Question for believers in ID.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Dinosaur, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    The genes. And secondarily the organisms that those genes produce.
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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Rain doesn't fall for the flowers - rain just falls.
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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    yet in the absence of water there is not even the possibility of plastic flowers (which also require designers btw ...)
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  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    meh ... as if genes can be benefited in some independent state outside of organisms ... kind of like saying a surgical procedure was a success although the patient died
  8. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    ID is dead, by the above, and so any continued support of it is but blather that ignores the contradiction brought about by the change of direction in mid stream. This show that identifying a 'God' of ID or any 'God' was of a simplistic, simpleton assessment that couldn't even get beyond itself.
  9. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    Look at an image of it taken through a microscope and you will see what the 'propeller' really is. You are behind the times.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  10. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Design is like porn... No one can define it, but they know it when they see it.

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  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Ah - quoting the Supreme Court, if I'm not mistaken. Hah! Now you'll go down in history as perhaps the first person ever to relate porn to ID. Up to this point, it's most likely been relegated to post-creation issues... I'm thinking here of say, a comic, who might go too far into the gory details of licentiousness leading up to point that people were being turned into pillars of salt!

    Your point is well taken. Without a clear definition, it should be immediately obvious whether the thing was designed or not. I think I would sooner say the atoms were designed than anything else (of course I don't). It makes no sense to arbitrarily pick something that happens to look complicated and declare that it was designed. How complicated is it to "create" a pillar of salt? It's easy enough to do, until you tell me you're giving me a bucket of subatomic particles and a cosmic trowel. Then I'm going to have a hell of a time building your salt. But the creationist mind doesn't see that, and immediately jumps to the conclusion that a cell is so much more complicated, that organization or complexity can't flow from lower, simpler or more disorganized forms. Yet the stars build heavier atoms out of hydrogen. Hence, we're stuck less certain of the definition, as you say, than of the obvious evidence.

    And it's obvious that life arose out of complex molecules that were forged naturally, just as the stars forge atoms. There's not a trace of "intent" in any of this.
  12. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    This would be a good subject for a thread in biology. There are some purely logical problems with your reasoning, though. You begin with a bare subjective statement, that things must be designed if they seem so. You give the example of a flagellum, without saying why you think it looks designed. If you mean it is functional toward providing locomotion, or (as in sponges) transporting water, that's fine. Scientists would explain that nature provides function, and does so without a mind. We can go though plenty of examples if you like. But the reason that it can't be intelligently designed, is the opposite of "it seems so". Nothing seems to be happening now which is magic. It didn't seem so yesterday, or any other day, therefore magic can't exist because it never seemed to. More rigorously, though, the laws of nature can't be overturned. We may not understand them fully, but scientific knowledge is monotonically increasing with time. Magic is not. And belief in magic would appear to be declining with time. Given the best evidence, then, and with a little proper logic and inference, we can say ID can't have happened simply because there is no such thing as magic. We can, if you like, define magic as "suspension of the laws of nature".

    I wonder what that percentage that is. At one time, before Isaac Asimov invented science fiction, and there were no perceptions of aliens (except for a few rare thinkers) any extra-terrestrial being was considered a god. More precisely, gods were ETs. But creationism is almost a purely American fundamentalist phenomenon, a product of the Anabaptist movement, spread through tent revivals since the pioneer days. These folks are quintessentially religious. I think to cast it differently today is a kind of historical revisionism. Living across the pond, you may have been spared a lot of the maudlin religiosity these folks exude. Their contempt for science is - well - contemptible. In any case, they are strictly religious. Literally.

    I think it's pretty clear this is what religious people believe, particularly Christians, and it explains in part why they are so resistant (fundamentalist creationists, that is) to science. The stumbling block for a person such as myself is your statement "And the answer is quite simple. At some point there must be an original cause responsible for everything". In science we learn that causality breaks down as you approach the Big Bang from the future looking backward in time, and as you approach very closely to the moment time itself was created. As counterintuitive as this may seem, it's the kind of analysis that allows us to see how anything may begin (such as particles that blink in and out of existence). We can grasp this without inventing, out of nowhere, a "persona" to be the cause -- which requires magic and a host of other untenable ideas (such as a cosmic mind) that go beyond the counterintuitive and into the murky realm of superstition.

    The worst problem of all is that the notion emanates from ancient societies who invented gods to explain phenomena for which they had no science. If for some other reason humankind had stumbled onto this it might be at the threshold of plausibility. But superstition knocks it out of the ballpark. I think scientists who simply answer that science can make no decisions about God are being too generous. They ought to put their foot down and insist that nothing handed down from ancient superstition is reasonably on the table of an informed mind during this discourse. We should all agree to follow best evidence. Best evidence is that "Nature's got laws", as the song goes, and that's our starting point. ID involves magic, which violates this basic principle, so we have to conclude it's invalid. But, like I said, it began on a gravely invalid premise, one that originated in ancient superstition, so it shouldn't have been entertained in the first place.

    That's largely up to the creationists who are claiming they can tell that something was designed or not. Give it the Pepsi test and they will fail. You suggested that a flagellum is evidence. But I see no more evidence in a flagellum than in a rock. What do you suggest? Some folks argue that structure and symmetry alone constitute such evidence. But considering what that rock went though to become what it is today, if you were to see a particle of it under an electron microscope, you could arbitrarily decide "no, wait, that's too complex. It must be designed". And here I'm thinking of the high symmetry and structure in a crystal lattice. All the while, as people are behaving like this, the universe presses forward, science captures more and more of an understanding of its inner workings, and this entire ideation fades farther and farther into the past where it began, back to the deep dark roots of primal fear, reactive superstition, and somebody with a wet clay tablet and a stick. One of the smarter ones.
  13. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Taking religion out of the mix is like unscrambling the eggs after they're cooked. History can't be undone. The creationist "school" (an insult to the concept) originated in response to the teaching of evolution, around the time of the Scopes trial. We can talk about the history of creationism if you like, but we're referring to a more specific syndrome than what you describe.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    You tried to avoid the issue rather than responding to the point I made. That strikes me as disingenous.

    If you fudge your responses, I guess you can always avoid facing facts.

    It's difficult to generalise. And we need to distiguish some of the "leaders" of the ID "movement" from the general population of ID "believers". I think it would be quite fair to say that some of the proponents of ID know that ID isn't science, but that hasn't stopped them pushing it anyway. For example, take Michael Behe, who greatly advanced the cause of ID with his book Darwin's Black Box. He gave evidence for the ID side in the Dover trial - evidence that was thoroughly discredited. The judgment is a good read, by the way. It's online. But I don't think that has stopped him promoting ID.

    I don't see how making people happy is relevant to whether a scientific theory is true or not.

    Another attempt at distraction by you. My statement stands unrefuted.

    More distraction from you. We're not talking about "some kind of teleology" here. We're talking specifically about the movement that calls itself "Intelligent Design". That is a specific contention put forward as a scientific theory, not a vague philosophical notion.

    I have no idea what you're on about.

    If atheists think that religion is harmful, then it makes sense that they will speak out against it and urge people not to partake of it. Agree?

    You really have no idea?

    It has to do with the integrity of the scientific project. Science rejecting ID is the same as science rejecting pyramid power or free energy or perpetual motion or the flat earth.

    Pseudoscience is crap dressed in the clothes of science. It aims to gain credibility by rubbing it off from the credibility that legitimate science has. ID is a religious doctrine disguised as science.
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Jan Ardena:

    I have no problem with saying that the bacterial flagellum looks designed. I'd say you look designed. But the fact is that both it and you are products of biological evolution - a natural process.

    Regarding the flagellum, the big deal about that in the ID movement was that Michael Behe set it up as an example of supposed "irreducible complexity". He claimed that there was no way that it could conceivably have evolved by natural processes. This claim was quickly proved wrong by those pesky evolutionists, who showed exactly how the flagellum is not irreducibly complex.

    This doesn't disprove intelligent design, of course; it merely shows that if intelligent design is true, the bacterial flagellum is not an example of it.

    There's good evidence, from their own mouths in some cases, that the main proponents of ID have no other Designer in mind other than their God.

    Infinite regress, for one.

    An intelligent designer must be more complex than the thing he designed. And he himself would then seem to require an even more complex designer. So, it's desigers all the way down, is it?

    That's just it: there doesn't seem to be any.

    Well, if you're talking about life, evolution is a somewhat limited process. It can't simply follow any path at random. It is constrained. So, if you can find an example of life that couldn't have evolved via the allowed natural mechanisms, then you're probably on your way to proving intelligent design.
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    The issue is not one of "it can't be designed by intelligence"... but rather that the supposed evidence does not support that it MUST be designed by intelligence.
    One can not disprove ID - only the individual claims that its proponents put forward such that there is no need to invoke an Intelligent Designer to explain those things.

    But when ID is used in relation to the origin of life, it is not just in reference to life on our planet but ALL life... and "highly advanced race of aliens" merely pushes the issue of ID a stage further back... do the aliens not look designed? Who designed them? etc.
    So no, it is very much an issue of religion since it relies on the unwarranted regressional cut-off that "God" seemingly provides.

    Why must there have been an original cause rather than an infinite regress? What caused the original cause to act?
    And why must this original cause, even if one accepts it as a premise for the sake of argument, be "intelligent"?
    And if it is "intelligent", how can it be so when there was nothing to cause it to be intelligent?
    It is an unneeded redundancy in the explanation of our universe.
    Sure - and the problem is "Why do people feel the need to invoke ID rather than admit there are some things that we simply don't / won't know?"
    I am not aware there is any evidence that rationally leads me to conclude on an intelligent designer.
    By investigating the causes that gave rise to the object, and whether - at any stage we are capable of investigating - an intelligence was required for it to be as it is, or whether natural causes seem to be sufficient.
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    It appears to be a general human trait to have the urge to eschew ignorance and to aspire to know.

    How this urge is acted upon and what the results of that action are is another matter, but it remains that the urge is there.
    We're not okay with not knowing.
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I am just pointing out the importance of definitions, and the importance of keeping with them.

    Like the other poster said: As if the only thing that would matter is that the operation was done well, and it is irrelevant whether the patient died on the operation table.

    The ideas of ID are not nearly as alien as some critics of ID try to present them as.

    Again, that the ideas of ID are not nearly as alien as some critics of ID try to present them as.

    Why do they think it is harmful?

    And yet the basic tenets of science cannot be shown to be scientific ...


    Hard rain can be considered as detrimental to flowers only if we work out of the assumption that flowers should survive and not be destroyed. So why should flowers survive and not be destroyed?

    The dinosaurs would probably disagree.
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    The point is in place.

    I've been talking about that all along, but you ignored some of my posts.
    A while back, I even privately alerted you to this same issue, and you ignored that too.

    One cannot discuss anything unless one first settles on some definitions of terms.

    Suppose God is defined as "First Cause" or "Original Being," as is a very common definition of "God" among theists.

    If this is the definition one works with, one cannot then ask "And where did God come from?" and still think one is being consistent.

    If atheists say that they accept the definitions of "God" that are commonly proposed by theists, then the atheists don't really have anything to work with or object to.
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Looking at the world, and trying to think of it as being the product of an intelligent designer - my intuitive reply is that the intelligence designing this world would have to be a malevolent one.

    If you look at this world, and notice that it is those who cast the first stone that are considered righteous; that those who lie, project, steal get to get ahead in life. That so much suffering and harm is done in the name of God.
    No, intuitively, I don't consider that an intelligent - and benevolent - designer would create such a world in which everything seems up-side down.
    More below.

    Sure, and it ties in with the problem of theodicy, in its variations.
    And the personal is what is important: because the personal is where and how we function, where and how we live and experience our lives.

    I neither believe nor disbelieve in intelligent design and other explanations that propose some kind of teleology (such as the theory of evolution).

    To me, such explanations are a matter of interpretation, and that interpretation is guided by a particular intention, assuming a particular purpose.

    When I look at people, animals, plants, things, they don't look designed, or non-designed to me.
    I can conceive of them as "designed" if I am working with a particular purpose in mind; and I can conceive of them as "non-designed" if I am working with some other particular purpose in mind.

    To me, it all seems open to interpretation, and I don't understand how IDers and their critics can take sides the way they do.

    Unless you can actually read minds, what you say is mere speculation.

    That said, from a theistic perspective, those people who identify themselves as "atheists," are still God's children, parts and parcels of God.
    So I think that a theist cannot just dismiss them or treat them harshly.
  21. Balerion Banned Banned

    The function of the flower is to grow and spread its seed. There is no agency implied in this function, and yet hard rain can be detrimental to it. You don't have to assume anything.

    Really? Take a second and think about a little more. Why would dinosaurs disagree with the statement "The extinction of dinosaurs was beneficial to mammals?"
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    And flowers come with tags on them, in English, saying "My function as a flower is to grow and spread my seed" -?

    You imply that agency.

    Assuming that dinosaurs, like so many other living beings, would prefer to live than to die, they'd take issue with anything that would obstruct that.
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

    Would it make things easier on you if they did?

    And why is the language so important to you? You could get translation software on the cheap, I'm sure.

    No, I don't. You simply don't understand the concepts we're discussing, as usual.

    What does that have to do with their extinction being beneficial to mammals? In what way does their preference to live impact whether or not their death was beneficial to mammals?

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