Intelligent Design

Should ID abandon attempts to explain the origin of first biological life? (Not to mention, any other origins related matter . . . ?)

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In a recent comment in a thread discussing his/her claim that ID in inferring design of first life must either face an infinite regress or else tries to explain first life by a self-contradiction [first life from prior life and/or from non-living intelligence], design theory objector FG (in ducking out of further discussion) says:

Barry and I have discovered that we are in agreement that his particular ID argument should only be used on things we can directly observe. It should not be used to answer questions about first life, since we can’t directly observe and investigate this first life.

Limiting the use of his argument in this way takes away my specific objection that triggered this thread.

Of course, the above seems to be a probably inadvertent distortion of what BA has been saying in several threads over the past week.

But what is highly significant lies in its immediate and onward implications: namely, that design theory if it is so constrained cannot properly address either origin of life or of body plans, for neither of these are amenable to direct observation. Oddly enough, FG seems unaware that the whole project of origins science is an exploration of the remote, unobserved past — indeed the unobservable past — on traces and patterns we do observe in the present. So, if the above criterion were consistently applied, we would have to surrender all claims to scientific knowledge of the deep past of origins.

In short, the objection is patently, even trivially,  selectively hyperskeptical.

Not that (on much observation)  such selective hyperskepticism deters objectors to design theory.

The matter could then be simply brushed aside as an obvious fallacy. However, there are some interesting issues and implications that have come up over the past week that should be raised to the level of record implied by a full post.

For first correction, let us pause to note what Mr Arrington actually said in the original post for the thread:

ID posits the following: CSI and IC have never been directly observed to have arisen though chance or mechanical necessity or a combination of the two. Conversely, CSI and IC are routinely observed to have been produced by intelligent agents. Moreover, intelligent agents leave behind indicia of their acts that can be objectively discerned. Therefore, using abductive reasoning, the best explanation for CSI and IC is “act of intelligent agent.”

How does this apply to first life? (By “first life” I presume FG means “first life on earth.”) Well, we cannot directly examine first life to determine whether it exhibited CSI and IC. We can only observe existing life, and when we do we find that even the most simple extant life forms are staggeringly complex. From this observation we infer that the first life on earth also exhibited CSI and IC. (To be sure, some would attempt to deny that first life is complex, but given the unanimous verdict to the contrary of all of our observations simple logic suggests that the burden is on those who make such a suggestion to demonstrate its plausibility.)

We cannot know for certain whether first life exhibited CSI and IC. ID merely says that if it did, the best explanation for the existence of the CSI and IC in first life is best explained by “act of intelligent agent.”

This is where FG goes off the rails. He/she asks “But who designed first life? By definition first life could not have been designed by a living being.” The answer is, as I have said many times before, ID does not examine the question “What is the source of all design?” ID examines the question “Is this particular thing designed?” And it says of the particular thing “first life on earth” that if it exhibited CSI and IC the best explanation for the existence of that CSI and IC is “act of intelligent agent.”

Of course, two hours before the comment by FG, Avo had said:

[FG:] “The problem remains, though, that we need to offer a solution to the paradox that first life cannot be created by something that is itself alive.”

[Avo:] Let me correct that.

First biological life [presumably, in our observed cosmos] cannot have been created by prior biological life.”

This correction on a logical point is fair enough as it stands, but it is the wider context that is deeply interesting.

Likewise, BA’s earlier response is correct though somewhat limited and neither  of these gives a response to the wider implications of FG’s argument. For, the point that will doubtless be trumpeted elsewhere is that in a leading design blog it has been conceded that design theory cannot answer to the issues of origins of life and body plans.

NOT!

To see why not, let us clip further from my own step- by- step comment in response to FG:

>>a: He [BA] is careful to note that we do not directly observe the first biological life on this planet.

b: We reasonably infer it and its characteristics from its observed “simplest” unicellular descendants, and from traces that we can observe, commonly dated 3.5 – 3.8 BYA, or about 200 mn years after the end of the suggested late bombardment era.

c: This is not unusual for origins science, to infer a deep past state of affairs on observations in the present. If you object to this, then you should be objecting to the whole body of scientific investigations of the deep and unobserved past, which plainly you do not.

d: In short, your objection [FG] is selectively hyperskeptical.

e: Going on, Barry has correctly highlighted that the design inference is on signs in a particular object [especially CSI, IC] and points to design of that object. In this case, to design of the observed  model organisms of initial biological life, reflected in what has been reproduced over the years to bring descendants of the first living cell based organisms to today.

f: Debate talking points on who designed the designer, or was the designer of the first cell based organism alive, etc are therefore tangential.

g: In addition, claims of logical contradiction, fall to the ground as there is a logically possible state of affairs under which first cell based life on earth traces to a necessary, powerful, creative being who is architect of the cosmos. Such a being would reasonably be described as living, and would have no beginning, by the force of being a necessary being.

h: At no point over the past week have you [FG] seriously engaged this issue, not even by doing so simple an exercise as to light and half-burn a match then tilt its head up so the flame goes out, then reflect on what that is telling us about contingent beings and the possibility of necessary beings.

i: In that context, the following does not appear in a favourable light:

[FG, 117:] This thread has wandered pretty far into the metaphysical territory and I am just not interested in going there. My objection was not metaphysical, it was technical and it has been answered to my satisfaction.

I don’t have much beef with ID as a metaphysical concept. Personally I don’t like metaphysical discussions much so this is where I bow out.

j: Origins science issues inherently are about the deep and unobserved, unrecorded past. Therefore, issues of worldview assumptions and alternatives are inevitable. Indeed, that is precisely the concern that has led to the highlighting of Lewontin’s notorious 1997 NYRB remarks:

. . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test  [[i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [Onlookers if you think the immediately following JUSTIFIES the just clipped, cf the notes here]

k: We see here where worldview level question begging is being injected into the very definition and process of science as a censoring a priori [and the context of the just linked shows that this is a major trend pushed by the likes of the US NAS and NSTA], robbing it of its capacity to freely seek the empirically warranted truth about the deep past of origins.

l: In that context, a refusal to examine the relevant issues, is tantamount to saying that you want to allow that inserted question begging to stand, unchallenged.

m: And whether or not we like worldview level discussions has nothing to do with their materiality to the issues at stake. If they are material, we had better know enough to draw our own reasonably informed conclusions.

n: In addition, the real issues on the nature of cause are not particularly metaphysical, they are logical and epistemological. If we are concerned to think of causes and effects coherently, we need to be aware of the distinction between necessary and sufficient causal factors. As Wikipedia, testifying against interest, notes:

Causes are often distinguished into two types: Necessary and sufficient.[7] A third type of causation, which requires neither necessity nor sufficiency in and of itself, but which contributes to the effect, is called a “contributory cause.”[8]

Necessary causes:

If x is a necessary cause of y, then the presence of y necessarily implies the presence of x. The presence of x, however, does not imply that y will occur.

Sufficient causes:

If x is a sufficient cause of y, then the presence of x necessarily implies the presence of y. However, another cause z may alternatively cause y. Thus the presence of y does not imply the presence of x.

Contributory causes:

A cause may be classified as a “contributory cause,” if the presumed cause precedes the effect, and altering the cause alters the effect. It does not require that all those subjects which possess the contributory cause experience the effect. It does not require that all those subjects which are free of the contributory cause be free of the effect. In other words, a contributory cause may be neither necessary nor sufficient but it must be contributory . . .

An igniting match (a contingent being)

o: Beyond that, this then leads to the logical distinction between contingent beings and necessary ones. A distinction that is as familiar as what happens when we tilt a half-burned match upright so the head is uppermost and the flame goes out.

p: That is, we see how fuel is a necessary factor for a fire, and we see how this is linked to the fact that a fire begins and may go out under certain circumstances. From this, we see (and may inductively test) the general principle: that which begins and/or may cease from existing, has external, necessary causal factors.

q: Such tests will abundantly vindicate its general correctness.

r: In that context, we see that biological life has a beginning and an external cause — both int eh individual case and in the first instance.

ATP Synthase

s: Since it is reasonable that that first life had in it a metabolic system [complete with the ATP synthase rotary motion mini factory that manufactures the key energy battery molecule of life], and a von Neumann digital code based self-replication facility, such is credibly replete with functionally specific, complex organisation and information.

t: For which FSCO/I the only empirically credible cause is DESIGN AS PROCESS, TRACING TO INTELLIGENT AGENTS. (As BA pointed out in the OP.)

u: Of course, from the days of TMLO, the first technical ID book in 1984, it has been highlighted that design inference is not capable of identifying the agent or agents involved, nor whether such would be within or beyond the observed cosmos.

ATP Synthase mechanism

v: But there is another side to ID, the cosmological, whereby the fine tuning of the cosmos we observe that facilitates C-chemistry, intelligent life, highlights FSCO/I, setting the cosmos to a finely balanced local operating point.

w: This is multiplied by the evidence that points to the cosmos as having a beginning at a finite distance in the past, usually estimated as 13.7 BYA.

x: That is, the observed cosmos is contingent and dependent on an external cause. In turn, that raises the implication that the contingent cosmos — even through a multiverse speculative model — traces to an underlying necessary being. One that on the fine tuning is purposeful, powerful, knowledgeable, skilled, creative and intelligent.

y: Such a being, on very reasonable and longstanding grounds, can be legitimately viewed as living.

z: That is, biological life — and FYI, FG, this was a metaphysically tinged claim or argument — does not necessarily lead to the dilemma of infinite regress or else rooting biological lifer in non-living intelligence. Once we see the logic that points to a necessary, living and intelligent being behind the cosmos, we have very reasonable grounds tor terminating the infinite regress, and for inferring to a living necessary being as architect of the cosmos.  >>

Now, it has said that some of Galileo’s objectors refused to look through his telescope, and so proved their closed mindedness. (Actually, early telescopes had notorious chromatic and spherical aberration problems, so the objectors could be said to have had some excuse, even though they were patently wrong and wrong-headed.)

Where there is no excuse, is that we have seen over the past week and more now, how objectors along the lines of this latest objection, have consistently refused to even do so simple an exercise as half burning a match then tilting it head upwards, so they can see how it goes out for want of suitable fuel.  Once that fact is in hand, we could have then reflected on necessary causal factors, contingent beings, and the implications of such, thence necessary beings and the best explanation for an observed cosmos that is credibly contingent.

But, as the old saying goes: one may lead a horse to water but cannot force it to drink. END

25 Replies to “Should ID abandon attempts to explain the origin of first biological life? (Not to mention, any other origins related matter . . . ?)

  1. 1
    Zoe says:

    Yes, KF, “To say of what IS* that it IS* or of what is NOT* that it is NOT* is TRUE” (Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1077b 26)

    The absolutely, amazing CSI and IC, observed in ALL living cells, can only lead one, logically, rationally, to conclude, coherently, that it was designed* any other materialistic theory, is simply void of intellectual honesty, and awash in pesudo-science!

  2. 2
    Zoe says:

    Also, You can take a scientist to the evidence and facts, but you can’t make him/her THINK!!!

    Such is the willfully self imposed mindset, of those who reject obvious, logical facts and evidence, still lighting a candle, to see the SUN!!! No wonder then, they will not light a match!

  3. 3
    Petrushka says:

    As long as chemistry yields new insights into the behavior of pre-biotic molecules, it is worth pursuing.

    I had a high school teacher, 50 years ago who asserted science would grind to a halt within 20 years, having discovered everything that “materialism” is capable of discovering.

    Similar claims continue to be made, but new knowledge continues, and no brick wall is in sight.

  4. 4
    EndoplasmicMessenger says:

    Hmm,

    I wonder if FG believes in the big bang. And if so, why?

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    If biological life as found on earth did not always exist, it must have had a non-biological cause of it’s existence.

    Indeed, the entire OOL field seems to know this.

    So f_g asks, according to ID theory, didn’t that precursor to biological life have to be living?

    And don’t all living things exhibit IC and/or CSI?

    So who designed the designer?

    Indeed, who made God?

    There really is nothing here worth commenting on, over and over. Why this person has continued to be taken seriously is a mystery on the level of the mystery of life’s origin.

    But, once again, here are the rather obvious flaws.

    From the fact that all known biological life exhibits IC and/or CSI it does not follow that all living entities must exhibit IC and/or CSI.

    From the fact that biological life on earth must have had a cause, and thus there must have been a “first biological life” it does not logically follow that every living entity has a cause or that there was a “first living entity” in the same sense there was a first biological life form.

    I would even go so far as to say that ID itself does not require that the precursor to first biological life on earth was a living entity. As per the standard anti-ID playbook, f_g conflates ID with creationism.

    So as we can easily see, this person simply does not understand how to reason logically, and when faced with logical arguments refuses to grant their truth even though the premises are true and the argument is valid, and is thus an irrational person.

    But we get those here all the time.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung:

    I am making the level of debate being raised by objectors to design theory a matter of record.

    And, I am underscoring the exposure in recent months of the tactic of drumbeat repetition used by objectors to ID to make their talking points seem more credible than they are on the merits.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: What I find truly astonishing is the refusal to do the simple experiment of tilting a half burned match head up, and reflecting on the implications for causality, for the reality of necessary causal factors, and for contingency vs necessity of being. All of these lie behind what happens when the flame can no longer access fresh fuel and goes out. (When I compare the tone of the references where they said that certain opponents of Galileo refused to look through his telescope, I can only shake my head.)

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    EM

    FG would have to answer for him/her self. But, s/he has walked away from addressing “metaphysical” topics.

    (Mind you, the real issues are the logic of cause, and the implications for what we can know about contingent and non-contingent being.)

    Let’s see if s/he would be willing to answer.

    GEM of TKI

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    Yes, and the logic of causation is not limited to physical things.

    So those who admit that the logic of causation does apply to physical/material entities, but deny it applies to non-physical/immaterial entities, are likewise being irrational.

    Or perhaps they just fail to realize that it’s a matter of logic in the first place. They think it’s all about physics.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Zoe:

    Welcome to UD.

    It is of course possible to have divergent views, sincerely and even honestly held, on origins topics.

    It is indeed unfortunate that after a week it has been quite evident that several key objectors have refused to do the simple experiment of lighting a match and thinking on it.

    That is rather sadly revealing.

    GEM of TKI

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    Petrushka:

    Indeed.

    Did you ever follow up on that teacher?

    GEM of TKI

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung:

    Logic is a prior consideration for physics, and for Mathematics.

    I think that there is a lot of confusion on the logic of cause, especially on necessary and sufficient causal factors.

    Someone has quite recently suggested to me that that may be because there is a more basic confusion on necessity and sufficiency in logic.

    Maybe I should give a basic example: If Tom is a cat then Tom will be an animal. But, if Tom is an animal, that does not mean that he will be a cat.

    On cause, for there to be a fire we need fuel, heat and oxidiser, in a combination depending on the particular oxidiser and the particular fuel. Each is necessary, and the combination is jointly sufficient. The fire, considered as a being for the purposes of our discussion, is contingent on each of the factors and on having a sufficient combination. To prevent or stop a fire, imply knock out one or more legs of the fire triangle.

    In the case of the match that several objectors refuse to try out, tilting up a half burned match causes the flame to try to burn the already burned part. For want of appropriate fuel, the match’s flame goes out.

    Thus we see a necessary causal factor in action, in the real world.

    This is not just theory, it is observable reality.

    From this we see that contingent beings are contingent because they depend on one or more external, necessary causal factors. Absent such they do not begin, or they do not continue. This also shows that a sufficient causal combination must include in some fashion, all necessary factors.

    This gives bite to the saying that that which begins or can cease form being has a cause. That is, there are necessary factors out there that can switch it on or off.

    Which raises the issue considered in the original post and the previous one: what happens if there is something that does not have such external dependence on necessary causal factors?

    Such a thing, if it is possible, will have no beginning and no end. The truth in 2 + 3 = 5 is a case in point. (This illustrates the old saying that a properly and fully stated truth is eternal.)

    So, necessary beings are real, too.

    When we have a serious candidate for such a necessary being, it will be either impossible — so it never existed, does not exist and will never exist — or else it is actual.

    (This is maybe easiest seen int eh case of something we observe as now existing. If it turns out to have no external dependence on necessary causal factors, if it now is, it had no beginning and will have no end, like of course the truth in the expression 2 + 3 = 5.)

    Or more interestingly in the case of the truth in 1 + e^i*pi = 0, we may DISCOVER the truth, but we did not INVENT it whole cloth. This too is showing one of the reasons Mathematics is that magic chalice in science that ever brims over with new wine. If Mathematics is tapping into structural truths about reality that are logically connected to one another, then it is expressing features of reality that will be there once the Math is right and based on things that are right. Of course, in a different sense from Behe, it has been shown since Godel that Mathematics is irreducibly complex.

    And suddenly this stuff is speaking to a lot of things in the sciences.

    So, those who are brushing this stuff aside with the loaded term “metaphysics,” should take a second, sobering look.

    GEM of TKI

  12. 12
  13. 13
    avocationist says:

    I had asked FG two direct questions. First, what does he mean by a nonliving intelligence? And two, whether an uncaused, conscious mind capable of transmitting life to biological entities is alive.

    Mung said:
    “So those who admit that the logic of causation does apply to physical/material entities, but deny it applies to non-physical/immaterial entities, are likewise being irrational.”

    How does causation apply to nonphysical entities and how can we know?

    KF:

    “And suddenly this stuff is speaking to a lot of things in the sciences.

    So, those who are brushing this stuff aside with the loaded term “metaphysics,” should take a second, sobering look.”

    Indeed, and science has already gone further than the Darwinists like to admit into metaphysics. It’s like they’re out of touch with the progress in science because it isn’t going their way. This reminds me of the book The Bone Peddlars, which I recently read. I don’t know why this book doesn’t get mentioned here more often. It is top notch, incredibly witty, insightfully written and the second half deals with this and spells out the philosophical problems with materialist science. And this book was written, like Denton’s, in the early 80’s and is still completely relevant.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Avo, consider the case of cosmological origins, in light of strong evidence that our cosmos is contingent.

  16. 16
    faded_Glory says:

    Mung:

    If biological life as found on earth did not always exist, it must have had a non-biological cause of it’s existence.

    Indeed.

    Indeed, the entire OOL field seems to know this.

    Yes. So what?

    So f_g asks, according to ID theory, didn’t that precursor to biological life have to be living?

    It follows logically from Barry’s argument, when applied to first life, that the creator of first life was itself alive, unless one allows for non-living intelligence. This is a logical flaw in his argument that needs addressing. I offered several possible remedies, and in the end Barry and I agreed on the one that stipulates not to use his argument on first life for the reason that we can’t actually investigate that.

    And don’t all living things exhibit IC and/or CSI?

    According to Barry’s argument, IC and CSI is observed in even the simplest of living things. It is not a stretch to assume that therefore all living things exhibit IC and CSI. However, I for one am happy not to rule out living things that do not exhibit IC and CSI. Such living things would be exempt from Barry’s argument and therefore conceivably could have originated though chance or mechanical necessity or a combination of the two. Would you consider this as an option?

    So who designed the designer?

    I don’t know and, more importantly, I didn’t ask that question. I asked the question ‘who or what designed first life, according to Barry’s argument?’ I trust you see that this is a very different question?

    Indeed, who made God?

    Mung, seriously – what on Earth has this to do with my objection to Barry’s argument?

    There really is nothing here worth commenting on, over and over. Why this person has continued to be taken seriously is a mystery on the level of the mystery of life’s origin.

    If there is nothing worth commenting on, then why did you just comment on it?

    But, once again, here are the rather obvious flaws.

    Flaws in Barry’s argument, or flaws in my objection to it?

    From the fact that all known biological life exhibits IC and/or CSI it does not follow that all living entities must exhibit IC and/or CSI.

    Correct. How is that a flaw? This is merely yet another possible solution to prevent the logical paradox in Barry’s argument. Personally I would accept this as one viable solution to the problem.
    A consequence of this option, though, is that Chance + Necessity could at least in theory generate some living entities, according to the Explanatory Filter. Is this indeed your position?

    From the fact that biological life on earth must have had a cause, and thus there must have been a “first biological life” it does not logically follow that every living entity has a cause or that there was a “first living entity” in the same sense there was a first biological life form.

    Not every living entity has a cause? Can you name an example of one that does not?

    Alternatively, can you name a living entity that is not a biological life form?

    If you can’t do either, your argument is vacuous.

    I would even go so far as to say that ID itself does not require that the precursor to first biological life on earth was a living entity.

    Lol! If you go even so far as saying that, you are only repeating what I already suggested on August 10th when I offered exactly that as one possible solution to the logical flaw in Barry’s argument. To quote myself: “I believe that Barry either has to qualify his argument and restrict it to a subset of life, or allow for the possibility of non-living intelligence.

    As per the standard anti-ID playbook, f_g conflates ID with creationism.

    By what crooked argument you conclude that what I have said on this topic means that I conflate ID with creationism is absolutely beyond me. All I did is point out that Barry’s argument suffers from the same logical flaw as the barber’s paradox. Sensible people think about that objection and then qualify the argument to prevent the logical bust – you know, as Barry did.

    So as we can easily see, this person simply does not understand how to reason logically, and when faced with logical arguments refuses to grant their truth even though the premises are true and the argument is valid, and is thus an irrational person.

    As we can easily see, Mung has not understood the first thing about my particular objection to Barry’s argument. He does not understand that the barber’s paradox is a logical contradiction and my objection is a purely technical one targeting the logic structure of the argument. He does not understand that I have not even once in this conversation asked who designed the designer. He doesn’t read or doesn’t understand my posts so that he ends up looking silly by claiming to have found a possible solution that I already offered several days before!

    Fortunately, there are others here who have better reading comprehension, who engage the actual argument someone makes and not their own incorrect version of it, and who are mature enough to discuss a valid objection and agree on a solution. Barry is one of them, as are others here.
    In contrast, there are also people here who only skim-read posts by ID opponents to try and poke holes in them, instead for comprehension and to try and further the discussion by improving the arguments.

    But we get those here all the time.

    Indeed we do.

    fG

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    FG

    First things first, have you as yet done the simple exercise of the half-burned match? (For that matter, have you read the OP above, which specifically corrects your repeated errors in comment 16 just above, including on CSI and claimed logical paradoxes etc?)

    Does that suffice to fix in your mind the observable reality of necessary causal factors?

    Have you thought about the implications of such factors, i.e. that a contingent being is contingent because precisely it requires a sufficient set of conditions to exist, among which must be a cluster of necessary factors.

    Such that, if one such factor is absent it cannot begin, and if one is removed, it will cease?

    Do you then see that there is the conceptual possibility of a necessary being, that has no external necessary causal factors?

    Thence, that such a being — e.g. the truth in the expression, 2 + 3 = 5 — was always, and will be always?

    Further, do you see that that which begins or may cease has a cause?

    So also, do you see that since we live in a credibly fine tuned, contingent cosmos set up for C-chemistry cell based life, it is underscored that the best explanation is a necessary and personal being that is purposeful, intelligent, and creative?

    Do you not see why many over the ages would call such a being a Mind, and Living?

    Do you not then see why your argument just above comes across as ill-informed and sophomorically arrogant:

    Not every living entity has a cause? Can you name an example of one that does not?

    Alternatively, can you name a living entity that is not a biological life form?

    If you can’t do either, your argument is vacuous.

    This has been corrected over and over again, but in your contempt for worldview level analysis, not to mention related logic and warrant for knowledge claims issues [kindly, read here on and especially here], you have repeatedly brushed aside and/or refused to even read, much less respond.

    And if you have both refused for a week to read or respond to the comments and original post for this thread, and also have refused to do the simple experiment I asked you to do, does that not say a lot about your attitude and approach to this discussion?

    None of it to your benefit?

    Could we not hit the refresh button then FG, and start over with the match exercise?

    Pardon, again, but have you read the OP for this thread, or the other counsel you have been given over the past week and more now?

    Do you see how and why you are coming a cross as willfully, stubbornly ill-informed and “dancin’ wrong but strong”?

    Mung is right, the first bio-life in our observed cosmos could not have come from a prior bio life source in our cosmos.

    And, “first life” commonly means, in context bio-life.

    Please read in context, reasonably [let’s not even try for, charitably, yet . . . ], and recognising that others are not so stupid as to on a mass basis insist on a blatant contradiction that is not politically correct. (Yes, I am suggesting that from age to age, there are many absurdities that are propped up by the spirit of the age that are all too obviously delusional to later ages. In our day, evolutionary materialism is one of these. [I suggest you read the whole of that page, and reflect in particular on the Derek Smith model.)

    Has it occurred to you that perhaps the reason you perceive a contradiction is that you are implicitly assuming that life = bio-life, which you reduce to some combination of matter and energy? (And so, ironically, have you considered that the real issue may well be the popular, politically correct delusions of our times?)

    But surely, as an educated participant in our civilisation, you must be aware that life and biological life, at least conceptually, are not to be equated?

    That is the context of Plato’s discussion of the self-moved, en-souled first cause, as clipped and/or linked multiple times.

    It is also the context in which we have the view that on the logic of contingency vs necessity of being, that the best explanation for a cosmos in which C-Chemistry cell based life is possible is design rooted in the purposes of an intelligent, purposeful, creative necessary being; the architect of the cosmos.

    In that context, cell based life on earth, as a sufficient cause, could come out of a molecular nanotech lab several generations beyond where Venter has already reached. For we have proof of concept already for engineering design of cell based life.

    In essence, that has been the view of design theory since the very first technical level book in 1984, TMLO.

    Consequently, the evidence of design in the living cell, and in complex body plans, does not point to a designer either within or beyond the cosmos. And that phrasing comes from TMLO and Pandas. So, it has been around for 20 – 25 years.

    Please do not let misrepresentations of design theory by irresponsible or ill-willed opponents shape your views of it.

    If you want to know which side of design theory has any bearing on debates over theism, it is Cosmological ID, as has been the case ever since Plato in The Laws Bk X, or if you want a more modern root, try Newton in the General Scholium to Principia that is somehow so seldom discussed.

    let’s just say that the old joke about astrophysicists rushing out of their observatories during the lunch hour to listen to a meditation by agnostic Sir Fred Hoyle on monkeying with the parameters of physics in the First Church of God, Big Bang, and lining up thereafter to get baptised, has a point. (In some versions, it is the Church of the Logos/Christ.)

    GEM of TKI

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    Zoe says:

    [F.D 117] I don’t have much beef with ID as a metaphysical concept. Personally I don’t like metaphysical discussions much so this is where I bow out.

    The problem with physicalism, is that it implies that everything that exist can be, at least in principle, exhaustively described using the language of chemistry and physics.

    However, this is not necessarily so at all, as there are two things about all entities whatsoever, including so-called physical entities, like chairs, rocks, and protons, that are not physical: what it is that accounts for the entity’s existence* (the having of properties by the entity in question) and the entity’s being identified to itself. These are metaphysical facts* about all existents, including all physical existents.

    The salient point is, that while there may be entities that are at leat physical in that they can be partially described in the language of physics and chemistry, there are no entities that are only physical, i.e., that can be exhaustively described using only chemistry and physics. There will always be more fundamental aspects of existing and self-identity. In this way we see that science is only a type of knowledge of even physical things like electrons. Therefore, metaphysics gives us a more fundamental knowledge of the metaphysical, nonmateraial aspects of those physical things.

  19. 19
    Zoe says:

    F.G, How in the name of logical, rational, reasonable, critical thought and reflection, could the 100 Trillion cells in each of our human bodies, and the absolute staggering amount of information stored in a PINHEAD* volume of DNA, came about, through evolutionary ‘chance’ and random mutation?

    F.G, If all this incredible amount of information, stored in the PINHEAD* volume of DNA, were written into paperback books, it would take a pile of such books 500 times higher than from here to the moon. The design* of such an mind boggling system of CSI and IC could only, logically, and rationally, come into existence by a vastly intelligent designer!

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    Zoe says:

    F.G, ‘Reason is necessary for revelation, i.e., facts, evidence to be coherent.”

    Think F.G, think! The human brain is the most complicated structure in the known universe. it contains over 1oo BILLION cells, each with over 50,000 neuron connections to other brain cells. This structure receives over 1oo MILLION seperate signals from the human body EVERY* SECOND*. If we learned something new every second of our lives, it would take 3,000,000 years to exhaust the capacity of the human brain!

    There IS* NOT a CHANCE* that this happened by CHANCE* that concept is pure nonsense! Only an Omnipotent Designer, who has NO* beginning, and NO* end, the ‘IAM that I AM’ could design such CSI and IC, and sustain* it all every living moment!

    Think F.G, Think!

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    kairosfocus says:

    Zoe:

    You raise a significant point:

    The human brain is the most complicated structure in the known universe. it contains over 1oo BILLION cells, each with over 50,000 neuron connections to other brain cells. This structure receives over 1oo MILLION separate signals from the human body EVERY* SECOND*. If we learned something new every second of our lives, it would take 3,000,000 years to exhaust the capacity of the human brain!

    There IS* NOT a CHANCE* that this happened by CHANCE* that concept is pure nonsense . . .

    The human brain is of course a par excellence example of the functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information that we find all over the world of life, which unfolded in this case from a single cell the Zygote, across the nine months of gestation.

    I am not even going to attempt an estimate of the quantum of such FSCI involved in the neural networks of the CNS. It is appallingly large, vastly beyond the sort of 500 or 1000 bit thresholds we have been discussing.

    Remember, human beings on the evo mat view, are held to have evolved on the plains of E Africa [and maybe in some forests too] on earth, so the solar system threshold obtains.

    We are looking at a search challenge far, far worse than taking just one at random straw-sized sample from a cubical haystack so large that light — moving at 1/5 of a mile per MICRO-second, would take over a month to simply cross it. You just simply do not expect to pick up needles in the haystack under those circumstances. [If the solar system out to Pluto was in that haystack, you would not reasonably expect to find it by chance under such circumstances! And, to get to the place where adaptive variations can lead to hill-climbing, you first have to reach the islands of function. And if you deny that we are looking at that, you need to show good reason to believe that he representative majority of possible configs of components of a brain down to the cells and their molecules, would be functional.]

    So, while strictly there is a bare logical or physical possibility, the practical result is impossibility, to moral certainty.

    And that is before we get to the self-referentially incoherent blunder of trying to reduce mind to brain produced by such an imagined just so story of chance variation and natural selection under Malthusian struggle for survival, or whatever variant form du jour is currently favoured.

    But then, once a priori materialism is imposed by institutional power, ever so many imagine they “know” how things “must” have happened. Do we not see the error in Lewontin and ever so many others of the evo mat scientific elites, as is revealed by:

    . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [[i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [NYRB, 1997. And if you have been misled by attempted rebuttal talking points to think that the immediately following words JUSTIFY the above, kindly read the notes on that in the above linked.]

    Time to wake up, break the chains and walk out of Plato’s cave!

    GEM of TKI

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    Zoe says:

    KF, Absolutely, as the highest known (statistical) information density IS* observed in living cells, EXCEEDING* by far the best achievements of highly intergrated storage density in computer systems!

    And, computer systems were carefully designed. But, Oh no, our vastly, incredibly, staggeringly, FSCO/I had nothing at all to do with design, it all happened by chance!

    Amazingly, if a PINHEAD* diameter of 2mm DNA were stretched out into a wire, how long would it be? It would have a length more than 30 times around the equator!

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    Zoe says:

    Further, though the evolutionary materialists, shy away from core philosophy subjects, Logic, Epistemology, and Metaphysics, brushing them off as un-scientific, their true agenda, which is in fact, a PHILOSOPHICAL ideology, as per a priori commitment to materialism ( Lewontin) NOT* true and proper science at all, which IS* for all intent and purpose, rampant atheism* couched, veneered and convoluted in a maze* of pseudo-scientific jargon, which then continues to deceive many, who have not taken the time to exaime the FACTS* and EVIDENCE* the preponderance of which, overwhelmingly confirm INTELLIGENT DESIGN!

    BTW, when I use Caps Lock, I’m not shouting at anyone, not at all, its just for emphasis and augemtation!

  25. 25
    Zoe says:

    Sorry, that should be ‘augmentation’

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