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# Guest Post, Dr YS: “Intelligent Design and arguments against it”

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Dr YS, contribtes thoughts again that are well worth pondering:

>>I’d like to present a summary of the arguments against the design hypothesis that I have come across either as a reader or as an author of a pro-design blog over the past 8 years since I became interested in intelligent design.

# The Design Hypothesis

Before we do it, let us first recap on what the design hypothesis really is. It states that some configurations of matter in specific conditions are best explained as caused by purposeful activity of one or more intelligent agents.

• The ‘specific conditions’ means that we could not directly observe how these configurations of matter came into being and can only analyse them post-factum.
• ‘Intelligence’ in this context means the capabilities of foresight, goal-setting, strategy planning and strategy realization. Put simply, it is the capability of using adequate means for a purpose.
• The ‘purpose’ corresponds to selecting a goal state from among physically or chemically equivalent states (states with minimal total potential energy). Selection is done on a non-physical basis (pragmatic utility).
• E.g. muckers is a game in which players take turns throwing rings from a distance at a vertically positioned pole on a horizontal playing ground. A player who throws a ring so that it lands at the pole, receives one point. The player getting a maximum score wins. The scoring aside, no matter how you throw a ring or where it lands on the playing field, it ends up in a position where its potential energy is at a minimum value. The ‘meaning’ to each toss that distinguishes a trajectory from among a set of possible trajectories, is assigned by imposing additional (symbolic) constraints specifying the ‘target’ area for a trajectory. The additional constraints are local to the particular physical system (the ring + gravity + the pole).
• ‘Best’ means the ‘most appropriate’, ‘most parsimonious’ or even ‘characterized by the highest probability’, depending on the context.
• ‘Design’ means either the process of purposeful activity or an outcome of it.
• E.g. a personal computer is a design whereas pebbles on the beach are most likely not. It is possible that pebbles themselves or their particular arrangements can be a design. However, methodologically, it is best to assume they are not unless we have more observations that can help further refine our design-inferential probabilistic model.

Importantly, not every cause in nature is intelligent. For example, gravity is not an intelligent type of causation whereas creating a deck of Microsoft PowerPoint slides, most probably, is. If we have observations that can throw a reasonable doubt on non-intelligence of gravity, for example, we will further refine our understanding of material reality. In the absence of such observations these doubts are not scientifically justified.

The effects of intelligent and non-intelligent causes are sometimes different also. Analyzing this difference is what Intelligent Design is all about. Based on an analysis of some special class of artifacts we can reliably tell if we are dealing with designs. In other cases, it is not possible to distinguish designs from non-designs post-factum, without additional information.

It is important to distinguish between intelligent and non-intelligent causation because this distinction helps us categorize our knowledge of the material world better and, consequently, propose better scientific explanations. The distinction is well supported empirically and, without it, it is not possible to adequately explain a whole class of observations. For example, treating this text as a random collection of differently colored pixels on the screen is a valid scientific model but I doubt it has any practical use as it adds virtually nothing new to our knowledge of the world.

The design hypothesis can be useful in a lot of contexts, such as archaeology and forensics. It adds a lot of insight when applied to biological systems. It is not generally disputed that the ID methodology is sound. At least, I have never encountered anyone who would seriously question the design detection methodology in relation to forensics, archaeology, medicine or cyber-intrusion detection, for instance. The only area of application where ID faces strong opposition is biology. Science has nothing to do with it.

The scientific agenda of Intelligent Design is non-trivial as the main design hypothesis leads to interesting research questions. Intuitively, when we assume that a particular configuration of matter is intelligently created we can reverse-engineer it and then reuse our findings elsewhere. This is done in bionics, for example. ID can lead to non-trivial testable secondary hypotheses in biology per se, as this article shows.

The design detection methodology is summarized by the following abductive inference:

1. We observe phenomenon Р.

2. Р could be explained if hypothesis Н was true.

3. Consequently, we have grounds to believe that H is true.

Examples of P:

– the semiotic triple {sign-interpretant-referent}, notably persistent self-reproducing semiotic triple as in biological systems;

– statistically significant levels of functional complexity.

The basis of abduction in relation to P in the biosphere:

– In all observations other than in biological systems, whose origins are in question, P is a correlate of intelligence. No observations exist where P would arise ab initio without intelligent agency.

I specifically stress that the presented reasoning is nowhere near circular.

Having said this, I will now present arguments against ID that I have encountered. I am not intending to ridicule the reasoning of ID opponents. Simply, in my experience, this is the best they can really offer. In the list below, I will put my comments next to each bullet point.

# Popular arguments against Intelligent Design

>>

Again, food for rich thought. END

PavelU and all other readers who believe in the power of evolution to create statistically significant levels of functional novelty: I suggest you try to answer the following question:
Is there any law of nature that determines how you partition your drive into logical disks?
There is a school of thought that propagates the view that all that was necessary to cause our world to appear was gravity. So with this particular view in mind, do you really think that gravity can account for how you divide your physical computer disk into logical disks? EugeneS
PavelU Thanks for the lyrics ) Their music ("Machina Vremeni", the "Time machine") does not appeal to me, to be honest, but anyway, thanks )) As regards macro evo, I do not think it is relevant to the OP. However, I think that it is greatly exaggerated. On average, Darwinian evolution does not work. Random selection (drift) is acting against natural selection (you may want to check the OP by scordova called "Gambler's ruin is Darwin's ruin" here at UD). Multiple positive mutations weaken each other's selective advantage. However, there appear to be corner cases that can demonstrate Darwinian evolution (tinkering with an already existing function). It seems to me that a general rule is, for anything non-trivial in this world you need to have guidance and forethought. EugeneS
PU, pardon but the whole of the above is essentially misdirected. The living cell uses coded instructions and associated execution machinery to carry out its core operations; something that was demonstrated through multiple Nobel Prize winning work 5 - 7 decades ago. genetic engineering is now a commonplace. We know that we are looking at machine language, with about 2 dozen variants in the code, dialects, rather like BASIC notoriously had. Such is inherently a linguistic phenomenon antecedent to biology. The use of complex verbal language (including machine code) is already a strong sign of intelligent design and this is deeply reinforced by the associated FSCO/I rich molecular nanotech execution machinery. There is absolutely no empirically well founded reason to believe that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such. so strong is this that we may freely point to the likes of Lewonyin's cat out of the bag comment of 1997 and many others like that and say, stop the ideological gaslighting, please; enough is enough. KF kairosfocus
PavelU. again, directly contrary to what you claim, your papers falsify reductive materialism, and thus, since Darwinian evolution is based on reductive materialism , falsify Darwinian evolution in the process, first paper, Conclusion and Future Direction Epigenetic changes are accompanied by the reconstruction of nuclear architecture. Second paper, Introduction Neuronal Ca2+-signaling is based on spatio-temporal gradients called Ca2+ waves, spikes, transients and puffs. The strict segmentation of such gradients allows for complex signaling events at the micro- and even nanoscale (Berridge et al., 2003). Consequently, the huge variety of Ca2+-evoked processes require a highly specialized machinery leading to alterations in cellular functions and Ca2+ sensor proteins from the calmodulin (CaM) family are instrumental in this regard. Please at least try to read and understand some of what the papers are actually saying before you make such embarrassing unsubstantiated claims about them. i.e. The papers you are citing actually support Intelligent Design! bornagain77
PavelU- It is impossible for blind and mindless processes to produce functioning nerves. A functioning nervous system is the epitome of intelligent engineering. ET
Here’s another interesting explanation of how scientists have figured out all the mechanisms of the nervous system, thus proving that evolution can produce such a system because it isn’t as complex as ID proponents claim: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2019.00016/full PavelU
Here’s an interesting explanation of how scientists have figured out all the mechanisms of the nervous system, thus proving that evolution can produce such a system because it isn’t as complex as ID proponents claim: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgene.2018.00308/full PavelU
In that case, the origin of the intelligent designer …
First you have to demonstrate there was an origin of the intelligent designer. Until then science says we work with what we have. I know that you don't like that because when we work with what we have it screams of an intelligent design. And that is solidified by your a/ mat total failure to be able to account for it ET
We are in the position to reject the possibility of abiogenesis via spontaneous generation. We can do so as easily as we can reject the possibility of the spontaneous generation of Stonehenge. Given Spiegelman's Monster we can reject the possibility of replicating molecules being a precursor to the intricate complexity that embodies a minimal living organism. ET
PavelU, LOL,,, microtubules? You are kidding right? After years of debate between S. Hameroff, R. Penrose, and Darwinian materialists, researchers have finally shown microtubules to belong to the world of quantum mechanics, not to the Darwinian world of reductive materialism. In other words, with your Darwinian materialism you are not even on the correct theoretical foundation in order to properly understand microtubules in the first place:
Consciousness Depends on Tubulin Vibrations Inside Neurons, Anesthesia Study Suggests – 5-Sep-2017 Excerpt: The results provide a marked improvement to the Meyer-Overton correlation by discriminating anesthetics from non-anesthetics, and suggest that anesthetics block consciousness by altering terahertz oscillations in tubulin.,,, Senior co-author Jack Tuszynski said: “Scientific luminaries from Erwin Schrödinger to Sir Roger Penrose have proposed that consciousness requires quantum coherent processes, but skeptics have asserted such processes would suffer ‘decoherence’ in the ‘warm, wet and noisy’ biological milieu. Our study supports growing evidence that non-polar, pi resonance regions in microtubules and other biomolecules maintain these coherent states, and that a ‘quantum underground’ pervades the brain’s neurons.” https://www.newswise.com/articles/consciousness-depends-on-tubulin-vibrations-inside-neurons-anesthesia-study-suggests Stuart Hameroff defends Orch-OR theory at TSC 2010 - Pt 1 of 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAVQjMf2fEQ
I re-recomend this video to you so that you might stop embarrassing yourself like this:
Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg
bornagain77
Here’s a video that confirms Darwinian macroevolution https://youtu.be/zp8u9QN2Ghk PavelU
Sev, nope. The error was pointed out nearly 400 years ago. Here is Monadology, 17, Leibniz:
1. The Monad, of which we shall here speak, is nothing but a simple substance, which enters into compounds. By 'simple' is meant 'without parts.' (Theod. 10.) 2. And there must be simple substances, since there are compounds; for a compound is nothing but a collection or aggregatum of simple things. 3. Now where there are no parts, there can be neither extension nor form [figure] nor divisibility. These Monads are the real atoms of nature and, in a word, the elements of things . . . 6. Thus it may be said that a Monad can only come into being or come to an end all at once; that is to say, it can come into being only by creation and come to an end only by annihilation, while that which is compound comes into being or comes to an end by parts . . . 17. Moreover, it must be confessed that perception and that which depends upon it are inexplicable on mechanical grounds, that is to say, by means of figures and motions. And supposing there were a machine, so constructed as to think, feel, and have perception, it might be conceived as increased in size, while keeping the same proportions, so that one might go into it as into a mill. That being so, we should, on examining its interior, find only parts which work one upon another, and never anything by which to explain a perception. Thus it is in a simple substance, and not in a compound or in a machine, that perception must be sought for. Further, nothing but this (namely, perceptions and their changes) can be found in a simple substance. It is also in this alone that all the internal activities of simple substances can consist. (Theod. Pref. [E. 474; G. vi. 37].)
You are conflating rational contemplation with computation when the latter -- a dynamic-stochastic, mechanical, non inferential, non rational, GIGO limited process -- is categorically different. KF kairosfocus
H'mm: "Life is defined as what replicates and evolves" -- rather begs the question, methinks. KF kairosfocus
You do realize the questions this raises? If the complexity we observe cannot arise from simple beginnings but can only be explained as the product of intelligent design it implies that the designer must be more complex than its designs since we have ruled out simpler origins. In that case, the origin of the intelligent designer must be an even more complex designer which leaves us staring at either an infinite regress of designers or an infinite and eternal designer.that is without cause. Yet, while we observe great complexity in the universe, which certainly demands explanation, we do not see anything that is without cause, that is infinite and eternal. The only reason to consider the possibility of an uncaused designer is if you reject the possibility of abiogenesis, which we are not yet in a position to do. In fact, although the question is still unresolved. given the papers PavelU has cited, it would seem that the latter possibility is a little more likely. Seversky
I agree with BA77 that PavelU has cited very interesting papers which clearly confirm the enormous functional complexity found in the biological systems, which could only be designed according to the available empirical evidences. If he would have just provided the links without adding the nonsense he wrote, one could have easily taken him as a strong ID proponent. PeterA
BA77, thanks for correctly addressing PavelU's nonsense and for the interesting information you share. This guy has a major reading comprehension issue he should take care of ASAP. He cites papers that point in the opposite direction than he says. His comments are so ridiculous that I feel sorry for the poor guy. He either doesn't get the memos or doesn't read them. Whatever it is, the guy is pathetically confused. He must wake up and smell the freshly brewed coffee instead of keeping making a clown of himself. jawa
PavelU, again the paper does NOT say what you claim it does. They confirmed nothing. Much less a 'big confirmation'. They honestly admitted that nobody knows how life originated, and then 'speculate' as to how it might be accomplished using the 'unorthodox platform of compositional information.' (Which is dangerously close to admitting the need for an intelligent agent to impart information into the first self-replicating system)
15. Conclusion Life is defined as what replicates and evolves, but its emergence paths are still widely disputed. Steps needed to break the stalemate have been outlined by Walker et al. [270, p. 6]: ‘This necessitates a re-conceptualization of the origins of life, removing the imposed hard boundary between non-life and life, and recognizing there may exist physical processes that we do not yet understand … One candidate is the physics of information’. Accordingly, we describe here a physico-chemical line of attack that defines the life/non-life boundary at the molecular level, and explores the use of the unorthodox platform of compositional information. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2018.0159
bornagain77
Here’s another big confirmation of Darwinian macroevolution including OOL. This is a major blow to ID: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2018.0159 PavelU
This paper shows how science has resolved the OOL problem: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsta.2016.0337 Why do ID proponents keep talking about OOL as if it remained still unresolved? PavelU
Uh PavelU, again yout papers do NOT show what you claim they do but are in fact evidence for ID: First paper:
Where will this work take the Warmflash lab? AW We are building on this system in a few different ways. We are quite interested in directly measuring the signalling dynamics of BMP and WNT with reporters that we have previously developed and used to study signalling during germ layer patterning. We are also interested in whether we can determine the AP position at which we are achieving this patterning and in developing protocols to control it. Finally, we are interested in extending this system to three dimensions to try to recapitulate some of the morphogenesis that the ectoderm undergoes during patterning, and to be able to look at how patterning and morphogenesis are coordinated. https://dev.biologists.org/content/146/20/dev184705
Second paper
Abstract During neuronal wiring, extrinsic cues trigger the local translation of specific mRNAs in axons via cell surface receptors. The coupling of ribosomes to receptors has been proposed as a mechanism linking signals to local translation but it is not known how broadly this mechanism operates, nor whether it can selectively regulate mRNA translation. We report that receptor-ribosome coupling is employed by multiple guidance cue receptors and this interaction is mRNA-dependent. We find that different receptors bind to distinct sets of mRNAs and RNA-binding proteins. Cue stimulation induces rapid dissociation of ribosomes from receptors and the selective translation of receptor-specific mRNAs in retinal axon growth cones. Further, we show that receptor-ribosome dissociation and cue-induced selective translation are inhibited by simultaneous exposure to translation-repressive cues, suggesting a novel mode of signal integration. Our findings reveal receptor-specific interactomes and provide a general model for the rapid, localized and selective control of cue-induced translation. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/673798v1
I'm embarrassed for you PavelU, both those papers support ID, not Darwinian evolution as you falsely imagine. Since you do not even understand what the papers you are citing are actually saying, there is little hope you will understand this following video, but anyways,,,
Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg
bornagain77
Here’s another recent paper (one of many) that falsifies ID: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/673798v1 Can ID shows at least one paper that supports it? PavelU
Here’s an interview with scientists providing extensive evidences that clearly support Darwinian macroevolutionary theory: https://dev.biologists.org/content/146/20/dev184705 PavelU
PavelU here are the concluding remarks of your cited paper:
Concluding remarks We have presented three canonical examples of inductive ERK signaling in Ciona, Drosophila and C. elegans to demonstrate the important unanswered questions related to multiple aspects of ERK dynamics and function. There are a number of issues that need to be resolved to explain how a single pathway, like the ERK pathway, can have such diverse effects during embryogenesis. We need a quantitative understanding of signal initiation, as there may be important ligand-receptor dynamics that shape the inputs to signaling pathways. The interpretation of incoming signals ultimately determines the downstream transcriptional responses. In many cases, it is still not known how active ERK interacts with downstream targets and ultimately alters their functions. Moreover, we must now quantify the context-dependent limits on signaling parameters such as spatial extent, duration and signaling strength to understand the origins of the remarkable robustness observed in differentiating tissues. Accomplishing these tasks is crucial for laying down the foundation for a quantitative picture of developmental ERK signaling and is impossible without well-studied experimental systems, such as those discussed in this Review. https://dev.biologists.org/content/145/14/dev143818
You do realize that they are are honestly admitting they have no clue how these things came to be nor how they currently operate don't you? i.e. This paper is in fact evidence for Intelligent Design PavelU! PavelU, watch this video, it might just help you from embarrassing yourself like this again:
How to Build a Worm - Paul Nelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDQ0NJQ_z3U
bornagain77
Dr YS Check this out: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/%D1%82%D1%8B-%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%B8-%D1%8F-ty-ili-ja-you-or-me.html I heard it first time at their live concert in Sochi in the summer vacation of 1973. Back then they were not heard or seen in the official radio/tv because they were not patriotic like “moi adres nie dom i nie ulitsa...” nor romantic like “nie povtaryayetsa takoe nikogda” (piervaya liubov) or “dlia menya niet tebya prekrasniei” not were naively silly like “kak prekrasyen etot mir posmotri” On the contrary their lyrics were a mirror of rough reality which could not be acceptable to the establishment. But apparently they were allowed into the mainstream media after glasnost took over in the second half of the ‘80s? By then I wasn’t there anymore. PavelU
Here’s a scientific paper that strongly supports Darwinian RV+NS macroevolution https://dev.biologists.org/content/145/14/dev143818 I’m sure a highly educated Russian professional like Zhenya will understand and accept this, because he seems to be a careful and thorough reader. PavelU
JAD, busy week, Election. One hopes that participants will respect first principles and first duties of right reason, however, the persistent manifestation of breakdowns here itself tells a story. As such principles are now too often not explored seriously, that too is worth doing. And, we have cause to declare epistemic independence. Their selective, undue hyperskepticism and breakdown of rational conduct should not hamper our confident knowledge. KF kairosfocus
UB and KF, Are you expecting valid evidence based arguments from any of our interlocutors? I’m not. I don’t think any of them have any arguments. But I could still be wrong, though I very seriously doubt that. john_a_designer
UB, yes. The reactions we have seen to objectivity, first principles and duties of reason, mathematics, aesthetics etc show that the reaction we have seen to the design inference is not isolated. There is a deep rooted rejection of reason afoot in today's world that is closely connected to evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow traveller ideologies. KF kairosfocus
. None of objectors upthread appear to be willing to return and address the issue they so clearly ignored at the time. Not surprising. ______________________ A factual aside: IF a distinct narrow-band radio signal was ever to be received by SETI, they indicate that they would first confirm that the signal was not an earth-bound communication being received by mistake, and upon that confirmation, they would then inform the whole world of their success as quickly and widely as possible. Of course, human nature being what it is, there would inevitably be questions about the validity of the conclusion, and the very first thing that SETI scientists would do to address those concerns is to begin studying the structure of the signal for any indications of semiotic content – the very thing already measured and described in genetic translation. If they indeed found such content, all doubts about the veracity of their claims would be immediately and forever extinguished. So, the very thing that would confirm SETI beyond any reasonable doubt whatsoever, is the very thing that ID proponents point to inside the cell -- and also the very thing that materialist ideologue refuse to acknowledge at all costs. This is the unambiguous fact of the matter -- that is, facts and reason do not matter in the modern defense of materialism -- and the corrosive side effects of this can be seen virtually every day here on UD and elsewhere. Upright BiPed
KF, UB. We have evidence that it is possible to get five words of sense spoken together even from people like Dawkins... The only problem I have with what he says there is, to me, believing that 'little green men' did it is a lot less meaningful than God did it. I find the latter far more consequential in terms of who I am and what I should live for, and, lastly, far more intellectually satisfying. EugeneS
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