Intelligent Design

“Intrinsic Intelligence”

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Just Check the ID
By Sally Jenkins
Monday, August 29, 2005
Washington Post

….Jeffrey M. Schwartz, a neuroscientist and research professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, is a believer in ID, or as he prefers to call it, “intrinsic intelligence.” Schwartz wants to launch a study of NASCAR drivers, to better understand their extraordinary focus. He finds Darwinism, as it applies to a high-performance athlete such as Tony Stewart, to be problematic. To claim that Stewart’s mental state as he handles a high-speed car “is a result of nothing more than random processes coming together in a machine-like way is not a coherent explanation,” Schwartz said. Instead, Schwartz theorizes that when a great athlete focuses, he or she may be “making a connection with something deep within nature itself, which lends itself to deepening our intelligence.” It’s fascinating thought. And Schwartz would like to prove it’s scientifically justifiable….

For the full article, go here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/28/AR2005082800964.html

16 Replies to ““Intrinsic Intelligence”

  1. 1

    Also from this article:

    First, let’s get rid of the idea that ID (intelligent design) is a form of sly creationism. It isn’t. ID is unfairly confused with the movement to teach creationism in public schools. The most serious ID proponents are complexity theorists, legitimate scientists among them, who believe that strict Darwinism and especially neo-Darwinism (the notion that all of our qualities are the product of random mutation) is inadequate to explain the high level of organization at work in the world. Creationists are attracted to ID, and one of its founding fathers, University of California law professor Phillip Johnson, is a devout Presbyterian. But you don’t have to be a creationist to think there might be something to it, or to agree with Johnson when he says, “The human body is packed with marvels, eyes and lungs and cells, and evolutionary gradualism can’t account for that.”

  2. 2
    yy says:

    My recent post in ARN ID forum “Interdisciplinary teaching of science vs. teach the controversy of science” has pointed out that ID can be fully compatible with methodological naturalism (MN) as methodology. (http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimat.....tml#000063)
    What ID has problem with is MN as an ideology. ID may also consider other sources of reasoning and open to them. These include common-sense reasoning such as intuition, philosophical reasoning such as logic, and theological reasoning such as moral or church teaching. This is contrary to some Darwinists’ claims that ID is necessarily anti-MN. Since many Darwinists use presumed moral or aesthetic imperfection arguments (not entirely an MN argument) to oppose ID, this may come quite as a surprise.

    As seen in the example given by Stephen Meyer: “Imagine you’re an archaeologist and you’re looking at an inscription, and you say, ‘Well, sorry, that looks like it’s intelligent but we can’t invoke an intelligent cause because, as a matter of method, we have to limit ourselves to materialistic processes… That would be nuts.”

    My point is that when evidence leads us to accept that there is no realistic materialistic explanation, it is fully meaningful in traditional science to consider an explicit negative (possibly non-materialistic) or unknown parameter to further scientific investigations. This is an MN-ID scientific paradigm. In the above archaeology example, it is the only way to understand the full meaning of the inscription.

    Indeed, ID has been practiced in science. Focusing on the “design” of the flagella in understanding the integration and complexity of the components is much more meaningful and promising for using research money. If the outcome of Darwinist research is to generate yet another plausible hypothesis, not yet testable or untestable, it should be considered a failure.

    To conflate MN as methodology and as ideology is to propagate an atheistic agenda. It is similar to conflating Darwinism with evolution as science. The cost to scientific understanding and society can be enormous.

    Please feel free to comment on this in your main blog.

  3. 3
    Ariston says:

    Schwartz is best known for his claim that free-will derives from quantum indeterminacy in the brain: not the most coherent of theses.

  4. 4
    kuz says:

    As a former sports writer in college, I admire sports columnist Ms. Jenkins’ attempts at science commentary. However:

    1. Athletes often talk of feeling an absolute fulfillment of purpose, of something powerful moving through them or in them that is not just the result of training.

    Yeah, it’s called “the juice.” Or in Barry Bonds’ case, “the cream” and “the clear.”

    2. …”intrinsic intelligence.” Schwartz wants to launch a study of NASCAR drivers…

    Ha ha ha.

    3. To claim that Stewart’s mental state as he handles a high-speed car “is a result of nothing more than random processes coming together in a machine-like way is not a coherent explanation,” Schwartz said.

    That’s just an incorrect summarization of evolutionary theory. Evolution is much more than just random processes or mutations coming together. Cumulative selection, embryonic development, moonshine whiskey, extensive inbreeding, and plenty of “rasslin'” as a child all helped make NASCAR drivers and fans the fine human specimens they are today.

  5. 5

    Spell out the lack of coherence for us.

  6. 6
    Ariston says:

    In brief, the will (as far back as Augustine, and further still if we include precursors such as Aristotle’s “choice”) is by definition a purposeful faculty. One cannot chance to will something (logical ‘cannot’, i.e., a chance willing would be a contradiction in terms). Quantum events are chance events par excellence. Thus, any attempt to free the will from necessity by grounding it in quantum indeterminacy attempts to build purpose on chance.

  7. 7
    BlogWatch says:

    Intrinsic Intelligence

    “Jeffrey M. Schwartz, a neuroscientist and research professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, is a believer in ID, or as he prefers to call it, “intrinsic intelligence.” Schwartz wants to launch a study of NASCAR drivers, to…

  8. 8
    Lutepisc says:

    “Schwartz is best known for his claim that free-will derives from quantum indeterminacy in the brain: not the most coherent of theses.”

    I’m not sure he’s “best” known for that. He’s established a solid reputation in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (cf. his popular book, “Brain Lock.”)

  9. 9
    Jon Jackson says:

    Perhaps the real reason “kuz” has a problem with ID is his bigotry. But then again, this is who the left really is, isn’t it?

  10. 10
    Conspirator says:

    “Schwartz is best known for his claim that free-will derives from quantum indeterminacy in the brain: not the most coherent of theses.”

    I’m skeptical of quantum indeterminacy, and Schwartz use of it as an explanation for human volition. Suppose that Schwartz is incorrect on that formulation. It does not follow that he is wrong on his assessment of the evidence that leads to the conclusion of human free will–even if Schwartz has not explained it correctly.

    Lets use logic please.

    Question: “Am I typing this message because neurons firing in my brain force me to, or do I have a volitional capacity that willed to respond?”

  11. 11
    chumley says:

    Hello chums! I’ve been reading a bit of this ID/evolution debate. I’m fascinated in the utter confidence both sides have. I have read a bit of this blog, and the Bad Guys side too. The credentials are pretty impressive on both sides. Anyway, I’d love for someone to answer some of my questions. I’ll start with just a few, and maybe someone can help me get to the good stuff instead of trying to read (gad) mathematical texts. Holy moly, U of C phD in Math. Good lord, I can’t fathom it…

    Okay:

    1) So we know that ID is falsifiable, that it’s good science. And like good scientists, we don’t just stop with “I don’t know.” I am intrigued with the Designer. I’ll call the Designer an It, to avoid obvious gender bias.

    Now, It must be conscious, right? But does It have personality? emotion? choice? If we answer, “Don’t know,” is this really answering anything and just relying on a Humunculus to push back the problems of biology? I mean, we need to be rigorous and start fleshing out what we mean by Designer. We’ve already noted that the Designer is like a human in that it has intelligence and a means to implement that intelligence, and that it must want to design, and therefore have emotions and desires, too.
    Aren’t we introducing more problems – why does the Designer create, why with this organism and not with the other, etc.

    Do we know what those motivations and intentions are? Have any thinkers addressed this? No doubt mainstream biologists won’t even bother with this, but I’m curious, what experiments have been done through the Discovery Institute to help flesh out the personality and motivation and competence levels of the Designer?

    There’s got to be a way to address these issues, although I fess up that I don’t know how. Please, be patient – I think this stuff is exciting, and I’m a newbie, so please don’t start in with the insults, ok? The evolutionists are a smug bunch, and it’s a major turnoff. ID asks fundamental questions in a new way, seems very promising. thanks – CHumley

  12. 12
    kuz says:

    Wow, Jon, guess I hit a little close to home there? jk – it’s a joke, you can relax. And what is your “left” comment supposed to mean, by the way?

    As for ID, I’m willing to give it a shot. One of Dr. Dembski’s books will be next in my library queue. (Dawkins’ Blind Watchmaker took a while!) But I’m going to need to read an expert opinion because the main arguments that I see in more mainstream sources are far from convincing for me. This article is a great example:

    Argument: Athletes have special skills that are “meant to work in a certain way” and have a specific design element.
    Logical counter-argument from evolutionary standpoint would be: Athletes have special skills that could be explained any number of different ways, and even if “meant to work a certain way,” that meaning would not need to have come from a specific designer.
    Instead, the writer picks an unrelated quote to give the “strict Darwinist” view: Athletes don’t have special skills because humans arent that fast or strong.

    The arguments go past each other throughout the article, in the Time and NYT articles and on the message boards here and on pro-Darwinist boards. I’m sure there’s more to ID than just “you can’t explain the flagellum and the eye” but that’s how it sure sounds to me.

    So, Jon, which book should I start with?

  13. 13
    DaveScot says:

    Hey Kuz,

    Is that dork pictured alone in the jungle on your blog you or your boyfriend?

  14. 14
    johnnyb says:

    Ariston –

    I’m not sure of this particular person’s claim, but the way I’ve always heard it phrased is not that the will comes from chance indeterminancy, but instead the will is able to force a quantum state. Quantum indeterminancy is simply the range of freedom which natural law gives to the will. Without a will intervening, quantum indeterminancy is more or less random, but the will can make them non-random. If this is true, it explains how both free will and natural law coexist. The will never breaks the laws of nature, but the laws of nature are indeterminate enough to allow for a will to make an impression. Our bodies are essentially giant amplifiers for the will to take those small quantum changes and turn them into large changes in the world.

    Thus, the point is not that free will is bound within chance, but that the range of possibilities that could be taken the will is able to order. That would be a very will-like something to do — create order from chaos.

  15. 15
    kuz says:

    Oh, the dork is definitely me. Gotta love Costa Rica. Thanks for stopping by the blog, Dave.

  16. 16
    Jon Jackson says:

    Sorry about that kuz, guess I was expecting originality with my humor. My bad.As to books I’d suggest starting with Dembski and Kushiner’s Signs of Intelligence. I’d use it as an overview and introductory text for ID. You might want to then move on to Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box. And I’ve heard that if you can hang with the math Dembski’s The Design Inference is a fairly rigorous treatment of the subject.Though after a good day of Bible thumping I really don’t have a lot left over for ‘rithmatic

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