Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

At The Federalist: What design can explain about life’s origins that chance can’t

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Granville Sewell explains:

The scientific establishment is slowly beginning to allow scientists who believe in intelligent design to have a platform. Why? It may be because the theory that the universe was crafted intentionally explains many essential realities that theories based on spontaneous chance do not…

1. The Origin of Life

To appreciate that we still have no idea how the first living things arose, you only have to realize that with all our advanced technology we are still not close to designing any type of self-replicating machine; that is still pure science fiction. We can only create machines that create other machines, but no machine that can make a copy of itself.

When we add technology to such a machine, to bring it closer to the goal of reproduction, we only move the goalposts because now we have a more complicated machine to reproduce. So how could we imagine that such a machine could have arisen by pure chance?

Maybe human engineers will someday construct a self-replicating machine. But if they do, I’m sure it will not happen until long after I am gone, and it will not show that life could have arisen through natural processes. It will only have shown that it could have arisen through design.

Granville Sewell, “3 Realities Chance Can’t Explain About Life’s Origins That Intelligent Design Can” at Federalist (May 17, 2022)

You may also wish to read: Novel RNA and peptide species thought to have sparked evolution of complex life. Researcher: According to the new theory, a decisive element at the beginning was the presence of RNA molecules that could adorn themselves with amino acids and peptides and so join them into larger peptide structures. “RNA developed slowly into a constantly improving amino acid linking catalyst,” says Carell. (He talks about the emergence of “information-coding properties” as if that would just happen.)

68 Replies to “At The Federalist: What design can explain about life’s origins that chance can’t

  1. 1
    martin_r says:

    Maybe human engineers will someday construct a self-replicating machine.

    As some of you may know, I am an engineer, and i have A SILLY QUESTION:

    Where the mythical human-made self-replicating machine get all the neeful materials from ?
    ( to create a copy of itself )

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    and, one more thing:

    Life was created, all rational educated 21st century persons with basic molecular biology knowledge can see that. The only question is, how it was done. There is no way, that it was done using common chemistry, so that billions of molecules inside a cell working in concert for a purpose, without any outside intervention for millions of years. There is no way it was done like Darwinian scientists imagine – you know, pouring mixing shaking heating cooling down some chemicals in flasks. This is pure madness and this is the reason why OOL-research made ZERO progress since Darwin.

    I am 100% sure, that there is some other yet undiscovered way how to work/handle molecules … this is what scientists should focus on …

  3. 3
    BobRyan says:

    Since life cannot come from the absence of life, the first spark of life was created.

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    It will only have shown that it could have arisen through design.

    But where did the design come from and how was it implemented and why was it implemented that way?

    Paraphrasing Shakespeare

    The answer my dear Brutus is in the stars not in ourselves

    I asked this question the other day and it got no answer. Could the creator of the universe have created initial conditions that led to the origin of life? Why no answer? And why do it in such a way?

    And commented that such an act would be 100% consistent with ID.

    Does anyone disagree? Why?

    Aside: I personally don’t believe it happened this way but believe it’s 100% consistent with ID.

    Aside2: I believe the basis for ID lies in the fine tuning of the universe. Denton certainly lays out the case for that.

  5. 5
    Fred Hickson says:

    I asked this question the other day and it got no answer. Could the creator of the universe have created initial conditions that led to the origin of life? Why no answer? And why do it in such a way?

    And commented that such an act would be 100% consistent with ID.

    Does anyone disagree? Why?

    Seems a perfectly reasonable reconciliation between science and faith. The niche designs the organism; the creator designs the niche.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, the answer was long since in The Laws, Bk X, many misconceive design. It was pointed out but that seems to be routinely side stepped. KF

    PS, to preserve brevity for this comment, reference to follow.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Plato, The Laws, Bk X; a secondary or later intermediary is not in our sense the primary cause (this is also there in Paley, which also needs to be acknowledged):

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos — the natural order], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity, contrasted to “the action of mind” i.e. intelligently directed configuration] . . . .

    [[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them . . . .

    Then, by Heaven, we have discovered the source of this vain opinion of all those physical investigators . . . . they affirm that which is the first cause of the generation and destruction of all things, to be not first, but last, and that which is last to be first, and hence they have fallen into error about the true nature of the Gods.

    Cle. Still I do not understand you.

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

    Cle. Certainly.

    Ath. Then thought and attention and mind and art and law will be prior to that which is hard and soft and heavy and light; and the great and primitive works and actions will be works of art; they will be the first, and after them will come nature and works of nature, which however is a wrong term for men to apply to them; these will follow, and will be under the government of art and mind.

    Cle. But why is the word “nature” wrong?

    Ath. Because those who use the term mean to say that nature is the first creative power; but if the soul turn out to be the primeval element, and not fire or air, then in the truest sense and beyond other things the soul may be said to exist by nature; and this would be true if you proved that the soul is older than the body, but not otherwise.

    [[ . . . .]

    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.]

    [[ . . . .]

    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?

    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?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, Paley’s Ch 2

    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]

  9. 9
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    The niche designs the organism;

    There isn’t any evidence for that, Fred. So, it isn’t part of science. Now even Ernst Mayr said the niche designs the organism. You are on your own.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    Jerry:

    Could the creator of the universe have created initial conditions that led to the origin of life?

    No. The genetic code involves a coded information processing system. Those just don’t arise with intelligent agency volition.

  11. 11
    asauber says:

    “There isn’t any evidence for that, Fred.”

    But he keeps repeating it, anyway.

    Andrew

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Yes, Andrew, that is what Fred does- repeat his unsupportable trope.

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    The niche designs the organism

    But the niche leads to nothing but minor adjustments. Otherwise it would destroy the organism.

    So you should get rid of this as an explanation for anything but very minor adjustments. It may allow the organism to continue existence but in no way can it make it significantly better. It is self refuting for anything but the trivial.

    If the initial conditions led to life, it was much more sophisticated than a niche and it obviously disappeared. Similarly for complex life.

    Besides the niche is DNA oriented and Evolution has little to do with DNA.

  14. 14
    asauber says:

    And if you are going to use the word ‘design’, design requires foresight. The niche doesn’t have foresight.

    Andrew

  15. 15
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry, you are missing an important point. The relationship between a population of organisms and the niche they occupy is dynamic. The niche can and does change. Indeed organisms change and create niches. Humans are pretty effective at that.

    Also small non-random changes can and do accumulate and lead to large change over time.

  16. 16
    asauber says:

    “small non-random changes can and do accumulate and lead to large change over time”

    Gonna use my, my, my imagination

    Andrew

  17. 17
    chuckdarwin says:

    Jerry/4
    FH/5

    Could the creator of the universe have created initial conditions that led to the origin of life?

    Your question implies the core tenet of deism, a view rejected by mainstream (yes, I get the irony) ID proponents affiliated with the Discovery Institute. And they control the ID agenda. Despite the fact that ID and deism are logically compatible, ID luminaries are heavily invested in theism, and in particular, Christianity. The louder they protest that ID is science, not religion, the less believable they are. Until ID develops a completely secularized model, it will not hunt…..

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    FH

    Seems a perfectly reasonable reconciliation between science and faith. The niche designs the organism; the creator designs the niche.

    That’s a middle ground between theistic evolution and ID.
    If we said that the niches are fine-tuned for the development of species – then this is Lawrence Henderson’s “Fitness of the Environment” argument. But even without that, instead of saying that the “creator guided the mutations to fit the niche” – it’s saying that “the creator guided the niche to affect the development of organisms”.
    Truthfully, Fred – I can’t see why you’d have such a big problem with ID anyway.
    If it was true that the creator designed the niches, and if we could say “there’s evidence of intelligent design in the niches (namely, random environment could not produce stable niches)” – then that’s ID.
    If however, there’s no evidence of intelligent design in the niches – then science already has a good explanation for how they exist. So to then say “but they were designed that way” brings us back to the irrefutable but useless theistic evolutionary explanation: “God made everything look that way”.

    All that said, compared to the basic materialistic-evolutionary account, I like your attempt to reconcile faith and science this way. You’ve got a designer designing niches. This could have all been pre-programmed at the beginning of the universe or it could happen by intervention directly in nature. When we look at the various niches where life has been able to flourish and the kind of habitats and cycles of nature, and collaboration between species – yes, to me it does look like the environment was designed for life that way.

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ChuckD

    There are some stories here on the idea you propose:

    https://uncommondescent.com/?s=front+loading

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The scientific establishment is slowly beginning to allow scientists who believe in intelligent design to have a platform. Why? It may be because the theory that the universe was crafted intentionally explains many essential realities that theories based on spontaneous chance do not…

    I notice that ID is getting more acceptance also at the lower-levels of the discussion. That will trickle-up to academics eventually. The next phase looks like pan-consciousness and deism where intelligent design will be recognized more fully.

  21. 21
    jerry says:

    ChuckDarwin swung and missed again.

    After getting something right yesterday, he returned to his niche.

    The problem with deism, is that the universe screams design and design has purpose and intent especially one as intricate as the universe and Earth. What is the purpose of hiding the mechanism for life and complex life?

    What is that purpose/intent? What is the purpose of Earth?

    Aside: Earth is certainly unique because it seems to have been created that way. This implies there could be a zillion other Earths in galaxies far, far away but all had to be created that way.

  22. 22
    jerry says:

    Also small non-random changes can and do accumulate and lead to large change over time.

    If anyone had evidence of this, a Nobel prize awaits.

    No, large change kills the organism which is why this isn’t the mechanism.

    Also it is DNA based which doesn’t explain new body plans.

  23. 23
    Sandy says:

    Jerry
    Could the creator of the universe have created initial conditions that led to the origin of life? Why no answer? And why do it in such a way?

    Jerry I thought you know what code means. Do you? Every animal is born with it’s code/blueprint . To change the original blueprint (A) you need at least 2 more blueprints an epi-blueprint that will make the switch from blueprint A to blueprint B and an insane number of regulators,enzimes that should make the change on a running organism. Try to change a new piston to an engine that is running.

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    I thought you know what code means

    I know what a code is having written some computer programs.

    I also have an appreciation for the intelligence and power a creator must have to create the universe we live in. It’s not necessary to limit the intelligence behind ID to that of a super engineer that fiddled with enzymes.

    No one knows how life originated but to say that the creator of the universe couldn’t figure out a natural way of doing it is being blind to the creator’s intelligence and power.

    Aside: I’ll repeat. I don’t believe this is how it happened but that has implications given that it could have happened this way.

  25. 25
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry

    No, large change kills the organism…

    Well, sure. More to the point, large changes in single individuals make finding a mate difficult, which is why saltation theory fails….

    which is why this isn’t the mechanism.

    and you are correct that the mechanism you think is evolution is not the mechanism. Only small changes occur in individuals (strictly the individual genome at meiosis) but small changes in parallel in populations can accumulate non-randomly leading to large change in a population given enough time.

  26. 26
    asauber says:

    “large change in a population given enough time”

    Gonna use my, my, my imagination, give it to me!

    Andrew

  27. 27
    Sandy says:

    FredHicks
    given enough time.

    Yep , and enough imagination . 🙂

    Jerry
    I know what a code is having written some computer programs.

    Not enough. I guess you didn’t try to “evolve” an electronic device (a phone )from 1990 to another type of electronic device(a laptop) from 2020 without (even once) rebooting de device because that would mean extinction . 🙂

  28. 28
    jerry says:

    but small changes in parallel in populations can accumulate non-randomly leading to large change in a population given enough time

    You got to be kidding.

    You can’t possibly believe that. They would all have to advance simultaneously before one wipes out the rest and itself in turn. That would imply control and direction from some external source.

    You have just made one of the ID arguments. Especially since nothing exist to imply it happened this way.

    You are advocating a process that is invisible to anyone looking for it. That is also an argument for design.

    That brings up why did the designer keep the process hidden? Some questions to be thought about. If the process was too obvious, would that change the world?

  29. 29
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Well, sure. More to the point, large changes in single individuals make finding a mate difficult, which is why saltation theory fails….

    Richard Dawkins disagrees with you.

  30. 30
    Fred Hickson says:

    SA

    All that said, compared to the basic materialistic-evolutionary account, I like your attempt to reconcile faith and science this way. You’ve got a designer designing niches. This could have all been pre-programmed at the beginning of the universe or it could happen by intervention directly in nature. When we look at the various niches where life has been able to flourish and the kind of habitats and cycles of nature, and collaboration between species – yes, to me it does look like the environment was designed for life that way.

    Well I appreciate that you are reading me with an open mind. I’m not any kind of anti-theist and I am puzzled by some of the more rabid responses to my comments. Common ground, compromise, consideration for others? Why does a discussion have to be so polarised?

  31. 31
    asauber says:

    Even small changes in codes break things, unless designed flawlessly.

    But we are already beyond reasonable conversation in this thread.

    Andrew

  32. 32
    Fred Hickson says:

    ET

    Richard Dawkins disagrees with you.

    Pretty sure that Dawkins is no saltationist. A citation could prove me incorrect, though, so if you have one, bring it on.

    (Predictive text wanted me to write Dawkins is no Salvationist 😉 )

  33. 33
    Fred Hickson says:

    Even small changes in codes break things, unless designed flawlessly.

    So it’s a relief to know that living organisms are nothing like human-designed computers and software.

  34. 34
    asauber says:

    “So it’s a relief to know that living organisms are nothing like human-designed computers and software.”

    Fred,

    So your defense is that living organisms change more successfully because they are undesigned?

    Sure, buddy.

    Andrew

  35. 35
    Fred Hickson says:

    So your defense is that living organisms change more successfully because they are undesigned?

    That makes so little sense it is hard to even relate it to a strawmanning of my view on evolution.

  36. 36
    asauber says:

    “That makes so little sense it is hard to even relate it to a strawmanning of my view on evolution.”

    Fred,

    I know your view. Environmental niches design organisms. Pretty dumb to persist in that view when it’s absurd.

    Andrew

  37. 37
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Pretty sure that Dawkins is no saltationist. A citation could prove me incorrect, though, so if you have one, bring it on.

    Paraphrasing what he said: “If you have an organism that has one segment and it undergoes a whole genome duplication that produced an organism with 2 segments, that is a saltation event.”

    It’s in the book “Life”, edited by John Brockman

  38. 38
    relatd says:

    “Where the mythical human-made self-replicating machine get all the neeful materials from ?
    ( to create a copy of itself )”

    The answer is there is no answer, aside from an intelligent agent.

  39. 39
    Sandy says:

    Jerry
    No one knows how life originated

    Indeed no darwinian evolutionist knows that because they wait for plane in the train-station. Maybe tomorrow will come.

    Jerry
    to say that the creator of the universe couldn’t figure out a natural way of doing it is being blind to the creator’s intelligence and power.

    But you are the one who thinks that a Designer doesn’t have enough intelligence to create an organism directly and instantly and not over billions and billions and billions of years. Does an intelligent mind have to make billions of years of trial and error to figure out ? Your creator look like a darwinian evolutionary biologist to me(not an epitome of intelligence ) 🙂

  40. 40
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    So it’s a relief to know that living organisms are nothing like human-designed computers and software.

    The genetic code doesn’t change on the fly, Fred. Perhaps you are confusing DNA for the genetic code.

    “The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer like. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular-biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer-engineering journal.”- Richard Dawkins

  41. 41
    relatd says:

    “But you are the one who thinks that a Designer doesn’t have enough intelligence to create an organism directly and instantly and not over billions and billions and billions of years. Does an intelligent mind have to make billions of years of trial and error to figure out ? Your creator look like a darwinian evolutionary biologist to me(not an epitome of intelligence ) ?”

    Well said.

  42. 42
    jerry says:

    But you are the one who thinks that a Designer doesn’t have enough intelligence to create an organism directly and instantly and not over billions and billions and billions of years. Does an intelligent mind have to make billions of years of trial and error to figure out ?

    I never said anything like this.

    Just the opposite. The process could have been designed from the beginning. No trial and error about it.

    So you are making things up and it is actually you who are saying that the designer had to constantly make adjustments. I am saying that if it happened that way, it was truly a much more remarkable intelligence than the one you postulate.

    I as still postulating the same remarkable intelligence but asking some other questions about how it actually happened.

    I suggest you read what I write instead of making things up.

    Did the creation of the universe contain a process in one small part of that creation that was like a billion dominos falling to create a remarkable end point. If you don’t believe the creator was this intelligent, who actually believes in the more intelligent and powerful creator.

  43. 43
    Seversky says:

    At The Federalist: What Design Can Explain About Life’s Origins That Chance Can’t

    Nothing?

  44. 44
    relatd says:

    Seversky,

    Please explain the origin of life.

  45. 45
    jerry says:

    Nothing

    The sum total of what Seversky has added in over 13 years.

    Be careful as ChuckDarwin has actually got one thing correct. So he is way ahead of you now.

    Of course, you probably count that as a mistake on his part and now you are clearly the best anti ID commenter here.

  46. 46
    Sandy says:

    Jerry
    I as still postulating the same remarkable intelligence but asking some other questions about how it actually happened.

    Your creator has enough intelligence to comunicate with humans to tell them the truth about creation or is a hidden distant impassive creator ?

  47. 47
    jerry says:

    Your creator has enough intelligence to comunicate with humans to tell them the truth about creation or is a hidden distant impassive creator

    ID says nothing about this.

    Strange description – intelligent and powerful enough to create universe but tongue tied? ID says nothing about communicating with humans but obviously could have and maybe still is doing so. Not in the purview of ID.

  48. 48
    Fred Hickson says:

    Please explain the origin of life.

    Let’s open that up to everyone!

    My position: I have no idea.

    I’m skeptical anyone here can deliver anything more substantial but…

    Surprise me.

  49. 49
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Life requires genetic code. Intelligence can create functional code. Natural causes cannot.

  50. 50
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sandy

    “Your creator look like a darwinian evolutionary biologist to me(not an epitome of intelligence ) ?”

    That’s the problem with theistic evolution. Whatever role the designer has is completely invisible. There is no evidence of anything except blind material causes. This view has no evidence that a designer exists at all.

  51. 51
    relatd says:

    SA at 50,

    That’s ridiculous. How did any code appear in living things? How does this code work?

    You start a car with no driver and send it down the road. How long till it crashes?

  52. 52
    Silver Asiatic says:

    FH

    Well I appreciate that you are reading me with an open mind. I’m not any kind of anti-theist and I am puzzled by some of the more rabid responses to my comments.

    It’s good that you’re not anti-theist. It indicates open-mindedness on your part.
    Whether DNA code, for example, can be successfully mutated to accomplish what is required for the development of the biological forms on earth is another question. I can’t see how even intelligently-designed niches could make it happen. Mutations would still need the creative power to build all of the features of organisms. I think Behe’s arguments show that there’s not enough time for that to happen.
    The designer could create niches that require adaptations within species. But the very same niches allow for radically different species – including contradictory features to exist. Organisms that move fast and slow or don’t have any movement (plants). Organisms that fly and those that crawl. Multiple means of distribution of seeds or reproduction methods. Multiple defenses against predators, insects, bacteria, poisons – all different in the same niches.

  53. 53
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Relatd

    That’s ridiculous. How did any code appear in living things? How does this code work?

    The theistic evolution view (not mine) is that the code appeared through random combination of chemicals. That created the first life (RNA world) and first functional code. This then was the operating system for the development of all life after that – plants, trees, birds, fish, insects and humans. Everything came from that first random chemical combination.
    So where is the “theism” in this view?
    They just say that God made everything to work that way.
    I have said that this is irrefutable but it’s not really.
    “God made everything to look like it came from a random, natural cause”.
    But I object!
    Because “God made me to think that a random natural cause could not produce the effect.”
    So, God made it look both ways? As if Darwin was correct and also as if Darwin was wrong?
    That’s where theistic evolution doesn’t work.
    It assumes that materialist science is correct. But I can just as easily say “God gave me the insight to realize that materialist science is wrong”.
    That’s an impossible contradiction to solve. So, theistic evolution, attempting at an easy reconciliation ends up with something absurd.

  54. 54
    relatd says:

    I posted earlier that there is no such thing as ‘theistic evolution’ because there is no room for God. No place for Him to work.

    I also posted that the Catholic Church can do what science alone cannot: combine various forms of knowledge together. It appears you missed that.

    From the document Communion and Stewardship, part 69:

    ‘But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation. According to St. Thomas Aquinas: “The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency” (Summa theologiae, I, 22,4 ad 1). In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science. Divine causality can be active in a process that is both contingent and guided. Any evolutionary mechanism that is contingent can only be contingent because God made it so. An unguided evolutionary process – one that falls outside the bounds of divine providence – simply cannot exist because “the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles….It necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence” (Summa theologiae I, 22, 2). ‘

  55. 55
    ET says:

    Well Fred, the genetic code is intelligently designed if we follow science. So that would mean that the OoL was intelligently designed. At least we have that. You and yours only have denying reality.

  56. 56
    ET says:

    At The Federalist: What Design Can Explain About Life’s Origins That Chance Can’t

    Everything, as chance cannot explain anything about life’s origins. And only intelligent agency volition can produce coded information processing systems and living organisms are ruled by them.

  57. 57
    jerry says:

    This view has no evidence that a designer exists at all.

    Absolutely not true!

    Start with the fine tuning of the universe. Then add Earth.

    You then have the environment for advanced life no matter how it appeared.

    Where did the universe and Earth come from? Answer: An all powerful creator.

    The tinkering creator is not necessary to explain either scenario, OOL or Evolution. It does not however, say the creator did not tinker.

    Now ask yourself why would the all powerful creator do it one way and not the other?

    People here want to involve religion in their beliefs. That’s ok but it is not ID so don’t assume they are the same and then act as if they are.

    Also from what I understand this view of ID is consistent with theistic evolutionists. They accept ID in the sense of the fine tuning of the universe. I’m sure what they believe about Earth.

  58. 58
    Sandy says:

    Jerry
    ID says nothing about this.

    🙂 I asked Jerry, not ID. It’s ok to have theological opinions .
    Look at darwinists they have only theological opinions : “chemical created life” or “common descent.” They attribute to matter some magical powers and they call it science. So basically this is a theological context. 🙂

  59. 59
    ET says:

    I would love to know how the information to produce the coded information processing systems that rule living organisms came to be without intelligent agency intervention. How was that front-loaded?

  60. 60
    jerry says:

    without intelligent agency

    No one said it wasn’t done by an intelligence.

    How was that front-loaded?

    It’s easy to imagine a series of domino like processes that end up with the necessary end results.

    If a guy can do this in his back yard, what can the creator of the universe do?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORKJ7MNgZRY

    Aside: I’m not saying this was how it was done, at the creation of the universe but it was possible to do it this way. But how it was done/when is saying something about intentions.

  61. 61
    ET says:

    No coded information processing systems in that backyard. But, yes, I do understand what you are saying. And I have thought of it. Myself and PaV once discussed interventions and if they were really necessary.

  62. 62
    Sandy says:

    ET
    I would love to know how

    Science can’t help you.
    If the painting is so amazing …

  63. 63
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/44

    Seversky,

    Please explain the origin of life

    I have no explanation. My position is that if there is no intelligent agency that created life then natural processes are the better alternative.

  64. 64
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 63,

    Natural processes? So, lifeless chemicals accidentally combined one day and produced life. And even if this was possible, how did that life survive? What did it eat? And if it could not reproduce, it would be the only life. So where did it get the information needed to reproduce?

  65. 65
    ET says:

    Without intelligent design all there is to try to explain our existence is sheer dumb luck. And that is the antithesis of science.

  66. 66
    Fred Hickson says:

    Regarding the origin of life on Earth, origin of Earth, origin of the Universe, mainstream science can offer some partial explanations. It has answers such as when and how. It can’t answer why anything, in the philosophical sense.

    Critics of mainstream science here and elsewhere seem not to realize these limitations and demand mainstream science provide answers for everything and when those answers are not forthcoming, use that as an excuse to dismiss what science can tell us.

    Let me post a few examples from upthread:

    The genetic code doesn’t change on the fly, Fred. Perhaps you are confusing DNA for the genetic code.

    Please explain the origin of life.

    Life requires genetic code. Intelligence can create functional code. Natural causes cannot.

    …there is no such thing as ‘theistic evolution’ because there is no room for God. No place for Him to work.

    Well Fred, the genetic code is intelligently designed if we follow science. So that would mean that the OoL was intelligently designed. At least we have that. You and yours only have denying reality.

    So, lifeless chemicals accidentally combined one day and produced life. And even if this was possible, how did that life survive? What did it eat? And if it could not reproduce, it would be the only life. So where did it get the information needed to reproduce?

    I see a common theme here. All seem to hint at the inability of science to explain life, the universe and everything.

    Well folks, you are (mixed metaphors coming) pushing an open door, your vigorous chase has caught the car. Mainstream science cannot explain everything. So, as I asked earlier, who does have an explanation for life, the universe and everything.

    There are plenty of religious ones, though they tend to follow culture, ethnicity, political outlook and have an emotional basis. Fine, I have no issue with that, we all need to live in hope, retain ambition, look forward to a better future.

    I’ve asked a few times already but I’ll repeat: what does the ID concept bring to scientific endeavor?

  67. 67
    ET says:

    Earth to Fred Hickson- Your position is not science. It’s the inability of materialism, not science, to answer any questions pertaining to our existence.

    ID’s concepts are used in genetic algorithms which use telic processes to solve problems. But I am sure that you will just ignore that, again.

  68. 68
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Intelligence can create functional code.

    That sounds like an explanation to me. It’s not merely “we don’t know”.

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