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Jonathan Bartlett: Was the COVID-19 Virus Designed? The Computer Doesn’t Know

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Some researchers confuse not finding a particular type of design with ruling out design of the virus:

The paper errs in a number of basic ways. First, the authors made the common mistake of assuming that ruling out one specific mechanism of design necessarily means that they have ruled out all possibilities of design. In this paper, the only design process considered was a computer analysis of likely binding targets and genetic engineering of the needed proteins, using software common in the United States. The authors did succeed in showing that that particular design hypothesis was false. Where they failed is when they generalized this result to all possible design hypotheses. Put another way, a human agent is not obligated to use the method they described and falsified.

This problem is not unique to them; it is a bad habit of the scientific community which stretches back into the 1800s. When constructing science experiments, you define a “null hypothesis” such that proving your null hypothesis false provides evidence for your actual hypothesis. However, this method relies on the null hypothesis being close to a complement of (similar in structure to to) the hypothesis being tested. Thus, the truth of the hypothesis you are testing should be at least largely entailed by the falsification of the null hypothesis.

Jonathan Bartlett, “Was the COVID-19 Virus Designed? The Computer Doesn’t Know” at Mind Matters News

Also by Jonathan Bartlett:

We will never go back to thepre-COVID-19 workplace The virus forced us to realize: Staying together apart has never been so easy

and

COVID-19: Do quarantine rules apply to mega-geniuses? How did Elon Musk, who has a cozy relationship with China, get his upscale car factory classified as an essential business during the pandemic? If we are going to hold some people up as business icons, why should it be those who—in the present COVID-19 troubles — have relations with China that necessarily raise questions.

3 Replies to “Jonathan Bartlett: Was the COVID-19 Virus Designed? The Computer Doesn’t Know

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    Directed evolution is still designed

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    Is a river designed?

  3. 3
    Fasteddious says:

    I think it was Dembski who made it clear that a good design test can produce false negatives, but not false positives. That is, something may be designed but is designed to look un-designed, whereas if the test is strong enough, it will be nigh on impossible to have something the test says is designed when in truth it is not. Thus, finding no indication of design by this particular test on this virus only says it probably was not designed that way. A clever designer could, in principle, have designed it and hidden his tracks to cover up his design work. There is always more than one way to design something.

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