Intelligent Design

How is ID Different?

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Mark Frank writes in a comment to a prior post:

When reconstructing an evolutionary past I would say that scientists are doing two things which correspond to my Bayesian analysis:

They are proposing explanations that

1) might well have happened – the prior probability is acceptable

2) would have a good chance of producing what we observe – the likelihood is acceptable

When reconstructing a biological past I would say that ID scientists are doing two things which correspond to Mark Frank’s Bayesian analysis:

They are proposing explanations that

1) might well have happened – the prior probability is acceptable

2) would have a good chance of producing what we observe – the likelihood is acceptable

Mark Frank, do you agree that ID proponents and Darwinian researchers are employing identical modes of reasoning?

52 Replies to “How is ID Different?

  1. 1
    HeKS says:

    Barry, I don’t think I agree that they are employing identical modes of reasoning.

    The primary difference is that ID is not heavily weighting probability measures in its own favor by enforcing compliance with a prior philosophical presupposition (which is integral to the Evolutionary mode of reasoning), which necessarily eliminates undesirable competing hypotheses that do not conform to that philosophical commitment.

    That said, I think your point is otherwise completely valid.

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    HeKS, of course you are correct. One way of looking at it is materialists skew the priors in order to make the outcome of the analysis inevitably align with their religious beliefs; otherwise they reason in the same mode as ID proponents.

  3. 3
    mahuna says:

    Well, there is kinda this problem that the first assumption of ID is that some unknown external agency stacked the deck. At one of the Alternate History forums I tried to use (only Socialists need apply), the standard convention for “I can’t think of a reasonable intervening event from History” is to blame “alien space bats”. This is perfectly acceptable, assuming that the downstream events are then reasonable variations on known facts about the historical events.

    The problem/challenge with ID is that if an all powerful, all knowing, timeless Intelligence existed and continues to exist, why has that Intelligence interfered so LITTLE in what happens in the observable universe?

    The NON-intervention of the Intelligence remains a powerful argument against the existence of such an Intelligence.

    On the other hand, we know NOTHING about thousands of types of life on Earth except what we see in things we call fossils. So we created a theory to explain fossils and The Theory of Fossils seems to hold together pretty good, and The Theory of Fossils explains everything we find in the rocks. There are of course other ways for the odd patterns in the rocks to have gotten there, but the other ways are less likely and more complicated. (Um, Fred and Barney etched stones in their backyards and then buried the stones…)

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    When reconstructing an evolutionary past I would say that scientists are doing two things which correspond to my Bayesian analysis:

    They are proposing explanations that

    1) might well have happened – the prior probability is acceptable

    I am not sure what this means. It sound like sophistry to me. I know of no scenario they propose that has any probability that is microscopically greater than zero. So what explanations are Mark Frank referring to.

    There are the two issues, OOL which has probabilities so small it is hard to count the zeros after the decimal place there are so many.

    Then there is changes in life forms once OOL arose. The issue is the origin of novel functional alleles (actually recent research requires that much more than novel alleles have to be accounted for). Again a lot of zeros after the decimal place but not as many as OOL.

    Neither the probabilities of naturalistic OOL or naturalistic evolution could in any way be called acceptable for any scientist in any other field except evolutionary biology.

    2) would have a good chance of producing what we observe – the likelihood is acceptable

    Unless someone can put some coherence to this, it is just the same gobbledygook.

    ID is theoretically capable of producing OOL and novel functional alleles. So given the incoherence of any realistic alternative explanations, it must at least be considered.

    This in no way means that there may not be a process undiscovered as of yet that may have reasonable probabilities to produce both OOL and novel alleles that produce novel functional proteins. But now there are no acceptable probabilities. And there is good reason to believe that such a process does not exist.

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    The NON-intervention of the Intelligence remains a powerful argument against the existence of such an Intelligence.

    This is a theological argument. And one based on the lowly creatures knowing what’s better than the creating intelligence.

    Let me give a theological response. Say the creating Intelligence came down every Friday and punished all that violated his principles of a well ordered world, and rewarded those whose behavior help maintained a well ordered world. What type of world would we have?

    Would this type of world be in sync with what the creating intelligence wanted?

  6. 6
    Axel says:

    That Intelligence, mahuna, doesn’t interfere with what happens in the universe at all, because he sustains everything in it all the time, merely by thinking of it.

    The NON-intervention of the Intelligence remains a powerful argument against the existence of such an Intelligence.

    It is no distraction or source of mind-numbing boredom for God to watch over each protein and its components in a microbial cell, and indeed over every part of the cell, all the time. On a kind of autopilot, I suppose. Or like the autonomic intelligence that tells us to breathe or blink or sigh.

    That Intelligence nevertheless chooses not to interfere with our free will – even though for religious reasons, many atheists believe it to be an appalling derelection on his part.

  7. 7
    Mapou says:

    Mahuna:

    There are of course other ways for the odd patterns in the rocks to have gotten there, but the other ways are less likely and more complicated. (Um, Fred and Barney etched stones in their backyards and then buried the stones…)

    Personally, I think the Fred & Barney hypothesis is many orders of magnitude more likely than the dirt-did-it scenario. But to each his own.

  8. 8
    Barry Arrington says:

    mahuna @ 3.

    You illustrated the point I made in 2 in the very next comment. Thank you.

  9. 9
    Mark Frank says:

    Barry

    ID is different because it avoids giving an explanation to which a prior probability or indeed a likelihood can be assigned. All it offers is “intelligence”.

    But this is territory which we have covered thousands of times over the years. Do you really want to go over it again?

  10. 10
    Joe says:

    LoL@ Mark Frank- Mark’s position is different because all it offers are bald declarations and nothing of science. Mark can’t even provide any probabilities and it is his position which requires that. Obviously he is too dim to grasp that fact.

  11. 11
    Paul Giem says:

    Mark,

    Since you think we need a prior probability for our “intelligence” explanation, what do you think is a reasonable prior probability of the existence of space aliens? Of a God or gods? I’d take 100 to 1 against. What do you think?

  12. 12
    Mark Frank says:

    #11 Paul

    I don’t think you need to be able to give a specific prior probability to an explanation (although it helps) but you do have to have something to work with. The prior for a God of gods who wanted to design life? I would put it close to zero – there is no reason for supposing it other than the fact that there is life and it needs explaining. Space aliens not much higher for the same reason.

  13. 13
    HeKS says:

    @Mark #12

    I’m interested … What if someone had a reason to believe that a non-human intelligence existed that had nothing to do with the existence of life? And what if they thought that their reasons for believing such an intelligence existed were very strong, such that the existence of the intelligence was assigned a very high prior probability for the purposes of Bayesian analysis?

    How do you think this would affect a Bayesian analysis of the probability that intelligence is the most probable explanation for the appearance of purposeful design in life?

  14. 14
    vividbleau says:

    MF

    1) might well have happened – the prior probability is acceptable

    MF

    I don’t think you need to be able to give a specific prior probability to an explanation (although it helps) but you do have to have something to work with.

    How do you know the prior probability is acceptable if you don’t know what it is?

    The prior for a God of gods who wanted to design life? I would put it close to zero –

    Mark can you give us the mathematical calculation so we can see how you arrived at close to zero?

    Vivid

  15. 15
    Joe says:

    Mark Frank:

    I don’t think you need to be able to give a specific prior probability to an explanation (although it helps) but you do have to have something to work with.

    And yet your position cannot give us anything to work with respect to the origin of life. The same holds for natural selection being able to produce something like ATP synthase.

    Nothing.

    There is definitely no reason for supposing it other than the fact that there is life, it needs explaining and nothing else will do, regardless of the evidence.

  16. 16
    Paul Giem says:

    Mark Frank (#12),

    I don’t think you need to be able to give a specific prior probability to an explanation (although it helps) but you do have to have something to work with.

    Yes, that’s exactly what we need; something to work with. So what is it? 1 in 100? 1 in 1,000? 1 in 1,000,000? 1 in 10^27? What number would you start with? Absolute zero?

    The prior for a God of gods who wanted to design life? I would put it close to zero – there is no reason for supposing it other than the fact that there is life and it needs explaining. Space aliens not much higher for the same reason.

    Yes, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show?

  17. 17
    HeKS says:

    Mark,

    Further to my questions in #13…

    What would you say is the prior probability of the existence of a sub-atomic particle that can’t be seen if you do not take into consideration any of the phenomena that seem to make its existence necessary as an explanation?

  18. 18
    Guillermoe says:

    “When reconstructing a biological past I would say that ID scientists”

    What is the reconstruction of biological past that ID is providing?

    What “reconstruction of biological past” from ID are you talking about?

    As far as I know, there is no such thing.

  19. 19
    Joe says:

    G’moe- As far as you know your position has no such thing. Your position doesn’t have anything beyond lies and bald declarations. And I can tell that really bothers you.

  20. 20
    Axel says:

    Did random chance have their purposes or functions in mind when building everything in the universe? Or did it, like Billy Bean build them ‘to see what they would do’? And was, perhaps, happily surprised at how amazingly they turned out?

  21. 21
    Axel says:

    When Billy Bean conceived his idea of ‘building a machine to see what it would do’, I meant.

  22. 22
    Axel says:

    Is it possible that Random Chance might have been awestruck at the beauty in the variety and complexity of Nature, and thought to itself, ‘I am a poet, and didn’t know it, as the saying goes’?

  23. 23
    Paul Giem says:

    Joe and Axel (#19-22),

    Don’t let Guillermoe (#18) distract the thread. We are on Bayesian analysis, and Mark Frank is giving us his prior for the existence of God or gods or aliens. Guillermoe can join, but don’t follow every red herring he drags across our pathway. What are Guillermoe’s priors? This is the key to acceptance or rejection of ID.
    (It’s science versus antireligion)

  24. 24
    Barry Arrington says:

    “When Billy Bean conceived his idea of ‘building a machine to see what it would do”

    On this side of the pond we had a famous Speaker of the House who urged us to pass a law so that we could find out what was in it. And they did.

  25. 25
    Thomas2 says:

    Mark Frank (#9) – wouldn’t the classical empirically-based cosmological arguments from causation give us a basis for assigning some cautious but reasonable priors? (Alternatively we could conceive of assigning priors based upon our ignorance: to everything we do not know we assign an equal likelihood to start with).

  26. 26
    Axel says:

    My head’s exploding well and truly, now, Barry.

  27. 27
    Thomas2 says:

    mahuna (#3) – it is not the case that “the first [or any] assumption of ID is that some unknown external agency stacked the deck”. ID just doesn’t rule it out before doing the science. Current evolutionary scientists do: that is, they have decided in advance what science may or may not discover before doing the science: which is why current evolutionary science isn’t science at all.

    Secondly, the fact that nature operates reliably and almost exclusively in accord with identifiable laws has, since the beginning of modern science, often been taken as evidence for God: His actions are perceived in His consistent regular sustaining of the universe when we might otherwise expect utter disorder and chaos, or nothing, (or everything).

  28. 28
    Mark Frank says:

    OK. In response to the request from VB and Heks a quick word on Bayesian priors for an intelligent source of life. I have done this several times before so please understand if I don’t spend much time on it.

    You need to be clear what the proposed explanation is. If it is the Christian God then some of you will clearly have a much higher prior than I do. So it is reasonable for you to belief in it as an explanation for life. You just need to recognise that is the explanation for which you have evidence. If the explanation is “intelligence” then on theory you need to sum up the prior probabaility of all possible intelligences multiplied by the probability of that intelligence creating life – a profoundly meaningless exercise.

    Why is my prior for a Christian God effectively zero? Because I see zero evidence for it. What is the probability of something existing for which there is no evidence? I would say that it is effectively zero given the infinite range of things that might exist but for which there is no evidence. By effectively zero I mean that rationally it should be discounted as a possibility and that it is lower than any number you can give – although it is conceivable so I am reluctant to say categorically it is zero.

    But this is undergraduate or even high school philosophising. Let’s put it more simply. If there is to be some reason for hypothesing an explanation for the origin of life then there has to be some reason for supposing that explanation exists other than it was capable creating life.

  29. 29
    Upright BiPed says:

    Because I see zero evidence for it.

    Mark, you simply accept zero evidence for design in nature.

    It is not that coherent evidence is not there, and it is not that you are unaware of it.

    You simply choose to deny it, and have stated so.

  30. 30
    Joe says:

    It is very telling that Mark Frank is too afraid to post the prior probabilities for materialism and evolutionism. I say it is because there isn’t any evidence for any prior probabilities for such a nonsensical position…

  31. 31
    Thomas2 says:

    Mark Frank (#28) –

    From a strictly agnostic point of view, why would you not consider that the classical empirically based cosmological arguments for causation would not provide an evidential basis for non-zero priors?

  32. 32
    HeKS says:

    @Thomas2 #31

    Yeah, that’s part of what I was getting at in comment 17. I’m also waiting for an answer to that.

  33. 33
    Paul Giem says:

    Mark Frank (#28),

    Thank you for your honesty. You are unwilling to put the Christian God’s prior at exactly zero, because that sounds (and is) dogmatic. But you need to make it a very tiny number in order to overcome the high improbability of life arising spontaneously. We can now see what drives your position. I won’t argue further.

    To the rest,

    Note what is happening. Mark called for a Bayesian analysis. That is appropriate. He noted that the priors are very important. He is right. For him, the priors are doing all the work. What he wanted to do is to say that with low enough priors, one can ignore the evidence against life arising spontaneously. He is right. What he didn’t want to come out and say, but has now, is that in order for the final evidence to come out his way (low posterior probability that any intelligence, including the Christian God, some other God or gods, or aliens, produced life), the priors have to be infinitesimal.

    One can run the Bayesian analysis in reverse. If
    P(H|E) = P(E|H)*P(H)/P(E),
    (The final probability of the hypothesis given the evidence is equal to the probability of the evidence happening given the hypothesis, multiplied by the probability of the hypothesis happening before the evidence was looked at, divided by the probability of the evidence happening),
    that means that
    P(H) = P(H|E)*P(E)/P(E|H)
    If we put some numbers to that, P(E), the probability that life exists in a given universe, assuming that God is reasonably likely to create life and that life is improbable in a godless universe, is just about equal to H if H >> (1-H), and thus
    P(1-H|E) = approximately P(1-H)/PE|H)
    That means that if the probability of life existing by spontaneous generation is 10^-300, an extremely liberal (large) number, then for the probability of God or aliens to be reasonably remote (say, 1%), and thus the probability for an atheist position being 99%, or effectively 1 – 10^-2, the prior for no intelligent design has to be 1 – 10^-302, and the prior probability of intelligent design has to be 10^-302. That sounds ridiculous, and certainly not a rational position, but that has the weakness that if we discover that the real probability of life arising by chance is 10^-600 instead, the probability of the chance hypothesis now goes down to 10^-298. That is why he didn’t want to say the prior probability; he didn’t want to explicitly recognize how close-minded one has to be to ignore the evidence surrounding the origin of life.

    It’s much easier to go the Lewontin route. We simply “cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” But that sounds too much like science versus anti-religion.

    Those of you who point out that there is the small matter of the origin of the universe, make the appropriate point that this assigning an infinitesimal prior probability to the existence of God is not really warranted given the facts. At that point the argument against God goes down in flames. The same is true for those of us who have experienced God’s action in our lives. But even without them the argument from the existence of life alone can only be countered by multiple universes where anything goes, denial of the improbability of life, appeal to unknown laws, or obfuscation. Mark has thankfully removed the fourth option.

  34. 34
    Upright BiPed says:

    Thank you Paul.

    We can now look forward to the deadpan response. It’s always within Mark’s capacity to be barren of curiosity.

  35. 35
    Querius says:

    Mark Frank mused

    Let’s put it more simply. If there is to be some reason for hypothesing an explanation for the origin of life then there has to be some reason for supposing that explanation exists other than it was capable creating life.

    That’s an interesting question.

    Let’s consider one possibility, Bostrom’s simulation hypothesis, the evidence for our living in a large–scale numerical simulation, which some people currently claim is about a 60% probability:

    http://www.phys.washington.edu...../Universe/

    What are the possible rational reasons to go to this much trouble?

    1. Amusement
    2. Behavioral analysis
    3. Historical analysis
    4. Filtering or sorting
    5.
    6.
    7.
    8.

    -Q

  36. 36
    Mark Frank says:

    #33 Paul

    One of the more annoying habits of ID proponents on this forum is telling me what my motives are for presenting an argument rather than addressing the argument.

  37. 37
    Paul Giem says:

    Mark Frank (#36),

    If I have incorrectly attributed motives to you, feel free to state which ones are in error and I will be happy to retract those statements. I thought I was addressing the argument. Again, if you feel otherwise, let me know why and we can discuss that.

    My point was that you have given a prior for intelligent design that is not measurably different from zero. That is all. If you agree, we understand each other.

  38. 38
    Mark Frank says:

    #37 Paul

    Let’s leave my motives out of it.

    My point was that you have given a prior for intelligent design that is not measurably different from zero. That is all. If you agree, we understand each other

    I have given a prior for a Christian God that that is not measurably different from zero and I hope explained how I came to that conclusion. I am not sure what a prior for intelligent design means. Do you mean a prior for intelligent beings existing somewhere in the universe when life began? That is relatively high but the likelihood of any such form designing life on earth is extremely low.

  39. 39
    Joe says:

    Mark Frank:

    One of the more annoying habits of ID proponents on this forum is telling me what my motives are for presenting an argument rather than addressing the argument.

    When you present an argument we may address it. Yet since all you appear able to do is flail away at ID with your ignorance we haven’t anything to address but that.

  40. 40
    Joe says:

    Mark Frank:

    I have given a prior for a Christian God that that is not measurably different from zero…

    It isn’t based on anything but your personal bias. And you cannot give any priors for materialism- what are you afraid of?

  41. 41
    Axel says:

    His shadow, Joe. Because it’s not material.

  42. 42
    Mung says:

    Mark Frank, what is the prior probability of nothing being the cause of all that exists?

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, my take is that as nothing ( non-being, not a relabelled Q-foam) has no causal capability so if nothing ever was, nothing always would be. So, there always was something of adequate causal capability for us to be here. That directly implies a necessary and capable being at the root of reality. The debate is really, of what nature. A Cosmos fine tuned for C-Chemistry Aqueous medium cell based protein-using life from the roots of physics on up points to intelligence and purpose. Obviously, a major candidate for that is a Cosmos-creating God, so the attempt to a priori use Bayesianism to set the a priori probability of such arbitrarily low is a worldview level begging of the question. But of course on policy, MF will predictably conveniently take no notice of this unless constrained to do otherwise. KF

  44. 44
    Paul Giem says:

    Behold the power of methodological naturalism. Science must at all costs adhere to this rule. And if this rule is followed, no evidence can ever come out of science that supports the supernatural. Therefore if one follows science that is practiced by this definition, one will never find evidence for the supernatural. So when someone points out that the origin of life seems to require intelligence one’s response can be, aliens are not very likely as a good explanation, and there is no evidence for the supernatural, and therefore random processes must have done it regardless of how little evidence there is for that possibility. So one is justified in applying methodological naturalism, and the circle is complete.

    There really is not much point in discussing the likelihood of intelligent design with someone who has decided that no matter what the evidence is, he’s not going to believe in the possibility of a God, and he won’t even believe in intelligent aliens unless he finds their factory and recognizes it.

    Lots of people here complain that evolution doesn’t predict anything. They are wrong. Quantum mechanics and relativity are only provably accurate to less than 20 decimal places. Darwinian evolution is accurate to gazillions of decimal places. 😉

  45. 45
    Daniel King says:

    Therefore if one follows science that is practiced by this definition, one will never find evidence for the supernatural.

    Indeed, that is a self-imposed limitation of science.

    Since that does not, in any way, restrict anyone from continuing whatever research he/she cares to conduct along those lines, that would only be a problem if the person wanted to pose as a scientist.

  46. 46
    Mung says:

    kf:

    Mung, my take is that as nothing ( non-being, not a relabelled Q-foam) has no causal capability so if nothing ever was, nothing always would be.

    But surely nothing must be able to be the cause of something, else nothing would exist.

    Let’s put it another way. Which is more likely, that something which exists is the cause of all else that exists, or that nothing that exists is the cause of all that exists?

    What are Mark Frank’s priors?

  47. 47
    Paul Giem says:

    Daniel King (#45),

    Therefore if one follows science that is practiced by this definition, one will never find evidence for the supernatural.

    Indeed, that is a self-imposed limitation of science.

    I missed it where it was handed down on golden plates, or thundered from the sky, or even was shown by irrefutable logical inference, that “Science must at all costs adhere to” the rule of methodologcial naturalism. The inflexible adherence to this rule is in fact philosophical naturalism, in which case Isaac Newton was not a scientist, which doesn’t make much sense.

    The inflexible adherence to methodological naturalism is not a “self-imposed limitation of science.” It is an imposition made on science by certain scientists, who expect the rest of us to follow. If not, we will be accused of not really being scientists, but wanting “to pose as scientists”, because no true Scotsman scientist would not believe in naturalism.

    What happens if the evidence points the other way? Is there any evidence that could convince you that naturalism was not a complete explanation of the universe, or even that there is evidence for intelligent design, and therefore some kind of a designer for the universe or life? Or are your priors mathematically indistinguishable from zero also?

  48. 48
    gpuccio says:

    Paul:

    “The inflexible adherence to this rule is in fact philosophical naturalism, in which case Isaac Newton was not a scientist, which doesn’t make much sense.”

    Excellent.

    My personal problems with “methodological naturalism” start with the word itself: “nature”.

    I maintain that there is no satisfying, general definition of “nature” (and therefore of naturalism) that is not loaded with philosophical assumtpions.

    “Nature” is only a particular map of reality, of what really exists, of what is true. “Matter” and “materialism are equally ambiguous concepts, even more restricted.

    Our nature, today, seems to include quantum mechanics, black holes, maybe many-dimensional strings (?), and many other strange things that two hundred years ago no “nature” would have considered.

    And still, the general concept of nature, at least in the minds of many, seems not to include, yet, consciousness as a true objective reality, worth of its own place in a map of things.

    The only real meaning of the word “nature”, especially in scientific thought, is:

    “the way we presently think of reality, in its basic form, the things of which we are so certain and proud that we cannot accept to put them in discussion”.

    So, in the end, any form of “naturalism”, methodological or else, is only a form of cognitive bias, nothing else.

    Not good at all.

    I definitely prefer the word “reality” and “realism”. I am all for methodological, philosophical, you name it, realism. The adherence to what is real is the true, inherent duty of science, indeed of human cognition in all its forms.

  49. 49
    gpuccio says:

    Paul:

    “It’s much easier to go the Lewontin route. We simply “cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” But that sounds too much like science versus anti-religion.

    Those of you who point out that there is the small matter of the origin of the universe, make the appropriate point that this assigning an infinitesimal prior probability to the existence of God is not really warranted given the facts. At that point the argument against God goes down in flames. The same is true for those of us who have experienced God’s action in our lives. But even without them the argument from the existence of life alone can only be countered by multiple universes where anything goes, denial of the improbability of life, appeal to unknown laws, or obfuscation. Mark has thankfully removed the fourth option.”

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  50. 50
    Daniel King says:

    Paul Giem:

    I missed it where it was handed down on golden plates, or thundered from the sky, or even was shown by irrefutable logical inference, that “Science must at all costs adhere to” the rule of methodologcial naturalism.

    I missed it also. My confidence in scientific method would surely be challenged if i knew of any such events.

    The inflexible adherence to methodological naturalism is not a “self-imposed limitation of science.” It is an imposition made on science by certain scientists, who expect the rest of us to follow.

    Imposed by whom? Who are those “certain scientists”? Are they living or dead? When did they impose those limitations?

    On the contrary, what you call “inflexible adherence” looks to me like “sticking to one’s trade,” and the procedures employed by trades are developed over time by experience. They evolve.

    Tradecraft: A householder faced with an overflowing toilet would be mistaken if she called an electrician. A physician faced with a case of acute inflammation of the appendix would call in a surgeon, not a shaman.

    What happens if the evidence points the other way?

    I know, and anyone who wants to practice science needs to know that evidence has to be interpreted by hypothetico-deductive reasoning. Evidence doesn’t “point,” it either fits or doesn’t fit into a hypothetical framework that has testable entailments. So the question boils down to the relative testability of competing hypotheses – natural vs supernatural. Are there any supernatural entailments?

    Is there any evidence that could convince you that naturalism was not a complete explanation of the universe…

    I haven’t encountered a complete naturalistic explanation of anything yet, and I have no expectations of such, so I don’t need to be convinced on that point.

    …or even that there is evidence for intelligent design, and therefore some kind of a designer for the universe or life?

    Provide some testable entailments of the hypothesis that the universe and its life are designed I will consider them.

  51. 51
    Barry Arrington says:

    DK @ 50:

    Provide some testable entailments of the hypothesis that the universe and its life are designed I will consider them.

    ID predicts that chance/law forces will never produce 500 bits of complex specified information.

    Therefore, all you have to do to explode ID right out of the water is to show chance/law forces producing 500 bits of complex specified information. Sorry, question begging not allowed.

  52. 52
    Daniel King says:

    Barry:

    Sorry, question begging not allowed.

    It is my understanding that “question begging” is a logical fallacy of the form:

    If P, then Q
    Q
    Therefore P

    So if I ask questions for clarification, that is not question begging.

    ID predicts that chance/law forces will never produce 500 bits of complex specified information.
    Therefore, all you have to do to explode ID right out of the water is to show chance/law forces producing 500 bits of complex specified information

    My questions:

    Since entailments are logical consequences of hypotheses, how was “chance/law forces will never produce 500 bits of complex specified information” deduced as a logical consequence of the hypothesis that all life is designed?

    And how can it be tested? How is it possible to demonstrate that something can never be done?

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