarding metaphysics. (Remember, just because you can find people who believe in evolution and have ideas about metaphysics does not mean those metaphysics are entailed by evolutionary theory).

    All science is a product of metaphysical assumptions. Evolution is heavily weighted by metaphysics, as the opposition to ID shows clearly. And this is not merely from the opinions of evolutionists, but within the theory itself. Some of the assumptions are basic:
    Events that happened in the past were affected by and under the same conditions that we observe today. So the constancy of natural laws. That’s a metaphysical assumption. Not a very radical one, but it’s there anyway.
    More radically: It is possible to explain the development of all life on earth through material, physical processes alone. In other words, nothing else of any significance exists.
    An example would be when you stated that the eye functions entirely “through physics alone”. That’s a metaphysical assumption, not something that can be proven.
    A few more metaphysical assumptions for evolution are:
    Reason and logic and truth are valid means for assessing data
    We can arrive at intelligible truths about life through observation
    Evolution has no limit and therefore organisms have no boundaries to their malleability by mutation
    All organisms have a drive or impulse to survive
    Mathematical modelling provides valid knowledge about life
    Life can ultimately be understood through a reductive process down to the molecular level

  153. 153
    Fred Hickson says:

    “Evolutionary ethics”?

    Never heard of that. Are you sure you’re not imagining that, Silver Asiatic?

  154. 154
    jerry says:

    Please tell us how to test the claim that blind and mindless processes produced any bacterial flagellum.

    I never said I could.

    I said I could test Darwinian evolution. Discussed in

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/do-nylon-eating-bacteria-show-that-new-functional-information-is-easy-to-evolve/

  155. 155
    kairosfocus says:

    FH,

    did you try a web search before commenting dismissively?

    Try, Internet Enc of Phil (as in, Ethics is a main branch of Phil):

    Evolutionary Ethics

    Evolutionary ethics tries to bridge the gap between philosophy and the natural sciences by arguing that natural selection has instilled human beings with a moral sense, a disposition to be good. If this were true, morality could be understood as a phenomenon that arises automatically during the evolution of sociable, intelligent beings and not, as theologians or philosophers might argue, as the result of divine revelation or the application of our rational faculties. Morality would be interpreted as a useful adaptation that increases the fitness of its holders by providing a selective advantage. This is certainly the view of Edward O. Wilson, the “father” of sociobiology, who believes that “scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized” (Wilson, 1975: 27). The challenge for evolutionary biologists such as Wilson is to define goodness with reference to evolutionary theory and then explain why human beings ought to be good.
    Table of Contents

    Key Figures and Key Concepts
    Charles Darwin
    Herbert Spencer
    The Is-Ought Problem
    The Naturalistic Fallacy
    Sociobiology
    Placement in Contemporary Ethical Theory
    Challenges for Evolutionary Ethics
    References and Further Reading

    Of course, it is a Sisyphean task.

    KF

  156. 156
    ET says:

    OK, so we are right back to That is because evolution by means of blind and mindless processes is total untestable nonsense.

    For example, no one knows how to test the claim that any bacterial flagellum evolved by means of blind and mindless processes. And the evolution of nylonase appears to have all of the hallmarks of Spetner’s “built-in responses to environmental cues”.

  157. 157
    jerry says:

    evolution by means of blind and mindless processes is total untestable nonsense

    Not true.

    Discussed with Dr Gauger

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/do-nylon-eating-bacteria-show-that-new-functional-information-is-easy-to-evolve/#comment-631468

    Again nothing to do with flagellum. Also nothing to do with nylon eating bacteria.

  158. 158
    ET says:

    Yes, Jerry, that and the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” should have sealed the deal. Those falsify evolution by means of blind and mindless processes.

    But there still isn’t any way to test the claim that blind and mindless processes could have produced those proteins in the first place.

  159. 159
    Sandy says:

    It’s nothing random in all adaptative responses of the organisms to environment therefore darwinism is false.
    Code (purpose ) is the opposite of randomness.
    Homeostasis is the opposite of randomness.
    All genetic diseases are self-distruction programs that are activated . There is a limit for how many DNA mistakes are manageable (ancestral blueprint) if are too many then the organisms will die/will be impaired and not will “evolve” in something else more fit . 🙂

  160. 160
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Just to put the idea that AI systems refute ID …

    AI is “Artificial Intelligence”. Materialist origin-of-life claims and what evolutionary claims are that “blind, natural causes” can produce the CSI (first RNA or DNA) or the organisms (bacterial flagella) in question. AI is artificial, that is intelligently designed, and not a “natural cause”.

  161. 161
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF @155 Thank you.

    a web search before commenting dismissively

    Hoping that attitude will change for the future.

  162. 162
    Fred Hickson says:

    OK so I googled

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_ethics

    Not much meat in that sandwich. Tilting at windmills comes to mind.

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    DD,

    have you ever designed, built and programmed a complex digital system? If you had, I doubt you would have seriously proposed as follows. I mark up:

    >>Calculators are nothing but plastic and metal, wires, buttons, transistors, diodes… T>>

    1: Calculators, these days mostly ARM family computers in disguise, are carefully designed and programmed computational substrates with interfaces for users.

    >>Transistors do not go through a logical analysis and choose what is true. The electrons just go where they go because of conductors and semiconductors.>>

    2: Their designers do. The architecture, organisation and programming are very carefully made indeed.

    3: You are obviously trying to make the intelligently directed configuration driving the process rhetorically vanish.

    4: The Calculator is a non rational, dynamic stochastic entity that reliably produces good calculations as it was designed to do so.

    5: That fact of FSCO/I from design is not going away anytime soon.

    >> Chips don’t understand what a square root is, or a cosine. Still and yet, when presented with a mathematical question they provide the correct answer.>>

    6: They only express the rationality of designers who do understand.

    >>Of course you will, as always, dodge the point by saying that calculators are designed>>

    7: Loaded language and an attempted turnabout projection inviting analysis on confession by projection driven by cognitive dissonance.

    8: So, you just confessed to dodging key issues, here the manifest first fact of intelligent design of the calculator. Further, you acknowledge that this is yet another example of how FSCO/I comes about by design and the further fact that designed entities that succeed tend to work more or less as advertised.

    >>by humans.>>

    9: Who exemplify designers but are unable to exhaust either possibilities or actuality . . . go look at some beaver dams.

    >> You will change the subject by talking about how the calculator originally came to exist rather than about what the calculator does.>>

    10: You here confess to using distractions and diversions.

    11: It is manifest that a calculator reflects a successful purpose and contrivance, much as Paley’s watch and onward his self replicating watch.

    12: The manifest evidence of design points where you do not wish to look, so you have set up a red herring.

    >> The fact remains, once the calculator comes into existence it is not guided by anything except its own internal structure, >>

    13: that internal structure is an artifact, which reduces to a computational substrate the intent of a rational, responsible, significantly free designer.

    14: Therefore, it is guided by its designer who made that substrate to serve his/her purpose.

    >>and it answers questions truthfully merely because of its structure.>>

    15: Because, it successfully implements the intent of a designer.

    16: You hereby further confess that you have no cogent reply to the trillions of cases of observed cause of FSCO/I, design, thus making FSCO/I a reliable sign of design.

    17: But, the inference on sign you are utterly opposed to so you have constructed a distractive, fallacious appeal.

    18: Balance on merits is clear.

    KF

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, prezactly, they are trying to answer to the is ought gap and struggle because of gross inadequacy of worldview framework. To bear the weight of ought and bridge is-ought you have to be at reality root, post Hume. Next, post Euthyphro, goodness must neither be independent nor arbitrary. That leads to a bill of requisites for such a root: an adequate, necessary being [from utter non being nothing can come], source of worlds that is inherently good and utterly wise. KF

  165. 165
    Fred Hickson says:

    Tilt away, KF.

    The fact is “evolutionary ethics” is a concept that never caught on. And why would it?

  166. 166
    Fred Hickson says:

    PS try dogdoc with the red ball and the fishing reel, KF. 🙂

  167. 167
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, you make my point for me. They tried but could not bridge is and ought; being enormously influential for generations down to today. Yet, we are unified wholes with rationality morally governed such that if that is delusional it takes down our rationality with it. If our conscience stirred sense that we are accountable to law is truthful, then we live in a world with an adequate reality root that bridges is and ought. KF

    PS, a red ball on a table illustrates and helps draw out principle of distinct identity, with close corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle. The Abu 6500 CT fishing reel exemplifies FSCO/I and its root, and why not talk about something I enjoy in picking a key case to study inductively?

    PPS, years ago, someone here told us her dad was given the job to reverse engineer the famous Abu reel. He despaired of the job, it was so well and so tightly designed. Abu started by making taxi meters in the days when they were horse drawn. Their first reels were designed during the war when imports — I presume, Hardy’s of London — were cut off.

  168. 168
    Fred Hickson says:

    They? My point is that “they” made no impact on ethics or philosophy. You are attacking a concept that exists in name only.

  169. 169
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, sadly, they did. Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution, they once proudly used as theme for international congresses. Follow the history. KF

  170. 170
    Fred Hickson says:

    Well, maybe eugenics is at play in Putin’s argument that Ukraine is not a sovereign nation.

  171. 171
    kairosfocus says:

    FH. Ukraine is where Russia began, in Kiev. Czar Putin I wants his crib back. But the crib gets a vote, with ATGMs and MANPADs. KF

  172. 172
    Seversky says:

    There are no evolutionary ethics nor can there be. As the article points out both the is/ought gap and the naturalistic fallacy stand firmly in the way.

    Darwin himself recognized that our moral duty was to our fellow creatures which meant we should have to override the principle of survival of the fittest, not take it as some sort of moral norm.

    With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

    The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.

  173. 173
    ET says:

    Darwin is a hypocrite or an ignoramus as there isn’t any moral duty if natural selection produced humans.

    As for impact, evolution by means of blind and mindless processes hasn’t made any impact on our knowledge.

  174. 174
    Fred Hickson says:

    As for impact, evolution by means of blind and mindless processes hasn’t made any impact on our knowledge.

    Perhaps. On the other hand, Darwin’s theory of natural selection (the non-random process that designs organisms to fit their niche) still forms the basis of current evolutionary theory. Folks who think the consensus scientific theory of evolution is rubbish should go the extra step and present a better one. Then we can compare it against evolutionary theory for predictive power.

  175. 175
    Sandy says:

    the non-random process that designs organisms to fit their niche

    If it’s non-random then is a non-darwinist process then is designed.

  176. 176
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    . On the other hand, Darwin’s theory of natural selection (the non-random process that designs organisms to fit their niche) still forms the basis of current evolutionary theory.

    Natural selection is a process of elimination. It is nothing more than contingent serendipity. And there still isn’t any scientific theory of evolution.

    Natural selection is nonrandom is a trivial sense- not all variants have the same probability of being eliminated. Fred Hickson is clearly willfully ignorant and proud of it.

  177. 177
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Folks who think the consensus scientific theory of evolution is rubbish should go the extra step and present a better one. Then we can compare it against evolutionary theory for predictive power.

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. Evolution by means of blind and mindless processes only predicts genetic diseases and deformities.

    Only fools think that scientific theories are done via consensus.

  178. 178
    JHolo says:

    All this talk about the is ought gap nonsense. Our ability to think, to reason, to predict consequences of our actions, to learn from mistakes, and our desire to live in group settings is all that is needed.

  179. 179
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JHolo
    All this talk about the is ought gap nonsense. Our ability to think, to reason, to predict consequences of our actions, to learn from mistakes, and our desire to live in group settings is all that is needed.

    🙂 Oh, so you tell us that we ought to think in a certain way even if you also think that is-ought gap is non-sense. You contradict yourself in a sentence and you tell us what we “ought to” do?

    Secondly, your explanations are preschool type explanations that “explain everything” with the proximate cause that is considered ultimate cause.

  180. 180
    ET says:

    JHolo:

    Our ability to think, to reason, to predict consequences of our actions, to learn from mistakes, and our desire to live in group settings is all that is needed.

    Our ability to think, to reason, to predict consequences of our actions, to learn from mistakes, and our desire to live in group settings is all via intelligent design.

  181. 181
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    Lets say you see Entity 1 acting intelligently, producing novel CSI. You infer that it is intelligent. If Entity 1 is revealed to be a human being, then you let your inference stand that Entity 1 is an intelligent agent. But if Entity 1 is revealed to be some deterministic process then you change your mind after the fact, and decide that Entity 1 is merely simulating intelligence, and the real intelligence must come from the creator of Entity 1, which you hypothesize as Entity 2. You search for Entity 2 and find it, and you see that it creates novel CSI (including Entity 1), and so you declare you were correct. But if Entity 2 was then revealed to be a machine you would again reverse your position and declare that Entity 2 is merely simulated intelligence. And so on, until you finally find an Entity that you didn’t understand the workings of (like a human being).

    As you (or at least some interested reader) should be able to see, the truth is that anything that produces CSI is exhibiting real intelligence no matter how it was created. What created first life? Something intelligent. Was it a deterministic process or something that transcends physical mechanism? That’s a religious question – the evidence can’t answer it.

    (By the way, you would likely make the same mistake when shown the intelligent behavior of, say, insects. Insects and learn, communicate, adatp, recognize and remember human faces, build complex structures full of CSI, and so on. Are they intelligent? I would certainly say so, but most IDers would simply attribute these behaviors to an invisible designer instead, but they don’t think that insects could have “actual, real” intelligence with free will, etc.)

    We’re fully aware of the learning algorithm designed to create winning strategies. It’s merely a memory device that self-optimizes strictly based on the rules of the game.

    Your second sentence contradicts your first sentence.

    Deeper in the cortex, the neurons – following nothing but the laws of physics!
    That’s the hypothesis.

    Are you suggesting that neurons do not operate according to the laws of physics?

    As stated many times, to validate the claim, we need to see how the laws of physics can create the system.

    It is interseting that you are not able to understand this point. There are two questions. The first question is, how does the brain (or AI systems) work? The second question is, how did brains (or AI systems) come to exist? They are two seperate questions. Brains and AI systems operate according to physical law and exhibit intelligent behaviors. We know how AI systems come to exist, and we don’t know how brains came to exist, but that doesn’t change the fact that both systems exhibit intelligence.

    We don’t even have a coherent theory as to why evolution supposedly developed vision systems multiple times, completely independently via convergent evolution. It’s impossible to believe it happened once, but we’re told it occurred at least 7 times.

    We’re not talking about evolution. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t believe that evolutionary theory answers the questions of either OOL or speciation.

    The guy who was called in as the evolutionary expert in a court case against ID stated that “evolution created free will” but that’s like him saying something about Jennifer Anniston?

    Again, you need to differentiate a scientific theory from the comments of individual scientists made outside of the scientific literature. Perhaps you have the mindset that scientists are like prophets or gods, and their spoken word is meant as gospel. Science doesn’t work that way. Scientific results are vetted by the scientific process and published in journals and textbooks. Comments made in popular books or in spoken interviews do not become part of scientific knowledge just because the commenter is a scientist.

    Not everything that Charles Darwin said is part of modern evolutionary theory. What journalist Robert Wright says in his popular books is not necessarily part of evolutionary theory. What philosopher G.E. Moore said is not part of evolutionary theory. The opinions of David Barash or E.O. Wilson regarding free will is not part of evolutionary theory. Your quote from Dawkins says nothing about free will or ethics. You quote from the Zygon journal of Religion and Science is not part of evolutionary theory. And so on.

    None of the quotes or ideas that you have assembled are scientific results concerning the origin of species and biological systems. If my child was taught these opinions about the implications of evolutionary theory for the philosophy of free will or of ethics, then I would strenuously objecct.

    Evolutionary theory says nothing about morality or free will. I think that is an important point, but it really stands apart from the debate you and I are having, since I am not proposing evolutionary theory as a successful account of how biological systems came to exist. I am saying that there is no successful theory that explains OOL or speciation.

    ID does not purport to explain “the first CSI” but only the CSI it observes in nature.

    Ok, fair enough.

    That CSI is best explained by intelligence…

    In all of our experience, we see that CSI requires intelligence, and we also see that intelligence requires CSI. How it got started is a big mystery.

    You’re saying “you don’t know” if a blind, natural source can produce the CSI – but you do not show evidence.

    In #130 I said “No, I’m not saying that that I don’t know whether or not a “blind watchmaker” can produce the CSI we observe.”. So you really are just not listening here. Stop going around in circles.

    ID can show that CSI is and can be produced by intelligence.

    You mean CSI can be produced by complex physical systems – that is what we can show.

    DD: I’m also saying that you have no evidence that any particular attribute of the Intelligent Designer you hypothesize (learning, consciousness, beliefs, desires, etc) is actually an attribute of whatever caused the universe to exist.
    SA: ID does not hypothesize about the attributes of the designer, but only that there is evidence of intelligence in the design.

    You just got through listing all of the attributes that ID claims are possessed by the Intelligent Designer! You finally gave me the definition of intelligence that ID is using, and it includes the abilities to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn”. I’ve pointed out that there is no evidence that whatever process was responsible for the existence of biological complexity was able to learn, or use any general-purpose language, or to consciously comprehend anything at all.

    In the same way, if SETI found signals giving evidence of having been caused by intelligence

    According to SETI, if we found signals similar to what humans transmit then we would infer some advanced technological civilisation was responsible. In any event, SETI is not a theory, it is a group of people looking for signals similar to what humans would transmit from planetary systems similar to where humans could exist.

    DD: I’m also saying that ID describes no limits whatsoever on what an “intelligent cause” is capable of doing, which means it is impossible for any observation to contradict the theory.
    SA: Again, for the third time. If you can show a natural cause, then ID does not apply.

    Instead of repeating your answer, try to understand my point here.
    1) Let’s say I observe some phenomenon and attempt to find an explanation
    2) I fail to find any explanation for that can be empirically tested and confirmed, so I say the answer is not yet known.
    3) You come up with some explanation that cannot be empirically tested and confirmed either.
    4) I tell you, “Your theory can’t be empirically tested and confirmed”
    5) You reply, “Unless you can find a better theory, my theory is the best”

    That is what you are arguing. Can’t you see why your argument is invalid? There are no satisfactory theories of the origin of the universe or of life that can be empirically tested and confirmed. ID can’t be empirically tested and confirmed because the way it defines “intelligence” could explain anything we could ever observe. Evolution can be empirically tested, and as a result (in my opinion and yours) it cannot be confirmed to be an adequate explanation for OOL / speciation.

    And that is why I say “nobody knows”: Because neither ID nor evolutionary theory nor self-organization theory nor multiverse theory nor any other theory – natural, supernatural, unnatural, hyphernatural, intelligent, unintelligent, whatever – can explain the phenomena and be empirically tested and confirmed.

    I’m also saying that machine learning AI systems prove that deterministic mechanisms can produce novel CSI (which is in no way pre-programmed) which undermines ID’s assertion that no possible deterministic mechanism can produce CSI.

    If you’re saying that AI systems produced the first cell

    I assume you’re joking? The word “artificial” means “man-made”, or “created by human beings. How could something created by human beings produce the first cell? I guess you missed the point again: AI systems that operate according to physical law and produce CSI, which undermines ID’s claim that this can never occur. (Here is where you forget everything that I wrote and start talking about how human beings create AI systems, and it starts all over again).

    [Science assumes] It is possible to explain the development of all life on earth through material, physical processes alone. In other words, nothing else of any significance exists.

    While you can certainly find scientists who talk like this, science itself doesn’t distinguish beteween what is material or not material! Is a quantum probability wave a material thing? What does that even mean? Science looks for explanations that can be empirically tested and confirmed, not things that are “material”, and it doesn’t exclude anything that isn’t “material”. If you really understand modern physics, you would know that even matter isn’t “material” in any sense we can understand.

    An example would be when you stated that the eye functions entirely “through physics alone”. That’s a metaphysical assumption, not something that can be proven.

    First, science doesn’t prove things, it provides empirical evidence for and against theories and generates provisional results. But a great deal of the mechanism of vision has been explained by neural mechanism, just as I was describing, and those explanations do not refer to anything outside of current physics.

    A few more metaphysical assumptions for evolution are:
    Reason and logic and truth are valid means for assessing data
    We can arrive at intelligible truths about life through observation

    These are epsitemological assumptions underlying all knowledge.

    Evolution has no limit and therefore organisms have no boundaries to their malleability by mutation

    I’m not defending evolutionary theory here.

    All organisms have a drive or impulse to survive

    Where did this come from? It’s not really true, for example suicide.

    Mathematical modelling provides valid knowledge about life

    Also this one – nonsense. Just because you make a model doesn’t mean it reflects truth; you actually have to test your model against observations.

    Life can ultimately be understood through a reductive process down to the molecular level

    Not an assumption of science; this is an hypothesis.

  182. 182
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sorting it out …

    In post 152 I provided an abundance of links to evolutionists trying to explain free-will, morality (a function of it), determinism and “evolutionary ethics”.

    Fred Hickson then replied saying:

    “Evolutionary ethics”?

    Never heard of that. Are you sure you’re not imagining that, Silver Asiatic?

    In the post he responded to I offered a link to a paper entitled “Evolutionary Ethics: Its Origin and Contemporary Face” – and FH thinks I just imagining the concept. I was citing Darwinists, trying to explain their own theory and FH had never heard of it and thought I was making it up.
    Own goal #1.

    KF was kind enough to follow with another academic article, illustrating what Darwinists have to say about “Evolutionary ethics”. It’s their term, their concept, their lame idea. Of course they have to come up with something. Morals and ethics exist in the real world, as much as Darwinists try to deny that, so they have to claim it all evolved. The article says:

    Evolutionary ethics tries to bridge the gap between philosophy and the natural sciences by arguing that natural selection has instilled human beings with a moral sense …
    Morality would be interpreted as a useful adaptation that increases the fitness of its holders by providing a selective advantage. This is certainly the view of Edward O. Wilson, the “father” of sociobiology, who believes that “scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized”

    Mutations in a biological organism cannot create ethics or morality. Here the Darwinists try to claim that evolution causes moral actions, even though they know that is a lie, just as Darwin lied to try to deceive people. But again, the Darwinists had to do something, so they made up “evolutionary ethics” to try to cover themselves with respectability. Otherwise they’re sitting on this mindless, amoral theory and people can see how destructive it is to human life. So, of course, “evolution created free will and moral norms”.

    FH still didn’t like that.

    So, after never having heard of the topic, and then reading a Wikipedia page, FH says:

    Not much meat in that sandwich. Tilting at windmills comes to mind.

    Own goal #2. Yes, indeed. Not much meat in the evolutionary blather is there? Nobody is surprised that they’re titling at windmills – that’s the evolutionary enterprise in a nutshell. So, FH doesn’t like the lies and manipulations his fellow Darwinists came up with.

    KF righly responded:

    FH, you make my point for me.

    Exactly. All I have to do is sit back and watch the Darwinists rip apart their own theorists. In the end, they still have nothing at all. Just more confusion and idiocy.

    But FH persists, he’s really opposed to what the Darwinian theorists came up with. He says next:

    The fact is “evolutionary ethics” is a concept that never caught on. And why would it?

    Own goal #3. Yes, why would anybody listen to what Darwinian theorists have to say? Who would even read their pathetic attempts at scholarship? Ken Miller claims evolution created free will. E.O. Wilson says evolution created morality. Yes, deceptive cover-ups don’t tend to catch on. This is aside from the fact that, as ET pointed out, we don’t measure the correctness of a theory by how many people like it.

    KF then agreed.

    They tried but could not bridge is and ought

    They tried and failed. As usual. As always.
    Yes, “they” are just as foolish as ever, coming up with incoherent concepts because their theory proposed a blind, mindless cause as the source of human intelligence, moral conscience and rationality itself. It’s pretty easy to see how wrong that is.

    But FH stayed with it – he doesn’t like what the Darwinists had to say:

    My point is that “they” made no impact on ethics or philosophy. You are attacking a concept that exists in name only.

    The Darwinian ethicists, who simply took their own theory and tried to apply it to real life, actually made no impact because evolution renders everything it touches a jumble on nonsense and contradictions. More importantly, evolutionists do not want to touch morality, consciousness, free-will, rational thought. They just pretend those things “emerged” along the way. No need to trace the mutational path that gave us the human soul. Take a chimpanzee, the need to leave the forest for the savanna, and everything just falls in place. No need to discuss it.

    ET summarized it well:

    Darwin is a hypocrite or an ignoramus as there isn’t any moral duty if natural selection produced humans.

    Darwin’s followers learned from their master how to lie and cover-over problems with their theory and manipulate the public.

    Seversky just piles on:

    There are no evolutionary ethics nor can there be …

    He then quotes Darwin who affirms that evolution means that human act like animals driven by survival and competition, but then he has to contradict himself and say that evolution made us sympathetic and nothing we could do will ever change that, not even a desire to commit genocide against Jews. Nope, evolution would never permit that:

    Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.

    This conversation is a high-definition illustration of the confused and irrational “thought processes” that evolutionary thinking produces in people.

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    DD,

    In 1802, Paley:

    Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch [in a field and stumbled on the stone in Ch 1 just past, where this is 50 years before Darwin in Ch 2 of a work Darwin full well knew about] should after some time discover that, in addition to

    [–> here cf encapsulated, gated, metabolising automaton, and note, “stickiness” of molecules raises a major issue of interfering cross reactions thus very carefully controlled organised reactions are at work in life . . . ]

    all the properties [= specific, organised, information-rich functionality] which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself [–> i.e. self replication, cf here the code using von Neumann kinematic self replicator that is relevant to first cell based life] — the thing is conceivable [= this is a gedankenexperiment, a thought exercise to focus relevant principles and issues]; that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts — a mold, for instance, or a complex adjustment of lathes, baffles, and other tools — evidently and separately calculated for this purpose [–> it exhibits functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information; where, in mid-late C19, cell based life was typically thought to be a simple jelly-like affair, something molecular biology has long since taken off the table but few have bothered to pay attention to Paley since Darwin] . . . .

    The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism by which it was carried on, he would perceive in this new observation nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done — for referring the construction of the watch to design and to supreme art

    [–> directly echoes Plato in The Laws Bk X on the ART-ificial (as opposed to the strawman tactic “supernatural”) vs the natural in the sense of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity as serious alternative causal explanatory candidates; where also the only actually observed cause of FSCO/I is intelligently configured configuration, i.e. contrivance or design]

    . . . . He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which, was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair — the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use [–> i.e. design].

    . . . . We might possibly say, but with great latitude of expression, that a stream of water ground corn ; but no latitude of expression would allow us to say, no stretch
    cf conjecture could lead us to think, that the stream of water built the mill, though it were too ancient for us to know who the builder was.
    What the stream of water does in the affair is neither more nor less than this: by the application of an unintelligent impulse to a mechanism previously arranged, arranged independently of it and arranged by intelligence, an effect is produced, namely, the corn is ground. But the effect results from the arrangement. [–> points to intelligently directed configuration as the observed and reasonably inferred source of FSCO/I] The force of the stream cannot be said to be the cause or the author of the effect, still less of the arrangement. Understanding and plan in the formation of the mill were not the less necessary for any share which the water has in grinding the corn; yet is this share the same as that which the watch would have contributed to the production of the new watch . . . .

    Though it be now no longer probable that the individual watch which our observer had found was made immediately by the hand of an artificer, yet doth not this alteration in anywise affect the inference, that an artificer had been originally employed and concerned in the production. The argument from design remains as it was.

    Marks of design and contrivance are no more accounted for now than they were before. In the same thing, we may ask for the cause of different properties. We may ask for the cause of the color of a body, of its hardness, of its heat ; and these causes may be all different. We are now asking for the cause of that subserviency to a use, that relation to an end, which we have remarked in the watch before us. No answer is given to this question, by telling us that a preceding watch produced it. There cannot be design without a designer; contrivance, without a contriver; order [–> better, functionally specific organisation], without choice; arrangement, without any thing capable of arranging; subserviency and relation to a purpose, without that which could intend a purpose; means suitable to an end, and executing their office in accomplishing that end, without the end ever having been contemplated, or the means accommodated to it. Arrangement, disposition of parts, subserviency of means to an end, relation of instruments to a use, imply the presence of intelligence and mind. No one, therefore, can rationally believe that the insensible, inanimate watch, from which the watch before us issued, was the proper cause of the mechanism we so much admire m it — could be truly said to have constructed the instrument, disposed its parts, assigned their office, determined their order, action, and mutual dependency, combined their several motions into one result, and that also a result connected with the utilities of other beings. All these properties, therefore, are as much unaccounted for as they were before.

    Nor is any thing gained by running the difficulty farther back, that is, by supposing the watch before us to have been produced from another watch, that from a former, and so on indefinitely. Our going back ever so far brings us no nearer to the least degree of satisfaction upon the subject. Contrivance is still unaccounted for. We still want a contriver. A designing mind is neither supplied by this supposition nor dispensed with. If the difficulty were diminished the farther we went back, by going back indefinitely we might exhaust it. And this is the only case to which this sort of reasoning applies. “Where there is a tendency, or, as we increase the number of terms, a continual approach towards a limit, there, by supposing the number of terms to be what is called infinite, we may conceive the limit to be attained; but where there is no such tendency or approach, nothing is effected by lengthening the series . . . ,

    And the question which irresistibly presses upon our thoughts is. Whence this contrivance and design ? The thing required is the intending mind, the adapted hand, the intelligence by which that hand was directed. This question, this demand, is not shaken off by increasing a number or succession of substances destitute of these properties; nor the more, by increasing that number to infinity. If it be said, that upon the supposition of one watch being produced from another in the course of that other’s movements, and by means of the mechanism within it, we have a cause for the watch in my hand, namely, the watch from which it proceeded — I deny, that for the design, the contrivance, the suitableness of means to an end, the adaptation of instruments to a use, all of which we discover in the watch, we have any cause whatever. It is in vain, therefore, to assign a series of such causes, or to allege that a series may be carried back to infinity; for I do not admit that we have yet any cause at all for the phenomena, still less any series of causes either finite or infinite. Here is contrivance, but no contriver; proofs of design, but no designer. [Paley, Nat Theol, Ch 2]

    This anticipated Darwin by about 50 years and von Neumann by about 150.

    The point is, dynamic stochastic systems are not credible creators of FSCO/I, though they may transmit it.

    KF

  184. 184
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    In post 152 I provided an abundance of links to evolutionists trying to explain free-will, morality (a function of it), determinism and “evolutionary ethics”.

    And I have pointed out many times now: I couldn’t care less what “evolutionists” say about free will, or morality, for two reasons:

    1) I think it’s clear that the science of evolutionary biology is independent of the question of free will.
    2) I do not subscribe to the idea that evolutionary theory has successfully explained speciation, nor that anything has explained OOL. Thus, I’m not here to defend evolutionary theory, much less discuss what some people might think are the metaphysical or moral implications of evolutionary theory.

    Now that’s out of the way, I’m content that I have brought multiple arguments to bear against considering ID to be an empirically supported theory of existence of living things and of the universe, including:

    1) There is no evidence that anything within our brains – or anywhere else – transcends or violates the laws of physics. ID assumes that libertarian free will is true, and thus ID is not an empirically based theory.

    2) The attributes ID claims to be associated with the cause of life and the universe (conscious comprehension, ability to learn, ability to use general-purpose language, and so on) cannot be empirically confirmed, so ID is not an empirically based theory.

    3) ID cannot be tested against empirical evidence because its explanation is consistent with any possible observation, so ID is not an empirically testable theory.

    And by the way, does anyone have a rebuttal to the argument I made against Plantinga’s argument against naturalism in @130?

  185. 185
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    I just wrote a long reply, almost line by line and dropped my internet signal while posting and lost 20 minutes of work on that …

    I might try again, but bottom line:

    You said: “What created first life? Something intelligent. ”
    That’s good common ground. You disagree with ideas that come after that, but we have a starting point at least.
    I don’t believe ID would necessarily have a problem with a “deterministic intelligence”. As you rightly point out, an AI system cannot be the cause of the first life on earth. So, we’re capable of eliminating some intelligences. As I said, there are different levels of intelligence – plant, insect, bird, animal, human. AI is a type of intelligence.

    SETI is looking for signals based on what we know of human communication and language and knowing they may find something from beings that are quite different than humans. This does not stop their inferential work. So, the same should be true for ID. We observe signals in nature that indicated intelligence, even though the intelligence is unknown and may be different than human.

    Are you suggesting that neurons do not operate according to the laws of physics?

    Keep in mind, you said: ” following nothing but the laws of physics!”
    So “nothing but” would rule out anything else and even some quantum effects are interpreted in a non-physical way as some believe consciousness to be”. Beyond that, it would be a statement of 100% certainty that God does not exist and/or has no effect in sustaining the universe.

    Instead of repeating your answer, try to understand my point here.
    1) Let’s say I observe some phenomenon and attempt to find an explanation

    You see a rock with some scratching on it which could be deliberate etching or it could be scratches from the random movements of nearby rocks.

    2) I fail to find any explanation for that can be empirically tested and confirmed, so I say the answer is not yet known.

    You look only at the movement of rocks and find no way to explain the etchings. You conclude, the answer is not known.

    3) You come up with some explanation that cannot be empirically tested and confirmed either.

    I analyze and match against intelligently designed languages. I notice the scratches can be modeled as certain patterns and, while not a known human language, does appear to be symbolic and also there does not seem to be any way a random, blind, natural source made them. There is no way to empirically test the findings, but only that the scratches cannot be explained by a random cause, and they resemble an intelligently designed cause.

    4) I tell you, “Your theory can’t be empirically tested and confirmed”

    I say, if you show me in a lab or on the mountainside where you found the rock – that the scratches can be replicated by a blind, natural process – through gravity or a volcano or erosion or glacial activity — then my inference to intelligent design is falsified. But instead, I see repeated curved shapes, a pattern of slashes the same lengths with spacing, and shapes fitting a row and not haphazard.
    So, the ID inference here can be challenged.

    5) You reply, “Unless you can find a better theory, my theory is the best”

    This is just a test between design and natural effects.
    Its the same with a forensics study. Was it an accident or deliberate? If I claim deliberate, you can show that all the elements could have happened by accident.

    If you haven’t noticed, I don’t believe that evolutionary theory answers the questions of either OOL or speciation.

    I didn’t notice and I assumed you were an evolutionary materialist – so that is good to hear.

  186. 186
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DogDoc

    Plantinga’s argument:

    2) If our minds are reliable, then Plantinga’s argument is moot – we ended up with reliable minds whether by evolution or divine creation.

    No, if our minds are reliable then they cannot be the product of a blind, natural, unintelligent cause as evolution would have it. Physical causes don’t code things for values or truth. Whatever thoughts that came from a physical cause would occur in the way chemical reactions do – not because they’re choosing truth versus falsehood, but because “that’s what chemicals do”. They don’t act for a reason. Blind natural causes are just that – blind to reasoning.
    So, the fact that we consider our minds to be reliable and we do evaluate propositions for the truth, means they cannot be the product of irrational, unintelligent blind, natural forces like evolution as it purports to be.

  187. 187
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    1) There is no evidence that anything within our brains – or anywhere else – transcends or violates the laws of physics.

    🙂 Do you know what mitosis is ? What laws of physics produce mitosis?

    ID is not an empirically based theory

    Yes it is. All the codes/signs/symbols we see in living things are the result of ID because laws of physics don’t produce codes.

    ID cannot be tested against empirical evidence because its explanation is consistent with any possible observation

    Compare the organization of a cell and organization of a rock.

    2) If our minds are reliable, then Plantinga’s argument is moot – we ended up with reliable minds whether by evolution or divine creation.

    🙂 1.Life means code and every code have meaning. The same process operates from the cell to brain .Our brain operates with codes and meanings some are automated some are conscious. When we met a code we know that is the product of intelligence even if we can’t decode that code to understand the meaning . We see chinese or some ancient hieroglyphs and we know that are not the result of laws of physics even we have no clue what is the meaning of message.
    2. Nobody saw one single event/experiment in which physical/chemical laws to produce a code so evolution is nothing more than a belief that make no sense unless is about metaphysical materialism=religion of atheism.
    3. Evolution is about survival not about abstract concepts like truth(reliable mind)that are invisible for physical laws.

  188. 188
    Fred Hickson says:

    @ dogdoc,

    Have to disagree. Modern evolutionary theory does propose an explanation for speciation. Reproductive isolation where a population separates (allopatry, sympatry, founder effect etc) into two populations that can diverge into separate species in exploiting separate niches. Cichlids are the iconic example of sympatry.

  189. 189
    Fred Hickson says:

    @ Silver Asiatic,

    Evolutionary ethics just doesn’t effectively exist. You are, as I said, tilting at windmills.

  190. 190
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Modern evolutionary theory does propose an explanation for speciation.

    Not enough. A fish is transforming into…fish is not what darwinists preach. They need more.

    Cichlids are…

    Cichlids,lizards,etc. are the evidence of non-random mutations that act surgically, very quick (few generations not millions years 🙂 )

  191. 191
    jerry says:

    Modern evolutionary theory does propose an explanation for speciation

    Takes 32 million years to reach reproductive incompatibility for birds.

    So essentially there are no real examples of speciation. People just make it up and call it speciation and then say look what I just made up. They then write textbooks about it and teach it and unsuspecting people actually believe their nonsense.

  192. 192
    ET says:

    dog doc:

    1) There is no evidence that anything within our brains – or anywhere else – transcends or violates the laws of physics.

    Strawman. There isn’t any evidence that our brains are reducible to physics and chemistry.

    3) ID cannot be tested against empirical evidence because its explanation is consistent with any possible observation, so ID is not an empirically testable theory.

    And yet we have said EXACTLY what would falsify ID. You are clearly just a willfully ignorant troll.

  193. 193
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Modern evolutionary theory does propose an explanation for speciation. Reproductive isolation where a population separates (allopatry, sympatry, founder effect etc) into two populations that can diverge into separate species in exploiting separate niches. Cichlids are the iconic example of sympatry.

    Reproductive isolation amongst prokaryotes. And you had to be given starting populations of prokaryotes. You are not going to be granted metazoans with existing developmental biology.

  194. 194
    dogdoc says:

    ET,

    DD: 1) There is no evidence that anything within our brains – or anywhere else – transcends or violates the laws of physics.
    ET: Strawman. There isn’t any evidence that our brains are reducible to physics and chemistry.

    Wow, you’ve made two big errors in a single sentence!

    First, you don’t seem to know what a “strawman” argument is.

    Second, I never claimed there was evidence that brains (or minds) were reducible to physics and chemistry. That was a strawman argument, ET! hahahahahaha

    DD: ID cannot be tested against empirical evidence because its explanation is consistent with any possible observation, so ID is not an empirically testable theory.
    ET: And yet we have said EXACTLY what would falsify ID.

    What you’ve tried to present as a falsification criterion is nothing but a change of subject – instead of showing what observation would be inconsistent with ID, you instead claim that ID should be considered true unless some other theory can account for the phenomena observed. An evolution proponent could just as easily say that the only way you could falsify evolution would be to show us how the Intelligent Designer created the species, and until then evolutionary theory remains true!

    You are clearly just a willfully ignorant troll.

    HAHAHAHA I love when folks start hurling insults! It proves you’re all out of arguments.

  195. 195
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    I just wrote a long reply, almost line by line and dropped my internet signal while posting and lost 20 minutes of work on that …

    I hate when that happens.

    You said: “What created first life? Something intelligent. ”
    That’s good common ground. You disagree with ideas that come after that, but we have a starting point at least.

    No, sorry, we do not actually share the same view at all. As I’ve said, the definition of “intelligence” that you provided includes attributes (learning, conscious comprehension, general-purpose language, etc) that are true of humans but we have no way of knowing if they are true of the cause of OOL / biological complexity.

    I don’t believe ID would necessarily have a problem with a “deterministic intelligence”. As you rightly point out, an AI system cannot be the cause of the first life on earth. So, we’re capable of eliminating some intelligences. As I said, there are different levels of intelligence – plant, insect, bird, animal, human. AI is a type of intelligence.

    OK good. But now you have to see that unless you clarify specifically what sort of intelligence you are talking about, the word is completely without meaning, and can’t be used as an explanation for anything. It isn’t so much of a problem in everyday conversation, because we are always talking about things (humans, animals, computer systems) that we know a lot about. But we obviously know nothing at all about the hypothetical Intelligent Designer of ID, so ID must actually say exactly what the word means in the context of ID – what attributes are supposed to apply. And when it does (like the definition you provided to me) we see that those attributes can’t be supported by empirical evidence.

    SETI is looking for signals based on what we know of human communication and language and knowing they may find something from beings that are quite different than humans.

    True, but if you read SETI literature it’s clear that they look for life as we know it.

    This does not stop their inferential work.

    Again if you read them, SETI would infer an advanced technological civilisation, because that’s the only thing we know that might send interstellar signals.

    So, the same should be true for ID.

    No, wrong. The Intelligent Designer of first life, or of the universe itself, couldn’t possibly be anything at all like a civilisation of life forms, obviously.

    DD: Are you suggesting that neurons do not operate according to the laws of physics?
    SA: Keep in mind, you said: ” following nothing but the laws of physics!”
    So “nothing but” would rule out anything else and even some quantum effects are interpreted in a non-physical way as some believe consciousness to be.

    Quantum effects are very much according to the laws of physics, obviously – they form the basis of our understanding of the physical world. Again I’m trying to make the point that it makes no sense to call modern physics “materialistic”, because the explanatory constructs of modern physics do not include “matter” in any way we conceive of the term.

    Beyond that, it would be a statement of 100% certainty that God does not exist and/or has no effect in sustaining the universe.

    Nothing in science is ever 100% certaint. And I didn’t say science was certain there was nothing but the current laws of physics of course. There is certainly more to physics than we already know.

    DD: 1) Let’s say I observe some phenomenon and attempt to find an explanation
    SA: You see a rock with some scratching on it which could be deliberate etching or it could be scratches from the random movements of nearby rocks.

    When you say “deliberate scratching”, what do you mean? I think you mean scratching by a human being or some other animal, right? If you mean something else, say exactly what you mean.

    DD: 2) I fail to find any explanation for that can be empirically tested and confirmed, so I say the answer is not yet known.
    SA: You look only at the movement of rocks and find no way to explain the etchings. You conclude, the answer is not known.

    No, I would think a human or other animal was responsible.

    DD: 3) You come up with some explanation that cannot be empirically tested and confirmed either.
    SA: I analyze and match against intelligently designed languages.

    You mean human languages.

    I notice the scratches can be modeled as certain patterns and, while not a known human language, does appear to be symbolic and also there does not seem to be any way a random, blind, natural source made them.

    If they look like human languages (i.e. grammatical, recursive, etc), then I would infer that a human made them.

    There is no way to empirically test the findings, but only that the scratches cannot be explained by a random cause, and they resemble an intelligently designed cause.

    You mean a human cause.

    DD: 4) I tell you, “Your theory can’t be empirically tested and confirmed”
    SA: I say, if you show me in a lab or on the mountainside where you found the rock – that the scratches can be replicated by a blind, natural process – through gravity or a volcano or erosion or glacial activity — then my inference to intelligent design is falsified.

    No!!!! You made an inference to a human being, not anything else. You did not infer an “intelligence” in any general sense; that would be meaningless. The answer has nothing to do with “blindness” or “natural-ness” – we just look at every possible explanation and see which one is the best, and human activity was the obvious answer.

    Again, in your example, the cause is obviously a human being. If the rock was found on another habitable planet, we would infer that the markings were caused by a life form similar to a human being. If it was found floating in interstellar space we would still infer it was caused by a human-like life form, and that it somehow got sent into space. And if we determined the origin was in some uninhabitable region of the universe then we would have no idea what caused it! It would be a big mystery and the answer would be “We do not know!”

    Again,

    DD: You reply, “Unless you can find a better theory, my theory is the best”
    SA: This is just a test between design and natural effects.

    NO! There is no such dichotomy! That is the crux of the problem. You are treating “design” and “natural” as mututally exclusive, exhaustive properties, but they are not.

    “Design” to me means “created by a human being, or another animal, or an AI system”. You try and make it mean something else, but you aren’t saying what that is. You have only a vague, anthropomorphic notion of “intelligence” that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny in the context of ID.

    I didn’t notice and I assumed you were an evolutionary materialist – so that is good to hear.

    I believe that evolutionary theory is fundamentally incomplete, and in its current state fails to explain the complex form and function we observe. I am not a “materialist”, because that term is completely outdated and in fact meaningless given modern physics.

    Plantinga’s argument:
    DD: 2) If our minds are reliable, then Plantinga’s argument is moot – we ended up with reliable minds whether by evolution or divine creation.
    SA: No, if our minds are reliable then they cannot be the product of a blind, natural, unintelligent cause as evolution would have it.

    Look at the structure of my counter-argument:

    1) Either our minds are reliable (in Plantinga’s sense) or they are not

    2) We consider both possibilities – first by assuming the truth of the first case (assumption A), and then by assuming the truth of the second case (assumption B).

    3) If we assume A – that our minds are reliable – then our minds are reliable no matter what else is true. Maybe Plantinga is right and there is a low probability that minds are reliable if they evolved, or maybe he’s wrong about that, or maybe even though he assigns a low probability it happened anyway, or maybe some other unknown mechanism caused minds to exist, and so on and so on. The important thing to note is that under assumption A, our minds are reliable, and thus under assumption A any argument for naturalism is not self-refuting.

    4) If we assume B – that our minds are not reliable – then there is no sense arguing, because our minds are not reliable. We can neither refute nor support naturalism or anything else.

    Now we see that in neither case does naturalism refute itself.

    So, the fact that we consider our minds to be reliable and we do evaluate propositions for the truth, means they cannot be the product of irrational, unintelligent blind, natural forces like evolution as it purports to be.

    It is not a “consideration”, but rather an assumption that our minds are reliable. In fact, the assumption that our minds are reliable is unsupportable, because if our minds were not reliable, we would not know it. We proceed as though our minds are reliable, although that may be false. But the acceptance of naturalism does not refute the belief in our mental reliability.

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    DD,

    first, you are simply willfully and repeatedly asserting clearly identified falsehoods regarding ID, as inference, theory and movement in the face of readily accessible information and corrections given. You are doing so to both appeal to prejudice and willfully spread misinformation [e.g. Wikipedia] designed to set up a weak caricature of ID and knock it over. So yes ET is correct regarding strawman fallacy, but this also includes many fallacies up to big lie tactics.

    Let me clip the just linked:

    first we must mark out a matter of inductive reasoning and epistemology. Observed tested, reliable signs such as FSCO/I [= functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information, “fun-skee”] beyond 500 – 1,000 bits point to design as cause for cases we have not observed. This is the design INFERENCE . . . .

    Following the UD Weak Argument Correctives under the Resources tab, we can identify ID Theory as a [small] research programme that explores whether there are such observable, testable, reliable signs, whether they appear in the world of life and in the cosmos, whether we may responsibly — notice, how duties of reason pop up naturally — use them to infer that cell based life, body plans, the cosmos etc are credibly the result of intelligently directed configuration . . . and that’s a definition of design. This, in a context where the proposed “scientific” alternative, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity has not been observed to actually produce things exhibiting FSCO/I etc.

    Logically, this is an application of inductive reasoning, modern sense, abduction.

    Which is common in science and is commonly held to ground scientific, weak philosophical sense, knowledge. Weak, it is open ended and can be defeated by further analysis and evidence, warranted, credibly true [and so reliable] belief.

    Going beyond, where we have further information, evidence and argument we may explore whodunit, howtweredun, etc.

    Such is after all commonplace in technical forensics, medical research, archaeology, engineering [esp. reverse engineering], code cracking etc. I guess, these can be taken as design-oriented sciences. Going back to 4th form I remember doing natural science explorations of springs. Manufactured entities. So are lenses, mirrors, glass blocks, radio systems, lasers etc.

    Beyond the theory, there is a movement, comprising supporters and friendly critics as well as practitioners consciously researching design theory or extending thinking on it and applying same to society or civilisation, including history of ideas.

    As you full well know, an inference on observed evidence –thus, established sign — leading to a best empirically supported explanation is in principle refutable through observation that the sign is not reliable enough to trust. FSCO/I coming about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity without intelligently directed configuration would do so. Notice, dynamic-stochastic processes and physical materials can be involved, cf the definition that engineering uses forces and materials of nature, economically towards design goals. As I cited from Paley, that inference holds even through setting up a von Neumann kinematic self replicator so the observed entity may be part of a chain of transmission of the original FSCO/I.

    As to Big Lie tactics, simply contrast the notoriously ideological misinformation driven Wikipedia article on ID:

    Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific argument [–> so much for neutral point of view] for the existence of God [–> a straight lie], presented by its proponents as “an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins”.[1][2][3][4][5] [–> omits, cosmology, body plan origins etc] Proponents claim that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”[6] ID is a form of creationism [–> assertion of guilt by association with a bogeyman] that lacks empirical support [–> gross misrepresentation of facts that are all around us by the trillion] and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses [–> double lie], and is therefore not science.[7][8][9] [–> lies carried forward] The leading proponents of ID are associated with the Discovery Institute, a Christian, politically conservative think tank based [–> Libertarian, not Christian] in the United States.[n 1] . . .

    . . . with, first, our own recent remarks just above, then with Discovery Institute’s own summary:

    Intelligent design — often called “ID” — is a scientific theory which holds that some features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID theorists argue that intelligent design can be inferred by finding in nature the type of information and complexity which in our experience arises from an intelligent cause.

    Proponents of neo-Darwinian evolution contend that the information in life arose via blind, mechanistic processes that show no scientific evidence of guidance by intelligent design. ID proponents contend that the information in life does not appear to have an unguided origin, but arose via purposeful, intelligently guided processes. Both claims are scientifically testable using the standard methods of science. But ID theorists say that when we use the scientific method to explore nature, the evidence points away from blind material causes, and reveals intelligent design.

    The cell confirms our expectations from design. Our DNA contains incredible amounts of encoded information. Living cells transform this encoded chemical message into machines which are engineered to perform necessary biochemical functions. The conversion of DNA into protein relies upon a software-like system of commands and biochemical codes. This is an information processing system which Bill Gates has described as “like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.”

    The protein-machines produced by our DNA are often “irreducibly complex.” Irreducible complexity is a purposeful arrangement of parts, where if any part is removed or mutated, the structure ceases to assemble or function properly. For example, the “bacterial flagellum,” is a rotary-engine on bacteria which fails to assemble or function properly if we mutate any one of its approximately 35 protein components. Natural selection cannot account for this irreducible complexity because it only preserves structures which provide a functional advantage. In this “all-or-nothing” game, mutations cannot produce the complexity needed to provide a functional flagellar rotary engine one incremental step at a time, and the odds are too daunting for it to do it in a great leap.

    The past 50 years of biological research have found that life is fundamentally based upon:

    – A vast amount of complex and specified information encoded in a biochemical language.
    – A computer-like system of commands and codes that processes the information.
    – Irreducibly complex molecular machines and multi-machine systems.

    Where, in our experience, do language, complex and specified information, programming code, and machines come from? They have only one known source: intelligence. This is an argument based upon scientific methods and the evidence from nature — the argument is not based upon faith, religion, or divine revelation.

    Contrary to what many might suppose, ID is much broader than the debate over Darwinian evolution. That’s because much of the scientific evidence for intelligent design comes from areas that Darwin’s theory doesn’t even address. In fact, much evidence for intelligent design comes from physics and cosmology.

    The fine-tuning of the laws of physics and chemistry to allow for advanced life is a profound example of extremely high levels of CSI in nature. To give a few examples, the strength of gravity (gravitational constant) must be fine-tuned to within 1 part in 1035; the expansion rate of the universe be fine-tuned to within 1 part in 1055; and the cosmological constant must be fine-tuned to within 1 part in 10120 Cosmologists have calculated the initial entropy of the universe must have been fine-tuned to within 1 part in 1010^123. That’s ten raised to a power of 10 with 123 zeros after it — a number far too long to write out! The Nobel Prize-winning physicist Charles Townes observed:

    Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all . . .

    . . . and with the longstanding NWE article written by contrast with older forms of Wikipedia (which has only got worse and worse over the years as we here at UD have bothered to look from time to time):

    Intelligent design (ID) is the view that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection” [1] Intelligent design cannot be inferred from complexity alone, since complex patterns often happen by chance. ID focuses on just those sorts of complex patterns that in human experience are produced by a mind that conceives and executes a plan. According to adherents, intelligent design can be detected in the natural laws and structure of the cosmos; it also can be detected in at least some features of living things.

    Greater clarity on the topic may be gained from a discussion of what ID is not considered to be by its leading theorists. Intelligent design generally is not defined the same as creationism, with proponents maintaining that ID relies on scientific evidence rather than on Scripture or religious doctrines. ID makes no claims about biblical chronology, and technically a person does not have to believe in God to infer intelligent design in nature. As a theory, ID also does not specify the identity or nature of the designer, so it is not the same as natural theology, which reasons from nature to the existence and attributes of God. ID does not claim that all species of living things were created in their present forms, and it does not claim to provide a complete account of the history of the universe or of living things.

    ID also is not considered by its theorists to be an “argument from ignorance”; that is, intelligent design is not to be inferred simply on the basis that the cause of something is unknown (any more than a person accused of willful intent can be convicted without evidence). According to various adherents, ID does not claim that design must be optimal; something may be intelligently designed even if it is flawed (as are many objects made by humans).

    Persistent, loaded distortions, false accusations and lies such as we see at Wikipedia reflect agit prop and resulting crooked yardstick thinking driven by ideology not regard for truth or fairness.

    KF

  197. 197
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, maybe, compose longer pieces in a text editor then transfer to combox? Text editors such as the built in wordpad, do not impose so called smart features that then cause problems on upload. KF

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    FH & DD et al, actually, there is no good reason to infer that mindedness reduces to gigo constrained computation on a substrate, which is in itself a dynamic stochastic cause effect non rational process, though it may reflect the design work of programmers and designers of the architecture and functional organisation involved. KF

    PS, as you seem to need a for record, Haldane from 90 years ago:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For

    if

    [p:] my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain

    [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes; notice, “my brain,” i.e. self referential]
    ______________________________

    [ THEN]

    [q:] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    [–> indeed, blindly mechanical computation is not in itself a rational process, the only rationality is the canned rationality of the programmer, where survival-filtered lucky noise is not a credible programmer, note the functionally specific, highly complex organised information rich code and algorithms in D/RNA, i.e. language and goal directed stepwise process . . . an observationally validated adequate source for such is _____ ?]

    [Corollary 1:] They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically.

    And hence

    [Corollary 2:] I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. [–> grand, self-referential delusion, utterly absurd self-falsifying incoherence]

    [Implied, Corollary 3: Reason and rationality collapse in a grand delusion, including of course general, philosophical, logical, ontological and moral knowledge; reductio ad absurdum, a FAILED, and FALSE, intellectually futile and bankrupt, ruinously absurd system of thought.]

    In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

    We would like to see substantial responsiveness, but continued doubling down on talking points of evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers in the end is a concession of the pivotal point.

  199. 199
    Fred Hickson says:

    KF writes:

    FH & DD et al, actually, there is no good reason to infer that mindedness reduces to gigo constrained computation on a substrate, which is in itself a dynamic stochastic cause effect non rational process, though it may reflect the design work of programmers and designers of the architecture and functional organisation involved.

    I’ve no idea what mindedness is so no worries on that score.

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, you exhibit self aware — “I . . .”, conscious responsible rational freedom but claim not to be aware of what such mindedness is. Okay, we see an inadvertent sign here of what thinking i/l/o the official shadow shows in the cave present as claimed reality ends up doing. KF

    PS, mindedness:

    mind·ed (m?n?d?d)
    adj.
    1. Disposed; inclined: I am not minded to answer any of your questions.
    2. Having a specified kind of mind. Often used in combination: fair-minded; evil-minded.
    3. Directed or oriented toward something specified. Often used in combination: civic-minded; career-minded.
    mind?ed·ness n.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
    mindedness (?ma?nd?dn?s)
    n
    the state or quality of being minded
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    mind
    that which reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, etc.; intellect or understanding; to care: Do you mind if I smoke?; to tend: mind the baby; heed or obey: mind the teacher
    Not to be confused with:
    mined – dug into the earth to extract ore, coal, precious stones, etc.; drew useful information from: He mined all of the reports on the subject.
    Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
    mind (m?nd)
    n.
    1. The faculty of a human or other animal by which it thinks, perceives, feels, remembers, or desires: studying the relation between the brain and the mind.
    2. A person of great mental ability: the great minds of the century.
    3. Individual consciousness, memory, or recollection: I’ll bear the problem in mind.
    4.
    a. Opinion or sentiment: He changed his mind when he heard all the facts.
    b. Desire or inclination: She had a mind to spend her vacation in the desert.
    5. Focus of thought; attention: I can’t keep my mind on work.
    6. A healthy mental state; sanity: losing one’s mind.
    7. The thought processes characteristic of a person or group; psychological makeup: the criminal mind; the public mind.
    8. Philosophy The phenomena of intelligence, cognition, or consciousness, regarded as a material or immaterial aspect of reality . . . .

    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    mind (ma?nd)
    n
    1. (Psychology) the human faculty to which are ascribed thought, feeling, etc; often regarded as an immaterial part of a person
    2. (Psychology) intelligence or the intellect, esp as opposed to feelings or wishes
    3. recollection or remembrance; memory: it comes to mind.
    4. the faculty of original or creative thought; imagination: it’s all in the mind.
    5. a person considered as an intellectual being: the great minds of the past.
    6. opinion or sentiment: we are of the same mind; to change one’s mind; to have a mind of one’s own; to know one’s mind; to speak one’s mind.
    7. condition, state, or manner of feeling or thought: no peace of mind; his state of mind.
    8. an inclination, desire, or purpose: I have a mind to go.
    9. attention or thoughts: keep your mind on your work.
    10. a sound mental state; sanity (esp in the phrase out of one’s mind)
    11. intelligence, as opposed to material things: the mind of the universe.
    12. (Philosophy) (in Cartesian philosophy) one of two basic modes of existence, the other being matter
    13. blow someone’s mind slang
    a. to cause someone to have a psychedelic experience
    b. to astound or surprise someone
    14. (Recreational Drugs) to cause someone to have a psychedelic experience
    15. to astound or surprise someone
    16. give someone a piece of one’s mind to criticize or censure (someone) frankly or vehemently
    17. in two minds of two minds undecided; wavering: he was in two minds about marriage.
    18. make up one’s mind to decide (something or to do something): he made up his mind to go.
    19. on one’s mind in one’s thoughts
    20. put one in mind of to remind (one) of
    vb
    21. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to take offence at: do you mind if I smoke? I don’t mind.
    22. to pay attention to (something); heed; notice: to mind one’s own business.
    23. (tr; takes a clause as object) to make certain; ensure: mind you tell her.
    24. (tr) to take care of; have charge of: to mind the shop.
    25. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to be cautious or careful about (something): mind how you go; mind your step.
    26. (tr) to obey (someone or something); heed: mind your father!.
    27. to be concerned (about); be troubled (about): never mind your hat; never mind about your hat; never mind.
    28. (tr; passive; takes an infinitive) to be intending or inclined (to do something): clearly he was not minded to finish the story.
    29. (tr) dialect Scot and English to remember: do ye mind his name?.
    30. (tr) Scot to remind: that minds me of another story.
    31. mind you an expression qualifying a previous statement: Dogs are nice. Mind you, I don’t like all dogs.
    [Old English gemynd mind; related to Old High German gimunt memory]
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    .

    Came up 1st hit at DDG.

  201. 201
    Fred Hickson says:

    I think it a very common human conceit to imagine we understand our own thinking processes. But KF, in that copypasta, you neglected to tell me what you mean by “mindedness”. If you mean “awareness”, maybe use that word instead.

  202. 202
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, You chose to side-step standard dictionary summaries of what mindedness and mind mean; where the unusual length of some definitions points to the centrality of the term. In so side-stepping, you now wish to substitute the suggestion that I am idiosyncratically referring to consciousness, which is but one aspect and one that is not present when we are in dreamless sleep or unconscious etc. In short, you are failing the seriousness test. Let me clip, just to focus this potential side track:

    CED: the state or quality of being minded [–> i.e. having a mind] . . . where, Abused: mind that which reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, etc.; intellect or understanding [–> something any educated person knows, despite your rhetorical pretences] . . . AmHD: mind, The faculty of a human or other animal by which it thinks, perceives, feels, remembers, or desires . . . Philosophy The phenomena of intelligence, cognition, or consciousness, regarded as a material or immaterial aspect of reality . . . CED, mind, (Psychology) the human faculty to which are ascribed thought, feeling, etc; often regarded as an immaterial part of a person
    2. (Psychology) intelligence or the intellect, esp as opposed to feelings or wishes . . . the faculty of original or creative thought . . .

    Where, on -ness as suffix:

    Merriam-Webster:

    -ness noun suffix

    Definition of -ness (Entry 2 of 2)
    : state : condition : quality : degree goodness

    Of course, this little exchange suffices to suggest that, regrettably, you are playing the hyperskeptic intent on clouding rather than clarifying the matters. Similar, to playing delay and side track games over arrangement of tables, height of chair legs, etc in the Korean War negotiations. Duly noted. KF

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I draw attention to Plato, in The Laws, Bk X on the self-moved:

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

    [–> notice, the self-moved, initiating, reflexively acting causal agent, which defines freedom as essential to our nature, and this is root of discussion on agents as first causes. Mind, is of course the centre of volitional freedom, intellectual, rational reflection, responsible thought and decision, and thus self motion. Absent responsible, rational freedom, there can be no credibility of mind, no ability to genuinely attend to, evaluate, decide the balance of merits, warrant, know, seriously converse, be open minded etc. These are some of the issues J B S Haldane spoke to]

    [ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul? [–> soul is of course broader than mind but includes it]

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    Wikipedia, that ideologically tainted source, is forced to concede:

    The mind is the set of faculties responsible for mental phenomena. Often the term is also identified with the phenomena themselves.[2][3][4] These faculties include thought, imagination, memory, will and sensation. They are responsible for various mental phenomena, like perception, pain experience, belief, desire, intention and emotion. Various overlapping classifications of mental phenomena have been proposed. Important distinctions group them together according to whether they are sensory, propositional, intentional, conscious or occurrent. Minds were traditionally understood as substances but it is more common in the contemporary perspective to conceive them as properties or capacities possessed by humans and higher animals . . . .

    Mind or mentality is usually contrasted with body, matter or physicality. The issue of the nature of this contrast and specifically the relation between mind and brain is called the mind-body problem.[5] Traditional viewpoints included dualism and idealism, which consider the mind to be non-physical.[5] Modern views often center around physicalism and functionalism, which hold that the mind is roughly identical with the brain or reducible to physical phenomena such as neuronal activity[6][need quotation to verify] though dualism and idealism continue to have many supporters. Another question concerns which types of beings are capable of having minds (New Scientist 8 September 2018 p10).[citation needed][7] For example, whether mind is exclusive to humans, possessed also by some or all animals, by all living things, whether it is a strictly definable characteristic at all, or whether mind can also be a property of some types of human-made machines.

    This subject is of course self-referential, which makes it particularly prone to self referential incoherence and resulting necessary falsification. However, once one has made the false into yardstick principles, that in itself becomes further problematic as that which is straight, accurate, upright will not, cannot, conform to crookedness.

    Therefore, we need to heed the many ways in which evolutionary materialistic scientism and its fellow travellers reduce to self-defeating absurdity and frankly admit their necessary falsity. These have fatally stumbled in the starting gates, they are not viable as frameworks for thought much less on something so central as the mind.

    Going further, there has been a tendency to try to reduce mind to computation on a wetware computational substrate, or for AI, a hardware one. The basic problem is as was stated before the latest evasive hyperskepticism above:

    KF, 198: there is no good reason to infer that mindedness reduces to gigo constrained computation on a substrate, which is in itself a dynamic stochastic cause effect non rational process, though it may reflect the design work of programmers and designers of the architecture and functional organisation involved.

    Anything that asserts, suggests or invites the notion that mindedness reduces to computation on a substrate fails.

    KF

  204. 204
    kairosfocus says:

    BTW, on subject, hominin species, the first problem is that species is a hard to define concept. Just in this region, in several islands it was discovered that amerindians were absorbed into the general population. Why is it not possible that that happened with various sub populations, at least in part? KF

  205. 205
    Sandy says:

    3) If we assume A – that our minds are reliable – then our minds are reliable no matter what else is true.

    😆 So your definition of reliable do not includes the truth? How is that working? Hasn’t your brain exploded yet?

  206. 206
    jerry says:

    Best prediction #7:

    I hope this doesn’t entice the bloviators to join in

    So far over 40,000 words. At 300 words per page, that a 130 page book.

    Second best prediction #15

    He is here like nearly all the rest to irritate. And UD commenters are quite willing to oblige because the objective seems to be generating comments which just allows more opportunities for irritation.

    Understanding is never the objective for most

    Nothing settled except “I don’t know.”

  207. 207
    ET says:

    dog doc’s strawman:

    1) There is no evidence that anything within our brains – or anywhere else – transcends or violates the laws of physics.

    No one has ever made the claims that physics is violated.

    What you’ve tried to present as a falsification criterion is nothing but a change of subject – instead of showing what observation would be inconsistent with ID, you instead claim that ID should be considered true unless some other theory can account for the phenomena observed.

    Liar. We have told you exactly what observations would be inconsistent with ID. One is nature producing coded information processing systems. Another is nature producing a living organism.

    Again, for the learning impaired:

    ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):
    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.
    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.
    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    So, by demonstrating #3 is false, ID is falsified.

    An evolution proponent could just as easily say that the only way you could falsify evolution would be to show us how the Intelligent Designer created the species, and until then evolutionary theory remains true!

    You clearly can’t follow along.

    You are clearly just a willfully ignorant troll.

    HAHAHAHA I love when folks start hurling insults! It proves you’re all out of arguments.

    It’s a fact, not an insult. And you just proved it, again!

  208. 208
    jerry says:

    This has nothing to do with ID but describes an anti ID person almost perfectly.

    No effort whatsoever on her part to defend the truth of the statement, acknowledge that she made it, or show any remorse for saying something she cannot & will not defend as true,

    https://twitter.com/baseballcrank/status/1519508194883690502

  209. 209
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I will agree with others here that the discussion with DD is not making progress.

    Responding to some of his comments, going back to a few I missed:

    If our thoughts were determined by physics, then the reason we would care about something is because we were destined to care about it. Our caring about it is the result of physical interactions from the first instant of the universe.

    You’re saying that physics can cause us to care about things. That would mean, physical interactions are capable of creating the illusion of free choice and the ability to be concerned.

    From a textbook on Evolutionary Biology:

    “By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous.”
    (Evolutionary Biology, by Douglas J. Futuyma (3rd ed., Sinauer Associates Inc., 1998), p. 5.)

    “Uncaring process of natural selection” – that’s what physical interactions give us.

    According to SETI, if we found signals similar to what humans transmit then we would infer some advanced technological civilisation was responsible.

    This refutes just about everything you said. SETI does not know what “kind of intelligence” aliens have. According to you, they wouldn’t be able to make any inferences at all. But instead, they infer that alien intelligences are somewhat like human. But you won’t permit ID to do the same with the “Designer of human intelligence”. What exists in the effect must exist in the cause. The cause of life must be in some ways like life.

    The Intelligent Designer of first life, or of the universe itself, couldn’t possibly be anything at all like a civilisation of life forms, obviously.

    It’s “first life on earth” first of all, and you skipped over my multiple references to IDists who believe life was seeded by aliens. So, this refutes your objection to ID right there. Additionally, SETI does not know what alien life is like. This does not stop them. But you insist that ID must stop because the designer of life could not be “anything at all like life forms”. What you permit for SETI, you refuse for ID.

    Yet somehow these cells [of the eye] work together and accurately identify geometrical shapes, compute the speed and direction of moving objects, and so on. Deeper in the cortex, the neurons – following nothing but the laws of physics!

    “Somehow” they work together, but this is also “nothing but” the laws of physics. As stated, you don’t know that it’s “nothing but”.

    And I didn’t say science was certain there was nothing but the current laws of physics of course.

    This contradicts your claim about the operation of the eye. You do not know if it is “nothing but” the laws of physics in operation.

    A deterministic mind is completely, utterly, 100% indistinguishable from a mind that has contra-causal free will.

    This is self-refuting, irrational and absurd. But yes, as with solopisism, you can believe that nothing but your own mind exists. Everything else (including the people you’re discussing things with) are an illusion. Or, even farther – you can insist that nothing at all exists, not even yourself. The response by the solopsist is “try to refute it!” Claiming that we have an illusion of free rational thought entirely determined by physics renders everything pointless. That’s basic atheistic belief. Alex Rosenberg is probably the most honest – “The Atheist’s Guide to Reality” makes it clear.

    Again, another evolutionary TEXTBOOK (the authors didn’t understand evolutionary theory?)

    “Darwin knew that accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism, the conviction that matter is the stuff of all existence and that all mental and spiritual phenomena are its by-products. Darwinian evolution was not only purposeless but also heartless–a process in which the rigors of nature ruthlessly eliminate the unfit. Suddenly, humanity was reduced to just one more species in a world that cared nothing for us. The great human mind was no more than a mass of evolving neurons. Worst of all, there was no divine plan to guide us.”
    (Biology: Discovering Life by Joseph S. Levine & Kenneth R. Miller (1st ed., D.C. Heath and Co., 1992), pg. 152; (2nd ed.. D.C. Heath and Co., 1994), p. 161; emphases in original.)

    You said:

    You have only a vague, anthropomorphic notion of “intelligence” that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny in the context of ID.

    Anthropomorphic refers to human beings. But here’s the double-standard. You have no problem with SETI looking for non-human intelligence based on their “anthropomorphic” understanding of intelligence. So, you’re not consistent.

    Again if you read them, SETI would infer an advanced technological civilisation, because that’s the only thing we know that might send interstellar signals.

    As above, understanding of human intelligence (anthropomorphic) applied to non-human intelligence. It’s ok for SETI but not for ID in your view. Maybe you really have a problem with what ID is pointing to?

    As I’ve said, the definition of “intelligence” that you provided includes attributes (learning, conscious comprehension, general-purpose language, etc) that are true of humans but we have no way of knowing if they are true of the cause of OOL / biological complexity.

    Yet again “we have no way of knowing if they are true of alien life”. ID does not insist that the first biological life must have originated on earth, but only that blind (yes, they are blind as evolutioists have taught us) natural (not designed, as Dawkins has insisted) causes could not have produced it on earth.

    The answer has nothing to do with “blindness” or “natural-ness” – we just look at every possible explanation and see which one is the best, and human activity was the obvious answer.

    You’re obscuring the difference between a natural cause and a designed cause. Dawkins’ book is called “The Blind Watchmaker” for a reason. He doesn’t think there’s confusion about that.

    But now you have to see that unless you clarify specifically what sort of intelligence you are talking about, the word is completely without meaning, and can’t be used as an explanation for anything.

    “Unless SETI specifies specifically what kind of intelligence aliens have, then the term “alien inteligence” is without meaning”.

    Jumping back to free will

    I think it’s clear that the science of evolutionary biology is independent of the question of free will.

    Evolution has to explain every feature of biological life on earth.

    The opinions of David Barash or E.O. Wilson regarding free will is not part of evolutionary theory. Your quote from Dawkins says nothing about free will or ethics.

    It says quite a lot that evolutionary theorists are actually incorrect about their own theory. But there’s supposedly some evolutionist out there that is correct?

    [Evolution] is a theory about how speciation occurs by means of the accumulation of small heritable changes from random variations that confer reproductive advantage.

    Evolution claims to have an explanation for the origin of all life organism and all of their features beginning with the first living form.

  210. 210
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Several of us in this discussion have said the same thing to DD … it keeps going in circles and I will agree that it’s not worth just repeating again and again.

  211. 211
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, it is important to see what is being exposed inadvertently. Thin gruel. KF

  212. 212
    dogdoc says:

    SA,

    I agree we’re not likely to make progress here. Thank you for a civil discussion in any case.

    I’ll leave you with these quotes:

    All intelligent causes are living organisms, without exception. – DogDoc
    AI systems are not living organisms. – Silver Asiatic

    And

    I fully grant that my theology would crumble with the advent of intelligent machines.
    – William Dembski

  213. 213
    Upright BiPed says:

    .
    Doc: AI systems are purely mechanical, deterministic systems

    This comment appears to be highly uninformed. Such systems can only function because of their capacity to specify things among alternatives. (I am not sure how aware you are of the Periodic Table, but there is no measurement of semantic qualities among any form of atomic matter). Such systems can only accomplish the feat (of specification) by using two sets of objects; a set of rate-independent memory tokens and a set of coordinated constraints. Far from being “purely mechanical, deterministic”, all such systems are based on rate-independent control of a rate-dependent process. This is why such systems require complimentary descriptions; one for the dynamic aspects of the system and another for the symbolic aspects. This is well established in the literature.

    Unfortunately, this kind of catastrophic misunderstanding at such a basic level appears to be a flaw in the good majority of your comments.

    You also seem to cling to the false notion that ID has no empirical foundation. This, again, is just a catastrophic flaw in your reasoning. Frankly speaking, it is the type of reasoning that often results from spending extended periods of time in an echo chamber. I am not suggesting this accurately describes your experience, but taking your comments here as a whole, it does indeed appear that way.

    The design inference in biology is the logical result of specific predictions followed by numerous experimental confirmations. By this I mean, specific researchers conducting specific experiments on specific dates, confirming specific predictions made prior to those experiments. In other words, the design inference is part of the historical record of modern science. The key observations are not even controversial. If it was your intent to refute the design inference, you should not go away mistaken – you have completely failed to do so.

  214. 214
    kairosfocus says:

    UB, great to see you. Of course, AI also uses stochastic processes, or sometimes substitutes pseudorandom processes for convenience. Decision and heuristics are issues. Underneath, is the designed reality of the programming and that of the architecture of the substrate. KF

  215. 215
    Silver Asiatic says:

    DD

    Thank you for a civil discussion in any case.

    My thanks to you also. I do not think there should be such an impasse between our views, but that’s just the way it is and we did our best to solve it and that’s all we can do for now.

  216. 216
    Silver Asiatic says:

    UBP @213 – great response, thank you.

    Such systems can only function because of their capacity to specify things among alternatives.

    Yes. We got side-tracked on the question of free-will in the discussion with DD believing there is no difference between deterministic-brain and a free, rational one. In that view, rational or logical processing would be determined by physical causes.

    The recent example given of an arrangement of stones spelling “Welcome To Wales”.
    For the sake of argument, let’s imagine the virtually-impossible event occurred where a “physical determination” caused it. The stones just landed in that position.
    In that case, there would be zero information communicated by the stones. If it was a deterministic event, there would be no reason to think you were in Wales. There would be no reason to evaluate the phrase for information or truth content – since the deterministic event has no intention, no purpose or capability of communicating meaning through symbols.

    If it was your intent to refute the design inference, you should not go away mistaken – you have completely failed to do so.

    An important confirmation.

  217. 217
    ET says:

    All intelligent causes are living organisms, without exception. – DogDoc

    That is based on your ignorance. So, it’s meaningless

  218. 218
    Trumper says:

    @ Dogdoc post 64 –
    So you say. but reality must be dealt with by all…and yeah that means you too. Back to the so you say part – you say you have been studying all your ‘life’ … and you still can’t seem to come to any conclusions… again cool… I’m fine with folks admitting that no matter how much they know ..or in your case how much you claim to know….. that they still just don’t know anything conclusive. Cool…. nice you spent your life to study so much and not get anywhere. Personally I think you know much…learned much … but learning sometimes is not everything …case in point.. you can’t decide , despite your self-proclaimed ed.
    What I pass off as intellectual laziness is not that you studied all your life… and can’t make a decision … it is that you won’t even try to be balanced enough to make one. hence lazy…had you anything of substance to offer you would have….instead you seem content in your self-proclaimed intellect but go no further in offering your reasoning….. got to wonder why
    Nobody is claiming to ‘know the origins’ what is being claimed is the most likely….. based on scientific observation. …. not faith ….not rumor…. just proven observation much like the scientific method.

    ps… I love your ad hominin …suits the whole discussion

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