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William Lane Craig defends theistic evolution at Peaceful Science

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On theological but not necessarily scientific grounds. He’s defending it against Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique, pointing to a defense by Michael J. Murray and John Ross Churchill:

One of the things I appreciate about Michael J. Murray and John Ross Churchill’s paper is their candid embrace of the label, “theistic evolution,” for their view.1 This strikes me as much more accurate and straightforward a label than the euphemistic appellation, “evolutionary creationism,” recently adopted by some theistic evolutionists, which seems clearly an attempt to coopt the label, “creationism,” in order to make their view more palatable to evangelical Christians.

It will be helpful at the outset to note the very limited scope of Murray and Churchill’s response to the volume, Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique (SPTC). They state that the volume as a whole conveys “the message that for Christians with traditional doctrinal commitments, no version of theistic evolution that adheres largely to consensus views in biology will be a plausible option.”2 They maintain to the contrary that it is “incontrovertible” that there are versions of theistic evolution that are “immune to many of the key criticisms advanced” in the book.3 More specifically, they argue that “there are versions of theistic evolution … that are consistent with traditional doctrinal commitments” concerning divine providence, miracles, evidence for theism, and nonphysical souls. It is evident, then, that their concern is with doctrinal criticisms of theistic evolution.4

Now immediately I felt myself rather left out of the conversation. For I am a Christian with traditional doctrinal commitments, but any reservations I have about the viability of theistic evolution have nothing to do with such doctrinal commitments. My reservations are not theological but scientific in nature.

William Lane Craig, “Response to “Mere Theistic Evolution”” at Peaceful Science (March 7, 2022)

Some of us would think that if theistic evolution fails a science test, one needn’t bother with the theology. But maybe we misunderstand.

You may also wish to read: Casey Luskin: The mytho-history of Adam, Eve, and William Lane Craig. Long a defender of orthodoxy, Craig seems to want to prune the orthodoxies he is expected to defend. But the pruning process in which he is engaged can never really stop. The “sensible God” is most likely the one looking back at us from our medicine cabinet mirrors.

74 Replies to “William Lane Craig defends theistic evolution at Peaceful Science

  1. 1
    tjguy says:

    Very disappointing, but he has been moving further and further that way for a while now. I guess it’s because he thinks it safeguards him from the anti-science label and maybe thinks it makes his ideas more appealing to his opponents? You know – there is less they can attack him for. Creationism is an easy target.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “but any reservations I have about the viability of theistic evolution have nothing to do with such doctrinal commitments. My reservations are not theological but scientific in nature.” – (Craig)

    Well frankly, besides ‘science’ itself falsifying Darwinian/Theistic Evolutionary claims,

    Jan. 2022 Scientific evidence falsifies claims for human evolution
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-fox-news-adam-and-eve-are-compatible-with-evolution/#comment-744141

    ,, besides ‘science’ itself falsifying Darwinian/Theistic Evolutionary claims, the ‘theology’ of theistic evolution is, to put it mildly, found to be wanting clarity.

    Theology at BioLogos: The Curious Case of the “Wesleyan Maneuver” – Part 3
    Excerpt: We discovered that Venema consistently evaded Crude’s questions, and that, even when he finally answered them, his answers were unclear and unsatisfactory. And we discovered the source of the lack of clarity – Venema’s self-contradictory commitment both to God’s absolute sovereignty and to the “freedom” of nature which he thinks is implied by his “non-Calvinist” position. And we discovered that, rather than being much distressed by the incoherence of his position, he excused it on the grounds that “mystery” is allowable in his theology.
    Such a position renders the entire BioLogos venture pointless, since its goal is to convince the public, especially Christian evangelicals, that the “free” nature of neo-Darwinian evolution is not incompatible with the “determined” ends of a sovereign, providential God. How can it do this, if in the final analysis, all it can say is, “I tend to be OK with a bit of mystery”? The word “bathetic” is not one I use often, but it pretty well describes the theological position of the lead scientific writer on BioLogos.,,,
    So what we have had in the leadership and the columns at BioLogos is a theologically skewed segment of American evangelical Christianity, with Calvinism grossly underrepresented, and Wesleyanism grossly overrepresented.
    To summarize what I’ve said so far: BioLogos has an “Arminian” emphasis on human freedom, which, without explanation of any kind, it extrapolates to produce the notion of a “freedom” of nature; and this “freedom of nature” theology, while not formally labelled by Venema, is labelled generally by BioLogos as “Wesleyan.” It is for this reason that I have called the climax of Venema’s performance “the Wesleyan Maneuver.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....er-part-3/

    Another place where Theistic Evolutionists are ‘theologically compromised’ is in their appeal to the artificially imposed limit on science, by atheists, of ‘methodological naturalism’.

    Why Methodological Naturalism? – S. Joshua Swamidass
    Mainstream science seeks “our best explanation of the world, without considering God.” This limiting clause,“without considering God,” is the rule of Methodological Naturalism (MN).
    https://peacefulscience.org/articles/methodological-naturalism/

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

    Yet, all of modern science is based on Judeo-Christian presuppositions, (and is certainly not based on ‘methodological naturalism’ as both Darwinists and Theistic Evolutionists try to hold),

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bocon’s inductive methodology)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    Methodological Naturalism is simply a non-starter as far as science itself is concerned. From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is contingent and rational in its foundational nature and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can, therefore, dare understand the rationality that God has imparted onto the universe), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.

    In fact, directly contrary to what Atheistic materialists and Theistic Evolutionists try to claim, it would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    ,, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (and/or Theistic Evolutionists who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris, Coyne), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s materialistic worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,

    Again, it would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    That some Christians would be willing to compromise their theology just so in order to try to make their theology compatible with Darwinian evolution is nothing new.

    In fact, when Darwin first wrote his book, it was the “liberal Anglicans strongly supported Darwin’s natural selection as an instrument of God’s design” whist “the Church of England scientific establishment reacting against the book”

    Reactions to On the Origin of Species
    Excerpt: Religious views were mixed, with the Church of England scientific establishment reacting against the book, while liberal Anglicans strongly supported Darwin’s natural selection as an instrument of God’s design.
    http://www.artandpopularcultur.....27s_theory

    And the reason why Darwin was able to so easily ‘sell’ evolution to liberal Christians right off the bat is precisely because Darwin’s book is, basically, filled with faulty, and/or deceptive, theological argumentation instead of any compelling scientific evidence.

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):?1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    – per evolution news

    In fact, Darwin’s arguments, (since Darwin had no mathematical, nor empirical, evidence supporting his claims in his book), were essentially dependent on faulty theological presuppositions.

    In fact, directly contrary to the claims of Darwinists, even today, (since Darwinists still have no real time empirical evidence supporting their claims), faulty, and/or deceptive, theological presuppositions are still found to be essential for Darwinian arguments today.

    Devil’s Chaplain: Evolution as a “Theological Research Program”
    Michael Flannery – September 10, 2021
    Excerpt: this research program’s principal investigator was Charles Darwin, and the epithet he chose for himself, “a Devil’s chaplain” — which he shared in a letter on July 13, 1856, to his close friend and confidant Joseph Dalton Hooker — is revealing:
    “What a book a Devil’s chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low & horridly cruel works of nature!”
    Hunter answers claims of Darwinian orthodoxy. They are as follows: Darwin’s religious views preceded (not followed) his transmutation ideas; Darwin’s theological premises are essential (not peripheral) to his argument; Darwin’s references to theology attach direct significance to the theory itself — he is not practicing reductio theology, employing it merely for its contrastive heuristic effect — the theology and the theory are inextricably intertwined; the epistemic assistance received from theology is central to the theory itself (the “scientific” evidence marshalled on its behalf is pretty thin); and finally, Darwin’s theological claims persisted well into the period of the neo-Darwinian synthesis (1930s and ’40s) and after. Readers should examine the article itself to see how Hunter establishes each point, all supported with extensive references.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/09/devils-chaplain-evolution-as-a-theological-research-program/

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

    Thus in conclusion, for Craig to say, “My reservations (with Theistic Evolution) are not theological but scientific in nature” is for him to, basically, admit that he accepts the faulty, even deceptive, theological presuppositions of Darwinian evolution, and is therefore for him to, basically, admit that he is ‘theologically compromised’.

    2 Corinthians 6:14
    Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    @1 Years ago he used to support ID. Wiki labeled him as a creationist, and so did serval other places too. He slowly stopped mentioning ID and is now talking about TE a lot. It saddens me really and I couldn’t agree with you more

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    Do people here read?

    Here’s what Craig said about ID. It’s long but what should be responded to. It accuses many of conflating ID with religion. An accusation that I agree with as most so called ID advocates here only want to talk about religion.

    Murray and Churchill go on to contrast ID and theistic evolution in various ways. I realize that they are presenting just sample versions of ID and theistic evolution. Nonetheless, I think that their presentation serves to foster the false image of ID that is as much an obstacle to mutual understanding as is the false image of theistic evolution as a scientific theory.

    I suspect that many theistic evolutionists misunderstand ID because they take it to be, like theistic evolution, a view integrating theology and science rather than a scientific theory. Just as some ID theorists wrongly take theistic evolution to be a scientific theory rather than an integrative view, so some theistic evolutionists take ID to be an integrative view rather than a scientific theory. Each advocate is viewing the other as a mirror image of himself.

    But ID theorists have been adamant in insisting that ID is not theistic. Over and over again they have explained that they are offering a theory that infers to intelligent design and no more as the best explanation of biological complexity. The designer could be extraterrestrial life forms or laboratory technicians experimenting with our microworld in their lab. I recall a conversation I had with ID theorist John Bloom about the objection that ID would require no more than Zeus as the explanation of biological complexity. He nodded slowly in approval. “Zeus will do,” he said. “Zeus will do.”

    I suspect that many people think that ID theorists’ denial that their theory is theistic is disingenuous, a way of sneaking creationism into public schools with a wink and a nudge. But that fails to take ID seriously as a theory. That ID theorists are serious in not positing God as the best explanation of biological complexity is evident in their response to the problem of natural evil in the course of evolution. They rightly point out that ID makes no claim whatsoever that the designer is good. ID is not a view attempting to integrate theology and science. It is a rival scientific theory to mainstream biology that postulates intelligent design as an explanatory component of that theory.

    Indeed, my main reservation about ID is whether the inference to intelligent design is not better thought of as a meta-physical inference, rather than as a scientific inference. My inclination would be, not to offer an alternative scientific theory to the current paradigm, but just to question that paradigm’s explanatory adequacy and to supplement it with a philosophical postulate of a designer.

    I have good friends and colleagues on both sides of the debate, and I hope that my comments here today may promote better understanding and serve to bring us closer together.

  5. 5
    chuckdarwin says:

    Craig is now like a man without a country. He gives some reasonable advice to IDers:

    Indeed, my main reservation about ID is whether the inference to intelligent design is not better thought of as a meta-physical inference, rather than as a scientific inference. My inclination would be, not to offer an alternative scientific theory to the current paradigm, but just to question that paradigm’s explanatory adequacy and to supplement it with a philosophical postulate of a designer.

    But, of course, IDers will never take that advise, they are too busy trying to score points rather than put forth a serious intellectual position….

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    Can ChuckDarwin read? Obviously not.

    But we all knew that.

    they are too busy trying to score points rather than put forth a serious intellectual position….

    Another candidate for most ironic comment of century.

    From the commenter who gets nothing right.

  7. 7
    martin_r says:

    it is very disturbing, how many obviously smart people can be sooo confused …
    Obviously, Darwinian propaganda made great job.

    Unfortunately, this is exactly how it ends, when e.g. biologists – natural science graduates – researching / talking /reviewing/ commenting on something they DON’T UNDERSTAND, in this case, very advanced engineering …

    PS: I never understood, what is the difference between atheistic and theistic evolution. Could someone explain to me? I might be wrong, but both versions have the exactly same fatal problems ..e.g. missing fossils.

  8. 8
    jerry says:

    never understood, what is the difference between atheistic and theistic evolution

    Maybe we can start by stating the truth and emphasizing that.

    However, many here espousing ID are conflating ID with religion. As the comment above said, it could be Zeus and ID shouldn’t care.

    Never heard of John Bloom before but here’s an interview with him.

    https://idthefuture.com/825/

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    So mythical Zeus is OK with you Jerry?

    Perhaps you and Bloom should think these things through a bit more carefully. Especially after Stephen Meyer wrote his book last year entitled “Return of the God Hypothesis”.

    Here are the three necessary Judeo-Christian presuppositions for modern science that Meyer laid out in chapter 1 of his book:

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour

    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”

    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bocon’s inductive methodology)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    As should be needless to say, if you can’t even do science without first presupposing Judeo-Christian presuppositions, then Zeus, contrary to what you and Bloom are trying to claim, will hardly suffice as the Intelligent Designer..

  10. 10
    asauber says:

    “I have good friends and colleagues on both sides of the debate, and I hope that my comments here today may promote better understanding and serve to bring us closer together.”

    This is the cat pouncing out of the bag. TE is a political triangulation. Blech. Had enough of those.

    Andrew

  11. 11
    Silver Asiatic says:

    martin_r

    I never understood, what is the difference between atheistic and theistic evolution. Could someone explain to me? I might be wrong, but both versions have the exactly same fatal problems ..e.g. missing fossils.

    Theistic evolution is not a scientific theory as such. It’s a religious view and it doesn’t do any original scientific work. Basically, it just says that “whatever mainstream science comes up with, we’re good with that”. They use theological explanations for how evolution fits into a theistic worldview.
    It gets kind of crazy where they talk how there is no empirical evidence at all of intelligent design in nature. But at the same time, they will say that everything we perceive as random is created by God. Then some of them realize the problems with this and say that God doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Nature just runs along on its own. God made the laws but is not involved.
    It’s actually a lot like deism and I don’t see how it is theistic – since for theism, God does need to be involved with creation.
    ID Is just science and doesn’t explain the source of intelligence.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, the design inference on empirical, tested sign is just that, empirical, with trillions of known cases, no exceptions to design as cause. Where, that ties right into the linked configuration space challenge. Yes, one can discuss at philosophical level too but that is besides the point. Meanwhile, the living cell still has in it 4-state coded digital, algorithmic information well beyond a 500 – 1,000 bit threshold whereby the atomic resources accessible to us are simply unable to search, blindly, more than a negligible fraction of relevant configuration spaces. We are dealing with complex language and goal directed processes, both strong signs of design. Then, there is the added complexity of a von Neumann kinematic self replicator. Apart from entrenched Lewonin type a prioris, this would be a no brainer. KF

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I clip from Craig:

    I felt myself rather left out of the conversation. For I am a Christian with traditional doctrinal commitments, but any reservations I have about the viability of theistic evolution have nothing to do with such doctrinal commitments. My reservations are not theological but scientific in nature. I think that a great many of the contributors to SPTC would lack what Murray and Churchill call “a confidence in the explanatory power of the evolutionary approaches employed in current biology.”5 Only at the end of their paper do Murray and Churchill address scientific objections to theistic evolution, however, and here they content themselves with pointing out a couple of alleged missteps by Paul A. Nelson and by Ann K. Gauger et al. They say very little to inspire confidence in the explanatory power of the evolutionary approaches employed in current biology.

    So I find Murray and Churchill’s statement of the third plank of theistic evolution problematic due to its ambivalence. Initially, they state, “all versions of theistic evolution affirm that the complexity and diversity of life are best explained by appeal to evolutionary processes that have been operative over long periods of time, where the relevant processes include those that constitute what is often called ‘the modern evolutionary synthesis.'”6 Notice, the relevant explanatory processes include but are not limited to those of the modern synthesis. This is “mere” indeed! Even a Michael Behe, who thinks that the mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection explain very little of the origin of biological complexity, counts as a theistic evolutionist on this characterization, since he would agree that the mechanisms of the modern synthesis are included in the evolutionary processes. So would a classical progressive creationist like Bernard Ramm, who posits sequential miraculous intervention on God’s part to drive evolutionary advance.

    KF

    PS, as I recall statistical thermodynamics and quantum theory, I see no reason why randomness does not play its part.

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    then Zeus, contrary to what you and Bloom are trying to claim, will hardly suffice as the Intelligent Designer

    You made no attempt to understand what Bloom was saying.

    I suggest you listen to his ideas and read what he has said. If you disagree with him on anything, let us know.

    I can find zero to disagree with. I doubt anyone here who supports ID can find anything either.

    It’s interesting two people I had not heard of a year ago are two of the best thinkers on ID I have seen and both have similar last names, John Bloom and Stephen Blume.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Jerry: “You made no attempt to understand what Bloom was saying.”

    Yet, per Craig, “I recall a conversation I had with ID theorist John Bloom about the objection that ID would require no more than Zeus as the explanation of biological complexity. He nodded slowly in approval. “Zeus will do,” he said. “Zeus will do.”

    And you then stated, ” it could be Zeus and ID shouldn’t care.”

    So I asked you, “So mythical Zeus is OK with you Jerry?”

    You didn’t reply to that question but instead accused me of not understanding what you and Bloom were actually saying.

    Hence, what part did I not understand of what you and Bloom were saying?

    If your words actually mean what they say, then you are indeed claiming that I shouldn’t care if Zeus or Jesus Christ is posited as the Intelligent Designer. i.e. “it could be Zeus and ID shouldn’t care.”

    Yet I do care. I care very much!

    One reason I care very much is, (besides the little matter of the propitiation, and/or justification, of our souls before the living God via Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice), and as I pointed out via Stephen Meyer, modern science itself is dependent on Judeo-Christian presuppositions about God.

    Thus my response that Zeus, (as a contingent being and not as the ‘necessary Being’, i.e. God), and contrary to what you and Bloom are trying to claim, will hardly suffice as the Intelligent Designer of the universe and all life in it. (Again, see Stephen Meyer’s book “Return of the God Hypothesis”, chapter 1).

    As the following article succinctly put it, “Comparing the mythological gods of the Greeks and Romans with the God of Christianity is like comparing beats with beets, or bells with belles — they aren’t even “gods” in the same sense of the term.
    The mythological gods were contingent beings like you and me. They didn’t have to exist; something caused them to exist. But the true God as Christians understand Him exists necessarily. He can’t not be.”

    Question:
    After we gave her some books about Greek and Roman mythology, one of our young relatives reasoned that believing in the God of Christianity is like believing in the gods of the Greeks or Romans. According to her, since we no longer believe in those gods, we shouldn’t believe in our God either. How would you reply?
    Reply:
    Comparing the mythological gods of the Greeks and Romans with the God of Christianity is like comparing beats with beets, or bells with belles — they aren’t even “gods” in the same sense of the term. Your young relative might reasonably have asked her question about how Mormons think of God (I say this with respect; Mormons work hard at being good people). But it has no application to how Christians think of God.
    The mythological gods were contingent beings like you and me. They didn’t have to exist; something caused them to exist. But the true God as Christians understand Him exists necessarily. He can’t not be.
    The mythological gods existed in the same way that you exist. They just had more of everything. But God is the Being above all beings. He is the answer to the question of why there is something and not rather nothing – why anything at all exists apart from Him.
    The mythological gods were products of human imagination. But the reality of God was worked out even by the pagan philosophers, in explicit opposition to what they called the “lies of the poets.”
    The answer to your question was brilliantly put by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in his book Introduction to Christianity:
    “The early Christian proclamation of the Gospel and the early Christian faith found themselves once again [like the Jews] in an environment teeming with gods …. Wherever the question arose to which god the Christian God corresponded, Zeus perhaps or Hermes or Dionysus or some other god, the answer ran: to none of them. To none of the gods to whom you pray but solely and alone to him to whom you do not pray, to that highest being of whom your philosophers speak. The early Church resolutely put aside the whole cosmos of the ancient religions, regarding the whole of it as deceit and illusion, and explained its faith by saying: When we say God, we do not mean or worship any of this; we mean only Being itself, what the philosophers have exposed as the ground of all being, as the God above all powers — that alone is our God. … The choice thus made meant opting for the logos as against any kind of myth; it meant the definitive demythologization of the world and of religion.
    “… Of course, the other side of the picture must not be overlooked. By deciding in favor of the God of the philosophers and logically declaring this God to be the God who speaks to man and to whom one can pray, the Christian faith gave a completely new significance to this God of the philosophers, removing him from the purely academic realm and thus profoundly transforming him. This God who had previously existed as something neutral, as the highest, culminating concept; this God who had been understood as pure Being or pure thought, circling round for ever closed in upon itself without reaching over to man and his little world; this God of the philosophers, whose pure eternity and unchangeability had excluded any relation with the changeable and transitory, now appeared to the eye of faith as the God of men, who is not only thought of all thoughts, the eternal mathematics of the universe, but also agape, the power of creative love.”
    https://www.undergroundthomist.org/is-believing-in-god-like-believing-in-zeus

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    Here is a recent discussion on theistic evolution by Jay Richards.

    Jay Richards on the Art of Answering Theistic Evolutionists

    Jay Richards offers advices on engaging with evolutionists over the issues of origins, evolution, and intelligent design. In his conversation with host Casey Luskin, he says that if someone tells you he’s a theistic evolutionist, first find out what he means by theism and evolution. The latter term, in particular, can have widely varying meanings, and the average lay persons who see themselves as theistic evolutionists likely see God as actively and creatively working in the history of life to steer evolutionary outcomes, including the origin of humanity. What they may not realize is that such a view takes them well off the reservation of what academic theistic evolutionists generally mean by the term evolution, particularly those who publicly defend evolutionary theory. Richards says that these academics hold to an internally incoherent view in many cases, and he encourages intelligent design proponents to surface that incoherence whenever the opportunity arises. For those who are willing to consider the evidence for intelligent design, Richards lists what he sees as the most rhetorically effective lines of evidence to present to people.

    https://idthefuture.com/1574/

    Again I recommend the following book that we all should be reading.

    The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions About Life and the Cosmos

    Richards has two chapters in the book. Denyse also has a chapter. John Bloom has a chapter too.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0736977147/?asin=0736977147&revisionId=&format=4&depth=1

  17. 17
    martin_r says:

    SA
    as to theistic evolutionists

    It gets kind of crazy where they talk how there is no empirical evidence at all of intelligent design in nature

    i wasn’t aware of that … that’s so sad. Poor guys.

  18. 18
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF @ 12

    CD, the design inference on empirical, tested sign is just that, empirical, with trillions of known cases, no exceptions to design as cause.

    What are you talking about? Trillions of what known cases? Empirically verified in what manner? Is the design to which you refer a cause or an inference–you appear to call it both? Design causes nothing other than design. If I design a car, all I have is the design of a car. If I want an actual car, I have to build it. So how did the “Intelligent Designer” build whatever life forms you claim “resulted from” design? What was the first life form designed and/or built by the designer? Since, at least for you, this is all a “no brainer,” you should easily be able to answer these questions.

  19. 19
    Seversky says:

    There isn’t any empirical evidence for non-human intelligent design in nature, just arguments by analogy and improbability.

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    There isn’t any empirical evidence for non-human intelligent design in nature

    Beaver dams, bee hives, communication from dolphins, crows. Even lowly plants indicate intelligent design as show communication protocols with each other.
    There’s a hierarchy of intelligence and we have empirical evidence of non-human intelligent design.
    We recognize intelligence in plants is a lower-order than that of insects. Then fish and birds have a higher order intellect. Then we claim some are of “the most intelligent animals” – the hierarchy continues upwards to human intellect.
    It’s a very easy inference to accept that there is an intellect, greater than human, that is responsible for the design that we see in nature.

  21. 21
    martin_r says:

    Seversky

    This species alone falsifies the theory of evolution and it is an ultimate proof of intelligent design… of course, people like you may disagree, but it does not matter what people like you say or think …

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B91tozyQs9M

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky claims that, “There isn’t any empirical evidence for non-human intelligent design in nature, just arguments by analogy and improbability.”

    Well then Seversky, if intelligent design is so hard to see in life, then these quotes coming from leading Darwinists are certainly strange to read

    “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
    Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21
    quoted from this video – Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – 2010 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    “We may say that a living body or organ is well designed if it has attributes that an intelligent knowledgeable engineer might have built into it in order to achieve some sensible purpose… Any engineer can recognize an object that has been designed… simply by looking at the structure of the object.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    4:30 minute mark: “It cannot come about by chance. It’s absolutely inconceivable that you could get anything as complicated or well designed as a modern bird or a human or a hedgehog coming about by chance. That’s absolutely out.,,, It’s out of the question.,,,
    So where (does the appearance of design)) it come from? The process of gradual evolution by natural selection.”
    Richard Dawkins – From a Frog to a Prince – video
    https://youtu.be/ClleN8ysimg?t=267

    Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought By Ernst Mayr – November 24, 2009
    Excerpt: Every aspect of the “wonderful design” so admired by the natural theologians could be explained by natural selection.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/darwins-influence-on-modern-thought/

    “The real core of Darwinism,,,, the ‘design’ of the natural theologian, by natural means.”
    – Ernst Mayr

    Darwin’s greatest discovery: Design without designer – Francisco J. Ayala – May 15, 2007
    Excerpt: “Darwin’s theory of natural selection accounts for the ‘design’ of organisms, and for their wondrous diversity, as the result of natural processes,”,,,
    Darwin’s Explanation of Design
    Darwin’s focus in The Origin was the explanation of design, with evolution playing the subsidiary role of supporting evidence.
    – per pnas

    “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 138 (1990)

    living organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”
    Richard C. Lewontin – Adaptation,” Scientific American, and Scientific American book ‘Evolution’ (September 1978)

    “This appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature…. Accounting for this apparent purposefulness is a basic problem for any system of philosophy or of science.”
    George Gaylord Simpson – “The Problem of Plan and Purpose in Nature” – 1947
    http://www.thesis.xlibx.info/t.....univer.php

    Of related note: Natural Selection, the supposed ‘designer substitute’ of Darwinists, has now been cast by the wayside by the mathematics of population genetics (and empirical evidence).

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC4573302/

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila – 2010
    Excerpt of concluding paragraph: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles. This is notable because in wild populations we expect the strength of natural selection to be less intense and the environment unlikely to remain constant for ~600 generations. Consequently, the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments.”
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311852574_Genome-wide_analysis_of_long-term_evolutionary_domestication_in_Drosophila_melanogaster

    “The Third Way” – James Shapiro, Denis Noble, and etc.. etc..,,,
    Excerpt: “some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis.”
    http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/

    “the uncritical acceptance of natural selection as an explanatory force for all aspects of biodiversity (without any direct evidence) is not much different than invoking an intelligent designer”
    Michael Lynch – The Origins of Genome Architecture, p 368

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    On top of all that, studies now establish that the design inference is innate ‘knee jerk’ inference that is built into everyone, especially including atheists, and that atheists have to mentally work suppressing their innate “knee jerk” design inference!

    Is Atheism a Delusion?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the “knee jerk” reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they’re purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the “Divided Mind of a disbeliever.”
    The findings “suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed,” writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers’ words, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”
    Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or “default” human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether “any being purposefully made the thing in the picture,” notes Pacific-Standard.
    “Religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher” than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants “increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made” when “they did not have time to censor their thinking,” wrote the researchers.
    The results suggest that “the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs,” the report concluded.
    The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US.
    “Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richa.....dy-1505712

    It is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature and biology, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves see in nature. And yes, ‘denialism’ is considered a mental illness.

    “In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth.”
    – Denialism – Wikipedia

    Verse:

    Romans 1:18-20
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

  24. 24
    Scamp says:

    CD:
    What are you talking about? Trillions of what known cases? Empirically verified in what manner?

    KF is referring to the written word.

  25. 25
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic/20

    Beaver dams, bee hives, communication from dolphins, crows. Even lowly plants indicate intelligent design as show communication protocols with each other.

    As wonderful as these natural phenomena are, intelligent design entails a capacity both to consciously conceive of an objective to be achieved and to devise the means of giving material effect to the achievement of that objective. Beavers and bees are wonderful creatures but there is no evidence to show that intelligent design in that form is at work in what they do.

    We recognize intelligence in plants is a lower-order than that of insects. Then fish and birds have a higher order intellect. Then we claim some are of “the most intelligent animals” – the hierarchy continues upwards to human intellect.

    I believe we should be wary of inflating our own egos by focusing on our status as the dominant species on this planet. Yes, we have achieved great things but they also include inflicting great suffering and damage both on ourselves and the natural world of which we are a part.

    We should also bear in mind that the dinosaurs were the dominant group of reptiles on Earth for 180 million years – far longer than we have been around – until an asteroid strike 65 million years ago put an end to them. A similar impact could finish us off just as easily for all our vaunted intelligence and power and we would be ill-advised to rely on any of our gods to protect us.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    CD,

    I first suggest you look at the Resources Tab and then the menu starting with weak argument correctives.

    Next, let’s look on points briefly:

    >>What are you talking about? Trillions of what known cases?>>

    1: Did you notice, I was speaking to inference on reliable, empirically tested observable signs? (This goes back, in logic, to Hippocrates of Cos and diagnostic signs.)

    2: There are trillions of known cases of functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complexity, FSCO/I. Go to your hardware store and go to the fastener section, pass by a library and see books, surf the Internet, look around you at a world of technology.

    3: You have been around UD long enough, you have had opportunity enough to learn a tad about what is on the table.

    4: Where, a particularly important case is coded information in string — i.e, -*-*-*- pearls on a string type — data structures. Often, for communication, or control and for algorithms. In every case we directly observe origin, intelligently directed configuration i.e. intelligent design is cause and so the best explanation.

    5: As for trillions, notice the cases pointed to.

    6: Now, observe that since 1953, we have known that the cell has in it precisely such information greatly in excess of the threshold, in D/RNA and extended into ribosome and protein structures. Coded so linguistic, algorithmic so directed to goals. Seventy years, long enough.

    7: Further to which, this is expressed in a facility equivalent to a von Neumann kinematic self replicator, so we know Paley was right in ch 2 of his key work when he pointed to the thought exercise of a self replicating watch thus ADDITION-ality of complexity to get to replication and reproduction. Yes for 150+ years there has been a grand strawman caricature of the watch and designer argument.

    8: We now see the signs of design in the tree of life from its root, the living, self replicating cell. This is the context where I declare intellectual independence. There is strong warrant being resisted by using arbitrary ideological rules to lock out reasonable abductive inference.

    >> Empirically verified in what manner?>>

    9: By direct and highly familiar reliable observation.

    10: I am pointing to the corrective force of Newton’s rules, here that in going to things beyond our observation, the actual past of origins, we must not invoke explanatory mechanisms that have not been observed by us to have causal capability to produce the like effect.

    11: Or if you will, title to vol 3 of Lyell’s Principles of Geology:

    Principles of geology : being an attempt to explain the former changes of the earth’s surface, by reference to causes now in operation

    >> Is the design to which you refer a cause or an inference>>

    12: We are dealing with causal explanation, as you full well know, rhetorically pretended ignorance notwithstanding.

    13: Further to which, we are dealing with abductive reasoning, inference to best explanation form. So,

    14: we are looking at observed cases of intelligently directed configuration in here and now, establishing reliability of signs and “causes now in operation,” thus grounding our epistemic right to infer from signs tracing to the past of origin, the best causal explanation.

    15: See here, D/RNA, ribosomes and proteins (including enzymes). This plainly traces back to the root of the tree of life, OoL and thence to every stage since.

    >>–you appear to call it both? >>

    16: We are dealing with direct observation warranting conclusion, FSCO/I is a reliable sign of intelligently directed configuration as a pattern of “causes now in operation,” with capability exceeding blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    17: So, we warrant sign by observation, and infer to best explanation regarding the actual past of origins which we cannot observe from traces seen in the present.

    18: That explanation is of causal factors, in the context, inference to the best explanation, a form of inductive reasoning in the modern sense.

    >>Design causes nothing other than design.>>

    19: Design is more broadly used to denote intelligently directed configuration. That is, design routinely involves both specification and contrivance, and indeed, there are often on the spot design works in contrivance.

    20: Intelligent design is used for emphasis as a notion has been circulated on unintelligent design by gross extrapolation of capabilities of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    21: Thus, threshold of complexity involving scale of configuration space to be blindly searched becomes pivotal, 500 – 1,000 bits implying a space of 3.27 * 10^150 to 1.07 * 10^301 possibilities, overwhelming, respectively, atomic resources of the sol system, 10^57 atoms, and the observed cosmos, about 10^80 atoms. With 10^17 s as yardstick of available time and 10^-12 to -14 s as a metric of interaction time for organic reactions etc.

    22: Consideration on strings is WLOG, as Autocad etc show how complex functional organisation may be reduced to description on strings using a description language. Which ties to the tape in a von Neumann kinematic self replicator 1948 [vNSR] and the observed DNA from 1953 on.

    23: So, we can see just what is meant.

    KF

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    SC, an internet full of digital string based code, starting with YouTube and its rivals, going on to a mechanical world starting with fasteners and gears etc. coded explicit information and information implicit in specific functional organisation. KF

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77:

    studies now establish that the design inference is innate ‘knee jerk’ inference that is built into everyone, especially including atheists, and that atheists have to mentally work suppressing their innate “knee jerk” design inference!

    That could suggest that it is non rational and open to dismissal as convenient.

    But in fact, it is not. It is here seen as a part of common good sense, where a lot of logic, science and more builds on glorified common sense.

    Here, first, we experience ourselves and others as intelligent, building up a growing fund of experience forming part of our background common sense knowledge. Along the way, we acquire a name for the phenomenon, intelligence. As a dictionary — Random House etc version, Webster’s — summarises:

    in•tel•li•gence (?n?t?l ? d??ns)

    n.
    1. capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
    2. mental alertness or quickness of understanding.
    3. manifestation of a high mental capacity.
    4. the faculty or act of understanding.

    Wikipedia, that bastion of the party of partisan Big-S Science, actually makes a telling concession:

    Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. More generally, it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context. [–> so, intelligently directed configuration is a characteristic aspect of intelligence, and so too is inferring design on relevant sign]

    Then, too, we live in the midst of a Sci-Tech Civilisation, so we readily come to understand contrivance, art, intelligently directed configuration, that is design. By playing with coins and dice etc, we recognise chance, randomness, distributions and typical vs atypical results. We also learn about natural regularities, starting with say the falling of objects and the swinging of pendulums . . . Galileo started with a chandelier observed in church.

    These give us frames of reference and we become familiar with characteristic signs and patterns associated with natural (chance and/or mechanical necessity) and artificial causal factors. Where, cause-effect patterns are again part of our background.

    So, “intuitively,” we readily recognise many signs of design and readily infer it as credible cause. Where, life forms of course show many such signs. But in a post Darwin world, powerful elites insist, this is the great counter example that overturns the common sense design inference, all dressed up in the lab coat.

    What is happening, is that a refinement of common sense is rehabilitating the design inference, through more sophisticated analysis. But as evolutionary materialist scientism is deeply entrenched, it is a fight. One that has been won on merits but mere warrant is not enough by itself to overwhelm entrenched schools of thought.

    As one reflection of this, too many objectors to the design inference presume we cannot truly know what we are talking about and must be ignorant or stupid, insane or even wicked.

    That’s morlockery. And it has serious backing.

    We need to ask, what is it that the Technoplutocrats want, that ID threatens.

    Dollars to cents, we can bet that the big dogs have an agenda.

    KF

  29. 29
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    SC, an internet full of digital string based code, starting with YouTube and its rivals, going on to a mechanical world starting with fasteners and gears etc. coded explicit information and information implicit in specific functional organization. KF

    Zero degrees of freedom does not make for a good statistical inference.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, string based codes do not exhibit zero degrees of freedom; and for D/RNA, the chaining is modular, it is side branches that store information and any of ACGT/U can be followed by any other, the matching of two strands in the double helix confers redundancy, it is not where the high contingency of chaining to make a string with coded information arises. For proteins, similarly any of the twenty main AAs used in life can follow any other, again with a backbone and side branch architecture. Ask any machinist about screw threads and gears, they will tell you that the blanks from which such are cut are not exhibiting zero degrees of freedom, nor the machines that process them. In fact, such show high contingency and otherwise utterly implausible configurations most credibly explained on design. KF

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Paley, Ch 2:

    Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch [in a field and stumbled on the stone in Ch 1 just past, where this is 50 years before Darwin in Ch 2 of a work Darwin full well knew about] should after some time discover that, in addition to

    [–> here cf encapsulated, gated, metabolising automaton, and note, “stickiness” of molecules raises a major issue of interfering cross reactions thus very carefully controlled organised reactions are at work in life . . . ]

    all the properties [= specific, organised, information-rich functionality] which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself [–> i.e. self replication, cf here the code using von Neumann kinematic self replicator that is relevant to first cell based life] — the thing is conceivable [= this is a gedankenexperiment, a thought exercise to focus relevant principles and issues]; that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts — a mold, for instance, or a complex adjustment of lathes, baffles, and other tools — evidently and separately calculated for this purpose [–> it exhibits functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information; where, in mid-late C19, cell based life was typically thought to be a simple jelly-like affair, something molecular biology has long since taken off the table but few have bothered to pay attention to Paley since Darwin] . . . .

    The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism by which it was carried on, he would perceive in this new observation nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done — for referring the construction of the watch to design and to supreme art

    [–> directly echoes Plato in The Laws Bk X on the ART-ificial (as opposed to the strawman tactic “supernatural”) vs the natural in the sense of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity as serious alternative causal explanatory candidates; where also the only actually observed cause of FSCO/I is intelligently configured configuration, i.e. contrivance or design]

    . . . . He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which, was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair — the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use [–> i.e. design].

    . . . . We might possibly say, but with great latitude of expression, that a stream of water ground corn ; but no latitude of expression would allow us to say, no stretch
    cf conjecture could lead us to think, that the stream of water built the mill, though it were too ancient for us to know who the builder was.
    What the stream of water does in the affair is neither more nor less than this: by the application of an unintelligent impulse to a mechanism previously arranged, arranged independently of it and arranged by intelligence, an effect is produced, namely, the corn is ground. But the effect results from the arrangement. [–> points to intelligently directed configuration as the observed and reasonably inferred source of FSCO/I] The force of the stream cannot be said to be the cause or the author of the effect, still less of the arrangement. Understanding and plan in the formation of the mill were not the less necessary for any share which the water has in grinding the corn; yet is this share the same as that which the watch would have contributed to the production of the new watch . . . .

    Though it be now no longer probable that the individual watch which our observer had found was made immediately by the hand of an artificer, yet doth not this alteration in anywise affect the inference, that an artificer had been originally employed and concerned in the production. The argument from design remains as it was.

    Marks of design and contrivance are no more accounted for now than they were before. In the same thing, we may ask for the cause of different properties. We may ask for the cause of the color of a body, of its hardness, of its heat ; and these causes may be all different. We are now asking for the cause of that subserviency to a use, that relation to an end, which we have remarked in the watch before us. No answer is given to this question, by telling us that a preceding watch produced it. There cannot be design without a designer; contrivance, without a contriver; order [–> better, functionally specific organisation], without choice; arrangement, without any thing capable of arranging; subserviency and relation to a purpose, without that which could intend a purpose; means suitable to an end, and executing their office in accomplishing that end, without the end ever having been contemplated, or the means accommodated to it. Arrangement, disposition of parts, subserviency of means to an end, relation of instruments to a use, imply the presence of intelligence and mind. No one, therefore, can rationally believe that the insensible, inanimate watch, from which the watch before us issued, was the proper cause of the mechanism we so much admire m it — could be truly said to have constructed the instrument, disposed its parts, assigned their office, determined their order, action, and mutual dependency, combined their several motions into one result, and that also a result connected with the utilities of other beings. All these properties, therefore, are as much unaccounted for as they were before.

    Nor is any thing gained by running the difficulty farther back, that is, by supposing the watch before us to have been produced from another watch, that from a former, and so on indefinitely. Our going back ever so far brings us no nearer to the least degree of satisfaction upon the subject. Contrivance is still unaccounted for. We still want a contriver. A designing mind is neither supplied by this supposition nor dispensed with. If the difficulty were diminished the farther we went back, by going back indefinitely we might exhaust it. And this is the only case to which this sort of reasoning applies. “Where there is a tendency, or, as we increase the number of terms, a continual approach towards a limit, there, by supposing the number of terms to be what is called infinite, we may conceive the limit to be attained; but where there is no such tendency or approach, nothing is effected by lengthening the series . . . ,

    And the question which irresistibly presses upon our thoughts is. Whence this contrivance and design ? The thing required is the intending mind, the adapted hand, the intelligence by which that hand was directed. This question, this demand, is not shaken off by increasing a number or succession of substances destitute of these properties; nor the more, by increasing that number to infinity. If it be said, that upon the supposition of one watch being produced from another in the course of that other’s movements, and by means of the mechanism within it, we have a cause for the watch in my hand, namely, the watch from which it proceeded — I deny, that for the design, the contrivance, the suitableness of means to an end, the adaptation of instruments to a use, all of which we discover in the watch, we have any cause whatever. It is in vain, therefore, to assign a series of such causes, or to allege that a series may be carried back to infinity; for I do not admit that we have yet any cause at all for the phenomena, still less any series of causes either finite or infinite. Here is contrivance, but no contriver; proofs of design, but no designer. [Paley, Nat Theol, Ch 2]

    KF

  32. 32
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    Sc, string based codes do not exhibit zero degrees of freedom;

    If you are making statistical inferences about string based codes to something other than their known source (humans) you would be correct. However, all known sources of string based codes are human therefore zero degrees of freedom.

    Maybe this will make it clearer. Three degrees of freedom would be something like:

    Example 1: Humans create string based codes.
    Example 2: Martians create string based codes.
    Example 3: Venusians create string based codes.
    Example 4: Alpha Centaurians (but only the green ones) create string based codes.

    But all you have is humans create string based codes. It is still a valid statement to say that all known sources of string based codes are intelligence. But to claim that there are trillions of examples has zero statistical power because they are all from the same source. Humans.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, humans, first, are contingent designers and our existence does not lock out other designers, we do not exhaust either intelligence nor contrivance, as even many animals demonstrate. So, intelligence and design are generic. We do not need to observe other designers on other planets etc to recognise that our existence shows what is possible, intelligent design. Where, observing patterns and signs of design becomes relevant. The objection you tried to construct on an oddball use of degrees of freedom in this context, fails. KF

    PS, I should add, each of us is a separate case of a designer, of course differing levels.

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, as a test of the capability of blind chance and mechanical necessity, random document generation would be worth looking at. The results to date are 10^100 short of the threshold as a factor.

  35. 35
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    As wonderful as these natural phenomena are, intelligent design entails a capacity both to consciously conceive of an objective to be achieved and to devise the means of giving material effect to the achievement of that objective. Beavers and bees are wonderful creatures but there is no evidence to show that intelligent design in that form is at work in what they do.

    This is a question of design-detection and intelligence. The intelligence that beavers use shows intentionality. It’s not a deterministic process, like raindrops falling from clouds or stones rolling down a hill. When we observe a pile of logs in a stream – Intelligent Design detection can tell us that the pile was created either by random, non-intelligent, materialism – or by intelligence. The beaver dam gives evidence of intelligent design. The beavers made choices and sorted through variables. The beaver dam is the work of intelligence, although only animal intelligence. There is some level of awareness (consciousness) in what the beavers are doing. It’s not rational, self-awareness, but there’s a non-deterministic process.

    I believe we should be wary of inflating our own egos by focusing on our status as the dominant species on this planet. Yes, we have achieved great things but they also include inflicting great suffering and damage both on ourselves and the natural world of which we are a part.

    I was just talking about human intelligence. That is at the pinnacle of life forms that we observe, whether we use the intelligence well or badly. One thing that separates us is that we continue to learn and communicate education to other humans. Today, humanity is more advanced in knowledge than before. We build houses differently, we transport ourselves differently and we use the materials of the earth to create things and communicate and build even more knowledge.
    Other animals or plants or insects do not do this at all. Ants still build their ant-colonies the same as the first ones. That in itself is strange – why haven’t they improved their processes? They do not leave new instructions for future generations. It tells us, they’re not worried about their future, whether they have a future as a species or not is irrelevant to them.
    Why is this something that humans care about? No other species tries to improve their status in life and leave instructions or wisdom for future generations. Instead, every bird makes the same mistakes that every other bird has made. Even smart animals like cats do the same foolish things. Mice keep getting caught in traps, when they could tell their progeny to avoid them, and leave instructions somewhere for future mice to understand. But that doesn’t happen.

    A similar impact could finish us off just as easily for all our vaunted intelligence and power and we would be ill-advised to rely on any of our gods to protect us.

    I’m not sure where you’re going with this except that it sounds like some kind of punishment will fall from heaven if we become too boastful? Whether a meteor destroys the earth or not, we could walk around flexing our muscles and proclaiming “We are the champions” as the dominant species. If there was no God, who would care or do anything about it?
    But yes, if God did create us and does demand good behavior, justice and humble reverence – then we would be in trouble if we let our egos get too big.
    Humble wisdom is the path of growth – true. Proud proclamations of our greatness could bring on devastation (wars and even disasters) from God’s providence, but they also take away the respect we should have for all creatures, made by God, for His glory and the good of all people.

  36. 36
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF @ 26
    I’ve seen all this stuff before. I don’t need one more cut-and-paste professorial on DNA code, hypothetical von Neumann self-replicators, abduction, or the universe’s incapacity to contain all the information necessary to start a universe.

    I initially thought that you might be on to something new when you claimed trillions of empirically known “cases.” But it is just business as usual. Your “empirically tested observable signs” are simply the same inanimate, human-designed and constructed things (i.e., human artifacts). Library books, assorted wing nuts from Home Depot or dating sites on the web don’t cut it–my question went directly to life forms. Philosopher James Croft already dismantled Stephen Meyer when he tried this same “empirical ” argument back in August while debating Meyer’s “God Hypothesis” book. That ship has sailed. You don’t get to bootstrap off of human examples to conjure up your intelligent designer. (https://www.reddit.com/r/DebateEvolution/comments/o34c7a/discussion_between_james_croft_me_and_stephen/ )

    Nor do you get to rely upon infinitely malleable concepts like “intelligence” or “design” to elude actual explanations for questions like those I asked:

    19: Design is more broadly used to denote intelligently directed configuration. That is, design routinely involves both specification and contrivance, and indeed, there are often on the spot design works in contrivance….
    So, intelligence and design are generic. (emphasis added)

    I will suggest that the terms “intelligence” and “designer” are not merely generic, they are meaningless buzzwords. They explain nothing.
    The pending questions remain: [H]ow did the “Intelligent Designer” build whatever life forms you claim “resulted from” design and [w]hat was the first life form designed and/or built by the designer?

  37. 37
    zweston says:

    Chucky, so your objection to questioning evolution is… we don’t know how the designer did it?

    Or, it doesn’t immediately answer your questions?

    Good news is, evolution theory doesn’t know how anything in detail happened and can’t answer any real questions with certainty on a macro level. So, I guess that shouldn’t stop you.

  38. 38
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    I will suggest that the terms “intelligence” and “designer” are not merely generic, they are meaningless buzzwords. They explain nothing.

    That’s certainly one way to try to argue against intelligent design. Just say that the word “intelligence” is meaningless.
    Evolutionists have been trying to tell us for a long time that the universe is the product of blind, unintelligent, mindless forces that care nothing for us.
    Dawkins stated that biology is the study of things that appear to be designed for a purpose.
    He knows what the word design means, and also what intelligence means.
    Forensic science can discern the different between a blind, unintelligent cause and an intelligent design.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, translated, I disagree and dismiss as I have a favoured hypothesis pivoting on causal factors never seen as adequate to actually produce FSCO/I. Abduction FYI is a major province of logic. As for trillions of cases, they are indeed out there despite your dismissiveness; you just told us you are in the position of Galileo’s faculty colleagues who refused to actually look through his telescope. As for your attempt to dismiss JvN’s vNSR analysis, that speaks for itself and not in your favour. Sad, in the end. KF

  40. 40
    jerry says:

    the terms “intelligence” and “designer” are not merely generic, they are meaningless buzzwords

    Could the same thing be said about “evolution” and “life” since no one can define these either and they just became generic buzzwords. Throw in “species” too.

  41. 41
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    We do not need to observe other designers on other planets etc to recognise that our existence shows what is possible, intelligent design.

    I don’t have a problem with that.

    The objection you tried to construct on an oddball use of degrees of freedom in this context, fails. KF

    My argument is that your “trillions of examples” doesn’t have the power as a statistical inference that you think it does. This is simply a fact.

    PS, I should add, each of us is a separate case of a designer, of course differing levels.

    But all are human. Given that every human, with the exception of those with severe mental handicaps, is born with the potential ability to create coded strings, we are not talking about 6+ billion independent variables. The strength of your statistical inference to design has the same strength with a population size of two and ten coded strings as it does with a population of 6 billion and trillions of coded strings.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, I am making an OBSERVATION not a statistical inference. We have trillions, quite literally, of cases of FSCO/I, which have been observed as to actual origin. In every case beyond the relevant threshold, those cases have been observed to come from intelligently directed configuration. This is backed by a readily done blind needle in haystack, search the configuration space analysis [linked BTW to the statistical mechanics foundation of the second law of thermodynamics] which makes it obvious. For simple case ponder 500 coins in a row, tossed at random, exhibiting a binomial distribution. The overwhelming bulk of outcomes will be close to 50-50 H-T, in no particular organised pattern, typical random result. And BTW, that maps directly to ASCII codes for 72 characters more or less, the distribution [3.27*10^150 possibilities matching all possible 1/0 patterns] will have every possible 72 character string, but the overwhelming bulk will be gibberish, why random doc search so far has only found up to 19 – 24 or so characters of sense. Result, we have a very strong empirically tested sign, FSCO/I is a signature of design. So, we have an epistemic right to abductively infer design as best causal explanation on seeing FSCO/I at or beyond the threshold 500 – 1,000 bits. What is almost amusing, but then sad, is to see how hard people struggle not to see this. KF

    PS, it should be common sense that those too young or incapable of speaking or writing language are excepted. Yes, design starts with things like intelligible speech. As noted, the Internet is a repository in the trillions (esp YT), a hardware store full of fasteners and gears points to other cases and generally, look around. FSCO/I is readily observed and there are trillions of cases with a uniform result, design. Add in things like beaver dams for specific sites and you see that it is not just humans, as SA noted (and as one of my earliest contributions explored). We exemplify designers, actual and possible, we do not exhaust the possibilities and to imagine that billions of us come down to in effect one case is beyond failing the giggle test.

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    CD,

    36: I will suggest that the terms “intelligence” and “designer” are not merely generic, they are meaningless buzzwords. They explain nothing

    This is in a context where,

    KF, 28: we experience ourselves and others as intelligent, building up a growing fund of experience forming part of our background common sense knowledge. Along the way, we acquire a name for the phenomenon, intelligence. As a dictionary — Random House etc version, Webster’s — summarises:

    in•tel•li•gence (?n?t?l ? d??ns)

    n.
    1. capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
    2. mental alertness or quickness of understanding.
    3. manifestation of a high mental capacity.
    4. the faculty or act of understanding.

    Wikipedia, that bastion of the party of partisan Big-S Science, actually makes a telling concession:

    Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. More generally, it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context. [–> so, intelligently directed configuration is a characteristic aspect of intelligence, and so too is inferring design on relevant sign]

    Then, too, we live in the midst of a Sci-Tech Civilisation, so we readily come to understand contrivance, art, intelligently directed configuration, that is design. By playing with coins and dice etc, we recognise chance, randomness, distributions and typical vs atypical results. We also learn about natural regularities, starting with say the falling of objects and the swinging of pendulums . . . Galileo started with a chandelier observed in church.

    These give us frames of reference and we become familiar with characteristic signs and patterns associated with natural (chance and/or mechanical necessity) and artificial causal factors. Where, cause-effect patterns are again part of our background.

    So, “intuitively,” we readily recognise many signs of design and readily infer it as credible cause. Where, life forms of course show many such signs. But in a post Darwin world, powerful elites insist, this is the great counter example that overturns the common sense design inference, all dressed up in the lab coat.

    What is happening, is that a refinement of common sense is rehabilitating the design inference, through more sophisticated analysis. But as evolutionary materialist scientism is deeply entrenched, it is a fight. One that has been won on merits but mere warrant is not enough by itself to overwhelm entrenched schools of thought.

    We see how frantic objectors are as predicted, when we see them trying to dismiss actual definitions of intelligence and design in defence of a failed orthodoxy.

    You can’t make this up.

    KF

  44. 44
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    Sc, I am making an OBSERVATION not a statistical inference. We have trillions, quite literally, of cases of FSCO/I, which have been observed as to actual origin.

    Sorry, but you are implying a statistical significance from the magnitude of your attributed “trillions” of cases. If you didn’t think that your “trillions” of observations were statistically relevant, you wouldn’t have raised them. Why don’t you just admit that your “trillions” reference is a hyperbolic reference falsely intended to assign statistical power to an inference that does not deserve it?

  45. 45
    jerry says:

    Why don’t you just admit that your “trillions” reference is a hyperbolic reference falsely intended to assign statistical power to an inference that does not deserve it

    One example would be enough.

    Two would be an amazing coincidence. A thousand for a thousand would be one of the most certain inferences ever.

    A trillion for a trillion is off the charts.

    Most definitely deserves it.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, your attempt to deny is transparently hyperskeptical. Ironically, you are actually adding to the total as you object. KF

    PS, perhaps, you do not recognise a distinction between a reliable scientifically or empirically observed pattern and statistical inferences. This is a pattern with trillions of cases in point. Notoriously so.

  47. 47
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    Sc, your attempt to deny is transparently hyperskeptical. Ironically, you are actually adding to the total as you object. KF

    I guess it is always easier to malign the commenter than to address the comment.

    PS, perhaps, you do not recognise a distinction between a reliable scientifically or empirically observed pattern and statistical inferences. This is a pattern with trillions of cases in point. Notoriously so.

    Actually, I make a living out of distinguishing between reliable scientifically or empirically observed patterns and statistical inferences. My Stats Can employer insists on it.

    Do you really want to continue defending the strength of your “trillion example” statistical inference?

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, you have first chosen to erect assertions that try to deny that there are trillions of artifacts exhibiting functionally specific, complex organisation and/or information, in the face of a case where even your objections simply add to the already trillions online. As for hardware and general resources of technology, this includes the machines you use to comment. That is directly a case of selective hyperskepticism expressed as denial of patent fact, and it is not a personal attack to duly (and, sadly) note it. In this case, whatever your employment or profession, you are inadvertently letting us know that your preferred scheme of thought regarding origins is grossly factually inadequate. I suggest, you think again. KF

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, we can see where it has now come out. It would be funny if it were not sad, we see here denial that the Internet, hardware and general resources of technology, frankly even our junkyards and rubbish landfills collectively involve trillions of examples of functionally specific, complex organisation and/or information where we directly know the cause. Further, we can see that there is evident unwillingness to accept that we do not exhaust the possibilities for intelligent design, as contingent creatures we are demonstrations — billions of them — that such are possible. Just, beaver dams show that other species are capable of limited designs. I guess, this tells us the depth of commitment to other views we are dealing with. The obvious historical parallel is Galileo’s faculty colleagues refusing to look through his telescope at the heavens that they were convinced could not be as he observed and sketched. Sad. KF

    PS, in a sense, the exchanges above show that we have the case on the merits. If objectors to the design explanation feel they have to attack matters of patent fact, then that is a sign they don’t have the facts and what they warrant as explanatory inference. Sad.

  50. 50
    jerry says:

    If objectors to the design explanation feel they have to attack matters of patent fact, then that is a sign they don’t have the facts

    Kf, it’s all about you.

    I’ve said it before. There is a resentment from others here to your long posts. So they challenge them in any supercilious way they can. In the process they reveal who they are.

    You make the mistake of trying to correct them with even longer posts.

    The above exchange about statistical inference is a case in point. The objections to your observations were nonsense, pure and simple.

    You and I know they have no facts or truth.

    They know it too.

    I always maintain that it is the motivation of these people that is most interesting. What drives them to such behavior?

    My guess – resentment. They come here expecting bumpkins and then find it is they that are intellectually deficient.

  51. 51
    chuckdarwin says:

    I shouldn’t have to respond, but apparently some folks on this blog are so literal that they can’t understand context. I fully understand that the words “intelligent” and “design” have dictionary definitions. My comment that these two words are meaningless is in the context of the claim that “intelligent design” is science. ID advocates, especially with the term “intelligent,” repeatedly use the term without ever anchoring it to an operational definition, i.e., a measurable variable. The same is true with the term “design” which is even more vague because IDers refuse to even identify the entity doing the design and the mechanism of design, except the overtly Christian IDers who claim it is the God of theism and the description is akin to the Genesis myth (which carries its own empirical problems as the Adam and Eve wars rear their ugly head).
    Until the term “intelligent design” is operationally defined, it is empirically meaningless….

  52. 52
  53. 53
    jerry says:

    Until the term “intelligent design” is operationally defined, it is empirically meaningless

    But it is defined.

    Still batting a thousand getting things wrong. So perfect, it must be intelligently designed. It couldn’t happen by chance.

  54. 54
    bornagain77 says:

    “,, intelligent design is a thoroughly apt phrase, signifying that design is inferred because an intelligent agent has done what only intelligent agents can do, namely, make a choice. If intelligent design is a thoroughly apt phrase, the same cannot be said for the phrase natural selection. The second word of the phrase natural selection, is of course a synonym for choice. Indeed the l-e-c in selection is a variant of the l-e-g that in the Latin lego means to choose or select, and that also appears as l-i-g in intelligence. Natural selection is therefore an oxymoron. It attributes the power to choose, which properly belongs to intelligent agents, to natural causes, which inherently lack the power to choose.”
    – William Dembski – Science and the Myth of Progress – pg 294 – 2003
    https://books.google.com/books?id=9w53fjGdnAoC&pg=PA294

    As Adam Sedgwick pointed out to Charles Darwin himself about his ‘grand principle’ of natural selection, “what is it but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts. Development is a better word because more close to the cause of the fact.”,,, and yet,,, “You write of “natural selection” as if it were done consciously by the selecting agent.”

    From Adam Sedgwick to Charles Darwin – 24 November 1859
    Cambridge
    Excerpt: As to your grand principle—natural selection—what is it but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts. Development is a better word because more close to the cause of the fact. For you do not deny causation. I call (in the abstract) causation the will of God: & I can prove that He acts for the good of His creatures. He also acts by laws which we can study & comprehend— Acting by law, & under what is called final cause, comprehends, I think, your whole principle. You write of “natural selection” as if it were done consciously by the selecting agent. ’Tis but a consequence of the presupposed development, & the subsequent battle for life.—
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

    And indeed this totally imaginary power for nature to supposedly intelligently choose between viable options is woven throughout the ‘just-so story telling’ of Darwinists in which they, (without any empirical warrant whatsoever), falsely give nature the power to ‘select’ whatever characteristic one is seeking to explain the origination of simply because they can imagine it had some sort of fitness advantage over not having that particular characteristic.

    As Stephen Jay Gould explained, “Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.”

    Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530

    To repeat, “Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.”

    Try telling that line to your physics or chemistry professor and see what kind of reaction you get! 🙂

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, not even wrong. As there is a claim that blind incremental variation and differential reproductive success lead to descent with unlimited variation and to apparent design, there is manifest need for terms that clarify in the face of frankly obfuscation. Further to which it is quite evident on a trillions member observation base that there are empirically — yes, observationally — reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration or contrivance as key cause. In that context we actually routinely recognise such design with high confidence, independent of who did it, when, how, or why. All of those are red herrings as there is further good reason to see that blind processes cannot credibly produce FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits. Yet further given Venter et al, we know molecular nanotech driven design of cell based life is feasible, have in hand viable techniques and see good prospects for better technique. Then, there is more than a single way to skin a cat fish, i.e. differing technologies can give the same result. So, given that we show design is possible by such means, designers are possible so we should take observable evidence of design seriously as a scientific matter. As for needless religion baiting, that inadvertently exposes hostility and bias on the part of those who go there. KF

    PS, I document that bias next.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Documenting the bias, Lewontin:

    . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    Then, there is the US National Science Teachers Association Board tendentiously trying to redefine science ideologically, it is not an isolated individual speaking:

    All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. [–> yes but a question-begging ideological imposition is not an accurate view] Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation [–> correct so far]. The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts [–> evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed] and the laws and theories related to those [–> i.e. ideologically loaded, evolutionary materialistic] concepts . . . . science, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products [–> censorship of anything that challenges the imposition; fails to appreciate that scientific methods are studied through logic, epistemology and philosophy of science, which are philosophy not science] . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science [–> a good point, but fails to see that this brings to bear many philosophical issues], a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations [–> outright ideological imposition and censorship that fetters freedom of responsible thought] supported by empirical evidence [–> the imposition controls how evidence is interpreted and that’s why blind watchmaker mechanisms never seen to actually cause FSCO/I have default claim to explain it in the world of life] that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument [–> ideological imposition may hide under a cloak of rationality but is in fact anti-rational], inference, skepticism [–> critical awareness is responsible, selective hyperskepticism backed by ideological censorship is not], peer review [–> a circle of ideologues in agreement has no probative value] and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic [= evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed by definition, locking out an unfettered search for the credibly warranted truth about our world i/l/o observational evidence and linked inductive reasoning] methods and explanations and, as such [–> notice, ideological imposition by question-begging definition], is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> sets up a supernatural vs natural strawman alternative when the proper contrast since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, is natural vs artificial] in the production of scientific knowledge. [US NSTA Board, July 2000, definition of the nature of science for education purposes]

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: There is no need to follow the Creationism red herring, those who want to debate that or seek answers can go to old and young earth creationism sites. The rhetorical subtext is the snide insinuation that ID is a stalking horse for creationism, to which the proper answer is to point those playing that game to the Resources tab. A red herring is a distractor showing one cannot face the issue on the merits, and in this thread we have seen resort to trying to dismiss trillions of observed artifacts demonstrating signs of design.

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N3, operational definition, here is a stalking horse for the verification principle of logical positivism. At first, I was not sure but now we know that meaninglessness is in the context of a project that failed fifty years plus ago: apart from analytically true statements, meaningfulness is confined to statements subject to verification procedures. That was used to deride thought about God, ethics, metaphysics and more, until it was challenged to meet its own criterion. Self referentially incoherent and so REALLY meaningless, no wonder it tended to rule everything else as meaningless. Fail. Fail, in the face of a trillions member base of artifacts showing that FSCO/I is a highly reliable sign of intelligently directed configuration as cause. Fail, showing fifty years out of date rhetoric being resurrected (again, that happened with the deductive problem of evil). KF

    PS: Sufficient has to be stated to substantiate.

  59. 59
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    In this case, whatever your employment or profession, you are inadvertently letting us know that your preferred scheme of thought regarding origins is grossly factually inadequate. I suggest, you think again. KF

    You do not know my thoughts on origins because I have never presented them. Please stop attempting to read minds or infer motivations because you are not very good at it.

    I don’t understand why you are getting so worked up about being told that the quantity of designs with known sources doesn’t have the statistical power you think it does. It is a very simple statistical concept that any first year statistics student could grasp.

    There are plenty of other, more sound, arguments for design. Might I suggest that you retire your “trillions of examples” meme in favour of the others.

  60. 60
    KRock says:

    @Jerry #53

    CD is literally the definition of “sucker for punishment.”

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, I do not need to know the specifics of your model of origins to recognise that you have a problem with evidence. As for your dismissal of trillions of artifacts exhibiting FSCO/I as a signature of design, that is more than enough to warrant that cases otherwise with the sign can be confidently inferred as designed, precisely because of the exceedingly high reliability of the sign and the linked configuration space blind needle in haystack search challenge. Of course, in abstract theory, there could arise counter examples on the morrow, but as for the linked case, thermodynamics of the second law, we simply say, produce the observed exception. (Which shows the testability and potential falsifiability.) This, too, is not to infer that there may not be other cases of designed items that do not exhibit the sign FSCO/I, which will be missed; that is of no relevance to the matter. The design inference on sign is not a general design detector. KF

  62. 62
    jerry says:

    CD is literally the definition of “sucker for punishment.”

    He is a pro ID advocate.

    Anyone that consistently wrong can only be that way by design.

  63. 63
    jerry says:

    You do not know my thoughts on origins because I have never presented them

    You did once revealing your ignorance.

  64. 64
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    Sc, I do not need to know the specifics of your model of origins to recognise that you have a problem with evidence.

    No, I am fine with evidence. I just have a problem with overstated claims about the evidence. And your “trillions of examples” is a grosse exaggeration of the strength of the evidence. When there is a single known source (humans) a single example of a coded string has exactly the same strength to support the design inference as a trillion examples of coded strings does. So your repeated use of the “trillions” qualifier is simply an attempted misrepresentation of the strength of the evidence. The misrepresentation is probably unintentional but it is still a misrepresentation.

  65. 65
    jerry says:

    misrepresentation of the strength of the evidence

    The evidence is overwhelming for a design inference.

    Trillions of examples is just pile on. Each instance of the trillion is additional strong support for the design inference.

  66. 66
    Scamp says:

    Jerry:
    The evidence is overwhelming for a design inference.

    I am not arguing against the evidence for design. Or even that coded strings are not evidence for design. Just that a library full of books does not provide a stronger design inference than a single book does. This is the misconception that KF keeps spreading.

    Trillions of examples is just pile on. Each instance of the trillion is additional strong support for the design inference.

    No, each instance of the trillion are separate pieces of evidence, but their existence does not provide any more statistical strength for the design inference than a single instance does.

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, the first matter is that of willingness to acknowledge patent facts, or rather the absence of such. Just the Internet contains already trillions of cases of FSCO/I beyond the threshold, of known provenance; and the rest of our technological world starting with the hardware store backs that up. This is already parallel to Galileo’s colleagues who would not look through his telescope. Next, we do not need to look at likelihood ratios or the like to assess this case: inference to best explanation of a common phenomenon with just one empirically warranted cause. Show us a few observed cases that come about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity and we can say that we do not have just one empirically warranted, configuration space search challenge backed causal source. Recall, beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complexity. Where, further, code implies much more information and organisation that appears in the actual code, a language, algorithms, underlying subject knowledge and protocols have to be in place and execution machinery. Language and protocols are already further strong signs of design and sophisticated knowledge is directly a product of intelligence. The implied argument is that you suggest or enable inferring miracles of chance, as the focus is OOL, before there is self replication. Fail, fail on first, directly observable facts. KF

    PS, as for there is a single known source of FSCO/I, your attempt to double down on that means you have paid no attention to my or SA’s note on other known cases, most clearly, beavers and their dams. Beyond direct observation, intelligence and design are exemplified by humans, as contingent creatures we cannot exhaust the possibilities, as the SETI project illustrates, the attempt to suggest no trillions of observed cases vanish into one causal agent humans, fails. Besides, as was also pointed out there are billions of us, and our conscious use of verbal language is an example of FSCO/I by design. Speak a couple of typical sentences or write and more FSCO/I beyond the complexity threshold by observed design. Each of us is a case of an intelligent designer, and as noted, we cannot exhaust the possibilities. There is a whole popular literature that pivots on the point, Sci Fi. You tell us why we should imagine that it is dubious that there are other or are possibly other designers with similar or more advanced capabilities. You have no good warrant for that piece of hyperskepticism either. In fact the evidence of the cell on the strength of a lawlike observed regularity should be understood as strongly pointing to designs done before there was life on our planet, thus of agents capable of such designs. You have the whole case backwards, KF

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, a single instance of observed FSCO/I does not indicate a regular pattern. It is true that it would be an observed case of design but in that hypothetical world it would be an oddity. A pattern with trillions of cases and billions of intelligent designers as causes with nil, zip zilch actually observed from blind chance and/or mechanical necessity is a different matter. Observable regularity and reliable sign of that cause, here. KF

  69. 69
    Scamp says:

    There is none so blind who will not see.

    It is obvious that I am wasting my time instructing you on the proper use of statistical inferences.

  70. 70
    jerry says:

    their existence does not provide any more statistical strength for the design inference than a single instance does

    If the inference from one example is p=1.0, you are right. That’s the highest probability one can get.

    But in reality it’s a distinction without a difference and just fuss over nothing.

    The real interesting thing is the inference is p=0 that a functional system exists that was not designed that provides coordinated output.

    And then for the purist such as Seversky, the inference that accumulated variations in a genome produced anything significant is also p=0.

    Aside: the supposedly creative part of Darwin’s ideas is the inheritance of new variation. Natural selection just preserves the accumulated variation. But again the inference is p=0 that this has produced anything but trivial changes.

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, the manifest evidence, is that you are refusing to acknowledge a striking, prominent observable reality, trillions of cases of FSCO/I, observed by design and nil by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. I would go further, the pattern we see suggests that there would be no intelligent observers to see and understand a single isolated case, i.e. FSCO/I is a characteristic product of intelligent designing agents and is directly connected to their ability also to observe with recognition of significance. So, the multiplicity of observations would be an aspect of the evidence. It is agents capable of design who can create science as a discipline, likewise create math including statistics as a discipline and of course embracing use of language. What we have done is simply to identify a readily observed, highly reliable indicator of design and point out that one of the longest established scientific methods is inference on observed sign. All of this is the equivalent of Galileo inviting his colleagues to look through his telescope, only to be met with flat refusal. KF

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, assuming a blind chance and/or mechanical necessity null hyp, the core problem is, number of observed cases of FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complexity by that = 0. While of course, the number of observed cases by observed intelligently directed configuration is in the trillions, starting with the Internet, proceeding to the fasteners and gears in a hardware store then on to the general pattern of a technological civilisation. Neglecting, that conscious utterance of significant length across history is also trillions of cases, minimum. Footnoting, beavers and the like, which show that directing intelligence is broader than our species. Further to such, as I pointed out, we will not observe — that act of reason requires sophisticated inference associated with habitual designing capability — an isolated case of FSCO/I by intelligent design, the number will naturally be large; this indicates that where we see one rat by day, there are dozens by night. In this context, we have no empirical basis to construct a distribution of FSCO/I by blind undirected nature, apart from flat zero. We are left with precisely the Newton’s Rule challenge, before inferring a blind force hypothesis, first demonstrate that such a candidate cause is observed capable of the effect. We are therefore back at the premise, we have a reliable sign backed by huge observational base and associated needle in haystack blind configuration space search challenge analysis, that FSCO/I reliably comes about by and is a strong sign of intelligently directed configuration. KF

    PS, I am taking the definition of P value as a metric of “how often you would expect to see a test statistic as extreme or more extreme than the one calculated by your statistical test if the null hypothesis of that test was true.” There has to first be good reason to hold that the null can and does create the result. There is no such base of actual observation.

  73. 73
    jerry says:

    assuming a blind chance and/or mechanical necessity null hyp, the core problem is, number of observed cases

    I have no idea what you are trying to communicate.

    I stop reading your posts after a couple sentences. I assume everyone else does too.

    I’ve said it before. I’m not disputing your point. I just don’t know what it is. You have to know that your English construction is unlike anyone I have ever seen and I have read a lot.

  74. 74
    Absolutely says:

    Goodness Gracious.
    I’m getting so sick & tired of people with these pompous pithy retorts as if they’re the intellectually elite, when all they are is a demonstration of pure Bias dressed up as scholarship.

    So WL Craig, who actually is Elite, is fashioning his beliefs to conform and please others because you disagree with him? That’s a garbage attack. Atheists use the same fallacies when they say things like – Faraday & Maxwell were just checking the box “Christian ” because of the Times. They couldn’t be Believers because believers are stupid.
    Are we not better than a bunch of godless atheists? These topics do not even rank in the top hundred in what’s important to serving Jesus Christ. I always say, if your pet doctrines are your life, so much so you always attack your own – flush it all down the toilet and go truly serve Christ volunteering for the poor, instead of serving yourself and your need to feel superior.
    Peace

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