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Dr. Stacy Trasancos responds

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A week ago, I wrote an article, Feet to the fire, in response to Dr. Stacy Trasancos’s essay, Does Science Prove God Exists? Dr. Trasancos has been gracious enough to respond to my article. In this post, I’d like to make a final reply, and I will happily give her the last word, if she wishes to make a closing rebuttal.

Dr. Trasancos’s question for the Intelligent Design community

I’d like to begin by answering the (rather lengthy) question which Dr. Trasancos poses at the end of her response to my article. She writes:

If 1) certain molecules provide the best evidence for a Designer; and if

2) the “primordial Fiat Lux, uttered at the moment when, along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, while the particles of chemical elements split and formed into millions of galaxies” is inductive evidence for the Creator; and if

3) we can agree that atoms and the orchestration of all their subatomic particles guiding the physical and chemical interactions of matter and energy throughout the universe can be described as intelligently designed…

…then how can anything within the legitimate purview of science not be intelligently designed?

As a matter of logic, Dr. Trasancos’s conclusion doesn’t strictly follow from her premises. The fact that both the Big Bang and the laws governing interactions between subatomic particles were produced by God’s intelligent design does not necessarily entail that more complex kinds of entities which are composed of these particles were also intelligently designed.

Nevertheless, I would personally agree with Dr. Trasancos that any kind of entity which science can study is indeed the product of God’s intelligent design, and I think that most Intelligent Design theorists would do likewise. However, the kind of evidence that ID appeals to is strictly scientific evidence – not philosophical reasoning or theological argumentation. Hence the question we need to address from an Intelligent Design standpoint is not whether the kinds of objects studied by science are intelligently designed, but whether there is any scientific evidence that they are. And what I’m claiming is that for most kinds of entities that we observe in Nature, there is no good scientific evidence that they were designed. For instance, while there’s plenty of good scientific evidence that the elements carbon and oxygen were designed, I don’t know of any scientific evidence that the element technetium was. Or to take another example: we currently have very powerful scientific evidence that the proteins found in living things were intelligently designed, but I know of no evidence that sodium chloride crystals were designed, even though sodium chloride is essential to life on Earth. And while there’s excellent scientific evidence that molecular machines (such as the bacterial flagellum) were designed and that the first living cell was designed, no-one has produced any scientific evidence that each and every species of living thing was also designed. Nor can I think of any scientific evidence that macroscopic objects such as planets, continents, mountains, ocean currents, typhoons or tornadoes were all intelligently designed. For all scientists know, maybe none of them were.

So when Dr. Trasancos writes, “It sounds like they [Intelligent Design advocates] are saying: ‘Hey God, nice job on certain things, like DNA and bacteria! Those rocks and mud piles? What happened there?'”, she is overlooking a vital distinction between scientific evidence for design (which is typically based on complex specified information) and philosophical evidence for design (which appeals to features such as mutability, composition, contingency, grades of perfection and goal-directedness). Rocks and mud piles are composite, so for that reason alone, they require a cause that explains what holds them together – and ultimately, a First Cause of their existence. But the kind of reasoning that takes us to this First Cause is metaphysical reasoning, and the premises it appeals to are not scientific premises but philosophical ones. And even if today’s New Atheists are inclined to agree that rocks and mud piles are contingent beings that require some sort of explanation, they are likely to stop at some point in their search for explanations, and say, as Bertrand Russell did in his famous 1948 BBC radio debate on the existence of God with Fr. Frederick Copleston, and declare that “the universe is just there, and that’s all.” In arguing against such people, we have to appeal to a category of evidence which they cannot dismiss in such a fashion.

Intelligent Design deals with scientific evidence

As I mentioned above, Intelligent Design is the science of design detection: it tells us how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose. Thus the kind of evidence ID appeals to is strictly scientific evidence – not philosophical reasoning or theological argumentation. So when Dr. Trasancos writes, “Either we believe God created everything and holds everything in existence before we even think about science, or we take a lesser view and posit some science-dependent god,” my response (as a classical theist) is that of course I believe that God created everything and holds it in existence. However, I hold this belief on philosophical grounds, which appeal to metaphysical premises – and as I’ve learned over the past few years, an increasing number of New Atheists adamantly reject the view that philosophy can furnish us with any additional knowledge of reality that science cannot. For that reason, they deny that metaphysics can tell us anything new about the world. Rather than trying to prove to these people that “scientism” is (a) self-contradictory and (b) incapable of explaining why science works at all (which tends to make them dig in their heels and say, “It just does!”), I have found that it is better to meet these people on their own terms, and put forward scientific arguments for the existence of God, which New Atheists still treat with a certain degree of respect. In particular, I have found that they take the Argument from Fine-Tuning (which points to the existence of a cosmic Creator) very seriously.

Saying that there are scientific arguments for the existence of a Creator does not make God “science-dependent.” That would be absurd: after all, God is the Author of scientific laws. Instead, what it means is that if you’re in the unfortunate intellectual position where the only kinds of arguments for a Creator that impress you are scientific arguments, then your belief in God will be entirely dependent on the evidence of science.

Now, belief in God which is based solely on scientific evidence might strike Dr. Trasancos as resting on a rather shaky epistemic foundation. But that’s still a lot better than having no foundation at all (as is the case with fideists, who believe in God without appealing to any supporting evidence). It’s quite true, of course, that scientific theories are subject to further revision; nevertheless, some theories are so deeply entrenched that their revision is almost impossible to envisage. (For example, I have absolutely no doubt that 500 years from now, children learning chemistry will still be taught about atoms, and will still learn some version of the periodic table.) So it seems prudent to trust scientific arguments for God which appeal to well-established theories, as opposed to speculative hypotheses. In short: you could do a lot worse than believing in God on scientific grounds.

I’d also like to point out in passing that Dr. Trasancos’s dichotomy of inductive versus deductive arguments is a little simplistic. Not all scientific arguments are inductive; many are abductive, which means that they involve making an inference to the best explanation. Medical diagnoses are a good example of abductive reasoning: given this set of symptoms, what is the diagnosis that would best explain most of them? Intelligent Design reasoning is also abductive: proponents argue that patterns which are both highly specific and astronomically improbable are best explained as the work of an intelligent agent, and that no unguided cause is sufficient to explain these patterns.

The point of my “Feet to the fire” thought experiment

In my last post, I described a horrifying scenario in which an mad atheist dictator takes over your country and requires every citizen to publicly profess atheism. Those who refuse to do so are tortured by having their feet held to the fire, until they either perish or declared that they have abandoned their faith in God. (In order to forestall the possibility of believers in God avoiding torture by pretending to be atheists, I added that this dictator is pretty good at spotting fakers, and that he’ll torture the entire family of any individual found to be lying about their beliefs.) In my article, I argued that the deductive philosophical proofs of God’s existence would probably not be enough to sustain your belief in God during this time of trial, but that the less rigorous inductive (or rather abductive) scientific arguments for God’s existence, coupled with the evidence from miracles and consciousness (and, many would add, morality), would sustain you through your ordeal.

Dr. Trasancos’s response to the scenario I proposed was that “it is grace that strengthens a martyr at his or her moment of death — not logic, not science, not even reason, but a supernatural gift in the soul called grace.” Grace would sustain you through your ordeal at the hands of the mad atheist dictator. What she overlooks is that according to Catholic teaching, you don’t need grace in order to believe the proposition that God exists. That’s the proposition that the mad dictator wants you to deny – not Christianity or any other religious creed. Indeed, the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) anathematizes those who hold that “the one, true God, our creator and lord, cannot be known with certainty from the things that have been made, by the natural light of human reason.” Thus in the hypothetical scenario I described, you should (theoretically) be able to endure martyrdom on behalf of your Creator, without recourse to any supernatural gifts on His part. Argumentation alone should be enough to sustain you – even without God’s grace. You shouldn’t need religious experience to bolster your belief in God, either – which is why I was careful to stipulate that the person being subjected to this ordeal by fire hadn’t had any such experiences.

So that raises the question: if argumentation alone should suffice in the scenario I described, what are the best arguments?

In a 2014 post titled, On not putting all your theological eggs into one basket, I explained why I think it would be very unwise to base one’s faith entirely on the Scholastic arguments for the existence of God. I view these arguments as rough diamonds: they contain valid metaphysical insights, but at the present time, they are nowhere near rigorous enough to ground the conviction that there exists an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving Being Who holds all created things in existence. For this reason, I think it would be prudent for theists to study the scientific arguments for God’s existence, in addition to studying the philosophical arguments.

Dr. Trasancos writes that “[a]mong the news of today’s martyrs, I have never heard that the intelligent design arguments convinced any of them to die for a Creator.” But today’s martyrs are not being asked to die for the proposition that God exists. Rather, most of them are being martyred for their faith in Christianity – which does require supernatural grace in order for us to assent to it.

Dr. Trasancos would have been better off asking whether Intelligent Design arguments have convinced any atheists of the existence of God. Here, they have had much greater success. They persuaded Professor Antony Flew, the most prominent atheist of the 20th century, to renounce atheism and embrace Deism before he died, declaring: “It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism.” They persuaded 1996 Nobel Chemistry Laureate Richard Smalley, a lifelong skeptic, to embrace Old Earth Creationism shortly before his death in 2005, saying: “Evolution has just been dealt its death blow. After reading Origins of Life [by astrophysicist Hugh Ross and biochemist Fazale Rana – VJT], with my background in chemistry and physics, it is clear evolution could not have occurred.” And they persuaded the British astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle FRS, to accept the fact that “a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.” I could go on, but I think these examples will suffice to illustrate my point.

Lastly, Dr. Trasancos contends that if we allow scientific arguments to count in favor of God’s existence, then by the same token, we’ll have to allow scientific arguments to be invoked against God’s existence:

If you invoke science to (inductively) prove God exists, then in my opinion you have no ground to complain if someone else invokes science to (inductively) prove God does not exist. Both of you play the same game.

That’s true. The sword of science is double-edged: it can cut both ways. And to slightly adapt a Biblical saying, if you’re prepared to live by the sword, then you have to be mentally prepared to die by that sword, too. There’s a name for this virtue: intellectual honesty.

Nervous Nellies: “But what if the arguments are wrong?”

At this point, some readers are likely to object: “Yes, but what if the arguments for Intelligent design later turn out to be wrong?” I’d like to make five quick points in reply.

First, I have never advocated basing one’s belief in God’s existence on Intelligent Design arguments alone. I think a mix of scientific and philosophical arguments is a much better idea: hence the title of my 2014 post, On not putting all your theological eggs into one basket.

Second, even if Intelligent Design arguments do turn out to be wrong, a believer who follows the strategy recommended in the preceding paragraph will still have other good arguments to fall back on.

Third, it’s irrational to refuse to believe in an argument, simply because there’s a possibility that it may be proven wrong in the future. For that matter, arguments for God’s existence based on miracles may turn out to be wrong, but that does not stop people such as former Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) from converting from atheism or agnosticism to theism because of these arguments.

Fourth, the fact that some Intelligent Design arguments turn out to be wrong does not imply that all of them are wrong, or even likely to be wrong. Some ID arguments are much stronger than others. Similarly, some arguments for the reality of miracles are stronger than others: personally, I think the reality of the Lourdes miracles is now open to doubt (see here and here), but in the meantime, my own investigations have convinced me that the reality of St. Joseph of Cupertino’s levitations is so well established that only a person whose mind was completely closed would deny it (see here and here). It would be foolish to discard all arguments for the miraculous, just because some of them turn out to be bogus; and the same goes for Intelligent Design.

Fifth, the objection mistakenly assumes that science is steadily reducing the number of unexplained phenomena to zero, giving rise to the derisive phrase, “God of the gaps.” In fact, however, many of the current arguments for Intelligent Design were totally unknown when I was a child. I was born in 1961, and at that time, the Big Bang theory had not yet been confirmed, scientists were as yet largely unaware of the remarkable fine-tuning of the universe (although later that year, physicist Robert H. Dicke would discover that gravity and electromagnetism need to be fine-tuned for life to exist anywhere in the Universe), and the improbability of functional proteins arising via unguided natural processes had yet to be demonstrated. Two hundred years before I was born, belief in spontaneous generation was still intellectually respectable and the mystery of the Cambrian explosion was completely unknown to science: indeed, the Cambrian period wasn’t even identified until 1835. Who says science is closing the gaps?

The non-circular empirical criteria for Intelligent Design

In her article, Dr. Trasancos accuses Intelligent Design proponents of inferring the existence of an Intelligent Designer on the basis of their own, specially selected criteria for design – a procedure which she finds both question-begging and blasphemous, writing: “Who are we to give God a test of intelligence?”

But it is not God that we are testing, but the alleged evidence for design in the cosmos, which we need to sift very carefully, in order to make a good case for design. There is nothing blasphemous in attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff, when searching for good scientific evidence for a Designer of Nature.

Dr. Trasancos appears to think that the criteria appealed to by ID advocates as evidence for design are criteria of their own devising, making Intelligent Design reasoning circular. Not so: the criteria are frequently appealed to by people hostile to Intelligent Design. In his novel Contact, scientist Carl Sagan, who was an outspoken agnostic and a mocker of religion, wrote: “No astrophysical process is likely to generate prime numbers.” Consequently, when a team looking for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence located a signal containing a sequence of the first 100 primes, they were quickly able to infer on purely scientific grounds that this, at last, was “the real thing.” Apart from the astronomical improbability of finding such a sequence of numbers, the decisive factor that warranted the inference to intelligent design was its high degree of specificity. Sagan, who was no religious believer himself, recognized that a pattern which is both highly specified and vanishingly improbable is best explained as the product of an intelligent designer. The criteria he invoked are essentially the same as those which ID proponents appeal to, in their quest for scientific evidence for design.

Indeed, the very term “specified complexity,” which is commonly used by ID advocates, was originally coined by origin of life researcher Leslie Orgel (an atheist and a critic of Intelligent Design, who also coined the witticism, “Evolution is cleverer than you are”), in order to denote what distinguishes living things from non-living things:

In brief, living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity. (The Origins of Life, 1973, John Wiley & Sons Inc., p. 189.)

In a similar vein, physicist Paul Davies wrote: “Living organisms are mysterious not for their complexity per se, but for their tightly specified complexity.” (The Fifth Miracle, 1999, Simon & Schuster, p. 112.)

Arguments continue over the most appropriate way to quantify the specified complexity found in living things, but the important thing is that the the specified complexity of even the humblest living organism far exceeds the probabilistic resources of the observable universe – a point recognized by evolutionary biologist Professor Eugene Koonin, who calculated that the odds of a simple replication-translation system arising anywhere within a universe like ours were astronomically low.

It may interest Dr. Trasancos to know that St. Thomas Aquinas himself put forward an Intelligent Design-style argument in his Summa Theologica I, Question 91, article 2, reply to objection 2, where he dismisses Avicenna’s fanciful theory of spontaneous generation, which stated that the power of the heavenly bodies was capable of generating animals of all kinds from the elements of Nature, on the ground that even if “the power of heavenly bodies suffices for the production of some imperfect animals from properly disposed matter,” it was quite certain that the heavenly bodies were incapable of generating the higher or “perfect” animals, “for it is clear that more conditions are required to produce a perfect than an imperfect thing.” From a mathematical standpoint, “more conditions are required for X than for Y” is just another way of saying: “X is more improbable than Y.” I discuss Aquinas’ Intelligent Design-style argument at further length in my online essay, St. Thomas Aquinas and his Fifteen Smoking Guns.

Can science falsify God?

Dr. Trasancos vehemently rejects the idea that science can falsify belief in God. I’ll discuss her reasons below. But before I do that, I’d like to quote from a blog article titled, A specific brand of evolutionary creationism, by former atheist Dr. Wayne Rossiter, Assistant Professor of Biology at Waynesburg University and author of Shadow of Oz: Theistic Evolution and the Absent God:

Finally, I find it logically onerous to begin with the assumption that, whatever we find in the material world, God did it. Call me an empiricist, but some aspect of the God hypothesis ought to be falsifiable. That is, the argument in favor of God must have some way of being logically or empirically validated (and therefore falsifiable). When we set God up as the cosmic Prime Mover, first, we need sound reasons for believing this is so, and second, we then essentially say, no world, no matter how brutish, cruel or sloppy, would be evidence against God’s existence. I don’t find that persuasive.

Dr. Rossiter has a point. If we are to seriously maintain that the order in the world bears witness to God’s existence, then we should be able to specify a minimum threshold of order, below which the inference to God would not be warranted. Ditto for the goodness and beauty of the world.

Dr. Trasancos also rejects my argument that the discovery that determinism holds true in our cosmos would falsify theism. Determinism, she contends, is a philosophical doctrine, and science can never establish the truth of a philosophical doctrine.

Now, if Dr. Trasancos is referring to determinism as a universal hypothesis (“All events are determined”) then she is perfectly correct, but if she is referring to determinism as a hypothesis that applies to our cosmos (“All events in space-time are determined”), then she is mistaken: science certainly does have quite a bit to say about that claim. It is commonly held, for instance, that Newtonian physics was deterministic (actually, it wasn’t), and there are some scientists who continue to favor a deterministic interpretation of quantum mechanics, while others prefer an indeterministic interpretation. Suppose it turned out that the physics of our cosmos was deterministic: what would follow then? Since (as I argued in my last post), theism is incompatible with physical determinism and since our decisions take place within the universe of space and time, it would follow that one would need to posit a Deus ex machina supernatural intervention every time I made a choice, in order to preserve my freedom as a moral agent. And since the notion that God intervenes supernaturally every time I decide something is ridiculously far-fetched, that would render theism a highly improbable hypothesis. (While we’re on the subject of freedom: I have argued that while indeterminism does not, by itself, make us morally free agents, when combined with top-down causation, it can explain libertarian freedom.)

In short: whether we like it or lump it, science can potentially falsify theism. What matters for believers, however, is that (a) so far, it has not done so, but has rather tended to support theism, and (b) if the world is indeed God’s handiwork, then we can be confident that science never will falsify theism.

Pope Pius XII: did he go too far?

Dr. Trasancos also takes issue with Pope Pius XII’s claim, made in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on November 22, 1951, titled “The Proofs For The Existence Of God In The Light Of Modern Natural Science“, that the Big Bang theory was scientific evidence for God. She points out that the Pope went on to say that science only provides inductive evidence for creation in time, that science always awaits further research, and that absolute proof of creation in time is outside the limits of science. That’s perfectly fine by me: when did I ever argue otherwise? But then she goes on to add that Fr. George Lemaître, who first proposed the Big Bang hypothesis, took exception to the Pope’s remarks, because “because he knew that his theory was subject to further revision.” Fr. Lemaître insisted that incomplete scientific theories should be “judged on their scientific merits alone and not be used in support of theological conclusions.” Dr. Trasancos’s account is historically accurate, as far as I can tell. Nevertheless, I would argue that in hindsight, it was Fr. Lemaître, and not the Pope, who was wrong. The Pope’s address was made in 1951, when the Big Bang theory had a viable scientific alternative: the Steady State theory. But by 1965, the tide had turned: the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation at the temperature predicted by the Big Bang theory (3 Kelvins) confirmed a striking prediction of the theory, rendering it highly unlikely that it would ever be falsified in future. Even though Pope Pius XII may have “jumped the gun” by 14 years, science does indeed lend support to the notion of an ultimate beginning – even if it’s not clear yet whether this beginning corresponds to the Big Bang itself, or to some earlier event preceding it.

A closing question for Dr. Trasancos

I hope that this post of mine will have cleared the air somewhat, and helped to clarify my own position. I’d like to conclude by thanking Dr. Trasancos for taking part in this exchange, and I’d also like to pose a final question to her. I would ask her to think back to the horrifying, feet-to-the-fire scenario that I described above. Here’s my question: “If you were being tortured by fire for your belief that God exists, which arguments for God would sustain you the most, and why?”

Over to you, Dr. Trasancos.

46 Replies to “Dr. Stacy Trasancos responds

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    It’s the mud is designed defense to the rescue of materialism!

  2. 2
    PaV says:

    Dr. Trasancos:

    I would have ordered your question thusly:

    If 1) the “primordial Fiat Lux, uttered at the moment when, along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, while the particles of chemical elements split and formed into millions of galaxies” is inductive evidence for the Creator; and if

    2) we can agree that atoms and the orchestration of all their subatomic particles guiding the physical and chemical interactions of matter and energy throughout the universe can be described as intelligently designed; and if

    3) certain molecules provide the best evidence for a Designer …

    …then how can anything within the legitimate purview of science not be intelligently designed?

    My answer is: “Tie-dyed” T-shirts.

    About two years ago, some of these same issues came up here at UD. You’ll find my exposition of these issues at the following UD link. There I made the distinction between CPDF, i.e., “constrained physical degrees of freedom,” and CIDF, i.e., “constrained intelligent degrees of freedom.”

    This is the essential distinction that must be made in answering your query. And “Tie-dyed T-shirts” does the trick.

    I would have to assume, Dr.Trasancos, that you would consider a “Tie-dyed T-shirt” to be “intelligently designed.” Nevertheless, the vast portion of the degrees of freedom that are being constrained are being constrained “physically” and not “intelligently.” How the various colors of dye interact with the T-shirt depends on its thickness, with layers closer to the outside absorbing more of it than layers of the T-shirt material (cotton) lying at the interior of the “knots” that are “tied-off.” An intelligent agent, understanding the kinds of varieties of color intensities that might devolve under this process, chooses to do things in this fashion because they’re looking for a random and varied mixture of colors and color intensities. It is the use of such a process that is “intelligent,” but all else is simply “random.”

    The end result of such a process is a “particular” “Tie-dyed T-shirt.” It’s like a “snowflake” which, under randomly varying conditions forms a unique shape.

    The CIDF are those areas of the T-shirt that were selected to be “tied-off.” The CPDF are all the tiny bits of fabric that have there panoply of colors and intensities–all of these result from physical forces following the laws of physics but with random initial conditions.

    Now, getting back to the early universe, that electrons and proton are attracted to one another and form hydrogen atoms is a direct result of physical laws at play, with the hydrogen atoms actually being interchangeable. These hydrogen atoms are fully CPDF. It would be wrong to say these atoms are “intelligently” designed anymore than it would be wrong to say that the actual color mixtures and color intensities were “designed.” The cotton and the dyes were simply following established rules and laws. No “direct” intelligence was involved.

    However, that’s not true of the locations and placements (patterns) of the “knots,” nor of the overall process.

    What makes DNA especially indicative of “intelligence” is the very fact that in constructing this molecule, purines and pyramidines are relatively interchangeable: i.e., one of the four nucleotide bases is just as likely–from strictly chemical affinities–than any of the others. IOW, they have ‘degrees of freedom’ that have not been ‘physically’ determined–nor, in general, can they be. The fact that a particular order is found in nature, an order that has been preserved almost intact for 100’s of millions of years, means that something “other” than physical laws are at play. In our experience as humans, the only kinds of “constraints” we are aware of are those brought about by physical law, and those brought about through intelligent agency. In the computer age we live in, with all the various “codes” that exist, we understand quite well how ‘intelligence’ has the capacity to delimit otherwise physical degrees of freedom to bring about its own purposes.

    To conclude: I therefore disagree with your concluding question: “how can anything within the legitimate purview of science not be intelligently designed?”

    Physical laws are deterministic.
    Intelligence is not so bounded.
    We can distinguish between CPDF and CIDF.

    Using a somewhat different analogy, here’s the point I’m making.

    Someone has determined that decks of cards should be composed of 52 cards, some numbered, others showing various regal faces. These “laws” are “given.” Some “intelligent” agent/s has/have made these determinations, which are analogous to the “Intelligent Designer” ‘writing’ the ‘laws of nature.’ Nevertheless, no one would confuse a particular game of “Bridge” played by 4 intelligent agents with the prior-made “laws” of decks of cards, and the rules of “Bridge.” The “cards” have rules which are “pre-determined” (equivalent to being “physically” constrained”) and Bridge has rules which are “pre-determined” (again “physically constrained” so to speak), but each hand of Bridge plays itself out following only the use of logic, having the final result (“winning”) ever in mind as a guiding force; and so, each hand of Bridge is not “pre-determined” in any way.

    The ‘laws of cards’ and the ‘laws of Bridge’ are “crystallizations” of “intelligence,” and “intelligence” is no longer at work; only the “laws.” In the playing of the ‘Bridge hand’ though, “intelligence” is being directly applied. I don’t think the human mind has any difficulty making this distinction. So, ‘no,’ distinguishing between “law-like” intelligence, and “final-end-oriented” intelligence, are not the same thing. To equate them would be literally to equivocate. (See #92 at the above link)

  3. 3
    Me_Think says:

    Why ID is a myth (till IDers provide some clue about the ID process):
    Many biological processes are temporal (Eg Protein Folding) so when a process needs guidance from Designer, it would send SOS message. No such message emanating from bio structures has been detected. The designer would have to control and guide the process inside the body through some force- no such fifth force has been detected in Nature yet, despite the fact that such force would have to be used millions of time by the Designer to control trillions of processes.

  4. 4
    PaV says:

    Me_Think:

    You state this:
    Many biological processes are temporal (Eg Protein Folding) so when a process needs guidance from Designer, it would send SOS message.

    Defend this position. Why is the statement you made true?

  5. 5
    Me_Think says:

    PaV @ 4,
    If a process needs to be guided by a designer, it is obvious, it has to signal that it needs to be guided, unless you believe the Designer is monitoring trillions of process in real time or that every possible combination of bio mechanical and bio chemical variables are front loaded somewhere in the body !

  6. 6
    Virgil Cain says:

    MT:

    If a process needs to be guided by a designer…

    Strawman. Computers apps are guided by the program and not the programmer.

    MT:

    Why ID is a myth (till IDers provide some clue about the ID process):

    LoL! Thank you for exposing your ignorance of science. Design is a top-down approach. We don’t even ask about the process or the designer until we have determined intelligent design exists.

    Many biological processes are temporal (Eg Protein Folding) so when a process needs guidance from Designer,

    LoL! Most proteins require chaperones to fold properly. You don’t even have a clue about basic biological processes.

  7. 7
    PaV says:

    Me_Think:

    If a process needs to be guided by a designer, it is obvious, it has to signal that it needs to be guided, . . .

    This is NOT an ID position. I’m not aware of anyone, any IDer, ever taking a position like this. So, as Virgil pointed out, it’s a “strawman” argument.

    I think you need to better inform yourself about what ID is about before you unilaterally assault its viewpoint. On the “home page” you’ll find—in the right hand columns—a number of fundamental ID positions and ideas laid out for you. Take a look at them.

  8. 8
    Me_Think says:

    PaV @ 7

    This is NOT an ID position. I’m not aware of anyone, any IDer, ever taking a position like this. So, as Virgil pointed out, it’s a “strawman” argument.

    I am aware that ID has never gone beyond ‘design detection’. No process has ever been proposed because IDers would have trouble defending any of the three possible processes – signalling, continuous monitoring or front loading.
    Joe @ 6

    Strawman. Computers apps are guided by the program and not the programmer.

    You mean Designer has an app to control processes which are above UPB ?

    LoL! Thank you for exposing your ignorance of science. Design is a top-down approach. We don’t even ask about the process or the designer until we have determined intelligent design exists.

    We know why you never go beyond CSI design detection !

    LoL! Most proteins require chaperones to fold properly. You don’t even have a clue about basic biological processes.

    Chaperones are being controlled by apps, which are being controlled by Designer?

  9. 9
    PaV says:

    Me_Think:

    I’ve been posting here for over 12 years. Do you really think that you can so easily come here and “spill the apple cart”?

    The ID position is all about DNA showing evidence of being “intelligently designed.” As do robots; as do automobiles.

    Is it the “designer” that is always at hand to make the “robot” work, as in R2D2? Or is it the wires, the chips, and, above all, the electricity that powers all of this designed equipment?

    Likewise, is it the “designer” who is always at work in the automobile, as in children’s cars? Or, is it the gasoline that fires the engine, which turns the generator brushes, which produces the electricity that runs its gauges, etc.?

    So, again I ask: how do you defend this statement:

    If a process needs to be guided by a designer, it is obvious, it has to signal that it needs to be guided, . . .

    Your previous attempt at an answer is not enough. Be more explicit in what you’re trying to say.

  10. 10
    John S says:

    Ok most of this article is over my head, but i did find one logical inconsistency:
    a) if sodium chloride crystals are an “ionic compound, which is a chemical compound comprising ions held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding”,
    and b) if mud pies “require a cause that explains what holds them together”,
    c) why do sodium chloride crystals NOT require a cause that explains what holds them together? Don’t electrostatic forces require an explanation, a cause?

    Everything requires a cause, a strictly materialistic universe cannot provide one by it’s nature. It rules out any cause before even considering evidence. Hence the ingenious ‘the universe is just there, and that’s all’ defense (aka jedi mind tricks). ID simply states the obvious, there is an uncaused cause.

  11. 11
    PaV says:

    JohnS:

    c) why do sodium chloride crystals NOT require a cause that explains what holds them together? Don’t electrostatic forces require an explanation, a cause?

    Ans: Because they follow predictable patterns. Science can’t tell you the “origin” of electro-magnetic forces; it simply describes them, and their effects. But these effects behave “laws”. And, hence, are predictable—or, at the least, the effects can be duplicated.

    ID simply states the obvious, there is an uncaused cause.

    While there is an “uncaused cause” for electro-magnetism (i.e., the “order” that is observed in electro-magnetic interactions, there is no known reason why these “laws” exist, and not different ones. This is all part of the “anthropic principle” argument/conundrum, and a separate argument, one that science simply leaves to the one side (otherwise, you see, you would have to discuss “philosophy,” and that is a dirty word to scientists. They’re threatened, you see.)

    Now, OTOH, if you saw a “sand sculpture” of a dolphin as you walked along the seashore, would you say to yourself: “Oh, some waves must have broken in just the right way and at the right time and sequence, and that’s how this “pattern” was formed.” Or, would you say to yourself: “I wonder who the artist was?”

    We can detect “intelligence” through improbable “patterns” being observed. DNA is such a “pattern.” And that’s what ID is about.

  12. 12
    PaV says:

    Me_Think:

    The library of resources has been moved from the upper right hand side to a tab on the home page surprisingly called “Resources.” Take a look there. Sorry for being a little behind the curve regarding the webpage content.

  13. 13
    Me_Think says:

    PaV @ 9
    Glad that you have been hanging on for over a decade, unlike some other long time member who has seen the light and has moved on.
    About the robot – you should know that it is a sort of ‘Front Loading’ but no one can cram all environmental variables and program for all the permutations and combinations of the variables. In the case of a robot, if there is no programming to interpret water body, it will be not be able to decide if it can wade through a water body. It will not be able to distinguish between shallow and deep water body. It would have to wait for the designer to intervene.
    About the Car – Well, if you have driven one, you know it needs constant inputs from you. Even autonomous cars can’t traverse chaotic traffic found in most part of world without intervention.

    ID claims certain processes , say, protein folding, is not possible without a designer . Unlike codons which dictates the sequence of amino acids, there is no code to fold a protein. So if Protein needs to fold in the absence of a code what would it do ? Simple it waits for the designer to find that it needs help, or sends a signal that it needs help. The former would require that the designer monitors the process continuously. Either way intervention from the designer is needed. So ID has to explain what force reaches inside the body and controls the process and how the designer gets to know that the protein is about to fold.

  14. 14
    Me_Think says:

    John S @ 1o

    ID simply states the obvious, there is an uncaused cause.

    How is saying there is an Uncaused Cause any different from saying ‘the universe is just there’? Both requires further explanation, but the meaning attributed to ‘Uncaused Cause’ stops you from exploring the word further.

  15. 15
    PaV says:

    Me_Think:

    You seem to be fixated on “front-loading.” But I must confess I don’t really see, or understand, what bothers you.

    The point about the car and the robot is that the intervention of intelligence isn’t everywhere needed: capabilities are “built in.”

    As to protein folding and chaperones, etc., it all comes down to quantum mechanical effects, which means we’re dealing with pure physics. All of this is “built in.”

    I’m wondering, is this “built in” character what you understand “front loading” to be? If it is, then that has to be clarified.

    As to my “hanging on,” I suppose you’re referring to Sal Cordova. He still is opposed to Darwinism, however. And, in fact, it is really the Darwinists who are “hanging on.”

    One final query: would you agree that a “robot” embodies “intelligence,” an intelligence that runs through it’s mechanical and electronic parts, and which is clearly the product of “design”?

  16. 16
    Virgil Cain says:

    Me_Think:

    ID claims certain processes , say, protein folding, is not possible without a designer

    LoL! ID doesn’t make such a claim.

    Do you ever get tired of erecting strawmen?

  17. 17
    Me_Think says:

    PaV @ 15,

    As to protein folding and chaperones, etc., it all comes down to quantum mechanical effects, which means we’re dealing with pure physics. All of this is “built in.”

    Thanks for accepting ID position is wrong.(In case you didn’t know, ID doesn’t consider Protien folding a pure physics : http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90541.html). This is what the article states:

    To remain materialists, they have to assume that “there is no other viable choice”:
    Yes, there is another viable choice. It’s intelligent design.

    Now, what about two or more simultaneous mutations ? Do you agree that too could be explained by bio-chemical, bio-mechanical or quantum mechanical effects ?

    One final query: would you agree that a “robot” embodies “intelligence,” an intelligence that runs through it’s mechanical and electronic parts, and which is clearly the product of “design”?

    Yes, Of course.

  18. 18
    Virgil Cain says:

    Protein folding is not pure physics. If it was then prions could not alter the structure of existing proteins. And genetic engineering would be more successful.

  19. 19
    Me_Think says:

    Virgil Cain @ 18

    Protein folding is not pure physics. If it was then prions could not alter the structure of existing proteins. And genetic engineering would be more successful.

    Well, PaV has been posting for 12 years. I am not sure how long you have been posting here. Either PaV is right or you are right. In any case, I believe no one in ID camp understands their own stance.

  20. 20
    Virgil Cain says:

    Well Me_Think the mere fact that some so-called silent mutations cause problems for protein formation makes my point very well. Many genetic engineering experiments have ended in failure because the resulting polypeptide, although of correct sequence, either didn’t fold or didn’t fold properly.

    In any case, I believe no one in ID camp understands their own stance.

    LoL! It is clear that you are just a strawman creator out on a fishing trip.

  21. 21
    GaryGaulin says:

    Stacy Trasancos asks:

    If 1) certain molecules provide the best evidence for a Designer; and if

    If the basic circuit systematics of genetic systems identical to that of our brain provides scientific evidence for intelligent cause (Designer); and if

    2) the “primordial Fiat Lux, uttered at the moment when, along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, while the particles of chemical elements split and formed into millions of galaxies” is inductive evidence for the Creator; and if

    the mass of the universe was all still present at the singularity event (not “burst forth from nothing”) there was more of a “zero crossing” as in an AC wave is scientific evidence for re-creation twice per cycle; and if

    3) we can agree that atoms and the orchestration of all their subatomic particles guiding the physical and chemical interactions of matter and energy throughout the universe can be described as intelligently designed…

    we can agree that atoms and the orchestration of all their subatomic particles guiding the physical and chemical interactions of matter and energy throughout the universe can be described as the “Behavior of Matter”…

    …then how can anything within the legitimate purview of science not be intelligently designed?

    …then how can a NS free scientific model (click my name above for link to models and theory) to explain how “intelligent cause” works as per the premise for the “theory of intelligent design” that is within the legitimate purview of science need any of your philosophizing?

    The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

  22. 22
    PaV says:

    Me_Think:

    Now, what about two or more simultaneous mutations ? Do you agree that too could be explained by bio-chemical, bio-mechanical or quantum mechanical effects ?

    Where are you going with this argument? You seem to be laboring under the notion that ID thinks everything magically happened. Of course there is a material substrate to life. This is a given.

    What’s at stake here is not whether supernatural power is involved that makes them come into existence out of nowhere, but whether the arrangement of coding DNA, e.g., is changed via “natural” and “random” processes, or whether it is via intelligent agency.

    You seem to believe that ID postulates “magic.” Again, try to wrestle some more with what ID actually stands for.

    A laser works via quantum mechanical effects; but it is, of course, intelligently designed. There is no opposition between the two.

    The real question about two mutations occurring simultaneously is all about the “probability” of this occurring. What is the probability? Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” shows that it is quite low. He uses actual data, data from a real-life historical experiment, if you will. The whole ID argument surrounds the incredible improbability of ordering the DNA molecule via random processes. So beef up on that.

  23. 23
    GaryGaulin says:

    PaV says:

    You seem to believe that ID postulates “magic.” Again, try to wrestle some more with what ID actually stands for.

    Although this may seem like a dumb question I must ask you what “ID postulates” exactly?

    You should only need one sentence. Copy/paste is OK.

  24. 24
    PaV says:

    Gary Gaulin:

    ID postulates that the presence of highly improbable, non-law-like specified complexity is an unerring sign of intelligent design.

  25. 25
    GaryGaulin says:

    PaV:

    ID postulates that the presence of highly improbable, non-law-like specified complexity is an unerring sign of intelligent design.

    Show me where that premise appears in the Discovery Institute webpage for the Theory of Intelligent Design:

    http://www.discovery.org/id/fa.....gentDesign

  26. 26
    PaV says:

    GaryGaulin:

    You asked me a question. I gave you an answer.

  27. 27
    GaryGaulin says:

    PaV:

    You asked me a question. I gave you an answer.

    You gave me answer that proves you do not even care what the premise of the “theory of intelligent design” actually is.

    Please stop representing the theory. You are only helping to disgrace it.

  28. 28
    Origenes says:

    GaryGaulin,

    PaV: ID postulates that the presence of highly improbable, non-law-like specified complexity is an unerring sign of intelligent design.

    GaryGaulin: Show me where that premise appears in the Discovery Institute webpage for the Theory of Intelligent Design:
    http://www.discovery.org/id/fa.....gentDesign

    What’s the matter with you Gary? PaV is perfectly right of course. This is basic stuff. And the premise is right there on that Discovery Institute webpage:

    The form of information which we observe is produced by intelligent action, and thus reliably indicates design, is generally called “specified complexity” or “complex and specified information” (CSI).

  29. 29
    GaryGaulin says:

    Origenes:

    What’s the matter with you Gary? PAV is perfectly right of course. This is basic stuff.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-600021

  30. 30
    GaryGaulin says:

    Origenes:

    And the premise is right there on that page:

    The Discovery Institute page says quote:

    Questions about Intelligent Design

    1. What is the theory of intelligent design?

    The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

    You must think I’m an ignorant dimwit.

    The above sentence clearly does NOT say “ID postulates that the presence of highly improbable, non-law-like specified complexity is an unerring sign of intelligent design.”

  31. 31
    RexTugwell says:

    To all readers of UD: raise your hand if you clicked on GaryGaulin’s name and found his Theory of Intelligent Design convincing.

  32. 32
    Me_Think says:

    PaV @ 22

    The whole ID argument surrounds the incredible improbability of ordering the DNA molecule via random processes. So beef up on that

    ID argument is that lot of processes are improbable, not just ordering of DNA. My question is how does the designer take care of those improbable processes?
    For Eg Behe claims simultaneous 2 point mutation is impossible.So how does the designer guide the mutation inside the body? Obviously there isn’t a code for simultaneous mutation.
    Axe claims new protein structure search is impossible in landscape because the peaks are too high. Ok, so how does the designer help in the search – does he intervene using external, unseen force ? There isn’t an inbuilt code for impossible searches.
    Stephen Meyer claims Cambrian explosion is impossible. So did the designer appear during the Cambrian period to create new species ‘rapidly’ ?

  33. 33
    Virgil Cain says:

    Me_Think:

    ID argument is that lot of processes are improbable, not just ordering of DNA. My question is how does the designer take care of those improbable processes?

    The improbable processes only pertain to materialistic processes. Intentional agencies can manipulate nature for a purpose.

    For Eg Behe claims simultaneous 2 point mutation is impossible.

    He doesn’t say that.

  34. 34
    PaV says:

    GaryGaulin:

    You’re being silly. I’m not going to waste time and energy on silliness. Sorry.

  35. 35
    PaV says:

    Me_Think:

    Virgil has answered in the very same way as I would have answered.

    As to this, though:
    My question is how does the designer take care of those improbable processes?

    If you’re asking how the “Creator” interacts with “creation,” that is something that lies outside of the bounds of science. And, so, ID has no answer for that.

    OTOH, there are many atheist/agnostic scientists who invoke some extra-terrestial intelligence/power as the originators of life. That’s the answer they would provide you. And, I suppose, they would think they were being “scientific” in giving you this answer.

    And, then, of course, there are atheists who are IDers. Who don’t exert themselves over just how the “work” of intelligence was carried out, but content themselves, instead, with the “fact” that intelligence is able to be detected.

  36. 36
    Me_Think says:

    Virgil Cain @ 33

    For Eg Behe claims simultaneous 2 point mutation is impossible.
    He doesn’t say that.

    Most of Behe’s ‘Edge of Evolution’ book is about resistance to chloroquine and impossibility of two simultaneous mutations.

  37. 37
    Me_Think says:

    PaV @ 35

    OTOH, there are many atheist/agnostic scientists who invoke some extra-terrestial intelligence/power as the originators of life. That’s the answer they would provide you. And, I suppose, they would think they were being “scientific” in giving you this answer

    Extraterrestrial intelligence and Panspermia are minority view of OOL researchers. In any case, they don’t hypothesize that intelligent power interacts with its creation to guide and manipulate ‘improbable’ processes.

  38. 38
    RexTugwell says:

    Me_Think

    Most of Behe’s ‘Edge of Evolution’ book is about resistance to chloroquine and impossibility of two simultaneous mutations

    That is an outright falsehood! Back up what you said with quotes and page numbers or retract it. If ID isn’t as accepted as Darwinian evolution, it’s because of lies, strawmen and the complete inability of its opponents to grasp a simple thesis like that found in The Edge of Evolution.

    Behe states just the opposite: two simultaneous mutations are indeed possible; 4 or 5 are possible with enormous populations. THAT’S THE EDGE OF EVOLUTION! GET IT?

  39. 39
    Me_Think says:

    RexTugwell @ 38

    Behe states just the opposite: two simultaneous mutations are indeed possible; 4 or 5 are possible with enormous populations. THAT’S THE EDGE OF EVOLUTION! GET IT?

    Rex, even a Evolution supporter would hesitate to say 4 or 5 simultaneous mutation is possible !!
    I wrote my comments based on multiple reviews (including reviews on Pro-ID site) of the book.
    Here is a review from
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution :

    From this observation, Behe calculates, using the estimates of Plasmodium population numbers and generations provided by evolutionists, the probability of resistance requiring two mutations to occur where one is not helpful. One in 10^20 parasites will have chloroquine resistance (p. 59). A very sick person will have 10^12 parasites and if a billion people per year were infected, this gives 10^21 parasites, which means we would expect at least one person per year to be infected by a parasite that has acquired resistance to chloroquine. These calculations are consistent with the observed resilience of chloroquine.Behe calculates, assuming the evolutionary timescale (which he does not question), the maximum total number of humans since the supposed split from chimps as 10^12 individuals. Therefore it would take a billion years to have a chance of getting a double mutation like that needed for chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium. In other words, anything more difficult than this would never happen in a human-like organism

    This one is from http://ncse.com/rncse/27/1-2/review-edge-evolution

    In animal populations, such as vertebrates, with many fewer numbers and much longer generation times, an adaptive change that requires at least two simultaneous mutations would be so improbable as to be evolutionarily insignificant. Here, he claims to have found the “edge of evolution,” jumping to the conclusion that “No mutation that is of the same complexity as chloroquine resistance in malaria arose by Darwinian evolution in the line leading to humans in the past ten million years” (p 61, emphasis in original) Throughout the remainder of the book, Behe uses the evolution of chloroquine resistance as a theoretical boundary beyond which random mutation coupled with natural selection cannot extend

  40. 40
    PaV says:

    Me_Think:

    Extraterrestrial intelligence and Panspermia are minority view of OOL researchers. In any case, they don’t hypothesize that intelligent power interacts with its creation to guide and manipulate ‘improbable’ processes.

    “Minority” they may be; but, they exist.

    Therefore, your second statement is rendered moot. ID doesn’t go so far as to “hypothesize that intelligent power interacts with its creation . . ..” It says: “We can identify the work of intelligence.” It’s up to you to decide whether that intelligence is of an ET, or of a demigod, or of God. But, what ID does point to in all of this is…………….Darwinian evolution makes no sense.

  41. 41
    RexTugwell says:

    MT @ 39 based on your reply, it’s very clear Behe never said 2 simultaneous point mutations are impossible. Certainly rare even in a population of 10^20 and less so in populations of larger organisms. Is Chloroquine resistance within the edge of evolution? Of course! Is the rise of a multi-protein molecular machine like the spliceosome within the edge? Me Think Not.

    As I am traveling today, I cannot now give your comment the reply it requires but I have much more to add later.

  42. 42
    GaryGaulin says:

    Rex I only want to see your scientific explanation for how “intelligent cause” works, not more excuses.

  43. 43
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Gary,

    Had a quick look at your PDF. You seem to agree with the claim that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, while re-defining “intelligent” to mean (roughly) “capable of learning and remembering smart strategies and of updating its estimates of a strategy’s likelihood of success, and capable of implementing strategies rated as likely to succeed, in systems under its control.” You also credit even assemblages of molecules with this kind of intelligence, and suggest that the origin of life could be accounted for in this way. It sounds rather like James Shapiro’s theory of natural (or self-guided) genetic engineering, to me, except that you’ve proposed a memory mechanism for how it might work.

    As regards the origin of life, my reaction is one of skepticism. To see why, I suggest you read this paper by Dr. Douglas Axe. There are certain probability chasms that can’t be crossed by incremental learning.

  44. 44
    GaryGaulin says:

    Thanks VJ, the latest computer model has in it the network that in ourselves maps out the environment we see or imagine in order to ahead of time plan multiple actions needed to get from one place or situation to another. I sense that our genetic system has similar networking but it’s too early to scientifically know for sure either way. If true then at least gamete cells have a brain as complex or more than the one in our skull that thinks generations ahead, while recollecting billions of years of what it in the past learned.

    Adding the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex areas of our brain allows planning that takes visualization of many actions required to get from one thing to another. Without it the critter is limited to what could be described as an “incremental learning” that is unable to plan a route around the invisible shock zone to the back then anxiously await for what it wants to be in the clear, or other task that requires planning a series of actions to safely arrive at a final goal (either real or imagined attractor) that attracts it.

    It’s hard for me to predict what a genetic system would end up containing for a self-description of itself in the environment but where such a network were added that would most certainly develop. We would have to be it to fully relate to its experience. It would though want the same things we “deep down” want, keep working towards that in offspring that the gamete cells have some control over.

    In either case “intelligent cause” exists in biology. The only question now is how much like our conscious brain our other two (including cellular) intelligence levels are. And the only way to scientifically answer that is with a scientific model to show what to look for happening inside cells. It’s what a science organization claiming to be developing theory to explain that process is responsible for providing. Even for those who agree hearing the hunches based on “probability chasms” or whatever are annoying to hear repeated year after year. I need and deserve to see a real model to explain how the “probability chasms” were crossed. Just telling me they are there only tells me what I already knew.

  45. 45
    PaV says:

    GaryGaulin:

    I need and deserve to see a real model to explain how the “probability chasms” were crossed. Just telling me they are there only tells me what I already knew.

    First, let me point out: you don’t “deserve,” to see a real model, while, I’m sure, you would “like” to see a real model.

    Second: you wrote: “In either case ‘intelligent cause’ exists in biology.”

    But “intelligent cause,” as you are using it and looking at it, is not the same as “intelligent design.” Is a ‘program’ the same as a ‘programmer’, or a code language?

    If you want a “real model,” then I would suggest that the “probability chasms” were crossed as they are always crossed–via intelligence. And, if you’re looking for a parallel, or an analogous situation, then I would look to see how computer programmers solve their problems: i.e., the ways in which they infuse “information” into their programs.

  46. 46
    GaryGaulin says:

    In case anyone missed the additional information in this comment:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-600169

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