Intelligent Design

Yes, But Who Created Jon Garvey

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All that follows is from a comment by Jon Garvey:

As far as the state of knowledge of any normal reader of this (my) post can tell, it poofed into existence on their monitor without explanation. Given our state of knowledge of the universe and its probabilities, most will suppose there is an intelligence at my IP address which instantiated it by some actual action rather than magic. We have no known mechanisms for any other alternative, and “sheer electronic fluke” is, in practice, a non-explanation. Though to be honest, if the stats of this Universe or a many-worlds multiverse allow one to countenance seriously astronomically low probabilities, then this post is no less likely to arise from a random power surge … in which case, don’t reply. Stuff happens.

There’s every likelihood that, once instantiated in a semiotic state, my thought obeys known physical laws. But there must be a degree of agnosticism as to whether I typed it, dictated it to my wife or carved it in stone and got a large scanner to OCI it, because you’re not here to check. The result is the same whichever method I used – but in all cases, intelligent agency is more probable than not, because a fellow in front of a computer has many known ways to compose a post, and no alternatives to that fellow are known. Analogously, many of the ways for a designer to originate life would be inaccessible to us now in the record: but even a process that could be seen in the fossils would not reduce the “intelligent” likelihood if no non-intelligent mechanism can be demonstrated. My post will always be more likely to be consciously-willed by a fellow with a computer than by an uncategorised outworking of chemistry or physics. That’s because natural phenomona habitually recur – the basis of science – whereas intelligent acts are often unique.

The fellow at the computer might be assumed to be human – but you’ve no guarantee whatsoever I’m not an alien infiltrator, an angel or a demon, provided I’m capable of instantiating rational thought about OOL into a semiotic state. But the last point is a logical (near-)necessity, whereas my identity is not.

My thought processes themselves are entirely opaque to you: whether I wrote by stream of consciousness, did several much-corrected mental drafts or worked it all out whilst walking the dog – all that is inaccessible to you, and also irrelevant to the instantiation process. Even if you were in the room with me, the post would poof – at some finite speed – into existence on the screen, and you would have no way to access the thought that guided it – which is plausibly believed by many to be non-material in nature anyway. Mind cannot be tracked, nor can the mind/material interface. But once in the material realm, there must always be a nerve impulse, a finger, a keypad, an internet connection which fully account for the message – whilst *always* being *entirely* incapable of accounting for its information content. Observing a process unfolding in accordance with law no more obviates intelligence than watching a film does. It is the coherent result and the lack of any adequate non-intelligent agency that settles the case.

So “under which state of knowledge would a blind watchmaker materialist account of origins be more plausible?” Easy, isn’t it, I’d have thought? Under the same circumstances that provides a viable set of reasons for the spontaneous poofing of this post on to your monitor without intelligent origination.

12 Replies to “Yes, But Who Created Jon Garvey

  1. 1
    Optimus says:

    Well said

  2. 2
    Jon Garvey says:

    f.gjr4tb l;ifgnbe4p987 ndsklj dsukvciul vdsnsdeiu dskjfwiu hdscu dsiu k! But that doesn’t seem very likely.

  3. 3
    Alan Fox says:

    Who Created Jon Garvey?

    Jon,

    Did your parents not have anything to do with it?

  4. 4
    Barb says:

    Jon Garvey @ 2:

    f.gjr4tb l;ifgnbe4p987 ndsklj dsukvciul vdsnsdeiu dskjfwiu hdscu dsiu k! But that doesn’t seem very likely.

    It means that it’s likely your cat is walking over the keyboard again.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    Jon Garvey was self-created.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    AF: Our parents passed on the gift of life to us, they did not originate life. That’s why they talk of procreation. KF

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Jon Garvey gave me a good laugh this morning. After I read his original post, I stated the standard Darwinian reply:

    Jon Garvey, it is unscientific to be a “sheer electronic fluke” denier! 🙂

    to which he replied:

    BA – Yes, I’m aware that it’s the “argument from incredulity” – which states (I think) that it’s invalid not to believe something because you don’t have any reason to believe it. I know I should, to be a real OOL student, exercise the virtuous contrary principle, “the argument from gullibility.”

    But they never covered that in any of my Cambridge courses.

    touche my man! 🙂

    Related note:

    Another interesting argument comes from the leading philosopher and Christian, Alvin Plantinga—he asked, what evidence does anyone have for the existence of other people’s minds? He argued cogently that the evidence for God is just as good as the evidence for other minds; and conversely, if there isn’t any evidence for God, then there is also no evidence that other minds exist—see God and Other Minds, Cornell University Press, repr. 1990.
    http://creation.com/atheism-is-more-rational

    Music and Verse:

    Coldplay – Yellow
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH3X-LLY66Y

    John 15:13
    Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    Jon Garvey is a spandrel. The creation of Jon Garvey was non intensional.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Why is this site advertising “male gamers only” links?

    Is it because over at TSZ I suggested, however obliquely, that I might be gay?

    But I’m not, so a male only gaming site is not on my agenda.

    =P

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Gene activity and transcript patterns visualized for the first time in thousands of single cells – Oct 06, 2013
    Excerpt: The method is so efficient that, for the first time, a thousand genes can be studied in parallel in ten thousand single human cells. Applications lie in fields of basic research and medical diagnostics. The new method shows that the activity of genes, and the spatial organization of the resulting transcript molecules, strongly vary between single cells.,,,
    The analysis of the new data shows that individual cells distinguish themselves in the activity of their genes. While the scientists had been suspecting a high variability in the amount of transcript molecules, they were surprised to discover a strong variability in the spatial organization of transcript molecules within single cells and between multiple single cells. The transcript molecules adapted distinctive patterns.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-10-g.....sands.html

  11. 11
    Jon Garvey says:

    BA:

    Music and Verse:

    And here’s some more…

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Jon Garvey, very well done. Posted to facebook. I think Axel will be most appreciative as well!

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