29 Replies to “Paley updated and videoized

  1. 1
    kvwells says:

    Excellent. a very cogent bait and switch. Huxley was right, one really can’t compare watches to the even simplest living cells. In terms of sheer number individual components, efficiency, digital controls, self replication, enrgy production and waste removal, prescribed demolition and carefully managed reconstruction, etc (ad infinitum ?) I wonder if one could make the case that the level of complexity and successful design of these “designoids” is comparable to (far exceeds?) the the most successful and largest of our cities.

    Any of you molecular biologists up for drafting the “Comprehensive Urban Planner” argument?

  2. 2
    Michaels7 says:

    I’m all verklempt… sniff, sniff 🙂 nice flash job and the writer and voiceover done extremely well.

    Hummingbird says, ‘thankyou Al Gore’ Texas Instruments never had a thang on you 20 years ago.

  3. 3
    Lurker says:

    Very good.

    Neo Darwinists always draw a line of distinction between NDE and origin of life. Is this a valid thing to do? ID seems to be more about the origin of life – how the watch was formed – whereas NDE seems to focus on the changes that occured afterward – how the windup pocket watch changed into a digital wrist watch. Am I missing something?

  4. 4
    EJ Klone says:

    The video was cute and entertaining, but don’t you think it misrepresents ID? Using such terms as “He” and “Lord” doesn’t that presume not only a supernatural deity, but a male one and a christian one, and need I say, just ONE? That’s not the intelligent design I’m familiar with.

  5. 5
    John A. Davison says:

    The only conceivable role for chance in the evolutionary scenario was to cause extinction. It had absolutely nothing to do with either the creation or subsequent evolution of living creatures. It still doesn’t and never will because evolution is finished and has been for a very long time.

    Trust me but of course you won’t.

    Pity!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  6. 6
    russ says:

    “Neo Darwinists always draw a line of distinction between NDE and origin of life. Is this a valid thing to do?” – Lurker

    http://cmex.ihmc.us/VikingCD/Puzzle/Prebiot.htm

    If you follow the the above link to NASA’s Center for Mars Exploration website, then follow the links on the page, you’ll find these particular scientists don’t draw much of a “line of extinction” between NDE and the origin of life.

  7. 7
    jmcd says:

    Lurker

    I think you are right. NDE really cannot address early life all that well . We have no evidence for how the first self-replicating organic material formed or what shape the journey to modern life took. Now of course I am revealing my bias in that statement by speculating that modern life had less complex beginnings. All beginning of life discussions are by necessity speculative. We can make educated guesses but there is no way to really know.

    There is one issue with the video I would like to bring up. I often hear people talk about the indoctrination of our youth into materialism. Having gone through that “indoctrination” myself I can say that I was never told anything about purpose or design in science class until the university when some readings indirectly addressed some of those questions. My education was free of theology in every class but theology. How is video not an extreme form of indoctrination in comparison?

  8. 8
    jmcd says:

    Russ:
    Nowhere is nde mentioned in that peice. It is just stating the chronological evolution of life which in no way disagrees with ID. It says nothing about the mechanisms of evolution.

  9. 9
    scordova says:

    EJ wrote:

    The video was cute and entertaining, but don’t you think it misrepresents ID? Using such terms as “He” and “Lord” doesn’t that presume not only a supernatural deity, but a male one and a christian one, and need I say, just ONE? That’s not the intelligent design I’m familiar with.

    That’s an understandable reservation, and thus it should be addressed. This presentation may indeed have theological appeal but it uses the theology-free argument from design to support a theological statement.

    For example, one can use forensic chemistry and biology to make arguments about someone’s character (i.e. “Bill Clinton is not particularly puritanical based on scientific tests of Monica Lewinski’s clothing”). The fact that one uses chemsitry and biology to make arguments about Bill Clinton’s character does not mean chemistry and biology are inherently character arguments.

    In like manner, making theology-free design arguments to support theological ideas does not make theology-free design arguments inherently theological.

  10. 10
    johnnyb says:

    Lurker —

    Actually much of current evolutionary biology is dependent on abiogenesis (though the evos try to deny it). See this thread:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....hives/1241

    Now, it is _possible_ to have a theory of evolution which is compatible with ID. But it is also possible to have a theory of evolution that is compatible with young-earth creationism. “Evolution” as the term is used by the scientific establishment, usually refers to the materialistic one that, as pointed out in the link above, assumes (either consciously or unconsciously) a specific view of abiogenesis. Also known as neo-Darwinism.

  11. 11
    Mats says:

    Ask Dr Massimo Pigliuci is the origin of life is part of the theory of evolution, and you’ll see what he says. IN his view, silly creationists always confuse the origin of life with evolution, when everyone knows that evolution has nothing to do with it. Too bad that many of the school books which teach/preach evolutionism mention the Miller/Urey experimet, as Jon Wells documented in his site “iconsofevolution”

  12. 12
    BC says:

    Overall, I think abiogenesis is an optional component of evolution. It’s sometimes included, though, in my view, even if we suppose a designer for life’s origins, it’s still reasonable to see the “origin of the species” (note that it’s called “Origin of the Species”, not “Origin of Life”) as being entirely explainable through NDE. Further, the vast majority of anti-evolution arguments are aimed directly at the NDE process of the last 4 billion years. It would actually be interesting to see someone back an intelligent designer for the origin of life and NDE afterwards. Of course, that rarely ever happens. ID is gunning to shoot down the NDE mechanism because most IDists are looking to promote evidence for humankind’s deliberate creation by specific deity. Simply advocating intelligent design of life’s origin puts the creator a little too far away from the deliberate creation of humankind. And maybe those personal beliefs of IDists are distorting ID’s position on these issues.

    I find the comparison to a watch and a watchmaker to be missing the point. Intelligent designers can make all kinds of things. NDE works on objects that undergo mutation, reproduction, and selection. NDE would not and could not create physical objects like watches because watches (or jetliners in a junkyard) are not under the pressures of mutation, reproduction, or selection. Hence, NDE could not create them. So, to say NDE can’t create watches, biological organisms are more complex than watches, thus NDE can’t create biological organisms is making a bad logical leap. Instead, NDE is quite capable of creating complexity, but it requires a specific set of conditions before it works – conditions which aren’t present in creating watches.

    I actually think that the watchmaker argument is a bit like this: someone travels from San Francisco to New York. They might’ve travelled by car (evolution) or they might’ve travelled by plane (ID). It’s a long distance from San Francisco to New York (3000 miles?). Someone points out that you can’t drive from San Francisco to Alcatraz in a car (evolution), and that’s a lot shorter distance. Therefore, there’s no way someone could drive a car from San Francisco to New York. That’s comparible to the watchmaker argument. There are specific reasons NDE can’t create a watch and there are specific reasons a car can’t drive to Alcatraz (water), but that doesn’t tell us much about whether NDE can make more complex systems (life) or whether there is an overland route between San Francisco and New York.

    BTW, here’s some more literature on abiogenesis:
    http://danielrhoads.blogspot.c.....43910.html
    http://biology.plosjournals.or.....0396-S.pdf

  13. 13
    scordova says:

    Over at Pandas Thumb Dave Thomas is putting some disingenuous spin on the situation ID in a Nutshell.

    The Christian creationists at UD are keenly aware of the difference between ID and creationism. ID is a theology-free theory which may or may not support a theological position. I happen to think ID theory supports some of my personal ideas. What’s wrong with that? It does not mean ID theory draws it’s deductions or premises from theology even if ID may support one’s theology or personal views. Thomas however, as is the custom at Pandas Thumb, repeats tired old misrepresentations.

    This is not the first time Thomas put together a sham. A few weeks back he put together a sham on evolutionary algorithms. After I visited pandas thumb to called him on his little charade Comment 111151 he suggested I leave. In the meantime, the blogsphere from PZ Myers onward hailed Dave’s little gimmick as some kind of truth. Most of the software engineers here at UD saw right through it, but the eager consumers of Panda food gulped it down uncritically, believing the design argument was refuted by his software theatrics.
    This last little bit of misrepresentation by Thomas is par for the course for the Panda bloggers.

    What this latest Paley video signals however, is that creationists are now beginning to see the issues more clearly. They are warming to ID and learning to separate theological ideas from scientific ideas. This is a welcome development for ID, because we can now expect more people like Paul Nelson to join ID who look forward to opportunities to frame their arguments in purely scientific versus theological terms.

    What this signifies is the Weapon Retention Failure by the anti-ID community. The anti-IDers will now have to face creationists en mass who will engage them on purely scientific terms, with no reference to theology. It used to be that it was pastors taking on anti-IDers with heavy references to theology. It will now be students of science, engineers, doctors, and scientists taking on the anti-IDers on purely scientific terms with theology off the table. What difference does it make what people’s motivations are. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of the brute fact, and whether theories like Darwinism are mathematically self-destructing….

    Salvador

  14. 14
    Smidlee says:

    “NDE would not and could not create physical objects like watches because watches (or jetliners in a junkyard) are not under the pressures of mutation, reproduction, or selection. Hence, NDE could not create them.”
    But both physical objects like a watch and life obey the same laws. The laws that turn a watch into rust also tries to break down living cells.
    Your link compares creationist view on abiogenesis vs the real view yet creationist view is probably more plasible since the so call real abiogenesis takes time which it all living cell’s (as well as a watch) greatest enemy. Taking baby steps doesn’t save abiogenesis when it has a hungry lion on it’s tail.

  15. 15
    GilDodgen says:

    When my first-born daughter was six years old I told her how I used to be a militant atheist. She asked me where I thought we came from. I told her the Darwinian story.

    She laughed.

  16. 16
    Emkay says:

    A picture is worth a thousand arguments. In a culture in which kids now respond more to moving images than to the written and spoken word, we need more videos like this to graphically drive the ID point home. Because…

    “A past evolution is unsupported by the evidence, a present evolution indemonstrable.”

  17. 17
    HodorH says:

    Salvador,

    In like manner, making theology-free design arguments to support theological ideas does not make theology-free design arguments inherently theological.

    I think this is mostly right, but I don’t think that it is necessary to separate theological arguments from “scientific” arguments. Because we can observe the effects of a creator, we can infer certain characteristics about Him. Thus, theology and science are inextricably intertwined. The separation of the two is clearly an attempt to get theology into public schools, which may be noble, but is certainly unconstitutional. Rather, our attempts should be geared toward getting public schools away from our theology.

  18. 18
    EJ Klone says:

    Scordova Wrote:

    “In like manner, making theology-free design arguments to support theological ideas does not make theology-free design arguments inherently theological.”

    As I see it, ID is being used almost exclusively for supporting Christian theological arguments. Am I the only one that sees a problem with the whole, ‘ID doesn’t say anything about the identity of the designer,’ and then turn around and say that it must be the Christian god? The very fact that ID is described as a non-materialistic theory means that ID proponents assume that it must be super-natural.

    It would be like saying that biology and chemistry can only identify that what was on Lewinsky’s dress was semen, but that it would not be possible to identify the source. The chance of the DNA markers in that sperm matching those of Clinton’s by chance are exceedingly low. We can tell that evolutionists are idiots by the idiotic things that they write to defend their religion – heck, you can sometimes tell who wrote it based upon the content. So why is it that ID doesn’t even attempt to take the next step..?

    I think ID can be better than this. Videos supporting a particular religion arguing against another religion is pointless, we need some real research.

  19. 19
    idnet.com.au says:

    BC writes “most IDists are looking to promote evidence for humankind’s deliberate creation by specific deity.”

    I do not think you are able to speak for “most IDists”. Catholic theologians who are not IDists, ofteen require a special infusion of spirit with the first humans.

    ID detects patterns in nature that are best (given the readily available alternatives) explained by intelligence.

    The idea that a Designer makes the first cell and then RM and NS can do the rest is not the best explanation of the data. This of course is the matter of debate. We will see where the debate leads. In the end there will be a mix. Physics has a mix, which they are now trying to unify with string theory. Biologists think they got their string theory with Darwin. They are clearly wrong.

  20. 20
    John A. Davison says:

    Thanks for the endorsement Emkay, whoever that is. As I used to say over at EvC –

    “Who is next?”

    I don’t believe indemonstrable is a word.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  21. 21
    scordova says:

    As I see it, ID is being used almost exclusively for supporting Christian theological arguments. Am I the only one that sees a problem with the whole, ‘ID doesn’t say anything about the identity of the designer,’

    EJ Klone,

    I appreciate your comments. But even I, given my position on the issues, have no hesitation saying to creationists, “ID does not identify the designer”. They don’t see it as disingenuous, or that IDers like me are trying to sneak something past them. Rather, they recognize it as an effort to make careful distinctions and maintaining high standards of scientific integrity free from philosophy and theology.

    They realize that such a mode of inquiry has the best chance of vindicating their personal views. If on the other hand they suspect an argument was not theology-free, how can they trust its conclusions? For those on the fence, as I was 6 years ago, theology-free science was very liberating. I much enjoyed Denton and Jastrow (agnostics) over Henry Morris (YEC). And among the young exploring the issues, even the creationists, I ask, “if all things were equal, who’s word carry more weight to you, someone like Michael Denton or or a Bible believer like Henry Morris”. Almost invariably, they’ll answer Denton! (Curiously, though Denton has a keen distaste for YEC, his books are sold by ICR and AiG).

    Half the population in the USA believe in special creation. They surely would be delighted to learn ID. An additional 35% (the Theistic Evoluitonists) may be open to hearing ID. It’s been my experience that it’s a waste of time trying to appease the die-hards. I find it more productive to seek out the 85% who might give it a fair hearing and try to understand the theoretical underpinnings of ID independent of theology. It will be satisfying to eventually see what we see in the general population recruited into the ranks of scientists, doctors, and engineers of tomorrow.

    Equipping them with the design arguments will enable them to stand before their peers as equals with no shame. I’m already seeing hints of this on the campuses. Among the young, to be an IDer is not looked at with the same disdain as it is in the older generation. Why? It is not unusual for an IDer to be at the top of the class. The way to change the minds of the scientific community is to appeal to the scientific community of tomorrow, not the community of today which has among their ranks many who have paid their mortgages and risen to fame by promoting naturalistic evolution.

    The anti-IDers have to worry that their explanations are not being found convincing. I point to the recent Cornell class, almost all of the students found Richard Dawkins Blind Watchmaker a scientific disappointment. In light of this, the idea of an All-Seeing Watchmaker starts to become more viable.

    The otherside may be complaing about this or that regarding ID, but the fact remains, it is they who are starting to have serious credibility problems among the general population and those in the applied sciences (medicine and technology), and even among those among their own ranks.

  22. 22
    mike1962 says:

    “Because we can observe the effects of a creator, we can infer certain characteristics about Him.”

    I think this is nonsense. Evidence is always sifted thru a grid of prior assumptions (holy texts? direct revelations from a supposed deity? direct revelations from an extraterrestrial? Imaginings of some “prophet”? Nothing at all?) The evidence demonstrates nothing about *anything* until certain assumptions are made, which cannot be empirically proven.

    For example, if I assume that this universe, and all life on it, is simply a game for bored superbeings (who, just for the heck of it, have intentionally forgotten who they are when they (read: you and me) are born as humans), and that all the squabbling and living and dying on here are just part of a massive game, played out in some super virtual reality, then I would necessarily view every event and every piece of evidence quite differently. Radically different interpretations for every just about ever event would be viewed differently.

    The Christians have their view of the middle east crisis, the Muslims have theirs, and atheists have theirs. But if you had some kind of metaphysical certainly about this world being only a *game*, you would probably view the middle east fighting differently than either of them, and all the rest of the pretexts that they fight about, etc. Your view would be radically different.

    Now about the “creator” and “his” “characteristics?” It all depends on your aprior view of reality in the first place. And I will bet dollars to donuts your assumptions cannot be demonstrated objectively. They are merely one subjective view among many, and the evidence viewed thru your lens will generate a different conclusion as compared to those processed thru another’s lens.

  23. 23
    Scott says:

    Thanks for the endorsement Emkay, whoever that is. As I used to say over at EvC –

    “Who is next?”

    I don’t believe indemonstrable is a word.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

    HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAa!

  24. 24
    tinabrewer says:

    EJKlone: you can relax. Just because some Christians are excited about the idea that their personal beliefs might be bolstered by an objective source does not in any way mean that the very general notion “these systems are best explained as a result of intelligent agency” is exclusive to those beliefs. Keep in mind that many Christians strongly oppose ID because it is totally silent on the issue of the nature of the designer. They WANT it to do things it cannot, and repudiate it for this perceived fault.

  25. 25
    HodorH says:

    Evidence is always sifted thru a grid of prior assumptions (holy texts? direct revelations from a supposed deity? direct revelations from an extraterrestrial? Imaginings of some “prophet”? Nothing at all?) The evidence demonstrates nothing about *anything* until certain assumptions are made, which cannot be empirically proven.

    Ooh, it’s good to see a solipsist on the board!

  26. 26
    EJ Klone says:

    tinabrewer: I also know of many creationists that con’t want to jump on the ID bandwagon because they don’t believe that it would be honest of them. I think some of them also fear what ID would have the potential to do to their religious faith.

    I’ve got a question for you if you will indulge me, Scordova, how can you infer that a designer is intelligent and yet not be describing characteristics of that designer? Behe, bless his heart, said in court that you could infer only that the designer(s) wanted to create design the devices in question, such as the flagellum. But as the lawyer pointed out with a rhetorical question, how can you know that without knowing anything about the designer? How many times have we humans tried to create something, only to accidentally create something else entirely? My point is that you cannot simultaneously argue that the designer is even particularly intelligent (or that it intended to create said biochemical structures) and yet argue that you cannot identify characteristics of a designer.

    It is often argued by evolutionists that a designer would not have designed it a certain way, which are arguments that only work against certain theological aassumptions. If we do away with those assumptions, I think ID will become stronger, and unencumbered enough to make some specific predictions.

    Maybe the designer(s) were trying to create a molecular syringe, and accidentally created a flagellum? I know I’ve messed up brownies and ended up with cupcakes.

  27. 27
    scordova says:

    EJ Klone asked:

    I’ve got a question for you if you will indulge me, Scordova, how can you infer that a designer is intelligent and yet not be describing characteristics of that designer?

    That’s a good question. When IDers say we can’t say much or anything about the intelligent designer, it is assumed that means anything except the fact that he/it/they is intelligent.

  28. 28
    EJ Klone says:

    You left out whether or not the designer(s) had the means to design the features in question, that you could certainly also conclude. So what you are saying is that yes, characteristics, and thus, information about the identity of the designer(s) can indeed be inferred from the data. I’m not saying you have to know its/their name(s), but you could certainly conclude that you know something about it/them. But if you could discover the tools with which life was designed, then you could come to know more about the designing process, and indeed, the designer(s).

    But the identity issue is all ‘hush hush.’ Indeed, anything that could implicate that the designer(s) was/is not the Christian god is ignored. Theological assumptions then begin to work against this scientific effort. For instance, the assumption that everything that was designed was intended to be designed according to a benevolent master plan – this blindsides us to malicious or incompetant design. A question I have for other IDers is, are there any structures which you believe were designed, but you admit do not fit into your theology?
    EJ

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