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Back to Basics of ID

BTB, RVB8 vs deplorably “lazy” ID-iots who “deny science” and insist on trying to “detect a designer”

UD News’ Walking dead thread offers an opportunity to address some common talking points and/or assumptions of many objectors to design. In this case, I replied to some key claims by RVB8, at 21 in the thread: [KF, 21:] >>I see your intended sting in the tail at 18 above: Actual experiments to detect a designer? Impossible. It seems, that we deplorable lightweight IDiots need to take a few moments to explore some more BTB . . . back to basics. In the scientific study of origins and similar observation- of- traces contexts, experiment is not possible in the sense of say re-running the actual past. (And computer simulations, never mind execrable abuses of language, are not experiments nor are Read More ›

BTB, Answering the “ID is Religion/Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” talking point

For many years, atheistical objectors — often, taking a cue from ruthless advocacy groups such as the NCSE and/or ACLU etc — have been tempted to dismiss ID as “Religion” or “Creationism,” and this long since answered point still occasionally crops up here at UD. (Unfortunately, even when it is not explicit, it is often an implicit rhetorical filter that warps understanding of what ID supporters, thinkers and scientists say; with an underlying insinuation of lying on our part. Which, for cause, I take very personally, as one who has repeatedly put life — when you deal with Communists . . . — and career on the line on matters of truth; for decades. Where, too, the very ease with Read More ›

BTB: Induction, falsificationism, scientific paradigms and ID vs Evo Mat

In the Induction thread, we have continued to explore inductive logic, science and ID vs Evolutionary Materialism. Among the key points raised (with the help of Hilary Putnam)  is the issue that while Popper sees himself as opposed to induction, it is arguable that instead he has actually (against his intent) brought it back in once we reckon with the need for trusted theories to be used in practical contexts, and once we explore the implications of corroboration and success “so far” with “severe testing.” As comment 48 observed: >> . . . Hilary Putnam [notes, in an article on the Corroboration of theories], regarding Popper’s corroboration and inductive reasoning: . . . most readers of Popper read his account Read More ›

Back to Basics of ID: Induction, scientific reasoning and the design inference

In the current VJT thread on 31 scientists who did not follow methodological naturalism, it has been noteworthy that objectors have studiously avoided addressing the basic warrant for the design inference.  Since this is absolutely pivotal but seems to be widely misunderstood or even dismissed without good reason, it seems useful to summarise this for consideration. This having been done at comment 170 in the thread, it seems further useful to headline it and invite discussion: _________________ >>F/N: It seems advisable to again go back to basics, here, inductive reasoning and why it has significance in scientific work; which then has implications for the design inference. A good point to begin is IEP in its article on induction and deduction Read More ›

FYI-FTR: Luke Barnes on Fine Tuning and the case of the fine structure constant

It seems there is now a talking-point agenda to dismiss the fine tuning issue as an illusion. So, in the current thread on the big bang and fine tuning, I have clipped and commented on a recent article by Luke Barnes. However, comments cannot put up images [save through extraordinary steps], so it is first worth showing Barnes’ key illustration, as showing where fine tuning comes in, updating Hoyle’s remark about the C-O balance first key fine tuning issue put on the table in 1953: Let me also headline my comment, no. 77 in the thread: >>Luke Barnes has a useful semi-pop summary: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/…..tures-laws Today, our deepest understanding of the laws of nature is summarized in a set of equations. Read More ›

BA77 and a vid on FOXP “1/2/3” molecular trees vs Dawkins’ claim of “You get the same family tree”

BA77 often posts clips of citations and links here at UD. After a recent noticeable break (we missed you), he has just [–> correction: he posted in a thread some time ago which just got a comment from TJG . . . ]  posted a link to a video on objections to prof Dawkins’ claims that FOXP 2 (let me be exact) etc trees give the same structure: [youtube IfFZ8lCn5uU] Key clips include a transcript: Plus, several family trees, such as FOXP1, showing: With FOXP2: FOXP3: The three trees seem to be quite divergent, one putting chimps with squirrels and the like, another putting gorillas on a different branch, and only one putting the three on neighbouring twigs. This seems Read More ›

Back to Basics: Understanding the Design Inference

This is prompted primarily by a recent post and by the unfortunate realization that some people still do not understand the design inference, despite years of involvement in the debate. Specifically, there was discussion at Barry’s prior post about whether Elizabeth Liddle admits that “biological design inferences” may be valid in principle. Over 200 comments appeared on the prior thread, including a fair amount of back and forth between Barry, Elizabeth and me, all of which may be worth reviewing for those who are interested. However, the primary takeaway from that thread is that we need another back-to-basics primer on intelligent design – specifically, what the design inference is and how it works. Yes, I know regular readers have a great Read More ›

ID and the Overton Window/ BATNA/ March of Folly issue . . .

The parable of Plato’s Cave in The Republic — vid: [youtube d2afuTvUzBQ] . . . is a classic point of departure for discussions of true vs false enlightenment, education, worldviews, liberty and manipulative sociocultural agendas or power games that open up marches of folly. ( I think Acts 27 still has the best classical case study on how democratic polities and/or decision makers can all too easily be led into such ill advised marches.) March of folly? Yes: Of course, with a US Election cycle in full swing as the number one media story for the year, such is obviously highly relevant to anyone interested in public policy or geostrategic issues. But, these issues are also highly relevant to the Read More ›

BTB, 4: Evolutionary Materialism as “fact, Fact, FACT” and its self-falsifying self-referential incoherence

One of the challenges commonly met with in re-thinking origins science from a perspective open to design, is that the evolutionary materialist narrative is too often presented as fact (not explanation), and there is also a typical failure to recognise that materialist ideology cannot be properly imposed on science. Likewise, there is a pattern of failing to address the issue of the self-falsifying self-referential incoherence of such materialism. It is appropriate to highlight these issues through this basics series. In this case, we have a live case in point, here: GD, 173: >>There are some parts of evolutionary theory that are so well supported that they can be considered facts. Widespread (if not necessarily universal) common ancestry. Mutation, selection, and Read More ›

BTB, 3: What is “Intelligent Design” (ID)? Is it “scientific”?

It does not take a lot of familiarity to know that a common and widely repeated accusation against ID is that it is “creationism in a cheap tuxedo,” that it tries to smuggle the strictly verboten “supernatural” into scientific thought on origins, and that it is a god-of-the-gaps appeal to ignorance by way of we don’t know what happened so goddidit. In fact, every one of these assertions is false — and in light of easily accessible corrective facts and cogent argument, such are little more than a strawman tactic. (But in a day of widespread, conscience benumbed, en-darkened intellectually blind sociopathic evil where ruthless agit-prop, spin tactics and message dominance too often subvert duties of care to fairness, accuracy, Read More ›

BTB, 2: But, do DNA and the living cell contain functionally specific complex organisation and associated information?

First, let’s see: And again, here is Crick in his March 19, 1953 letter to his son on his discovery: Notice, how emphatic Crick is: “. . . we believe that the D.N.A. is a code . . . “ Obviously leading scientists agree that DNA reflects coded information that is used in identifiable communication networks in the living cell. (Specifically, machine code that controls protein synthesis in the Ribosome: Zooming out a bit: And looking at the wider metabolic network, we see functionally specific, complex organisation aplenty: So, the presence of FSCO/I, for short (including coded information), should not even be an issue. It is therefore perhaps a back-handed sign of the strength of this point y Quastler: . Read More ›

FYI-FTR (& BTB, 1a): A headlined response to LM: “you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer”

It has now been over a day since I responded to the above, and though LM has further commented in the thread, he has studiously refused to respond to the corrective. It is therefore appropriate to speak here for record, and in so doing it is necessary to point out the implications of LM’s speaking with disregard to truth he knows or should know, in hopes of profiting from what he said or suggested being taken as true. First, here is Dr Stephen Meyer in a readily accessible seminar, outlining the scientific case that has led him and others to champion the design inference as both legitimately scientific and in any case as a reasonably warranted view: [youtube b7Vf6MvBiz8] Let’s Read More ›

BTB, 1: Information, organisation, complexity & design

It is time to move on from preliminary logical considerations to key foundational issues relevant to design theory. Of these, the challenge of complexity, information and functionally specific organisation is first and foremost. Hence this post. We live in a technological age, and one that increasingly pivots around information. One in which we are surrounded by trillions of technological entities showing how what we can describe as functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information (FSCO/I for short) is a characteristic result and highly reliable indicator of intelligently directed configuration. That is, of design. For simple illustration, we may examine the exploded view of a 6500 C3 baitcasting reel: . . . which shows the characteristic pattern of a network of Read More ›

Back to ID Basics, 0: The distinct identity, “A is itself, A = A” challenge

It is time to get back to basics (BTB henceforth) on ID, but as step zero, we have to set first principles of right reason straight. For instance, it seems that — once we are certain that we can be certain of nothing falls apart in absurdity — the fallback position on the issue of distinct identity is that it is only about an empty tautology, A = A that sets up a tiresome little game we call logic, when we would rather be playing another game, Science . . . actually, a priori Evolutionary Materialist Scientism and/or its fellow travellers. (Now, I know I know, this is not about the scientific specifics that some crave getting back to the Read More ›