Back to Basics of ID Darwinist rhetorical tactics evolutionary materialism's self-falsification Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization Intelligent Design Logic and First Principles of right reason Science, worldview issues/foundations and society

BTB, Answering the “ID is Religion/Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” talking point

Spread the love

For many years, atheistical objectors — often, taking a cue from ruthless advocacy groups such as the NCSE and/or ACLU etc — have been tempted to dismiss ID as “Religion” or “Creationism,” and this long since answered point still occasionally crops up here at UD.

(Unfortunately, even when it is not explicit, it is often an implicit rhetorical filter that warps understanding of what ID supporters, thinkers and scientists say; with an underlying insinuation of lying on our part. Which, for cause, I take very personally, as one who has repeatedly put life — when you deal with Communists . . . — and career on the line on matters of truth; for decades. Where, too, the very ease with which such objectors assume or project deception to us, should make them pause given the saying, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Projection, in short, is an issue that should give such objectors pause.)

Currently, in the ID as Terrorism discussion thread, RVB8 has commented:

[RVB8, 34:] >>ID is an outlier of religion. It has religious antecedents, and is supported by religion. The very notion of a ‘designer’, implies a God.>>

This of course, is a subtler form of the same insinuation, but pivots on conflating religion with philosophy and on failing to understand the centrality of philosophical considerations to any serious discussion, Science, Mathematics, whatever. Issues of logic and its first principles, ethics (why do we find an urge to the truth and the right), epistemology, critical analysis of worldview options and possibilities of being, etc are after all at the root of all discussions. Where, we can see you one “God is a manifestation of religion,” and raise you that imposition of Lewontin’s a priori evolutionary materialism is an outpost of atheistical ideological domination of science, education, media, government, law and other key institutions in our civilisation.

Accordingly, it’s back to basics time and I responded at 35:

[KF, 35:] >>Pardon, but we have heard the atheistical, self-falsifying evolutionary materialistic agenda talking points many times before.

Until you can pass the Newton vera causa test of actually showing how, reliably, blind chance and mechanical necessity produces functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information per observation, it remains the case — on a trillion member base — that the only observed source of FSCO/I is design.

That is, intelligently directed configuration.

This is an empirical matter.

It is backed up by the fact that an analysis of blind search challenge in configuration spaces of scale 500 – 1,000+ bits on sol system or observed cosmos scope atomic resources are utterly unable to search more than a negligible fraction, thus are maximally implausible as a means of finding isolated islands of function.

Thus, FSCO/I is an empirically massively verified and analytically plausible strong sign of design as best causal explanation of origin of an entity exhibiting such a phenomenon. Similarly, complex, mutual adaptation of parts to yield function — fine tuning — is an aspect of FSCO/I, and it is often associated with irreducible complexity of function; whereby a core of component entities are mutually necessary and together sufficient for core function to emerge or to persist.

Also, codes, algorithms and associated execution or communication machinery are manifestations of a linguistically driven process, which is directly a sign of intelligence in action as posts in this thread demonstrate. (The case of D/RNA then becomes an obvious wake-up call . . . the first contact sign, credibly, has been detected, c 1953, in a molecular biology lab and was published in Nature. As Crick wrote to his son, March 19th in that year: “Now we believe that the DNA is a code. That is, the order of bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another) . . . “)

If you dispute such, simply produce cases of FSCO/I emerging by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, in actually observed point: ___________ .

I can save you a lot of fuss and bother, by pointing out that the simplest easiest way to get there is by computer based random text generation — and not targeted, informed search such as Dawkins’ Weasel — which has shown ability to get to about 20 – 24 ASCII characters in sense-making text, a factor of ~ 10^100 possibilities short of the 10^150 – 301 range that is the ID detection threshold.

The search challenge is real.

FSCO/I and related phenomena are strong, reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration as cause.

It is time to move on to Robert Sheldon’s point, opening up a new, fresh world of insight from unfettered, uncensored science:

[ID] is about understanding the role of information in nature . . . . It isn’t just “detecting design in nature”, because that’s the easy part. It’s understanding design, understanding information in nature . . . . ID is taking us back to our roots–looking for purpose, looking for coherence, looking for meaning. Because the fundamental property of information is coherence, anti-entropy, function.

And, an honest examination of the above reasoning chain will show that it is patently empirical, inductive, analytical, scientific and clearly not religious in character.>>

Let’s see if RVB8 and/or other advocates of evolutionary materialism and/or its fellow travellers, have an answer (including to its inherent self-falsification along the lines long since pointed out by J B S Haldane). END

59 Replies to “BTB, Answering the “ID is Religion/Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” talking point

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Back to basics, on the “ID is Creationism/Religion in a cheap tuxedo” talking point.

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    If ID isn’t religion then why when writing what ID is really about did Rob Sheldon write this:

    That is what ID is about. It isn’t just “detecting design in nature”, because that’s the easy part. It’s understanding design, understanding information in nature. In the words of classical Reformation theology, it is “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”.

  3. 3
    Vy says:

    Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr [sic] Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.
    ‘… Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Bob O’H: FIrst, kindly look at the empirical, inductive logical framework before indulging motive mongering. Later. KF

  5. 5
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – huh? Sorry, I haven’t got a clue what you’re driving at.

  6. 6
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I’d give a point to Bob O’H here. Personally, I think it’s a huge mistake to bring theology into ID, unless it is explicitly stated that the theology is an optional after-effect of ID thought.

    But then again, for some, ID may indeed be religion (or a theological view). There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion, but it basically kills the idea that ID is just science (which is my view of ID).

    There are many others who believe that science should include, necessarily, a theological framework. That’s understandable. Christian and Islamic creationists, for example do that, and it doesn’t seem to be a problem for them, except that atheistic science labs, schools and journals won’t give them any recognition (or employment).

    In my view, ID is an argument on the limits of science (Edge of Evolution) which points to the intelligence at the foundation of nature. Defining that boundary and giving evidence of what is beyond is fully within the scope of science and it can be done without any theology at all.

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    [RVB8, 34:] >>ID is an outlier of religion. It has religious antecedents, and is supported by religion. The very notion of a ‘designer’, implies a God.>>

    Atheism has religious antecedents, as does Darwin. And Darwin was very much supported by religion.

    If the notion of designer implies God, so does Design, and so does Rationality, Intelligence, Truth and Fine-Tuning. So those are all religious?

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’H, if science can only be conducted minus all Theistic premises, then why is it that ‘evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going’?

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? – Dilley S. – 2013
    Abstract
    This essay analyzes Theodosius Dobzhansky’s famous article, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution,” in which he presents some of his best arguments for evolution. I contend that all of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon sectarian claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. Moreover, Dobzhansky’s theology manifests several tensions, both in the epistemic justification of his theological claims and in their collective coherence. I note that other prominent biologists–such as Mayr, Dawkins, Eldredge, Ayala, de Beer, Futuyma, and Gould–also use theology-laden arguments. I recommend increased analysis of the justification, complexity, and coherence of this theology.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23890740

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Charles Darwin’s use of theology in the Origin of Species – STEPHEN DILLEY
    Abstract
    This essay examines Darwin’s positiva (or positive) use of theology in the first edition of the Origin of Species in three steps. First, the essay analyses the Origin’s theological language about God’s accessibility, honesty, methods of creating, relationship to natural laws and lack of responsibility for natural suffering; the essay contends that Darwin utilized positiva theology in order to help justify (and inform) descent with modification and to attack special creation. Second, the essay offers critical analysis of this theology, drawing in part on Darwin’s mature ruminations to suggest that, from an epistemic point of view, the Origin’s positiva theology manifests several internal tensions. Finally, the essay reflects on the relative epistemic importance of positiva theology in the Origin’s overall case for evolution. The essay concludes that this theology served as a handmaiden and accomplice to Darwin’s science.
    http://journals.cambridge.org/.....741100032X

    The reason why ‘evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going’ is because ALL of modern science, every disciple within modern science, especially including evolutionary biology itself, is dependent on basis Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and on the unique ability of our ‘made in the image of God’ mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility. i.e. “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”.
    Where Darwinian evolution goes completely off the rails, scientifically speaking, is that Darwinian evolution uses bad liberal Theology to try to deny the reality of God all the while forgetting that it, to even be considered ‘science’ in the first place. is absolutely dependent on basic Theistic premises about rational intelligibility of the universe and on the unique ability of our ‘made in the image of God’ mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility of the universe.

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    Moreover, if we cast aside those basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility, and try to use naturalism, i.e. methodological naturalism, as our basis for understanding the universe, and for practicing science, then everything within that atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination.

    Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, are built entirely upon a framework of illusions and fantasy
    Excerpt: Thus, basically, without God, everything within the atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination.
    It would be hard to fathom a more unscientific worldview than Darwinian evolution and Atheistic materialism/naturalism in general have turned out to be.
    Scientists should definitely stick with the worldview that brought them to the dance! i.e Christianity!
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q94y-QgZZGF0Q7HdcE-qdFcVGErhWxsVKP7GOmpKD6o/edit

    To go bit further in my critique of evolutionary biology. If one tries to say that in order to be considered scientific all a theory really needs to do is to demonstrate an ability to potentially be falsified by experimentation, i.e. Popper, then evolutionary biology fails to qualify as a science on that score as well. There simply is no experiment, or empirical observation, that Darwinists will ever accept that has the potential to falsify their theory in their eyes.

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    Deeper into the Royal Society Evolution Paradigm Shift Meeting – 02/08/2016
    Suzan Mazur: Peter Saunders in his interview comments to me said that neo-Darwinism is not a theory, it’s a paradigm and the reason it’s not a theory is that it’s not falsifiable.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....84812.html
    Peter Saunders is Co-Director, Institute of Science in Society, London; Emeritus professor of Applied Mathematics, King’s College London.
    Peter Saunders has been applying mathematics in biology for over 40 years, in microbiology and physiology as well as in development and evolution. He has been a critic of neo-Darwinism for almost as long.

    The reason why Darwinian evolution is not falsifiable, as other overarching theories of science are, is that it has no rigid mathematical basis to test against in order to potentially falsify it:

    Darwinians Try to Usurp Biomimetics Popularity – October 9, 2014
    Excerpt: “it is remarkable, therefore, that formal mathematical, rather than verbal, proof of the fact that natural selection has an optimizing tendency was still lacking after a century and a half later.”,,,
    More importantly, its proponents are still struggling, a century and a half after Darwin, to provide evidence and the mathematical formalism to demonstrate that random natural processes have the creative power that Darwin, Dawkins, and others claim it has. Everyone already knows that intelligent causes have such creative power.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90231.html

    Evolution is Missing a Mathematical Formula
    Excerpt: Virtually all scientists acknowledge that mathematics is the real language of science. Every theory uses words to describe and postulate the theory, but the true test of a theory is numbers and mathematics. It is numbers and mathematical formulae that distinguish true science from hocus-pocus.,,,
    Every scientific theory that has been promoted to the status of being a scientific law has been quantified and/or embodied into one or more mathematical formulae that make accurate predictions.
    But no scientist has been able to derive any working formula from the Theory of Evolution and no one has been able to quantify its dictums. Millions of scientists have tried to quantify the Theory of Evolution and they have all failed to do so.
    http://darwinconspiracy.com/article_1_rev2.php

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    The primary reason why no scientist has been able to ‘quantify its dictums’ is because there are no known laws of nature for Darwinists to appeal to to base their math on. In other words, there is no known ‘law of evolution’, such as there is a ‘law of gravity’, within the physical universe for Darwinists to base their math on:

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    The Evolution of Ernst: Interview with Ernst Mayr – 2004
    Excerpt: biology (Darwinian Evolution) differs from the physical sciences in that in the physical sciences, all theories, I don’t know exceptions so I think it’s probably a safe statement, all theories are based somehow or other on natural laws. In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.
    ,,, And so that’s what I do in this book. I show that the theoretical basis, you might call it, or I prefer to call it the philosophy of biology, has a totally different basis than the theories of physics.
    http://www.scientificamerican......-ernst-in/

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt:,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.
    http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25468

    In fact, not only does Evolution not have any universal law to appeal to, to base its math on, as other overarching theories of science have, Entropy, a law with great mathematical explanatory power in science, almost directly contradicts Darwinian claims that increases in functional complexity can be easily had (Granville Sewell and Andy McIntosh):

    The Common Sense Law of Physics Granville Sewell – March 2016
    Excerpt: (The) “compensation” argument, used by every physics text which discusses evolution and the second law to dismiss the claim that what has happened on Earth may violate the more general statements of the second law, was the target of my article “Entropy, Evolution, and Open Systems,” published in the proceedings of the 2011 Cornell meeting Biological Information: New Perspectives (BINP).
    In that article, I showed that the very equations of entropy change upon which this compensation argument is based actually support, on closer examination, the common sense conclusion that “if an increase in order is extremely improbable when a system is isolated, it is still extremely improbable when the system is open, unless something is entering which makes it not extremely improbable.” The fact that order can increase in an open system does not mean that computers can appear on a barren planet as long as the planet receives solar energy. Something must be entering our open system that makes the appearance of computers not extremely improbable, for example: computers.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02725.html

    Why Tornados Running Backward do not Violate the Second Law – Granville Sewell – May 2012 – article with video
    Excerpt: So, how does the spontaneous rearrangement of matter on a rocky, barren, planet into human brains and spaceships and jet airplanes and nuclear power plants and libraries full of science texts and novels, and supercomputers running partial differential equation solving software , represent a less obvious or less spectacular violation of the second law—or at least of the fundamental natural principle behind this law—than tornados turning rubble into houses and cars? Can anyone even imagine a more spectacular violation?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....econd-law/

    Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems – Andy C. McIntosh professor of thermodynamics and combustion theory at the University of Leeds – 2013
    Excerpt: ,,, information is in fact non-material and that the coded information systems (such as, but not restricted to the coding of DNA in all living systems) is not defined at all by the biochemistry or physics of the molecules used to store the data. Rather than matter and energy defining the information sitting on the polymers of life, this approach posits that the reverse is in fact the case. Information has its definition outside the matter and energy on which it sits, and furthermore constrains it to operate in a highly non-equilibrium thermodynamic environment. This proposal resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions, which despite the efforts from alternative paradigms has not given a satisfactory explanation of the way information in systems operates.,,,
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0008

    Moreover, empirical evidence itself tells us that “Genetic Entropy”, the tendency of biological systems to drift towards decreasing complexity and decreasing information content, holds true as an overriding rule for biology over long periods of time.

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Can Purifying Natural Selection Preserve Biological Information? – May 2013 –
    Paul Gibson, John R. Baumgardner, Wesley H. Brewer, John C. Sanford
    In conclusion, numerical simulation shows that realistic levels of biological noise result in a high selection threshold. This results in the ongoing accumulation of low-impact deleterious mutations, with deleterious mutation count per individual increasing linearly over time. Even in very long experiments (more than 100,000 generations), slightly deleterious alleles accumulate steadily, causing eventual extinction. These findings provide independent validation of previous analytical and simulation studies [2–13]. Previous concerns about the problem of accumulation of nearly neutral mutations are strongly supported by our analysis. Indeed, when numerical simulations incorporate realistic levels of biological noise, our analyses indicate that the problem is much more severe than has been acknowledged, and that the large majority of deleterious mutations become invisible to the selection process.,,,
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0010

    Genetic Entropy – references to several peer reviewed numerical simulations analyzing and falsifying all flavors of Darwinian evolution,, (via John Sanford and company)
    http://www.geneticentropy.org/#!properties/ctzx

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    And whereas Darwinian evolution has no known law of nature to appeal to so as to establish itself as a proper, testable, science, (in fact it almost directly contradicts entropy), Intelligent Design does not suffer from such a disconnect from physical reality. In other words, Intelligent Design can appeal directly to ‘the laws of conservation of information’ (Dembski, Marks, etc..) in order to establish itself as a proper, testable, and rigorous science.

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski (mathematically) prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

    And since Intelligent Design is mathematically based on the ‘law of conservation of information’, that makes Intelligent Design testable and potentially falsifiable, and thus makes Intelligent Design, unlike Darwinism, a rigorous science instead of a unfalsifiable pseudo-science:

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness

    The Origin of Information: How to Solve It – Perry Marshall
    Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community:
    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer.
    A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery (up to 3 million dollars). We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research.
    http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

    It’s (Much) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk

    Of related note: In so far as Darwinian evolution is dependent on the premises of reductive materialism, and regardless of whether Darwinists ever personally accept the falsification or not, Darwinian evolution is now empirically falsified by advances in quantum biology:

    Jim Al-Khalili, at the 2:30 minute mark of the following video states,
    “,,and Physicists and Chemists have had a long time to try and get use to it (Quantum Mechanics). Biologists, on the other hand have got off lightly in my view. They are very happy with their balls and sticks models of molecules. The balls are the atoms. The sticks are the bonds between the atoms. And when they can’t build them physically in the lab nowadays they have very powerful computers that will simulate a huge molecule.,, It doesn’t really require much in the way of quantum mechanics in the way to explain it.”
    At the 6:52 minute mark of the video, Jim Al-Khalili goes on to state:
    “To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”.
    Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video
    – youtube

    Molecular Biology – 19th Century Materialism meets 21st Century Quantum Mechanics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCs3WXHqOv8

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    Moreover, even if one tosses straight up empirical falsification out the window, and tries to use ‘predictive power’ as a demarcation for determining whether something is ‘scientific’ or not, (Imre Lakatos), then Darwinian evolution, even on that much looser demarcation criteria, fails to qualify as a science but is still more properly classified as a pseudo-science:

    A Philosophical Question…Does Evolution have a Hard Core ?
    Some Concluding Food for Thought
    Excerpt: So basically, the demarcation problem is a fun game philosophers enjoy playing, but when they realize the implications regarding the theory of evolution, they quickly back off…
    http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosm.....ore_pg.htm

    Imre Lakatos, although he tipped toed around the failure of Darwinism to have a rigid demarcation criteria, he was brave enough to state that a good scientific theory will make successful predictions in science and a pseudo-scientific theory will generate ‘epicycle theories’ to cover up embarrassing failed predictions:

    In his 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture 1[12] he (Lakatos) also claimed that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”.
    Almost 20 years after Lakatos’s 1973 challenge to the scientificity of Darwin, in her 1991 The Ant and the Peacock, LSE lecturer and ex-colleague of Lakatos, Helena Cronin, attempted to establish that Darwinian theory was empirically scientific in respect of at least being supported by evidence of likeness in the diversity of life forms in the world, explained by descent with modification. She wrote that
    “our usual idea of corroboration as requiring the successful prediction of novel facts…Darwinian theory was not strong on temporally novel predictions.” …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....27s_theory

    “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    Here’s That Algae Study That Decouples Phylogeny and Competition – June 17, 2014
    Excerpt: “With each new absurdity another new complicated just-so story is woven into evolutionary theory. As Lakatos explained, some theories simply are not falsifiable. But as a result they sacrifice realism and parsimony.”
    – Cornelius Hunter
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....uples.html

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    And following in Lakatos footsteps, Dr. Hunter has compiled a list of some of the major false predictions generated by evolutionary theory. False predictions that are fundamental to evolutionary theory, i.e. go to the ‘core’ of the theory, and falsify it from the inside out as it were using Lakatos’s demarcation criteria.

    Darwin’s (failed) Predictions – Cornelius G. Hunter – 2015
    This paper evaluates 23 fundamental (false) predictions of evolutionary theory from a wide range of different categories. The paper begins with a brief introduction to the nature of scientific predictions, and typical concerns evolutionists raise against investigating predictions of evolution. The paper next presents the individual predictions in seven categories: early evolution, evolutionary causes, molecular evolution, common descent, evolutionary phylogenies, evolutionary pathways, and behavior. Finally the conclusion summarizes these various predictions, their implications for evolution’s (in)capacity to explain phenomena, and how they bear on evolutionist’s claims about their theory.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home

    And here is a broader overview of the many failed predictions of naturalism in general in regards to the major scientific discoveries that have now been revealed by modern science:

    Theism compared to Materialism/Naturalism – a comparative overview of the major predictions of each philosophy – video
    https://youtu.be/QQ9iyCmPmz8

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    Bob O’H: Please read the OP, if you do so you will see the logic and empirical issues summarised. After these many years of objecting at UD, you should be instantly aware of these things. The point is, one can always motive monger away to rhetorical effect, but that is strictly irrelevant to the soundness of the underlying case. For instance, we could point to no end of cases showing what atheistical bias leads to, and even highlight the problem of so called methodological naturalism. The best solution is to address the merits, which I do in outline. If you have an effective answer to the trillion member empirical base that shows that say FSCO/I is an excellent sign of design as cause, we would long since have heard it instead of motive mongering. In short, this may be doubling down on a talking point that is irrelevant to the merits. KF

    PS: SA, there is a place for onward worldviews level discussion, but this is not the strict scientific focus. You will see that the difference between what B did and I did with Robert Sheldon’s point, was I HIGHLIGHTED THE SCIENTIFIC ISSUES AT STAKE. And they are of great scientific import in an increasingly information driven era. Let me clip again, as the point may be easily lost in the back forth:

    [RS:] >>[ID] is about understanding the role of information in nature . . . . It isn’t just “detecting design in nature”, because that’s the easy part. It’s understanding design, understanding information in nature . . . . ID is taking us back to our roots–looking for purpose, looking for coherence, looking for meaning. Because the fundamental property of information is coherence, anti-entropy, function >>

    I think these are serious issues well worth actual examination rather than tired out rhetorical objections. I for one would start with the von Neumann kinematic self replicator as a model, comparing the cell and then also looking at something like Jakubowski’s global village construction set idea and ponder industrial civ 2.0 and onwards sol system colonisation as lines of sci-tech inquiry.

  13. 13
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF – thanks for that clarification. Perhaps we could understand Robert Sheldon’s point as a theological analogy by way of comparison.

    In the words of classical Reformation theology, it is “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”.

    This is too direct, in my opinion, and mistaken. But perhaps he meant to (or should) say, “it is similar to what is done in theology where people recognize God’s thoughts”.

    To say that ID is an output of Reformation theology and is “thinking God’s thoughts” makes ID a religious program, as I see it.

    I fully agree with BA’s excellent commentary showing the theistic roots of science.

    But I don’t think scientists need to have a specific (or any) theological belief system to accept the evidence and correctness of ID theory. It’s just basic science.

    Am I right about that?

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    There are different flavors of ID and perhaps noted figures like Dr. Sheldon really do think it is a religious program, even Reformation Theology (as many claim it is), I don’t know.

    Personally, I am totally ok with that as long as it is explicitly defined as such. I also think there is a more secular flavor of ID where a certain theological view is not required.

    It doesn’t mean that’s right or better. That’s just the way I always understood ID from Dembski, Denton, Wells, Gonzalez, etc.

  15. 15
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    If you have an effective answer to the trillion member empirical base that shows that say FSCO/I is an excellent sign of design as cause, we would long since have heard it instead of motive mongering.

    Point well taken and I fully agree.

    Minus two points from the one I gave Bob O’H.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    “I want to know God’s thoughts – the rest are mere details.”
    – Albert Einstein

    On discovering the laws of planetary motion, Johann Kepler declared:

    ‘O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you!’
    http://www.biblicalcreation.or.....cs104.html

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler

    “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”
    Albert Einstein – Letters to Solovine – New York, Philosophical Library, 1987

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF25AA4dgGg
    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.”
    Alfred Russell Wallace, New Thoughts on Evolution, 1910

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind, or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    – Kurt Gödel As quoted in Topoi : The Categorial Analysis of Logic (1979) by Robert Goldblatt, p. 13

    Cantor, Gödel, & Turing: Incompleteness of Mathematics – video (excerpted from BBC’s ‘Dangerous Knowledge’ documentary)
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1119397401406525/?type=2&theater

  17. 17
    REW says:

    I dont think anyone can seriously claim that ID is religion. Religion is a set of customs, rituals and practices along with dogmatic beliefs that aim to connect the believer with God ( or some supernatural realm) Obviously ID isnt that.
    I think that when people claim that ID is religion what they’re really saying is that their religious belief has severely biased their ability to interpret scientific knowledge. I think most people here would agree thats the case with YEC. All of the evidence indicates an old earth. The only way someone comes to the young earth conclusion is by ignoring the evidence in favor of a particular interpretation of scripture.

  18. 18

    Most ID vs Naturalism debates start out with the naturalists assuming that the debate framework is (and must be), by default, naturalist, and that any other assumption must be argued/demonstrated/evidenced to their satisfaction. Otherwise, they philosophically mischaracterize the theistic perspective as “religious”, when it is in fact a philosophical metaphysic equitable in any debate with the assumption of naturalism. It is simply not “religious” in nature.

    This is, IMO, a fundamental problem that plagues any such debate. Anti-theistic naturalists often conflate theism with some particular religious sect or view and often pepper their arguments with Christian-specific objections or use polytheism or ridiculous imagined spaghetti gods to improperly characterize the theistic metaphysic as a religion.

    Until such debate participants can let go of their emotional commitments against particular religions and understand the concept of the theistic metaphysic properly, debates will continue to slide into motive-mongering, emotional rhetoric, and character assassination.

    The evidence and argument against naturalism is not simply compelling; it is both definitive and overwhelming. Naturalism cannot even a provide a basis for gathering evidence or making valid arguments, much less provide compelling reasons to consider it true much less provide even in-principle answers to trivially abundant forms of structured information and experience. As KF so often points out, it’s a metaphysical self-destructing non-starter that few anti-theists have spent any time at all examining.

    They just think it must be true because it’s the only alternative to Theism, which they have deep emotional commitments against out of ignorance.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I should say RS was paraphrasing a Reformation era theme about science. In science, we think the Creator’s rational, creative and providential/ sustaining thoughts after him. Hence, for instance, LAW of nature. beneath is a conviction that the Creator formed the world to be in key parts intelligible and even simple. All of these concepts are deeply embedded in our praxis. And this frame gave early scientists confidence that they could read God’s book of nature. In our time the discovery of strong signs of design in the world of life points to design (but from the first Thaxton et al pointed out this does not equate to God by any means . . . yet another point that is routinely distorted for rhetorical reasons). Where the signs of design do point in theistic directions is the design of a fine tuned cosmos that is at a deeply isolated operating point for C-chem, aqueous medium, terrestrial planet, galactic habitable zone, life. That points to designer with power to effect a cosmos. Popping over the border into phil, the issues of being raise questions onthe roots of reality, pointing ultimately to a necessary being root of the world. Blend in our finding it necessary that we be responsibly and rationally free so also morally govetrned and ethical theism is best worldview level explanation. But that is beyond science. Within science, the core challenges of the meaning, utility and potential of information in the structure of nature and cells as self replicating automata are full of very interesting questions — including for transformation of industrial civilisation through information, communication and control technologies using the mechatronics paradigm and beyond. And of course, fine tuning is likely to be one of the key issues in understanding our cosmos. KF

  20. 20
    Bob O'H says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 14 & 14 – thanks for those thoughts. The issue, I think, is over how close one’s science and theology inform each other. I (and, I think, most scientists) have no problems with religion as a motivation to do science: to marvel at how God made the world, if you will. If that is what Rob Sheldon meant, then fair enough (although it does seem to imply that one still can’t do ID if one does not believe in God).

    The problems come, I thin, when one tries to insert God as a causal explanation (“goddidit”). The problem there is that it seems impossible to test this hypothesis: if God is ineffable, then how do we know we have invoked God correctly? That question would seem to be theology, not science. Hence, if ID as “thinking God’s thoughts after him” means reconstructing what God did, then it surely is a part of religion.

    As for FSCO/I, I’ve never seen it been applied to any real example, and to the extent it has any validity it just seems to be a calculation of the size of a state space. But even huge state spaces can be traversed to find optima (and evolution in the natural world isn’t even about finding optima: it’s just about finding something better). So I’m afraid I don’t take the “trillion member empirical base” that seriously. Sorry.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, serious words, maybe you want to elaborate? KF

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Bob O’H: the trillion member empirical base is all around us, indeed you just added to it. later. KF

  23. 23
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob O’H

    The problems come, I thin, when one tries to insert God as a causal explanation (“goddidit”). The problem there is that it seems impossible to test this hypothesis: if God is ineffable, then how do we know we have invoked God correctly? That question would seem to be theology, not science. Hence, if ID as “thinking God’s thoughts after him” means reconstructing what God did, then it surely is a part of religion.

    Good thoughts and I fully agree.

    Yes, God cannot be directly evaluated by empirical science, for reasons you gave.

    This is a temptation that some IDists fall into at times, and I understand how. Our worldview is fully integrated and it’s difficult to explain our scientific work (when speaking in a popular forum, for example) without a bigger picture. That can be religion, or as many have pointed out, it can be with atheism as the driving motive of science.

    But ID itself should not be defined as an understanding of God. It should not be necessary for people to have to believe in God, or have a specific theology, in order to investigate and accept ID research.

    But that requires very strict limits for ID. When people go over the limits (as I think Sheldon did) then they’re justly open for attack on those grounds.

    That is, unless someone just wants to say that “ID is a religious program”, and that’s a different matter.

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    As I see it, ID is an argument against naturalism, but it works entirely within a naturalistic/atheistic framework.

    In my view, ID was intended to say:

    1. Even within a totally naturalistic framework, even with atheistic assumptions, what we understand as Functional Complex Information can be observed. No religion or theology is required to observe and admit this.
    2. Again even with naturalistic philosophy, the only demonstrable source for such information is intelligence. If Functional Complex Information can be produced by any other, non-intelligent source, then just demonstrate it. But that doesn’t happen. The best explanation is that intelligence is the only source, since it is the only known source.
    3. Again, in purely secular terms, where there is intelligence as a cause of informational systems, there is Design-Purpose. Without purpose/design, there is no intelligence (freedom to choose options) but only physical determinism.

    At that point, materialistic/naturalistic determinism fails.

    However, at that point also, there remains a multitude of options, philosophically or theologically, that can be compatible with non-naturalism, non-materialism.

    Theism is not the only option, as I see it. But even so, I don’t think ID as a science is empowered or capable of sorting through which non-materialist possibilities or which theological views are the correct ones.

    If ID is strictly a science program, then ID stops at the collapse of materialism. Philosophy and theology pick up the argument after – using the conclusions of ID science, yes. But ID really has little or nothing to say about the theological or philosophical analysis that follows.

    Attempting to reach theological conclusions puts ID outside of what we ordinarily call science.

    I know at the same time, some think that the study of God should be considered part of science, but is ID really required to make that change and convince the world of that?

  25. 25
    john_a_designer says:

    Personally, I have always thought that ID as a scientific theory (at least for the present) was “a bridge too far.” However, “small letter id” as both an explanation of man’s existential situation and as an explanation for the metaphysical and scientific nature of the physical reality we observe around us, provides the best and most coherent foundation for a philosophical world view.

    For example, based on classical Big Bang cosmology, what is the best explanation for the origin of the universe? Theists have an answer (an eternally existing or self-existing transcendent mind); naturalists/materialists are in search of one.

    The same point can be made for the universes apparent fine-tuning.

    …the origin of life.

    …the origin of mind and consciousness.

    Now as a theist I will readily admit that I can’t answer how it happened, but neither can the naturalist.

    Of course, some naturalists I have interacted with on-line have argued that the theistic explanation is too simple. But why does an explanation need to be complicated? In my view all it needs to be is logically possible, coherent and plausible. If that is the only objection that they have then they don’t have much.

  26. 26
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    ID is science, nothing else.

    ID is about the theory that a design process is the only possible origin of certain observable configurations. Right or wrong, this is a scientific statement about observables. Configurations are observables. Conscious designers, and design processes, are observables. Regularities that connect specific configurations to design processes are the basis of perfectly objective inferences about what we observe.

    Why should that be anything else than science?

    I have applied the concept of functional information to many examples, here. Again, I may be right or wrong, but I am amazed that you say: “I’ve never seen it been applied to any real example”. Should I give you a list of my OPs about that?

    I have been posting comments and OPs here for years. You may have noticed that I almost never take part in any discussion that implies religion. That’s a very precise choice. If ID is religion, what are my posts about?

  27. 27
    DonaldM says:

    William Murray in #18

    Most ID vs Naturalism debates start out with the naturalists assuming that the debate framework is (and must be), by default, naturalist, and that any other assumption must be argued/demonstrated/evidenced to their satisfaction. Otherwise, they philosophically mischaracterize the theistic perspective as “religious”, when it is in fact a philosophical metaphysic equitable in any debate with the assumption of naturalism. It is simply not “religious” in nature.

    I completely agree with your point here. Somehow the debate always seems to begin with the default assumption that naturalism is true, so all arguments must be presented within that framework or else they are disqualified. My response to that in the past (and I’ve done this many times here at UD) is to ask the naturalists “how do you know scientifically (not philosophically, metaphysically or theologically) that the properties of the cosmos are such that it must be a completely closed system of natural cause and effect, and that no supernatural entities of any sort (if such exist) could effect any change or cause anything to happen in the cosmos? In well over 20 years of involvement with this debate, I have never once received anything close to a scientific answer that question.

    The real kicker is that the ID critics and the naturalists expect, nay demand that the theist admit their theistic bias while simultaneously claiming that their naturalistic bias isn’t bias at all…its just the way things are. Except, we’re still waiting for the scientific confirmation of that.

  28. 28
    DonaldM says:

    I think Silver Asiatic in #24 is on the right track when he/she writes:

    2. Again even with naturalistic philosophy, the only demonstrable source for such information is intelligence. If Functional Complex Information can be produced by any other, non-intelligent source, then just demonstrate it. But that doesn’t happen. The best explanation is that intelligence is the only source, since it is the only known source.
    3. Again, in purely secular terms, where there is intelligence as a cause of informational systems, there is Design-Purpose. Without purpose/design, there is no intelligence (freedom to choose options) but only physical determinism.

    Perhaps there’s a more concise way to state the case as a simple deductive argument. I’ll use IA for “intelligent agent”, and CSI for “complex, specified information”.

    Premise 1: Any artifact that exhibits the feature of CSI must have an IA as the cause of the CSI.
    Premise 2: CSI is observed in biological systems
    Conclusion: An IA must be the cause of the CSI in those biological systems.

    Its a perfectly valid deductive argument in that if both premises are true, the conclusion naturally follows. The only way to refute it is to show either one or both premises to be false. And here’s where things get interesting. There is no way to refute either premise except scientifically. No appeal to philosophy, metaphysics or theology is necessary or required to refute either premise.

    To refute premise one, all one need do is provide a case where undirected, unintelligent causes can account for any instance of observed CSI. To date, that has never been shown by anyone. Worse, there’s not even a good model showing how undirected, unintelligent causes could produce CSI.

    To refute premise two, one would merely have to show that what is taken to be CSI in biological systems is actually not CSI, but something else. Again, that has never been done either.

    But the important point to be appreciated here (with respect to KF’s point in the OP) is that this shows clearly that ID is indeed scientific as only science can refute the argument. No appeal to anything outside of normal science need be included in either the premises themselves or any attempted refutation.

    The real canard is saying ID isn’t science. That’s just sloppy thinking given what we actually know.

  29. 29
    Vy says:

    I dont think anyone can seriously claim that ID is religion.

    Well they obviously DO make that claim.

    I think that when people claim that ID is religion what they’re really saying is that their religious belief has severely biased their ability to interpret scientific knowledge.

    Maybe but I’m certain there are Darwinists out there who honestly believe ID is a religion.

    I think most people here would agree thats the case with YEC.

    Unfortunately true.

    All of the evidence indicates an old earth.

    Not even close.

    The only way someone comes to the young earth conclusion is by ignoring the evidence in favor of a particular interpretation of scripture.

    You mean evidence like this, this, this…?

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, there is a summary of empirical evidence on the table. KF

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    Bob O’H, 20:

    It seems, more back to basics for the morning.

    Let’s pick up on points:

    >>As for FSCO/I, I’ve never seen it been applied to any real example,>>

    That is an amazing admission for an objector that has been around UD for years, not only as GP above has spoken to, but the many cases that were used as tests/challenges and the like.

    The text of presumably your post is 1269 ASCII characters, at 7 bits per character. The config space implied is 2^8,883 or 1.12*10^2,674. The atomic resources of our sol system or the observed cosmos across ~10^17 s, and at fast rates of 10^12 – 14/s, would not be able to scratch more than a negligibly tiny proportion of the space of possibilites, so blind chance and/or mechanical necessity are not feasible as credible causal explanation. So, we infer to what on a trillion member base is known to reliably produce such FSCO/I. Intelligently directed configuration.

    All of this has been explained and exemplified many, many times.

    >> and to the extent it has any validity it just seems to be a calculation of the size of a state space.>>

    As just seen, it is far more, it is an assessment of the credibilty of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity being able to search more than a negligibly tiny fraction of a space of configs.

    Where, the underlying point is that complex functionally specific organisation depends on multiple well matched parts with correct arrangements and appropriate coupling if it is to work. Just visit your friendly local mechanic’s shop if you are in doubt as to what this means.

    This confines function to isolated islands in the space of possibilities, posing a stiff search challenge to blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    Then, we see that a complex 3-d organised funcitonal entity, as AutoCAD etc exemplify, is readily reducible to a string of y/n q’s and a’s in a description language, i.e. analysis on bit strings is WLOG.

    Going further, a obvious biological case is D/RNA and the protein family of molecules in the living cell. A viable genome size is about 100 – 1,000 kbits at the low end, thus we see the OOL challenge emerging. We have to account for the quantum of coded algorithmic information that shapes proteins. We then have to ponder that algorithms and implementing machines — here built from essentially the same means — are based on codes and purposeful designs that use codes coupled to execution machinery, thus both a hardware and a software engineering challenge, wit codes as a manifestation of language, Yes, even the machine language we see in the living cell.

    100 – 1,000 kbits is a bit more than the amount of info that in the case of your comment above, was enough to reliably infer intelligently directed configuration.

    We have excellent reason to infer that the living cell, from OOL up is designed, and further that body plans which require ~ 10 – 100++ million bits to effect, are further designed.

    Design best accounts for the tree of life from its roots.

    All this of course has been laid out again and again here at UD and elsewhere, just studiously brushed aside.

    >> But even huge state spaces can be traversed to find optima (and evolution in the natural world isn’t even about finding optima: it’s just about finding something better).>>

    You here pose two issues. First, given the architecture of FSCO/I we see isolated islands of function, so you are addressing at level one increments of function within an island, which is not an issue for ID or even YEC for that matter. Micro-evo within the body plan and it seems up tot sometimes the family level in taxonomical terms.

    As you know or should know, were you to be actually addressing the substantial issue as presented over many years (and you are a long-term objector at UD), the issue is to find islands of function in large config spaces.

    Thus this first level builds on the prior misconceptions.

    At second level, the issue is search for golden search. Yes, some searches in certain cases are well adapted and work quite effectively. But there is no one size fits all golden search. Horses for courses, and searches for cases.

    More broadly, a search in a space is a subset sampled from it. Thus the set of possible searches is tantamount to the power set of the space. So for a space of n configs, we are looking at a search of order 2^n. So, at the FSCO/I threshold, 2^(10^150) or more.

    Search for a golden search is exponentially harder than search for a an island of function.

    The oh there is a golden search objection fails.

    >>So I’m afraid I don’t take the “trillion member empirical base” that seriously. Sorry.>>

    This seems to be the root issue. For, by refusing to examine the world of FSCO/I around us and its characteristics, there is a lack of appreciation of the problem at stake.

    That is why trivially answered objections keep on being recirculated even here at UD after many years, much less in the echo-chamber objector sites.

    And indeed there are trillions of cases in point, ranging from text in this thread to car engines and computers to the threading of nuts and bolts or the teeth of gears. Even, to sustain a smooth optical surface or a precise levelled floor in a factory is non-trivial and manifests FSCO/I. Not to mention things like stonehenge or statues carved in cliff faces (vs natural “man face” phenomena), a circle of stones seemingly arranged to align with astronomical phenomena.

    Perhaps, it is time for fresh thinking by objectors to the design inference?

    KF

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Bob O'H says:

    gpuccio – if ID is science why does Rob Sheldon think it is “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”? This is going beyond a theory “that a design process is the only possible origin of certain observable configurations”, and is saying something about the design process and the designer.

    Also, if ID is science, why do so many ID proponents have problems with the way science is done (in particular the assumption of methodological naturalism)?

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’H, and again I ask, since you refuse to see your blatant hypocrisy, if Darwinian evolution is science why is it that ‘evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going’?

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-620106

    Perhaps instead of bad theology one day Darwinists can get around to doing actual science? For instance:

    Macro Evolution? Where’s The Empirical Evidence?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EahuLzrHXrg

    Suggested Readings on the Problem of Animal Macroevolution – Feb. 25, 2016
    Quotes:
    “Those loci that are obviously variable within natural populations do not seem to lie at the basis of many major adaptive changes, while those loci that seemingly do constitute the foundation of many, if not most, major adaptive changes apparently are not variable within natural populations.,,,”
    John F. McDonald, “The Molecular Basis of Adaptation: [p. 93]

    “But the dilemma of the New Synthesis [textbook theory] is that no one has satisfactorily demonstrated a mechanism at the population genetic level by which innumerable very small phenotypic changes could accumulate rapidly to produce large changes”,,,
    Keith Stewart Thomson, “Macroevolution: The Morphological Problem,”

    “The popular theory of evolution is the modern synthesis (neo-Darwinism) based on changes in populations underpinned by the mathematics of allelic variation and driven by natural selection. It accounts more for adaptive changes in the colouration of moths, than in explaining why there are moths at all. This theory does not predict why there were only 50 or so modal body plans, nor does provide a basis for rapid, large-scale innovations. It lacks significant connection with embryogenesis and hence there is no nexus to the evolution of form. It fails to address the question of why the anatomical gaps between phyla are no wider today than they were at their Cambrian appearance….I believe that the search for the Holy Grail (evolution of complex morphologies and nervous systems) has been conducted in the wrong place and at the wrong levels by evolutionary biologists.”
    George L.G. Miklos, “Emergence of organizational complexities during metazoan evolution

    “Increasing knowledge of the fossil record and the capacity for accurate geological dating demonstrate that large-scale patterns and rates of evolution are not comparable with those hypothesized by Darwin on the basis of extrapolation from modern populations and species.”
    Robert L. Carroll, “Toward a new evolutionary synthesis,” [p. 27]

    Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but microevolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern only the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest. As Goodwin (1995) points out, “the origin of species — Darwin’s problem — remains unsolved.”
    Scott F. Gilbert, John M. Opitz, and Rudolf A. Raff, “Resynthizing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology,”

    “Of [neo-Darwinism], I shall have nothing to say, as mechanistic developmental biology has shown that its fundamental concepts are largely irrelevant to the process by which the body plan is formed in ontogeny. In addition it gives rise to lethal errors in respect to evolutionary process. Neo-Darwinian evolution is uniformitarian in that it assumes that all process works the same way, so that evolution of enzymes or flower colors can be used as current proxies for study of evolution of the body plan. It erroneously assumes that change in protein coding sequence is the basic cause of change in developmental program; and it erroneously assumes that evolutionary change in body plan morphology occurs by a continuous process. All of these assumptions are basically counterfactual. This cannot be surprising, since the neo-Darwinian synthesis from which these ideas stem was a pre-molecular biology concoction focused on population genetics and adaptation natural history, neither of which have any direct mechanistic import for the genomic regulatory systems that drive embryonic development of the body plan.”
    Eric Davidson, “Evolutionary biology as regulatory systems biology,” [pp. 35-36] http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02639.html

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

  35. 35
    DonaldM says:

    Bob O’H writes in #33

    Also, if ID is science, why do so many ID proponents have problems with the way science is done (in particular the assumption of methodological naturalism)?

    As has been explained ad infinitum, it because the assumption of MN rules out an entire class of explanatory resources a priori. Namely, intelligent causes. MN is simply full blown philosophical naturalism (PN) in a cheap tuxedo. MN=PN and there is no getting around it.

    Unless we know in advance that no intelligent causes were involved whatsoever in producing any effect we observe in any natural system, then enforcing MN on the practice of science is gratuitous and arbitrary. If intelligent causes played a part in producing at least some of what we observe in natural systems, then MN will restrict science from drawing that conclusion no matter what the evidence might show. That’s not practicing good science; its imposing bad dogma on science.

  36. 36
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 31 – Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I meant I hadn’t seen any substantive application of FCSI/O, i.e. where you apply it to a real problem (e.g. “is the bacterial flagellum designed?”), and produce some new science. I haven’t even seen it validated in a way that shows it’ll work for real problems. All I’ve seen (and all you show in your comment) is a toy example, where you calculate the reciprocal of the size of the search space. You then declare victory because that number is so small, so you can conclude that something you know isn’t random isn’t random.

    Once you get onto the issue of search algorithms, you need to continue with the maths and calculate the probability that an evolutionary algorithm can’t find a good solution. But instead you depart from the maths. The problem is that, for a start, you have to know the shape of the fitness surface for whatever it is we claim has evolved through natural selection (which does not include car engines and computers).

    I’m afraid I’m still not convinced by your arguments. I know you are, but you’re not the one who needs convincing.

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’H, you say that you are not convinced that the Flagellum is designed.

    What exactly is it about the amazing Flagellum that would lead anybody to conclude that it was not designed? If you look at that thing, the impression of exquisite design literally beats you over the head.

    Amazing Flagellum – Scott Minnich & Stephen Meyer – 2016 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNR48hUd-Hw

    Bacterial Flagellum – A Sheer Wonder Of Intelligent Design – video
    https://youtu.be/fFq_MGf3sbk

    The Bacterial Flagellum: A Paradigm for Design – Jonathan M. – Sept. 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, so striking is the appearance of intelligent design that researchers have modeled the assembly process (of the bacterial flagellum) in view of finding inspiration for enhancing industrial operations (McAuley et al.). Not only does the flagellum manifestly exhibit engineering principles, but the engineering involved is far superior to humanity’s best achievements. The flagellum exhibits irreducible complexity in spades. In all of our experience of cause-and-effect, we know that phenomena of this kind are uniformly associated with only one type of cause – one category of explanation – and that is intelligent mind. Intelligent design succeeds at precisely the point at which evolutionary explanations break down.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/1067.....-Flagellum

    Electron Microscope Photograph of Flagellum Hook-Basal Body
    http://www.skeptic.com/eskepti.....gure03.jpg

    Bacterial Flagellum – picture
    https://groups.physics.ox.ac.uk/molecularmotors/images/flagellar%20motor.jpg

    Bacterial Flagellum: Visualizing the Complete Machine In Situ
    Excerpt: Electron tomography of frozen-hydrated bacteria, combined with single particle averaging, has produced stunning images of the intact bacterial flagellum, revealing features of the rotor, stator and export apparatus.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....220602286X

    Structural diversity of bacterial flagellar motors – 2011
    Excerpt: Figure 3 – Manual segmentation of conserved (solid colours) and unconserved (dotted lines) motor components based on visual inspection.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....figure/f3/

    Flagellar Diversity Challenges Darwinian Evolution, Not Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – July 22, 2015
    Excerpt: flagella are distributed in a polyphyletic manner that doesn’t fit what we’d expect from common ancestry,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....97831.html

    Incredible images reveal bacteria motor parts in unprecedented detail March 15, 2016
    Excerpt: In flagellar motors, the turning force is produced by a ring of structures called stators around the motor. The team found that Campylobacter jejuni had almost twice as many stators positioned around the motor than in Salmonella, and that these structures sat in a wider ring. More stators provide increased torque, and the increased width of the ring means individual stators exert more leverage when rotating the helical propeller.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/ea.....nsion.html

    You would have to be insane to say the amazing Flagellum was not designed. Are you insane Bob?

  38. 38
    Bob O'H says:

    DonaldM @ 35 – No, you haven’t understood the different between MN and PN. Science rules out a class of explanations as unscientific, but if you accept that non-scientific explanations are valid, then there’s no problem.

    The problem with non-material explanations for science is that science doesn’t have the tools to investigate them. So if you want to investigate non-material causes, then that’s fine. Just don’t expect to use science: its not up to that job.

  39. 39
    asauber says:

    The problem with non-material explanations for science is that science doesn’t have the tools to investigate them.

    1. Your preferred definition of science doesn’t have the tools.

    2. Admission that your preferred definition of science has profound limitations.

    Andrew

  40. 40
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob O’H

    The problem with non-material explanations for science is that science doesn’t have the tools to investigate them. So if you want to investigate non-material causes, then that’s fine. Just don’t expect to use science: its not up to that job.

    I think you’re exploring a gray area where ID science overlaps into philosophy.
    Strictly speaking, in my understanding (others disagree), ID does not “investigate non-material causes”. If it did, you’d be right that science could not help with this.

    Instead, ID starts with the assumption that non-material causes exist (human intelligence, for example). Then, when material causes fail as the source of FCSI, some sort of non-material cause can be inferred as the source.

    If human intelligence is non-material, then science would not be able to investigate it. As it stands, science cannot assume that all intelligence is material, since the existence of non-material reality goes beyond what science can prove. Rationality, by its nature is non-deterministic. MN means only that the method science uses is with material causes, but it cannot exclude the existence of non-material. Where material causes fail, non-material are an explanation.

    In fact, science lacks the capability to define the difference between material and non-material causes.

    ID (in my view of it, others disagree), uses MN to do science and then discovers there are limits to what material causes can produce.

    This leads to the inference that non-material causes exist. But ID science cannot directly investigate those causes – for reasons you gave.

    Again, many disagree but I see no reason why ID would need to overturn the dominant paradigm in science (MN) in order to provide convincing evidence for its theory.

    Direct observations in science can only be established on material causes and effects. But MN does not exclude the possibility that non-material causes exist. It only sets the limit to what can be directly explored to material nature. ID does the same — conclusions of a non-material designer are inferences that extend beyond what ID can show in the data.

    As mentioned, the discussion of what a non-material process is, exactly, via direct empirical observation is more than what ID needs. It’s enough to indicate that material processes are inadequate and that if non-material causes exist (as something akin to human intelligence) then they would be the best explanation.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    Bob O’H: Of course the flagellum is blatantly designed, as is the ribosome, as is the ATP synthase enzyme and as are many other features of the living cell. The impact of the FSCO/I we keep discovering is plain. And, that’s why MN-crippled investigations into OOL are going nowhere, fast. Even a back of the envelope calc will show this. Just as for showing that these mysterious things we call comment posts that keep popping up in these threads are blatantly designed. KF

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The ideological problem:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

  43. 43
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    if ID is science why does Rob Sheldon think it is “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”? This is going beyond a theory “that a design process is the only possible origin of certain observable configurations”, and is saying something about the design process and the designer.

    First of all, Rob Sheldon is not ID. He is a very respectable ID thinker. But, as you certainly know, there are many positions in ID, which may differ in general worldviews. It’s exactly because ID proper is empirical science that it can connect people of different worldviews. That is true of science in general.

    Moreover, as others have pointed out, the idea that science is about “thinking God’s thoughts after Him” is just a very general idea about science which has been shared by different kinds of thinkers. It just means that, if one just believes in some form of God, then it is perfectly natural to consider the laws and regularities that we observe in outer phenomena as the expression of God’s thought. If, instead, one does not believe in any God, then the same laws and regularities will have for him some different meaning.

    Again, whatever the worldview, no real scientists would probably doubt that science is about laws and regularities in phenomena. That’s what ID is, because ID is science, and nothing else.

    Also, if ID is science, why do so many ID proponents have problems with the way science is done (in particular the assumption of methodological naturalism)?

    Here I beg to differ from your philosophy of science. I do have problems with methodological naturalism, and my problems derive exactly from my views about science, not from my religion.

    I have discussed that issue many times. In brief, methodological naturalism (or any kind of “naturalism”) is simply, IMO, bad philosophy of science. The main reasons why I believe that are:

    1) I don’t believe that any specific philosophy of science can give some final definitions of what science is or is not.

    2) I don’t believe that any specific philosophy of science can give some final definitions of what the scientific method should be (see Feyerabend).

    3) I don’t believe that “nature” and “naturalism” are good and well defined concepts. Indeed, they are completely ambiguous categories. That’s why I always avoid any reference, in my discussions, to what is “natural” or “supernatural”.

    The object of science is reality, things as they are, not “nature”, whatever it means.

    The most common meaning of nature, in the ambiguous language of modern scientism, is more or less:

    “The basic map of reality that we have at present”.

    The most common meaning of methodological naturalism, in the ambiguous language of modern scientism, is more or less:

    “We refuse to accept as science anything which is not compatible with the basic map of reality that we have at present”.

    That is a dogmatic and religious-like limitation of what science is, and I don’t accept it. Not for religious reasons, but for cognitive and scientific reasons.

    There may be some “ID proponents” who “have problems with the way science is done”. As I have said, there are many different worldviews in ID. I share some, I don’t share others.

    But, if your problem is with non acceptance of methodological naturalism, then I plead absolutely guilty: I don’t accept it.

    And I have tried to explain why.

  44. 44
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Question: Can the science of ID be successfully conducted within the scope of methodological naturalism, or is some other philosophy of science required in order for scientists to do and accept the science of ID?

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    methodological naturalism (MN) is to science as rigging an election is to politics. i.e. Darwinists know they don’t have a prayer of coming up with a valid explanation for the design pervasively found throughout life so they have rigged the answers that science is allowed to give beforehand so as to give them the outcome they want. MN is a total farce and only scientific charlatans would dare invoke it to get around the design staring them in the face!

    Methodological naturalism, the axiom of Materialism as it is applied to modern science, i.e. only materialistic/naturalistic answers are ever allowed, is the primary method of science taught in American universities. Yet, Materialism/Naturalism is not itself a finding of modern science but is merely a unproven philosophy that is a-priorily imposed onto science. A completely unproven philosophy which makes the dogmatic assertion that only blind material processes generated the universe and everything in it, including ourselves.
    Materialism is thus in direct opposition to Theism which holds that God purposely created this universe and everything in it, including ourselves, i.e. holding that God created us in His image.
    This dogmatic imposition of the philosophy of materialism, i.e. methodological naturalism, onto modern science is especially interesting since materialism had little to nothing to with the founding of modern science, but instead modern science was born out of the medieval Christian cultures of Europe by men who were by and large devoutly Christian in their beliefs. Specifically, they believed the universe to be rational and that they had minds capable of grasping that rationality.
    Moreover science, or more particularly the scientific method, in reality, only cares to relentlessly pursue the truth and could care less if the answer turns out to be a materialistic one or not. Ironically, since truth itself is a transcendent entity which is not reducible to purely material/natural entity then Methodological Naturalism actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science!
    Imposing materialistic answers onto the scientific method beforehand, methodological naturalism, is especially problematic in these questions of origins, since we are indeed questioning the materialistic philosophy itself. i.e. We are asking the scientific method to answer this very specific question, “Did God create the universe and us or did blind material processes create the universe and us?” When we realize that this is the actual question we are seeking an answer to within the scientific method, then of course it is readily apparent we cannot impose strict materialistic answers onto the scientific method prior to investigation.
    When looking at the evidence from modern science in this light we find out many interesting things which scientists, who have been blinded by the philosophy of materialism, miss.
    This is because the materialistic and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several contradictory predictions about what type of science evidence we will find.
    These contradictory predictions, and the evidence we have found by modern science, can be tested against one another to see if either materialism or Theism is true.

    Here are a few comparisons:

    Theism compared to Materialism/Naturalism – a comparative overview of the major predictions of each philosophy – video
    https://youtu.be/QQ9iyCmPmz8

    As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy (methodological naturalism), from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the true explanation. – In fact science is even very good at pointing us to Christianity as the solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything’

    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=4

    That Christianity should provide an empirically backed solution to the much sought out “Theory of Everything”, i.e. a primary reason for why the universe exists, should not really be all that surprising since, number 1, modern science was born out of the Christian worldview, and, number 2, the belief that there should even be a unification between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, (i.e. a mathematical theory of everything), does not follow from the math, but is a belief that is born out of Theistic presuppositions (S. Fuller), and, number 3, Christianity ‘predicts’ that “in him all things were created”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  46. 46
    Dr JDD says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments, but I got stuck on the first, by Bob.

    Bob, I think you are conflating two things here – logical deduction from an argument and theology and religion/creationism.

    Take a step back; if we are to claim that there is a designer of life, indeed, if we are to use scientific methods to detect design then in fact from our perspective such a designer would be a type of “god” to us. Therefore to state what Rob S has stated, is not in disagreement with the notion of this thread. That is, if you are to take ID to a point where you try to understand the why and/or the how, if this was through a designer as the agent (relative to us, a “god”) then you would be attempting to “think God’s[the designer’s] thoughts after him”.

    That is simply a logical argument.

    Then if you want to argue about the nature and/or the identify of the said designer (god), you enter into theology. You still at this point haven’t entered the world of religion nor creationism. Religion is the putting into practice a particularly theological belief and creationism is a particular belief held within a particular theological viewpoint(s).

    So to automatically conflate ID with religion/creationism dressed up is a fallacy, as originally pointed out, and your RS quote does nothing to go against that (even though it doesn’t matter as RS’ I suspect is linking his religion with his ID beliefs and is not necessarily claiming to be speaking for ID).

    However, this will always be the case, even in naturalism. The vast majority of people will take the next logical step in their scientific view of origins and life. No human stops at “this was accident” or “this was designed”. We are not wired to do so, as that is unsatisfactory to our brains and logic. We then take it to an inference which is ultimately theology (which either leads to religion or areligion but both are religion really). Either you say this is an accident therefore there is no god (therefore there is no accountability, no absolute morals etc etc – what you do with that will vary though), or you say this must be designed so there must be a designer AKA a god, therefore you seek out the nature of God (i.e. theology) which leads to a type of religion usually (because you now probably believe in morals, a greater “good” a potential spiritual dimension, etc, etc.).

    The problem is, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot chastise the IDer’s from naturally taking the science of ID to the next stage in their discussions and the implications of the science of ID, when that is only logic and nature. Moreover, you really cannot criticize this approach when, in fact, this is the EXACT approach methodologic naturalistic atheists take. Read any atheistic argument for naturalism and ultimately most will include a treatise on why “God wouldn’t have done it this way so God isn’t real” or “this happens naturally therefore there is no God”, etc. They all end at the next logical step in their argument and enter into the realm of theology. However, because they reject god (they don’t reject theology, that is a theologic conclusion, i.e. that there is no God) this then impacts the way they view other people in the world, and certain actions and morals. Which is, “religion”.

    These naturalists then turn the tables on ID however and demand a higher standard than the one they adhere to themselves – “ID is not science because you cannot detect God nor can you show the mechanism for how God designed.” Yet when it comes to the multiverse, abiogenesis, dark matter, dark energy, certain particles – those that have never been detected, some have had huge resource trying to detect and failed time and time again, yet instead of reassessing the hypothesis they just keep trying; and some that will likely never be able to be detected, e.g. multiverse – this is considered perfectly rational “science” to INFER these things from observations. Yet you are not allowed to INFER a designer from observations.

    Hypocritical? I think so.

    Further, enter the world of evolutionary biology and this trumps even the God-inference in how a-scientific it becomes. Take for example the giraffe. Why does it have such a long neck? “Science” will tell you that it was selected to reach high food or some other similar proposed advantage. How do you know that? Has it been tested? That is merely a hypothesis come from random collisions in your brain to make a reasonable argument why a creature has such a long neck that can never be known, tested, nor trusted. But that’s science. Its ok to make those “logical guesses” and call them science but design inferences? No, that’s not allowed.

    Why do people not see the utter hypocrisy in this?

  47. 47
    asauber says:

    Why do people not see the utter hypocrisy in this?

    I see it.

    Andrew

  48. 48
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dr JDD

    Therefore to state what Rob S has stated, is not in disagreement with the notion of this thread. That is, if you are to take ID to a point where you try to understand the why and/or the how, if this was through a designer as the agent (relative to us, a “god”) then you would be attempting to “think God’s[the designer’s] thoughts after him”.

    That is simply a logical argument.

    First of all, I don’t think ID can evaluate “the why and or the how”. In other words, ID-science cannot determine “why God did this”, or even “how God did this” – if we’re saying (as Sheldon does) that ID is all about “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”. In that, he attempted to explain what ID is all about and introduced a theological concept.

    To explicity state “God’s thoughts” means that ID requires a belief in God, and that ID has concluded that God is the designer.

    What if the Archangel Michael was the designer of our universe (or the first cell, etc)? How would ID know that? No, ID does not reach theological conclusions or even philosophical conclusions if it is strictly “science as that term is commonly understood”.

    If, in order to do ID-science, the common definition of science has to be changed, then that point needs to be made explicitly clear. “ID is indeed science, but it’s a different kind of science than what is commonly known, and it is a kind of science defined by ID scientists”???

    That’s going to kill the value of ID, as I see it.

    No, ID should work within ordinary science, which uses MN as the foundation.

    MN also is misunderstood here. It does not mean that there can not be any non-material causes at work in the world. It only means that science must only draw conclusions based on data from material/natural events.

    As I see it, ID science is perfectly compatible with that. It just means that theology or religion are not required to do ID science. ID gives evidence that Intelligence is the cause of observations in nature.

    Also, whether that intelligence is material or non-material, is a question of philosophy. Whether the intelligence comes from a mono-theistic God or polytheistic gods or angels – ID cannot investigate that either since those discussions transcend science (in the bounds of MN).

    If someone is going to define a different kind of science, that seems ok with me, but it really needs to be made clear that ID cannot be done unless science itself is understood differently than it is in virtually all science academia and professions in the world today.

    Once theology is brought into ID (which it could be, as with creationism) then people would need to believe that theology or religion first, before being convinced about what ID is showing.

    How would people be convinced about an ID-religion first before actually looking at ID analysis?

    I think some people (and I’m fully sympathetic although disagreeing) consider ID as a support for currently-held religious views. In other words, ID is for Christians, for example. You can’t understand ID unless you believe in God. Then, once you believe in God, ID would help your belief to be stronger.

    Again, that seems ok, but I think it’s different than what Dembski was trying to do – which was to enter into science fully, with science unchanged (MN as guiding principle) and show that ID can give convincing evidence that there is Design in nature (and thus an Intelligent source for the design must exist).

    In that case, no belief in specific gods is required.

  49. 49
    DonaldM says:

    Bob O’H in #38 writes:

    No, you haven’t understood the different between MN and PN. Science rules out a class of explanations as unscientific, but if you accept that non-scientific explanations are valid, then there’s no problem.

    The problem with non-material explanations for science is that science doesn’t have the tools to investigate them. So if you want to investigate non-material causes, then that’s fine. Just don’t expect to use science: its not up to that job.

    I understand the “difference” between PN and MN just fine, thank you….there is no difference. It is as I stated earlier: MN=PN and there is no getting around it. If it actually were the case that intelligent causes are unscientific, then archaeology and forensics (for example) would be dead in the water. Why should biology or cosmology be any different? If intelligent causes were involved, then they were. But, ruling them out in advance by some arbitrary rule called MN is as unscientific as you can get. Unless and until it is established scientifically that the cosmos is a completely closed system of natural cause and effect (that is to say, undirected, unintelligent causes only), ruling out intelligent cause for anything in advance is arbitrary and gratuitous to science. The only reason to exclude intelligent cause from scientific consideration a priori is a prejudice to PN. That is NOT science!

  50. 50
    bornagain77 says:

    As Bob O’H has made clear, he considers naturalistic answers ‘scientific’ and non-material explanations, such as his own ‘mind’, ‘unscientific’. He claims that ‘science doesn’t have the tools to investigate them’. That claim is false. Anything that is real and produces real effects in the world can be investigated by science. Here are a few notes as to the causal efficacy of ‘mind’:

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: page 5: A:
    Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.
    Excerpt page 7: The assumption that causation is bottom up only is wrong in biology, in computers, and even in many cases in physics, for example state vector preparation, where top-down constraints allow non-unitary behaviour at the lower levels. It may well play a key role in the quantum measurement problem (the dual of state vector preparation) [5]. One can bear in mind here that wherever equivalence classes of entities play a key role, such as in Crutchfield’s computational mechanics [29], this is an indication that top-down causation is at play.,,,
    Life and the brain: living systems are highly structured modular hierarchical systems, and there are many similarities to the digital computer case, even though they are not digital computers. The lower level interactions are constrained by network connections, thereby creating possibilities of truly complex behaviour. Top-down causation is prevalent at all levels in the brain: for example it is crucial to vision [24,25] as well as the relation of the individual brain to society [2]. The hardware (the brain) can do nothing without the excitations that animate it: indeed this is the difference between life and death. The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    Another example, in direct contradiction to the atheistic claim that our thoughts are merely the result of whatever state our material brain happens to be in, ‘Brain Plasticity’, the ability to alter the structure of the brain from a person’s focused intention, has now been established by Jeffrey Schwartz, as well as among other researchers.

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
    The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70

    Moreover, as alluded to in the preceding video, and completely contrary to materialistic thought, mind has been now also been shown to be able to reach all the way down and have pronounced, ‘epigenetic’, effects on the gene expression of our bodies:

    Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, – December 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    “Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.,,,
    the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.
    http://www.tunedbody.com/scien.....ges-genes/

    Then there is also the well documented placebo effect in which a person’s beliefs and expectations have pronounced physiological effects on their body

    placebo effect; plural noun: placebo effects
    a beneficial effect, produced by a placebo drug or treatment, that cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.

    Placebos can produce some objective physiological changes, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and chemical activity in the brain, in cases involving pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo

    Human mind: Knowingly taking fake pills actually eases pain – October 17, 2016
    Excerpt: Taking a pill in the context of a patient-clinician relationship — even if you know it’s a placebo — is a ritual that changes symptoms,,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ases-pain/

    Even atheists themselves admit that ‘non material’ explanations are capable of being investigated by science when they themselves erroneously cite Libet’s work as some sort of proof against the existence of free will.
    As to trying to provide actual scientific evidence for their belief that they have no free will, but are merely just victims of their baser impulses, atheists will often invoke the experiments of Benjamin Libet from 1983. Yet Libet himself was a strong defender of free will:

    Do Benjamin Libet’s Experiments Show that Free Will Is an Illusion? – Michael Egnor – January 15, 2014
    Excerpt: Materialists often invoke the experiments of Benjamin Libet when they deny free will.,,,
    (Yet) Libet himself was a strong defender of free will, and he interpreted his own experiments as validating free will. He noted that his subjects often vetoed the unconscious “decision” after the readiness potential appeared.
    ,,,”The role of conscious free will would be, then, not to initiate a voluntary act, but rather to control whether the act takes place. We may view the unconscious initiatives for voluntary actions as ‘bubbling up’ in the brain. The conscious-will then selects which of these initiatives may go forward to an action or which ones to veto and abort, with no act appearing.” – Libet
    Libet even observed that his experimental confirmation of free will accorded with the traditional religious understanding of free will:,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....81171.html

    Do we have free will? Researchers test mechanisms involved in decision-making – January 4, 2016
    Excerpt: Back (in the 1980s), the American researcher Benjamin Libet studied the nature of cerebral processes of study participants during conscious decision-making. He demonstrated that conscious decisions were initiated by unconscious brain processes, and that a wave of brain activity referred to as a ‘readiness potential’ could be recorded even before the subject had made a conscious decision.
    ,,, Until now, the existence of such preparatory brain processes has been regarded as evidence of ‘determinism’, according to which free will is nothing but an illusion, meaning our decisions are initiated by unconscious brain processes, and not by our ‘conscious self’. ,,,
    Using state-of-the-art measurement techniques, the researchers tested whether people are able to stop planned movements once the readiness potential for a movement has been triggered.
    “The aim of our research was to find out whether the presence of early brain waves means that further decision-making is automatic and not under conscious control, or whether the person can still cancel the decision, i.e. use a ‘veto’,” explains Prof. Haynes. ,,,
    “A person’s decisions are not at the mercy of unconscious and early brain waves. They are able to actively intervene in the decision-making process and interrupt a movement,” says Prof. Haynes. “Previously people have used the preparatory brain signals to argue against free will. Our study now shows that the freedom is much less limited than previously thought.
    http://m.medicalxpress.com/new.....aking.html

    The contrary to Bob’s claim, non-material mind, since it is real and produces real effects in the world, is very much open to scientific investigation.

  51. 51
    Dr JDD says:

    Silver @48:

    Sorry, I was probably not clear in that phrase but it is kind of taken out of the context oif my whole argument, but I am not saying that ID is “thinking the thoughts of God” or trying to do that. I’m saying that is a natural extension of ID – the next logical step. So it isn’t inconsistent with the OP thoughts as RS is taking it to that next step, and I don’t claim that to be ID, I’m saying it is not ID and explaining why any logical human cannot decide ID is a rational explanation and just stop there. In the same way if you conclude “apurpose” and accidental natural explanations for the universe/life, the natural logical conclusion would probably take you towards erring on the interpretation that nature is sufficient for life and there is no need to invoke a designer.

    Again, I emphasise that my post is not saying there is a need for invoking a god, but that is a natural conclusion. We must define what “god” is in a different setting but ultimately any designer that created life, with respect to humans, is “god-like” therefore that is the next logical steps. I am saying that is what RS is doing in that statement and any rational supporter of ID will do (how can anyone NOT take ID to the step that there is some sort of “god” with respect to humans/life as we know it??). That does not mean that logic forms an inherent part of ID, it is an extension of ID.

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover as was shown, not only is Bob wrong in his claim that mind cannot be investigated by science because it is ‘non-material explanation’, Bob, and other atheists, by denying the reality of there own mind(s), and by denying the reality of the Mind of God, end up in what I term ‘catastrophic epistemological failure’.

    In what I consider to be a shining example of poetic justice, in their claim that God does not really exist as a real person but is merely an illusion, the naturalist also ends up claiming that he himself does not really exist as a real person but is merely an illusion. Here are a few quotes to that effect,,,

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    Per NY Times

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins
    ”If consciousness is an illusion… what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video 37:51 minute mark
    Quote: “You can spout a philosophy that says scientific materialism, but there aren’t any scientific materialists to pronounce it.,,, That’s why I think they find it kind of embarrassing to talk that way. Nobody wants to stand up there and say, “You know, I’m not really here”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    Moreover, not only do people themselves become illusions of persons, but, if Darwinian evolution were actually true, these illusory people would be having illusory perceptions.

    In the following video and article, Donald Hoffman has, through numerous computer simulations of population genetics, proved that if Darwinian evolution were actually true then ALL of our perceptions of reality would be illusory.

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “,,,evolution is a mathematically precise theory. We can use the equations of evolution to check this out. We can have various organisms in artificial worlds compete and see which survive and which thrive, which sensory systems or more fit. A key notion in those equations is fitness.,,, fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    Thus, given materialistic premises, people become illusions whose observations of reality are illusory.
    And why in blue blazes should anyone trust what illusions having illusions have to say about reality?

    (of personal note: Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “Dream within a Dream” is a fitting reference at this point)

    Although Hoffman tried to limit his results to just our visual perceptions, as Plantinga had pointed out before Hoffman came along, there is no reason why the results do not also extend to undermining our cognitive faculties as well:

    The Case Against Reality – May 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Hoffman seems to come to a conclusion similar to the one Alvin Plantinga argues in ch. 10 of Where the Conflict Really Lies: we should not expect — in the absence of further argument — that creatures formed by a naturalistic evolutionary process would have veridical perceptions.,,,
    First, even if Hoffman’s argument were restricted to visual perception, and not to our cognitive faculties more generally (e.g., memory, introspection, a priori rational insight, testimonial belief, inferential reasoning, etc.), the conclusion that our visual perceptions would be wholly unreliable given natural selection would be sufficient for Plantinga’s conclusion of self-defeat. After all, reliance upon the veridicality of our visual perceptions was and always will be crucial for any scientific argument for the truth of evolution. So if these perceptions cannot be trusted, we have little reason to think evolutionary theory is true.
    Second, it’s not clear that Hoffman’s application of evolutionary game theory is only specially applicable to visual perception, rather than being relevant for our cognitive faculties generally. If “we find that veridical perceptions can be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality” (2010, p. 504, my emphasis), then why wouldn’t veridical cognitive faculties (more generally) be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality? After all, evolutionary theory purports to be the true account of the formation of all of our cognitive faculties, not just our faculty of visual perception. If evolutionary game theory proves that “true perception generally goes extinct” when “animals that perceive the truth compete with others that sacrifice truth for speed and energy-efficiency” (2008), why wouldn’t there be a similar sacrifice with respect to other cognitive faculties? In fact, Hoffman regards the following theorem as now proven: “According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness” (Atlantic interview). But then wouldn’t it also be the case that an organism that cognizes reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that cognizes none of reality but is just tuned to fitness? On the evolutionary story, every cognitive faculty we have was produced by a process that was tuned to fitness (rather than tuned to some other value, such as truth).
    http://www.gregwelty.com/2016/.....t-reality/

    Thus, in what should be needless to say, a worldview that undermines the scientific method itself by holding all our observations of reality, cognitive faculties, and even our sense of self, i.e. personhood, are illusory is NOT a worldview that can be firmly grounded within the scientific method!

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Moreover, completely contrary to what Hoffman found for Darwinian theory, accurate perception, i.e. conscious observation, far from being unreliable and illusory, is experimentally found to be far more integral to reality, i.e. far more reliable of reality, than the math of population genetics predicted. In the following experiment, it was found that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Apparently science itself could care less if atheists are forced to believe, because of the mathematics of population genetics, that their observations of reality are illusory!

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, as Nancy Pearcey alluded to in her article, free will itself also becomes illusory. Thus, under atheistic naturalism there is not really a real person with the free will to choose to believe in, or to not believe in anything, be it believing in God or be it believing in naturalism. There are only illusions of persons who are fed illusions of free will. Moreover these illusions of free will somehow miraculously coincide with the illusory intentions of the illusory self. How the supposed random jostling of atoms in our brain pulls off all this amazing synchronization of an illusory free will with an illusory self, throughout an entire life time no less, is something that fully ought to be considered a continual miracle in its own right!

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that ‘you’, as a personal agent, choose to take:

    “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    Finally, this unconstrained ‘illusory’ nature inherent to naturalism/materialism becomes even more acute when atheists try to explain the origin and sustaining of the universe, i.e. try to explain the origin, fine-tuning, and quantum wave collapse of the universe.
    That is to say, every time an atheist postulates a random infinity to try to get around the glaringly obvious Theistic implications of the Big Bang, fine-tuning, and the quantum wave collapse, of the universe, then the math surrounding that random infinity tells us that everything that is remotely possible has a 100% chance of happening somewhere in that random infinity of possibilities that the atheist had postulated. Even an infinite number of Richard Dawkins riding on an infinite number of pink unicorns becomes assured in an unconstrained random infinity:

    Thus, basically, without God, everything within the atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination.

    It would be hard to fathom a more unscientific worldview than Darwinian evolution, and Atheistic materialism/naturalism, in general have turned out to be.

    Scientists should definitely stick with the worldview that brought them to the dance! i.e Christianity!

    Verses, Videos and Music:

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    2 Peter 1:16
    For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=4

    Hillsong United – Taya Smith – Touch The Sky – Acoustic Cover – Live – HD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyl34fHQi3U

  54. 54
    Dionisio says:

    gpuccio @43:

    […] there are many positions in ID, which may differ in general worldviews. It’s exactly because ID proper is empirical science that it can connect people of different worldviews. That is true of science in general.

    Exactly, but perhaps your interlocutor doesn’t understand what you wrote? The willingness to understand is an important prerequisite for understanding. Is your interlocutor willing to see your point, though not necessarily agreeing with it?

    Philosophically speaking this site is an eintopf. 🙂

    You may want to let your interlocutor know that the Nobel Prize in science has been awarded to scientists with different philosophical and theological backgrounds and beliefs.

  55. 55
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dionisio

    Exactly, but perhaps your interlocutor doesn’t understand what you wrote? The willingness to understand is an important prerequisite for understanding. Is your interlocutor willing to see your point, though not necessarily agreeing with it?

    I think I’m the interlocutor in this case?
    If so, on the first question, I honestly did not understand what gpuccio said. I hope I had the willingness to understand. But I didn’t follow up out of deference and I don’t really think it’s worth that kind of intra-ID dispute at the moment. In the same way, I don’t think I agreed fully with anyone else on this thread on the points I raised! So, I don’t want to be a one-man army.

    I thought Bob O’H’s concern was good, although that should be modified by KF’s question on why that tangential issue gets attention.

    I don’t agree that philosophical naturalism is the same as methodological naturalism. MN is a construct limited to use within empirical science. PN is used to evaluate every possible aspect of being.

    I also gave a different reading to Sheldon’s comment to put it in a more reasonable light, but would I do the same for an atheist who misspoke or was unclear? Probably not. Thus, I have to check my own sense of objectivity.

  56. 56
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dr JDD

    Good points, thank you. I appreciate your explanation and I know what you’re getting at.

    I’m saying that is a natural extension of ID – the next logical step. So it isn’t inconsistent with the OP thoughts as

    Ok, you’re offering clarificatons of RS’s comment. But I’d only add more: I’d emphasize “a” natural extension. It’s one optional way to draw conclusions from ID, not the only way. To say “ID is …” must be more inclusive. ID does not require belief that God is the designer.

    RS is taking it to that next step, and I don’t claim that to be ID,

    Ok, I should not have ascribed that claim to you, but RS did state “what ID is”. In fact, it seems he was attempting to say “what ID really is” — and then he added that it is thinking God’s thoughts.

    I’m saying it is not ID and explaining why any logical human cannot decide ID is a rational explanation and just stop there.

    Yes, but that’s a huge problem for ID itself, as I see it. In fact, that’s what critics of ID say – exactly what you said. In other words, it’s impossible to conclude there is a designer and then just stop there. Every logical human will demand to know “what designer is ID talking about”?

    Personally, I think it is walking a very razor-thin line to say that “ID only detects design, then infers ‘some kind of intelligent designer is necessary”.

    But that is the safest, best and only real scientific answer that can be given. I know creationists who hate that because they consider it a politically-correct way of avoiding to praise God or give the Christian faith credit. But Dembski and others always insisted that ID could be “science the way it is ordinarily done”. In that case, you have to stop at “some kind of designer” and you can’t say it is necessarily God. Yes, it “could be” God, but it could be any sorts of gods also.

    Here’s a twist … could it also be some kind of “materialistic intelligence”?

    An atheist says, “ok, sure. There must have been a design-intelligence. I agree. ID wins.” Now what? The atheist says, “yes, but we know intelligence is just a materialistic organism. So, there is some kind of powerful intelligence in nature that created the universe.”

    Now we’re into WL Craig and cosmological arguments — which are not scientific!

    So, ID also has to show that intelligence is not materialistic. To this very moment after 8 years debating this topic, I never realized that!!! That is a break-through for me.

    No, it’s not enough to just say (as I have done for a very long time): “ID just detects design, which is necessarily an output of intelligence, in nature”. I would always put a period there. That’s it. But no, we have to then say (prove) that “intelligence is not-material.”

    We must define what “god” is in a different setting but ultimately any designer that created life, with respect to humans, is “god-like” therefore that is the next logical steps.

    Again, very good point. But here I think you’re adding a lot more to RS’s comment that he didn’t say.

    My concern was not only that Sheldon mentioned “the thoughts of God”. That could be seen as some kind of generic phrase, like saying “only God could know that”. It doesn’t require belief in God, but just that the thing is so amazing that only “a god” would be the answer.

    But my concern was the reference that Sheldon made to theology – which is actually specific. So, you would have to understand what God is, and how theology explains it, in order to understand what ID is, according to RS’s statement.

    Sure, he could have been just generalizing. We all do that. But if a critic (Bob O’H) points it out, I think the best answer is that Sheldon made a mistake to claim “ID really is …”

    I already reinterpreted what he said in a better way. But I will still insist that he was not correct to say it like that when defining ID.

    If he said “ID has shown that Design is real. From that, I am filled with wonder about the thoughts of God.”. Ok, that’s a personal, logical conclusion. That’s just as you said – a logical human can say that. But saying “ID is thinking the thoughts of God” … that’s a problem as I see it.

    I am saying that is what RS is doing in that statement and any rational supporter of ID will do (how can anyone NOT take ID to the step that there is some sort of “god” with respect to humans/life as we know it??). That does not mean that logic forms an inherent part of ID, it is an extension of ID.

    As above, RS defined ID — notice that a couple of us already said that “Sheldon’s comment is not official ID”. We did that because we know his definition could not work. I simply call that a mistake.

    Others will say “there are many kinds of ID” and Sheldon offered one kind. That means, he really was saying that “ID is all about God”. That’s one kind of ID.

    But ID is like evolution in that sense. There are many kinds of evolution. Nobody owns the definition. There’s a consensus view, but people can claim “evolution is …” anything they want.

    It’s the same with ID. There are highly respected IDists who say “ID is …” I look to those authorities. But there are creationist-IDist, YEC-ID, alien-ID (panspermia) and others.

    The logical conclusion, that you rightly point to, has to be open to many possibilities.

    The monotheistic God of the New Testament, is not the only possible conclusion that one can arrive at. Beyond that, even with Christianity, there are many forms of the same.

    Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism all have ID-arguments that work for those religious views.

    In any case, thanks for your thoughts!

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    OT:

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004
    https://www.scribd.com/document/183053947/Experience-Meta-consciousness-and-the-Paradox-of-Introspection

    And there you have it folks, absolute proof that when you deny the reality of your own mind you have in fact lost your mind!

  58. 58
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic @55:

    I think I’m the interlocutor in this case?

    What exactly made you think that way?

  59. 59
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dionisio – sorry, I misread that.

Leave a Reply