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Should we begin to think in terms of micro-ID and Macro-/ General ID?

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. . . that is, the design inference vs. the broader scientific investigation of a world of life and cosmos that are infused with complex, functionally specific information and complex, functional organisation?

In the Turing test thread, just now, I raised this issue in responding to GP and SA . . . and I think this is worth headlining:


>>Perhaps, it is time to look at ID in a micro sense and a macro/general sense — a fashion that is now 100+ years old in the sciences, with Relativity as the leader (as is proper and fitting).

The micro theory of ID is focussed on the design inference and its empirical/analytical warrant. This is the core, when can we with high and well warranted confidence, infer to design as process? (Not, to designers as causal agents, but to a process of intelligently directed configuration.)

The per aspect design inference explanatory filter
The per aspect design inference explanatory filter

This, we have sufficiently in hand, that we may proceed to the big picture.

From this, we traverse to the question raised by Sheldon, what is the scientifically grounded significance of directly expressed [coded] and implied [i.e. by description of functional organisation] information in the world of life and the cosmos as a whole? Not neglecting, the world of human society, past, present and future.

For, in studying design in the world, we must start with ourselves and our cultural world. We then may study beavers in action (etc), and look at the world of life and cosmos. Thus, we come to see a highly significant phenomenon, information and linked organisation tied to configuration based function. This points to intelligence and intelligently directed configuration. We find that life is based on information-centred molecular nanotech, closely parallel to our informatics, computing, automata, control systems, cybernetics and mechatronics. Save, with far more elegant technique than we have attained.

Indeed, von Neumann kinematic, molecular nanotech self-replicators are common, in the core technology of life — the cell.


In the cosmos, physics and configuration of the cosmos itself is fine tuned, setting up a world at a deeply isolated operating point for C-chemistry, aqueous medium, molecular nanotech, cell based, terrestrial planet life. A resonance peak standing in deep isolation, so to speak. From, the abundance of the first four most abundant elements: H, He, O and C on, with N close by (IIRC, in our galaxy, 5th). Stars, gateway to the rest of the elements, water and the basis for many rocky materials on terrestrial planets, the basis for the organic chemistry used in life, proteins.

No wonder, Sir Fred Hoyle often spoke in terms of put-up jobs and monkeying with physics etc so there are no blind forces worth speaking of in the world.

An arched beaver dam (with a second one downstream)
An arched beaver dam (with a second one downstream)

Coming back to beavers, like us, they are obviously secondary designers, reflecting design in the DNA. But, designers they are, their dams are adapted to stream conditions with astonishing technique. That degree of adaptability points to intelligence of some significant degree.

Of course, no beaver went to engineering school so we speak of instincts. Revealing and concealing our deep ignorance in one word.

(Why are we not studying beavers closely, probing for what it is is built in that enables their astonishing works?)

All of this points onward to the issue of technological evolution and the theory of inventive problem solving [TRIZ].

Why not, reverse engineer the world of life, and look at the cosmos with at least that degree of insight? (Once, spoken of as thinking God’s thoughts after him. Well, today, we can look at the design principles and patterns, then see what we can make of same for our own onward work.)

My own suggestion is, we look at self replication and nanotech as gateways to industrial transformation that would open up development transformation. I point to Marcin Jakubowski and his global village construction set and the maker movement. key energy technologies such as pebble bed reactors, molten salt reactors and various possible approaches to fusion, too. (Is polywell fusion as was championed by Bussard et al, possible?)

100 – 200 years, development transformation of earth and solar system colonisation: Moon, Mars, asteroid belt, gas giant moons.

Of course there are associated worldviews issues, which points to wider areas of academic stimulation, starting with philosophy.

But obviously, those are not science and they are not ID as a scientific enterprise. Though, they may be even more important, including for rescuing our civilisation from its obviously self-destructive folly.

Which, is a bit of a concern.>>


What do you think? Why? END

5 Replies to “Should we begin to think in terms of micro-ID and Macro-/ General ID?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Headlined: is it time to think in terms of micro-ID vs Macro-ID?

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Good post, KF. It’s essential for us to keep questioning our own ideas. Yes, in the debate with GP, I followed what I think is the standard ID approach, shown in your first illustration of the flowchart. The last two boxes are the key to it: Design, and as you put it, “Intelligent cause”. After that, you show “further research”.

    So, a couple of questions come to mind:

    1. If the “further research” is philosophical (cosmological argument for God) and/or theological (is God one or many), is it still a part of the ID project?
    2. When we infer an intelligent cause, does ID attempt to understand “what kind of intelligence” the cause was? Or is it enough to show that the cause is not “natural/determined/physical/material”?

    As for micro or macro ID — it can get difficult to move from Design to Designer. Your term “intelligent cause” seems to me the best scientific inference. Whether all intelligent causes are conscious, or whether the cause is God or some other being, doesn’t seem to me to be a scientific project at that point.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:


    I’ve copied your comment from another thread:

    111 kairosfocus December 10, 2016 at 7:00 am


    I’ve been really busy elsewhere, but can point you to this paper on a plausibility bound and metric:

    A real sleeper.


    PS: I prefer 500 bits for sol system, 1,000 for observed cosmos on needle in haystack grounds. 150 bits looks plausible for earth biosphere — effectively, surface zone — and conventional time available, even before doing any strict calc.

    Post #111 here:

    Dr. Abel’s paper referenced in your above quoted comment is cited by the following paper also authored by Dr. Abel:

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic @2:

    I think the answer to your first question is NO.
    But I’m not an official spokesman for ID.
    It’s just what I perceive from reading their statements.
    ID seems like a scientific proposition which attracts people from dissimilar philosophical and theological positions, as you can see in this site.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    Silver Asiatic @2:
    Regarding your second point, which has two questions, I think the answer to the first question is NO and the to the second is yes.

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