Intelligent Design

Wasting Time and Energy on the Hopelessly Implausible — An Engineer’s Perspective

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The Darwinian speculative thesis of random errors filtered by natural selection explaining anything substantial in biology is simply, completely, and astronomically out of the ballpark of plausibility.

In our engineering department (software, hardware, electrical, mechanical, aeronautical) we have a phrase: Does the proposed solution pass the beverage-out-the-nose test? (Meaning, of course: Would the proposed approach have any possibility of success?)

The problem with most Darwinists is that they have no real-world experience in any hard-science discipline with real-world accountability (such as engineering), in which a proposed solution or mechanism must first pass the beverage-out-the-nose test, and then be empirically verified to be capable of what is claimed for it.

Storytelling doesn’t cut it in real science, but that’s basically all Darwinists have left, especially in light of the fact that the underlying mechanisms of living systems are fundamentally based on the most sophisticated computer program ever written.

60 Replies to “Wasting Time and Energy on the Hopelessly Implausible — An Engineer’s Perspective

  1. 1
    uoflcard says:

    I’m an engineer. I ponder these incredible thoughts on a daily basis. How anyone can believe law and chance can produce what exists in biology is awe-inspiring in its absurdity. To me it is the most fascinating aspect of current human civilization. Randomness filtered by natural selection will not produce technology and programming more brilliant than anything any human has ever conceived!! Just doesn’t work!

  2. 2
    pelagius says:

    The “beverage-out-the-nose test”, otherwise known as “the argument from incredulity”.

    100% reliable:

    The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.

    Admiral William Leahy to President Harry S Truman

    And:

    Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax.

    Lord Kelvin, 1899

    And the bolded sentence in this one will ring a bell for readers of Gil’s earlier posts:

    …for after the rocket quits our air and and really starts on its longer journey, its flight would be neither accelerated nor maintained by the explosion of the charges it then might have left. To claim that it would be is to deny a fundamental law of dynamics, and only Dr. Einstein and his chosen dozen, so few and fit, are licensed to do that. That Professor Goddard with his “chair” in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action and reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react — to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.

    Editorial in the New York Times regarding Robert Goddard’s pioneering rocketry work, January 13, 1920

  3. 3
    Upright BiPed says:

    cranium,

    Would you like to engage the argument in earnest, or is your previous comment the extent of it?

  4. 4
    shaner74 says:

    I’m a software engineer. The entire notion of chance/law being the “creator” of biological systems is laughably absurd. Biology is information-processing on a level of complexity that makes modern technology look like ancient stone tools. To suggest that something like the human brain could come from natural forces is so naive it’s almost cute.

  5. 5
    uoflcard says:

    pelagius,

    At least from my perspective, these comments are not meant to be a rigorous falsification of Darwinism. The other side of the coin (It is true that selected errors programmed the most complex systems known to man, created nano factories and sparked consciousness because it is not proven to be false) is also an argument from incredulity, and it is what the entire “science” of Darwinism is built on; there is no positive evidence that RM+NS can create what exists, yet it is accepted (more certain than gravity). It was accepted before the complexity began to be discovered and has only become more and more dogmatically entrenched as the wondrous engineering feats of nature have come to light. And it was never once questioned by the majority of the biological community.

  6. 6
    osteonectin says:

    uprigth, are you discussing with your own cranium?

  7. 7
    Clive Hayden says:

    osteonectin,

    uprigth, are you discussing with your own cranium?

    There was a commenter named “cranium”, who I banned and deleted his comment.

  8. 8
    pelagius says:

    uoflcard wrote:

    At least from my perspective, these comments are not meant to be a rigorous falsification of Darwinism.

    Not true. Gil writes:

    The problem with most Darwinists is that they have no real-world experience in any hard-science discipline with real-world accountability (such as engineering), in which a proposed solution or mechanism must first pass the beverage-out-the-nose test, and then be empirically verified to be capable of what is claimed for it.

    That quote and the title of Gil’s post (“Wasting Time and Energy on the Hopelessly Implausible”) show that Gil thinks the BOTNT is rigorous.

    If it doesn’t pass the BOTNT, don’t even bother thinking about it, says Gil. My examples show why this is foolish.

  9. 9
    uoflcard says:

    pelagius, I believe you are mistaken. Gil’s post is about wasted time and energy, not 100% refutation. Let’s say I go to my boss and propose a ridiculous, drastic idea (without even a model demonstrating hypothetical plausibility). He blows his coffee out of his nose and tells me to get back to work. I say “how do you know this can’t work? You are countering with an argument from ignorance”. He says “I don’t care. I’m not paying you to spend countless hours researching something that doesn’t seem remotely probable of working.” I counter again with argument from personal incredulity, and he fires me. 

    There are hundreds or thousands of intelligent, driven people dedicating their lives to something that appears to be a very minor aspect of biological novelty. Their talents (and millions or billions of dollars from taxpayers) are surely more useful in other applications.  

    As for your examples, x-rays, aircraft and radio, they are nothing like Darwinian evolution.  With all of those examples, as scientists and inventors poured their lives into them, they produced a seemingly continuous string of improvements and novel applications for the technology, almost on an annual basis. We are now approaching our 7th decade of studying the genome, and with each passing decade, we have been driven further and further away from mutation + natural selection being the most likely (or even a remotely possible) candidate for the engineering of biology. If we had made these statements in 1953, they would have been unsubstatiated just as Kelvin’s famous 1899 quotes were. But his were immediately and continuously disproven by the scientific community. Our 1953 statement would have been demonstrated and strengthened with the passage of time and the dedicated efforts of countless individuals.

    It really is a simple, elegant theory. If it were true, I think it would have been demonstrated countless times already via honest, unguided computer simulatioms. Most of everything else that is able to be modeled is done so without significant delay or difficulty. Where is the unguided model that produces significant, functional biological novelty?  

    Why is it that in every other arena of study, science seems to make constant, relentless progress, yet Darwinism seems to be further and further removed from observed reality? Perhaps it is because it is the foundation of a naturalist worldview. While less personal scientific theories that experience a steady divergence of expectation and observation are discarded, the Darwinian kludge is simply duct-taped, draped with concealing linens and surrounded by an army of militant, tenured scientists (who have become the most trusted people in all of the world by the uneducated public and media) and put back on its pedastal.

  10. 10
    pelagius says:

    uoflcard,

    NDE passes the beverage-out-the-nose test for 99.9% of working biologists every day, and the field of evolutionary biology is making fantastic progress these days.

    Don’t you think it merits some time and energy? Or is the BOTNT only valid when performed by those with whom Gil agrees?

  11. 11
    GilDodgen says:

    uoflcard,

    You’ve made my case far more eloquently and persuasively than I.

    At some point one should admit that he’s been chasing a rainbow and invest his efforts in something with promise, like investigating the limits of mutation/selection as Mike Behe has done. This is useful research. For example, we know from Behe’s analysis that an anti-malarial agent requiring three simultaneous mutations to counter, would permanently defeat the disease.

    Instead, Darwinian “researchers” expend countless monetary and human resources trying to cram contrary evidence into a hopelessly failed hypothesis.

  12. 12
    Upright BiPed says:

    I agree with Gil, uoflcard has a mastery of cutting through the riffraff and illustrating the point.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    uoflcard; the last part of your post, in 9, was simply poetic;

    “While less personal scientific theories that experience a steady divergence of expectation and observation are discarded, the Darwinian kludge is simply duct-taped, draped with concealing linens and surrounded by an army of militant, tenured scientists (who have become the most trusted people in all of the world by the uneducated public and media) and put back on its pedestal.”

  14. 14
    zeroseven says:

    The problem with engineers is that they have no real world experience as biologists in the field.

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    Unfortunately for neo-Paleyism uoflcard’s rhetoric is just about all it has to offer against the advances achieved by evolutionary biology. This is hardly encouraging.

    The argument to the personal incredulity of software engineers is just as vacuous. If I have a toothache I do not go to Joe the Plumber for diagnosis and treatment, even if he does have strong opinions about dentistry.

    There is a saying that to a man with only a hammer, all the world looks like a nail. Perhaps to software engineers all the world looks like computer code, especially if they have been watching the Matrix movies too often.

    But computers and logic and mathematics and even human languages are just modeling tools which can be used to represent aspects of external reality. And they all suffer from the same flaw of garbage in/garbage out. You can, for example, construct a perfectly valid logical argument which leads flawlessly to an utterly nonsensical conclusion. You can design immensely detailed and complex computer models of worlds that correspond only very distantly to the observed reality of ours. Think World of Warcraft or Avatar.

    Unless you go out and collect accurate and reliable data to feed into your models, you will get little useful out. It is hardly surprising that the great age of the Earth was revealed by geologists and physicists rather than armchair philosophers, mathematicians or Irish theologians. It is hardly surprising that fossils like Tiktaalik are unearthed by biologists and paleontologists rather than information theorists or software engineers. These scientists base their models on the data that they and others have collected. They are well aware of the gaps in that data, probably better than anyone else. But instead of sitting there complaining about the gaps, they go out and try to fill them.

    If a software engineer like GilDodgen were to tell me a piece of code was poorly written or couldn’t possibly run I would treat that opinion with the respect it deserves. If he tells me that the theory of evolution is absurdly implausible but the overwhelming majority of evolutionary biologists tell me otherwise then I am going to trust the judgement of those who are most likely to have the better knowledge of the field.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states:

    “Unfortunately for neo-Paleyism uoflcard’s rhetoric is just about all it has to offer against the advances achieved by evolutionary biology.”

    I’m sure you don’t mind telling us exactly what were the stunning advances that evolutionary thinking was so instrumental in:

    Materialists like to claim evolution is indispensable to experimental biology and led the way to many breakthroughs in medicine, Yet in a article entitled “Evolutionary theory contributes little to experimental biology”, this expert author begs to differ.

    “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.
    Philip S. Skell – Professor at Pennsylvania State University.
    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....38;id=2816

    Science Owes Nothing To Darwinian Evolution – Jonathan Wells – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/.....han_wells/

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky:
    as far as who first tried to establish an old age for the earth using scientific methods, that honor goes to the scientist, and Christian apologist, William Thomson – Kelvin, of Entropy fame.

  18. 18
    Upright BiPed says:

    …while Seversky has a mastery of piling up the riffraff to obscure the point.

    Par.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky you also state:

    “It is hardly surprising that fossils like Tiktaalik are unearthed by biologists and paleontologists”

    My first question is what in the world is a biologist doing out in the field digging in the dirt? They certainly did not contribute anything to establishing a relationship:

    The new animal phylogeny: Reliability and implications:
    Excerpt: “The new molecular based phylogeny has several important implications. Foremost among them is the disappearance of “intermediate” taxa between sponges, cnidarians, ctenophores, and the last common ancestor of bilaterians or “Urbilateria.”…A corollary is that we have a major gap in the stem leading to the Urbilataria. We have lost the hope, so common in older evolutionary reasoning, of reconstructing the morphology of the “coelomate ancestor” through a scenario involving successive grades of increasing complexity based on the anatomy of extant “primitive” lineages.” From Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, in 2000 –
    http://www.pnas.org/content/97.....frrxyih/gM

    Why Darwin was wrong about the (genetic) tree of life: – 21 January 2009
    Excerpt: Syvanen recently compared 2000 genes that are common to humans, frogs, sea squirts, sea urchins, fruit flies and nematodes. In theory, he should have been able to use the gene sequences to construct an evolutionary tree showing the relationships between the six animals. He failed. The problem was that different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories. This was especially true of sea-squirt genes. Conventionally, sea squirts – also known as tunicates – are lumped together with frogs, humans and other vertebrates in the phylum Chordata, but the genes were sending mixed signals. Some genes did indeed cluster within the chordates, but others indicated that tunicates should be placed with sea urchins, which aren’t chordates. “Roughly 50 per cent of its genes have one evolutionary history and 50 per cent another,” Syvanen says. ….”We’ve just annihilated the tree of life. It’s not a tree any more, it’s a different topology entirely,” says Syvanen. “What would Darwin have made of that?” http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....-life.html

    Testing the Orchard Model and the NCSE’s Claims of “Nested Patterns” Supporting a “Tree of Life”
    Excerpt: Perhaps the reason why different genes are telling “different evolutionary stories” and “one group suggests one biogeographic pattern, and another group suggests another” is because the genes and organisms have wholly different stories to tell, namely stories that indicate that not all living organisms are ancestrally related, thereby fulfilling a testable prediction of the orchard model.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....l_and.html

    Congruence Between Molecular and Morphological Phylogenies – Colin Patterson
    Excerpt: “As morphologists with high hopes of molecular systematics, we end this survey with our hopes dampened. Congruence between molecular phylogenies is as elusive as it is in morphology and as it is between molecules and morphology.”
    http://www.arn.org/docs/odesig.....ler171.htm

    ‘The theory makes a prediction (for amino acid sequence similarity); we’ve tested it, and the prediction is falsified precisely.’
    Dr. Colin Patterson Senior Principal Scientific Officer in the Paleontology Department at the British Museum

    Walter T. Brown, In the Beginning (1989), p. 7
    Excerpt: “There is not a trace of evidence on the molecular level for the traditional evolutionary series: simple sea life > fish> amphibians > reptiles> mammals. In general, each of the many categories of organisms appear to be equally isolated.”
    http://evolution-facts.org/Appendix/a21.htm

    My second question is do you really think Tiktaalik is anything more than a false hope?

    Tiktaalik Blown “Out of the Water” by Earlier Tetrapod Fossil Footprints – January 2010
    Excerpt: The tracks predate the oldest tetrapod skeletal remains by 18 Myr and, more surprisingly, the earliest elpistostegalian fishes by about 10 Myr.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....e_wat.html

    Seversky the only thing that helped the paleontologists find Tiktaalik was the fact that had a fairly good idea where swampy land was at the time they wanted to look in. i.e. they were hoodwinked by “confirmation bias”.

  20. 20
    CannuckianYankee says:

    uoflcard,

    Thanks for the duct-tape, concealing linens analogy. It appears that Darwinists have found yet another use for duct tape.

    Others,

    The charge of ID being an argument from incredulity appears to be the latest rant from the Darwinists. I’ve seen this charge not only here, but in other forums of late. Maybe we should have a new thread that discusses this issue.

    I can’t help but notice the charge, while considering the Darwinists’ rejection of any thought of there being an intervening immaterial intelligent being, coupled with the startling revelation that this position is far more within the bounds of incredulity than anything the ID theorists have entertained. When I read writers like Barbara Forrest and Eugenie Scott, Richard Dawkins and others talking about God and religion in general, it’s not so much a rationally based objection, as it is an emotionally charged polemic against the whole idea. Sure some of them are more nice about it than others, but it’s still the same equal dislike for design arguments without much substance. Paul Davies has gone so far as to appear to admit such in a radio broadcast being discussed in another thread.

    So it goes like this: ID is an argument from incredulity because IDists can’t see past their own blockers to accept that there just might be a naturalistic explanation (if not now then one day – in the far distant reaches of future time and space of course, ’cause that’s how we know evolution works) for irreducible biological complexity. This kind of objection of our beloved Darwinism is also representative of a poverty of imagination. And oh, by the way, there just can’t really be a god or gods, it’s simply impossible given our present reality. God wouldn’t have done it that way.

    Does anybody else feel cheated out of an argument?

  21. 21
    Lenoxus says:

    Reading a headline and post like this, you can see how obviously false that stupid old canard is. ID isn’t a “science stopper”. It’s a science starter.

    If you don’t believe me, just check out any of this blog’s posts on the subject of abiogenesis. Lots of fascinating proposals for various mechanisms, many of them testable. No silly pooh-pooing of scientists for bothering to investigate the origin of life or attempting to emulate it.

    By extension, one is hard-pressed to find negative-framed predictions from the scientific theory of intelligent design that research into the origin of life will never, ever achieve answers or results.

    Contrast with evolutionists: Ask them “What predictions does your theory make?” and the first or second answer will always be “We predict that non-naturalists will never be able to explain the origin of life apart from ‘God did it’. Ain’t gonna happen. That’s our prediction.” So negative!

  22. 22
    Lenoxus says:

    # 18 CannuckianYankee:

    That’s a decent point. However, there is a disjunction going on there, a conflation of atheism with the theory of evolution. It may indeed be the case that most/all atheists arrive at their atheism by incredulity. Maybe.

    But let’s put that aside and ask this simple question: Does the theory of evolution, either as it existed in Darwin’s time or as it exists today, consist of an argument from incredulity that God could not have created life? Really?

    Now, I’m not saying ID consists of incredulity; there’s a lot more science and philosophy to it than that. But the argument that it is, or largely involves, an incredulity argument cannot simply be turned around and fitted on NDE.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually Lenoxus, I believe many things that you would find fantastically unbelievable, but which, unlike evolution, are actually true.

    Steven Curtis Chapman – Great Expectations
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLKrxg1QDng

  24. 24
    GilDodgen says:

    Seversky: If I have a toothache I do not go to Joe the Plumber for diagnosis and treatment, even if he does have strong opinions about dentistry.

    One of the main projects I’ve worked on as a software engineer is a guided airdrop system (autonomously GPS-guided parachutes for resupplying soldiers on the ground from aircraft flying at high altitudes, in order to keep the pilots and aircraft out of harm’s way while delivering the payloads accurately from altitudes up to 25,000 feet MSL).

    In order to perform my task I’ve had to learn a lot from the other engineers working on the project. Our chief aeronautical engineer is something of a genius with vast practical experience and a solid understanding of the underlying mathematics, although he is not a software engineer. I’ve spent many hours working with him in order to understand the subtleties of parachute aerodynamics. Without this knowledge and expertise I could not have done my job competently.

    The same applies to what I’ve learned from all the other engineers working on the project, and they have learned a lot from me. Without the constant feedback among all of us, during which we educated each other, the project could never have been realized.

    The big problem with Darwinists is that they don’t know what they don’t know, and have isolated themselves in a self-referential cocoon. Living systems represent highly integrated technology, and understanding them requires knowledge far beyond infantile speculation about the unlimited powers of random errors filtered by natural selection.

    Unfortunately, Darwinists refuse to collaborate with others who have expertise relevant to their field of study, and in doing so they doom themselves to wallowing in self-congratulatory ignorance.

  25. 25
    Sooner Emeritus says:

    Upright BiPed,

    And oh, by the way, there just can’t really be a god or gods, it’s simply impossible given our present reality.

    Science has progressed by casting out the gods that once accounted for various natural phenomena. Jews and Christians and Muslims didn’t complain about the process until it went a God too far.

    There is no more value in allowing the God of Abraham into scientific explanations than there would be in admitting Apollo, the Greek god who drives the sun-chariot across the sky each day, or Thor, the Norse god who strikes his hammer to the big anvil in the sky to make thunder. This has absolutely nothing to do with whose god is real and whose is not. It has everything to do with the public nature of science, and the corresponding necessity that explanations be in terms of empirical observations that trained observers can agree upon.

    There is a great deal of reality that is outside the scope of scientific inquiry. The people on both sides of this argument who are attempting to squeeze their matters of ultimate concern into the arena in which the game of science is played are sad cases, from my perspective. Art, literature, music, philosophy, and religion all have more to say about what is truly important in human life than does science. Einstein did not consider himself to be on the same plane as Gandhi… and rightly so.

  26. 26
    Sooner Emeritus says:

    Oops, that was for CannuckianYankee.

  27. 27
    Lenoxus says:

    22 GilDodgen:

    The big problem with Darwinists is that they don’t know what they don’t know, and have isolated themselves in a self-referential cocoon. Living systems represent highly integrated technology, and understanding them requires knowledge far beyond infantile speculation about the unlimited powers of random errors filtered by natural selection.

    They just don’t know when to quit!

    YOU’RE IN OVER YOUR HEADS, GUYS. YOU’RE AT THE LIMIT OF THE NATURALISTICALLY EXPLICABLE. GAME OVER.

  28. 28
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Lenoxus,

    “That’s a decent point. However, there is a disjunction going on there, a conflation of atheism with the theory of evolution. It may indeed be the case that most/all atheists arrive at their atheism by incredulity”

    I know there’s a disjunction, and that’s the very point I made. As far as the theory of evolution’s conflation with atheism, I wouldn’t necessarily concur. The only issue I have with ToE (there may be others, but right now, my main focus) is RM + NS (or Darwin’s unique theory) as a sufficient account for the development of life. And when I say the development of life I mean by necessity, the origin of life, to which Darwinists seem to be afraid to apply the logic of RM + NS. Darwinist: “Yeah, sure selection works perfectly well, only I think we are best to apply a sort of chemical evolution, coupled with some as yet unknown force or process of nature when it comes to OOL, which makes us free to speculate willy nilly, ’cause we just don’t know.” Why must they do this? Because a designer couldn’t a or wouldn’t a done it. That’s it in a nutshell.

    “But let’s put that aside and ask this simple question: Does the theory of evolution, either as it existed in Darwin’s time or as it exists today, consist of an argument from incredulity that God could not have created life? Really?”

    Um… yes. Darwin’s whole philosophical basis for natural selection was that a designer wouldn’t have designed suboptimally; therefore there must be some naturalistic mechanism in place to account for suboptimal ‘design’, which renders a designer unnecessary.

    ID doesn’t address the issue of suboptimal design, because it is a metaphysical assertion, and not a scientific hypothesis.

    So if you want to get into metaphysical arguments that account for suboptimal design, fine, there are many sufficient counter arguments to Darwin’s assertion, found in natural theology and the like.

    So Darwin’s basis for coming up with natural selection as the overarching accounting mechanism for the ‘origin of species’ was unwarranted from the start. If that’s not incredulity, I don’t know what is.

    But you ask about the theory of evolution in Darwin’s time, and that’s a very important distinction from ToE today, because in Darwin’s time, before he posited RM + NS, evolutionary theory was in some instances, perfectly congruent with design hypotheses. It was that specific naturalistic purposeless and directionless mechanism, which was the fowler of the whole idea of evolution. Those who object to RM + NS as the overarching account for OOL do not object from incredulity – well some might, but overall, those positing design arguments do so out of a weighing of the alternatives. If RM + NS cannot account for OOL, and it’s been 150 years in its failure to do so, then perhaps RM + NS is not all that is going on. But RM + NS is the only currently proposed and coherent mechanism for natural processes to develop more functionally complex forms. I suspect that this is so, based on what I’ve been reading, simply because RM + NS has some limited but less interesting explanatory applications than it’s purported account for the ‘origin of species.’ I think RM + NS is better applied more narrowly to account for certain biological changes within species, and that might be it.

    But what seems to have the better explanatory power given what we know of the immense improbabilities of a naturalistic mechanism like RM + NS or some as yet unknown naturalistic mechanism to account for Func spec comp Info at the OOL stages, given the relatively young age of the universe, that a non-naturalistic mechanism is the more reasonable alternative. Design eliminates the time + chance improbabilities inherent in naturalistic accounts, which demonstrates that ID is in no way an argument from incredulity.

    “But the argument that it is, or largely involves, an incredulity argument cannot simply be turned around and fitted on NDE.”

    Agreed, but as design continues to grow, and it’s proponents continue to weigh in with more forceful and articulate empirical evidences for why ID is the more parsimonious argument, I think that NDE earns a warrant for becoming more and more incredulous from a perfectly reasonable perspective that it hasn’t been sufficient in answering the more fundamentally important questions concerning the OOL, which ID has more sufficiently addressed.

    The only real objection to ID seems to be based upon a metaphysical dislike for immaterial causes to account for material existence. That seems to be it.

    If you don’t believe me, go to the thread on the radio debate between Davies and Lennox. Listen to what Davies says about design. He just doesn’t like the idea of a designer, and so he’s committed to avoid it at all costs, even the cost of having no sufficient account for OOL. Does that sound an awful lot like “we can’t let a divine foot in the door?”

    But to be fair, allow me to discuss Davies’ real objection. He contends that once we start accepting design arguments, we are then done with science. If there’s a designer, this necessitates ‘supernaturalism,’ which is a slippery slope away from reasonable accounts for nature’s mechanisms. Well sorry, but that’s also an example of incredulity. I can’t accept ‘supernaturalism’ as I define it, because it is against natural processes, and sooner or later faith healing will be just as valid as modern medicine.

    I have just one question for Davies on that account: “Has it ever occurred to you that your definition or anybody’s definition for ‘supernaturalism’ is the problem? ID doesn’t posit a supernatural God as defined by naturalists. ID posits design, from which one can infer a designer. If ID’s reason for a designer is perfectly valid from a scientific perspective, how would the existence of such a reasonable designer validate any unreasonable ‘supernaturalistic’ explanation for how the world works?

    If anything, I see that a designer such that ID implies, is perfectly congruent with rational thought and evidences.

    Davies fails to understand that modern Western sciences developed out of a theistic or design-centric world view. They most certainly could not have developed to the extent they are today if theists believed that ‘supernaturalims’ was the real world norm, and anything else is a pipe-dream. Theism does not imply fairies or witches, as the extreme new atheists often imply.

  29. 29
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Sooner,

    I missed that you were addressing me in 24. I think my answers to most of what you’re referring to has been answered in 26.

  30. 30
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Sooner,

    “Whops, I guess there are some things I didn’t address:

    “There is a great deal of reality that is outside the scope of scientific inquiry. The people on both sides of this argument who are attempting to squeeze their matters of ultimate concern into the arena in which the game of science is played are sad cases, from my perspective. Art, literature, music, philosophy, and religion all have more to say about what is truly important in human life than does science. Einstein did not consider himself to be on the same plane as Gandhi… and rightly so.”

    I don’t normally agree with the new atheists, but I recently heard an account involving Christopher Hitchens (I don’t really know the legitimacy of this account, but if true, it has an application to what you stated above) in which he was discussing Christianity with a liberal Christian, and she was saying things like, “well, I believe in Jesus and all that, but I don’t really accept all the miracles and that Jesus is the only way to heaven and all that nonsense,” to which Hitchens responded: (paraphrased from a secondary source) “well then you can’t legitimately call your self a Christian, can you, because what you object to is exactly what Christianity teaches.”

    Now while Hitchens in no way accepts Christianity, he has a keener understanding of what Christianity is all about, and its’ implications in a real world where we live and breathe than this woman who claimed to be a Christ follower. Perhaps he has this perspective, because of his very prominent Christian brother.

    So when you say that there is important truth to all of those religious ideas, but they can’t approach reality scientifically or in the real world in which we live and breathe, you are essentially saying that they are really lies. I believe in reality, not imagined or ‘religious’ reality apart from scientific reality. To me reality is just that. If God exists, then it is perfectly reasonable to expect that He has a connection to our experiential reality, not just in a metaphysical or abstract belief system that we’ve set up for ourselves to understand him.

    Now Hitchens’ real contention with Christianity is precisely the implications of its claims to be exclusive truth, and not simply one among many legitimate faith beliefs. He’s more reasonable in that I might add than most who believe that all religions have some merit.

    I kind of like what W.L. Craig once stated regarding this matter. He stated (and I’m paraphrasing again) that when confronted with the perceived problem of Christian exclusivism as being somewhat arrogant, that he has spent the better part of his life looking into many different belief systems, including Christianity, and poured over the truth claims from a number of religions and philosophies before he was convinced that Christianity was in fact true. He saw that the idea that all religions have truth is not adequate, because most religions have major doctrinal essentials that are opposed to the doctrinal essentials of other religions. That he looked carefully into Christianity, and was persuaded of its truth based on that careful study over many years of contending with it, and concluded that it is in fact true, is in no way a reflection that he views himself any better than a person who has not come to that conclusion. It was the very precepts and evidences for Christianity, which persuaded him, and not some notion that he had decided to believe because it was what he wanted all along, or because he had simply given up on finding anything better. It’s the strength of Christianity’s truth, which led him to faith.

    The point is that Christianity makes claims that are in the real world, not in some metaphysical neverland, that we dream up when we’re asleep.

    The claims of Chrisianity are that a man named Jesus who was God in the flesh lived physically among humans, was executed and resurrected himself from the dead as evidence that he was whom he claimed to be. Furthermore, that he left an historical account, which exists physically to this day among his disciples for the truths he claimed about himself, and the acts that he performed.

    That doesn’t leave much room for his historical physicality not having any connection to the real physical world, unless you are like the woman whom Hitchens was talking to, but then what would be the point?

    The gods of the Greeks are not the same as the God of Abrahamic faiths, which have accounts for Him working physically among certain people through certain historical depictions, and among people we know existed in places we know existed.

    In the Greek myths, it didn’t really matter that they didn’t really do what was attributed to them. Not so with the Abrahamic faiths. If Jesus didn’t really exist, and do what was attributed to him, then there’s really no truth to Christianity whatsoever, and no point in adhering to it, or applying any part of it to one’s life.

    Even if Jesus was simply a good teacher with some good ideas, but no more mystical or religiously relevant than an armadillo, there would still be no point. There are lots of good teachers with good ideas, what makes Jesus’ teachings so important above those of any other?

    No, no, if Jesus has application to our lives, then what he claimed about himself is the important stuff, and not simply the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount.

    So I would agree with both Hitchens and Craig on this matter. Christianity makes exclusive claims, and posits certain accounts, which must be true, or else the whole faith is in fact a lie. I just don’t have the problem with Christianity’s exclusive claims the way Hitchens does. To me, if God is reasonable, then there should be no question as to the truth of His claims.

    I didn’t really want to get into a too deeply theological discussion, but you led me to it, and anyway, how much off topic have we gotten here? 🙂

  31. 31
    Alex73 says:

    Coming from an engineering background I really love to see the vast arsenal of excuses the Darwinits can come up with when they are challenged to provide hard evidence for their claims, i.e. that non-intelligence can create the most incredible machinery in the known universe.

    We hear that they have predictions. When those predictions fail we hear that it is because evolution is unpredictable. After all, it is based on mindless processes and luck etc.

    When they feel like they use statistics to show what e.g. genetic drift can produce. When statistics show the utter impossibility for abiotic life genesis then statistics are dismissed because of the too many unknowns.

    When it comes to the notion of a creator they use argument of incredulity to show that biology is impossible to be created. When one argues that complex control systems are hard to believe to arise spontaneously (we haven’t seen any pop up just by itself and it is hard work to make one) they say that it is argument from incredulity.

    When they suspect that someone in the lab fiddled with the test tubes they can infer intelligent agency even if they never see the person. Digital codes and error processing systems in the living cells cannot be the product of intelligence agency, they say, because they never saw the creator.

    When it comes to God they are confident theologians knowing exactly what Gad would or would not do. When someone, say a mathematician, lawyer or engineer points that they have given no evidence for the core claims of Darwinism they are quick to point that the critic has no degree in the field of biology so he should not interfere with the wise men.

    I think it’s just sooo funny…

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Sooner, actually, contrary to what you believe possible for the scientific method, it is possible to get direct inferences to the infinite mind of the Theistic Creator using the scientific method.

    First quantum mechanics is very peculiar in that there is a wave that exists in a “superposition”, before it collapses to a 3-D particle. Furthermore the wave is defined mathematically as “infinite information”:

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport. http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    as well another line of evidence to the infinite mind of the theistic Creator can be made by noting the dominion that “infinite transcendent information waves”, i.e. transcendent of any space-time constraints, has over 3-D photons in the teleportation experiments.

    Unconditional Quantum Teleportation – abstract
    Excerpt: This is the first realization of unconditional quantum teleportation where every state entering the device is actually teleported,,
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/.....2/5389/706

    i.e. We know from the first law that energy cannot be created or destroyed by any material means, yet here we have, in this experiment, infinite transcendent information telling photons exactly what to do. Clearly anything exercising dominion of the fundamental entity of the universe, energy, must possess the same as well as greater qualities. i.e. Since transcendent information exercises dominion of energy which cannot be created or destroyed, then all transcendent information which can exist for all events of energy, past, present and future, already must exist.

    Third sooner, it is even possible to draw the conclusion that the infinite mind of the transcendent Creator is alive and “conscious” from quantum mechanics.

    Dr. Quantum – Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4096579/

    This following experiment highlights the centrality of consciousness in the Double Slit Experiment as to the “cause” for wave collapse and refutes any “detector centered” arguments for the “cause” of wave collapse:

    Delayed choice quantum eraser
    http://onemorebrown.wordpress......um-eraser/

    of note; Consciousness must be INFORMED with local certainty to cause the wave to become a particle. We know from the Double Slit Experiment, with delayed erasure, that the simple fact of a detector being present is NOT sufficient to explain the wave collapse. If the detector results are erased after detection but before conscious analysis we see the wave form result instead of the particle result. This clearly establishes the centrality of consciousness to the whole experiment. i.e. The clear implication from the experiment is that consciousness is primary, and detection secondary, to the collapse of the wave function to a 3-D particle. Consciousness must precede 3-Dimensional material reality.

    Thus sooner though, philosophically, you may not like the clear implications that the scientific method is telling us, the truth is that if you are as honest to the scientific method as you claim to be then you should just accept the truth revealed and adjust your beliefs accordingly.

    Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
    Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,,,
    Walt Whitman – Miracles

  33. 33
    Upright BiPed says:

    It has everything to do with the public nature of science, and the corresponding necessity that explanations be in terms of empirical observations

    The public nature of modern science is to portray absolute certainty that everything is explicable by means of purely unguided forces at work in the cosmos. This, of course, includes playing lip service to the noble idea that all conclusions are provisional.

    The “corresponding necessity” associated with empirical evidence is that any conclusions which rise to the level of a priori assumption cannot ignore any verified contradictory evidence whatsoever. None. Verified evidence may exist which might potentially alter a priori assumption, but it cannot exist in direct contradiction to it. In other words, proper scientific discipline demands that any priori assumptions be maintained in the dual state of being strong in terms of available evidence, yet immediately and untrustingly accountable to it. To suggest otherwise is to not perform science based upon empirical evidence.

    So let’s put this in play regarding origins research.

    On the desk are two stacks of papers containing verified empirical evidence concerning the presence of meaningful information instantiated within living systems. Within both stacks of work it is fundamentally recognized that meaningful information is encoded in one medium, is transcribed to a second medium, is then transported elsewhere, and finally translated in order to create function.

    Proponents of the first stack (stack A) operate under the priori assumption that all things are explicable by means of purely unguided forces. Their goal is to provide verifiable evidence that unguided natural forces can cause the effect in question (organization and function by means of encoded information). This is a goal which they have not achieved despite virtually unlimited resources in bio-chemistry, mathematics, computer modeling, etc, as well as any inferences derived from all the recorded empirical observations that have ever been made by all of humankind throughout all of human history.

    Proponents of the second stack (stack B) operate under the assumption that they can only verify that which can be shown through experiment, and any unverified hypotheses must be based upon rational inferences to causes (already verified) as being able to produce the effect in question. This is a goal that they have already achieved despite having a meager pittance of the resources of the competing paradigm. It has been accomplished by surveying the entirety of all data regarding the effect in question, and making a rational inference based upon the only cause already verified as being able to accomplish it. Further, they have limited their conclusion to the only thing which has direct observational backing. That is the effect itself – the discontinuity in unguided processes by the input of an agent.

    It is completely clear that stack A has already assumed its conclusion from the start, and that stack B is operating as a proper scientific enterprise. We can now apply the questions that we want to know: how, when and where (“why” is off the table as a metaphysical conquest).

    In regard to these questions both camps are equal; neither camp can provide a verifiable answer to any of these questions. So, how does this fact affect their positions? We can look at this by observing what they logically can say, as well as what they actually do say.

    The proponents of stack A can offer a semblance of a defense for their position by saying that they continue to strongly believe that unguided natural forces can accomplish the effects in question, and that with continued research they may be able to verify their claim through experimental means in the future. This is only a semblance of a defense because it tacitly acknowledges that their priori assumption is not well-supported by the evidence. The special pleading to list all of the evidence which can be construed to close the gap does nothing to actually close the gap because when it comes to priori assumptions there can be no verifiable evidence that directly contradicts it. In this case, the fact that no one has ever observed a single instance of unguided forces leading to sophisticated organization by means of informational input can only be regarded as contradictory evidence. This of course leads to a professional conundrum for an empirically-based enterprise which demands a priori assumption (prior to the evidence) which cannot be supported by that very evidence.

    Their position is further weakened by the fact that the priori assumption they operate under is not falsifiable by the evidence. If a point in time cannot come where their assumption is subjected to a test (and it cannot be if it must be maintained as a priori assumption) then it is inherently non-falsifiable.

    Yet, what they actually do say is that their prior assumption is 100% true, and that any enterprise that does not immediately assume their conclusion (as they do) cannot be regarded as valid in the empirically-based discipline of science. Once that is firmly established, then they are all too happy to concede that all (other) conclusions are provisional.

    Proponents of stack B, on the other hand, can and do say that their conclusion of agency input is completely congruent with all available evidence. They do not say ‘how’ the effect came to be because there is nothing yet in the evidence that suggest a verifiable answer. They do not say when or where (or who or what) for the same reason. Their conclusions are therefore limited by proper scientific discipline to be immediately accountable to the evidence. Their conclusions are fully in-line with the actual data, as well as inferences to the only cause that has ever been observed to be able to produce the effect in question. This puts them in the enviable position having their conclusions actually subjected to falsification by the evidence – a position the competing paradigm cannot claim.

    As scientific observations travel out to the public, this disparity in discipline becomes even more pronounced. The opponents of stack A attack the opponents of stack B for virtually everything possible, save one item – the evidence in the stack. One can seemingly find an attack on stack B over anything under the sun, but you never hear a proponent of stack A describing how an inanimate object produces information-bearing properties and how that information is used to create function.

    In other words; the verifiable contradictory evidence.

    – – – – – – –

    Sooner, it’s not immediately clear why those who search for an understanding of existence should be compelled by the inventory on your own personal list of what’s important. I think its quit clear that the people on this forum have varied interests which would cover everything you say is vital, but I can’t imagine that those interests negate having interest in other areas as well. And why you repeatedly assume that people in ID are unfamiliar with the limits of science is just a head-shaker.

    You come here to attack ID proponents by broadbrushing their motivations, and your comments are always laced with a certain disdain for theism in general, but do you now also suggest we all pick up a book and a banjo and forget about where we came from? It might be interesting in the name of fairness to know what websites you frequent from the opposing camp to suggest the same route to nirvana. Are there any?

    It’s certainly not hard to imagine a more arrogant being than someone who arraigns people as “sad cases” simply because they fight against a wrong being done, but you are patently arrogant all the same. I doubt that you would admit it, but I get the sense that you’ve defended yourself against this accusation a lot in your life. I suspect that you use it as an opportunity to pontificate about yourself even more, so here is yet another opportunity.

    After you are done, please cut to the chase – tell me why you tacitly support an assumption that cannot be falsified, is not supported by the evidence, and ignores direct contradictory evidence. Can you do that without simply assuming that this is not the case?

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    This following video may be of interest to some people on this thread for Dr. Rana alludes to multiple levels of evidence, both positive and negative, for drawing the ID inference:

    The Cell’s Design: How Biochemistry Reveals the Work of a Creator
    http://www.vimeo.com/8987671

  35. 35
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Dodgen,

    Unfortunately, Darwinists refuse to collaborate with others who have expertise relevant to their field of study, and in doing so they doom themselves to wallowing in self-congratulatory ignorance.

    If I search for the phrase “population genetics” in PubMed, it gets over 22,000 hits. Which of these peer reviewed scientific articles would you characterize as self-congratulatory ignorance?

  36. 36
    Lenoxus says:

    231 3071

    #28 CannuckianYankee:

    Darwinist: “Yeah, sure selection works perfectly well, only I think we are best to apply a sort of chemical evolution, coupled with some as yet unknown force or process of nature when it comes to OOL, which makes us free to speculate willy nilly, ’cause we just don’t know.” Why must they do this? Because a designer couldn’t a or wouldn’t a done it. That’s it in a nutshell.

    The part I bolded is something you may indeed hear from biologists every once in a while. But the “unknown forces”, and interactions of known forces, are being worked on. They’re not just being pulled out of scientists’ butts, despite that accusation being made on sites like UD again and again and again.

    If biologists accepted on masse that the OOL might be explained by “design”, what would that contribute to the search for the answer to how it happened, apart from, at best, “This step of the process is likely where the designer did its thing. As a result, the organic material was in a much improved state, like so.”

    It happens that very few biologists think “a designer couldn’t a or wouldn’t a done it” — they’re mostly theistic evolutionists! But as scientists, they’re interested in how the designer “done it”. The answer UD gives is “by applying information.” Not very helpful.

    Darwin’s whole philosophical basis for natural selection was that a designer wouldn’t have designed suboptimally; therefore there must be some naturalistic mechanism in place to account for suboptimal ‘design’, which renders a designer unnecessary.

    And then he just made up the rest of that stuff, for filler in his book, whose main message is not “Life as we see it is the result of ages of descent, variation, and selection, and exists on a branching continuum in a tree-like configuration”, but “Up yours, Paley.” Okay. I’ve seen this bizarre take on Darwin before.

    The thing is, if you compare Origin of Species to any modern intelligent design book, you’re going to find far more in the way of negative argumentation in the latter. Conversely, Origin of Species is not some account of the shortcomings of Genesis.

    Design eliminates the time + chance improbabilities inherent in naturalistic accounts, which demonstrates that ID is in no way an argument from incredulity.

    Design eliminates a lot of things. It cuts to the chase. It doesn’t waste time or energy! It appreciates the importance of final causes.

    “Why?” asks humanity.

    “Because!” says ID. “Because.”

    The only real objection to ID seems to be based upon a metaphysical dislike for immaterial causes to account for material existence. That seems to be it.

    That’s close to my central objection. To be precise, I object to origins “hypotheses” that are, deep down, nothing more than “this is accounted for by an immaterial cause” — the only hypothesis that really ties together all the sub-views of ID.

    If you wish to make a truly testable proposal for an immaterial cause or principle, go right ahead. Some vaguely promising candidates in this direction include “genetic entropy” and “front-loading”.

    Of course, people on the Interwebs will still laugh at the hypotheses, but that’s part of the process of grinding them into shape.

    I can’t accept ’supernaturalism’ as I define it, because it is against natural processes, and sooner or later faith healing will be just as valid as modern medicine.

    I can’t tell whether this is a sentiment you’re attributing to Davies, or one you hold yourself — that faith healing is “just as valid”.

    If ID’s reason for a designer is perfectly valid from a scientific perspective, how would the existence of such a reasonable designer validate any unreasonable ’supernaturalistic’ explanation for how the world works?

    Well, you would need to elucidate what basic principles guide the designer and therefore ultimately constrain the possibilities of what can be attributed to “design”. (Otherwise, there is no reason not to attribute all unknowns in all sciences to design.) Message Theory is a half-decent start on that path. It’s worthy of some accolades just for that!

    Theism does not imply fairies or witches, as the extreme new atheists often imply.

    Well, maybe not fairies, but witches… technically, yes. Heck, Jesus himself was an exorcist. But I get that that sort of Christianity is fringe nowadays. (And theism doesn’t imply Christianity anyway.)

  37. 37
    Phaedros says:

    Lenoxus-

    I guess what you missed is that information is that immaterial cause. Rather, it’s what is not being accounted for in the materialistic theories of evolutionists. The question is then how is it that the information got there. That’s when you get into the “how” of it all. If you read Origin of Species…wait it’s mostly unreadable because it’s just so terribly written and consists of many claims that he said he had a lot of evidence for, but hardly ever thought it was necessary to show that evidence. Instead his argument is this, “Design? No, we’ve got different kinds of finch beaks!”

    I find it utterly fascinating that Behe, in finding this edge of evolution, may have made one of the most important contributions to medicine of all time. However, there may be another way to look at it. Take the Malaria organism for example. Let’s assume that it actually was designed for a purpose. Let’s further assume that that purpose may not have been a harmful one, but instead the organism has generated over a long period of time. This may sound crazy, but it might be that you could kill two birds with one stone in investigating. You could start research into this by tracing back the mutations that the organism has taken on over the years and also use the information gained in that pursuit and apply it to figuring out how to possibly come up with a drug that it could not overcome through random mutations. If it then turns out that the idea that it was designed originally for a good purpose is wrong then at least you have gained a lot of information about the organism and how the proteins it utilizes work, etc.

  38. 38
    Phaedros says:

    Oops-

    Information is not the cause, but the effect. An effect that is not accounted for in the world of Dawkins and Dennett.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Phaedros:

    There is a bright ray of hope in the fight against malaria:

    Video; Developing the RTS,S Malaria Vaccine Candidate:
    http://allafrica.com/view/reso.....20109.html

    As well Phaedros information is the cause of reality, whereas the mind of God is the cause of the information whether it be for the creation of the “chemical blackboard” of reality or the writing of a message on the chemical blackboard,

    John 1:1 In the beginning was The Word,,,

  40. 40
    GilDodgen says:

    Nakashima: If I search for the phrase “population genetics” in PubMed, it gets over 22,000 hits.

    I fail to understand the relevance of this citation to my thesis. Population genetics is certainly a worthwhile area of study, but it has nothing to do with elucidating how random errors filtered by natural selection can engineer and orchestrate complex information-processing machinery.

    Understanding such technology will require a much more broad-based integration of the sciences, including information-theoretic considerations and systems engineering.

    Living things were designed, and a failure to recognize this is a science-inhibitor.

  41. 41
    Petrushka says:

    Living things were designed, and a failure to recognize this is a science-inhibitor.

    I’ve read on this forum a number of times that most research in biology supports ID.

  42. 42
    Nakashima says:

    Mr uoflcard,

    It really is a simple, elegant theory. If it were true, I think it would have been demonstrated countless times already via honest, unguided computer simulatioms.

    Yes, it has. That’s why the argument has shifted from “intelligence was smuggled in” to “sure it works in principle, but in reality there was not enough probabalistic resources”.

    One of the first responses of the ID community to GA demonstrations of the capabities of RM+NS was Dr Dembski’s MESA. MESA was hardwired so that the optimum was all 1s. Does that make it unguided or guided in your view?

    Here’s a short description of RM+NS:

    1 – There is a population of individuals.
    2 – Each individual has traits.
    3 – The values of the traits are inherited by the children of an individual.
    4 – Sometime the values are changed during inheritance to another random value.
    5 – The number of children that an individual has is a function of the trait values.

    If a computer simulation had those features would you agree it was an honest and unguided simulation of RM+NS?

  43. 43
    Seversky says:

    GilDodgen @ 40

    Living things were designed, and a failure to recognize this is a science-inhibitor

    That may stand as an article of faith but it is belied by the evidence. All the great advances in science and technology have been the product of methodological naturalism. Even in your own field, I doubt that you include a term for God in your software or make allowance for divine intervention when calculating the trajectory of a parachute as it falls to Earth with its load.

    This is hardly surprising. ID posits that an alien designer is responsible for living things but eschews any speculation about its nature or how it achieved those designs. Yet this is precisely what concerns science and why ID, though not necessarily a science-stopper, is of no help. It is simply unwilling or unable to answer the questions science asks.

  44. 44
    Upright BiPed says:

    Seversky, your comment in 42 is simply divorced from the reality on the ground.

    Read my comment in 33 and your comment in 42 and then you can ignore why that is so.

  45. 45
    Joseph says:

    Seversky,

    In the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way to make any scientific determination about the designer(s) or the process(es) used is by studying the design.

    That is how it is done in archaeology and forensics.

    Also there isn’t anything in ID that stops people from asking and trying to answer those questions.

    And those questions prove that ID is not a science stopper. We will try to find answers, it is our nature…

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky stated:

    “All the great advances in science and technology have been the product of methodological naturalism.”

    No. the founding of science, and greatest advances in science, have both been tied directly to the belief that presupposed an underlying order to the natural realm that could be discovered through investigation. An underlying order that was first presupposed by Christian Theists who presumed to be as such because of their belief in a single creator God who imposed order on His creation, which is a belief which is in direct contradiction to the random chaos materialist/atheists presuppose in their foundational thought. Please tell me where are all the atheists in the honor roll of founding scientists Seversky since they claim to be so rational?

    The Underlying Mathematical Foundation Of Nature -Walter Bradley – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491491

    Christianity and the Birth of Science
    Excerpt: 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?
    http://ldolphin.org/bumbulis/

    Scientists of the Christian Faith: A Presentation of the Pioneers, Practitioners and Supporters of Modern Science
    http://www.tektonics.org/scim/sciencemony.htm

    In fact Seversky, methodological naturalism is a fairly recent perversion that was imposed on the scientific method in that it will only allow materialistic answers despite what the evidence may say. I firmly believe this recent perversion was done to try to protect atheistic materialism from falsification by the mounting evidence for design:

    Materialism compared to Theism within the scientific method:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc....._5fwz42dg9

    Then Seversky stated:

    “ID posits that an alien designer is responsible for living things but eschews any speculation about its nature or how it achieved those designs.”

    and yet when Dawkins said this,,,

    Richard Dawkins Vs. Ben Stein – The UFO Interview – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4134259

    ,,, was he being “scientific” Seversky? Is there ever a time, in your atheistic “scientific” mind, that the evidence would become so overwhelming as to warrant an inference to design or is this simply unacceptable to you because you find God “inconvenient”?

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Seversky, I think you will find much, much more to be “inconvenient” if you keep playing these games and die without making your peace with God through Christ.

  47. 47
    Seversky says:

    The existence of design in the Universe is not in question. We do it and we may not be the only ones. At issue is whether we are warranted in inferring the existence of non-human designers based on the observation that there are biological structures that have properties similar to those of human artefacts.

    Before Darwin, the Paleyist explanation was persuasive since no one had been able to think of a better one, although a number of people had been moving towards ideas that did not involve a designer or artificer. Darwin was the first to synthesize a framework theory of evolution, which proposed that undirected natural forces could account for the observed variety of life, based on previous thinking and his own observations and thoughts. It does not preclude the possibility of intelligent agents other than ourselves who may have influenced the course of life on Earth but neither does it require it.

    This is also true of science more generally. It proceeds on the assumption, based on observation, that there is order in the Universe. It has to, otherwise science would be impossible. The fact that the origin or source of that order is unknown does not prevent science from working with what it has. Naturalistic explanations have worked very well so far so it makes sense to continue with them until they don’t.

    As for science, the role of religion in fostering it in its early days or that many scientists then and now were believers is not in question. What I am claiming is that no current scientific theories or technology have found it necessary to rely on religious or supernatural concepts or phenomena.

  48. 48
    Phaedros says:

    Seversky-

    “Before Darwin, the Paleyist explanation was persuasive since no one had been able to think of a better one, although a number of people had been moving towards ideas that did not involve a designer or artificer. Darwin was the first to synthesize a framework theory of evolution, which proposed that undirected natural forces could account for the observed variety of life, based on previous thinking and his own observations and thoughts. It does not preclude the possibility of intelligent agents other than ourselves who may have influenced the course of life on Earth but neither does it require it.”

    Darwin made a PROPOSAL. A proposal that has never been demonstrated to be true in the slightest. Paley’s argument is still much more convincing to any rational person.

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky stated:

    “What I am claiming is that no current scientific theories or technology have found it necessary to rely on religious or supernatural concepts or phenomena.”

    Oh really???!!!

    Please explain quantum wave collapse without recourse to God then:

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

  50. 50
    Joseph says:

    Seversky,

    If you do not like the design inference then perhaps you should start presenting positive evidence for your position.

    For it is the complete failure to do so that has led us to this point.

    BTW ID does not require the supernatural.

  51. 51
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Lenoxus, (long post. Sorry)

    “But the ‘unknown forces’, and interactions of known forces, are being worked on.”

    They ‘are being worked on’ is hardly a satisfying solution to a problem that has existed for Darwinian ToE since its formulation.

    “If biologists accepted on masse that the OOL might be explained by “design”, what would that contribute to the search for the answer to how it happened, apart from, at best, “This step of the process is likely where the designer did its thing. As a result, the organic material was in a much improved state, like so.”

    What is the Darwinian ToE currently contributing to how it happened? I really can’t see the point of this question no matter from which metaphysical position it is framed. Neither paradigm is offering even a potential answer to that question. Perhaps because our real understanding of how and why life exists is currently extremely limited.

    I think you would benefit from reading Upright’s excellent post at 33.

    The question of how or even why life occurred may be premature at this stage of the debate.

    I can certainly further concur with the argument that ID offers more potential application in the here and now for how biological systems should operate (from a perspective that they are purposefully constructed through an as yet unknown genesis process), than does Darwinian ToE.

    “It happens that very few biologists think “a designer couldn’t a or wouldn’t a done it” — they’re mostly theistic evolutionists! But as scientists, they’re interested in how the designer “done it”. The answer UD gives is “by applying information.” Not very helpful.”

    How would design as opposed to RM + NS not be helpful? Frankly I find that assessment rather vague and unimaginative. If we can establish that there is design as opposed to purely naturalistic processes going on, then as ID rightly posits, there are two possibilities: A) the possibility that the designer is an intelligent biological being from another realm of space (panspermia), or: B) the possibility that the designer is an intelligent being, but not biological, and possibly not from another realm of space. The 2nd possibility can be further divided into: B1) a transcendent non-biological intelligent being (Theism) or: B2) a contingent non-biological intelligent being (I’m not certain there is a definitive category for such a being).

    Now if the designer is A: an intelligent biological being from another realm of space, then your question is quite valid right off the bat, but we may not have the answer any time soon. Furthermore, there are additional complications with this option, because it does not offer a final solution to the problem. We must then ask ‘who designed the designer?’ This may be the only option where such a question is really valid.

    If the designer is B2: a contingent non-biological intelligent being, then your question would be more difficult to answer, because we currently have no knowledge of such a being in existence, not in our folklore (with the possible exception of fiction, or a designer akin to that proposed by Mormonism). But all in all, we really have nothing in our folklore, customs, or immediate experience of such a being, so we are left in the dark, and may be so for some as yet unknown but vast length of time. Furthermore, to ask who designed such a being is absurdly premature, given the fact that we have no experiential knowledge of such a being. As it stands now, such a being is relegated to the realm of fiction.

    If the designer is B1: a transcendent non-biological intelligent being your question can partly be answered but it may have limitations. We do have purported knowledge of such a being in our folklore and customs, and such folklore and customs are widespread throughout the population and throughout our known history. Furthermore, discussion of such a being has been greatly discussed in philosophy and theology throughout a vast part of our history, and humans have developed a very sophisticated and logical proposition for why such a being is not only reasonable, but necessary. But the common knowledge of such a being throughout history and throughout our population suggests that knowledge of how that being creates is limited. Limited knowledge, however does not necessarily imply that it is unreasonable. All of the Abrahamic faiths as well as others, which support this possibility, for example, suggest some sort of divine fiat. The word is spoken, and existence is established. While this does not exactly satisfy our curiosity as to how divine fiat operates, it is very highly suggestive of the need for prior information.

    But even the other two options require prior information as well. So inquiring as to the information source is not an unreasonable inquiry into the genesis of life on earth.

    You mentioned that most biologists are theistic evolutionists. I’m really not certain that is true, but if it is, there is a problem. TE is really not open to any of the options I have laid out as being scientific. It’s as if they really haven’t thought of the problem of the origins of all this complexity.

    Well I will concur with part of their objection: they may not be precisely scientific from the perspective of the empirical sciences, but they are scientific from the perspective of a valid hypothesis that can be tested empirically. If option B1 (God or if you will, an intelligent immaterial transcendent and necessary being, who created all that exists) exists, then it would be unreasonable to suggest that such a being’s creative connection to what exists materially cannot be detected. Such a proposal would be an a priori assertion.

    This is the issue that struck me most as I was reading “Signature In The Cell.” Biology does not seem to be concerned with issues of the OOL. Most biologists realize that there is a problem with applying the current thinking (RM + NS) to the origin of life, and my original point is that biologists have refused to address this very important problem head on apart from various speculations for how natural processes could have operated to generate the first living organisms.

    So do you see just how circular this issue is becoming here? We are right back to where this discussion started: trying to validate natural processes as an explanation for how complex biological life began is circular. It assumes what it is trying to prove.

    ID, on the other hand, takes natural processes operating alone right out of the equation, by suggesting that there is more to living systems than the gradual development from nonliving matter through as yet unknown natural processes. Furthermore, ID proposes a testable equation in determining just what biological systems cannot be explained through natural processes.

    ID might not yet be at the stage of answering exactly what the process was that led to life, but it has posited the basic necessary ingredient of prior information, and I think it has done so quite sufficiently. Where we go from there I can imagine will involve determining which of the three options I have laid out is the most parsimonious, given our knowledge and experience. Such an endeavor might not be possible primarily through empirical analysis, but it most certainly can be found to have implications for the best of the 3 options.

    ID opponents have accused ID proponents of being disproportionately theistic in their conclusions, rendering their arguments invalid.

    Given the three options I have laid out, it is no surprise that the majority of those looking at ID are not only theistic, but monotheistic. ID strongly implies a monotheistic deity as being the more satisfying and parsimonious of the three options. Option A is the least satisfying of the more reasonable options A and B2. B1 is the least satisfying and most unreasonable. Only B2 satisfies and is reasonable. It is the only option where asking ‘who designed the designer’ is invalid, and we have a vast account of such a being operating in our history and among our population. We have established an array of reasonable arguments for just such a being’s necessary existence, for which the existence of all else hinges.

    Now if the majority of biologists are theistic evolutionsists (which I doubt, but have no supporting data), then it sounds to me rather interesting that they continue to oppose ID, when ID provides a strong basis for an inference to the very deity their alleged ‘theism’ suggests.

    It’s almost like saying, ‘I believe in God, but I don’t think there’s really an evidence that He really and truly exists.’ Why then believe?

    Re: Darwin and his metaphysical assertion that God would not have designed what we currently see in biology, you state: “And then he just made up the rest of that stuff, for filler in his book, whose main message is not “Life as we see it is the result of ages of descent, variation, and selection, and exists on a branching continuum in a tree-like configuration”, but “Up yours, Paley.”

    I’m not certain you understand. If you start from a metaphysical assertion, and that assertion is the only option for you, because you have rejected the other option a priori, then if you care at all, you are very highly motivated to establish as fact, that which supports your assertion. Darwin wasn’t ignorant. He was brilliant, and his theory is very reasonable if you start from his metaphysical assertion. If however, you allow the possibility of either metaphysical option: God is either necessary or He is not, then RM + NS is highly insufficient in establishing that He is not. It only works brilliantly if you start from the non-theistic metaphysical assertion. I suspect that the two main reasons those calling themselves theistic evolutionists accept Darwinian ToE (RM + NS) as the all-encompasing and established scientific account for biological complexity is because of its acceptance among a majority of biologists, which is a clear bias; and also their ignorance of Darwin’s metaphysical assertion: ‘God wouldn’t a done it that way.’ They may be aware of and agree with Darwin, but they believe that such an assertion is scientific, as opposed to philosophical and debatable.

    “The thing is, if you compare Origin of Species to any modern intelligent design book, you’re going to find far more in the way of negative argumentation in the latter. Conversely, Origin of Species is not some account of the shortcomings of Genesis.”

    Are you kidding? Darwinian ToE establishes itself as a deathblow to design. It has less to do with Genesis and more to do with Paley. Paley was Darwin’s focus throughout his writing, because Paley at the time had established one of the strongest design arguments. Genesis isn’t a design argument, it accepts design as a given and not something that needs an argument. As for Darwinian ToE, I cannot think of a more negative argument against design, and thus against theism, established solely on a prior commitment to purposeless naturalism.

    ID is right to question the merits of a philosophy that is circular to the extent that it establishes itself solely upon its a priori commitment to that which it is trying to prove.

    “That’s close to my central objection. To be precise, I object to origins “hypotheses” that are, deep down, nothing more than “this is accounted for by an immaterial cause” — the only hypothesis that really ties together all the sub-views of ID.”

    And in your objection you are making the same fatal error as Darwin. You are assuming that there can be no immaterial causes, or if there can, they cannot be detected. Your objection is a metaphysical objection, and not a scientific one. Such objections are also highly circular and thus, illogical. You can’t establish naturalism solely based on an objection to it’s alternatives without first establishing that such objections are reasonable. I can’t stress this more forcefully: if you start with a naturalistic assumption, then you fail to establish your objection.

    “If you wish to make a truly testable proposal for an immaterial cause or principle, go right ahead. Some vaguely promising candidates in this direction include ‘genetic entropy’ and ‘front-loading.'”

    In the above quote you are further demonstrating that you have an a priori commitment to naturalism, which by naturalistic parameters, you cannot establish. You have to look from outside the box in order to describe and establish what is inside the box. What in your experience suggests that only naturalistic causes are sufficient, and how do you establish this as the case? How do you account for other proposals that are not committed to naturalistic causes? How can you even account, for that matter, the existence of the universe, or any natural existence, solely based on naturalism? You can’t. Naturalism is a circular vacuum.

    I stated, referring to my understanding of how Darwinists such as Paul Davies think: “I can’t accept ’supernaturalism’ as I define it, because it is against natural processes, and sooner or later faith healing will be just as valid as modern medicine.”

    You replied:

    “I can’t tell whether this is a sentiment you’re attributing to Davies, or one you hold yourself — that faith healing is ‘just as valid’.”

    The point is that even if some sort of immaterial intelligence is established scientifically, such an establishment does not then validate all claims of the ‘supernatural,’ such as faith healing, or witchcraft, or whatnot. We cannot even ascertain that the existence of such an intelligent agent is necessarily ‘supernatural’ as we define the term.

    There may still be charlatans out there claiming to heal without any empirical evidence that such a healing took place. But neither are they invalidated a priori. There can be healing apart from modern medicine, and it can be inexplicable through science.

    But for caution’s sake; the existence of an immaterial intelligent being, who fits the empirical evidence, as the account for highly complex biological systems, does not imply that all claims or accounts of such a being’s work among us can be reasonably validated. There is still the necessary burden of proof. To state otherwise is to jump the gun a bit too much. This is why ID has so narrowly defined what can reasonably be determined as purposeful, non-random design.

  52. 52
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Lenoxus,

    I made some errors with reference to B1 and B2 in my last post, but I think you can figure out which is which.

    🙂

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    of related interest:

    7 Urban Legends Biologists Believe but
    an Engineer Would Never Tolerate:
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/ee/

  54. 54
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 49

    Please explain quantum wave collapse without recourse to God then

    I have no idea. I am not a quantum physicist. But that does not mean that the default explanation must be God.

    There was a time when we knew nothing of germs or relativistic phenomena or the quantum world. Some physical and mental disorders, for example, were attributed to demonic possession – and, apparently, in some cases, still are by people who ought to know better – until naturalistic causes were discovered.

    As far as I understand it, this experiment has excluded certain possible explanations. Now physicists have to look for alternatives. It is these mysteries that make science exciting for them. Simply answering every question we have about the nature of the Universe by saying “God did it” is no fun. Besides, it actually tells us nothing about the ‘how’ which is what we want to know.

  55. 55
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 53

    7 Urban Legends Biologists Believe but
    an Engineer Would Never Tolerate:
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/ee/

    Yet another illustration of the aphorism ‘To a man who has only a hammer, everything looks like nail’.

  56. 56
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky stated:

    “I have no idea. I am not a quantum physicist. But that does not mean that the default explanation must be God.”

    Well Seversky, No less than Einstein himself carried the materialistic mantle, that you are now holding, into the debate on Quantum Mechanics in which he, as well as Podolsky and Rosen (EPR paradox), proposed hidden variables to explain quantum entanglement.

    Dr. Quantum – Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4096579

    Though it took many years to unseat this only viable materialistic candidate to explain the phenomena of entanglement, It was ultimately disproved by Alain Aspect in which he worked from John Bell’s inequality to do so, and this falsification of the only materialistic position possible, the hidden variable, has now been overwhelmingly confirmed since Aspect’s work, by further work in 2009 that was enabled by investigation into quantum computing which allowed falsification of any possible hidden variable scenario for the materialists.

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.

    Seversky, it is interesting to note that this was not the first time that Einstein was severely misled by his materialistic philosophy, brilliant as He was,. He made what he himself termed “the biggest blunder” of his career by adding a constant to his general relativity equation to reflect a “eternal” steady state universe, which is a primary postulation of materialism, instead of accepting a beginning for the universe that naturally flowed from his GR equation. This natural flow, for the beginning of the universe, that flowed from his equation was discovered by no less than a Christian Priest:

    Einstein & The Belgian Priest; Georges Lamaître – The “Father” of the Big Bang – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4279662

    The main problem for you seversky, as a materialist, is that quantum mechanics blatantly defy our concepts of time and space. This has been shown to be true repeatedly from multiple lines of evidence. Yet time and space are themselves absolutely essential for any materialistic link to causality, whereas in Theism the ability to defy time and space is THE number one proposition in the Theistic philosophy that theists have always posited that almighty God possesses. As well, theists have always posited that not only did God bring this universe into existence from his “highest dimension”, but that he also sustains this universe in its moment by moment existence (Aquinas – First Mover). As a materialist Seversky you are as falsified in your starting premises as can be allowed by science proper, If you want to imagine that materialism is not falsified and that Theism is not validated by modern science that is your prerogative and feel free to do so, but please do not insult me by insisting you are being rational by placing your imagination above the empirical evidence that modern science has wrought against materialism.

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky I also see a recurrent theme in your posts in that you try to discredit Christianity by saying Christianity is somehow anti-knowledge.

    You alluded to germs, but germ theory itself was discovered by no less a scientific giant, and devout Christian, than Louis Pasteur, who is credited with saving more human lives through his work than any man in history:

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....asteur.asp
    http://www.accessexcellence.or.....asteur.php

    It is also well known that almost every prestigious college in the USA was founded by Christian denominations.

    History of America’s Education
    “106 of the first 108 colleges were started on the Christian faith. By the close of 1860 there were 246 colleges in America. Seventeen of these were state institutions; almost every other one was founded by Christian denominations or by individuals who avowed a religious purpose.
    http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/....._part3.htm

    Top colleges which use to be the envy of the world:

    The Real Reason American Education Has Slipped – David Barton – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4318930

    seversky you also mention relativity, (Special or General?) , but seversky relativity was discovered by Einstein who once stated that “he wanted to know the thoughts of God the rest was mere details’. As well special relativity shows that time as we understand it comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. Materialism surely did not predict this, but theism has always posited the existence of a “eternal dimension” that transcends this dimension of time!

    Basically seversky, everything you alluded to is very supportive of Theism, but you have somehow twisted it in your mind that only atheistic naturalists are the ones who are scientifically minded (I hold they are the greatest hindrance to true science by the way). Yet if the atheistic naturalists continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence for God from every line of investigation science offers, what possible future do they have save to be ridiculed by future generations for being such flat earthers?

  58. 58
    Freelurker says:

    Does any engineer here claim that engineers use any methods that are less materialistic than those used by science?
    If not, why is methodological materialism good enough for engineering but not good enough for science?

  59. 59
    Joseph says:

    Seversky,

    Saying “the blind watchmaker didit” is no fun.

    Besides it actually tells us nothing of the ‘how’ which is what we really want to know.

  60. 60
    tgpeeler says:

    pelagius @ 8

    “If it doesn’t pass the BOTNT, don’t even bother thinking about it, says Gil. My examples show why this is foolish.”

    pelagius, I’d like for you to send me every dime you own because I am going to play the lottery with all of your money and I will give you the proceeds (less my cut, of course :-)). My example shows why this is foolish.

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