Intelligent Design

Once More from the Top on “Mechanism”

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We often get some variation of “Until ID proposes a ‘mechanism’ for how the design is accomplished, it cannot be taken seriously as an explanation for origins.”

Here is an example from frequent commenter Bob O’H (who, after years of participation on this site should know better):

If ID is correct, then the design has to have happened somehow, so a “how” theory has to exist.

OK, Bob, once more from the top:

Suppose someone printed your post on a piece of paper and handed it to an investigator.  We’ll call him Johnny.  The object of the investigation is to determine whether the text on the paper was produced by an intelligent agent or a random letter generator. 

Johnny, using standard design detection techniques, concludes that the text exhibits CSI at greater than 500 bits, and reaches the screamingly obvious conclusion that it was designed and not the product of a random letter generator.

“Ha!” the skeptic says.  “Johnny did not propose a mechanism by which someone designed the text.  Therefore his design inference is invalid.  If his design inference is correct, then the design has to have happened somehow, so a ‘how’ theory has to exist.”

Bob, is the objection to Johnny’s conclusion valid?

168 Replies to “Once More from the Top on “Mechanism”

  1. 1
    ET says:

    The object of the investigation is to determine whether the text on the paper was produced by an intelligent agent or a random letter generator.

    So the “mechanism” that the random letter generator used was “it just happened to happen”?

    Yeah, I see the scientific value in that. 🙄 How pathetic are the anti-ID ilk?

  2. 2
    LarTanner says:

    Is evolution, in contemporary applications of the scientific concept, like a random letter generator producing sentences?

  3. 3
    ET says:

    No, Larry. Even a random letter generator was intelligently designed. Your mechanism can’t even do that- ie produce letters.

    If your side had something of note then we could discuss it. But it doesn’t so you clowns have to attack ID with your ignorance.

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Lar:

    Is evolution, in contemporary applications of the scientific concept, like a random letter generator producing sentences?

    It depends on what brand of evolutionary theory you are talking about Larry. If you are talking about the Darwinian variety, of course it is random. Otherwise it would be directed toward an end, and the whole point of the theory is to explain why there is no need for direction toward an end. The other half of the Darwinian story is that mechanical necessity (natural selection) works on the randomness (mutations) to produce everything we see in the biosphere. It is a good explanation for small changes (changes in the size of finch beaks, etc.). But it takes a tremendous faith commitment (faith in metaphysical materialism) to swallow down the idea that it can explain how microbes became Mozart. As has been oft-noted, I would love to swim with the current and be a materialist. I just cannot handle faith commitments of that magnitude.

  5. 5
    PeterA says:

    If something was designed then the HOW question is answered simply “designed” and the WHERE question is answered simply “in a mind”.

    How was the automobile engine designed?
    How was the computer designed?
    How was the cell phone designed?
    How was the airplane designed?

    Sometimes we could mention some auxiliary tools that were used used in the design, but the central design process takes place in conscious purposeful minds that are highly sensitive to meaning.

    However, as far as I understand it, the fact that those complex objects or systems were designed is independent of whether one knows how specifically such design processes happened.

    It’s my understanding that ID stops at inferring whether something is designed or not. That’s it.

    Trying to answer the “how” question in the case of designed objects would lead us to philosophical issues associated with immaterial conscious minds, far beyond the boundaries of natural sciences, where ID operates: Biology, Physics, Chemistry. It would be even beyond the domain of mathematics.

    I’m surprised that materialists -to whom the ultimate reality is based on matter and energy alone- insist so vehemently to move the discussions beyond the boundaries of natural science. Actually it seems inexplicable, at least to me.

  6. 6
    hazel says:

    I believe the issue is not how was it designed, but how was it implemented: what went on the physical world as the design was brought into physical existence.

  7. 7
    Somerschool says:

    I have a hypothesis that would explain EXACTLY how you get irreducible complexity, the first self-replicating entity, and the other mysteries of life. It is 100% scientific, makes no reference to God or any other conscious being, and makes testable predictions. It’s probably wrong, of course, but it is in no way frivolous. If you really want a “mechanism,” please contact me and allow me to explain it. If you agree that it is a mechanism that meets your criteria, then please drop this line of criticism.

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Suppose someone printed your post on a piece of paper and handed it to an investigator. We’ll call him Johnny. The object of the investigation is to determine whether the text on the paper was produced by an intelligent agent or a random letter generator.

    Johnny, using standard design detection techniques, concludes that the text exhibits CSI at greater than 500 bits, and reaches the screamingly obvious conclusion that it was designed and not the product of a random letter generator.

    Does anyone use CSI calculations to infer design? Could CSI alone decide whether the text was some of Bob O’H’s finest or the output of a random text generator? Has that ever been tested?

    Bob, is the objection to Johnny’s conclusion valid?

    If the output of an RTG was indistinguishable by normal means from that of a B O’H then I would say it’s a valid objection. Johnny would have to show that CSI alone could decide reliably between ID-generated and AI-generated text if both were above the 500 bit threshold.

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    PeterA@ 5

    If something was designed then the HOW question is answered simply “designed” and the WHERE question is answered simply “in a mind”

    If I ask “How was X designed?” and you say “X was designed”, that is a reply but it does not answer my question.

    Sometimes we could mention some auxiliary tools that were used in the design, but the central design process takes place in conscious purposeful minds that are highly sensitive to meaning.

    Yes, human designs are the product of human minds but, while the nature of consciousness is still a hard nut to crack, we still have a pretty good idea about how automobile engines or computers or airplanes were – and still are – designed and developed. Boeing didn’t just ask a designer for an airplane and a complete 737 just poofed into existence in his head in a flash of inspiration. It took a lot of very hard, very rigorous design and engineering, a lot of detailed knowledge of materials and physics, to get from the concept to the finished aircraft. Even the concept would have been worked out rationally. That’s the ‘how’ that we’re looking for.

    I’m surprised that materialists -to whom the ultimate reality is based on matter and energy alone- insist so vehemently to move the discussions beyond the boundaries of natural science. Actually it seems inexplicable, at least to me.

    A whole lot seems inexplicable to us as well. How could it be otherwise? We’re not gods or supermen. We are limited beings who are trying to the best we can within those limitations. That’s all we can do. If we don’t know something then we should be honest enough to say so. Is there an alien super-intelligence or a god who designed everything? I honestly don’t know. I can’t rule out such possibilities but, so far, I haven’t seen or heard of anything that persuade me that such exist. Since our current theories, good as some of them are in their own domains, don’t explain everything and apparently can’t be reconciled, there’s something – probably a whole lot – we’re still missing. That’s what science is trying to find out – rather than just settling for “God/Intelligent Designer did it”. Is that so wrong?

  10. 10
    Barry Arrington says:

    Hazel, so you are suggesting Johnny can’t make a design inference unless he proves the letters were written with chalk on a sidewalk as opposed to crayons on paper? God help us.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev at 8. The math is straightforward. Counting spaces there is a 1 in 27 probability at each place. The probability of the entire sequence is exponential with the exponent being the number of positions. And we know that even for a short sequence like this, the probability of a random process is so low there is not enough time in the history of the universe for it to have happened even once. Romper room design theory here. One wonders what motivated Sev to pretend he did not know this.

  12. 12
    Brother Brian says:

    What if the text was encrypted?.

  13. 13
    hazel says:

    re 10: I didn’t say that, Barry, or even address that question. I was replying to PeterA’s point that things are designed in a mind. I think the relevant issue then becomes what goes on in the physical world when that designed is implemented.

  14. 14
    Barry Arrington says:

    BB, if the design is encrypted design detection becomes more difficult but not impossible. We actually spend billions each year doing that very thing at the NSA. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Hazel, so you’re saying your point was irrelevant to the larger discussion. Thanks for clarifying.

  15. 15
    hazel says:

    And I suppose PeterA’s comment was irrelevant also – true? And the following comment by Somerschool at 7, also.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    seversky:

    If I ask “How was X designed?” and you say “X was designed”, that is a reply but it does not answer my question.

    If I ask “How did X evolve?” and you say “X evolved”, that is a reply but it does not answer my question.

    Not knowing how something was designed does not take away from the fact that it was.

    That’s the ‘how’ that we’re looking for.

    LoL! Your side is supposed to be all about the how and yet you have nothing.

    ID is based on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships. If you don’t like that then get to work and find support for your position.

    Or shut up already

  17. 17
    ET says:

    What if the text was encrypted?.

    What if? Nature cannot produce random letters

  18. 18
    ET says:

    hazel- there are plenty of artifacts that science is still trying to determine the how. And guess what? They are all still artifacts.

    There are murders and crimes we still don’t know the who. And guess what? They are still murders and crimes.

    Science and reality say that in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the ONLY possible way to make any scientific determination about the who and how, is by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

    It’s obvious that the anti-ID people here have never conducted an investigation in their lives.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    Intelligent Design employs a top-down approach. As do all design-centric venues.

    A top-down approach means FIRST (intelligent) design is determined to exist. And again, we do that by using our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    And yes the existence of design means the design was implemented by some mechanism that could manipulate matter and energy for its own purposes. It remains a hanging question. Someone will eventually take it on. And that means ID is far from being a scientific dead end. It opens up new and exciting questions to try to answer.

    But there are more important questions to answer. So all questions depend on resources and the need to answer them.

    That ID isn’t a mechanistic theory just means we don’t have to know the “how” before we can determine if design exists and then study it. We study it (and all relevant evidence) in the hope of answering those new questions. Science 101

  20. 20
    hazel says:

    ET writes,

    And yes the existence of design means the design was implemented by some mechanism that could manipulate matter and energy for its own purposes.

    Good.

    It remains a hanging question. Someone will eventually take it on. And that means ID is far from being a scientific dead end. It opens up new and exciting questions to try to answer.

    Is anyone working on these questions?

    We study it (and all relevant evidence) in the hope of answering those new questions. Science 101

    So science is the valid vehicle for studying how design is implemented – true?

    And again, is this study being pursued?

  21. 21
    PeterA says:

    Seversky @9:

    If I ask “How was X designed?” and you say “X was designed”, that is a reply but it does not answer my question.

    If you ask me how it was designed I’ll honestly tell you that I don’t know, you should talk to the designer(s) directly. However, the designer(s) might be inaccesible to us. Also, we might not be capable of understanding it. Perhaps we have a similar situation with the implementation.

    Now, if you ask an engineer how he designed certain system, his explanation might be very difficult for us to understand. We would have to either learn at least some basic terminology or have the designer explain it in easy terms.

  22. 22
    Fasteddious says:

    Interesting discussion. Obviously the fact of some intelligent agent being involved is not the same as identifying the agent. Nor is it the same as explaining how the agent was involved. Forensics is the obvious science to point to: first determine to a high probability that a fire was arson, then discover how the fire was set, and finally determine who the agent was.
    ID is still in its infancy and has found massive evidence pointing to the involvement of an intelligent agent. The “how” of the agency is an open question, but perhaps ID will look into that once the rest of science agrees that ID is a valid theory. Until then we are just accumulating evidence for ID and other evidence against the non-Id theory (or theories), hoping that the rest of science will “see the light” (or intelligence) as it were.
    Once ID is allowed to exist and flourish, there is evidence that may cast light on the “how?” aspects:
    – fossil record shows various “explosions” of new life forms; e.g. the “punctuations” in punky-e.
    – Behe’s devolution evidence shows the usual direction of unguided evolution, from some higher-information starting point
    – molecular studies of evolution may point to times when added genetic information was injected into the tree of life.
    – living fossils can help calibrate and authenticate the “when” and “what” questions of such research.
    However, until ID is accepted as a legitimate research topic by the mainstream science establishments, ID will have to proceed on a shoestring budget, with few researchers openly involved, and will continue to focus on the yes/no question about intelligent involvement.
    That does not prevent people from speculating in Science Fiction or elsewhere. For one example of a speculative “how” of ID, see:
    https://thopid.blogspot.com/2019/02/intelligent-design-speculations.html

  23. 23
    ET says:

    hazel- I don’t know who is working on what. I don’t know what resources are available. I would expect the new questions require new specialists. Specialists that have to be taught an trained.

    I don’t see how we can study how the design was implemented. The best we can hope for is trying to produce a narrative based on the evidence and our current level of knowledge. Some things may be as simple as to be answered by our own genetic engineering. But if life requires more than what physics and chemistry can provide, then we may never figure that out. And according to ID, life requires more than any materialistic process can provide.

    Again, there are artifacts that we have yet to determine a cause for- the how they did it eludes us. And these are things that allegedly our ancestors built. And everything we do know came after years, decades, and even centuries of study.

    Nan Madol is child’s play when compare to a living organism. And the only thing we know for sure is that some people’s did it some time in the past for some reason and by some mechanisms.

  24. 24
    hazel says:

    Fasteddious writes,

    but perhaps ID will look into that once the rest of science agrees that ID is a valid theory.

    But wouldn’t it be better for people who accept ID to be asking the further questions about implementation, on the grounds that good answers to those questions would most likely do more to help convince the rest of science that ID is worth pursuing? Saying that “perhaps ID will look into” those further questions doesn’t come across as very motivating for those who who might see some merit in considering ID, but don’t accept the premise of the OP that it is sufficient to detect design without asking further questions of implementation.

    I don’t think some preliminary work involve possible hypotheses and research projects should be stopped by lack of acceptance or mainstream funds. Again, as had happened frequently in the past, someone(s) have to pioneer the ideas and work to get a new paradigm off the ground.

    Just arguing for design hasn’t had any great impact, I don’t think: maybe what is missing is a movement to address the implementation questions.

  25. 25
    Brother Brian says:

    BA

    BB, if the design is encrypted design detection becomes more difficult but not impossible. We actually spend billions each year doing that very thing at the NSA. Thanks for pointing it out.

    And we are only successful in decrypting encrypted messages because we know about the mechanisms that are used for encryption. Thanks for pointing it out.

  26. 26
    ET says:

    hazel:

    But wouldn’t it be better for people who accept ID to be asking the further questions about implementation, on the grounds that good answers to those questions would most likely do more to help convince the rest of science that ID is worth pursuing?

    If that is what it takes then that is BS. The science of ID is in the detection and study of the design. Blind watchmaker evolution is supposed to be all about the “how” and it has nothing. Why aren’t THEY doing the research to find out the how?

    Just arguing for design hasn’t had any great impact, I don’t think: maybe what is missing is a movement to address the implementation questions.

    LoL! Blind watchmaker evolution has only had a negative impact. It hasn’t helped us understand anything.

    The people who reject ID will NEVER come up with a viable scientific alternative. That alone should tell you something about them.

  27. 27
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    And we are only successful in decrypting encrypted messages because we know about the mechanisms that are used for encryption.

    Not true. You not only need that knowledge but also then key. The Brits knew how enigma worked but it wasn’t until they found a key did they start decrypting messages

  28. 28
    hazel says:

    Hi Fasteddious. I read the speculative post you linked to at 22 with some interest. I remember a discussion at Dembski’s ISCID forum many years ago where a similar idea was discussed at some length, I think.

    That is, an omniscient, omnipresent designer could implement organized changes in the genomes of multiple organisms (a population) over multiple generations (possibly centuries or longer) so no one genomic change would ever be distinguishable from one happening by natural causes, but the overall change would produce the desired directed, designed, result.

    In this speculative view, there would never be any “hopeful monsters: as you write

    For what should be obvious reasons, you cannot have a fish giving birth to a reptile, or a dinosaur egg producing a fully fledged bird, so there would have to be some intermediary steps along the way between these different families. Modified somatic cells would have to be compatible with the existing species and be viable in order to develop and grow to maturity within the parents’ environmental context, so the steps from one species to the next would have to be small enough to accommodate such practicalities. And at each step, you would have to generate a minimum population of the new species to support reproduction. All that work could, perhaps, be done elsewhere, in a “divine laboratory” somewhere, before releasing the new species into the wild, just as modern scientists would do. Once natural selection had worked to stabilize the new species (or cause its extinction if not truly viable), the next steps could be taken and another new species created.

    (However, I’ll note, an omniscient, omnipotent designer would not need a “lab”, as it would be able to conceive all the information needed in its mind: no experimentation needed. Also, you mention agents – “angels in lab coats”, but that would be unnecessary also: the designer, again omniscient and omnipotent, could do all this itself.)

    Also, as you point out, such a speculative scenario would preserve common descent.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    The ‘how’ of how design is implemented is already answered. Yet it is an answer that Darwinists simply refuse to, and indeed can’t, accept.. The design was implemented via Intelligent agency and/or Intelligent volition. Atheistic Materialism simply has no place for Intelligent agency

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness
    By STEVEN PINKER – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.

    I suppose that Darwinists and/or Atheistic Materialists, in the current discussion, imagine that intelligent agency and/or intelligent volition is more mysterious than mechanical causality, but, as Professor J. Budziszewski points out in the following article and lecture, the reality of the situation is completely opposite from what Darwinists imagine. As he states, “I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition. If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.”

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf
    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – 2012 lecture
    University of Wyoming J. Budziszewski – above quote taken at the 34:30 minute mark
    http://veritas.org/talks/profe.....er_id=2231

    Moreover, for atheists to presuppose that the law of gravity is ‘natural’, and that it can be explained without reference to the Agent Causality of God, is also cheating. It was Sir Isaac Newton’s belief in God, i.e. in a universal law giver, that enabled Newton to make the intellectual leap that was necessary in order for him understand that “the same force that caused an apple to fall at the Earth’s surface—gravity—was also responsible for holding the Moon in orbit about the Earth.”

    Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation
    Excerpt: The first major unification in physics was Sir Isaac Newton’s realization that the same force that caused an apple to fall at the Earth’s surface—gravity—was also responsible for holding the Moon in orbit about the Earth. This universal force would also act between the planets and the Sun, providing a common explanation for both terrestrial and astronomical phenomena.
    https://www.learner.org/courses/physics/unit/text.html?unit=3&secNum=3

    In regards to this first unification, Sir Isaac Newton stated: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One;,,,”

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,, The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect;,,, from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present”:
    – Sir Isaac Newton – Quoted from what many consider the greatest science masterpiece of all time, his book “Principia”
    http://gravitee.tripod.com/genschol.htm

    Atheistic Materialists and/or Darwinists simply have no clue why the constants should be constant. As Albert Einstein himself stated, “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.”

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “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.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    – Einstein- Letter to Solovine

    And whereas Atheistic Materialists are a complete loss as to explaining why the universal constants should be constant in the first place, the Christian Theist presupposes the laws of nature to be constant and that presupposition was essential to the founding of modern science,

    The God Particle: Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show – Monday, Aug. 2012
    Excerpt: C. S. Lewis put it this way: “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.”
    http://www.christianpost.com/n.....how-80307/

    The Genius and Faith of Faraday and Maxwell – Ian H. Hutchinson – 2014
    Conclusion: Lawfulness was not, in their thinking, inert, abstract, logical necessity, or complete reducibility to Cartesian mechanism; rather, it was an expectation they attributed to the existence of a divine lawgiver. These men’s insights into physics were made possible by their religious commitments. For them, the coherence of nature resulted from its origin in the mind of its Creator.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....nd-maxwell

    Moreover, advances in quantum mechanics, especially with the recent falsification of ‘realism’, have only highlighted the necessity of the Agent Causality of God in sustaining the universe,, even more so than the universal constants necessitated an appeal by us to the Agent Causality of God. As Scott Aaronson stated, “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationist,,, But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor (Quantum Computation)
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    Indeed, advances in Quantum Mechanics have simply been devastating to Atheistic Materialists or anyone else, such a Deists and Theistic Evolutionists, who prefer a universe where God created the universe and then walked away. i.e. Deists believe that God is not always presently active in sustaining the universe:

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Violated, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

  30. 30
    jawa says:

    BA,

    Y’all must be doing it not bad to compare so well against your objectors. Congratulations!
    Check this out:

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    UD………..602,154…….UP…….199 K
    PT………1,637,776…….DN…….155 K
    TSZ…….3,319,498……DN………807 K
    PS……….7,051,271……DN……. 3.65 M

    It’s impressive that there are so many websites out there.

  31. 31
    ET says:

    The problem with (universal) common descent is that there aren’t any known mechanisms capable of pulling it off. The jump to eukaryotes (given starting populations of bacteria) is much more than just adding an organelle via endosymbiosis. No one knows how such a thing could have just happened without planning.

    Universal common descent doesn’t seem be able to get started.

  32. 32
    hazel says:

    The scenario Fasteddious talks about in his linked essay posits an omniscient, omnipotent designer who makes small genetic changes generation after generation in multiple organisms: reproductive continuity and common descent are certainly consistent with such a hypothesis.

  33. 33
    jawa says:

    Apparently there are over 1.5 billion websites but less than 200 million active.

    Let’s say there are 100 million active websites
    Then UD is in the top 1% of active websites
    PT is in the top 2%
    TSZ in the top 4%
    PS in the top 8%

    Why have PT, TSZ and PS dropped so drastically in the ranking while UD has raised the last 90 days?

  34. 34
    ET says:

    hazel- there isn’t any evidence that genetic changes are sufficient. There isn’t any way to test the claim. There isn’t any evidence that genomes and genotypes determine what type of organism will develop. So that would be a problem for any scenario relying on genetics.

  35. 35
    EDTA says:

    Hazel @ 6,
    >I believe the issue is not how was it designed, but how was it implemented: what went on the physical world as the design was brought into physical existence.

    I think that fails to be a roadblock for the same reasons as Barry’s OP points out: One could still infer design reliably without having to know how it was implemented. We do that all the time also. I don’t know what order the parts in my car were assembled, but it still shows design. (And sometimes it even runs!)

    Hazel @ 20,
    >So science is the valid vehicle for studying how design is implemented – true?

    Not if science presumes a materialistic approach, no, because we’ve inferred our way towards the metaphysical. That does place some things out of our immediate reach. That takes some of the fun out of it, but if we’re truly and correctly following the evidence and eliminating possibilities, then those are the breaks. (And it will have to get out-of-reach at some point, such as with the origin of the universe, in any case.)

    BB @ 12,
    >What if the text was encrypted?
    BB @ 25,
    >And we are only successful in decrypting encrypted messages because we know about the mechanisms that are used for encryption. Thanks for pointing it out.

    But even a text message that we could never decrypt would still show evidence of design because the letters on the paper (or bits travelling over a wire) did not happen by chance.

    And it is possible to hide evidence of design, but that also takes a mind. Steganography is just that, the intentional hiding of (typically encrypted) information in something else.

  36. 36
    hazel says:

    Hi EDTA; First, I don’t think I implied a “roadblock”. I understand that detecting design is a task in itself. My point is that once one has accepted design, the question of what happens in the world when it is implemented becomes the immediate next question. Even if one accepts a possible metaphysical designer, there still is the question of the interface between it and the physical world: if one is empirically observing the physical world, what events actually happen as that implementation is instantiated?

  37. 37
  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    BA, as I pointed out, the history of science shows that the objection is not valid. Blackbody/cavity radiation had a spectral pattern that resisted being accounted for on classical analysis. Thus the “ultraviolet catastrophe” and so something seemed wrong even without an alternative. Planck used the lumps of energy model and once radiation came in lumps proportional to frequency, he could fit the observed curve. A few years later Einstein expanded to explaining the photoeffect. Quanta were on the table and were not going away. And yet it took a generation of the top flight practitioners for some sort of theory to be hammered out, the notorious Copenhagen interpretation; many others have been put up since, but all turn on the quantum principle and several other closely linked, empirically grounded ideas such as wave-particle duality, uncertainty etc. Comparing, OoL and Oo body plans face an information (and language!) origin catastrophe. There is a trillion member observation base that establishes the reliable cause of such FSCO/I; intelligently directed configuration. It is backed up by analysis of blind search challenge in configuration spaces of at least 500 – 1,000 bits. Moreover, agent causation by intelligent direction of configuration is a routinely carried out process as OP shows; this gives a how though it is not blindly mechanical, agent action is the basis of logic and mathematics as well as the world of technology around us. Further, as I noted recently, we see molecular nanotech labs synthesising or engineering genomes and we see how molecules are designed and built by chemists, e.g. the molecular car. The problem is not the observations, the history, the reasoning, having a known effective means. No, it is ideological imposition on and straight-jacketing of science and society by a worldview long past bury by date: evolutionary materialistic scientism, aka naturalism. KF

  39. 39
    Bob O'H says:

    Bob, is the objection to Johnny’s conclusion valid?

    No it isn’t. What CSI calculates is the probability that a sequence would fall in the specification if the sequence were drawn randomly. Thus, he can reject total randomness, but not other mechanisms (e.g. the CSI calculation assumes independence, so depending on the specification, a Markov process could look like design). It’s a large leap from “it’s not mechanism A” to “it is mechanism B” when you can’t even specify how mechanism B works, and you ignore any other possible mechanisms.

  40. 40
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    What CSI calculates is the probability that a sequence would fall in the specification if the sequence were drawn randomly.

    Not so. It eliminates both chance and necessity.

    Thus, he can reject total randomness, but not other mechanisms

    Like what, Bob? What other mechanism could possibly put a coherent message on paper or an internet forum?

    It’s a large leap from “it’s not mechanism A” to “it is mechanism B” when you can’t even specify how mechanism B works, and you ignore any other possible mechanisms.

    What other mechanisms, Bob? Why are you too afraid to say?

  41. 41
    ET says:

    hazel:

    My point is that once one has accepted design, the question of what happens in the world when it is implemented becomes the immediate next question.

    There are other immediate questions too, hazel. More important questions.

    Even if one accepts a possible metaphysical designer, there still is the question of the interface between it and the physical world: if one is empirically observing the physical world, what events actually happen as that implementation is instantiated?

    We may never know because clearly it is over and above our capabilities and understanding. So that will take some time to figure out. But in the meantime there are more important questions to answer.

  42. 42
    Brother Brian says:

    ET

    Not true. You not only need that knowledge but also then key. The Brits knew how enigma worked but it wasn’t until they found a key did they start decrypting messages

    It’s nice to see that ET agrees that you can’t confirm design unless you have some knowledge and evidence of how the design was implemented

  43. 43
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    It’s nice to see that ET agrees that you can’t confirm design unless you have some knowledge and evidence of how the design was implemented

    That doesn’t follow from what I said. Clearly you are just a desperate troll.

    I said that you cannot decrypt an encrypted message without the knowledge of how it was encrypted along with the key. That has nothing with determining design. If we intercepted a seemingly random sequence of letters we would know that an intelligent agency sent it because nature is incapable.

  44. 44
    hazel says:

    ET, what are some of the “more important questions” you refer to in 41?

  45. 45
    ET says:

    hazel- a list off the top of my head and no where near finished:

    1- Purpose- under ID there is a purpose, besides happiness and leading a good life, to our existence. I would think that would be the most important question to answer. It should get the world on the same page. And if not at least then we would know who the hopeless resource wasters are.
    2- How to properly maintain the design. Using our own design insights to solve biological issues. For example I would think it would be helpful to know that certain pathogens were the product of a design gone awry. Compare to the “good” microbes and see if we can engineer a solution. Cancer- same idea. See if we can infuse the cancerous cells with synthesized functional information to correct the genetic defects.
    3- Our understanding of what makes an organism what it is would no longer be focused on the genomes, genotypes and epigenetic effects. So we should be able to better solve that mystery. That would go a long way into understanding our existence.
    4- The junk DNA argument would be switched to “what is the function of that DNA? Is it similar RAM and EEPROMs as carriers and holders of (immaterial) information?”
    5- And in an ID scenario the odds of other civilizations out there increases to 1. So where are they and have they been here, would be important questions. Can they help? Will they help? Have they helped?

    By getting through those we may gain a better understanding of the how and who.

  46. 46
    Brother Brian says:

    EDTA

    But even a text message that we could never decrypt would still show evidence of design because the letters on the paper (or bits travelling over a wire) did not happen by chance.

    I agree. But we know this because we recognize the way we write our languages. But if it is encrypted we don’t know whether it contains any meaningful information unless we have a good knowledge of encryption techniques. In short, to confirm design of the message we need knowledge about the language being used, or encryption techniques if it is encrypted.

    Let’s us the flagellum as an example. We know that it is composed of 20+ proteins, almost all of which are found elsewhere, serving other functions. Looking at it from evolution perspective we don’t know the specific evolutionary steps that led to it, but we do have examples that serve another function but only differ by a couple proteins. We have mechanism for increasing genetic and phenotypic variation in a population. We have mechanisms for differential reproduction that result in some combinations of genes/proteins becoming ubiquitous in the population. We have evidence of proteins that did not exist before arising in a population. You could argue that this was due to design but until you come up with a mechanism for this occurring, we fall back on mechanisms that we know exist.

  47. 47
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    But if it is encrypted we don’t know whether it contains any meaningful information unless we have a good knowledge of encryption techniques.

    But we would still know an intelligent agency id it, ie it was designed.

    We know that it is composed of 20+ proteins, almost all of which are found elsewhere, serving other functions.

    An we know that bacteria do not go on shopping sprees. We also know that the protein subunits are expressed in different quantities.

    Looking at it from evolution perspective we don’t know the specific evolutionary steps that led to it, but we do have examples that serve another function but only differ by a couple proteins.

    Looking at it from an Intelligent Design perspective we don’t know the specific design steps that led to it, but we do have examples that serve another function but only differ by a couple proteins.

    We have mechanism for increasing genetic and phenotypic variation in a population.

    As does Intelligent Design.

    We have mechanisms for differential reproduction that result in some combinations of genes/proteins becoming ubiquitous in the population.

    As does Intelligent Design.

    We have evidence of proteins that did not exist before arising in a population.

    And Intelligent Design offers the only viable explanation.

    You could argue that this was due to design but until you come up with a mechanism for this occurring, we fall back on mechanisms that we know exist.

    Pure equivocation. For all we know those mechanisms are design mechanisms.

    The problem is people like Brian have absolutely no idea what ID is an no idea what mainstream evolutionary thought entails.

  48. 48
    EricMH says:

    @ET

    I think Bob O’H makes an important point. The problem is what do we mean by ‘chance and necessity’? Is that all possible stochastic processes, or a particular subset? If the former, how can we eliminate all of them? If the latter, how do we know another subset is not responsible? Further, is intelligence itself a stochastic process, or something else? If something else, what is a non-stochastic process? I’ve studied probability, comp. sci., information theory and the like quite a bit, and I’ve not seen a non-stochastic process defined.

    I think the ID movement does need to do a better job defining exactly what is meant by ‘intelligence’. Because merely calculating the CSI does show that some other process might be a better explanation of the event under question, but I’m not sure it is clearly a design inference.

    If we take the standard example and have a run of 100 heads in a series of coinflips, we can easily eliminate the uniform random hypothesis. But, what allows us to make the design inference? And, let’s say we do make the design inference, but it turns out the run of heads was due to the coin having heads on both sides. The design inference is supposed to guarantee true positives, so why did it fail in this instance? Is it only because we didn’t adequately account for all the possible chance hypotheses, i.e. that the coin had heads on both sides? But if that is the problem, then in the scenario of a natural event that exhibits positive CSI, such as a bacterial flagellum, why can we be confident that we’ve not made a false positive error when inferring design, if we are not sure we have accounted for all possible chance hypotheses?

    So, in summary, after my years of personal research, I am confident that the theory of ID and CSI calculations is sound, but the rub is in actually filling in the details of application. If we can never be sure we account for all chance hypotheses, then how can we be sure we do not err when making the design inference? And even if absolute certainty is not our goal, but only probability, how can we be confident in the probability we derive?

    Thus, while the critics are wrong in claiming ID research cannot proceed without a positive account of intelligent design, such an account seems very important to making a coherent design inference, and being able to justify confidence in doing so. Consequently, on the ID side, we cannot wave our hands and claim design has been inferred in the biological sciences just because we’ve eliminated a particular chance hypothesis (i.e. Darwinism). We need to better articulate and justify the inference to design. I think that “it looks like a humanly intelligently designed artifact, therefore it is intelligently designed” is actually a pretty decent step, but it needs to be spelled out a bit more why that step makes sense, as JohnnyB has done in quite a few publications at this point.

    The Mind Matters blog is also a good move in this direction, but it too needs more of a positive account of what intelligence is, vs the (useful) negative analysis of why artificial intelligence is not like human intelligence.

  49. 49
    gpuccio says:

    EricMH at #48:

    Good questions.

    Regarding the coin example, I would say that the possible explanation “coin with two heads”, or even simply a severely unfair coin, is simply a necessity component which changes the probability distribution of the system, favoring one outcome (head), in the case of an unfair coin, or even transforming the system in a necessity system without any random component (a coin with two heads).

    However, that would be already included in the classical idea that we have to check for known necessity explanations (see Dembski’s explanatory filter) before inferring design.

    It is interesting that the problem of excluding necessity influences is important for specifications linked to order (the series of all heads), but is loses much of its relevance (maybe all of it) whne we are discussing funcional information. It is really irrational to believe that, among the necessity laws of biochemistry that govern mytations at the level of nucleotides in the DNA, there may be any law that favors the sequences that code for a functional proteins when translated according to the genetic code. Such a necessity theory would be only an accumulation of impossibilities.

    So, functional information makes the design inference so much safer. The only necessity component which has been invoked to “explain” FI in biological objects is NS, which is not a law, but rather a complex process. But, for various reasons, that I have discussed elsewhere, it completely fails.

    There is also a rationale in considering design as explanation for high FI. We can observe in human design that what seems to allow us to overcome the huge probabilistic barriers to high levels of FI is the simple fact that we are conscious, and as conscious beings we have the following two categories of subjective experiences:

    1) The understanding of meanings

    2) The feeling of purposes

    Some reflection will easily show that those two experiences cannot be described in purely objective terms: they are rooted in consciousness, in subjective representation.

    Some reflection will aslo easily show that it’s exactly the possibility if understanding meanings and having purposes that allows us to build machines, language and software. Against the probabilistic barriers that preclude the generation of that kind of results by probability alone.

    So, design is not only the only origin of high FI in the known world, it is also the only reasonable cause of that.

    That said, I essentially agree that ID theory should try to face the aspects of the “how”, of the mechanism. I have many times expressed some general ideas about that. However, it remains perfectly true that the design inference itself does not need that. But it is a duty of any scientific approach to deal with all aspects of reality that can be in some measure investigated according to available facts.

  50. 50
    ET says:

    We don’t have to eliminate them all. Just the ones we know of. Science is not about proving something. It is about coming to a reasoned inference based on our current knowledge.

    And a double-headed coin would be a sign of intelligent design.

    We don’t just eliminate nature, operating freely. Dr. Behe gave us the positive criteria:

    “Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”

    THAT is how we justify the design inference.

  51. 51
    Fasteddious says:

    Hazel, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. In principle, the designer does not have to be omniscient and omnipotent in order to play with genetics and invent new life forms. After all, our bio-scientists are almost able to do that already, and they are far from omni-anything.
    Of course God (as the possible designer) could have done it any way he chose, and our study of potential ID mechanisms and procedures are perhaps one way of “looking up God’s pant leg” as Einstein famously put it. As an engineer myself, however, I like to think of God as the divine Engineer, tinkering around in his creation to see what he can come up with. Most engineers like getting some “hands on” time in the lab or shop from time to time, or to play around with prototypes and design changes themselves. And although a divine lab and angelic assistants may not be needed by God, who are we to say how he should or should not do whatever he wants to do?
    As for creative purposes, perhaps one of God’s purposes is simply to create many and varied lifeforms, within the constraints of his own creation, just for the fun of it. Engineers, and presumably God, can play with stuff just for fun. E.g. an engineer can constrain himself to using LEGO pieces to make some really cool things, even though he could make similar things by other means. Just speculating here…
    As mentioned in the post, “common descent” is indeed possible, but not necessary in this scenario. It does put a new spin on “descent with modification”, however. A Darwinist might look at the description you quoted in 28 and say that it looks just like Darwinism in action: many small steps, each with small changes. However, each of the small steps would still require major genomic changes, such as new genes, new expression controls, and/or carefully modified development plans – aspects beyond the capability of unguided Darwinian processes. Hence ID may look like what Darwinists want natural selection to look like.

  52. 52
    ET says:

    EricMH:

    If we can never be sure we account for all chance hypotheses, then how can we be sure we do not err when making the design inference?

    That is the nature of science. It is tentative.

    And even if absolute certainty is not our goal, but only probability, how can we be confident in the probability we derive?

    We do the best we can with the knowledge we have.

    The science of today does not, will not and cannot wait for what the science of tomorrow may or may not discover.

    We should be able to test the claim with respect to nature’s ability to invent/ produce biologically relevant replicators. And when that doesn’t work scientists have designed them. And guess what they discovered? Spiegelman’s Monster. Your starting population isn’t going to get any more complex with respect to functions and length/ number of nucleotides. The fastest replicators always win out. And the fastest replicators are always the simplest. They do that one thing, they do it efficiently and they do it faster.

    That is how it works with nature. The line of least resistance. That is because it doesn’t want nor try to do otherwise. Nature allows things to just happen. It definitely isn’t going to build a coded system from the ground up, having the code emerge from the system and its components.

    So if people aren’t convinced by the semiotic argument for Intelligent Design with respect to biology, it isn’t for scientific and evidentiary reasons. We need them to step forward with the methodology they use so we can compare. How did they determine NS, drift, CNE or some other materialistic process did it?

    Another example is with any bacterial flagella. It isn’t just about getting the right proteins. You need the proper number of subunits. Missing ONE protein means you are missing more than one part. You are missing a chunk of machinery. People want to use the type three secretory system as some sort of evolutionary link? Where did they get that structure from? Never mind the fact that is would take an engineering wonder to pull of the structural and functional changes required.

    If someone can demonstrate it somehow all just happened to come together, a Nobel Prize definitely awaits them. They will have more fame then any other human ever. And that is why people are trying to do just that. Their successes only expose the huge problems they face.

  53. 53

    .
    If variation and selection are (among) the mechanisms of evolution, then semiosis (the specification of something among alternatives) is the mechanism of design. Indeed, evolution by selection requires symbolic memory tokens, a coordinated set of interpretive constraints, and a multi-referent code – just as it was predicted. After all, it is the specification of something that is selected.

    Materialists are free to rock back and forth in their chairs and kick their feet all they wish; it won’t change the documented physical reality (or recorded intellectual history of the issue). Demanding to know whether the designer was right or left-handed is merely a ploy to dismiss the positive inference, and can be seen for what it is.

  54. 54
    ET says:

    For Upright Biped, et al- from Art Hunt: The Origin of Prebiotic Information System in the Peptide/RNA World: A Simulation Model of the Evolution of Translation and the Genetic Code.

    They have an admittedly “sketchy and speculative” narrative but with it the scientific testing can begin. I remember when the paper Self-Sustained Replication of an RNA Enzyme was published. Neither lead author thought that nature could produce one of their RNA’s let alone the required two. And those two could only bond two other engineered RNAs.

    The point is the two working RNAs were made up of only 35 nucleotides. Even if nature could get to those it cannot get you beyond that.

    So we will see…

  55. 55
    EDTA says:

    EricMH @ 48,
    > Further, is intelligence itself a stochastic process, or something else? If something else, what is a non-stochastic process? I’ve studied probability, comp. sci., information theory and the like quite a bit, and I’ve not seen a non-stochastic process defined.

    Intelligence, like consciousness might be something beyond the stochastic/deterministic dichotomy. I don’t think we can eliminate all the “chance” possibilities, but until we discover new types, our best inferences will have to operate by eliminating the chance possibilities we do know about.

  56. 56
    PeterA says:

    GP @49:

    It is really irrational to believe that, among the necessity laws of biochemistry that govern mutations at the level of nucleotides in the DNA, there may be any law that favors the sequences that code for a functional proteins when translated according to the genetic code.

    That’s a fundamental concept that must be clear to all.

  57. 57

    .
    #54

    I am familiar with the objection (and the paper).

    I understand very well that Art Hunt, and others like him, are forced by their prior convictions to believe there was once an arrangement of matter on earth that not only began to replicate itself based solely on its dynamic properties (such as in the promise of an unknown self-replicating RNA), but it then somehow kept replicating dynamically as it also came to described itself symbolically in a semantically-closed self-referential organization. If your paradigm depends upon a continuum of function from the dynamic domain to the symbolic domain, then at some point in the continuum the system has to function in both domains. You can try to move the pieces around to give the appearance of a solution, but you can’t avoid it in earnest.

    In any case, the physical, chemical, and organizational problems with this position are legion. Among the scores of problems is the fact that (good grief, even granting a dynamic self-replicator) there still remains a sheer vertical face in the necessary organization of semantic closure (which not only requires the presence, but also the simultaneous coordination of multiple unrelated objects in the system). There are more insurmountable problems in the construction of a set of constraints from memory, as well as numerous other points along the way. I believe this is why materialists typically avoid the fundamental details already recorded in the literature, as well as the history of those discoveries.

    Thus, devoted materialist like Art Hunt (and his anti-design religious supporters like Joshua Swamidass) are stuck with any form of proposition (which is all the cited paper is) that might be used socially (argumentatively) to save their prior commitments from the empirical evidence as it is fully documented to be.

    There is a derogatory term used in science circles to describe the promotion of unsupported conclusions in lieu of actual documented physical evidence. That term temporarily escapes my mind, but others might recognize the situation.

    There is also the very real issue of that which has been denied. A multi-referent symbol system was famously predicted to be the core physical and organizational requirement of an open-ended self-replicator, like the living cell. That prediction was later confirmed by experiment. Since its confirmation, the physical requirements of that particular system have been exceedingly well-documented in the literature. It has also been well-documented that the only other such system known to science happens to be found only in human language and mathematics — two unambiguous correlates of intelligence. The recorded history of these discoveries is already on the books, and is not going to change. In fact, there is a completely coherent chain of scientific understanding from persons like Peirce to Turing to von Neumann to Crick to Pattee that fundamentally supports this conclusion. This chain of understanding is not only clearly recognizable, but has been fondly acknowledged by distinguished members of the biological community. The simple fact of the matter is that design is positively on the table at the origin of the symbol system and constraints that enabled the specification of the first living cell, as well as the subsequent diversity of all life on this planet.

    Otherwise well-meaning researchers like Art Hunt are perfectly free to hold their (unsupported) paradigms if they wish; it does not change the recorded physical evidence in any way whatsoever. Likewise, religious propaganda sites like BioLogos and Peaceful Science are free to lead and mislead whomever wishes to be led. All anyone can do is point out the recorded facts for those who are genuinely seeking to know the record.

  58. 58
    bornagain77 says:

    In Art Hunt’s cited paper we find this claim,

    The Origin of Prebiotic Information System in the Peptide/RNA World: A Simulation Model of the Evolution of Translation and the Genetic Code
    Excerpt: The origin of the genetic code is enigmatic; herein, we propose an evolutionary explanation: the demand for a wide range of protein enzymes over peptides in the prebiotic reactions was the main selective pressure for the origin of information-directed protein synthesis.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463137/

    And yet,

    per Dr. Cornelius Hunter:
    The rugged and flat nature of the protein evolution fitness landscape comes from both theoretical and experimental considerations, and from native sequences as well as random sequences. Studies attempting to blindly evolve protein sequences from random sequences find that an astronomical number of starting points are needed to get close enough in order for selection to do the job:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....9377900443
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2199970
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15321723
    http://journals.plos.org/ploso.....ne.0000096
    Yet even absurdly optimistic studies show that evolution has nowhere near such astronomical resources:
    http://rsif.royalsocietypublis.....5/953.long
    And while a given protein may come in very different sequences, only a few percent of changes to that sequence can be sustained. See, for example:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19765975
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....05.html#B4

    Protein evolution
    Excerpt: evolution predicts that proteins evolved when life first appeared, or not long after. But despite enormous research efforts the science clearly shows that such protein evolution is astronomically unlikely.
    One reason the evolution of proteins is so difficult is that most proteins are extremely specific designs in an otherwise rugged fitness landscape. This means it is difficult for natural selection to guide mutations toward the needed proteins. In fact, four different studies, done by different groups and using different methods, all report that roughly 10^70 evolutionary experiments would be needed to get close enough to a workable protein before natural selection could take over to refine the protein design. For instance, one study concluded that 10^63 attempts would be required for a relatively short protein. (Reidhaar-Olson) And a similar result (10^65 attempts required) was obtained by comparing protein sequences. (Yockey) Another study found that from 10^64 to 10^77 attempts are required (Axe) and another study concluded that 10^70 attempts would be required. (Hayashi) In that case the protein was only a part of a larger protein which otherwise was intact, thus making for an easier search. Furthermore these estimates are optimistic because the experiments searched only for single-function proteins whereas real proteins perform many functions.
    This conservative estimate of 10^70 attempts required to evolve a simple protein is astronomically larger than the number of attempts that are feasible. And explanations of how evolution could achieve a large number of searches, or somehow obviate this requirement, require the preexistence of proteins and so are circular. For example, one paper estimated that evolution could have made 10^43 such attempts. But the study assumed the entire history of the Earth is available, rather than the limited time window that evolution actually would have had.
    – Dr. Cornelius Hunter

    In short, “Tawfik soberly recognizes the problem. The appearance of early protein families, he has remarked, is “something like close to a miracle.”45,,,
    “In fact, to our knowledge,” Tawfik and Tóth-Petróczy write, “no macromutations … that gave birth to novel proteins have yet been identified.”69”,, “The emerging picture, once luminous, has settled to gray. It is not clear how natural selection can operate in the origin of folds or active site architecture (of proteins). It is equally unclear how either micromutations or macromutations could repeatedly and reliably lead to large evolutionary transitions. What remains is a deep, tantalizing, perhaps immovable mystery.”

    Dan S. Tawfik Group – The New View of Proteins – Tyler Hampton – 2016
    Excerpt: one of the most favorable and liberal estimates is by Jack Szostak: 1 in 10^11. 42 He ascertained this figure by looking to see how random sequences—about eighty amino acids in length, long enough to fold—could cling to the biologically crucial molecule adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.
    At first glance, this is an improvement over Salisbury’s calculations by 489 powers of ten. But while an issue has been addressed, the problem has only been deferred. ,,,
    ,,, nucleotide synthesis, requires several steps. If five enzyme functions were needed (ten are needed in modern adenine synthesis), 43 then the probability would be 1 in (10^11)5, or 1 in 10^55. If all the operations needed for a small autonomous biology were ten functions—this is before evolution can even start to help—the probability is 1 in (10^11)10, or 1 in 10^110. This is more than the number of seconds since the Big Bang, more protons than there are in the universe. In considering a similar figure derived in a different context, Tawfik concedes that if true, this would make “the emergence of sequences with function a highly improbable event, despite considerable redundancy (many sequences giving the same structure and function).”44 In other words, these odds are impossible.,,,
    Tawfik soberly recognizes the problem. The appearance of early protein families, he has remarked, is “something like close to a miracle.”45,,,
    “In fact, to our knowledge,” Tawfik and Tóth-Petróczy write, “no macromutations … that gave birth to novel proteins have yet been identified.”69
    The emerging picture, once luminous, has settled to gray. It is not clear how natural selection can operate in the origin of folds or active site architecture (of proteins). It is equally unclear how either micromutations or macromutations could repeatedly and reliably lead to large evolutionary transitions. What remains is a deep, tantalizing, perhaps immovable mystery.
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....f-proteins

  59. 59
    PeterA says:

    GP @49:

    There is also a rationale in considering design as explanation for high FI. We can observe in human design that what seems to allow us to overcome the huge probabilistic barriers to high levels of FI is the simple fact that we are conscious, and as conscious beings we have the following two categories of subjective experiences:

    1) The understanding of meanings

    2) The feeling of purposes

    Some reflection will easily show that those two experiences cannot be described in purely objective terms: they are rooted in consciousness, in subjective representation.

    Some reflection will aslo easily show that it’s exactly the possibility of understanding meanings and having purposes that allows us to build machines, language and software. Against the probabilistic barriers that preclude the generation of that kind of results by probability alone.

    So, design is not only the only origin of high FI in the known world, it is also the only reasonable cause of that.

    As clearly reasonable and convincing as this may sound, it’s not understood by many highly educated folks, like JS and AH at PS. Why?
    What keeps those intelligent folks from understanding such a rational explanation?
    Any clues?

  60. 60
    bornagain77 says:

    In further critique of naturalistic origin of life (OOL) scenarios:

    Origin of Life: Intelligence Required (Science Uprising 05) – video – July 2019
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymjlrw6GmKU

    In response to the preceding video, a Darwinist quipped,

    “Yes, we know. It’s still a mystery. Mystery does not automatically mean God did it.”
    – Seversky

    To which I responded as such,

    No it does not ‘automatically’ imply that God did it. We would have to put some further scientific evidence behind what we already have. Let’s see is we can help Sev find that scientific evidence (for God).

    In the video, Dr James Tour, (who is very well respected for his breakthroughs in synthetic chemistry, and who is regarded as one of the top ten synthetic chemists in the world), states the insurmountable problem for atheistic materialists as such:

    “We have no idea how to put this structure (a simple cell) together.,, So, not only do we not know how to make the basic components, we do not know how to build the structure even if we were given the basic components. So the gedanken (thought) experiment is this. Even if I gave you all the components. Even if I gave you all the amino acids. All the protein structures from those amino acids that you wanted. All the lipids in the purity that you wanted. The DNA. The RNA. Even in the sequence you wanted. I’ve even given you the code. And all the nucleic acids. So now I say, “Can you now assemble a cell, not in a prebiotic cesspool but in your nice laboratory?”. And the answer is a resounding NO! And if anybody claims otherwise they do not know this area (of research).”
    – James Tour: The Origin of Life Has Not Been Explained – 4:20 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/r4sP1E1Jd_Y?t=255

    What Dr. Tour touched upon in that preceding comment is the fact that having the correct sequential information in DNA is not nearly enough. Besides the sequential information in DNA there is also a vast amount of ‘positional information’ in the cell that must be accounted for as well.

    The positional information that is found to be in a simple one cell bacterium, when working from the thermodynamic perspective, is found to be on the order 10 to the 12 bits,,, which is several orders of magnitude more information than the amount of sequential information that is encoded on the DNA of a ‘simple’ bacterium.

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    ,,, Which is the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. ‘In comparison,,, the largest libraries in the world,, have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”
    – R. C. Wysong – The Creation-evolution Controversy

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    And in regards to this vast amount of positional information that must be accounted for in order to account for the Origin of Life, in the following 2010 experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, it was demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position converts information into energy.

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    And as the following 2010 article stated about the preceding experiment, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    And as the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Again to repeat that last sentence, “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.””

    Think about that statement for a second. That statement should send a chill down the spine of every ID proponent.

    These experiments completely blow the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution, (presuppositions about information being merely ’emergent’ from some material basis), entirely out of the water and also directly show that information is a property of an ‘observer’ who describes the system and is not a property of the (material) system itself as Darwinists presuppose.

    On top of that, ‘classical’ sequential information is found to be a subset of quantum positional information by the following method:
    Specifically, in the following 2011 paper, researchers ,,, show that when the bits (in a computer) to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,, In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that (in quantum information theory) an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer.

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 1, 2011
    Excerpt: Recent research by a team of physicists,,, describe,,, how the deletion of data, under certain conditions, can create a cooling effect instead of generating heat. The cooling effect appears when the strange quantum phenomenon of entanglement is invoked.,,,
    The new study revisits Landauer’s principle for cases when the values of the bits to be deleted may be known. When the memory content is known, it should be possible to delete the bits in such a manner that it is theoretically possible to re-create them. It has previously been shown that such reversible deletion would generate no heat. In the new paper, the researchers go a step further. They show that when the bits to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,,
    In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer. Applied to the example of deleting data, this means that if two individuals delete data in a memory and one has more knowledge of this data, she perceives the memory to have lower entropy and can then delete the memory using less energy.,,,
    No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    To say that “entropy is always dependent on the observer” is antithetical to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution is to make a severe understatement.

    An ocean of ink has been spilled by Darwinists arguing against Intelligence. Much less will Darwinists concede that an Intelligent “Observer” is needed for the Origin of Life (nor the subsequent diversification of life). In fact Intelligent “Observers” don’t even come into play in the Darwinian scenario until long after the origin of life. And even then Darwinists have argued, via population genetics, that our observations are illusory and therefore unreliable. (Donald Hoffman)

    Of course, Darwinists could, like Dawkins and Crick did, appeal to Intelligent Extra-Terrestrials in order to try to ‘explain away’ the Origin of Life and avoid the obvious Theistic implications that follow from these recent developments in quantum information theory, but that evidence-free act of desperation on their part, number 1, concedes the necessity of Intelligence in explaining the Origin of Life, and number 2, only pushes the problem back into imaginative and basically untestable speculations.

    So to further establish that the Designer of Life must be God, it is necessary to point out that “quantum information” is, number one, found to be ubiquitous within life:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    And number two, quantum information in particular requires a non-local, beyond space and time, cause in order to explain its existence: As the following article stated, “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – October 28, 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and member of the team.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121028142217.htm

    Darwinian materialists simple have no beyond space and time cause to appeal to in order to explain this quantum information, whereas Christian Theists do:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Bottom line, these developments in quantum information theory go to the very heart of the ID vs. Evolution debate and directly falsify, number one, Darwinian claims that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from some material basis. And number two, these experimental realizations of the Maxwell’s demon thought experiment go even further and also directly validate a primary claim from ID proponents. Specifically, the primary claim that an Intelligent Designer who imparts information directly into a biological system is required in order to circumvent the second law and to therefore give an adequate explanation of life. And number three, due to quantum non-locality, a beyond space and time cause must be appealed in order to explain the quantum information that is ubiquitous within life. In short, in any coherent explanation for life, and far as the empirical science of Quantum Information theory itself is concerned, God, Who is, by definition, beyond space and time, must ultimately be appealed to in order to give an adequate causal explanation of life.

    Of course, since this is empirical science instead of unrestrained imagination, don’r expect Darwinists to be forthcoming to these developments in science any time soon.

  61. 61
    PavelU says:

    Upright BiPed @57:

    You did not present any convincing argument against the paper ET cited @54 as referenced by professor Art Hunt. The given paper presents very solid scientific proofs. Do you have anything to say that won’t make me yawn? You said that you’re familiar with that paper. Did you read it well? Did you understand it? Do you see anything that may disqualify or at least weaken the authors’ conclusions?

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    PU states “The given paper presents very solid scientific proofs.”

    Really??? Perhaps you would like to lay out some of those supposedly “very solid scientific proofs” that you imagine exist in the paper??? Like say for instance, perhaps you could lay out the “very solid scientific proof” for the origin of a single functional protein? (see post 58).

  63. 63
    ET says:

    PavelU- That paper didn’t present anything but speculation. There wasn’t any proofs. No one has ever shown that nature can produce replicating RNAs. No one has ever shown that nature can produce tRNAs. No one has shown that nature can produce proteins.

    All that paper represents is a narrative- it may sound like science but it lacks science.

  64. 64
    PavelU says:

    Bornagain77 @62 & ET @63:

    It’s all well described in the given paper. Just read it and try to understand it well. It may take some time to get through all the details, which are so thoroughly and extensively described.
    This paper is such a game changer that no further debate is necessary.
    Perhaps that’s why Dr Swamidass decided to stop the discussion with Gpuccio at the Peaceful Science website.
    Game over. Their argument is more reasonably scientific than your philosophical guessing. They won. You all lost.
    Read the paper suggested by Professor Art Hunt and be sufficiently humble to accept that fact.

    You may want to call your experts Dr Behe et al. to give you a hand understanding that paper.

  65. 65
    ET says:

    PavelU- I have read the paper and I know you are lying about what it contains. What I posted in 63 are facts.

    That paper doesn’t contain any science to support its claims. the authors say what they wrote is “sketchy and speculative”- the AUTHORS said that. So please stop spewing lies.

  66. 66
    bornagain77 says:

    ET to PU:

    “That paper doesn’t contain any science to support its claims. the authors say what they wrote is “sketchy and speculative”

    To wit:

    The Origin of Prebiotic Information System in the Peptide/RNA World: A Simulation Model of the Evolution of Translation and the Genetic Code
    Sankar Chatterjee1,* and Surya Yadav2 – March 2019
    Excerpt: Discussion and Conclusions,,,
    “The scenarios for the origin of the translation machinery and the genetic code that are outlined here are both sketchy and speculative,,,,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463137/

    On top of that the paper also honestly admitted that, “life is more sophisticated than any man-made computer system,,,”

    we suggest that life is more sophisticated than any man-made computer system where the software/hardware dichotomy is blurred and integrated. We find that this computer analogy too simplistic. Both the informational and functional biopolymers in the translational machinery can be viewed as highly mobile molecular nanobots, which are fully equipped with both the information and the material that are needed to accomplish their tasks. These nanobots ‘know’ how to put themselves together by self-assembly or by cooperation with other molecules.

    Yet, even though they conceded that their attempts to explain how something “more sophisticated than any man-made computer system” came about were quote unquote “sketchy and speculative”, none-the-less, PU, without a hint that he actually understood what they wrote in the paper, claimed that,

    “The given paper presents very solid scientific proofs.”

    To which ET responded

    “stop spewing lies”

    Ditto! To which I can only add that PU’s comment is pure poppycock!

  67. 67

    Guys, I could be wrong, but I think Pavel is one of Dio’s socks, so …

  68. 68
    ET says:

    As I posted- They have an admittedly “sketchy and speculative” narrative but with it the scientific testing can begin. Although I am in awe of anyone who can read that paper and hold out any hope for nature getting it done. It takes a special type of person to be able to do that and be serious about it.

  69. 69
    EricMH says:

    @ET, the problem is that it seems materialistic science gets all the results, because you can at least in theory exactly understand and manipulate the how. If an intelligent mind did it, that’s about all you can conclude. You cannot dissemble the mechanism and reuse it for your own purpose. And previously, people used to believe intelligent minds guided everything, i.e. spirits, and we made no scientific progress. So, that is why the inclination is to avoid mind based explanations as much as possible, and instead seek stochastic mechanisms. If you asked an ancient person ‘what if you just haven’t discovered the mechanism yet?’ they would scoff and point out how much more easily they can explain things by appealing to spirits. It’s easier to explain diseases as demons rather than bacteria, and the latter explanation would never have occurred to an ancient person.
    This, I believe, is the main impediment to getting ID accepted. It looks a whole lot like the ancient way of thinking that was a science stopper. That’s why ID needs to present something that’s useful and gets results beyond “Darwinism is false”, or find some other way to clearly show it’s a scientifically useful hypothesis. Otherwise, the unknown possible chance hypotheses out there could be just as fruitful as the theory of gravity, microbiology, molecular chemistry, and so on. Yet, if we just reject the possibility of such alternate hypotheses because something has a high CSI score and say “an intelligent agent did it”, then it looks like ID is a science stopper, not a science starter.
    That is why a theory as bad as Darwinism gets so much traction. It is a completely materialistic ‘how’ and while the original theory might completely not match the data, at least there is a material theory that can be refined with further material theories, and retain the possibility of a ‘how’ that we can deconstruct and use.

  70. 70
    ET says:

    EricMH- What results has materialistic science provided? And I disagree. We can conclude quite a bit from any given design inference. We know nature didn’t do it. And we would conclude there was a purpose behind it. By studying it we may be able to reverse engineer it.

    How is ID useful- see comment 45

  71. 71
    EricMH says:

    @ET doesn’t it seem like all of modern science is materialistic, and that it has progressed precisely because scientists have sought materialistic mechanisms that underly observed phenomena, instead of assuming spirits, vital forces, etc.?

    I think you mean that the presupposition of a mind means people sought structure in reality. But, a mind has been presupposed since at least Plato’s time, and modern science is a pretty recent phenomena. Seems a commitment to materialistic explanations is what moved things forward, so methodological naturalism guided by philosophical theism is what gets results.

    However, ID’s big claim is that it is a science, not a philosophy. So, what does ID offer beyond methodological naturalism guided by theism?

    For your list of ID benefits:
    #1 seems to be covered under philosophy, seems too general to be the topic of science
    #2 why does this need ID? can’t we compare genomes without assuming ID?
    #3 not sure how ID contributes, and not sure what it means. Are you proposing vitalism?
    #4 ID is not necessary, all that is required is to observe the large amount of non-random structure in the genome
    #5 is interesting, though sounds speculative and not exactly normal science

  72. 72
    ET says:

    And yet #1 is a very important question. A question that, amazingly enough, may have been partially answered in “The Privileged Planet”. For that matter most of science was once centered around the idea that science was a methodology to understand God’s Creation. Understanding there is a purpose to our existence should unite the world in trying to figure that out. That would be job 1. And hopefully the answer isn’t “42”, because that means we asked the wrong question.

    The second one is not about comparing genomes. It’s about repairing them. That is once we figure out the design well enough to repair it.

    The third point- see “Nature’s Destiny” and “Why is a Fly Not a Horse?”. We have no idea what determines form. Yes, we know that genotypes control and genes influence development. But neither of those determine the final form. It’s that immaterial information that sets ID apart. You want to call it vitalism, I don’t care. ID is all about the claim that materialistic processes cannot produce life because life is not reducible to matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions. So yes, there is something else. And clearly we are missing it because no one is even looking

    Point 4- not sure what non-random structure means with regards to the point. And only ID would predict/ expect there to be immaterial information that requires storage and access.

    Point 5- See SETI. It would be HUGE. And if science followed the lead of “The Privileged Planet”, we would have a real good chance at finding them.

    All that said, in 1997 Dr. Lee Spetner wrote “Not By Chance”. In it he proposed his “non-random evolutionary hypothesis” with the mechanism of “built-in responses to environmental cues”. That is opposed to changes just happening, just happening to get through the proof reading and error correction and just happening not to muck things up. That book was a direct response to “The Blind Watchmaker”.

    Then consider our planet. I never understood the abundance of nitrogen in the atmosphere until I read that lightning produces nitrates because of it. And those then rain down and fertilize the soil. Then we have:

    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”

    “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”

    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.”

    There isn’t any materialistic explanation for any of that.

  73. 73
    EricMH says:

    @ET, these points do sound interesting, but they also sound largely speculative, or ideas that can be investigated within methodological naturalism + theism. For instance, if “the genome stores immaterial information” means the same thing as a computer hard drive, then while we might call the information “immaterial” the operation of everything in the hard drive is completely physical. If we identify structure in the genome, just like we identified the genetic code in the first place, it is still an entirely physical structure that can be analyzed like physically instantiated software code, which is compatible with methodological naturalism. Besides a single immaterial mind to start it all, it is hard to see what ID contributes to the specific methodology of science, besides maybe big picture question and direction, which still sounds largely philosophical and outside of the day-to-day scientific experimentation that normally characterizes something as science.

    The only specific, positive IDish result I’ve seen is Dr. Ewert’s dependency graph of life, but even there it isn’t ID per se that provided a positive contribution. It is primarily eliminating the negative restriction of presupposing Darwinian evolution allows one to infer a more general graph structure instead of a phylogenetic tree. The inspiration of looking for the graph comes from drawing an analogy with human generated computer code, so there is a positive contribution from ID theory, but not specific like in the way the theory of gravity can allow us to make specific predictions about the trajectory of a cannonball. So, it is still ID operating more as inspiration than a specific, quantifiable theory.

    But, already that’s a huge step beyond what we currently have, so perhaps this is just quibbling.

  74. 74
    EDTA says:

    BB @ 46,
    > In short, to confirm design of the message we need knowledge about the language being used, or encryption techniques if it is encrypted.

    I think the improbability of finding characters on paper (or bits over a wire) is quite sufficient to rule out chance or necessity. No further confirmation of that is necessary. So your point is more relevant to ID than I originally thought: We recognize design in nature, and now we know what the further work is that needs to be tackled.

  75. 75
    ET says:

    EricMH- What I am saying is that there is information that cannot be seen with a microscope. It directs the hardware that the microscope can uncover. The information is not in the sequence. The sequence specificity is what carries out the instructions. It directs the editing and splicing. It directs the transcription and translation. Those processes don’t just happen. There isn’t any materialistic explanation for how it all works. How the ribosome is a genetic compiler is not reducible to its proteins and RNAs.

    Under MN biologists do NOT know what determines form. Under ID we should be able to flesh that out.

    See, to me, I know it matters to any investigation, as in how it proceeds, if what it is being investigated arose by nature, operating freely or via some intelligent agency. That determination alone is key to the investigation. You look for different things. You can even place yourself in the driver’s seat and figure out how YOU would have done it. Then test that idea.

    Archeology and forensic science tell us the value of the design inference. So I guess it’s OK as long as it’s intelligent design and not Intelligent Design.

  76. 76
    OLV says:

    EricMH,

    I think I see your point, which seems to make sense. However, apparently it has been noted -though I don’t recall any specific source now- that the Darwinian ideas have negatively affected the progress of biology research at some points in science history. I think in one case wrong assumptions have been used for too long as the basis for keeping researchers from having open minds when investigating complex biological systems. Apparently for quite too long scientists didn’t look into the so-called “junk DNA” for answers to their numerous questions on controls and functional information. The ID paradigm has opened scientists’ minds to look for answers to the increasing number of questions piling up after each research discovery.
    I think the ID paradigm has reinforced the idea that before we talk about how the biological systems appeared on the scene, we should try to understand them well.

  77. 77
    DATCG says:

    So interesting.
    Well said Upright on Specifications.
    Specifications can also include plans for alternative splicing 🙂
    Amazing the level of code and specifications in each cell.

    How can Error Correction arise in blind, unguided mutations to inspect and repair systems w/o specific foreknowledge of the broken sequence and correct sequence?

    In Design, “How” is not a problem.

    The problem exist for Darwinist because blind steps have no clue how to Error Check anything, let alone repair it to original state.

    Why do Darwinist have the right to steal the Logic of Design principles? And still claim a series of blind steps Did it?
    Pretending a series of blind steps can integrate complex systems and signal processing between these systems?
    How does a series of blind mutations understand anything?

    Design principles are well known.
    Blind, random mutations are not well known and can lead to fatality as we discover more each day in formerly misnamed JUNK DNA.

    Stop stealing the logic of Design principles and pretending blind, unguided mutations can be logical.
    Error Correction systems must be pre-programmed for error correction based upon strict specifications that limit change except in areas that allow variation.

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    EricMH claims

    ET doesn’t it seem like all of modern science is materialistic, and that it has progressed precisely because scientists have sought materialistic mechanisms that underly(underlie) observed phenomena, instead of assuming spirits, vital forces, etc.?
    I think you mean that the presupposition of a mind means people sought structure in reality. But, a mind has been presupposed since at least Plato’s time, and modern science is a pretty recent phenomena. Seems a commitment to materialistic explanations is what moved things forward, so methodological naturalism guided by philosophical theism is what gets results.

    That certainly sounds like a NSCE talking point, or even something that Judge Jones might have said during the Dover trial, than it sounds like something an ID proponent would say.

    Many scientists, including many scientists who personally believe in God, erroneously believe that methodological naturalism is the required assumption for doing science:

    Methodological naturalism
    Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism

    In fact, the judge in the Dover case, who ruled against Intelligent Design being taught in schools, concluded that “Methodological naturalism is a ‘ground rule’ of science today”

    Methodological naturalism
    Excerpt: Pennock’s testimony as an expert witness[21] at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial was cited by the Judge in his Memorandum Opinion concluding that “Methodological naturalism is a ‘ground rule’ of science today”:[22]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)#Methodological_naturalism

    Yet, contrary to what many people believe, and what many leading universities teach, “Methodological naturalism is certainly NOT a ‘ground rule’ of science today”.

    As Karl Popper clearly illustrated, if there is to be one ‘ground rule for science’, then that one ground rule for science, (a ground rule that clearly demarcates whether a theory is even scientific or not), is whether or not that theory is falsifiable. As Karl Popper stated “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.”

    “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

    In fact Popper explicitly rejected the naturalistic worldview, i.e. “I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical.,,, is liable to turn into a dogma”

    Karl Popper
    Karl Popper equated naturalism with inductive theory of science. He rejected it based on his general critique of induction (see problem of induction), yet acknowledged its utility as means for inventing conjectures.
    “A naturalistic methodology (sometimes called an “inductive theory of science”) has its value, no doubt…. I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical. Its upholders fail to notice that whenever they believe to have discovered a fact, they have only proposed a convention. Hence the convention is liable to turn into a dogma. This criticism of the naturalistic view applies not only to its criterion of meaning, but also to its idea of science, and consequently to its idea of empirical method.”
    — Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, (Routledge, 2002), pp. 52–53, ISBN 0-415-27844-9.
    Popper instead proposed that science should adopt a methodology based on falsifiability for demarcation, because no number of experiments can ever prove a theory, but a single experiment can contradict one. Popper holds that scientific theories are characterized by falsifiability.
    – per wikipedia

    And on the ground rule of Popper’s falsification criteria for science, (instead of the falsely imposed ground rule of methodological Naturalism), Darwinism is found to fail to even qualify as a science in the first place.

    In fact, it is not that Darwinism is not falsifiable, it has been falsified many times over, it is that Darwinists simply refuse to ever accept any empirical falsification against their theory.

    Here are a few falsification of Darwin’s theory that Darwinists simply refuse to ever accept as falsifications for their theory

    Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. The vast majority of mutations to the genome are not random but are found to be ‘directed’.

    Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Yet, biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars in biology one may wish to invoke.

    Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Yet, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species.

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as the modern versions of it.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are certainly not explainable by ‘chance’ (nor is consciousness explainable by any possible reductive materialistic explanation in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible. Moreover, ‘immaterial’ mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm that mathematics exists in. i.e. Darwinian evolution actually denies the objective reality of the one thing, i.e. mathematics, that it most needs in order to be considered scientific in the first place!

    Donald Hoffman has, via population genetics, shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Yet the scientific method itself is based on reliable observation. Moreover, Quantum Mechanics itself has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism’ proves that our conscious observations are reliable!.

    The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information, via experimental realization of the “Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment, is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract property of an immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution. i.e. Assuming reductive materialism and/or Naturalism as the starting philosophical position of science actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science!

    Darwinist’s, due to their underlying naturalistic philosophy, insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet it is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

    Besides Darwinists refusing to adhere to the criteria of falsification for their supposed scientific theory, by any other reasonable measure that one may wish to judge whether a theory is scientific or not, Darwinism fails to meet those criteria as well:

    “There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon — in this case, Evolution — as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution… well… no… no… no… no… and no.”
    – Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech – page 17

    Darwinian Evolution Fails the Five Standard Tests of a Scientific Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f_fyoPybw

    Simply put, Darwinian evolution is more properly classified as a pseudoscience, even as a religion for atheists, rather than being classified as a real science in any meaningful sense.

    In fact, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on intelligent design and is certainly not based on methodological naturalism as is falsely presupposed by atheistic Darwinists (and as is, apparently, also falsely presupposed by some misguided Christians).
    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science, (i.e. that the universe is rational and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can dare understand that rationality), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results, from top to bottom science itself is certainly not ‘natural’.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analysed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.

    In fact, (as I have pointed out several times now), assuming Naturalism instead of Theism as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    – Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387

    Thus, although the Darwinian atheist may firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    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;

    As to this claim from EricMH in particular,

    “modern science is a pretty recent phenomena. Seems a commitment to materialistic explanations is what moved things forward, so methodological naturalism guided by philosophical theism is what gets results.”

    Actually, contrary to what is falsely taught in many universities today, and what EricMH apparently believes, of naturalism and/or methodological naturalism being the supposed ground rule for science, the fact of the matter is that it is when the Christian worldview came to dominate medieval Europe that the fairly ‘recent phenomena’ of modern science was born and that is what allowed things to move forward.

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: …as Whitehead pointed out, it is no coincidence that science sprang, not from Ionian metaphysics, not from the Brahmin-Buddhist-Taoist East, not from the Egyptian-Mayan astrological South, but from the heart of the Christian West, that although Galileo fell out with the Church, he would hardly have taken so much trouble studying Jupiter and dropping objects from towers if the reality and value and order of things had not first been conferred by belief in the Incarnation. (Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos),,,
    Jaki notes that before Christ the Jews never formed a very large community (priv. comm.). In later times, the Jews lacked the Christian notion that Jesus was the monogenes or unigenitus, the only-begotten of God. Pantheists like the Greeks tended to identify the monogenes or unigenitus with the universe itself, or with the heavens. Jaki writes: Herein lies the tremendous difference between Christian monotheism on the one hand and Jewish and Muslim monotheism on the other. This explains also the fact that it is almost natural for a Jewish or Muslim intellectual to become a pa(n)theist. About the former Spinoza and Einstein are well-known examples. As to the Muslims, it should be enough to think of the Averroists. With this in mind one can also hope to understand why the Muslims, who for five hundred years had studied Aristotle’s works and produced many commentaries on them failed to make a breakthrough. The latter came in medieval Christian context and just about within a hundred years from the availability of Aristotle’s works in Latin,,
    If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

    The Christian Origins of Science – Jack Kerwick – Apr 15, 2017
    Excerpt: Though it will doubtless come as an enormous shock to such Christophobic atheists as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and their ilk, it is nonetheless true that one especially significant contribution that Christianity made to the world is that of science.,,,
    Stark is blunt: “Real science arose only once: in Europe”—in Christian Europe. “China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology develop into astronomy.”,,,
    In summation, Stark writes: “The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, it ought to be possible to discover these principles.”
    He concludes: “These were the crucial ideas that explain why science arose in Christian Europe and nowhere else.”
    https://townhall.com/columnists/jackkerwick/2017/04/15/the-christian-origins-of-science-n2313593

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

    Little known by most people today is the fact that almost every, if not every, major branch of modern science has been founded by a scientist who deeply believed in Christ:

    Founders of Modern Science Who Believe in GOD – Tihomir Dimitrov – (pg. 222)
    http://www.academia.edu/273960.....OD_Journal

    Christianity and the Birth of Science by Michael Bumbulis, Ph.D
    Excerpt: Clue #1. The founders/fathers of modern science were shaped by a culture that was predominantly Christian.
    The founders of modern science were all bunched into a particular geographical location dominated by a Judeo-Christian world view. I’m thinking of men like Louis Aggasiz (founder of glacial science and perhaps paleontology); Charles Babbage (often said to be the creator of the computer); Francis Bacon (father of the scientific method); Sir Charles Bell (first to extensively map the brain and nervous system); Robert Boyle (father of modern chemistry); Georges Cuvier (founder of comparative anatomy and perhaps paleontology); John Dalton (father of modern atomic theory); Jean Henri Fabre (chief founder of modern entomology); John Ambrose Fleming (some call him the founder of modern electronics/inventor of the diode); James Joule (discoverer of the first law of thermodynamics); William Thomson Kelvin (perhaps the first to clearly state the second law of thermodynamics); Johannes Kepler (discoverer of the laws of planetary motion); Carolus Linnaeus (father of modern taxonomy); James Clerk Maxwell (formulator of the electromagnetic theory of light); Gregor Mendel (father of genetics); Isaac Newton (discoverer of the universal laws of gravitation); Blaise Pascal (major contributor to probability studies and hydrostatics); Louis Pasteur (formulator of the germ theory).
    If an appreciation for math and the cause-and-effect workings of nature were sufficient to generate modern science, how does one explain the historical fact the the founders of modern science were all found in a *particular* culture that just happened to be shaped by a Judeo-Christian world view? Instead of measuring energy in joules, why don’t we measure it in platos or al-Asharis?
    Of course, the cynics would claim these men were not *really* Christians. That is, they really didn’t *believe* in Christianity, but they professed such beliefs because they did not want to be persecuted. This is the “closet-atheist” hypothesis. But it doesn’t square with the facts.
    Many of the founders of modern science were also very interested in theology. If you read Pascal, this is obvious. Mendel was a monk. Newton often said his interest in theology surpassed his interest in science. Newton did end his Principles with:
    “This most beautiful system of sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being…This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God.”
    As Charles Hummel notes,
    “Newton’s religion was no mere appendage to his science; he would have been a theist no matter what his profession.”
    Boyle set up Christian apologetics lectures. Babbage and Prout contributed to an apologetics series called the Bridgewater Treatises. Aggasiz, Cuvier, Fleming, Kelvin, and Linnaeus were what we now call ‘creationists.’ When I speak about Biblical beliefs that paved the way for science, I will use both Kepler and Pasteur to highlight two specific examples.
    Furthermore, many of these founders of science lived at a time when others publicly expressed views quite contrary to Christianity – Hume, Hobbes, Darwin, etc. When Boyle argues against Hobbe’s materialism or Kelvin argues against Darwin’s assumptions, you don’t have a case of “closet atheists.”
    http://ldolphin.org/bumbulis/

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    The assumption of materialism and/or methodological naturalism simply had NOTHING to do with the founding of modern science. In fact, several of the founders of modern science argued vehemently against the assumption of materialism,,,, to repeat the last sentence of my last citation

    “Furthermore, many of these founders of science lived at a time when others publicly expressed views quite contrary to Christianity – Hume, Hobbes, Darwin, etc. When Boyle argues against Hobbe’s materialism or Kelvin argues against Darwin’s assumptions, you don’t have a case of “closet atheists.”

    Moreover, Stephen Meyer himself has a book coming out on this subject in April 2020 that will (hopefully) clear up much of the confusion that is generated by people naively invoking the false doctrine of methodological naturalism. A false doctrine, as EricMH himself gives witness to, that seems to be prevalent within our universities and our education system in general.

    The Return of the God Hypothesis: Compelling Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God – by Stephen C. Meyer – due to be released on April 21, 2020
    https://www.amazon.com/Return-God-Hypothesis-Compelling-Scientific/dp/0062071505

    Eric Metaxas Interviews Stephen Meyer on Science and Faith – video (March 19, 2019)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ukaz2aULa0U

    Much more could be said on this subject, (such as the fact that advances in quantum mechanics have now falsified materialism itself), that show that methodological naturalism, far from being the supposed ground rule of science, is actually a hindrance to science that drives it into catastrophic epistemological failure. But hopefully, with what has been laid out thus far in this post, EricMH can now see that his assumption of methodological naturalism, as the supposed ground rule for science, is far from what he, apparently, has been falsely taught to believe that it is. Far from it.

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  80. 80
    asauber says:

    Put me down for membership in the tribe that doesn’t think that science is only about a “commitment to materialistic explanations.”

    This is a commitment to hide from reality. No thanks.

    Andrew

  81. 81
    EricMH says:

    @BA77 I believe we are talking past each other. I am aware much of science came from theists, and seems to have occurred in a uniquely Christian setting. However, the point I’m making is that the concrete scientific theories themselves that make the specific testable predictions do not refer to anything other than physical processes and mathematical formula. In this sense, methodological naturalism seems to be how science currently proceeds and is what has made it successful. On the other hand, as you point out, philosophical theism is the motivating force for much of science.

    Yet, this is not the official ID claim. ID is not stating it is a philosophical conclusion that provides a high level guidance and motivation. ID’s claim to fame is that it is a unique form of science, able to make specific predictions and hypotheses like physics and chemistry, and thus should be taught alongside other sciences. If ID were merely a philosophical conclusion or apologetic argument, it is nothing new, and does not merit all the attention that has been paid to it, since there are already many similar such arguments for God within philosophy and theology, such as Aquinas five ways.

    So, if ID really is a science, what specific and testable predictions does it make that makes it more than methodological naturalism? If ID just says “it’s designed, so look for structure” ID has nothing more to offer than the traditional methodological naturalism + philosophical theism.

    If, on the other hand, the point of ID is just to eliminate the presupposition of philosophical naturalism from the sciences, that’s fine, but that’s the job of a philosopher, not of a science practitioner, and again ID is not a scientific theory.

    Or, if the point is to eliminate Darwinism, that’s fine too, but then ID is irrelevant, because ID is consistent with both Darwinism (frontloading) and its negation (continuous info addition), as well as atheism and its negation (theism). In this case, the real debate is between some form of creationism and Darwinian evolutionists, and ID should be taken out of the picture.

    So, again, what is the specific, testable contribution that makes ID a science? What are the specific methodologies and explanations that ID introduces that science has lacked up until now, that are not just high level philosophical claims?

  82. 82
    EricMH says:

    @ET, your claim does sound somewhat specific, but how can you concretely show there is information that is not somehow embedded in the physical matter involved in fetal development? It sounds like a philosophically interesting position, but not empirically testable. The way you present it, the claims sounds like an appeal to ignorance.

  83. 83
    bornagain77 says:

    EricMH, you claim.

    the point I’m making is that the concrete scientific theories themselves that make the specific testable predictions do not refer to anything other than physical processes and mathematical formula. In this sense, methodological naturalism seems to be how science currently proceeds and is what has made it successful.

    And what is blue blazes is ‘natural’ about applying mathematical formula to the universe? Both Einstein and Wigner are on record as regarding the applicability of mathematics to the universe as a inexplicable miracle. Miracles are about as far away from methodological naturalism as you can get! You, like Darwinists in general, are simply trying to impose the false doctrine of methodological naturalism where is it has no place being. That you are basically in lock step with Darwinian talking points ought to be a huge red flag for you that you are on the wrong track.

    To repeat, there is nothing natural about man doing science.

    all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on intelligent design and is certainly not based on methodological naturalism as is falsely presupposed by atheistic Darwinists (and as is, apparently, also falsely presupposed by some misguided Christians).
    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science, (i.e. that the universe is rational and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can dare understand that rationality), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results, from top to bottom science itself is certainly not ‘natural’.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analysed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.

    In fact, (as I have pointed out several times now), assuming Naturalism instead of Theism as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    – Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387

    Thus, although the Darwinian atheist (and the misguided Christian) may firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    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;

  84. 84
    EricMH says:

    @Asauber, what non materialistic scientific theories are there? Can you name one that is not a high level philosophical claim, but makes specific quantifiable predictions that we can test?

    I’m not saying science has to be that way, nor does methodological naturalism preclude philosophical theism. Scientists are free to come up with any sort of theory they want and believe what they want. I am saying that all the successful scientific theories seem to be of the materialistic variety.

  85. 85
    asauber says:

    “what non materialistic scientific theories are there”

    How about math? Logic?

    Andrew

  86. 86
    EricMH says:

    @BA77 you seem to be confusing methodological naturalism with philosophical naturalism. I am saying successful scientific theories seems to be of the former variety, to propose specific materialistic mechanisms that guide physical phenomena, even though the scientists themselves may be guided by non naturalistic philosophy.

  87. 87
    EricMH says:

    @Asauber, math and logic don’t do things. Science consists of theories about things that happen. I don’t know of any scientific theories that are not materialistic. It just seems like the nature of science that it must be materialistic, because the topic of science is things we can predict and control. We cannot predict and control a person with free will in the same way, so we cannot have a scientific theory of free will.

  88. 88
    asauber says:

    “I don’t know of any scientific theories that are not materialistic”

    EricMH,

    Then I would caution you about immersing yourself in the science=materialism culture. It doesn’t explain a lot of what you experience on a second by second basis. There are a lot of weird self-defeating beliefs that culture holds for some reason. It’s a non-starter, IMO.

    Andrew

  89. 89
    ET says:

    EricMH:

    The way you present it, the claims sounds like an appeal to ignorance.

    That sounds like MN.

    My claim should be empirically testable. All one needs to do is synthesize every part of a minimal cell, put it together and see if it works. If I am right it won’t.

  90. 90
    EricMH says:

    @Asauber, I agree materialism does not explain the majority of what we experience, and cannot explain itself without self contradiction. But, that doesn’t mean the majority of what we experience can be scientifically analyzed. Again, we are mixing methodological naturalism with philosophical naturalism and scientism.

    It might be the case that only materialistic phenomenon can be scientifically analyzed. People can go in two directions from this observation. Either, like the materialists, they assume everything can be scientifically analyzed, and therefore everything is reduced to matter (scientism). Or, the common sense position is to not assume more than we know, and thus not assume everything can be scientifically analyzed. And again, this does not depend on claiming ID is a scientific discipline. It just depends on avoiding scientism.

  91. 91
    EricMH says:

    @ET, I see two problems with what you propose:

    A) it doesn’t seem to be scientifically tractable, at least not within our lifetimes
    B) even if we put it all together and it doesn’t do anything, it’s not clear what this demonstrates

    For instance, I can assemble all the parts of a computer and put them together, but they will not do anything until I turn on the power. This doesn’t demonstrate there is some ethereal source of information that makes the computer work.

  92. 92
    asauber says:

    “this does not depend on claiming ID is a scientific discipline”

    EricMH,

    Well for me, science has to include what we observe. ID is in there.

    Andrew

  93. 93
    EricMH says:

    @Asauber, sure, you can call everything science if you want. But, that’s a different usage of the term than what people normally mean. When I hear ID claiming it is science, I think it means it is on par with physics and chemistry in terms of quantifiable predictions and experiments. I don’t think ID claims are like saying “roses are red and chocolate ice cream tastes good”, i.e. qualitative and subjective claims, which can still be true and significant, but such claims are not the topic of scientific research and do not drive technological advancement. “Science” means the latter in most people’s minds, I believe. If ID cannot produce the latter, then it probably should not call itself “science”. Instead, it should call itself “philosophy”, but then ID loses its significance because there are already plenty of philosophical arguments about the source of our universe.

    ID’s one and only claim of significance is that it is a hard science like physics and chemistry. If it is not, then all the hoopla of the past couple decades is for nothing, and the critics are ultimately right (even if their specific arguments are fairly lame).

  94. 94
    ET says:

    EricMH- There is plenty with MN that remains untestable. How we came to be is untestable. How vision systems came to be is untestable. How our planet came to be is untestable. How the laws that govern the universe came to be is untestable. That the genetic code just runs is untestable. The list is dang- near endless. Another example is that we cannot test the claim that a living organism is reducible to physics and chemistry.

    And by the way, organisms do not have a plug. If you assembled a computer and didn’t realize it had to be plugged in and programmed, well, that is on you and you alone.

    You want to talk mechanisms, fine. If Venter or anyone else genetically engineered a bacterial flagellum into existence, would that be evidence for an ID mechanism?

  95. 95
    ET says:

    Science requires the claims being made to be testable. ID has that. We can use our knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships to determine if intelligent design exists. We have the criteria that Dr. Behe has provided as a guide.

    And the design inference remains potentially falsifiable just by demonstrating physics and chemistry can produce it.

    Sounds like science to me.

  96. 96
    asauber says:

    “you can call everything science if you want”

    EricMH,

    I don’t want to call everything science, and I don’t think I am. I think observing/perceiving something and then calling that observation “not science” is an error, and requires a non-scientific philosophical commitment. Again, no thanks. I would just be resisting reality.

    Andrew

  97. 97
    EricMH says:

    @ET you are mixing methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism. Methodological naturalism does not need to explain the origin of anything. The origin may well transcend the realm of science. The point of methodological naturalism is that it is a reliable way to understand and control the physical phenomena we face on a daily basis.

    Philosophical naturalism, on the other hand, is the proposition that the origin of everything is the same as the materialistic operation, and that proposition is unfounded.

    If Venter created life in the lab from scratch, I don’t see how that is any different than a programmer writing a complex program. It maybe demonstrates that philosophical naturalism is false, but it does not give us a scientific theory of intelligent design.

    And the design inference is impossible to falsify. It is essentially a truism. Physics and chemistry operate according to chance and necessity, and so will always provide non positive CSI. On the other hand, if you perform a CSI calculation that gives a positive result, what does this demonstrate? E.g. with the run of heads example I gave before, this might just mean we have not accounted for all possible chance hypotheses. And once we have accounted for all chance hypotheses, can anything provide a positive CSI reading? E.g. maybe we have just left the intelligent agent out of our calculation, and that is what makes it positive. But, then we are engaged in special pleading. We can only avoid this if we include the intelligent agent in our chance hypothesis. But then, what is the nature of intelligence that if we include intelligent agency in our calculation then it must give us a positive CSI reading? For example, in your vitalist scenario, information from another realm is not going to give us a positive CSI reading, if we include this other realm in our calculation. We only get positive CSI if we leave some causal source out of our calculation, and again that is special pleading. So, CSI itself cannot tell us whether anything is an intelligent agent or not, because whatever cause for the effect that you leave out can be the source of the positive CSI, and the cause may or may not be intelligent. All CSI tells us is that our causal explanation for some effect is incomplete. In which case, it is no different than a Bayesian likelihood test. Nor does CSI eliminate chance and necessity, because we have to leave a chance and necessity cause out of our explanation in order to get positive CSI. So, again, ID does not contribute anything new here.

  98. 98
    EricMH says:

    @Asauber, my point is there are a vast multitude of things we observe in our everyday lives that are true, reliable, and understandable. But, most do not meet the level of rigor and prediction that characterize the sciences. ID claims to meet this level of rigor. But it is unclear how ID substantiates this claim as a positive science.

  99. 99
    bornagain77 says:

    Geeze you are one confused little pup EricMH. You state,

    you seem to be confusing methodological naturalism with philosophical naturalism.

    No I am not, you are the one is confused and who falsely believes that methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism can be kept in separate boxes. Yet, as William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, and Paul Nelson have pointed out, (and as should be glaringly obvious to you), to say that only materialistic answers are ever allowed to be given, i.e. methodological naturalism, is in effect to assume that philosophical naturalism is true and is to effectively cast by the wayside all the essential Theistic presuppositions, even the essential Christian, presuppositions, that enabled and continue to enable us to practice science in a coherent fashion in the first place.

    “Methodological naturalism, Dembski observes, specifically excludes intelligent design from science because, by definition, design and teleology have been rendered “empirically undetectable.”1
    1. William A. Dembski, The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design (Downers Grove, IL:2004), p. 169-171.

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson -September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: On this final point, let’s give Meyer (2009, p. 437) himself the last word:
    [A]llowing methodological naturalism to function as an absolute “ground rule” of method for all of science would have a deleterious effect on the practice of certain scientific disciplines, especially the historical sciences. In origin-of-life research, for example, methodological naturalism artificially restricts inquiry and prevents scientists from exploring and examining some hypotheses that might provide the most likely, best, or causally adequate explanations. To be a truth- seeking endeavor, the question that origin-of-life research must address is not, “Which materialistic scenario seems most adequate?” but rather, “What actually caused life to arise on earth?” Clearly, one possible answer to that latter question is this: “Life was designed by an intelligent agent that existed before the advent of humans.” If one accepts methodological naturalism as normative, however, scientists may never consider this possibly true hypothesis. Such an exclusionary logic diminishes the significance of any claim of theoretical superiority for any remaining hypothesis and raises the possibility that the best “scientific” explanation (according to methodological naturalism) may not be the best in fact.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/methodological_1/

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Assessing the Damage MN Does to Freedom of Inquiry
    Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. 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 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? Who knows? Don’t get hung up on the “natural versus supernatural” distinction, which brings a world of mischief.
    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.
    If ID satisfied MN as that philosophical doctrine is usually stated, the decades-long dispute over both wouldn’t have happened. The whole point of invoking MN (by the National Center for Science Education, for instance, or other anti-ID organizations) is to try to exclude ID, before a debate about the evidence can occur, by indicting ID for inferring non-physical causes.
    That’s why pushing the MN emergency button is so useful to opponents of ID. Violate MN, if MN defines science, and the game is over.,,,
    ,,, Now here’s the twist. Tarter herself is an atheist. In her view, the extraterrestrial intelligence she seeks to discover was, like her own, produced by a long evolutionary process, in which the fundamental causes were all natural (material and physical). So surely, as a philosophical naturalist, Tarter could endorse MN?
    Nope — not without surrendering her SETI research goals at the same time. SETI requires the basic decision (logic) tree of “intelligence OR physics,” which means isolating and seeking to detect some aspect of intelligence that is irreducible to physics. And that defies the “physics only, in the end” claim of MN.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set/

    In further confusion, EricMH also claims that

    “I am saying successful scientific theories seems to be of the former variety, to propose specific materialistic mechanisms that guide physical phenomena,”

    If anything can be said to ‘guide physical phenomena’ it is certainly not ‘materialistic mechanisms’.

    ‘Materialistic mechanisms’ do not ‘guide’ anything, physical or otherwise. There is not one example from science that you can give for your claim that a ‘materialistic mechanisms guide physical phenomena’. For prime example, and contrary to popular belief, Newton certainly did not think that gravity was some kind of ‘materialistic mechanism’.

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,, The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect;,,, from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present”:
    Sir Isaac Newton – Quoted from his book “Principia”
    http://gravitee.tripod.com/genschol.htm

    NEWTON’S REJECTION OF THE “NEWTONIAN WORLD VIEW”: THE ROLE OF DIVINE WILL IN NEWTON’S NATURAL PHILOSOPHY
    Abstract: The significance of Isaac Newton for the history of Christianity and science is undeniable: his professional work culminated the Scientific Revolution that saw the birth of modern science, while his private writings evidence a lifelong interest in the relationship between God and the world. Yet the typical picture of Newton as a paragon of Enlightenment deism, endorsing the idea of a remote divine clockmaker and the separation of science from religion, is badly mistaken. In fact Newton rejected both the clockwork metaphor itself and the cold mechanical universe upon which it is based. His conception of the world reflects rather a deep commitment to the constant activity of the divine will, unencumbered by the “rational” restrictions that Descartes and Leibniz placed on God, the very sorts of restrictions that later appealed to the deists of the 18th century.
    http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm

    In fact, only immaterial minds have the capacity, within themselves, to guide physical objects towards a goal, i.e. teleology, which is something that methological naturalism explicitly denies,

    As humans, we witness this teleology of our immaterial minds constantly when we intelligently design objects from material substrates in order to accomplish goals that we have in mind. Moreover, as Dr. Egnor makes clear in the following article, we see this teleological design, i.e. goal directed guidance imposed on physical objects, reflected in nature.

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: From the hylemorphic perspective, there is an intimate link between the mind and teleology. The 19th-century philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the hallmark of the mind is that it is directed to something other than itself. That is, the mind has intentionality, which is the ability of a mental process to be about something, rather than to just be itself. Physical processes alone (understood without teleology) are not inherently about things. The mind is always about things. Stated another way, physical processes (understood without teleology) have no purpose. Mental processes always have purpose. In fact, purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) is what defines the mind. And we see the same purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) in nature.
    Intentionality is a form of teleology. Both intentionality and teleology are goal-directedness — intentionality is directedness in thought, and teleology is directedness in nature. Mind and teleology are both manifestations of purpose in nature. The mind is, within nature, the same kind of process that directs nature.
    In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others.
    Teleology and intentionality are certainly the inferences to be drawn from the obvious purposeful arrangement of parts in nature, but I (as a loyal Thomist!) believe that teleology and intentionality are manifest in an even more fundamental way in nature. Any goal-directed natural change is teleological, even if purpose and arrangement of parts is not clearly manifest. The behavior of a single electron orbiting a proton is teleological, because the motion of the electron hews to specific ends (according to quantum mechanics). A pencil falling to the floor behaves teleologically (it does not fall up, or burst into flame, etc.). Purposeful arrangement of parts is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

    Bottom line EricMH you are stuck in the mud because of the false doctrine of methodological naturalism that you falsely imagine must somehow be essential to science.

    One final note, in your response to ET, you seem to have a very limited view of how we can scientifically detect the physical reality of immaterial information.

    Although there are many examples I can give, my favorite method for demonstrating the physical reality of immaterial information is with quantum teleportation:

    The coup de grace for demonstrating that immaterial information is its own distinct physical entity, separate from matter and energy, is Quantum Teleportation:

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......-HqWNEoDtR

    The preceding experimental result should make the head spin of anyone who toes the methodological naturalism party line. 🙂

    of supplemental note:

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate (27:15 minute mark – how quantum information theory relates to molecular biology)
    https://youtu.be/4f0hL3Nrdas?t=1635

  100. 100
    ET says:

    EreicMH:

    Methodological naturalism does not need to explain the origin of anything.

    Of course it does. One of the basic questions science asks is “how did it come to be this way (the way it is)?”

    And the design inference is impossible to falsify.

    All evidence to the contrary. IDists have said exactly what will falsify ID.

    Is there a scientific theory of archaeology or forensic science? Is there a scientific theory of evolution? If there is no one can link to it.

    If it can be demonstrated that nature can produce a living organisms, ID would be falsified.

    That said, proof-reading, error- correction, editing and splicing all require knowledge that doesn’t exist in the basic molecules used to carry out those processes. That alone tells us there is something we cannot see ruling over life at the cellular level.

  101. 101
    bornagain77 says:

    Has a troll taken over Eric’s account?

  102. 102
    EricMH says:

    @BA77, no, I think ID is failing to deliver on its promise to be a science.

    Further, I do not claim that science must follow methodological naturalism. I am stating that all successful science seems to do so. If ID claims to diverge from this pattern, then it needs to provide an alternative.

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    And you are, once again, wrong. Unlike Darwinism, ID is falsifiable and ID is a driver of science.

    I could reference those facts, but alas, I’m tired of you wasting my morning and referencing stuff that you do not even pay attention to. I’m out of here.

  104. 104
    EricMH says:

    @BA77 I’ve read through everything you posted. I do not believe you are carefully reading and understanding the distinctions I am making.

    Additionally, I do not think ID cannot be science.

    Rather, from my perspective, ID made a good start, with bold claims, and actually established a scientific direction at the beginning. But since then, ID has lost its way and become enamored of creationism vs evolution, apologetics and the culture wars, and lost the actual scientific aspect it originally had. So, ID has failed to follow through, and is riding on the cultural momentum of the original claims without making progress.

  105. 105
    ET says:

    Science asks 3 basic Questions and ID attempts to answer them.

    All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter. -Max Planck

    Methodological naturalism? I think not…

  106. 106
    ET says:

    Irreducible complexity is a testable claim. Discrete combinatorial objects is a testable claim. Sequence specificity is a testable claim.

    That transcription and translation just happen is not a testable claim. That the earth exists due to innumerable cosmic collisions and gravity, is an untestable claim.

  107. 107
    hazel says:

    Kudos to EricMH at 104 for a candid assessment from an ID supporter.

    I do not think ID cannot be science.

    Rather, from my perspective, ID made a good start, with bold claims, and actually established a scientific direction at the beginning. But since then, ID has lost its way and become enamored of creationism vs evolution, apologetics and the culture wars, and lost the actual scientific aspect it originally had. So, ID has failed to follow through, and is riding on the cultural momentum of the original claims without making progress.

    This resonates with points I made earlier. One accepts ID as a scientific claim. Then what? What further scientific investigations does one then propose? Battling atheists and other culture war issues is not science, and doesn’t further the ID cause: in fact, it reinforces the perception among some (many) that ID is in fact not a scientific enterprise, burt rather a philosophical/theological/cultural/political movement.

    At 81, EricMH made another good point:

    So, if ID really is a science, what specific and testable predictions does it make that makes it more than methodological naturalism? If ID just says “it’s designed, so look for structure” ID has nothing more to offer than the traditional methodological naturalism + philosophical theism.

    If, on the other hand, the point of ID is just to eliminate the presupposition of philosophical naturalism from the sciences, that’s fine, but that’s the job of a philosopher, not of a science practitioner, and again ID is not a scientific theory.

  108. 108
    ET says:

    LoL! @ hazel- EricMH is wrong. ID has all the hallmarks of science. And there still isn’t a scientific alternative to ID.

    What predictions are borne from blind watchmaker evolution? If you cannot say then clearly you are part of the problem

    What further scientific investigations does one then propose?

    Already covered.

  109. 109
    EricMH says:

    @ET, like I said, I do not think ID cannot be a science. Just that currently it is not doing so well as such. Nor does the failure of Darwinism mean that ID is a science.

  110. 110
    ET says:

    Well Eric, ID makes testable claims and can be potentially falsified. You want predictions? ID predicts there is more to life than what meets the eye. That life is not reducible to physics and chemistry. And that we will find signs of intelligent agency activity. IC is such a sign, Eric.

    And the failure of materialistic explanations does help ID as science mandates design inferences first eliminate materialistic explanations as part of parsimony.

  111. 111
    EricMH says:

    @ET, like I said, such predictions are high level philosophical sorts of claims. Nor is it clear ID is necessary to make such claims. All we need to do is deny philosophical naturalism and scientism, which are philosophical positions. Finally, I would not call such claims science, at least not the sort of science that physics and chemistry are.

    Claiming ID is a philosophy and not a science is not at all controversial. Just about all the critics are fine with calling ID a philosophy. It is when ID claims to be a science on the level of physics and chemistry that the controversy arises.

  112. 112
    es58 says:

    OT:
    https://www.popsci.com/evolution-linear-branch/

    Popular Science: current title: Evolution doesn’t work the way you think it does
    Proposed Fix: Evolution doesn’t work (well, it’s shorter, anyway)

  113. 113
    ET says:

    EricMH:

    like I said, such predictions are high level philosophical sorts of claims.

    Just because you say it doesn’t make it so.

    Nor is it clear ID is necessary to make such claims.

    It is to me and many, many others.

    ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    Those are the core concepts of ID and to falsify Intelligent Design all one has to do is demonstrate that natural selection can produce irreducibly complex biological systems.

  114. 114
    EricMH says:

    @ET, yes I get the argument, but how does that result in a positive scientific research program, besides high level guidance like ‘look for structure’, or ‘an intelligent agent did it’? This is no different than what has guided most scientists before the modern era, and they seem to have mostly followed methodological naturalism in formulating their precise scientific theories. At the very least, ID is not scientific like the theory of gravity which provides very specific predictions that are precise enough that we can send people to the moon and launch missiles that can hit other countries.

    Of course, Darwinism doesn’t meet this criterion either. I would also say Darwinism and evolution in general are more philosophical than they are scientific. However, the difference is that if Darwinism were true, then we could use Darwinian theory to make specific physical predictions, at least in principle. It’s harder to see how this could happen with ID.

    I would most like to be wrong, and believe that I am, but the ID movement, with one or two notable exceptions, has not generated much positive science. It seems to have turned into an anti-Darwin and culture war/apologetics movement. If that’s what the Discovery Institute wants to be, that is fine, but they should not promote themselves as providing a new scientific paradigm.

  115. 115
    Brother Brian says:

    Eric, although I think that ID with respect to biology is dead in the water, I think that you have made some very good points. In particular, and correct me if I am getting your point wrong, ID is doing itself a disservice by refusing to address the nature (limitations) of the designer and the possible ways in which these designs are/were implemented. By making these leaps, ID can become more respected as a field of science because these hypotheses can be investigated and tested. Much like we have been doing for over a century with evolution.

  116. 116
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Eric, although I think that ID with respect to biology is dead in the water, …

    What a joke. ID offers the only scientific explanation with respect to biology.

    In particular, and correct me if I am getting your point wrong, ID is doing itself a disservice by refusing to address the nature (limitations) of the designer and the possible ways in which these designs are/were implemented.

    Those don’t have anything to do with ID. Also we know a designer’s limitations by what said designer left behind. Duh. And we can only make a scientific determination about the how by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

    Evolution does more of a disservice by refusing to address the origin of life. How life originated dictates how it evolved.

    Much like we have been doing for over a century with evolution.

    You are confused as Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution, and peer-review is devoid of support for evolution via blind and mindless processes. You have nothing to account for the major innovations observed in the different Phyla. You have nothing to account for eukaryotes. Endosymbiosis is not your savior.

    Blind watchmaker evolution hasn’t advanced our knowledge of biology one bit.

  117. 117
    bornagain77 says:

    A few notes:

    Contrary to what has been falsely alleged in this thread, ID is a driver of science, (instead of being a parasite on science like Darwinism is):

    “It has become clear in the past ten years that the concept of design is not merely an add-on meta-description of biological systems, of no scientific consequence, but is in fact a driver of science. A whole cohort of young scientists is being trained to “think like engineers” when looking at biological systems, using terms explicitly related to engineering design concepts: design, purpose, optimal tradeoffs for multiple goals, information, control, decision making, etc. This approach is widely seen as a successful, predictive, quantitative theory of biology.”
    David Snoke*, Systems Biology as a Research Program for Intelligent Design – 2014
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2014.3

    podcast: “David Snoke: Systems Biology and Intelligent Design, pt. 1”
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_09-07_00
    podcast: David Snoke: Systems Biology and Intelligent Design, pt. 2
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....0_01-07_00

    Can biological complexity be reverse engineered? – Sara Green – 2015
    Excerpt: “But many biologists agree that there is a connection between the robustness of biological networks and their non-random connectivity distribution and hierarchical structure (Steinacher & Soyer, 2012). Other examples of design principles are bi-stable switches (Tyson et al. 2003) and overabundant sub-circuits in gene regulatory networks, called network motifs (Alon, 2007a, see below). To some researchers, such findings provide optimism that there is simplicity in the apparent complexity of biological systems (Csete and Doyle, 2002; Alon, 2007c).
    The quest for design principles reflects a hope that key properties of biological systems can be understood without knowing all the lower-level causal details. This is not only a point about practical convenience but also about the relevant level of analysis. The cancer biologist Lazebnik (2002) provocatively compared biomedical research strategies to the attempt to fix a radio by atomizing the system into component parts and studying these in isolation. If the malfunction of the system is connected to the orchestrated organization of parts and processes, searching for broken molecular components is bound to fail. Lazebnik therefore proposes an engineering approach to investigate how the components are wired together as a functional whole.”
    http://philsci-archive.pitt.ed.....neered.pdf

    How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design – July 2014
    Excerpt: Snoke lists various features in biology that have been found to function like goal-directed, top-down engineered systems:
    *”Negative feedback for stable operation.”
    *”Frequency filtering” for extracting a signal from a noisy system.
    *Control and signaling to induce a response.
    *”Information storage” where information is stored for later use. In fact, Snoke observes:
    “This paradigm [of systems biology] is advancing the view that biology is essentially an information science with information operating on multiple hierarchical levels and in complex networks [13]. ”
    *”Timing and synchronization,” where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that different processes and events happen in the right order.
    *”Addressing,” where signaling molecules are tagged with an address to help them arrive at their intended target.
    *”Hierarchies of function,” where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that cellular processes and events happen at the right times and in the right order.
    *”Redundancy,” as organisms contain backup systems or “fail-safes” if primary essential systems fail.
    *”Adaptation,” where organisms are pre-engineered to be able to undergo small-scale adaptations to their environments. As Snoke explains, “These systems use randomization controlled by supersystems, just as the immune system uses randomization in a very controlled way,” and “Only part of the system is allowed to vary randomly, while the rest is highly conserved.”,,,
    Snoke observes that systems biology assumes that biological features are optimized, meaning, in part, that “just about everything in the cell does indeed have a role, i.e., that there is very little ‘junk.'” He explains, “Some systems biologists go further than just assuming that every little thing has a purpose. Some argue that each item is fulfilling its purpose as well as is physically possible,” and quotes additional authorities who assume that biological systems are optimized.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....87871.html

    As well, and again contrary to what has been falsely alleged in this thread, ID makes testable predictions:

    Intelligent Design, contrary to what many evolutionists (and Theistic Evolutionists) will say publicly, does in fact make solid predictions for science that we can test.

    In fact, Testable Predictions for ID and how they match up to what the scientific evidence is now telling us starts at the 15:23 minute mark of the following video:

    Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – video (sound clears up at the 5:00 minute mark) – Oct. 2013
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....0Cho#t=923

    A Response to Questions from a Biology Teacher: How Do We Test Intelligent Design? – March 2010
    Excerpt: Regarding testability, ID (Intelligent Design) makes the following testable predictions:
    (1) Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns that perform a specific function (e.g. complex and specified information).
    (2) Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors.
    (3) Convergence will occur routinely. That is, genes and other functional parts will be re-used in different and unrelated organisms.
    (4) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....rom_a.html

    A Positive, Testable Case for Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – March 2011 – several examples of cited research
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....45311.html

    Yes, Intelligent Design Is Testable Science – A Resource Roundup – August 2017
    Excerpt: The following links are of special interest and relevance:
    “How Do We Know Intelligent Design Is a Scientific ‘Theory’?”
    “Does Intelligent Design Help Science Generate New Knowledge?”
    “Straw Men Aside, What Is the Theory of Intelligent Design, Really?”
    “A Positive, Testable Case for Intelligent Design”
    “Intelligent design has scientific merit because it uses the scientific method to make its claims and infers design by testing its positive predictions”
    “How Can We Positively Test Intelligent Design?”
    “FAQ: Does intelligent design theory implement the scientific method?”
    “How Can We Know Intelligent Design is Science?”
    “No ID Research? Let’s Help Out This Iowa State Student”
    “Peer-Reviewed Articles Supporting Intelligent Design”
    “Bibliography and Annotated List of Peer-Reviewed Publications Supporting Intelligent Design”
    And that’s just for starters.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/yes-intelligent-design-is-testable-science-a-resource-roundup/

  118. 118
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, ID, unlike how Darwinists treat their theory, is a potentially falsifiable science: In fact, there is up to a 10 million dollar prize for anyone who can falsify ID

    Falsify Intelligent Design and become a multi-millionaire – video
    – Official Natural Code Prize – Video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNF2c3i6eJo

    – Entrepreneurs offer $10m prize for cracking mystery of DNA – June 2, 2019
    Scientists challenged to create genetic code from simple chemicals
    Excerpt: Wealthy investors are offering a $10m prize to the first scientific team that can create a genetic code from simple chemicals — reproducing the unknown process that led billions of years ago to DNA as the vehicle for transmitting information in life on Earth.
    The Evolution 2.0 prize is an initiative by Perry Marshall, an online marketing entrepreneur based in Chicago. It will be judged by prominent scientists, including George Church, genetics professor at Harvard university, and Denis Noble, the Oxford university biologist who was the first to model the human heart on a computer.,,,
    Other backers of the prize include marketing businessman Robert Skrob, investment manager Gary Klopfenstein and serial entrepreneur Jon Correll. Their involvement is not purely altruistic. The full $10m will only be awarded for a patentable coding system, which the prize sponsors will attempt to commercialise in partnership with the winner.
    https://www.ft.com/content/dcb2ea12-83c8-11e9-9935-ad75bb96c849

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    Excerpt of conclusion pg. 42: “To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2662469/
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    “Matter does not make rules. Matter is governed by rules.”
    fifthmonarchyman – UD blogger

    “Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.- ”
    Dr Behe in 1997

  119. 119
    EricMH says:

    @BB, yes, in a certain respect. As ET and JohnnyB correctly point out, you don’t need such a theory about the designer to detect the design itself. The CSI calculation is designer agnostic. And ET is correct that ID is not dead in the water when it comes to biology. I’d say it is floundering, but not due to the theoretical weakness of ID, but because the movement has become distracted away from pursuing the positive scientific research.

    However, without addressing the designer, there is a big question mark, as I’ve pointed out with my questions about eliminating chance and necessity. If we are not going to engage in special pleading, we need to include the designer in our chance hypothesis. This means the designer is a very mysterious sort of entity, because it must be non-stochastic in order to generate a positive CSI score. It must transcend stochastic mechanisms, as one commentator stated. And this is uncharted territory. In all my readings in probability and information theory, I have not seen such a thing described. And ID does itself a disservice if it just says this non-stochastic entity is a ‘designer’ or an ‘intelligent agent’, which are just placeholders like Behe disparages in his book ‘Darwin Devolves’. This is where ID breaks from traditional methodological naturalism, because the entire theoretical content of methodological naturalism is stochastic processes. If ID truly has identified a new thing, a non-stochastic process, then this seems to be a major breakthrough, if it can be characterized scientifically and mathematically. On the other hand, if stochastic processes exhaust the range of scientific explanations, then ID’s appeal to a non-stochastic process is non-scientific, and at that point passes into some other discipline like philosophy or theology.

  120. 120
    ET says:

    Intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause? Wm. Dembski

    Yes, they can.

    Most, if not all, anti-IDists always try to force any theory of intelligent design to say something about the designer and the process involved BEFORE it can be considered as scientific. This is strange because in every use-able form of design detection in which there isn’t any direct observation or designer input, it works the other way, i.e. first we determine design (or not) and then we determine the process and/ or designer. IOW any and all of our knowledge about the process and/ or designer comes from first detecting and then understanding the design.

    IOW reality dictates the only possible way to make any determination about the designer(s) or the specific process(es) used, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

    If anyone doubts that fact then all you have to do is show me a scenario in which the designer(s) or the process(es) were determined without designer input, direct observation or by studying the design in question.

    If you can’t than shut up and leave the design detection to those who know what they are doing.

    This is a virtue of design-centric venues. It allows us to neatly separate whether something is designed from how it was produced and/ or who produced it (when, where, why):

    “Once specified complexity tells us that something is designed, there is nothing to stop us from inquiring into its production. A design inference therefore does not avoid the problem of how a designing intelligence might have produced an object. It simply makes it a separate question.”
    Wm. Dembski- pg 112 of No Free Lunch

    Stonehenge- design determined; further research to establish how, by whom, why and when.

    Nasca Plain, Peru- design determined; further research to establish how, by whom, why and when.

    Puma Punku- design determined; further research to establish how, by whom, why and when.

    Any artifact (archeology/ anthropology)- design determined; further research to establish how, by whom, why and when- that is unless we have direct observation and/ or designer input.

    Fire investigation- if arson is determined (ie design); further research to establish how, by whom, why and when- that is unless we have direct observation and/ or designer input.

    An artifact does not stop being an artifact just because we do not know who, what, when, where, why and how. But it would be stupid to dismiss the object as being an artifact just because no one was up to the task of demonstrating a method of production and/ or the designing agent.

    And even if we did determine a process by which the object in question may have been produced it does not follow that it will be the process used.

    As a comparison no need to look any further than abiogenesis and evolutionism. Evolutionists make those separate questions even though life’s origin bears directly on its subsequent diversity. And just because it is a separate question does not hinder anyone from trying to answer either or both. Forget about a process except for the vague “random mutations, random genetic drift, random recombination culled by natural selection”. And as for a way to test that premise “forgetaboutit”. Also evolutionism is all about the how and when yet it cannot answer those questions scientifically. That must be what pisses them off and causes them to flail away at ID with their ignorance-> if they could support their position’s claims ID would be refuted.

    Intellegent Design is about the DESIGN not the designer(s). The design exists in the physical world and as such is open to scientific investigation.

    All that said we have made some progress. By going over the evidence we infer that our place in the cosmos was designed for (scientific) discovery. We have also figured out that targeted searches are very powerful design mechanisms when given a resource-rich configuration space.

    Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence. — William A. Dembski

  121. 121
    EricMH says:

    @BA77, very interesting list, but I would say those fall into the philosophical motivation and analogy category, just like belief in God motivated Newton to look for orderly laws that govern the universe. But, not like how the theory of gravity lets us predict where a rock will land when we throw it.

    As an example of what I’m looking for, if ID functioned like, say, chemistry, then we can identify gaps in the data we’ve collected, and make specific predictions about the sort of things that will fill those gaps. Just like with the table of elements, we identified gaps and were able to make predictions about what will fill those gaps. In bioinformatics, when DNA sequences are reconstructed, we know when certain proteins are missing, and can predict what sort of genes we need to still discover. Or, when reverse engineering source code, based on what the designer intended, we can make predictions about what sort of functionality we need to discover, and search it out.

    If ID were a positive science, it could make these sorts of specific positive predictions about what sort of pieces fill in gaps in the puzzle.

    I think ID is up to the challenge, but have yet to see such a positive approach.

  122. 122
    EricMH says:

    @ET, yes, good points, but in any of those disciplines, if the researcher saw the artifact and said “it’s designed, case closed” it would not be much of a discipline. Because the researcher knows stonehenge is designed, they are able to make certain specific predictions and insights from that fact. What are the specific predictions and insights we get from inferring ID in biology, something on the level of chemistry where we have a very concrete idea of what should be there if the thing is designed?

  123. 123
    ET says:

    EricMH:

    This means the designer is a very mysterious sort of entity, because it must be non-stochastic in order to generate a positive CSI score. It must transcend stochastic mechanisms, as one commentator stated.

    Archaeology, forensic science and SETI all must deal with beings that transcend stochastic mechanisms. So we do have plenty of experience with it.

  124. 124
    ET says:

    @ EricMH- No one in ID says that we have detected design and that’s it. Dembski says quite the opposite.

    And I gave you the prediction for design in biology:

    “Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”

    He goes on to say: ” Might there be some as-yet-undiscovered natural process that would explain biochemical complexity? No one would be foolish enough to categorically deny the possibility. Nonetheless, we can say that if there is such a process, no one has a clue how it would work. Further, it would go against all human experience, like postulating that a natural process might explain computers.”

  125. 125
    ET says:

    To answer the new questions ID opens up requires new training and schooling. Scientists tend to be specialists and right now I don’t know of any specialty that deals with these new questions.

    This proves ID isn’t a dead end as it obviously opens up new questions that we, as humans, will clearly try to answer. But this will take time because what the Designer did is far beyond our capabilities. It’s like asking an Amazon tribe to figure out how a smart phone was designed and manufactured. They will definitely be able to tell you it is an artifact, though.

  126. 126
    ET says:

    With respect to Intelligent Design and mechanisms, that would pertain to the methodology used to determine whether or not (intelligent) design exists. That is the science of ID-> the detection and study of design in nature. We study it so we can better understand it and hopefully answer those new questions.

  127. 127
    bornagain77 says:

    Well EricMH, you are all over the map in your criticisms of ID.

    First you were claiming that ID needs to toe the methodological naturalism party line. Yet. as Paul Nelson pointed out in his article that I cited, “Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys”, methodological naturalists do not even toe the methodological naturalism party line unless they are trying to exclude ID from consideration. It is a rhetorical ploy on the part of atheists. Yet, you apparently fell for that rhetorical ploy from atheists hook, line and sinker.

    a commitment to materialistic explanations is what moved things forward, so methodological naturalism guided by philosophical theism is what gets results.
    – EricMH

    Moreover the fact that all of science is dependent on basic Theistic presuppositions is revealed by the fact that Darwinian arguments are replete with bad theological presuppositions. In fact, their arguments fall apart without those bad Theological presuppositions:

    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.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/methodological_1/

    Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t – Published – 2019-06-02
    The Problem of God-talk in Biology Textbooks
    Abstract: We argue that a number of biology (and evolution) textbooks face a crippling dilemma.
    On the one hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks include theological claims in their case for evolution.
    (Such claims include, for example, ‘God would never design a suboptimal panda’s thumb, but an imperfect structure is just what we’d expect on natural selection.’) On the other hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks exclude theological claims in their case for evolution. So, whether textbooks include or exclude theological claims, they face debilitating problems. We attempt to establish this thesis by examining 32 biology (and evolution) textbooks, including the Big 12—that is, the top four in each of the key undergraduate categories (biology majors, non-majors, and evolution courses). In Section 2 of our article, we analyze three specific types of theology these texts use to justify evolutionary theory. We argue that all face significant difficulties. In Section 3, we step back from concrete cases and, instead, explore broader problems created by having theology in general in biology textbooks. We argue that the presence of theology—of whatever kind—comes at a significant cost, one that some textbook authors are likely unwilling to pay. In Section 4, we consider the alternative: Why not simply get rid of theology? Why not just ignore it? In reply, we marshal a range of arguments why avoiding God-talk raises troubles of its own. Finally, in Section 5, we bring together the collective arguments in Sections 2-4 to argue that biology textbooks face an intractable dilemma. We underscore this difficulty by examining a common approach that some textbooks use to solve this predicament. We argue that this approach turns out to be incoherent and self-serving. The poor performance of textbooks on this point highlights just how deep the difficulty is. In the end, the overall dilemma remains.
    https://journals.blythinstitute.org/ojs/index.php/cbi/article/view/44

    Darwinists, with their vital dependence on bad liberal theology, instead of scientific evidence, in order to try to make their case for Darwinian evolution are, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

    I also pointed out that assuming methodological naturalism, i.e. insisting on materialistic answers prior to investigation, is equivalent to assuming that philosophical naturalism is true. For crying out loud, it is a glaringly obvious point that insisting on materialistic answers prior to investigation is functionally equivalent to assuming philosophical naturalism is true from the outset. It is almost embarrassing to even have to point this out to you.

    Moreover, I also previously pointed out that assuming Naturalism instead of Theism as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    – Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387

    Thus, although the Darwinian atheist (and the misguided Christian) may firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    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;

    Apparently none of this mattered to you Eric since you did not even acknowledge your profound mistake in claiming that methodological naturalism as a supposed ground rule for science.

    Eric, In the latter part of the thread you wanted ID to be a science like chemistry.

    Just like with the table of elements, we identified gaps and were able to make predictions about what will fill those gaps. In bioinformatics, when DNA sequences are reconstructed, we know when certain proteins are missing, and can predict what sort of genes we need to still discover. Or, when reverse engineering source code, based on what the designer intended, we can make predictions about what sort of functionality we need to discover, and search it out.

    And I would argue that ID, and even the progress of science in general, (since science itself is based on principles that can only be grounded within Theism), is doing exactly as such, although perhaps not specifically to your personally liking. For example,

    New Paper by Winston Ewert Demonstrates Superiority of Design Model – Cornelius Hunter – July 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Ewert’s three types of data are: (i) sample computer software, (ii) simulated species data generated from evolutionary/common descent computer algorithms, and (iii) actual, real species data.
    Ewert’s three models are: (i) a null model which entails no relationships between any species, (ii) an evolutionary/common descent model, and (iii) a dependency graph model.
    Ewert’s results are a Copernican Revolution moment. First, for the sample computer software data, not surprisingly the null model performed poorly. Computer software is highly organized, and there are relationships between different computer programs, and how they draw from foundational software libraries. But comparing the common descent and dependency graph models, the latter performs far better at modeling the software “species.” In other words, the design and development of computer software is far better described and modeled by a dependency graph than by a common descent tree.
    Second, for the simulated species data generated with a common descent algorithm, it is not surprising that the common descent model was far superior to the dependency graph. That would be true by definition, and serves to validate Ewert’s approach. Common descent is the best model for the data generated by a common descent process.
    Third, for the actual, real species data, the dependency graph model is astronomically superior compared to the common descent model.
    Where It Counts
    Let me repeat that in case the point did not sink in. Where it counted, common descent failed compared to the dependency graph model. The other data types served as useful checks, but for the data that mattered — the actual, real, biological species data — the results were unambiguous.
    Ewert amassed a total of nine massive genetic databases. In every single one, without exception, the dependency graph model surpassed common descent.
    Darwin could never have even dreamt of a test on such a massive scale. Darwin also could never have dreamt of the sheer magnitude of the failure of his theory. Because you see, Ewert’s results do not reveal two competitive models with one model edging out the other.
    We are not talking about a few decimal points difference. For one of the data sets (HomoloGene), the dependency graph model was superior to common descent by a factor of 10,064. The comparison of the two models yielded a preference for the dependency graph model of greater than ten thousand.
    Ten thousand is a big number. But it gets worse, much worse.
    Ewert used Bayesian model selection which compares the probability of the data set given the hypothetical models. In other words, given the model (dependency graph or common descent), what is the probability of this particular data set? Bayesian model selection compares the two models by dividing these two conditional probabilities. The so-called Bayes factor is the quotient yielded by this division.
    The problem is that the common descent model is so incredibly inferior to the dependency graph model that the Bayes factor cannot be typed out. In other words, the probability of the data set, given the dependency graph model, is so much greater than the probability of the data set given the common descent model, that we cannot type the quotient of their division.
    Instead, Ewert reports the logarithm of the number. Remember logarithms? Remember how 2 really means 100, 3 means 1,000, and so forth?
    Unbelievably, the 10,064 value is the logarithm (base value of 2) of the quotient! In other words, the probability of the data on the dependency graph model is so much greater than that given the common descent model, we need logarithms even to type it out. If you tried to type out the plain number, you would have to type a 1 followed by more than 3,000 zeros. That’s the ratio of how probable the data are on these two models!
    By using a base value of 2 in the logarithm we express the Bayes factor in bits. So the conditional probability for the dependency graph model has a 10,064 advantage over that of common descent.
    10,064 bits is far, far from the range in which one might actually consider the lesser model. See, for example, the Bayes factor Wikipedia page, which explains that a Bayes factor of 3.3 bits provides “substantial” evidence for a model, 5.0 bits provides “strong” evidence, and 6.6 bits provides “decisive” evidence.
    This is ridiculous. 6.6 bits is considered to provide “decisive” evidence, and when the dependency graph model case is compared to comment descent case, we get 10,064 bits.
    But It Gets Worse
    The problem with all of this is that the Bayes factor of 10,064 bits for the HomoloGene data set is the very best case for common descent. For the other eight data sets, the Bayes factors range from 40,967 to 515,450.
    In other words, while 6.6 bits would be considered to provide “decisive” evidence for the dependency graph model, the actual, real, biological data provide Bayes factors of 10,064 on up to 515,450.
    We have known for a long time that common descent has failed hard. In Ewert’s new paper, we now have detailed, quantitative results demonstrating this. And Ewert provides a new model, with a far superior fit to the data.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/new-paper-by-winston-ewert-demonstrates-superiority-of-design-model/

    Now Eric, if you want to get into the business of making successful predictions for ID, might I suggest that you will never go wrong in assuming God to be behind the Design of life and making predictions for ID based on that presupposition?

    For instance, as the following recent 2019 article stated (which was written by people who are not even necessarily pro ID), It’s now known that some form of positional information makes genes variously switch on and off throughout the embryo, giving cells distinct identities based on their location.,,, when researchers have been able to appropriately determine what cells are doing, many have been surprised to see clear indications of optimization.,,,”

    The Math That Tells Cells What They Are – March 13, 2019
    Excerpt: It’s now known that some form of positional information makes genes variously switch on and off throughout the embryo, giving cells distinct identities based on their location.,,,
    That mounting evidence is leading some biologists to a bold hypothesis: that where information is concerned, cells might often find solutions to life’s challenges that are not just good but optimal — that cells extract as much useful information from their complex surroundings as is theoretically possible.,,,
    when researchers have been able to appropriately determine what cells are doing, many have been surprised to see clear indications of optimization.,,,
    “I don’t think optimization is an aesthetic or philosophical idea. It’s a very concrete idea,” Bialek said.,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-math-that-tells-cells-what-they-are-20190313/

    “Optimal” is not just some word that they are carelessly tossing around. When they describe a biological system as being in a ‘optimal’ state, they mean exactly what they are saying. As the following article states, “In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.”

    William Bialek: More Perfect Than We Imagined – March 23, 2013
    Excerpt: photoreceptor cells that carpet the retinal tissue of the eye and respond to light, are not just good or great or phabulous at their job. They are not merely exceptionally impressive by the standards of biology, with whatever slop and wiggle room the animate category implies. Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped.
    “Light is quantized, and you can’t count half a photon,” said William Bialek, a professor of physics and integrative genomics at Princeton University. “This is as far as it goes.” …
    Scientists have identified and mathematically anatomized an array of cases where optimization has left its fastidious mark, among them;,, the precision response in a fruit fly embryo to contouring molecules that help distinguish tail from head;,,, In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....an-we.html

    Welcome to the Electric Cell – May 31, 2019
    Excerpt: The dynamics governing information transmission have been extensively investigated by the pioneering work of Fisher, Shannon and others (see below). Ideal information transmission occurs when the receiver obtains precisely the information that was sent from its source. This is because, any channel carrying a signal from a sender to a receiver cannot (by definition of a channel) convey more information than is contained in the source signal. Instead, there is inevitable loss of source Shannon information en route during the process of encoding, transmission, reception and decoding of the message. Therefore, minimizing such loss is the realistic goal of such a system.
    Note that this ignores the evolutionary cost to the system of acquiring the message. Instead, it tacitly assumes every such possible message to be acquired with equal cost, and focuses upon the issue of how well the system can respond to that message, regardless of cost….
    (It will be no surprise to ID advocates that cells are already well-optimized for information transmission:)
    In the case of microtubules, which typically converge on the centrosome, this coarse grain information allows rapid assessment of the overall state of the environment over time. Or in the case of microfilaments, which typically link to protein complexes on the nuclear membrane, the fine-grain information can convey, to the nucleus, detailed information about the spatial and temporal variations of the environment. In prior work we found these information dynamics to be highly optimized.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/05/welcome-to-the-electric-cell/

    Moreover, as the following article states, “There are a surprisingly limited number of ways a network could be constructed to perform perfect adaptation.”,,, Moreover, the “amazing and surprising” outcome of the study is applicable to any living organism or biochemical network of any size.,,,”

    Math sheds light on how living cells ‘think’ – May 2, 2018
    Excerpt: “Proteins form unfathomably complex networks of chemical reactions that allow cells to communicate and to ‘think’ –,,,
    “We could never hope to measure the full complexity of cellular networks — the networks are simply too large and interconnected and their component proteins are too variable.
    “But mathematics provides a tool that allows us to explore how these networks might be constructed in order to perform as they do.,,,
    Dr Araujo’s work has focused on the widely observed function called perfect adaptation — the ability of a network to reset itself after it has been exposed to a new stimulus.
    “An example of perfect adaptation is our sense of smell,” she said. “When exposed to an odour we will smell it initially but after a while it seems to us that the odour has disappeared, even though the chemical, the stimulus, is still present.
    “Our sense of smell has exhibited perfect adaptation. This process allows it to remain sensitive to further changes in our environment so that we can detect both very faint and very strong odours.
    “This kind of adaptation is essentially what takes place inside living cells all the time. Cells are exposed to signals — hormones, growth factors, and other chemicals — and their proteins will tend to react and respond initially, but then settle down to pre-stimulus levels of activity even though the stimulus is still there.
    “I studied all the possible ways a network can be constructed and found that to be capable of this perfect adaptation in a robust way, a network has to satisfy an extremely rigid set of mathematical principles. There are a surprisingly limited number of ways a network could be constructed to perform perfect adaptation.,,,
    Professor Lance Liotta, said the “amazing and surprising” outcome of Dr Araujo’s study is applicable to any living organism or biochemical network of any size.,,,
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180502094636.htm

    Thus, contrary to what you believe Eric, ID is doing quite well as science advances one slow step at a time.

  128. 128
    EricMH says:

    @BA77, I think you are missing my point about the distinction between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism. The latter would imply there is no structure to be discovered in the world, but the former means we focus on stochastic explanations for the phenomena we see within science, since that has been the most successful path science has followed. That doesn’t mean we can only draw materialistic conclusions from what we observe, but such conclusions are not science of the physics and chemistry variety that allow us to make specific predictions about the world. So, we are free to draw the ID conclusion, but it is not a hard science, at least not yet, so we shouldn’t say it is.

    @ET, you and I seem to agree. The inference to design is warranted, but the state of ID is not such that we can use it to make specific predictions about the world, so it is not a science in the same way physics and chemistry are sciences. And I see almost no progress in that direction. The Discovery Institute and Bio-Complexity seem content to mostly identify the shortcomings of Darwinism, and Mind Matters is mostly focused on the shortcomings of stochastic theories of mind, i.e. artificial intelligence. But nowhere do I see much of a positive project to show what the science of ID itself is, to make an ID science that can make rigorous predictions about the world like physics and chemistry, so we can actually say ID is truly a science. The singular exception to this negative trend is Dr. Ewert’s dependency graph of life paper.

    So, as a movement, I cannot say that ID is much of a scientific movement. It seems more to be focused on the culture wars, which may be terribly important, but are also terribly boring. In my opinion, presenting a positive case for ID would be much more successful, both on its own merits, and in the culture wars. Just as with atheism it is hard to rally around a negative cause. If ID truly offered a positive science that was providing decisive insights that elude current methodological naturalism, I think that would be much more attractive to those currently wedded to Darwinian evolution.

  129. 129
    bornagain77 says:

    EricMH, you repeated this false claim,

    I think you are missing my point about the distinction between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism. The latter would imply there is no structure to be discovered in the world, but the former means we focus on stochastic explanations for the phenomena we see within science, since that has been the most successful path science has followed.

    I am missing nothing. To reiterate,

    ,,, assuming methodological naturalism, i.e. insisting on materialistic answers prior to investigation, is equivalent to assuming that philosophical naturalism is true. For crying out loud, it is a glaringly obvious point that insisting on materialistic answers prior to investigation is functionally equivalent to assuming philosophical naturalism is true from the outset. It is almost embarrassing to even have to point this out to you.

    Eric, this is the second time that you have claimed that,,,

    “we focus on stochastic explanations for the phenomena we see within science, since that has been the most successful path science has followed.”

    To clearly define your terms so to dispel any ambiguity,,

    sto·chas·tic
    randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely.

    ran·dom
    adjective
    made, done, happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision

    My first reaction is that you have got to be a atheistic troll who has taken over Eric’s handle. That claim is pure balderdash. Presupposing things are ‘randomly determined’, i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’, is a Atheistic presupposition that had nothing to do with the founding of modern science itself and is also a presupposition that has been shown to wrong time and time again by recent advances in modern science.

    For prime example, one of the main presuppositions of Darwinists is that mutations are ‘randomly determined’, i.e. without rhyme or reason, and that ‘randomly determined’ mutations are the foundational source for all the diversity of life we see around us.

    CHANCE ALONE,” the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Jacques Monod once wrote, “is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, is at the very root of the stupendous edifice of creation.”
    [Berlinski]

    Yet we now know that mutations are not ‘randomly determined’,

    “It is difficult (if not impossible) to find a genome change operator that is truly random in its action within the DNA of the cell where it works. All careful studies of mutagenesis find statistically significant non-random patterns”
    James Shapiro – Evolution: A View From The 21st Century – (Page 82)

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Fully Random Mutations – Kevin Kelly – 2014
    Excerpt: What is commonly called “random mutation” does not in fact occur in a mathematically random pattern. The process of genetic mutation is extremely complex, with multiple pathways, involving more than one system. Current research suggests most spontaneous mutations occur as errors in the repair process for damaged DNA. Neither the damage nor the errors in repair have been shown to be random in where they occur, how they occur, or when they occur. Rather, the idea that mutations are random is simply a widely held assumption by non-specialists and even many teachers of biology. There is no direct evidence for it.
    On the contrary, there’s much evidence that genetic mutation vary in patterns. For instance it is pretty much accepted that mutation rates increase or decrease as stress on the cells increases or decreases. These variable rates of mutation include mutations induced by stress from an organism’s predators and competition, and as well as increased mutations brought on by environmental and epigenetic factors. Mutations have also been shown to have a higher chance of occurring near a place in DNA where mutations have already occurred, creating mutation hotspot clusters—a non-random pattern.
    http://edge.org/response-detail/25264

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

    (Lee) Spetner goes through many examples of non-random evolutionary changes that cannot be explained in a Darwinian framework.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/10/the_evolution_r/

    And in quantum mechanics we find that the atheistic belief that everything is ‘randomly determined’, i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’, is directly falsified by the fact that “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    Specifically, in 2018 the ‘freedom of choice’ loophole was closed in Quantum Mechanics,

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Moreover, we know that the probability distributions we obtain in quantum mechanics, after our choice of what to measure, cannot be ‘randomly determined’, i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’, since the failure of Atheistic Materialists to account for the ‘Born rule’ in their Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is one of the main falsifications of their Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI).

    The irresolvable problem of deriving the “Born rule” within the MWI is discussed at the 4:30 minute mark of the following video,

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – (Inspiring Philosophy) – 2014 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    To go further, in Thermodynamics we find that Ludwig Boltzmann, an atheist who first linked entropy and probability, and because he believed, as an atheist, that everything was ‘randomly determined’, i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’, did not think to look for a constant for entropy. Whereas Max Planck, a Christian, automatically assumed that there would be a constant for entropy to be found and quickly found it.

    The Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann first linked entropy and probability in 1877. However, the equation as shown, involving a specific constant, was first written down by Max Planck, the father of quantum mechanics in 1900. In his 1918 Nobel Prize lecture, Planck said: This constant is often referred to as Boltzmann’s constant, although, to my knowledge, Boltzmann himself never introduced it – a peculiar state of affairs, which can be explained by the fact that Boltzmann, as appears from his occasional utterances, never gave thought to the possibility of carrying out an exact measurement of the constant. Nothing can better illustrate the positive and hectic pace of progress which the art of experimenters has made over the past twenty years, than the fact that since that time, not only one, but a great number of methods have been discovered for measuring the mass of a molecule with practically the same accuracy as that attained for a planet.
    http://www.daviddarling.info/e.....ation.html

    To further demonstrate that entropy itself is not ‘randomly determined’, i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’, (as is presupposed within Atheistic materialism), we find that in the Quantum Zeno effect “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”

    Perspectives on the quantum Zeno paradox – 2018
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/196/1/012018/pdf

    Atheistic materialists have tried to get around the Quantum Zeno effect by postulating that interactions with the environment are sufficient to explain the Quantum Zeno effect.

    Yet, the following interaction-free measurement of the Quantum Zeno effect demonstrated that the presence of the Quantum Zeno effect can be detected without interacting with a single atom.

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....S-20150415

  130. 130
    bornagain77 says:

    In short, the quantum zeno effect, regardless of how atheistic materialists may feel about it, is experimentally shown to be a real effect that is not reducible to any materialistic explanation, i.e. it is NOT “randomly determined’i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’.

    Moreover, the atheistic belief that entropy itself is ‘randomly determined’, i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’, is also falsified by recent advances in quantum information theory that have now shown that entropy is “a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    As the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Moreover, Penrose himself did not think that the initial entropy of the universe was ‘randomly determined’, i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’, but Penrose himself said that “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”

    “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    Roger Penrose – How special was the big bang? – (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    One final note to highlight Christianity’s central importance in science and to dispel your belief that science best operates by thinking everything is “randomly determined’ i.e. without ‘method or conscious decision’,,,
    , the main conflict of reconciling General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into a ‘theory of everything’ appears to arise from the inability of either theory to successfully deal with the Zero/Infinity conflict when we try to combine the two theories into one mathematical framework:

    THE MYSTERIOUS ZERO/INFINITY
    Excerpt: The biggest challenge to today’s physicists is how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. However, these two pillars of modern science were bound to be incompatible. “The universe of general relativity is a smooth rubber sheet. It is continuous and flowing, never sharp, never pointy. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, describes a jerky and discontinuous universe. What the two theories have in common – and what they clash over – is zero.”,, “The infinite zero of a black hole — mass crammed into zero space, curving space infinitely — punches a hole in the smooth rubber sheet. The equations of general relativity cannot deal with the sharpness of zero. In a black hole, space and time are meaningless.”,, “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.
    http://www.fmbr.org/editoral/e....._mar02.htm

    Science vs God Its The Collapse Of Physics As We Know it – Michio Kaku – video
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2jbd7x

    And yet, when we allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.

    Isabel Piczek and Chuck Missler note in the following video and articles, the Shroud of Turin reveals a strange ‘event horizon’:

    “When you look at the image of the shroud, the two bodies next to each other, you feel that it is a flat image. But if you create, for instance, a three dimensional object, as I did, the real body, then you realize that there is a strange dividing element. An interface from which the image is projected up and the image is projected down. The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity. Other strange you discover is that the image is absolutely undistorted. Now if you imagine the clothe was wrinkled, tied, wrapped around the body, and all of the sudden you see a perfect image, which is impossible unless the shroud was made absolutely taut, rigidly taut.”
    Isabel Piczek – Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains event horizon) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIpdIz5Rp3I

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
    Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    To support Isabel Piczek’s claim that the Shroud of Turin does indeed reveal a true ‘event horizon’, the following study states that ‘The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image.’

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    http://www.academicjournals.or.....onacci.pdf

    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with, the shroud also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics was dealt with. In the following paper, it was found that it was not possible to describe the image formation on the Shroud in classical terms but they found it necessary to describe the formation of the image on the Shroud in discrete quantum terms.

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/mus/541/1/c1a0802004.pdf

    Kevin Moran, an optical engineer working on the mysterious ‘3D’ nature of the Shroud image, states the ‘supernatural’ explanation this way, “This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector.”

    Optically Terminated Image Pixels Observed on Frei 1978 Samples – Kevin E. Moran – 1999
    Discussion
    Pia’s negative photograph, from 1898, showed what looked to be a body that was glowing, but slightly submerged in a bath of cloudy water. This condition is more properly described as an image that is visible, at a distance, but by locally attenuated radiation. The unique front-and-back only image can be best described as gravitationally collimated. The radiation that made the image acted perfectly parallel to gravity. There is no side image. The radiation is parallel to gravity and, if moving at light speed, only lasted about 100 picoseconds. It is particulate in nature, colliding only with some of the fibers. It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique,,,
    Theoretical model
    It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed.
    Discussion
    The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/moran.pdf

  131. 131
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the following article found that it would take 34 Trillion Watts of what is termed VUV (directional) radiation to form the image on the shroud.

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come only to several billion watts)”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion (trillion) Watts of VUV radiation to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://www.predatormastersforu.....er=3014106

    Supplemental notes defending the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/viruses-devolve/#comment-674732

    Another piece of evidence that adds considerable weight to my claim that Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides the correct solurion for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ is the fact that both Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, our most powerful theories in science, have now overturned the Copernican Principle,

    Overturning of the Copernican Principle by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/we-are-invited-to-consider-a-simpler-perspective-on-the-laws-of-physics/#comment-680427

    Bottom line Eric, your belief that “we focus on stochastic explanations for the phenomena we see within science, since that has been the most successful path science has followed” is a patently false belief that has been falsified time and time again in modern science.

    Eric, I don’t know how you have been so drastically misled in your beliefs about what you falsely believe has supposedly been the ‘most successful path’ in science, (atheistic propaganda would be my first bet), but I suggest that you return to your Christian roots and to the true ‘most successful path’ in science. The path that gave us modern science itself, i.e. Christianity, i.e. I suggest you return to the scientific worldview that is based on the Christianity that you have publicly confessed here on UD!

    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.

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

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

  132. 132
    ET says:

    EricMH:

    @ET, you and I seem to agree. The inference to design is warranted, but the state of ID is not such that we can use it to make specific predictions about the world, so it is not a science in the same way physics and chemistry are sciences.

    Please tell me why predictions are required for science. Then show how that applies to forensics and archaeology.

    I have never seem a definition of science that says predictions are a requirement. And then explain why IC isn’t a prediction of ID, when it is clearly spelled out

  133. 133
    EricMH says:

    @ET, sure, you can define some kind of science where predictions are not required. It sounds like a fairly uninteresting sort of science.

    @BA77, a great many fascinating articles. I’m impressed by the breadth of your research, and what you say about the observer dependent nature of quantum physics is very interesting. That does seem to be the positive sort of ID science I’m talking about, where the intelligent agent is a key part of the equation. But, I don’t know any quantum physics to be able to evaluate what references to ‘free will’ and ‘observer dependence’ mean concretely.
    There also may be an error since the Bell test is about disproving local realism, not related to free will in any way, as far as I know. The articles about the shroud of Turin are also very interesting, I didn’t realize people have been able to analyze it that carefully, I thought the shroud was off limits.

    That being said, these sorts of scientific conclusions are not the sort of science I’m referring to. While I don’t argue with the conclusions you draw and their scientific basis, what I am getting at is that there is not a scientific ID methodology that is distinct from methodological naturalism.

    To define my terms, because I think that is leading to the confusion.
    methodological naturalism: find predictive models for what we observe
    philosophical naturalism: claim that all of reality must be the same sort of thing as the predictive models

    So, I can, for instance, practice methodological naturalism by understanding how a car operates, without be philosophically naturalistic about its origin. This approach to the natural world of using naturalism to understand the how has been very successful. Much of these discoveries have been made by theists who are motivated by theism to look for these mechanical and predictable models of how the world operates. And the mechanical and predictable models they derived we now call modern science. And it is these mechanical and predictable models that we do not have a replacement for with intelligent design. It is also hard to see how we can have an adequate replacement with intelligent agents, which are neither mechanical nor predictable.

    The closest I’ve seen to a scientific methodology of ID is Dembski’s information tracking idea, that you can always track positive CSI back to an intelligent agent, since stochastic processes cannot generate CSI due to the conservation of information. Ewert and Marks put this theory to practice in their analysis of a variety of artificial life simulations and genetic algorithms. And the other closest thing to a scientific methodology is Ewert’s dependency graph of life. These steps have been great, but progress in creating the positive ID methodology seem to have ended with them.

    There is also the problem that the information tracking is a mostly negative enterprise, and deals with scenarios where we already know an intelligent agent is involved. It’d be even better if it was used in a scenario where we don’t know if an intelligent agent is involved, so would actually be delivering surprising results in identifying intelligent agency where none was believed to be.

    The dependency graph is a more positive enterprise, but in that case the connection to intelligent agency is based on analogy to human generated code. I think this can actually be said to be a positive ID result, because the analogy is made based on the inference that the genetic code is designed, so it gave Ewert a hypothesis to test due to what he saw in human generated code. Another great thing is that it is a very quantitative experiment. He took a great deal of data, and ran a hypothesis test to demonstrate the superiority of the dependency graph model. So, this is the one solid example of positive ID theory in action, and is the sort of thing the Discovery Institute should be putting full focus on. An even better step is if there is a more solid theory of intelligent agency, and how it differs from stochastic processes, so we can make the concrete, deductive predictions more akin to physics and chemistry. And, it is still in a sense methodological naturalism, because no where in Ewert’s analysis is there any rigorous appeal to a non stochastic cause, except by implicit assumption that either human engineers are non stochastic causes, or AIs created by an ultimate non stochastic cause (i.e. God). At any rate, it is the standard ID fallback that somewhere along the cause and effect chain that results in a design type outcome there must be non stochastic intelligent agency involved.

  134. 134
    ET says:

    Eric- According to ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    Specified complexity and irreducible complexity are predictions borne from ID. And the exciting prediction is that life is not reducible to physics and chemistry, which means there is something more to life that we cannot see.

    As far as I call tell archaeology merely predicts there will be signs of work. An that when intelligent agencies act within nature they tend to leave traces of their activity behind. Forensic science that there will be signs of intelligent agency activity (work).

    “The Privileged Planet” predicts that extraterrestrials will be from a system with a host star similar to our Sun. And that it too will have a large stabilizing moon.

    So it really all depends on what you are looking for with respect to predictions.

  135. 135
    bornagain77 says:

    EricMH, geeze you are stuck in the mud with this false atheistic talking point of methodological naturalism that you keep trying to push. You state:

    To define my terms, because I think that is leading to the confusion.
    methodological naturalism: find predictive models for what we observe
    philosophical naturalism: claim that all of reality must be the same sort of thing as the predictive models

    The source of your confusion is that you are (now) making up your own definitions to try to suit your own purposes. You do not get to make up your own definitions. I’ve never heard or seen of a definition of methodological naturalism that is defined as “find predictive models for what we observe”

    Per the anti-ID website rational wiki:

    Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.

    And from the NCSE website, (another anti-ID organization), we find methodological naturalism defined as such:

    Methodological naturalism is not a “doctrine” but an essential aspect of the methodology of science, the study of the natural universe. If one believes that natural laws and theories based on them will not suffice to solve the problems attacked by scientists – that supernatural and thus nonscientific principles must be invoked from time to time – then one cannot have the confidence in scientific methodology that is prerequisite to doing science. The spectacular successes over four centuries of science based on methodological naturalism cannot be gainsaid. On the other hand, a scientist who, when stumped, invokes a supernatural cause for a phenomenon he or she is investigating is guaranteed that no scientific understanding of the problem will ensue.

    And Eric, even you yourself earlier in this thread defined your assumption of materialism in science, i.e. methodological naturalism, as such,

    doesn’t it seem like all of modern science is materialistic, and that it has progressed precisely because scientists have sought materialistic mechanisms that underly (underlie) observed phenomena, instead of assuming spirits, vital forces, etc.?

    There is nothing in any of those definitions that entail ‘find predictive models for what we observe’, and for good reason. Finding predictive models for what we will observe in the future is a thoroughly ‘non-naturalistic’ affair that does not entail the presumption of methodological naturalism in the least.

    In fact, to ‘find predictive models for what we observe’ is a thoroughly ‘non-naturalistic’ affair that presupposes the reality of the immaterial mind. As Stanley Jaki pointed out, “There is no physical parallel to the (immaterial) mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future.”

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, May 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now

    Moreover, even the mathematical models that allow us to predict, for instance, lunar eclipses many years into the future, are the result of immaterial minds deducing those abstract and immaterial mathematical models for physical phenomena. Abstract models, i.e. ‘non-natural’ models, that allow us to predict lunar eclipses many years into the future.

    In fact, one of the more interesting falsifications of the reductive materialistic framework, i.e. methodological naturalism, that undergirds Darwinian evolution comes from the Platonic, i.e. ‘non-naturalistic’, nature of mathematics itself.

    It is almost universally acknowledged that mathematics exists in some kind of transcendent, beyond space and time, “Platonic” realm,

    Platonic World vs Physical World
    https://i2.wp.com/abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/images/platonic_physical.gif

    Mathematical Platonism
    Excerpt: Mathematical platonism enjoys widespread support and is frequently considered the default metaphysical position with respect to mathematics. This is unsurprising given its extremely natural interpretation of mathematical practice.
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/mathplat/

    Mathematical Platonism
    Mathematical platonism is the view on which mathematical objects exist and are abstract (aspatial, atemporal and acausal) and independent of human minds and linguistic practices. According to mathematical platonism, mathematical theories are true in virtue of those objects possessing (or not) certain properties. One important challenge to (of) platonism (to reductive materialism) is explaining how biological organisms such as human beings could have knowledge of such objects. Another is to explain why mathematical theories about such objects should turn out to be applicable in sciences concerned with the physical world.
    https://philpapers.org/browse/mathematical-platonism

    ,,, and although every rigorous theory of science requires verification from mathematics, and experimentation, in order to be considered scientific in the first place, (In fact, this is precisely where I believe you are getting stuck in your thinking with regards to ID, EricMH)

    “No human investigation can be called real science if it cannot be demonstrated mathematically.”
    – Leonardo da Vinci

    ,,, the reductive materialism, i.e. methodological naturalism, that Darwinian evolution is based upon denies the very existence of anything beyond the material realm. (This denial is practically built into the very definition of methodological naturalism itself)

    What is the difference between naturalism and materialism?
    Excerpt: Naturalism is the view that the world can be explained entirely by physical, natural phenomena/laws. Naturalists either assert that there is no supernatural (or metaphysical) existence, or that if there is, it has no impact on our physical world.,,,
    Materialism is the related view that all existence is matter, that only matter is real, and so that the world is just physical. It simply describes a view on the nature of the universe, while the different branches of Naturalism focus on applications of effectively the same view.
    Thus, the difference between the two is the purpose of the definition – materialism makes an argument about the ontology of the universe, while naturalism takes a premise (effectively that of materialism) to make an argument on how science/philosophy should function.
    https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/2406/what-is-the-difference-between-naturalism-and-materialism

    There simply is no place for the immaterial, i.e. Platonic, realm of mathematics to find grounding for its reality in the reductive materialism, i.e. methodological naturalism, that undergirds Darwinian thought.

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Platonic World vs Physical World
    https://i2.wp.com/abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/images/platonic_physical.gif

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Mathematics is certainly something we do. Is mathematics “included in the space-time continuum [with] basic elements … described by physics”? It seems a stretch. What is the physics behind the Pythagorean theorem? After all, no actual triangle is perfect, and thus no actual triangle in nature has sides such that the Pythagorean theorem holds. There is no real triangle in which the sum of the squares of the sides exactly equals the square of the hypotenuse. That holds true for all of geometry. Geometry is about concepts, not about anything in the natural world or about anything that can be described by physics. What is the “physics” of the fact that the area of a circle is pi multiplied by the square of the radius? And of course what is natural and physical about imaginary numbers, infinite series, irrational numbers, and the mathematics of more than three spatial dimensions? Mathematics is entirely about concepts, which have no precise instantiation in nature,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    As David Berlinski states, “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….”

    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

    Therefore, besides Darwinian evolution already being shown to be mathematically impossible (by Sanford, Dembski, Marks, Axe, Behe, Durston etc.. etc..), Darwinian evolution is further falsified by mathematics as being a scientific theory since Darwinism denies the very reality of one the thing it most needs, i.e. mathematics, in order to be considered scientific in the first place.

  136. 136
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus in conclusion EricMH, you do not get to presuppose that methodological naturalism entails ‘find predictive models for what we observe’ since the very act of finding predictive models for what we observe is a thoroughly ‘non-naturalistic’ affair that presupposes the very reality of the very things, i.e. immaterial minds and immaterial mathematics, that naturalism itself denies the very existence of.

    What you have done Eric is that you have committed the logical fallacy of “begging the question” in your argument. i.e. You have presupposed that your conclusion of methodological naturalism is true in the premises of your argument so as to arrive at your desired conclusion of methodological naturalism. It is a logical fallacy that is also known as ‘circular reasoning’:

    In classical rhetoric and logic, begging the question is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it. It is a type of circular reasoning: an argument that requires that the desired conclusion be true. This often occurs in an indirect way such that the fallacy’s presence is hidden, or at least not easily apparent.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

    Yet Eric, you do not get to presuppose that finding “predictive models for what we observe” is a naturalistic affair,,

    As Kurt Gödel himself stated, “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind, or the human mind is more than a machine.”

    “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

    And as mathematician James Franklin stated, “the intellect (is) immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.,,,”

    The mathematical world – James Franklin – 7 April 2014
    Excerpt: the intellect (is) immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.,,,
    – James Franklin is professor of mathematics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
    http://aeon.co/magazine/world-.....-be-about/

    Moreover, to repeat what I said earlier in this thread, Albert Einstein, of relativity fame, and Eugene Wigner, who won a Nobel prize for quantum symmetries, are both on record as to considering it a miracle that the (immaterial) mind of man is able to accurately model the universe using mathematics: Specifically, Einstein stated “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,,, That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”

    “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.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles”. Oddly enough, we must be satisfied to acknowledge the “miracle” without there being any legitimate way for us to approach it.,,,”
    – Albert Einstein – On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – March 30, 1952
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    And along that same line, Eugene Wigner stated “,,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,,,, 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.”

    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

    Of supplemental note and to repeat, Methodological Naturalism had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the founding of modern science. In fact the founders of modern science would have considered the dogma of methodological naturalism to be absurd.

    Intelligent Design as a “Science Stopper”? Here’s the Real Story – Michael Flannery – August 20, 2011
    Excerpt: If the “ID is a science stopper” argument rests on weak philosophical foundations, its historical underpinnings are even shakier. The leading natural philosophers (what we would call “scientists” today) of the 16th through 18th centuries, the men who established modern science as we know it — Copernicus, Galileo, Vesalius, Harvey, Newton — would have considered the MN (Methodological Naturalism) dogma absurd and indeed rather peculiar. In fact, James Hannam has recently examined this issue in some detail and found that religion, far from being antagonistic or an impediment to science, was an integral part of its advance in the Western world (see my earlier ENV article on the subject).
    https://evolutionnews.org/2011/08/id_a_science_stopper_heres_the/

    And rightly so. Methodological naturalism is completely absurd. To repeat for the apparently deaf ears of EricMH: (as I have pointed out several times now), assuming Naturalism instead of Theism as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    – Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387

    Thus, although the Darwinian atheist (and the misguided Christian) may firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    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;

  137. 137
    Brother Brian says:

    Eric@133, very good points. I think the bottom line is that evolutionary theory leads to predictive models that are or can be testable. Maybe it is possible for ID to make testable predictive models, but I have not seen anyone attempting to do so.

  138. 138
    EricMH says:

    @BB I stated that Dr. Ewert has created a testable model of ID with his dependency graph of life, and Dembski’s information tracking methodology. So it is not impossible. My point is that the ID movement via the Discover Institute does not seem very committed to making ID a practical science, which is supposedly its big claim to fame. Again, I am not saying this is impossible. Just that the movement has become distracted from its fundamental claim that ID is science.

    But, your other point that evolutionary theory leads to predictive models is correct, and the reason it has been preferred over ID. It is just that the predictive models of evolution have been falsified. And even more importantly, the implicit idea of Darwinian evolution is that stochastic processes can create CSI, and Dembski has proven this claim to be false. So, Darwinian evolution is the one theory in all of this that is truly dead in the water.

    This leaves open the huge question: if stochastic processes cannot create CSI, then what can? Whatever it is, we call it ‘intelligence’ but that does not tell us very much.

  139. 139
    bornagain77 says:

    BB, Darwinism is notorious for making predictions that are later falsified.

    Per:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/hard-to-believe-but-true-senior-canadian-journalist-knows-darwinism-is-bunk/#comment-683164

    not only does Darwinian evolution not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology, in so far as Darwinian predictions have guided biological research, those predictions have greatly misled researchers,,

    Darwin’s (False) Predictions
    Introduction
    Why investigate evolution’s false predictions?
    Responses to common objections
    Early evolution predictions
    The DNA code is not unique
    The cell’s fundamental molecules are universal
    Evolutionary causes predictions
    Mutations are not adaptive
    Competition is greatest between neighbors
    Molecular evolution predictions
    Protein evolution
    Histone proteins cannot tolerate much change
    The molecular clock keeps evolutionary time
    Common descent predictions
    The pentadactyl pattern and common descent
    Serological tests reveal evolutionary relationships
    Biology is not lineage specific
    Similar species share similar genes
    MicroRNA
    Evolutionary phylogenies predictions
    Genomic features are not sporadically distributed
    Gene and host phylogenies are congruent
    Gene phylogenies are congruent
    The species should form an evolutionary tree
    Evolutionary pathways predictions
    Complex structures evolved from simpler structures
    Structures do not evolve before there is a need for them
    Functionally unconstrained DNA is not conserved
    Nature does not make leaps
    Biological architecture predictions
    Behavior
    Altruism
    Cell death
    Conclusions
    What false predictions tell us about evolution
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/

    And let’s not forget the granddaddy of all false predictions from Darwin’s theory, i.e. Junk DNA:

    Why Are Biologists Lashing Out Against Empirically Verified Research Results? – Casey Luskin July 13, 2015
    Excerpt: no publication shook this (ID vs Darwin) debate so much as a 2012 Nature paper that finally put junk DNA to rest–or so it seemed. This bombshell paper presented the results of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) Project, a years-long research consortium involving over 400 international scientists studying noncoding DNA in the human genome. Along with 30 other groundbreaking papers, the lead ENCODE article found that the “vast majority” of the human genome shows biochemical function: “These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80 percent of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions.”3
    Ewan Birney, ENCODE’s lead analyst, explained in Discover Magazine that since ENCODE studied 147 types of cells, and the human body has a few thousand cell types, “it’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent.”4 Another senior ENCODE researcher noted that “almost every nucleotide is associated with a function.”5 A headline in Science declared, “ENCODE project writes eulogy for junk DNA.”6,,,
    Evolutionists Strike Back
    Darwin defenders weren’t going to take ENCODE’s data sitting down.,,,
    How could they possibly oppose such empirically based conclusions? The same way they always defend their theory: by assuming an evolutionary viewpoint is correct and reinterpreting the data in light of their paradigm–and by personally attacking, (i.e. ad hominem), those who challenge their position.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....97561.html

  140. 140
    EricMH says:

    @BB, what BA77 says is correct. I am reading through a couple bioinformatics books, and they are full of falsified predictions of Darwinian evolution. A lot of bioinformatics is fudging around the failure of Darwinian theory.

    If the Discovery Institute wanted to make good on its “ID is science” claim, there seems to be plenty of low hanging fruit in the very practical field of bioinformatics.

  141. 141
    ET says:

    Brother Brain:

    I think the bottom line is that evolutionary theory leads to predictive models that are or can be testable.

    Nonsense. If that were true then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. And you would have posted something to support your trope.

  142. 142
    EricMH says:

    @ET, BB is correct, and Dr. Dembski et. al. have falsified the prediction that Darwinian evolution can create CSI, both mathematically and empirically.

  143. 143
    ET says:

    EricMH- There was never a model for Darwinian-type evolution producing CSI. And I don’t know of any way to test the claim that Darwinian-type evolution can produce CSI. All Darwin and others have done is baldly assert that nature can do it. Then write a sciencey narrative to that effect.

    The only reason why Dr. Dembski came up with the probability argument in the first place is because of what I said- there wasn’t anything else to go after. No substance to grab onto and examine. It’s one big house of cards that Vinnie Gambini would easily shred.

  144. 144
    EricMH says:

    @ET the whole point of Darwinian evolution is to explain how design (i.e. CSI) can come about without a designer through stochastic processes. We can test whether Darwinian evolution can generate CSI with genetic algorithms.. Dembski proved CSI cannot be generated by stochastic processes through his law of conservation of information, and then empirically demonstrated that when we detect CSI from a genetic algorithm we can trace it back to a designer (programmer). That’s the sort of methodological scientific approach I am asking for. Very quantitative and measurable, with specific claims. This is more like physics and chemistry than philosophy.

  145. 145
    ET says:

    Yes, Eric, I know the point of Darwinian evolution. That has nothing to do with what I said. Just because it was supposed to do something doesn’t mean it evolved any further than a narrative.

    Genetic algorithms start with the very thing that needs to be explained in the first place- the ability to reproduce. Then come the fitness functions which guide the preliminary solutions towards a goal.

    And if Dembski already proved it then what else do you want? Proof, proof?

  146. 146
    EricMH says:

    An actual scientific methodology of ID, something that is like physics and chemistry that produces interesting results, makes predictions and drives technological advancement. Otherwise ID nothing more than another apologetic argument, just like a multitude of other such arguments that rely on scientific data, and is nothing special.

    Actually being a science is different than using scientific data to make a point. ID claims to be the former, but mostly is just doing the latter.

    Once ID can start doing something equivalent to creating modern medicine, agriculture and the IT revolution, then it deserves to be taken more seriously than methodological naturalism. Otherwise, methodological naturalism is what gets results and drives the modern world forward and ID is an interesting philosophical argument to consider in your free time.

  147. 147
    ET says:

    OK, wait. Intelligent Design is about the detection and study of design in nature. That encompasses the science of ID. The scientific methodology is with the detection part. What we do with the knowledge of being part and parcel of an Intelligent Design is up to us. To me that knowledge is a game changer. It completely changes the way we look at things- that science and scientists look at things.

    That said, genetic algorithms exemplify evolution by means of intelligent design. They show us the power of telic processes reigning over, random (not blind and mindless)/ constrained variations. They also show us the limitations but those are purely of our own making and limitations.

    And I think it is exciting that IDists are the researchers who told us what to look for to find extraterrestrials. It isn’t their fault no one seems to be reading what they say.

    ID being true and accepted will drive the research you are looking for. Just for the mere fact that scientists would finally be looking at living organisms correctly. Meaning they would at least know more about what determines form. It might help them understand why genetic engineering, after a huge success with the insulin gene inserted into bacteria, just hasn’t lived up to the hype.

    So yes, exciting times indeed

  148. 148
    bornagain77 says:

    EricMH, continues his fallacious defense of methodological naturalism as such,

    An actual scientific methodology of ID, something that is like physics and chemistry that produces interesting results, makes predictions and drives technological advancement. Otherwise ID nothing more than another apologetic argument, just like a multitude of other such arguments that rely on scientific data, and is nothing special.
    Actually being a science is different than using scientific data to make a point. ID claims to be the former, but mostly is just doing the latter.
    Once ID can start doing something equivalent to creating modern medicine, agriculture and the IT revolution, then it deserves to be taken more seriously than methodological naturalism. Otherwise, methodological naturalism is what gets results and drives the modern world forward and ID is an interesting philosophical argument to consider in your free time.

    There is so much that is ‘not even wrong’ in that statement it is hard to know where to begin. There is, and has been, much debate on what qualifies something as a real science. Whether or not a theory is based on methodological naturalism is not even on the list of different criteria that are usually used to determine whether or not something may be scientific. In fact, as has been pointed out several times to EricMH now, and yet he apparently refuses to listen, assuming methodological naturalism as true prior to investigation is completely absurd. To repeat for the apparently deaf ears of EricMH: , assuming Naturalism instead of Theism as the worldview on which all of science is based leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    – Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387

    What part of ‘catastrophic epistemological failure of science itself’ do you not understand EricMH?

    Clearly, despite what Eric may falsely imagine as being true, methodological naturalism is a non-starter as the supposed ‘ground rule’ for doing good science.

    The generally accepted ‘ground rule’ for determining whether something is even a real science science or not, as was clearly pointed out to EricMH in post 78, is that something must be testable and potentially falsifiable to be science. i.e. Popper’s falsification criteria.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/once-more-from-the-top-on-mechanism/#comment-683425

    And on that score of being falsifiable, Darwinian evolution and methodological naturalism, since Darwinism is based explicitly on the assumption of naturalism, Darwin’s theory fails to qualify as a science. In fact, as was also pointed out to EricMH in post 78, it is not that Darwinism is not falsifiable, it has been falsified many times over, it is that Darwinists simply refuse to ever accept any empirical falsification against their theory.

    And as was also pointed out in post 78, ID is testable and potentially falsifiable, and, in spite of the fact that many millions of dollars have been spent, and thousands of scientists, have been trying to falsify ID, (by showing that unguided material processes, i.e. ‘natural’ processes, can generate functional information) none-the-less ID remains standing and is unfalsified to this day. If that does not qualify ID as a rigorously testable scientific theory, then nothing ever will.

    Apparently none of this is good enough for EricMH for him to personally consider ID as ‘good science’.

    Although EricMH completely ignores Popper’s falsification criteria in determining whether ID is good science or not, EricMH does seem to tentatively hold to the criteria of predictability and fruitfulness when he tries to condemn ID as being bad science and hold methodological naturalism as supposedly being good science. And indeed predictability and fruitfulness are good indications of whether something is science or not. And yet Darwinian evolution, which is based explicitly on the assumption of naturalism, i.e. methodological naturalism, fails to qualify as a science by the criteria of predictability and fruitfulness as well.

    Darwinian Evolution, and by default methodological naturalism, simply fails to qualify as a science by any reasonable measure of science one might wish to invoke:

    “There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon — in this case, Evolution — as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution… well… no… no… no… no… and no.”
    – Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech – page 17
    Darwinian Evolution Fails the Five Standard Tests of a Scientific Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f_fyoPybw

    I addressed the failure of methodological naturalism to ‘find predictive models for what we observe’ in post 135, and further showed in post 136 that the very act of ‘finding predictive models for what we observe’ is a thoroughly ‘non-naturalistic’ affair that presupposes the very reality of the very things, i.e. immaterial minds and immaterial mathematics, that naturalism itself denies the very existence of.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/once-more-from-the-top-on-mechanism/#comment-683535

    To further drive this point home, 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 found by modern science, can be tested against one another to see if either materialism or Theism is true.

    Here are a few comparisons:

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted space-time energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted space-time energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is an ‘emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. –

    4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) –

    5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).-

    6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe (G. Gonzalez; Hugh Ross). –

    7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geochemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photosynthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. –

    8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) –

    9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. –

    10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. –

    11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. (Tattersall; Luskin)–

    12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the separation of human intelligence from animal intelligence ‘is one of degree and not of kind’ (C. Darwin). Theism predicted that we are made in the ‘image of God’- Despite an ‘explosion of research’ in this area over the last four decades, human beings alone are found to ‘mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities.’ (Tattersall; Schwartz). Moreover, both biological life and the universe itself are found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. –

    14. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) –

    15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe. Embedded to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans before humans become aware of the morally troubling situation and even prior to the event even happening.

    16. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that we are merely our material bodies with no transcendent component to our being, and that we die when our material bodies die. Theism predicted that we have minds/souls that are transcendent of our bodies that live past the death of our material bodies. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule).

    Theism compared to Naturalism – Major predictions of each Philosophy – video
    https://youtu.be/WY5ppoqPNVo

    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 modern science is, as was pointed out in post 130 and 131, even very good at pointing us to Christianity as the solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything’.

    Moreover, even though Naturalism has been spectacularly wrong in its predictions, EricMH, completely oblivious to that spectacular failure of methodological naturalism, holds that quote unquote, “methodological naturalism is what gets results and drives the modern world forward’.

    That statement is so far disconnected from the reality of the situation that it is obvious that EricMH has thought NONE of this through and is just parroting atheistic talking points against ID.

    I just wonder when EricMH will try to bring up ‘the argument from evil’ to go alongside his current fallacious ‘god of the gaps’ argument since that is the other major atheistic argument, i.e. talking point, against ID?

    Fruitfulness, Eric’s other criteria for teying to say ID is not good science,, is another area that EricMH is severely off the mark with his apparent bias against ID.

    There are several examples I could give to show ID is indeed fruitful.

    But alas, time forbids me from addressing his fallacious objection of ‘fruitfulness’ this morning. Perhaps later today I will further expose EricMH’s arguments against ID, as supposedly being bad science, as being severely misguided and misinformed.

  149. 149
    Brother Brian says:

    BA77

    EricMH, continues his fallacious defense of methodological naturalism as such,

    There must be a reading comprehension problem here. Eric has not been defending methodological naturalism, although it’s success suggests that it needs no defence. Eric has just been criticizing the lack of action of the ID community for refusing to advance beyond the unconfirmed (and unconfirmable) detection of design in biology.

  150. 150
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Eric has just been criticizing the lack of action of the ID community for refusing to advance beyond the unconfirmed (and unconfirmable) detection of design in biology

    Design has been confirmed. And no one has a scientific alternative to ID. Go figure.

    So Brian is just another willfully ignorant troll.

  151. 151
    ET says:

    It is very telling that every time IDists point out the evidence that supports ID that it is just hand-waved away. And when we press back for their methodology for determining nature did it, we get either silence or misdirection.

    Sad, really.

  152. 152
    doubter says:

    EricMH’s insistence on methodological naturalism or materialism as the only practically fruitful paradigm reminds me of a little thought experiment. Forensic science could be considered to include art analysis. Let’s say some scientists decide to attempt to scientifically establish the origin of a Rembrandt portrait. True to the scientific method, to do so they must exclusively use observation, hypothesis building, testing and experiment, refining or replacement of the hypothesis, and so on. True to their paradigm of methodological naturalism only “natural” causes outworking from the laws of nature are to be considered. True to their paradigm, all potential hypotheses involving a conscious intelligent agent human or otherwise producing an artifact must be excluded at the start. Only processes and mechanisms that can be understood as outworking from the laws of physics, chemistry, mechanics, and especially quantum mechanics can be considered. In this paradigm reality is neatly divided into either non-stochastic (deterministic) processes and stochastic (probablistic or random) processes. There is nothing else.

    Unfortunately this enterprise will soon inevitably grind to an impotent halt, because this particular configuration of paint on canvas (the Rembrandt portrait) contains a very large amount of complex specified information that purely “natural” processes either deterministic or random simply can’t be demonstrated to be able to produce. Since the scientists are prohibited by their paradigm of methodological naturalism from ever even at the start considering conscious creative intelligence as a possible origin, they get nowhere.

    Incidentally, this is just as they have failed to explain the origin of the extremely large amounts of complex functional information in biology.

    The problem is, their basic method excludes consciousness in its view of reality, and consequently deliberately excludes consciousness and teleology of any kind as a source of complex functional information.

    Of course the truth is that a conscious creative intelligent agent produced this artifact of art, and the true nature of this consciousness and the creative ingenuity it put into the intentional purposive effort of painting it is probably forever impenetrable to physical science, since physical science by its very nature excludes consciousness as part of reality except as some sort of epiphenomenal illusion where what it is that is experiencing this illusion is undefined.

    So how fruitful is methodological naturalism in this scenario? It isn’t at all, even to the slightest extent. Sure, it is immensely fruiful within its own intended physical realm, but this purely physical realm deliberately excludes the most important part of reality – consciousness and intelligence, the essence of what we are as humans. This situation will prevail indefinitely, until (if ever) science can explain and has a mechanism for, consciousness. I won’t be holding my breath.

    In the mean time, the properties of conscious awareness (the essence of what we are) remain in an entirely different existential realm than the properties of matter, energy and space, what can be investigated by physical science. This is the conscious awareness that was the true source of the Rembrandt portrait. Some examples with conscious awareness:

    – intentionality – the quality of directing toward achieving an object
    – aboutness: being about something
    – this object of aboutness may be totally immaterial as in abstract thought, i.e. a thought about the number pi
    – subjectivity
    – qualities of subjective awareness – i.e. blueness, redness, loudness, softness

    Of course the paradox of modern physical science is that all things that can be measured and investigated start with quantum mechanical reality, in which observation and consciousness are fundamental. After quantum state reduction or “collapse of the wave function”, measured classical parameters include forces, field strengths, masses, charges, velocities, etc. All of this that can be scientifically measured and experimented with amounts to “things” of some sort, not thoughts.

    The properties of mental phenomena such as the examples given can’t be derived from the properties of the ultimately physical phenomena investigatable by physical science. They are in entirely different existential categories.

    So this seems to leave consciousness out in the cold as some sort of epiphenomenal illusion, where what it is that is experiencing this illusion is undefined. But consciousness can’t be a powerless epiphenomenon because consciousness obviously has causative power in the world. To claim that this is just “emergence” is just to evoke another mysterious miracle. The core mystery of consciousness and creativity remains, impenetrable to physical science as limited by methodological naturalism. If this is not “science” as it is currently restrictively defined doesn’t change the fact that it is of supreme importance.

  153. 153
    bornagain77 says:

    Very well put Doubter. Liked your Rembrandt illustration,

  154. 154
    bornagain77 says:

    In post 146 EricMH made this fallacious claim

    Once ID can start doing something equivalent to creating modern medicine, agriculture and the IT revolution, then it deserves to be taken more seriously than methodological naturalism. Otherwise, methodological naturalism is what gets results and drives the modern world forward and ID is an interesting philosophical argument to consider in your free time.

    Methodological naturalism, i.e. the assumption of materialism, had nothing whatsoever to do with creating modern medicine, agriculture and the IT revolution. And therefore it is completely ludicrous for EricMH to claim that ‘methodological naturalism is what gets results and drives the modern world forward.’

    In regards to ‘creating modern medicine’, Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, stated, “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin.,,, I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.,,,
    From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.,,,
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.
    I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.
    In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.,,,
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. – Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – 2005

    Even Jerry Coyne himself admitted that Darwinian evolution has been useless for medicine, among other things:

    Doctors and Evolution – May 19, 2015
    Excerpt: Coincidentally, a correspondent today sends across my desk this from biologist Jerry Coyne, of Why Evolution Is True fame. Writing in Nature (“Selling Darwin”), Coyne has conceded:
    “[T]ruth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    per Evolution News

    And as Dr. Egnor stated, “Evolutionary explanations by themselves are worthless to medicine. All medical treatments are based on detailed proximate explanations.”

    Darwinian Medicine and Proximate and Evolutionary Explanations – Michael Egnor – neurosurgeon – June 2011
    Excerpt: 4) Evolutionary explanations by themselves are worthless to medicine. All medical treatments are based on detailed proximate explanations.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47701.html

    Against “Darwinian Medicine” – Dr. Michael Egnor – August 9, 2016
    Excerpt: Darwinist Randolph Nesse has been peddling “Darwinian Medicine” for years.,,,
    He argues for integration of Darwinian science into medical school curricula,,,
    The very admission that Darwinism has had no role in medical science is a telling argument not for its inclusion, but for its irrelevance. Medical science is remarkably successful. Antibiotics, cybernetics, cancer chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, hip replacements, heart transplants, and a host of near-miraculous advances have greatly extended our lifespan and improved the quality of our lives — all without Darwin.
    Whether or not Darwinian hypotheses can be teased out of some medical advances, it is simply a fact that doctors and medical researchers pay no attention to Darwinian speculations in their work, and their work has been astonishingly successful.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03058.html

    In fact, besides being worthless to medicine, in so far as Darwinian evolution has influenced medical diagnostics, it has led to much medical malpractice in the past,

    For example, the false evolutionary assumption of vestigial organs has misled medical doctors into much needless medical malpractice in the past:

    Evolution’s “vestigial organ” argument debunked
    Excerpt: “The appendix, like the once ‘vestigial’ tonsils and adenoids, is a lymphoid organ (part of the body’s immune system) which makes antibodies against infections in the digestive system. Believing it to be a useless evolutionary ‘left over,’ many surgeons once removed even the healthy appendix whenever they were in the abdominal cavity. Today, removal of a healthy appendix under most circumstances would be considered medical malpractice” (David Menton, Ph.D., “The Human Tail, and Other Tales of Evolution,” St. Louis MetroVoice , January 1994, Vol. 4, No. 1).
    “Doctors once thought tonsils were simply useless evolutionary leftovers and took them out thinking that it could do no harm. Today there is considerable evidence that there are more troubles in the upper respiratory tract after tonsil removal than before, and doctors generally agree that simple enlargement of tonsils is hardly an indication for surgery” (J.D. Ratcliff, Your Body and How it Works, 1975, p. 137).
    The tailbone, properly known as the coccyx, is another supposed example of a vestigial structure that has been found to have a valuable function—especially regarding the ability to sit comfortably. Many people who have had this bone removed have great difficulty sitting.
    http://www.ucg.org/science/god.....-debunked/

    LSU Ophthalmologist Commends a “Design Approach” in Appraising Supposedly Vestigial Organs – December 8, 2016
    Excerpt: I am a pediatric ophthalmologist and I teach residents how to perform eye muscle surgery. The plica semilunaris is the curvilinear pinkish tissue in each person’s eye nasally. According to neo-Darwinian advocates, the tissue is a useless holdover from evolution, a vestigial tissue of the nictitating membrane in other mammals. Residents, who are generally a bright bunch, routinely quote this “truth” to me each year. Thus, residents tend to be careless with this tissue unless taught properly.
    When performing surgery for esotropia (“crossed eyes”), one must be very careful with the plica semilunaris. The tissue can easily be improperly attached too far temporally,,,
    I explain to the residents that the plica is needed to allow the eye to move outward or temporally, and sewing the plica in the wrong location can not only result in a dreadful red appearance to the eye, but the eye can be drawn inward.,,
    In the first few years of my practice, I saw an unfortunate Vietnamese gentleman, ,, He had a benign growth on the nasal portion of his eyes (a pterygium). The operation to remove this lesion is usually straightforward, but whoever performed his surgery neglected the plica and sewed the plica semilunaris too far temporally, resulting in very crossed eyes and double vision. Understandably upset, I had to perform eye muscle surgery (strabismus surgery) to restore his vision to normal.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03350.html

    Whereas the presumption that the human body was designed would have avoided all that needless medical malpractice involving supposedly useless vestigial organs.

    Moreover, billions of dollars have been wasted on animal testing because of the false evolutionary assumption of common descent.

    What scientific idea is ready for retirement? – Mouse Models
    Excerpt: A recent scientific paper showed that all 150 drugs tested at the cost of billions of dollars in human trials of sepsis failed because the drugs had been developed using mice. Unfortunately, what looks like sepsis in mice turned out to be very different than what sepsis is in humans. Coverage of this study by Gina Kolata in the New York Times incited a heated response from within the biomedical research community.
    AZRA RAZA – Professor of medicine and director of the MDS Centre, Columbia University, New York
    http://www.theguardian.com/sci.....t-edge-org

    Animal Testing Is Bad Science: Point/Counterpoint
    Excerpt: The only reason people are under the misconception that animal experiments help humans is because the media, experimenters, universities and lobbying groups exaggerate the potential of animal experiments to lead to new cures and the role they have played in past medical advances.,,,
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that 92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials because they don’t work or are dangerous.,,,
    Physiological reactions to drugs vary enormously from species to species. Penicillin kills guinea pigs but is inactive in rabbits; aspirin kills cats and causes birth defects in rats, mice, guinea pigs, dogs, and monkeys; and morphine, a depressant in humans, stimulates goats, cats, and horses.
    http://www.peta.org/issues/ani.....ience.aspx

    Comparing the human and chimpanzee genomes: Searching for needles in a haystack – Ajit Varki1 and Tasha K. Altheide – 2005
    Excerpt: we have many characteristics that are uniquely human. Table 1 lists some of the definite and possible phenotypic traits that appear to differentiate us from chimpanzees and other “great apes”2. For the most part, we do not know which genetic features interact with the environment to generate these differences between the “phenomes”3 of our two species. The chimpanzee has also long been seen as a model for human diseases because of its close evolutionary relationship. This is indeed the case for a few disorders. Nevertheless, it is a striking paradox that chimpanzees are in fact not good models for many major human diseases/conditions (see Table 2) (Varki 2000; Olson and Varki 2003).
    http://genome.cshlp.org/content/15/12/1746.full

    And whereas evolutionary assumptions have led to much needless medical malpractice, on the other hand, Intelligent Design, particularly the presumption that there are strict limits to what unguided evolutionary processes can accomplish, is turning out to be very useful for medicine.

    Guide of the Perplexed: A Quick Reprise of The Edge of Evolution – Michael Behe – August 20, 2014
    Excerpt: If there were a second drug with the efficacy of chloroquine which had always been administered in combination with it (but worked by a different mechanism), resistance to the combination would be expected to arise with a frequency in the neighborhood of 1 in 10^40 — a medical triumph (over malaria).
    per evolution news and views

    Fighting Cancer with Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – December 25, 2015
    Excerpt: “In fighting antibiotic resistance, Darwin’s theory actually provides little guidance. Indeed, quite the opposite. As SUNY Professor of Neurosurgery Michael Egnor has written here, “Darwinism tells us that … bacteria survive antibiotics that they’re not sensitive to, so non-killed bacteria will eventually outnumber killed bacteria. That’s it.”
    To create drugs that outsmart evolving bacteria or cancer cells, biomedical researchers must use a process of intelligent design. They create drug cocktails that bank upon the fact that there are limits to how much living things can evolve on their own. Far from being evidence for Darwinian theory, antibiotic resistant bacteria point to what Michael Behe has called “the edge of evolution,” beyond which unguided Darwinian processes are powerless.”
    In simple terms, Darwinian evolution tends to work fine when only one mutation is needed to give an advantage. But when you need multiple mutations to gain an advantage, the process tends to get stuck. By throwing lots of antibiotic drugs at an organism, we force it to evolve lots of mutations — more than Darwinian evolution can produce — in order to survive. In this way, we can beat antibiotic-resistant microbes.,,,
    Dr. M. William Audeh at UCLA School of Medicine. He makes the same point with regard to fighting cancer.,,,
    He says we kill cancer cells by using many (“combinations of”) drugs — more than they can possibly evolve resistance to.
    When he says that we can “overcome the adaptive potential of the population,” he means there are limits to how much cancer cells can evolve. If we intelligently design combinations of drugs that would require more mutations than could possibly arise via Darwinian evolution, then we kill cancer cells before they evolve mutations to evade our therapy techniques.
    – per evolution news and views

    The multiple drug cocktail that has been so effective in controlling HIV uses the exact same strategy of being beyond the ‘edge of evolution’ that Dr. Behe has elucidated:

    When taking any single drug, it is fairly likely that some mutant virus in the patient might happen to be resistant, survive the onslaught, and spawn a resistant lineage.
    But the probability that the patient hosts a mutant virus that happens to be resistant to several different drugs at the same time is much lower.,,,
    it “costs” a pest or pathogen to be resistant to a pesticide or drug. If you place resistant and non-resistant organisms in head-to-head competition in the absence of the pesticide or drug, the non-resistant organisms generally win.,,,
    This therapy has shown early, promising results — it may not eliminate HIV, but it could keep patients’ virus loads low for a long time, slowing progression of the disease.
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/.....edicine_04

    Design principles also offer promising avenues in treating cancer

    Can biological complexity be reverse engineered? – Sara Green – 2015
    Excerpt: “But many biologists agree that there is a connection between the robustness of biological networks and their non-random connectivity distribution and hierarchical structure (Steinacher & Soyer, 2012). Other examples of design principles are bi-stable switches (Tyson et al. 2003) and overabundant sub-circuits in gene regulatory networks, called network motifs (Alon, 2007a, see below). To some researchers, such findings provide optimism that there is simplicity in the apparent complexity of biological systems (Csete and Doyle, 2002; Alon, 2007c).
    The quest for design principles reflects a hope that key properties of biological systems can be understood without knowing all the lower-level causal details. This is not only a point about practical convenience but also about the relevant level of analysis. The cancer biologist Lazebnik (2002) provocatively compared biomedical research strategies to the attempt to fix a radio by atomizing the system into component parts and studying these in isolation. If the malfunction of the system is connected to the orchestrated organization of parts and processes, searching for broken molecular components is bound to fail. Lazebnik therefore proposes an engineering approach to investigate how the components are wired together as a functional whole.”
    http://philsci-archive.pitt.ed.....neered.pdf

    If the successful treatment of pathogens and cancer using Design principles does not impress EricMH as to the usefulness of Intelligent Design as a guiding heuristic in medicine, then nothing ever will.

    On a personal note. I would much rather have a Doctor who rightly believed that the human body was designed, (and even one who might even be willing to pray with me during my time of crisis), than having a Doctor who thought that the human body was basically an accident of time and chance:

    This Professor of Medicine agrees

    Why Understanding Intelligent Design Helps Us to Understand Physiology – Philip Anderson – March 23, 2017
    Excerpt: The progress of my career from wide-eyed and nervous first year medical student to head of an anesthesiology department and examiner for the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa was at no point aided by an understanding of Darwinian evolution, even though I was taught it and was first in my university class in biology. And my understanding of Darwinian evolution has not in any way benefited the manner in which I treat patients. Quite the opposite!
    Every year, when I give the annual opening address at our hospital when welcoming new graduates and senior medical officers, I point out that it is only when you understand the human body as the pinnacle of design that you can truly care for patients.
    Studying the Darwinian theory of evolution at medical school may align the beliefs of medical students with those of their colleagues in the biology department, but it in no way benefits them as physicians or helps them practice medicine. On the contrary, as the candidate I was helping illustrates, a lack of understanding of design in physiology may hinder their performance. A student happy to embrace design will have one less mental hurdle to overcome.
    per Evolution News

    I will further address EricMH’s other fallacious claims against ID later tonight or tomorrow.

  155. 155
    ET says:

    Eric- Back to the immaterial information. Think about a bacterial flagellum. Its assembly instructions are not in the DNA sequence. Yet it gets faithfully assembled each time. It’s beyond absurd to think that the different proteins just diffuse through the cell, just happen to all meet and self-assemble. The faithful assembly only makes sense under Intelligent Design and immaterial information guiding cellular processes.

    We are missing that under methodological naturalism. It’s right in front of everyone but no one wants to admit the obvious so they look for naturalistic narratives. How is that helping advance anything?

    The only thing methodological naturalism is good for is a sobriety check. As in repeat these words “methodological naturalism”. 😎

  156. 156
    bornagain77 says:

    To continue on with EricMH’s fallacious claim that

    Once ID can start doing something equivalent to creating modern medicine, agriculture and the IT revolution, then it deserves to be taken more seriously than methodological naturalism. Otherwise, methodological naturalism is what gets results and drives the modern world forward and ID is an interesting philosophical argument to consider in your free time.

    As was shown in post 154, methodological naturalism, i.e. the assumption of materialism, had nothing whatsoever to do with creating modern medicine.

    In regards to agriculture in particular we find that methodological naturalism, i.e. the assumption of materialism, was also useless.

    As Jerry Coyne himself admitted, “But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”

    Doctors and Evolution – May 19, 2015
    Excerpt: Coincidentally, a correspondent today sends across my desk this from biologist Jerry Coyne, of Why Evolution Is True fame. Writing in Nature (“Selling Darwin”), Coyne has conceded:
    “[T]ruth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    per Evolution News

    And as plant geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig asked, ” why — even after inducing literally billions of induced mutations and (further) chromosome rearrangements — all the important mutation breeding programs have come to an end in the Western World instead of eliciting a revolution in plant breeding, either by successive rounds of selective “micromutations” (cumulative selection in the sense of the modern synthesis), or by “larger mutations” … and why the law of recurrent variation is endlessly corroborated by the almost infinite repetition of the spectra of mutant phenotypes in each and any new extensive mutagenesis experiment (as predicted) instead of regularly producing a range of new systematic species…(?)”

    Peer-Reviewed Research Paper on Plant Biology Favorably Cites Intelligent Design and Challenges Darwinian Evolution – Casey Luskin December 29, 2010
    Excerpt: Many of these researchers also raise the question (among others), why — even after inducing literally billions of induced mutations and (further) chromosome rearrangements — all the important mutation breeding programs have come to an end in the Western World instead of eliciting a revolution in plant breeding, either by successive rounds of selective “micromutations” (cumulative selection in the sense of the modern synthesis), or by “larger mutations” … and why the law of recurrent variation is endlessly corroborated by the almost infinite repetition of the spectra of mutant phenotypes in each and any new extensive mutagenesis experiment instead of regularly producing a range of new systematic species…
    (Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “Mutagenesis in Physalis pubescens L. ssp. floridana: Some Further Research on Dollo’s Law and the Law of Recurrent Variation,” Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology Vol. 4 (Special Issue 1): 1-21 (December 2010).)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....42191.html
    Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, (retired) Senior Scientist (Biology), Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Emeritus, Cologne, Germany.

    Likewise, Dr. John Sanford, a leading expert in plant genetics, (whose most significant scientific contributions involved three inventions – the biolistic (“gene gun”) process, pathogen-derived resistance, and genetic immunization), also found the assumption of materialism, i.e. Darwinian evolution, to be useless in his research on plant genetics. In fact he wrote a book entitled “Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome’ which is simply devastating to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution. In that book he stated (among other things),

    “What about polyploidy plants? It has been claimed that since some plants are polyploidy (having double the normal chromosome numbers), this proves that duplication must be beneficial and must increase information. Polyploidy was my special area of study during my Ph.D. thesis. Interestingly, it makes a great deal of difference how a polyploid arises. If somatic (body) cells are treated with the chemical called colchicine, cell division is disrupted , resulting in chromosome doubling – but no new information arises. The plants that result are almost always very stunted, morphologically distorted, and generally sterile. The reason for this should be obvious – the plants must waste twice as much energy to make twice as much DNA, but with no new genetic information! The nucleus is also roughly twice as large, disrupting proper cell shape and cell size. In fact, the plants actually have less information than before, because a great deal of the information which controls gene regulation depends on gene dosage (copy number). Loss of regulatory control is loss of information. This is really the same reason why an extra chromosome causes Down’s Syndrome. Thousands of genes become improperly improperly regulated, because of extra genic copies.
    If somatic polyploidization is consistently deleterious, why are there any polyploidy plants at all – such as potatoes? The reason is that polyploidy can arise by a different process – which is called sexual polyploidization.This happens when a unreduced sperm unites with a unreduced egg. In this special case, all of the information within the two parents is combined into the offspring, and there can be a net gain of information within that single individual. But there is no more total information within the population. the information within the two parents was simply pooled. In such a case we are seeing pooling of information, but not any new information.”,,, “in some special cases, the extra level of gene backup within a polyploidy can outweigh the problems of disrupted gene regulation and reduced fertility – and so can result in a type of “net gain”. But such a “net gain” is more accurately described as a net reduction in the rate of degeneration.”
    John Sanford – Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome – pages 191-192 – Dr. John Sanford has been a Cornell University Professor for more than 25 years (being semi-retired since 1998). He received his Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin in the area of plant breeding and plant genetics.

    As to the claim from EricMH that methodological naturalism, i.e. the assumption of materialism, lay behind the IT (Information Technology) revolution, that claim is simply the most insane and ludicrous of all of EricMH’s claims for methodological naturalism, i.e. the assumption of materialism..

    That humans should ‘master the planet’ due to his unique ability to manipulate immaterial information is completely contrary to the ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking that undergirds Darwinian thought. Although humans are fairly defenseless creatures in the wild compared to other creatures, such as lions, bears, sharks, etc.., nonetheless, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to communicate information and also to, specifically, infuse immaterial information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. intelligently design, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, basic survival in procuring food, furtherance of our knowledge, and also for our pleasure.

    History of Invention
    http://www.explainthatstuff.com/timeline.html

    And although the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, that allowed humans to become ‘masters of the planet’, was rather crude to begin with, (i.e. spears, arrows, and plows etc..), this top down infusion of immaterial information into material substrates has become much more impressive over the last half century or so.
    Specifically, the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial mathematical and/or logical information into material substrates lies at the very basis of many, if not all, of man’s most stunning, almost miraculous, technological advances in recent decades.

    Describing Nature With Math By Peter Tyson – Nov. 2011
    Excerpt: Mathematics underlies virtually all of our technology today. James Maxwell’s four equations summarizing electromagnetism led directly to radio and all other forms of telecommunication. E = mc2 led directly to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The equations of quantum mechanics made possible everything from transistors and semiconductors to electron microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging.
    Indeed, many of the technologies you and I enjoy every day simply would not work without mathematics. When you do a Google search, you’re relying on 19th-century algebra, on which the search engine’s algorithms are based. When you watch a movie, you may well be seeing mountains and other natural features that, while appearing as real as rock, arise entirely from mathematical models. When you play your iPod, you’re hearing a mathematical recreation of music that is stored digitally; your cell phone does the same in real time.
    “When you listen to a mobile phone, you’re not actually hearing the voice of the person speaking,” Devlin told me. “You’re hearing a mathematical recreation of that voice. That voice is reduced to mathematics.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/p.....-math.html

    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, ,,,
    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

    To presuppose that methodological naturalism, i.e. the assumption of materialism, lay behind the IT revolution is simply completely disconnected from the reality of the situation. In fact, the fact that human beings ALONE process this ability to manipulate immaterial information, and the fact that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundation basis, is proof for the Theistic claim that human beings alone are ‘made in the image of God’.

    The Galilean Challenge – Noam Chomsky – April 2017
    Excerpt: The capacity for language is species specific, something shared by humans and unique to them. It is the most striking feature of this curious organism, and a foundation for its remarkable achievement,,,
    There has been considerable progress in understanding the nature of the internal language, but its free creative use remains a mystery. This should come as no surprise. In a recent review of far simpler cases of voluntary action, neuroscientists Emilio Bizzi and Robert Ajemian remark, in the case of something so simple as raising one’s arm, that
    “the detail of this complicated process, which critically involves coordinate and variable transformations from spatial movement goals to muscle activations, needs to be elaborated further. Phrased more fancifully, we have some idea as to the intricate design of the puppet and the puppet strings, but we lack insight into the mind of the puppeteer.”8
    The normal creative use of language is an even more dramatic example.,,,
    One fact appears to be well established. The faculty of language is a true species property, invariant among human groups, and unique to humans in its essential properties. It follows that there has been little or no evolution of the faculty since human groups separated from one another,,,
    There is little evidence of anything like human language, or symbolic behavior altogether, before the emergence of modern humans.,,,
    Our intricate knowledge of what even the simplest words mean is acquired virtually without experience. At peak periods of language acquisition, children acquire about a word an hour, often on one presentation.26 The rich meaning of even the most elementary words must be substantially innate.
    The evolutionary origin of such concepts is a complete mystery.,,,
    — Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT.
    – per Inference

    In the following article, Anton Zeilinger, a leading expert in quantum mechanics, stated that ‘it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows.’

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum mechanics:
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    In the following video at the 48:24 mark Zeilinger states that “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information” and he goes on to note at the 49:45 mark the Theological significance of “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1

    48:24 mark: “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    49:45 mark: “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    Vlatko Vedral, who is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and is also a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics, states

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College – a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics.

    Moreover, besides being foundational to physical reality, information is also found to be ‘infused’ into biological life.

    Information Enigma (Where did the information in life come from?) – – Stephen Meyer – Doug Axe – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-FcnLsF1g

    Complex grammar of the genomic language – November 9, 2015
    Excerpt: The ‘grammar’ of the human genetic code is more complex than that of even the most intricately constructed spoken languages in the world. The findings explain why the human genome is so difficult to decipher –,,,
    ,,, in their recent study in Nature, the Taipale team examines the binding preferences of pairs of transcription factors, and systematically maps the compound DNA words they bind to.
    Their analysis reveals that the grammar of the genetic code is much more complex than that of even the most complex human languages. Instead of simply joining two words together by deleting a space, the individual words that are joined together in compound DNA words are altered, leading to a large number of completely new words.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....140252.htm

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’ precisely because of our ability infuse information into material substrates.

    I guess a more convincing proof that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, defeated death on a cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that He was God.
    And that is precisely the proof claimed within Christianity.

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words ‘The Lamb’ on a Solid Oval Object Under The Beard – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    Verses:

    Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

    Acts 3:15
    You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

  157. 157
    EricMH says:

    @ET, I’m not sure what you are saying. You think there is the equivalent of a bacterium flagellum blueprint that exists in some non-physical realm? What is the evidence for this? And what is the difference between this idea and before we discovered DNA? What if a biologist back then claimed that the information encoded in the DNA was emerging from some non-physical realm and therefore we should not seek a physical medium and the problem was solved? We would never have discovered DNA and biological science would be set back centuries. This seems to be the danger of the current state of ID, that it can appeal to non physically testable entities as an explanation, thus not explaining anything and not seeking out a possible testable explanation, which is precisely the major criticism leveled against ID by methodological naturalists. Is this problem not clear to you? How can ID mitigate it?

    Again, I’m not saying this problem is fatal to ID. I am saying it is at least a potential problem, and I’ve fallen prey to it myself. We need a rigorous methodology to guard against postulating untestable explanations.

  158. 158
    ET says:

    Eric- The immaterial information exists in the cells. As I said there isn’t any evidence that the assembly instructions are the DNA. So how do you think any bacterial flagellum gets assembled, faithfully, time after time?

    And of course we would have discovered DNA. All that took was a powerful microscope.

    I didn’t say anything about a non-physical entity. “Information is information, neither matter nor energy” Norbert Weiner

    Information is immaterial, Eric. And my suggestion is testable. Just find the physio-chemical component that details the assembly processes of biological structures (and developmental biology). No one has found such a thing so far. And yet those structures exist and get faithfully replicated.

  159. 159
    EricMH says:

    @ET, it is hard for me to understand what you mean. When you say ‘information is immaterial’ I thought you meant there is some non physical source of the information that forms a biological organism, i.e. some kind of vitalism. But you claim there is no non-physical entity. So, I don’t know what you mean.

    For example, even though the same software program can be implemented in multiple computers, and in that sense the program’s information is some sort of abstract Platonic reality, the actual program that makes the computer do something is embedded in a physical medium. Is this what you mean when you say ‘information is immaterial’? There is still some way the information that creates the flagellum is physically embedded in the generating organism? If so, this seems best studied with some sort of methodological naturalism, where we seek out the manner in which the information is physically embedded. Of course, it is best if we assume philosophical theism so that we seek out information in the first place, but once we get to the point where we are explaining the operation of the flagellum building process, we rely entirely on physical mechanism and material encodings of immaterial information. It is this restricted setting that methodological naturalism seems best suited for providing scientific guidance.

    =================

    @BA77, hopefully the above illustrates the sort of distinction I am making. I agree with much of what you write, I think you are misunderstanding my terminology. Theism certainly works much better than naturalism as a guide and motivation for science. But when it comes down to the actual silicon, wiring and programming that makes our computers work, we rely entirely on physical mechanisms and materially encoded information, all things that are entirely within the realm of methodological naturalism. That being said, the inference from what we discover scientifically seems to overwhelmingly point towards intelligent agency, as you point out with your catalogue of examples.

    I believe our basic disagreement comes down to different definitions of methodological naturalism. I am only referring to the sort of science that ‘gets things done’. Currently, such science proceeds entirely by reference to physical mechanisms. The error comes in when people extrapolate from the methodological naturalism necessary to ‘get things done’ to philosophical naturalism about the ultimate origin of everything.

    A charitable understanding of the motivation for exclusively focusing on methodological naturalism given by Francis Bacon is that before he proposed only looking at formal and efficient causality in natural philosophy, many theologians were supposing metaphysical entities that were practically worthless for solving what Bacon saw as the pressing physical problems of his day. By restricting focus to formal and efficient causality Bacon sought to solve the problems of disease and hunger that surrounded him in his era. And arguably, this restriction in focus has achieved exactly what Bacon sought to great effect.

    =================

    @Doubter, well thought out example. My question is, why do you remove the intelligent agent from the chance hypothesis? That seems like special pleading. For any event under examination, we can always remove whatever causal agent we want to designate as ‘intelligent’ and get positive CSI. For instance, say I flip a double headed coin, and for sake of analysis I use a fair coin as my chance hypothesis. Under this setting, I get about N bits of CSI for N coin flips. Yet, there is no intelligent agency involved. I get positive CSI because I have chosen to set ‘double headed coin’ as the ‘intelligent agency’ and this gives the desired result.

    This shows that if we get to choose what to exclude from the chance hypothesis, then the explanatory filter is not a test for intelligent agency, per se, but a test for the alternate hypothesis, i.e. a Bayes log likelihood test. However, this then begs the question. The Darwinist claims that human beings have been created through the evolutionary process, so are themselves the product of chance and necessity, and thus should be included in the chance hypothesis, potentially resulting in no CSI. The ID argument, on the other hand, claims there is something special about humans and thus excludes them from the chance hypothesis, resulting in positive CSI. However, the whole reason there is something supposedly special about humans is because they are intelligently design and are themselves intelligent agents and outside the realm of stochastic processes. But, this is precisely the point under debate between the two sides, so cannot be used as the assumption in the IDist’s argument.

    Thus, both sides beg the question when applying the explanatory filter by deciding whether to include or exclude humans from the chance hypothesis for the piece of art. Since setting up the explanatory filter must be a priori set with either side’s assumptions to achieve the desired conclusion, then the circularity of the argument means the explanatory filter does not provide any assistance in objectively resolving the question for either side.

  160. 160
    bornagain77 says:

    It is safe to say that nobody really knows how an organism achieves its basic form. In the following article, Michael Denton remarks that,’to date the form of no individual cell has been shown to be specified in detail in a genomic blueprint.’

    The Types: A Persistent Structuralist Challenge to Darwinian Pan-Selectionism – Michael J. Denton – 2013
    Excerpt: Cell form ,,,Karsenti comments that despite the attraction of the (genetic) blueprint model there are no “simple linear chains of causal events that link genes to phenotypes” [77: p. 255]. And wherever there is no simple linear causal chain linking genes with phenotypes,,,—at any level in the organic hierarchy, from cells to body plans—the resulting form is bound to be to a degree epigenetic and emergent, and cannot be inferred from even the most exhaustive analysis of the genes.,,,
    To this author’s knowledge, to date the form of no individual cell has been shown to be specified in detail in a genomic blueprint. As mentioned above, between genes and mature cell form there is a complex hierarchy of self-organization and emergent phenomena, rendering cell form profoundly epigenetic.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.3

    And in the following article entitled ‘how do rod-like bacteria control their geometry?’, in the concluding paragraph, the authors conceded that, ‘We are still far from unravelling the fundamental “engineering” challenges that biology has to overcome in shaping single cells as well as multi-cellular tissues.,,,’

    Getting into shape: how do rod-like bacteria control their geometry? – March 31, 2014
    Excerpt from concluding paragraph: We are still far from unravelling the fundamental “engineering” challenges that biology has to overcome in shaping single cells as well as multi-cellular tissues.,,,
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.0015.pdf

    ,,,, the failure of reductive materialism to be able to explain the basic form of any particular organism occurs at a very low level. Much lower than DNA itself.
    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    further notes:

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate (27:15 minute mark – how quantum information theory relates to molecular biology)
    https://youtu.be/4f0hL3Nrdas?t=1635

  161. 161
    bornagain77 says:

    EricMH at 159, the misunderstanding, and misapplication, of methodological naturalism is entirely your own.

    Methodological naturalism, i.e. assuming materialism, has achieved NOTHING.

    You have made grand claims for materialism, (i.e. creating modern medicine, agriculture and the IT revolution), for which you, as has now been shown in this thread, simply have no evidence.

  162. 162
    EricMH says:

    @ET to expand a bit more on my response.

    Perhaps you can answer this question by using your argument in a more familiar setting.

    If, following your line of argument, I say ‘Windows is generated by immaterial information’ because no one can point to the particular electrical/silicon component that generates Windows, what benefit does this explanation provide? It seems, rather, that I can understand Windows best by assuming it is produced by a particular digital encoding, which in turn is used by the various computer components to generate the OS we know and love. In particular, if I’m IT support, a programmer, or a hacker, then knowing the precise naturalistic details of how Windows is physically embedded and operates allows me to manipulate the system to greatest effect. On the other hand, as a standard end user, the naturalistic details are mostly irrelevant, and I can focus exclusively on the informational and teleological aspects of the OS.

    In my view of things, modern science operates in the role of the IT support/developer/hacker, and thus is best conducted by knowing the physically instantiated details of reality, i.e. methodological naturalism. On the other hand, we normal end users get the most benefit from the teleological user interface with which God has endowed creation, and this realm seems to be investigated without reference to methodological naturalism.

    The big question is whether these two realms ever intersect. The ID claim is that they do, and in a significant way. The modern science claim is that they do not. Philosophical naturalism goes further and claims the latter realm does not really exist.

    However, I do not really see ID making good on the intersection claim. But, ID is doing very well justifying the existence of the latter realm, and thus is falsifying philosophical naturalism. Yet, methodological naturalism remains largely untouched.

  163. 163
    EricMH says:

    @BA77, the problem with your line of argument is the question: ‘so what?’

    Let’s say we accept your argument that there is no physical embedding of the information that gives an organism its form. And, let’s say we accept your argument before we discover DNA. And, let’s say that it is accepted by the entire scientific enterprise, so no one seeks to understand further how organisms get their form, and instead assume ‘God did it’. It is not clear to me what benefit we gain.

    On the other hand, it is very clear that we would not have discovered DNA, since research into the information encoding will have stopped. No one is going to accidentally stumble across microscopically encoded information within intertwined nucleotide chains. They were looking for the encoding because they thought something was physically causing organisms to have the form that they do, i.e. following methodological naturalism to discover a physical cause for a physical phenomenon. And without discovering DNA, we would have missed out on significant chunks of modern progress in medicine and agriculture.

  164. 164
    bornagain77 says:

    Just because we now know that, as you derogatorily put it “‘God did it”, that does not stop scientific inquiry. By the same token, although erroneously assuming ‘unguided material processes did it’ (as you still insist on doing) did not stop scientific inquiry. In fact science progressed regardless of the severe impediments that assuming methodological naturalism placed on science.

    The benefit we gain in science, by casting the erroneous assumption of methodological naturalism. i.e. materialism, to the wayside, is that we now have a correct understanding of what is actually going on in place, and a correct foundational understanding always catalyzes more fruitful areas of research.

    I could list many examples where the assumption of materialism has impeded scientific research (sometimes for decades). and where assuming Theism fostered scientific discovery. Shoot, modern science itself owes its very existence to Christianity.

    You are simply misguided, and worse yet you are parroting atheistic talking points, in your insistence that science should dogmatically assume materialism, i.e. methodological naturalism, as a starting assumption.

    Of supplemental note, your characterization of the discovery of DNA and your claim that “They were looking for the encoding because they thought something was physically causing organisms to have the form that they do,”, is misguided at best.

    As Stephen Meyer has explained, Francis Crick was able to come up with the ‘sequence hypothesis’ for DNA primarily because of his prior work on breaking the German’s ENIGMA code during WWII, not because of any assumption of materialism that he may have held as an atheist.

    i.e. Crick made the discovery IN SPITE of his atheistic materialism, not because of it!

    Moreover, experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, and DNA was discovered precisely because of the availability of new instruments and methodologies:

    Franklin is best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA, particularly Photo 51, while at King’s College London, which led to the discovery of the DNA double helix for which James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
    – per wikipedia

    The advancements in instrumentation that allowed the discovery of DNA owes nothing to the assumption of materialism. The scientific instruments that allowed the discovery of DNA were INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED for crying out loud.

    To repeat for the deaf ears of EricMH, In fact, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on intelligent design and is certainly not based on methodological naturalism as is falsely presupposed by atheistic Darwinists (and as is, apparently, also falsely presupposed by some misguided Christians).
    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science, (i.e. that the universe is rational and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can dare understand that rationality), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results, from top to bottom science itself is certainly not ‘natural’.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analysed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.

    EricMH, you simply, (like many atheists here on UD have done before you came along), are dogmatically trying to give credit for materialism where credit is not due. Any discovery in science that you can give that you think supports your claim that methodological naturalism. i.e assuming materialism, should be the ground rule for science, I can show where that discovery was fostered by the Intelligent Design and advancement of the instruments and techniques of scientific experimentation. As should be needless to say, none of that has anything to do with methodological naturalism, i.e. assuming materialism, as you are falsely presupposing.

  165. 165

    .
    Eric, may I ask you a question please. You need not answer (and it is quite alright if you don’t), but I am only asking in an effort to understand (only for myself) why you appear (to me) to be so utterly confused about the subject of biological information.

    Do you believe there is information in a carbon atom? And if so, what is it?

  166. 166
    ET says:

    Eric:

    Let’s say we accept your argument that there is no physical embedding of the information that gives an organism its form. And, let’s say we accept your argument before we discover DNA. And, let’s say that it is accepted by the entire scientific enterprise, so no one seeks to understand further how organisms get their form, and instead assume ‘God did it’.

    That is a strange absolute extreme, Eric. Scientists like Newton and Kepler saw science as a way of understanding God’s handiwork. If we saw there was something to explore inside of cells you bet we would develop the technology to do so. We would still need to know about the germs of germ theory.

    Just because DNA does not determine form doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Genomes and genotypes control and influence every aspect of development. It’s just that neither of those are determining factors. Factory assembly lines control and influence the development of products. They do not determine what they are supposed to be producing.

    And no one advocates for saying “DESIGN” and ending it there. It would be very exciting research to determine how the biological molecules are directed to where they need to be. To determine where the assembly instructions are. And finally determine how we can infuse our synthetic cells with that information.

    There is still some way the information that creates the flagellum is physically embedded in the generating organism?

    I agree. But we just need basic science. We do NOT need to label it “methodological naturalism”. Naturalistic processes had nothing to do with installing the software. Unless you are defining “naturalistic” so broadly as to make it superfluous.

  167. 167
    doubter says:

    EricMH

    “Why do you remove the intelligent agent from the chance hypothesis?”

    The scientists in the thought experiment are strictly self-limited to the scientific method as presently defined, which presumes methodological naturalism (actually metaphysical naturalism). You forget that this scientific method (with its foundation of metaphysical naturalism) assumes as a paradigm that all that exists is matter, energy, space and time. It cannot account for consciousness, for conscious agents, having the properties that include the ones I gave as examples. Therefore the scientists must assume that there really are no conscious agents – there are only deterministic/stochastic biological machines with consciousness being an illusory epiphenomenon of the workings of their neurological structures. And by implication, that these biological machines originated over millions of years by another combination of stochastic and deterministic processes, Darwinian evolution. A process where selective reproductive fitness is the only “purposive” force, the rest being stochastic random with respect to fitness genetic variation.

    That this paradigm is self-referentially absurd since it denies the real existence of the scientists themselves as real seekers after truth with the real free will to do so, is ignored for the moment, but it hangs in the background.

    As such, as already mentioned, in this paradigm reality is neatly divided into either deterministic or probabilistic/random processes. There is nothing else, no room for something else, for real conscious creative intelligences that are more than these processes.

    For these scientists to hypothetically propose an intelligent conscious human being as the origin of the Rembrandt portrait would actually amount within their paradigm to their proposing that at the historical time the work of art is dated to, a biological machine with no real consciousness and no real free will created the large amount of complex specified information in the portrait. I submit that this proposed hypothesis is absurd, first because we know that human conscious intelligence is fundamentally more than and different than physical processes. As evidenced by the properties of human conscious awareness such as the ones I used as examples, that fundamentally, existentially, can’t be derived from the measurable material phenomena of science:

    – intentionality – the quality of directing toward achieving an object
    – aboutness: being about something
    – this object of aboutness may be totally immaterial as in abstract thought, i.e. a thought about the number pi
    – having meaning
    – subjectivity
    – qualities of subjective awareness – i.e. blueness, redness, loudness, softness

    These properties or qualities and more are strongly elicited by the Rembrandt portrait, indicating a conscious intelligent originator having these immaterial properties. This is the only known source of such an artifact. Not a “meat robot” as assumed by materialism.

    This proposed hypothesis also is untenable because the researchers can’t actually demonstrate even theoretically that a mechanism consisting only of random/probabilistic and deterministic sub-mechanisms can create such an artwork consisting of a very large amount of complex specified meaningful information (of course with no intelligent outside input). They can’t do this any more than they can demonstrate even theoretically that the extremely large amount of complex specified information in biology has such an origin in Darwinian processes. This is shown by the bankruptcy of modern synthesis Neodarwinism. As absurd as hypothesizing that the faces on Mount Rushmore are the result of natural wind erosion and tectonic processes over millions of years.

    So if they are going to be both true to their paradigm and not absurd these scientists must exclude the intelligent conscious agent hypothesis.

  168. 168
    bornagain77 says:

    Very well put again Doubter, if I might add this old gem from Paul Nelson,

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Even a modest formulation of MN (methodological naturalism) excludes too much, hindering us from learning what we really might want to find out.
    Assessing the Damage MN Does to Freedom of Inquiry
    Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. 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 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.
    If ID satisfied MN as that philosophical doctrine is usually stated, the decades-long dispute over both wouldn’t have happened. The whole point of invoking MN (by the National Center for Science Education, for instance, or other anti-ID organizations) is to try to exclude ID, before a debate about the evidence can occur, by indicting ID for inferring non-physical causes.
    That’s why pushing the MN emergency button is so useful to opponents of ID. Violate MN, if MN defines science, and the game is over.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set/

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