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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 25048  
Subject: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 1:38 PM
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Based on Paul's posts and a recent email from bdhinton, it is clear that there is a substantial misunderstanding of ID by the IDists themselves.

First, let's start with a simple definition that is broadly accepted within the scientific community: Science is the empirical study of natural explanations for physical phenomena.

Now let's consider the claims of ID. There are three:

1. There are types of complexities found in living things that cannot occur by natural processes.
2. These complexities must be the result of intelligence.
3. This intelligence cannot be described.

There have been many instances in human history where at one time there was no natural explanation for a phenomenon, but one became apparent with further information. Therefore, most of us recognize that ignorance of an explanation is not sufficient to assume no explanaton. So while claim #1 does fall within the realm of scientific inquiry, there is virtually no empirical evidence in support.

As for #2, the notion that earth life was manufactured artificially can be divided into two categories. The first is that the manufacturer was a product of the physical universe. This falls within the realm of scientific study since anything in the physical universe (made of energy and matter) can be empirically studied. But while this explains earth life, it is not a satisfactory explanation for the origin of life in general for the obvious reason that it does not explain the origin of the manufacturer. And if the original manufacturer has irreducible and specified complexity, it does not explain how those things came into existence.

The second category is if the designer lies outside of the natural universe...e.g., is supernatural. This could be a satisfactory explanation for the origin of life (and complexity) if one assumes that the supernatural designer always existed. In other words, is God. A supernatural entity by definition cannot be described by methods limited to the natural universe (e.g., science).

So when IDists claim #3, the designer cannot be described, they must be talking about a supernatural entity.

In addition, if IDists claim the designer answer solves the problem of irreducible and specified complexity, they must also be talking about a supernatural entity. A natural designer would still require an explanation for how it became irreducible and specified (the turtles all the way down problem).

Therefore, the IDist proposal can only be satisfied by assuming a supernatural entity and is therefore not science.

I now stand ready to be refuted.
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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15518 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 2:09 PM
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Based on Paul's posts and a recent email from bdhinton, it is clear that there is a substantial misunderstanding of ID by the IDists themselves.

First, let's start with a simple definition that is broadly accepted within the scientific community: Science is the empirical study of natural explanations for physical phenomena.
••••
Therefore, the IDist proposal can only be satisfied by assuming a supernatural entity and is therefore not science.

I now stand ready to be refuted.


just a thought .....

a view from FAR outside -- part of the problem here is that neither Paul nor Bryan are really IDists. they seem to not understand because they're trying to defend something they don't Exactly agree with ?


=

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15519 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 2:10 PM
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I now stand ready to be refuted.

I'd be happy to discuss my views on the issues you raised, but its pointless to do so with someone who considers all his dialog partners naive, stupid, and dishonest. I'm sorry, but I just can't get past that.

If you soften your position any, let me know and I'll get back in.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15532 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:10 PM
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I'd be happy to discuss my views on the issues you raised, but its pointless to do so with someone who considers all his dialog partners naive, stupid, and dishonest. I'm sorry, but I just can't get past that.

Why is it always so necessary to exaggerate? I've had many dialog partners. There are very few whose arguments I've labeled naive, stupid, or dishonest. You just happen to be one of the few.

Now I understand you being upset, but I can't help reacting to what I see are obvious logical contradictions in the arguments being made. If you meet someone who continually makes the same logical contradictions even when it is pointed out to them over and over again, a reasonable conclusion is that this is due to either a lack of understanding or purposeful misdirection.

Hence my question...naive or dishonest?

I am hoping that there is someone in the audience who understands the ID argument and can tell me why I am mistaken.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15533 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:13 PM
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part of the problem here is that neither Paul nor Bryan are really IDists. they seem to not understand because they're trying to defend something they don't Exactly agree with ?

With what part of IDism do you think they disagree?

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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15537 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:23 PM
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I'd be happy to discuss my views on the issues you raised, but its pointless to do so with someone who considers all his dialog partners naive, stupid, and dishonest. I'm sorry, but I just can't get past that.

And I think that Centromere has raised several substantive, interesting, and well-supported points which you have sidestepped by engaging in a very transparent ad hominem. (Your entire post basically amounts to: "You are too closed-minded to hear my rebuttal, therefore I will not waste it on you." This is not only insulting to Centromere, but it also discounts the possibility that there are ANY other posters or lurkers here who are capable of deriving any value from your response.)

By responding to a serious post with such an ad hominem, you are trying to imply that you have a very good answer which you choose not to share. The fact is, I don't believe you.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15538 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:23 PM
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I'd be happy to discuss my views on the issues you raised, but its pointless to do so with someone who considers all his dialog partners naive, stupid, and dishonest. I'm sorry, but I just can't get past that.

----------
Why is it always so necessary to exaggerate? I've had many dialog partners. There are very few whose arguments I've labeled naive, stupid, or dishonest.


you also say, 'or' ...not 'and' <G>



=
..... ex-logician

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15539 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:26 PM
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Why is it always so necessary to exaggerate? I've had many dialog partners. There are very few whose arguments I've labeled naive, stupid, or dishonest. You just happen to be one of the few.

That's a good point, Bryan. He only called me a poophead, not naive, stupid, or dishonest.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15541 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:30 PM
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part of the problem here is that neither Paul nor Bryan are really IDists. they seem to not understand because they're trying to defend something they don't Exactly agree with ?

---------
With what part of IDism do you think they disagree?


i can't do much more than guess ...since i don't really understand ID ( and don't care enough to figure it out)

but
1) neither is in the least agnostic about the 'designer' ..it's the god of the Old Testament.

2) i seem to recall Bryan somewhere saying that <ID isn't yet science as 'science' is understood. and although that's largely the fault of Science, until ID becomes more scientific, it shouldn't be taught as such in public schools>


=

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15542 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:34 PM
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I can't help reacting to what I see are obvious logical contradictions in the arguments being made. If you meet someone who continually makes the same logical contradictions even when it is pointed out to them over and over again, a reasonable conclusion is that this is due to either a lack of understanding or purposeful misdirection.

And I think exactly the same of you, at least as far as you making the same fallacious arguments over and over. The difference is I don't question your intelligence, or assume you are naive or dishonest. As usual, there is another obvious choice that eludes you . . . a genuine difference of opinion.

Do you know of any real scientific disagreements, like where there two or more schools of thought on an issue? Please name one, then tell me, do you label the side you disagree with "naive, stupid or dishonest" ?

I didn't think so.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15543 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:42 PM
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you also say, 'or' ...not 'and' <G>


I stand corrected.

Now I feel much better about the whole thing. I'm only one (or two) of those. Movin up in status . . .

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15544 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:43 PM
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That's a good point, Bryan. He only called me a poophead, not naive, stupid, or dishonest.


And he's not fair . . . he gives the good ones to you. Whats with that?

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15545 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 4:46 PM
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i seem to recall Bryan somewhere saying that <ID isn't yet science as 'science' is understood. and although that's largely the fault of Science, until ID becomes more scientific, it shouldn't be taught as such in public schools>


That's pretty darn close . . . I could of sworn you weren't paying attention.

The fault is partly with Science, partly with IDiots not doing much "science"

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15546 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 5:10 PM
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And I think exactly the same of you, at least as far as you making the same fallacious arguments over and over. The difference is I don't question your intelligence, or assume you are naive or dishonest. As usual, there is another obvious choice that eludes you . . . a genuine difference of opinion.

While I enjoy spitting contests, I will try to make this short.

There are good arguments and there are bad arguments. If two people disagree with each having good arguments, that's a difference of opinion. If one person has a bad argument and maintains it even after its deficiencies have been pointed out over and over again, well, I think there are conclusions one can make from that.

I think you have a bad argument and have told you why. I think there are clear logical contradictions in your statements and have pointed them out. Whether you choose to address those is up to you, but this righteous indignation and "you stink too" response is hardly enlightening.

You have this tendency to generalize. Any hypothesis can be a theory. Any theory can be scientific. All disagreements are simply differences of equally valid opinions. That's simply not so, unless you happen to be a post-modern I suppose. Sometimes some arguments really are either naive or dishonest.

You will rarely see me get into a heated argument about computer operating systems, German comedians, or the Nigerian economy. Why? Because I know nothing about them and so my arguments are likely to be naive, perhaps even a bit dishonest if I let my ego get in the way and try to be an "expert" by plagiarizing Wikipedia. In the same way, I don't think you or Paul know very much about evolution or biology, yet you both are trying to attack the foundation of modern biology and the consensus of the scientific community by using web blogs and Google.

Given that level of knowledge don't you think it is at least plausible that the arguments you are making are naive, and perhaps even a bit dishonest?

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15547 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 5:27 PM
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1) neither is in the least agnostic about the 'designer' ..it's the god of the Old Testament.

Which explains why both suppport ID since they feel it supports their theistic beliefs, but it doesn't explain how they can simultaneously argue that ID is agnostic with respect to religion.

2) i seem to recall Bryan somewhere saying that <ID isn't yet science as 'science' is understood. and although that's largely the fault of Science, until ID becomes more scientific, it shouldn't be taught as such in public schools>

Yet Brian disagreed with the verdict and conclusion of the Dover decision that blocked the teaching of ID in public schools.

I dunno, maybe it's just me but I see all sorts of contradictions.

And with that I think I'll take a break from posting. The market is down and I've been putting money away for later investing. This may be the time to research some stocks.

Perhaps if I, the dastardly character assassinator am gone, the IDists will make an effort to address a few of the questions raised.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15549 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 5:33 PM
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...the IDists will make an effort to address a few of the questions raised.

That would be refreshing. I've been reading with interest as you try to nail them down, but they keep side-stepping and circling back to where they began. It seems no amount of logical rigor is going to get them either to concede the point(s) or rebut with something that isn't contradictory and/or illogical.

1poorguy (be careful with the investing...the trend is mostly down right now...fighting the trend is seldom a good idea)

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15550 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 6:04 PM
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2) i seem to recall Bryan somewhere saying that <ID isn't yet science as 'science' is understood. and although that's largely the fault of Science, until ID becomes more scientific, it shouldn't be taught as such in public schools>
----------
Yet Brian disagreed with the verdict and conclusion of the Dover decision that blocked the teaching of ID in public schools.


don't recall that...
maybe that was the month i wasn't paying attention.



I dunno, maybe it's just me but I see all sorts of contradictions.


not just you.

just sayin' ..i think the contradictions come from trying to defend ID because it's anti-evolution while not exactly believing ID is the correct answer.


=

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15551 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 6:08 PM
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There are good arguments and there are bad arguments. If two people disagree with each having good arguments, that's a difference of opinion.

True. But I've never seen you acknowledge that someone you disagree with has a good argument

If one person has a bad argument and maintains it even after its deficiencies have been pointed out over and over again, well, I think there are conclusions one can make from that.

I agree. What I don't agree with is that you've accomplished what you say you have. You and I (and Paul) have the same arguments that the "pros" do concerning ID. Funny how you always come down on one side of the argument, how the ID side, no matter who it is or what their qualifications are, has the bad argument.

Whether you choose to address those is up to you, but this righteous indignation and "you stink too" response is hardly enlightening.

I'm not saying "you stink too". That would imply that I stink. I'm complaining about your habit of labeling those you disagree with as naive, stupid, or dishonest. I don't do that. I'm arguing that its not necessary to your case. Your points are not made any stronger by it. Its unnecessarily offensive.

You have this tendency to generalize. Any hypothesis can be a theory. Any theory can be scientific. All disagreements are simply differences of equally valid opinions.

I don't think we've only just had differences of opinion. I think your arguments are not logical in many instances. I've pointed that out to you. You disagree. Why do you think we both feel like reason is on our side?

I don't think you or Paul know very much about evolution or biology, yet you both are trying to attack the foundation of modern biology and the consensus of the scientific community by using web blogs and Google.


I'll speak for myself. I've read both sides of the ID debate, books published by both sides. It's not just internet stuff. I'm not an expert in biology or evolution. Don't need to be in every case to examine the logic of an argument. I have to drop out of the discussion if it gets too technical in areas that I don't understand well. That puts some limits on me. I don't think I've pretended to know more than I do.

Given that level of knowledge don't you think it is at least plausible that the arguments you are making are naive, and perhaps even a bit dishonest?

Of course its plausible that I am naive in certain areas. But not dishonest. I've never said anything here that I don't believe to be true.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15553 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 6:34 PM
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don't recall that...
maybe that was the month i wasn't paying attention.


It was a while ago.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23776090&sort=postdat...
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24126262

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15557 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 6/30/2008 8:24 PM
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maybe that was the month i wasn't paying attention.

It was a while ago.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23776090&sort=postdat......
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24126262


ah ..... i don't pay any attention to snips from 'blogs'


=b

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Author: jwiest Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15567 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/1/2008 10:10 AM
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Based on Paul's posts and a recent email from bdhinton, it is clear that there is a substantial misunderstanding of ID by the IDists themselves.

I think you give them too much credit. There is no misunderstanding, only a willful decision to try and intellectually cram the big ball of reality into a tiny square hole.

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15569 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/1/2008 11:12 AM
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By responding to a serious post with such an ad hominem, you are trying to imply that you have a very good answer which you choose not to share. The fact is, I don't believe you.

Better yet, why not debate whether the world is flat. You can't debate an issue like ID. It's a matter of faith, just like for those who believed the world was flat.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15582 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/1/2008 4:43 PM
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Funny how you always come down on one side of the argument, how the ID side, no matter who it is or what their qualifications are, has the bad argument.

I also feel that those who advocate the Holocaust never occurred, that Katrina was Divinely directed, and that O.J. is innocent also have bad arguments regardless of qualifications. Go figure.

I'm complaining about your habit of labeling those you disagree with as naive, stupid, or dishonest.

What if the point being made is really naive, stupid, or dishonest?

Of course its plausible that I am naive in certain areas. But not dishonest. I've never said anything here that I don't believe to be true.

Here is the definition of Intellectual dishonesty: "the advocacy of a position known to be false. An argument which is misused to advance an agenda or to reinforce one's deeply held beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence contrary." http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Intellectual+...

I think the bolded part applies to you and Paul's ID arguments.

The misuse definition is illustrated by the fact that the ID proposal is both claimed to be agnostic and is used to advance a theistic agenda by the same group of people. Clearly a bit of misdirection going on here.

The overwhelming evidence definition is indicated by the near universal rejection of the assertion "ID is science" by the scientific community, including the vast majority of scientists who happen to be Christians.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15602 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 3:19 PM
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I now stand ready to be refuted.

Ok. Since you've quietly dropped "stupid" from your description of me, leaving only naive and dishonest, I'll claim a moral victory and address your reasoning.

First, let's start with a simple definition that is broadly accepted within the scientific community: Science is the empirical study of natural explanations for physical phenomena.

Here's the first problem I have, and its not with you. It seems like the major proponents of ID talk out of both sides of their mouths on this issue of the definition of science. On one hand they say their theory (small "t") fits under the current definition of science, because the question "Can we detect intelligent design in biology" is a scientific question. But they also talk about redefining science to allow for supernatural explanations (which your definition rules out).

But lets stick with your definition as is.

Now let's consider the claims of ID. There are three:

1. There are types of complexities found in living things that cannot occur by natural processes.
2. These complexities must be the result of intelligence.
3. This intelligence cannot be described.


I don't see anywhere that a major proponent of ID has claimed #3, so I'm not sure what you mean. I've always understood that if there were evidence, then the intelligence could be described as far as the evidence allowed.

As for #2, the notion that earth life was manufactured artificially can be divided into two categories. The first is that the manufacturer was a product of the physical universe. This falls within the realm of scientific study since anything in the physical universe (made of energy and matter) can be empirically studied. But while this explains earth life, it is not a satisfactory explanation for the origin of life in general for the obvious reason that it does not explain the origin of the manufacturer. And if the original manufacturer has irreducible and specified complexity, it does not explain how those things came into existence.

But ID is not proposing to be able to describe how the intelligence came into existence. It's claim is that it is evidence-based, so insufficient evidence would prevent an identification.

The same criticism could be leveled at evolution . . . it does not explain how first life came into existence.

But there's a further problem with this line of reasoning. Most everything science studies can be explained in terms of a chain of causes. What you are arguing seems like this to me:

1. We know that x causes y
2. But we don't know what causes x
3. So x can't be offered as an explanation for y

The second category is if the designer lies outside of the natural universe...e.g., is supernatural. This could be a satisfactory explanation for the origin of life (and complexity) if one assumes that the supernatural designer always existed. In other words, is God. A supernatural entity by definition cannot be described by methods limited to the natural universe (e.g., science).

So when IDists claim #3, the designer cannot be described, they must be talking about a supernatural entity.


The bolded statement just doesn't follow from the rest. And even if it did, it fails because I don't think ID claims #3.

In addition, if IDists claim the designer answer solves the problem of irreducible and specified complexity, they must also be talking about a supernatural entity. A natural designer would still require an explanation for how it became irreducible and specified (the turtles all the way down problem).

If evidence points to an intelligent designer for life on Earth, it does no good to say "Well you can't explain how the designer came into existence, so you haven't demonstrated anything!" If x is a sufficient explanation for y, it is sufficient regardless of whether we know where x came from.

This seems to be the exact same argument that Dawkins used against the existence of God . . . and has been roundly criticized by philosophers. I could link some rebuttals if you are interested.

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15605 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 3:50 PM
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If evidence points to an intelligent designer for life on Earth, it does no good to say "Well you can't explain how the designer came into existence, so you haven't demonstrated anything!" If x is a sufficient explanation for y, it is sufficient regardless of whether we know where x came from.

Where I see this falling apart is on origin. Evolution remains "science" because it is silent on origin. Inherent within ID is speculation on origin, ie, nature is not a sufficient explanation, ergo, it must have been "made."

The horse is dead, but there are scientific fields that explore life coming to Earth from elsewhere. ID did not find these fields interesting or sufficient enough for a reason. The reason is origin.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15606 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 3:57 PM
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I don't see anywhere that a major proponent of ID has claimed #3, so I'm not sure what you mean.

From Discovery Institute fact sheet: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php...

...from the scientific writings of leading design theorists Dr. Michael Behe and Dr. William Dembski: "Intelligent design is modest in what it attributes to the designing intelligence responsible for the specified complexity in nature. For instance, design theorists recognize that the nature, moral character and purposes of this intelligence lie beyond the competence of science and must be left to religion and philosophy."

bdhinton: But ID is not proposing to be able to describe how the intelligence came into existence.

ID claims to address how irreducible complexity came about. Saying that something irreducibly complex created irreducible complexity is not an explanation.

But there's a further problem with this line of reasoning. Most everything science studies can be explained in terms of a chain of causes. What you are arguing seems like this to me:

1. We know that x causes y
2. But we don't know what causes x
3. So x can't be offered as an explanation for y


That's not the argument. It is more like:

1. Y has a property (Z) that must be explained.
2. X also exhibits Z and is the cause of Y.
3. X does not explain the origin of Z.

If evidence points to an intelligent designer for life on Earth, it does no good to say "Well you can't explain how the designer came into existence, so you haven't demonstrated anything!"

The "evidence" given is an explanation for irreducible complexity. That's what IDists claim evolutionists can't explain. But if the designer itself is irreducibly complex, then that doesn't even attempt to explain irreducible complexity. At least evolutionists provide a theory and mechanism for how they believe such complexity could arise. IDists provide no explanation.

Think of it in terms of information. Flagella is produced via information encoded by DNA. Where did this information come from? The ID answer is from something with even more information. How is that an explanation for the origin of information?

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15607 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 3:59 PM
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Evolution remains "science" because it is silent on origin.

This is highly debatable. Every biology textbook I've looked at (6-10) in current use includes a section on abiogenesis in the chapter/unit titled "Evolution".

In fact, its described as one seamless process of natural selection working on chemicals, all the way from simple compounds to complex life.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15608 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 4:10 PM
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I'm finally seeing a significant difference in the way we see things.


3. This intelligence cannot be described.

------------

I don't see anywhere that a major proponent of ID has claimed #3, so I'm not sure what you mean.
-----------

From Discovery Institute fact sheet: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php......

...from the scientific writings of leading design theorists Dr. Michael Behe and Dr. William Dembski: "Intelligent design is modest in what it attributes to the designing intelligence responsible for the specified complexity in nature. For instance, design theorists recognize that the nature, moral character and purposes of this intelligence lie beyond the competence of science and must be left to religion and philosophy."


What you quoted does not support #3. Your quote describes the limits that a scientific approach to the question would impose on the research.

bdhinton: But ID is not proposing to be able to describe how the intelligence came into existence.
---------------
ID claims to address how irreducible complexity came about. Saying that something irreducibly complex created irreducible complexity is not an explanation.


No, it doesn't claim to explain ALL IC, only certain examples of it. Behe makes this very clear in DBB. That is why your objection fails, ID does not propose to describe how irreducible complexity originated in the universe. It only proposes that a small number out of a (probable) large number of IC features of biology can only be explained in terms of intelligence.

Think of it in terms of information. Flagella is produced via information encoded by DNA. Where did this information come from? The ID answer is from something with even more information. How is that an explanation for the origin of information?

It isn't an explanation for the origin of information at all, only the specific example of IC under study (for example the flagellum). ID does not propose to explain the origin of information. It can only describe features of biology that appear to require an intelligent cause.

-Bryan

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Author: Tarasicodissa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15609 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 5:16 PM
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It isn't an explanation for the origin of information at all, only the specific example of IC under study (for example the flagellum). ID does not propose to explain the origin of information. It can only describe features of biology that appear to require an intelligent cause.

Can this option be used in any field of science ? I.e. if some phenomena are not (yet ?) fully explainable, is it okay to postulate an intelligent cause ?
Or is that only allowed in the particular case of biochemistry ?
For instance, to use something from my own long-ago field of study (physical chemistry), Ziegler-Natta catalysts have allowed the mass production of useful polymers (plastics), because the catalysts allow a regular and oderly arrangement of side chains along the polymer backbone, see e.g.

http://chem.chem.rochester.edu/~chem421/zn.htm

But, the mechanism was not fully understood when I was at university and apparently even now it is not fully understood yet.
Can we therefore postulate that some unseen intelligence, which we do not need to identify, regulates the reaction ?

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15611 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 5:44 PM
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Can this option be used in any field of science ? I.e. if some phenomena are not (yet ?) fully explainable, is it okay to postulate an intelligent cause ?


What features of Ziegler-Natta catalysts suggests an intelligent cause to you?

Personally, I need more than just "its unexplained" to warrant such a suspicion.

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 5:45 PM
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What you quoted does not support #3. Your quote describes the limits that a scientific approach to the question would impose on the research.

Sure it does. ID proposes that the nature of the designer cannot be known by empirical science. This is only true if one assumes the designer is not part of the physical univers.

No, it doesn't claim to explain ALL IC, only certain examples of it. Behe makes this very clear in DBB.

Perhaps I'm wrong. Which specific IC structures does Behe say does not require a designer?

ID does not propose to explain the origin of information. It can only describe features of biology that appear to require an intelligent cause.

ID attempts to explain the origin of the information that gives rise to specified and irreducible complexity.

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 5:55 PM
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Evolution remains "science" because it is silent on origin.

This is highly debatable. Every biology textbook I've looked at (6-10) in current use includes a section on abiogenesis in the chapter/unit titled "Evolution".


just curious ...what level text? Jr.High, HS, college, popular-science?


think i agree that in a sensible world, it's a silly distinction.



=

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15614 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 6:04 PM
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What you quoted does not support #3. Your quote describes the limits that a scientific approach to the question would impose on the research.
--------------
Sure it does. ID proposes that the nature of the designer cannot be known by empirical science. This is only true if one assumes the designer is not part of the physical univers.


That would only be true if there were no other options. But I can think of several, including "the designer left no physical evidence of her presence", or "the designer was never physically on Earth", or "the designer is not physically present for study".

No, it doesn't claim to explain ALL IC, only certain examples of it. Behe makes this very clear in DBB.
--------------
Perhaps I'm wrong. Which specific IC structures does Behe say does not require a designer?


You are extending the ID claim to cover metaphysics, something ID doesn't claim is part of its scientific project. It can only (in theory) scientifically study the hallmarks of design in IC structures that are available to physically study.

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15615 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 6:05 PM
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think i agree that in a sensible world, it's a silly distinction.

Well, lord knows I can be silly.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15616 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 6:09 PM
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just curious ...what level text? Jr.High, HS, college, popular-science?


HS and college. I used to have a list . . .


but for example, here's Miller and Levine's Biology . . . they are about as anti-ID as you can get:

http://www.phschool.com/atschool/biology/Dragonfly/Student_A... (see section 17.2)

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15617 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 6:13 PM
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You are extending the ID claim to cover metaphysics, something ID doesn't claim is part of its scientific project. It can only (in theory) scientifically study the hallmarks of design in IC structures that are available to physically study.

So, we're looking for signs of an undetectable agent by seeking its imprint through design?

Since we may not be able to detect or ever discern this designer, how, exactly, can we know it designed anything?

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15618 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 6:22 PM
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So, we're looking for signs of an undetectable agent by seeking its imprint through design?

It COULD be undetectable . . . its detectability is not a tenet of the theory (little "t").

Look at the Tunguska Event in Siberia . . . it was probably a meteoroid impact/explosion, but no conclusive evidence has been found. What is clear is that there was an explosion. Was it a meteoroid? Where did it come from?

Do we need answers to these questions before we can conclude "explosion" ?

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15619 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 6:31 PM
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Since we may not be able to detect or ever discern this designer, how, exactly, can we know it designed anything?


ID's answer is to study the hallmarks of design. When you find something that exhibits these hallmarks, suspect an intelligent source.

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 6:53 PM
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When you find something that exhibits these hallmarks


Haven't yet.

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15621 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 7:31 PM
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Do we need answers to these questions before we can conclude "explosion" ?

Isn't that the key, we knew an explosion took place, which only has natural causes? So, we explore various natural explanations to what precipitated the event, meteor, comet, methane bubble, but not "unknown and possibly undetectable causal agent."

Once again, we waddle down the same path, since we always, always, always presume natural causation in everything else, why, only in life, do we suddenly presume a potential unnatural cause?

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15622 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 7:51 PM
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think i agree that in a sensible world, it's a silly distinction.

Well, lord knows I can be silly.


and you're not the only one.



-b
..... can do Silly

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 7:55 PM
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just curious ...what level text? Jr.High, HS, college, popular-science?


HS and college. I used to have a list . . .


thanks.

...just idol curiosity.



=b
..... in college, easy to make the distinction i'd make -- it's all part of the overall way of looking at biology .. this bit is very well established, this bit still mostly conjecture... hard to do that in HS

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15624 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 8:21 PM
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why, only in life, do we suddenly presume a potential unnatural cause?

thats where the evidence leads me. Can't speak for others (except maybe Behe):

The theistic evolution is the same too. (I have nothing against theistic evolution — I used to agree with it — except now I think it doesn’t fit the data.) We live in a finely tuned universe, so that points to God. Miller pointedly denies that that is a scientific argument, but it’s hard to see why not. How many other theological or philosophical arguments depend on the exact values of physical constants — to many significant figures — such as the charge on the electron, the strength of gravity, and so on? Reasoning based on quantitative, precise measurements of nature is science. Ironically, Miller is an intelligent design proponent when it comes to cosmology, but is contemptuous of people who see design extending further into nature than he does.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/A3DGRQ0IO7KYQ2

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15625 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 8:56 PM
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why, only in life, do we suddenly presume a potential unnatural cause?

thats where the evidence leads me. Can't speak for others (except maybe Behe):


So, in trillions to the trillionth power instances we always presume natural causes, BUT, in just one case, we'll carve an exception?

That just makes no sense to me. Sense says we can see whatever we want in anything, but if it looks designed, and nature is the cause of everything else, its also the cause of what I'm thinking was designed by some unnatural entity.

I go back to my earlier thought, but I'll generalize now because I got busted for being too specific. What evidence is there of any unnatural events? I don't need a specific one like ghosts, but I do need evidence of supernatural events or agents to begin speculating one is behind all life, and I have never been offered any conclusive proof that there is any supernatural phenomenon (although Wim Hof kind of freaks me out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wim_Hof).

What design fails to take into account is if nature were not so finely tuned, we wouldn't be here speculating on how it got that way. Going back to the vastness of time, it really isn't all that mind boggling that some divine super entity didn't do it.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15626 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 9:12 PM
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So, in trillions to the trillionth power instances we always presume natural causes, BUT, in just one case, we'll carve an exception?


Don't you need to examine the evidence first before you decide? Natural works fine, until it doesn't.

Sense says we can see whatever we want in anything, but if it looks designed, and nature is the cause of everything else, its also the cause of what I'm thinking was designed by some unnatural entity.


You are exactly right, as long as that one main premise is true (nature being the cause of everything). What special knowledge do you have that you are sure this is the case?

What evidence is there of any unnatural events? I don't need a specific one like ghosts, but I do need evidence of supernatural events or agents to begin speculating one is behind all life, and I have never been offered any conclusive proof that there is any supernatural phenomenon

Which is it, what do you need . . . evidence or proof? I got bags full of evidence here, no proof.

What design fails to take into account is if nature were not so finely tuned, we wouldn't be here speculating on how it got that way.

Here's what you are arguing. A guy is set to die by firing squad. 20 of the unit's best marksmen are assigned the job, each with a live round. The command is given, the guns go off in unison, but the man is unharmed. "Well, they must have all missed, after all I wouldn't be alive otherwise" he thinks.

Or is he warranted to suspect something else is going on?

Going back to the vastness of time, it really isn't all that mind boggling that some divine super entity didn't do it.

There is no vastness of time. As soon as Earth could support life (around 3.8 billion years ago when the surface cooled down enough after the Late Heavey Bombardment), complex life appeared on the scene (photosynthetic bacteria). What you have is a blink in time, and "poof" life is here.

Call me crazy, but I don't think they all just "missed".

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Author: pauls59 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15627 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 9:38 PM
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Bryan,

Have you seen this:

http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2008/07/02/a_g...

Paul

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 10:44 PM
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Never heard of Koperski, but his views on ID and the 4 criticisms he addresses seem very close to my own

-Bryan

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15629 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 10:53 PM
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found this link to an earlier version of the paper:

http://homepages.utoledo.edu/esnider/scirelconference/kopers...

Very relevant to current discussions here:

There is much here for the conspiracy theorists among us, but let’s grant all this for the moment. A very important question remains: so what? I’m not trying to be flippant. Whether this information is relevant or not is vital to the rational assessment of ID. Consider an analogy. When I was a graduate student, one of my professors was a committed Marxist. As the faculty advisor for a socialist student group, he was admittedly interested in becoming a professor in order to promote his political views. He hoped to persuade students to do likewise. Moreover, he had a number of published articles in quality journals. Did the fact that he had a political motivation affect the strength of his arguments in those papers? Should the editors of those journals have taken his political agenda into consideration?

As every logic student knows, the answer is “no.” One’s motivations for presenting an argument have no bearing whatsoever on the validity of that argument. Evaluating a conclusion by questioning one’s motivation is an ad hominem attack.


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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 11:05 PM
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Do we need answers to these questions before we can conclude "explosion" ?

Somewhat. Meteors don't explode like that. So probably wasn't one. Last I knew they thought it was a comet or cometary fragment. That data point is a few years old at this time.

And there is one group of -for lack of a better term- Tesla groupies that think it was the result of Tesla testing this Wardenclyffe power transmission tower. The facility was in use at the time of the Tunguska blast.

If the latter is true (which seems unlikely, but...), then the blast was the result of an intelligence. :-)

1poorguy (Tesla admirer, but not a groupie)

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 11:09 PM
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Sense says we can see whatever we want in anything, but if it looks designed, and nature is the cause of everything else, its also the cause of what I'm thinking was designed by some unnatural entity.

Exactly correct. The burden of proof would be on those believing the contrary or exception to the rule. Thus far they haven't even suggested a test or prediction that could be tested.

So they're stuck before they start.

1poorguy

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15632 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 11:17 PM
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And there is one group of -for lack of a better term- Tesla groupies that think it was the result of Tesla testing this Wardenclyffe power transmission tower. The facility was in use at the time of the Tunguska blast.


wacky.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardenclyffe


from a tower in Long Island NY, he was able to blow a hole in Siberia?

and the gov't didn't buy the weapon??


-b
.... Tesla interesting on his own ..but as a cult figure ..wow

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/2/2008 11:45 PM
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from a tower in Long Island NY, he was able to blow a hole in Siberia?

and the gov't didn't buy the weapon??


That part is one of the problems with the theory. Of course, Tesla didn't always (i.e. often didn't) publish or publicize anything he did. He satisfied himself that something worked and moved on. The purpose of Wardenclyffe was to transmit power without wires. But more than that, Tesla envisioned a world where all anyone had to do was mount an antenna and they could get limitless free power out of the air.

.... Tesla interesting on his own ..but as a cult figure ..wow

Yes. There was something about his enigmatic ways that seemed to engender that. If you're interested, read "Tesla: A Man Out of Time".

http://www.amazon.com/Tesla-Man-Out-of-Time/dp/B000FJDFBW/re...

Interesting book.

1poorguy (quite convinced that Marconi was NOT the inventor of the "wireless")

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 12:54 AM
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That would only be true if there were no other options. But I can think of several, including "the designer left no physical evidence of her presence", or "the designer was never physically on Earth", or "the designer is not physically present for study".

If there was a designer, then the design itself is physical evidence. Forensics and archaeology, two fields often cited by IDists, spend a great deal of time inferring motive and characteristics to the no longer existing designers of found artifacts. If the designer was part of the physical universe, then matter and energy was used in the process of creation, all in accordance to physical laws. This will inevitably leave physical footprints.

You see, you can't say that the Cambrian explosion or irreducible complexity in flagella or the specified complexity claimed for DNA represents empirical evidence for a designer, then say there is no physical evidence of a designer.

In any case, I think the linked statement of Dembski and Behe that the Designer cannot be described by science indicates they assume a supernatural entity. This supported by the fact that the same thing is said in sworn testimony by IDists in the Dover trial. Can you find any statement by the Discovery Institute that accepts the possibility of scientifically discerning the nature of the designer?

You are extending the ID claim to cover metaphysics, something ID doesn't claim is part of its scientific project. It can only (in theory) scientifically study the hallmarks of design in IC structures that are available to physically study.

Now you are being silly again. No one mentioned metaphysics. The issue is the origin of complexity. I'll try connecting the dots again.

IDism is based on the assertion that irreducible/specified complexity found in living things cannot occur by undirected natural processes. So the claim is that an intelligence must be involved. But if the intelligence is not irreducibly complex, then even IDists would have to admit that it could have evolved from simpler things and no "ultimate designer" is needed. End of story.

So for ID to do what the Wedge document demands, the proposed designer must itself be irreducibly complex. But if we demand an explanation for the IR found in flagella, then intellectual honesty requires the same damand be made for the IR deduced in the intelligent designer. The rules of a logical argument must be consistently applied. Or the argument becomes a dishonest one.

And therein lies a problem with the ID argument. IDists apply one set of rules when dealing with biological structures, but then want to suspend those rules when considering the presumed designer of those structures. That's not Kosher.

You also need to consider the following. While we certainly observe intelligence creating complex structures, including those IDists call IR, we also observe intelligence being produced naturally. The fertilized egg shows no evidence of any intelligence, yet will give rise to an intelligent entity all by natural processes. These processes are directed by information encoded in DNA. Direct involvement by intelligence is not required.

So all one can really say is that the irreducible complexity observed in living things is the result of information. I don't see any reason why intelligence has to be part of the process. What does that do to the ID proposal?

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Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 1:04 AM
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But more than that, Tesla envisioned a world where all anyone had to do was mount an antenna and they could get limitless free power out of the air.


that sounds like the Tesla i've heard of ...


.... Tesla interesting on his own ..but as a cult figure ..wow

Yes. There was something about his enigmatic ways that seemed to engender that. If you're interested, read "Tesla: A Man Out of Time".

http://www.amazon.com/Tesla-Man-Out-of-Time/dp/B000FJDFBW/re......

Interesting book.


sounds interesting.


-j
because he was born very near where my Grandpa was from ..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiljan
..... some of my cousins are serious wacky Tesla-ists <G>

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Author: Tarasicodissa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15636 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 5:47 AM
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T: Can this option be used in any field of science ? I.e. if some phenomena are not (yet ?) fully explainable, is it okay to postulate an intelligent cause ?


bdh:What features of Ziegler-Natta catalysts suggests an intelligent cause to you?

Personally, I need more than just "its unexplained" to warrant such a suspicion.

Maybe, but it's still not any more clear what you need. It sort of seems to change every time.
A polypropylene string forming naturally with all methyl groups on the same side of the chain is extremely improbable.
But it happens anyway, and we can't explain how.
That seems very close to why ID-ists say RNA or other active bio-polymers could not have formed naturally. They just point out the very small probability for the "raw material" coming together and forming RNA. The possibility of catalysts affecting the synhtesis in an "unintelligent" way remains quietly hidden under the rug, because it would show how useless that kind of calculation is.
Similar for the argument why structures in a primitive cell could not become more complex in a natural way. The cell contains molecules with catalytic properties. It's likely that catalytic reactions played an important role in the cell-precursors also. Ignoring this possibility while proposing some sort of intelligent intervention that has left no other traces is not very satisfactory, to say the least.

Von Däniken sold many books explaining why primitive cultures could not have built pyramids or stonehengelike structures and therefore needed the help of extraterrestrials.
I think ID applies the same reasoning to its chosen realm of biology, but how this is different from all the failed supernatural/alien theories in other fields (astrology etc...) is never made clear, not in a consistent and logical manner anyway. ID seems to think it can avoid falling on its face, like Von Däniken, by convincing itself that their intelligent agent cannot and need not be identified. Unfortunately no one else is falling for this obvious weakness in the model.

One should also take into account the trend in humanity's knowledge acquisition, which, long ago, accepted for the most part supernatural causes, but replaced them successfully by natural causes. ID's withdrawing within one tiny aspect of unexplained nature (the cell's origin) , in that historical context, seems to be much like "making a last stand" for the supernatural. ID is not going to convince scientists who are working towards resolving hitherto unexplained phenomena in their field of expertise, that the cell-chemistry-or-physics is fundamentally different without proving why that is. (Remember the original separation of chemistry into organic and inorganic ?) And so, we're back to ID's requirement to devise some explanation for the nature of the differencen and how it can be tested. That gives scientists a way to refute their claim, just like the distinction between organic and inorganic chemistry was refuted by Friedrich Wöhler's synthesis of urea from purely inorganic compounds.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_W%C3%B6hler

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15637 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 9:32 AM
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I'll try to hopefully make my point clearer.

First an example from the SETI project to use as comparison. The SETI folks identify a signal as coming from an intelligent entity by "artificiality". Artificiality is defined empirically, by what isn't observed in nature and can be produced by humans. Pretty straightforward.

In a similar way, Behe wants to argue that flagella is created by an intelligent entity. However, he can't use the SETI criteria because flagella are observed in nature. They are produced by bacteria all the time and entirely without the aid of any intelligence. By all empirical criteria then, flagella are not artificial

To get around this, Behe introduces the characteristic called irreducible complexity (IR), which he claims flagella exhibit and which can only be produced by an intelligent entity. Therefore Behe asserts that there must have existed an intelligent designer of flagella and any other IR structure found in living things. The designer is required in order to explain the observation of IR.

Let me repeat that. Behe's argument is based on explaining the presence of IR.

Being scientific we then consider this putative designer using empirical observations. All intelligence that we empirically know of and have investigated are produced by a physical structure, e.g., a brain or perhaps an integrated circuit. These structures have the trait called IR. We assume the same for the designer of life. But this would mean that the designer must also be the product of an intelligent entity, which in turn...

Oh, oh. We now have the turtles all the way down problem. Therefore ID is not an adequate explanation for IR. Unless...

Suppose we assume a new kind of intelligence, one not based on physical structure and one that does not require a cause for its existence. This would work. This would also be God. This means that ID is only an adequate explanation for IR if one assumes the existence of God.

Therefore ID is a religious proposition.

This is in accord with the following written by Behe: "What if the existence of God is in dispute or is denied? So far I have assumed the existence of God. But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected? As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God's existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God's existence."

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15638 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 11:44 AM
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Being scientific we then consider this putative designer using empirical observations. All intelligence that we empirically know of and have investigated are produced by a physical structure, e.g., a brain or perhaps an integrated circuit. These structures have the trait called IR. We assume the same for the designer of life. But this would mean that the designer must also be the product of an intelligent entity, which in turn...

Oh, oh. We now have the turtles all the way down problem. Therefore ID is not an adequate explanation for IR. Unless...


No matter how articulately you lay out your case (and you are articulate if nothing else), I still get stuck here. Why is "turtles all the way down" not an adequate explanation? What you'd be saying in effect is "science can't determine what caused the first cause", which we also bump up against at least in cosmology. We may never be able to explain the beginning of the universe in terms of a first cause. Why should that count against a more proximal explanation/model for how our solar system was formed?

Or consider an explanation for how humans evolved. You'd appeal to, if looked at as a film rewinding, an ever-decreasing complexity of life forms until you get to single cells. Then I'd ask "Well what about the first life?" And you'd have to (honestly) answer "We don't know". Why couldn't I, using your logic, say "Well then you haven't explained anything if you can't explain all the turtles that must have come before that" ?. I could keep asking "And before that?" until we come to the same point, the beginning of the universe.

You seem to be criticizing ID for not having everything figured out besides the first step, and therefor discounting even that first step.

I'm not arguing for the sake of being argumentative. I honestly just don't get it. If you want to re-evoke "stupid", then go ahead. Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't see the logic in your argument.

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Author: adonsant Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15639 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 11:55 AM
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On one hand they say their theory (small "t") fits under the current definition of science, because the question "Can we detect intelligent design in biology" is a scientific question.

"Can we detect intelligent design in biology?" is not a scientific question. If it were, then there would have to be a scientific way to answer the question, which to date there is not. You've already conceded that evolution can produce IC structures (as defined and redefined by Behe). Therefore, IC is not a reliable method to detect design. To the best of my knowledge, no other method of detecting design has been put forward, much less validated.

-Anthony

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15640 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 12:04 PM
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Or consider an explanation for how humans evolved. You'd appeal to, if looked at as a film rewinding, an ever-decreasing complexity of life forms until you get to single cells. Then I'd ask "Well what about the first life?" And you'd have to (honestly) answer "We don't know". Why couldn't I, using your logic, say "Well then you haven't explained anything if you can't explain all the turtles that must have come before that" ?. I could keep asking "And before that?" until we come to the same point, the beginning of the universe.

You seem to be criticizing ID for not having everything figured out besides the first step, and therefor discounting even that first step.

I'm not arguing for the sake of being argumentative. I honestly just don't get it. If you want to re-evoke "stupid", then go ahead. Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't see the logic in your argument.


Not sure what centromere will say, but my issue is this, nature rewinds the film and gets ever less complexity. Inherent in that is whatever started it all rolling was even more simple and basic, as you follow the progression.

ID and creationism gets to that point, then says the most complex thing to ever exist popped into being from nothing and created it.

One goes down an ever smaller tube to nothing, the other goes down an ever smaller tube to an infinite chamber at the start.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15641 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 12:08 PM
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"Can we detect intelligent design in biology?" is not a scientific question. If it were, then there would have to be a scientific way to answer the question, which to date there is not.


I disagree. The question is scientific. The theory may not be, depending on whether science can answer the question.

You've already conceded that evolution can produce IC structures (as defined and redefined by Behe).

Sorry, I don't remember conceding this. In fact, I feel that all efforts I've seen to date to refute Behe have failed.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15642 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 12:13 PM
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ID and creationism gets to that point, then says the most complex thing to ever exist popped into being from nothing and created it.


I don't think ID deals with this at all. They are still trying to establish the last turtle (the one that designed IC in biology), musch less the beginning of the chain.

And to nitpick, certainly no Christian theist would say that God popped into existence, though this takes us squarely into theology

-Bryan

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Author: pauls59 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15643 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 12:14 PM
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We may never be able to explain the beginning of the universe in terms of a first cause. Why should that count against a more proximal explanation/model for how our solar system was formed?

I have stepped back from the discussion to give it more thought and pull together some information to solidify the case for ID. It is a very time consuming project, but it must be complete and well presented in order to be effective at all.

One major point is the one that Bryan is making here. The argument Centromere makes is based on some assumptions which flow from a particular worldview.

The fact is that we don't know what brought the universe into being or how. If we limit the study of science to one particular assumption then we are ignoring any other possible reason to explain things. Simply because something is likely to infer that a supernatural cause provides an explanation for it does not mean that it cannot be the explanation. If observation leads to an intuitively obvious explanation for something found in nature, do we automatically discount it because it rubs a worldview the wrong way? Sience is a study of the natural world, and we cannot let our ignorance of one possible explanation of scientific observation keep us from exploring that possibility when science leads us there unless we prefer to be ignorant.

JMHO

Paul

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15644 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 12:35 PM
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And to nitpick, certainly no Christian theist would say that God popped into existence, though this takes us squarely into theology

That's not nitpicking, that's changing the argument again. You can't circumvent the beginning by saying god was always here.

The logical contradictions are astounding, to say the least. Evolution can't explain how it all started, but theology doesn't need to because god was always here.

Evolution can't explain IR structures, but ID doesn't have to because god is IR and he was always here, so no need to explain how he got here in the first place.

And you're having trouble understanding why not just scientists, but others are having difficulty with this?

I'm gonna go get drunk and watch fireworks. Happy Fourth of July to all.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15645 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 12:59 PM
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That's not nitpicking, that's changing the argument again. You can't circumvent the beginning by saying god was always here.


It's apples and oranges. ID/evolution/science is one topic; theology is another. You and others here confuse the issue by using theological arguments against ID. It makes it hard to answer, but to me its better to separate the issues into their proper category.

Have fun with the fireworks

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Author: adonsant Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15646 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 1:51 PM
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"Can we detect intelligent design in biology?" is not a scientific question. If it were, then there would have to be a scientific way to answer the question, which to date there is not.


I disagree. The question is scientific. The theory may not be, depending on whether science can answer the question.


If science can't answer the question, then the question can't be scientific. I don't see what your disagreement is based on.

You've already conceded that evolution can produce IC structures (as defined and redefined by Behe).

Sorry, I don't remember conceding this. In fact, I feel that all efforts I've seen to date to refute Behe have failed.


If you feel that way, then lets pick up where we left off:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26143352

In particular, answer the following questions:

1) I have a complex composed of three proteins. It has a particular function. Remove a part, and the function is lost. Does this satisfy the definition of IC? If not, what are the other requirements?

You said, "With only 3 parts, the "complexity" part of IC is greatly reduced, compared to the flagellum and other systems Behe has used as examples."

2) Is there a scientific justification as to why the IC test only applies to complexes with more than a certain number of parts, N (N>3)?

-Anthony

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15648 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 2:27 PM
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Why is "turtles all the way down" not an adequate explanation?

Even five year olds instinctively understand this. My kid asked me where squirrels come from. I say mommy and daddy squirrels. She asks where do they come from. I say grandma and grandpa squirrels. She asks...well you get the picture. At some point she gets frustrated and demands a "real" answer. She instinctively understood that saying squirrels come from other squirrels doesn't really answer the question of how squirrels began. Now substitute IR for squirrel.

You seem to be criticizing ID for not having everything figured out besides the first step, and therefor discounting even that first step.

I'm criticizing ID for not answering the question it sets out to answer, the origin of IR.

Let's try it this way. "Turtles all the way down" means that it is not possible to know which came first, the capacity to produce IR or intelligence. If the capacity to produce IR came first, then intelligence is simply a product of IR, just like flagella, and there is no need to connect intelligence with flagella.

To make the Behe argument---that IR necessitates a causal intelligence, one has to assume that Intelligence predates the capacity to make IR. In other words, one has to assume God.

Why couldn't I, using your logic, say "Well then you haven't explained anything if you can't explain all the turtles that must have come before that" ?. I could keep asking "And before that?" until we come to the same point, the beginning of the universe.

It depends on whether the next turtle represents a different question.

Evolution explains how life diverges, not how life began. So if you now ask how did life begin, my "I don't know" doesn't diminish the explanatory power of evolution for explaining variation.

Here's an analogy. Suppose I claim to understand why companies like to produce many different types of potato chips. You now ask how potato chips are made. My "I don't know" with respect to the origin of chips doesn't compromise my understanding of why there are a variety of chips. Two different questions.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15649 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 2:31 PM
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If science can't answer the question, then the question can't be scientific. I don't see what your disagreement is based on.


How do you know science can't answer something unless you investigate it scientifically? Science can't answer the question "How did life come from non-life?". Does that make origin of life research unscientific?

1) I have a complex composed of three proteins. It has a particular function. Remove a part, and the function is lost. Does this satisfy the definition of IC? If not, what are the other requirements?


I assume you're talking about S. chlorophenolica breaking down PCP. Behe doesn't completely rule out such simple systems (to the extent I can tell):

"Even if a system is irreducibly complex (and thus cannot have been produced directly), however, one can not definitely rule out the possibility of an indirect, circuitous route. As the complexity of an interacting system increases, though, the likelihood of such an indirect route drops precipitously." (DBB, page 40)

That provides the scientific justification in saying the more parts that are needed to work together, the more you are justified in saying the probability of the circuitous route is very small.

If Behe has addressed your PCP example (and its in fact the example you have in mind), I'll try to find something on it.

-Bryan

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15650 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 3:02 PM
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Why is "turtles all the way down" not an adequate explanation?
---
Even five year olds instinctively understand this. My kid asked me where squirrels come from. I say mommy and daddy squirrels. She asks where do they come from. I say grandma and grandpa squirrels. She asks...well you get the picture. At some point she gets frustrated and demands a "real" answer. She instinctively understood that saying squirrels come from other squirrels doesn't really answer the question of how squirrels began. Now substitute IR for squirrel.


Then science can't accomplish what it set out to do, explain the origin of squirrels. You'd need God to explain that, and so science, to be complete, is really religion. In that case, what exactly are we arguing about?

To make the Behe argument---that IR necessitates a causal intelligence, one has to assume that Intelligence predates the capacity to make IR. In other words, one has to assume God.


Let's say I accept this. So what? You'll say, "Well then that proves ID is religion, and not science". Have you read the article Paul and I were talking about? Maybe we should discuss the assertion that "science doesn't equal methodological naturalism", which also gets at the issue of whether ID is true, regardless of whether you arbitrarily rule it out of "science". We've beat this horse to death.

-Bryan

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Author: adonsant Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15651 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 3:36 PM
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On one hand they say their theory (small "t") fits under the current definition of science, because the question "Can we detect intelligent design in biology" is a scientific question.

"Can we detect intelligent design in biology?" is not a scientific question. If it were, then there would have to be a scientific way to answer the question, which to date there is not.

I disagree. The question is scientific. The theory may not be, depending on whether science can answer the question.


If science can't answer the question, then the question can't be scientific. I don't see what your disagreement is based on.


How do you know science can't answer something unless you investigate it scientifically?

I'm not following your argument. In your first quote above, you claim that "Can we detect intelligent design in biology?" is a scientific question. In your second quote, you then concede that science may or may not be able to answer the question. Logically, it then must follow that the original question may or may not be scientific. You simply do not know at this point. Therefore, you cannot conclude that the question is scientific. Once you pose a scientific method to address the question, then you can.

Science can't answer the question "How did life come from non-life?". Does that make origin of life research unscientific?

You didn't read the review article I referenced concerning experiments attempting to understand how life could have come from non-life, did you?

1) I have a complex composed of three proteins. It has a particular function. Remove a part, and the function is lost. Does this satisfy the definition of IC? If not, what are the other requirements?

I assume you're talking about S. chlorophenolica breaking down PCP. Behe doesn't completely rule out such simple systems (to the extent I can tell):


Nope, that's not my example. I'm talking about three proteins that have to come together to function as a unit, just like 20 or so proteins function as a unit to produce the flagellum. I didn't think the questions I asked are all that complicated. Are they? I'm getting the feeling that IC is a lot like pornography: you know it when you see it but no one can give you a meaningful definition.

"Even if a system is irreducibly complex (and thus cannot have been produced directly), however, one can not definitely rule out the possibility of an indirect, circuitous route. As the complexity of an interacting system increases, though, the likelihood of such an indirect route drops precipitously." (DBB, page 40)

That provides the scientific justification in saying the more parts that are needed to work together, the more you are justified in saying the probability of the circuitous route is very small.


I don't see any scientific justification in that quote. All I see is a claim that the likelihood "drops precipitously" and zero evidence to back it up. Behe seems to ignore the fact that he needs to calculate the combined probability that any indirect route creates the structure in question, not just one particular route.

-Anthony

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Author: mapletree8 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15652 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 4:08 PM
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All intelligence that we empirically know of and have investigated are produced by a physical structure, e.g., a brain or perhaps an integrated circuit. These structures have the trait called IR.

Is this true?

We assume the same for the designer of life.

Is this a necessary assumption?

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Author: naylor99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15653 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 4:38 PM
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"It's apples and oranges. ID/evolution/science is one topic; theology is another."

Not quite. It is apples, oranges and bananas. ID is one subject (assuming you insists it is NOT theology), evolution/science is another, theology is a third.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15654 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 5:08 PM
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Then science can't accomplish what it set out to do, explain the origin of squirrels. You'd need God to explain that, and so science, to be complete, is really religion. In that case, what exactly are we arguing about?

The scientific explanation for the origin of squirrels is called "the theory of evolution". It differs from one of the religious explanations called "ID". I believe these are what are being argued.

Let's say I accept this. So what? You'll say, "Well then that proves ID is religion, and not science". Have you read the article Paul and I were talking about? Maybe we should discuss the assertion that "science doesn't equal methodological naturalism", which also gets at the issue of whether ID is true, regardless of whether you arbitrarily rule it out of "science". We've beat this horse to death.

Accepting that ID is not science would be a significant admission.

I do think that for you and Paul to discuss changing the definition of science would be a more honest thing to do than to continue to insist that ID is science.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15655 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 5:10 PM
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Is this true?...Is this a necessary assumption?

Not necessarily for either. But I think IDists have to assume both to be true in order for their proposal to have theistic implications. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for arguments sake.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15656 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 5:11 PM
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I'm not following your argument. In your first quote above, you claim that "Can we detect intelligent design in biology?" is a scientific question. In your second quote, you then concede that science may or may not be able to answer the question. Logically, it then must follow that the original question may or may not be scientific.

That's only if you require, that for a question to be scientific, you already must have a scientific answer in hand. I don't require that.

SETI asks the question: "Are there ETs out there that we can detect?" They may not be able to answer the question, ever. It's still a scientific pursuit to me.

If you disagree, please define what a scientific question is.

You simply do not know at this point. Therefore, you cannot conclude that the question is scientific. Once you pose a scientific method to address the question, then you can.
.


One of the ways Behe is studying the question is by testing the limits of protein evolution in the lab. Thats a scientific method.

I don't see any scientific justification in that quote

Seems to me probability has a role in scientific explanations. I don't know that anyone has worked it out. By the same token, no testable description of the evolution of the flagellum has been produced.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15657 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 5:18 PM
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Not quite. It is apples, oranges and bananas. ID is one subject (assuming you insists it is NOT theology), evolution/science is another, theology is a third.


I see the question of ID as a heirarchy.

At the bottom is ID approached as a scientific research project, which limits itself to scientific methods, and examines the question with the tools science allows.

Above that is a political/cultural movement, which USES the science of ID to promote religious and political agendas

At the top is ID as a philosophical question, which doesn't give a rat's a$$ about whether it is science or politics or theology; it only cares whether it's true.

So it depends on which ID we're talking about.

-Bryan

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Author: naylor99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15658 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 6:00 PM
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"I see the question of ID as a heirarchy. At the bottom is ID approached as a scientific research project, which limits itself to scientific methods, and examines the question with the tools science allows."

ID has already been dismissed by the scientific community as 'not science'. We can eliminate that one. Next?

"Above that is a political/cultural movement, which USES the science of ID to promote religious and political agendas"

That is where I see ID being prominently used, although it only uses science improperly to attempt to convince some that science validates the idea. Of course it doesn't.

"At the top is ID as a philosophical question, which doesn't give a rat's a$$ about whether it is science or politics or theology; it only cares whether it's true."

An unscientific and unprovable question. "Are we here for a reason?" is a similar question. "Where we created by the flying spaghetti monster?" is equally valid.

"So it depends on which ID we're talking about."

It is still bananas, regardless of which ID you choose.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15659 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 6:35 PM
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evolution/science is one topic; ID/theology is another.


Fixed that for you.

You're welcome.

:-)

1pg

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15660 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 7:04 PM
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evolution/science is one topic; ID/theology is another.
---------
Fixed that for you.


It's still looks right . . . if you look at it cross-eyed

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15661 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 7:13 PM
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SETI asks the question: "Are there ETs out there that we can detect?" They may not be able to answer the question, ever. It's still a scientific pursuit to me.

Barely, but yes it is. They formed a hypothesis (there are extra-terrestrials). Then they formed another hypothesis (they will generate non-random signals not seen in nature, or possibly will transmit deliberate patterns -like a Fibonacci sequence- to call the attention of another civilization advanced enough to detect and understand it). Then they set about looking for such non-random patterns. That is, their predictions were testable.

Obviously, there could be non-transmitting extra-terrestrials. Or perhaps their signals (for whatever reason) would look like random cosmic noise. Or perhaps they are too far away. So a null result here doesn't really tell us much.

By contrast, ID hypothesizes a creator. Then it hypothesizes that already-observed structures are indicative of said creator. QED. It makes no testable predictions, and makes assertions based on incredulity (e.g. the flagellum is just too complex to have evolved since if it's missing any protein it is no longer a flagellum...nevermind that it becomes a toxin injector). Keeping in mind this is way outside my field (and I'm sure Anthony and/or centromere will slap me silly if I say something too stupid), if ID theorized (for example) a reusing of established designs in different applications and then set about looking for those, it might be considered a scientific endeavor. Maybe. After all, human designers do that all the time (e.g. arches, trusses, sink traps, etc).

In electronics you can have a cross-coupled latch. It does one thing (latches data), but is used in many different ways. It can be part of RAM, it can hold data for a read or write of non-volatile memory, it can hold a node in a particular state, etc. Identify some combination of proteins and see if that pattern repeats in different ways. Hypothesis - prediction - search/study/experiment - results.

I got away from SETI there...but SETI doesn't take known observations and then reverse-predict something ("ooooh! that regular pulse indicates ET!"). That's what ID (Behe) do, however. Cart before the horse. SETI proposed a model, and is searching for evidence of it.

1poorguy

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Author: mapletree8 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15663 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 7:23 PM
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Not necessarily for either. But I think IDists have to assume both to be true in order for their proposal to have theistic implications. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for arguments sake.

Perhaps I've lost track of the conversation, but isn't that begging the question if your point is to argue that ID is religion?

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15666 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/3/2008 11:29 PM
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It's apples and oranges.

Agreed.

ID/evolution/science is one topic; theology is another.

Missed it by that much. Evolution/science is one topic, ID/theology another.

If there are structures that are irreducibly complex or possess specified complexity, and they can only be created by an intelligent agent, then that intelligent agent must possess both those qualities to begin with.

Since ID claims that IR and CSI cannot occur through evolution, that only leaves one, and only one, possible way the initial intelligent agent could possess those traits, through non evolutionary means.

Now, just who in the hell might that be? Huh? I wonder, just who do some people believe always existed, can do anything, and isn't bound by the rules of nature?

OH! OH! ME! ME! I GOT IT! It's that god dude!

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15668 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/4/2008 12:28 PM
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All intelligence that we empirically know of and have investigated are produced by a physical structure, e.g., a brain or perhaps an integrated circuit. These structures have the trait called IR.
---
Is this true?




Not even remotely.

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15669 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/4/2008 12:30 PM
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Perhaps I've lost track of the conversation, but isn't that begging the question if your point is to argue that ID is religion?


I think the argument was settled in Dover. We know it's not science, and we know ID is religion because the creationists classify it with creationsim.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15671 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/7/2008 8:58 AM
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Perhaps I've lost track of the conversation, but isn't that begging the question if your point is to argue that ID is religion?

Yup, but it's not something the IDists recognize (at least not publicly).

The basic ID argument...

1. Premise: IR cannot be produced by non-intelligent processes.
2. Observation: Flagella are IR.
3. Conclusion: Flagella was designed by an intelligence.

... exhibits several weaknesses and logical fallacies. These include:

a. The premise and observation are unsupported.

b. The argument exhibits circularity. The conclusion is simply a more specific example of the premise and only restates the assumptions of the premise..."Flagella cannot be made by nonintelligent processes therefore flagella was made by an intelligent designer." Tautologies are hardly convincing.

My point was to show that even if one assumes the legitimacy of the premise and observation, the conclusion is still problematic to the IDists. Suppose the intelligence is not-IR. That would mean that it could have evolved by purposeless natural processes. But that in turn would mean that IR could be created by non-intelligent processes, thereby contradicting the original premise.

The other alternative, that the designing intelligence is IR, has the problem of infinite regress.

The only solution is to assume the designing intelligence is God. This means IDism is an attempt to explain life through God, which falls in the realm of religion.

So the only valid ID argument based on the premise of explaining IR (while avoiding logical errors) would be a religious one that is virtually identical to Paley's design argument:

1. Premise: IR cannot be produced by non-intelligent processes.
2. Supposition: Flagella are IR.
3. Conclusion: Flagella was designed by God.

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15673 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/7/2008 3:20 PM
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You mean IC instead of IR, right?

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15674 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/7/2008 4:40 PM
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Yup, I did mean irreducible complexity.

I am certainly not a logician so I am curious whether my reasoning is legitimate. Is the conclusion of the irreducible complexity argument simply a restatement of the premise?

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15675 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/7/2008 4:54 PM
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I am certainly not a logician so I am curious whether my reasoning is legitimate.

Actually, I thought it was a very succinct summary of what is wrong with their argument. You may have missed a formal fallacy or two (I don't think so), but basically you nailed the problems to the wall for all to see. And in a very unambiguous manner. Not much wiggle room there for someone to rebut disingenuously.

1poorguy

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Author: pauls59 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15676 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/7/2008 9:29 PM
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Centromere wrote:

First an example from the SETI project to use as comparison. The SETI folks identify a signal as coming from an intelligent entity by "artificiality". Artificiality is defined empirically, by what isn't observed in nature and can be produced by humans. Pretty straightforward.

In a similar way, Behe wants to argue that flagella is created by an intelligent entity. However, he can't use the SETI criteria because flagella are observed in nature. They are produced by bacteria all the time and entirely without the aid of any intelligence. By all empirical criteria then, flagella are not artificial


Centromere misapplies the SETI consideration as it applies to ID. The idea behind SETI is that there may be intelligence in the universe outside our own planet, and that by collecting data from signals in the universe, any non-random, orderly, signals may be considered as likely to be from an intelligent cause. It matters not that it is artificial, it only matters that it is distinguished from random, unintelligent noise in the universe. The implication is that as we observe our surroundings, we have an ability to detect whether we are observing intelligently caused phenomena or unintelligent, randomly occuring phenomena, whether it be signals from beyond our solar system, or biological features under the microscope.

Behe testified that when he has opportunities to discuss ID with other scientists, he finds that they have misconceptions about ID, and once Behe has an opportunity to correct those misconceptions, scientists generally have a higher regard for ID and find that it has merit. I think that this discussion Centromere wrote of SETI is a good example of what Behe is talking about.

Centromere wrote:

Being scientific we then consider this putative designer using empirical observations. All intelligence that we empirically know of and have investigated are produced by a physical structure, e.g., a brain or perhaps an integrated circuit. These structures have the trait called IR. We assume the same for the designer of life. But this would mean that the designer must also be the product of an intelligent entity, which in turn...

Oh, oh. We now have the turtles all the way down problem. Therefore ID is not an adequate explanation for IR. Unless...

I was wondering where Centromere believes the discussion moves from a scientific study in Biology to an unscientific study of philosophy.

Centromere wrote:

Suppose we assume a new kind of intelligence, one not based on physical structure and one that does not require a cause for its existence. This would work. This would also be God. This means that ID is only an adequate explanation for IR if one assumes the existence of God.

Therefore ID is a religious proposition.

This is in accord with the following written by Behe: "What if the existence of God is in dispute or is denied? So far I have assumed the existence of God. But what if the existence of God is denied at the outset, or is in dispute? Is the plausibility of the argument to design affected? As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God's existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God's existence."


Perhaps Centromere is not aware of the context from which the statement Behe made came from. When questioned at Dover about that exact text in an article, Behe said:

Let me respond in a couple of ways to that. First,
5 let me clarify for context that this is a journal called
6 Biology and Philosophy. So not only am I speaking about
7 scientific matters here, but I'm also talking about
8 nonscientific matters
here in an academic forum. Academics
9 embraces more than just science. This is an academic forum
10 which also embraces philosophy, and so I addressed
11 philosophical issues as well.
12 And again, my statement as written is certainly
13 correct. And it's happened time -- many times in science,
14 and, again, I'll just refer back to John Maddox's article
15 Down With the Big Bang. He didn't like the Big Bang theory.
16 And it wasn't because the data were inconsistent with it,
17 it's because it was philosophically unacceptable. Walter
18 Nernst hated the idea of a beginning to the universe. It
19 was unscientific. So -- and other people have said similar
20 things.
21 So it's clearly true that people make decisions
22 even about a scientific theory, based not only on the
23 science itself, but what they perceive as other
24 ramifications of the theory.
25 But I argue, I've argued a number of places, that
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
BEHE - CROSS
105
1 it's the proper role of a scientist to leave aside those
2 other considerations as much as possible and focus simply on
3 the scientific data.


When you blur scientific theory with unscientific philosophical considerations, you can turn a scientific theory into religion.

Judge Jones' opinion in the Dover trial where it makes claims on this matter was a close copy of the ACLU's proposed findings of fact. The ACLU's findings state:

Even defendants' own expert
witnesses acknowledged this
point [that “animals did not
evolve naturally, through
evolutionary means, but rather
were created abruptly by a
non-natural, or supernatural,
designer”].


Judge Jones' opinion states:

Defendants' own expert
witnesses acknowledged this
point [“that animals did not
evolve naturally through
evolutionary means but were
created abruptly by a nonnatural,
or supernatural,
designer”].


However, Scott Minnich's testimony for the defense states:

Q. Do you have an opinion as to
whether intelligent design requires the
action of a supernatural creator?
A. I do.
Q. What is that opinion?
A. It does not.10


The ACLU's statement was in error and was copied by the Judge without any attempt to correct it. In fact, there are other instances where this type of copying by the opinion gives improper inferences. In fact, %90.9 of the opinion in the section on intelligent design as science is word for word the same as the ACLU's statement. Considering the level of reliance the Judge placed on the ACLU's statement and the errors copied therefrom, there is little to show that the Judge gave any consideration to this part of the trial, but rather merely inserted large parts of text into the opinion.

Advocates of design include more than just christians and deists. There are others who have different religious or non-religious views.

But the main objection that I have to Centromere's "frogs all the way down" argument is that he is applying an unscientific, philosophical argument to explain why a scientific argument is not science. You cannot do that and maintain the scientific integrity of the argument. He injects philosophy into the scientific argument, contaminating the science with his philosophy, and then says "Therefore ID is a religious proposition." It is truly astonishing that such a simple trick like this has been able to get so much mileage. It is like adding helium to a balloon and then saying, see, look, it floats on air.

And what of evolution. I could claim that it is purely an atheistic theory. It is predicated on a cause that requires no God and only requires random mutations and survival of the fittest. There is not supernatural interaction. But it takes billions of years, which disenfranchises a whole religion, YEC creationists, and takes away from many who are not among the %15 of Americans who don't believe in an intelligent designer. In fact it is even said to have made atheists to be intellectually fulfilled. And not only that, but that famous Eugenie Scott (NCSE Executive Director, she signed the Humanist Manifesto) authored an article that supports public schoolteachers initiating religious discussions with students to help convince them that evolution is acceptable to their religion. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/06/louisiana_do_forrest_an...

When scientists are doing science, it does not matter what scientific theory they are supporting, they are doing science, not religion, not philosophy. Leave Philosophy to the philosophers and let scientists be scientists. The theory of Intelligent Design is scientific and Centromere's arguments do nothing to sway my opinion of that.

JMHO

Paul

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15677 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/7/2008 10:40 PM
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Centromere misapplies the SETI consideration as it applies to ID. The idea behind SETI is that there may be intelligence in the universe outside our own planet, and that by collecting data from signals in the universe, any non-random, orderly, signals may be considered as likely to be from an intelligent cause. It matters not that it is artificial, it only matters that it is distinguished from random, unintelligent noise in the universe.

Paul,

Actually it is Centromere who was correct (and you incorrect). SETI is NOT looking for orderly signals. After all Pulsar emissions is about as regular as it's possible for nature to be. In fact in many cases we could maintain better time measurements by sychronizing on pulsar pulses.

From the Wikipedia page:
The software searches for four types of signals that distinguish them from noise:
signals:[citation needed]
Spikes in power spectra
Gaussian rises and falls in transmission power, possibly representing the telescope beam's main lobe passing over a radio source
Triplets — three power spikes in a row
Pulsing signals that possibly represent a narrowband digital-style transmission


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seti%40home#Scientific_research...

Additionally they look for Galactic Centric & Solar Centric signals (meaning frequencies adjusted to remain constant based upon two different frames of reference: the galactic center and our sun). Otherwise signal frequencies drift over time.

Note that they are NOT looking for any sort of intelligent structure. They are just looking for signs of intentional transmission. If a signal is ever detected then scientists will begin to attempt to decode the signal.

For historical reference read up on the Wow! Signal captured by Ohio State researchers in 1977:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wow_signal

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15679 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 1:33 AM
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Paul: Centromere misapplies the SETI consideration as it applies to ID. The idea behind SETI is that there may be intelligence in the universe outside our own planet, and that by collecting data from signals in the universe, any non-random, orderly, signals may be considered as likely to be from an intelligent cause. It matters not that it is artificial, it only matters that it is distinguished from random, unintelligent noise in the universe.

I don't think your paragraph makes sense, but in any case my information came from the head of the SETI group, Seth Shostak who said:

"We seek artificiality, which is an organized and optimized signal coming from an astronomical environment from which neither it nor anything like it is either expected or observed: Very modest complexity, found out of context."
http://www.space.com/searchforlife/seti_intelligentdesign_05...

It's all about artificiality. Where does your info come from?

Paul: I was wondering where Centromere believes the discussion moves from a scientific study in Biology to an unscientific study of philosophy.

No need to wonder as it is fairly obvious. I am simply assessing the quality of the logical argument made by IDism. An argument is valid to the extent that if when one assumes the premises are true then the conclusion must be true. An argument is sound if one can show that it is both valid and has true premises.

I was testing the validity of the ID argument by following the logic to its conclusion and found all sorts of logical problems. I note with interest that while you question the relevence, you do not seem to disagree with my assessment of the logical inadequacies of IDism.

In science, an argument has to be logically consistent to be valid. ID doesn't seem to past that test.

Paul: Centromere is not aware of the context from which the statement Behe made came from.

Why is that relevant? It still remains that Behe directly links belief in ID with belief in God.

Paul: Judge Jones' opinion in the Dover trial where it makes claims on this matter was a close copy of the ACLU's proposed findings of fact.

Since the ACLU was the main plaintif and won resoundingly, it is not surprising that the judge would base his decision on the ACLU finding of fact. Why is that a problem to you?

Paul: And what of evolution. I could claim that it is purely an atheistic theory. It is predicated on a cause that requires no God and only requires random mutations and survival of the fittest. There is not supernatural interaction.

You can certainly say that evolution is a "naturalistic" theory that does not require supernatural intervention. This is why it falls in the realm of science. Again, why is that a problem?

Paul: But the main objection that I have to Centromere's "frogs all the way down" argument is that he is applying an unscientific, philosophical argument to explain why a scientific argument is not science.

Why is noting that the ID argument logically leads to the problem of infinite regress unscientific?

How are you defining scientific in your posts? You keep avoiding the question and keep misusing the term.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15680 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 8:36 AM
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A bit of fact-checking.

Pauls59:The ACLU's statement was in error and was copied by the Judge without any attempt to correct it.

Judge Jones statement that is in question: "Defendants' own expert
witnesses acknowledged this point [“that animals did not evolve naturally through evolutionary means but were created abruptly by a nonnatural, or supernatural, designer”]."

What Jones actually wrote (in larger context): "Further support for the conclusion that ID is predicated on supernatural causation is found in the ID reference book to which ninth grade biology students are directed, Pandas. Pandas states, in pertinent part, as follows: Darwinists object to the view of intelligent design because it does not give a natural cause explanation of how the various forms of life started in the first place. Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly, through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc. P-11 at 99-100 (emphasis added). Stated another way, ID posits that animals did not evolve naturally through evolutionary means but were created abruptly by a non-natural, or supernatural, designer. Defendants’ own expert witnesses acknowledged this point. (21:96-100 (Behe); P-718 at 696, 700 (“implausible that the designer is a natural entity”); 28:21-22 (Fuller) (“. . . ID’s rejection of naturalism and commitment to supernaturalism . . .”); 38:95-96 (Minnich) (ID does not exclude the possibility of a supernatural designer, including deities).

I think the Judge adequately supported his assertion with many specific examples.

Pauls59 uses a statement by Scott Minnich to argue that the Judge and ACLU were wrong in their statements. However, this is the Minnich statement referenced by the judge:

Q. Would it be fair to say that intelligent design does not exclude the possibility of a supernatural cause as the designer?

Minnich: It does not exclude.

Q. And, in fact, a designer could be a deity, correct?

Minnich: It could be.

Q. And that would clearly be supernatural, right?

Minnich: Right, but that's -- that would be a philosophical addition to that science isn't going to take, isn't going to tell us. I think I made that clear.

Q. But intelligent design holds open the possibility that the designer might be supernatural?

Minnich: Flip it around. If you're a true naturalist, then you can use your data to argue for atheism or materialism. So regardless of which side you fall on this question, there are metaphysical implications.

Q. Intelligent design theory specifically holds open the possibility that the designer is supernatural, true or false?

Minnich: True.


So at minimum, Minnich is open to the assertion that "ID posits supernatural causation".

Pauls59 makes the accusation: He [centromere] injects philosophy into the scientific argument, contaminating the science with his philosophy, and then says "Therefore ID is a religious proposition."

In fairness, I think you should state how you are defining "philosophy" and "scientific", then identify specifically how I am (1) "injecting philosophy into the scientific argument, and (2) "contaminating the science with my philosophy" (I find it hard to believe that anyone would believe that the search for logical flaws is non-scientific, but you've surprised me before). In particular, what "philosophy" am I contaminating stuff with? If you can't defend this accusation, then I think it should be retracted...if you want to be intellectually honest that is.

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Author: Tarasicodissa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15681 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 9:15 AM
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centromere :
Suppose we assume a new kind of intelligence, one not based on physical structure and one that does not require a cause for its existence. This would work. This would also be God. This means that ID is only an adequate explanation for IR if one assumes the existence of God.

But even this consequence is contrary to the premise, imo.
ID recognizes IC structures as "designed".
But God designed all of the universe. Snowflakes and crystals were also designed by God.
So we end up with structures, designed by God, that are not recognised as such by ID-science.
And other structures, also designed by God, that are recognised as such by ID-science.
Now the distinction between natural and designed structures is the basic observable for ID-science.
But if God did it, both natural and designed structures were designed by the same entity, and therefore the distinction is false and cannot be used to point to a designer.
Therefore, the whole ID can be disproved "ad absurdum". Every outcome of the premise leads to a logical contradiction and that should normally be sufficient to reject it.

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15682 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 9:42 AM
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Actually, I thought it was a very succinct summary of what is wrong with their argument. You may have missed a formal fallacy or two (I don't think so), but basically you nailed the problems to the wall for all to see. And in a very unambiguous manner. Not much wiggle room there for someone to rebut disingenuously.

1poorguy


There have been several posts that nail down the issue. I think this one summed up the scientific errors of ID better than any:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26786467

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15683 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 9:47 AM
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It is like adding helium to a balloon and then saying, see, look, it floats on air.

A even better analogy would be to say "It's like ID and pointing to anything really complicated and saying, see, it had to be intelligently created because we already know god created everything."

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15684 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 9:59 AM
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In fairness, I think you should state how you are defining "philosophy" and "scientific", then identify specifically how I am (1) "injecting philosophy into the scientific argument, and (2) "contaminating the science with my philosophy" (I find it hard to believe that anyone would believe that the search for logical flaws is non-scientific, but you've surprised me before). In particular, what "philosophy" am I contaminating stuff with? If you can't defend this accusation, then I think it should be retracted...if you want to be intellectually honest that is.

How can one truly avoid injecting philosophy and theism into the ID debate? That's like saying we're going to scientifically dissect Nietzsche.

The line is so blurred by the premise to begin with, I think it impossible to amputate philosophical/theist ideas from ID. ID attempts to do so by claiming boundaries where it wants to, but for the rest of the world, that's a load of dung. The logical road leads one out of science.

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15685 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 9:59 AM
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Every outcome of the premise leads to a logical contradiction and that should normally be sufficient to reject it.

The one outcome that avoids contradiction is that the intelligent designer of earth life is itself a product of natural causes.

Is it possible to have a logically consistent argument that leads to a supernatural conclusion? I suspect that the very nature of the supernatural concept precludes its being described by rules of logic.

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15686 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 12:45 PM
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But the main objection that I have to Centromere's "frogs all the way down" argument is that he is applying an unscientific, philosophical argument to explain why a scientific argument is not science.

Paul,

Centromere used a philosophical explanation as a short cut to explain the problem to you. You don't seem to understand science's objections to this situation so Centromere used the philosophical argument as an illustration.

Another way of phrasing ID's inadequacy is this: ID attempts to explain a small problem in irreducible complexity (explaining the origins of bacterial flagella) with a much larger problem in irreducible complexity (explaining the origins of God).

Science attempts the reverse of that proposition. It seeks to reduce the size and scope of the problem not make it larger. A useful tool in this endeavor is "Occam's Razor":

The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae ("law of parsimony" or "law of succinctness"): "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem", roughly translated as "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity".

ID introduces far more complexity with its "answer" than it provides. This makes it unsuitable as a scientific explanation for anything.

Add to these difficulties the fact that ID possesses no predictive capabilities and the fact that it cannot explain what we've observed even as well as current incarnations of Evolution and it turns ID into a complete non-starter as scientific thought.

ID may be right (about God) but it is NOT science. As long as you keep ID in the realm of philosophy & religion very few people will criticize your for holding these beliefs (though my personal feeling is that ID would suffer similar criticisms in philosophical cirlces for the same reasons it's criticized in scientific circles).

One last way of putting this is that ID is circular reasoning. It is much simpler to "cut out" the loop and just leave the original IC/origin question than to add one or more explanatory (but illogical) loops that circle back to new IC/origin questions with the same answer "I don't know".

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Author: adonsant Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15687 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 4:28 PM
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I'm not following your argument. In your first quote above, you claim that "Can we detect intelligent design in biology?" is a scientific question. In your second quote, you then concede that science may or may not be able to answer the question. Logically, it then must follow that the original question may or may not be scientific.

That's only if you require, that for a question to be scientific, you already must have a scientific answer in hand. I don't require that.

SETI asks the question: "Are there ETs out there that we can detect?" They may not be able to answer the question, ever. It's still a scientific pursuit to me.

If you disagree, please define what a scientific question is.


Since you copied and pasted my answer to this below, I'm not sure where your confusion lies. I'll try to spell it out more clearly. A scientific question is one which may be answered by scientific investigation. As other have pointed out, SETI qualifies. No method of scientific investigation has been proposed to answer the question, "Can we detect intelligent design in biology?" The fact that ID proponents such as yourself can't even describe the algorithm to test for IC or the rationale for it leads me to believe that there is no scientific test for IC. Since no other algorithm has been put forward, one must conclude that the above question is not scientific. To put it another way, let me propose that this question is scientific: What is the meaning of life? I just haven't quite worked out how to answer it yet, but I'm right on the verge of a breakthrough. I just can't give you the details right now. What's the difference between this and ID?

You simply do not know at this point. Therefore, you cannot conclude that the question is scientific. Once you pose a scientific method to address the question, then you can.
.

One of the ways Behe is studying the question is by testing the limits of protein evolution in the lab. Thats a scientific method.


No, that's merely a claim without anything to back it up. What scientific methods is he using? Maybe you could give us the references to peer-reviewed papers that Behe's published, detailing his laboratory works, or describe the experiments that he's performing. According to PubMed, his lab focuses only on histone affinity for certain DNA sequences. He's published zero papers concerning laboratory experiments on protein evolution.

I don't see any scientific justification in that quote. All I see is a claim that the likelihood "drops precipitously" and zero evidence to back it up. Behe seems to ignore the fact that he needs to calculate the combined probability that any indirect route creates the structure in question, not just one particular route.

Seems to me probability has a role in scientific explanations. I don't know that anyone has worked it out.

So, you're saying that Behe has not demonstrated that the flagellum could not have evolved or that it's even unlikely? Glad to see that that misunderstanding has been cleared up.

Probability does have a role in scientific explanations. One needs to look no further than climatology and global warming. However, one's probability calculation is no better than the model on which that calculation is based. As I've previously shown, when one combines Behe's probability model with real world experiments, one finds that evolution can produce a series of genetic changes with a probability of less than 10^-150 in a timeframe as short as a year; which, IIRC, is about 100 orders of magnitude lower that what Behe claims is the lower limit to what can happen by chance. The proves that either 1) Behe's model is wrong, 2) Behe's probability bound is wrong, or 3) both 1 and 2.

To look at it another way, the experimental data combined with Behe's probability model suggest that over a 10 million year period, a series of mutations with a combined probability of (10^-150)^10,000,000=10^-1,500,000,000, or a chance of one in 1 followed by 1.5 billion zeros, can occur.

-Anthony

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Author: pauls59 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15688 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/8/2008 9:30 PM
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Centromere wrote:

It's all about artificiality. Where does your info come from?

It came from the analogy that I thought could be made considering the two different types of attempts to discern intelligence from random, unguided processes. Just today I did a search and found this from Dembski:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/seti-and-i...

So we have simplicity of description combined with complexity in the sense of improbability of the outcome. That’s specified complexity and that’s my criterion for detecting design. It’s the same reason we detect design in the 1×4×9 monolith in 2001, A Space Odyssey. The structure is easily described; yet it is hard for natural processes to produce such rectangular solids by purely undirected material forces.


That is the commonality that I was trying to describe, but Dembski, being the expert, does a better job than I did.

Centromere said:

Why is noting that the ID argument logically leads to the problem of infinite regress unscientific?

How are you defining scientific in your posts? You keep avoiding the question and keep misusing the term


I was using the term "scientific" in the same manner as Behe.

Lets take another look at your logic:

Being scientific we then consider this putative designer using empirical observations. All intelligence that we empirically know of and have investigated are produced by a physical structure, e.g., a brain or perhaps an integrated circuit. These structures have the trait called IR. We assume the same for the designer of life. But this would mean that the designer must also be the product of an intelligent entity, which in turn...

Oh, oh. We now have the turtles all the way down problem. Therefore ID is not an adequate explanation for IR. Unless...

Suppose we assume a new kind of intelligence, one not based on physical structure and one that does not require a cause for its existence. This would work. This would also be God. This means that ID is only an adequate explanation for IR if one assumes the existence of God.

Therefore ID is a religious proposition.


You are making a presumption that all intelligence in the universe functions in a like manner to the way intelligence functions on Earth. We have not sufficiently explored the far reaches of the universe to know what possible intelligence may exist outside of the known universe that we have explored. If we begin to "think outside the box" the possibilities are wide and varied. There are also other dimensions that we may not be able to observe, but may have a capability to influence the dimension that we are conscious of. As such, you make a presumption that we have all knowledge about every possible intelligent cause and I find that you have improperly constrained the possibilities. There are nearly limitless possibilities that reach beyond the capacity of our most lucid imaginations. We cannot apply our limited knowledge of possible intelligent causes to an unknown entity and assume that we have made a complete and accurate test for what that entity might be. To limit the possibillities to intelligent causes that suffer from the "frogs all the way down" constraints is an unacceptable limitation because we have limited knowledge of all possibilities.

There is no scientific method to tell anything about the intelligent cause that is assumed for ID other than the fact that such an intelligent cause requires a certain minimum of intelligence and physical abilities to design and cause the features that are found to be intelligently designed. There is no scientifically foundated argument to assume anything more than what is necessitated by observation and testing of the physical evidence, such evidence being the intelligently designed features in question.

Bearing in mind that the only scientific limitation on the intelligent cause is that it is one capable of perpetrating the identified features of intelligent design, you then begin seeking an answer for who the designer is. I have argued that defining the intelligent cause reaches beyond the stated theory of intelligent design, but I will humor the self-appointed bearers of higher scientific intellect so that they may jab and poke fun at my further attempts of intrusion into their impenitrable wall of scientific intellectual purity, impeccably reasoned scientific theory, and immesurable girth of supporting scientific evidence.

First there is hypothesis that each and every possible form of physical intelligence must be IC. As such, there is the "frogs all the way down" failure of any form of physical intelligence. The second hypothesis is that, there being no possible suitable physical intelligence for ID, there is only one other possible designer, who is God. Since this is all a logical consideration based upon a limited knowledge of all things real and philosophical, it is a philosophical argument. It is based on limited scientific understanding of all things intelligent and all things universal and all things in our dimension and any other hypothesized dimension. As a practical matter, we really have no idea who the intelligent cause is because we did not observe its theorized action. All we have are results of the action. Without any physical evidence on the intelligent cause itself, we can only philosophize on who the intelligent cause is. There is no tangible evidence of the intelligent cause. Only its handiwork.

We have believers in UFOs. We have seen and heard many eyewitness reports of such UFOs. Some believe they could be the intelligent cause. How they managed to escape the "frogs all the way down" preclusion is anyone's guess, but we have the pictures of them and testimony of their visits to Earth. The fact that SETI is searching for "artificial" transmissions from space is another example of thought, by scientists even, that some intelligence may exist out there. There is enough belief in it that resources have been expended in that search. THere are trolls, there are gods, I don't know what all else. There are many examples. Without giving any particular intelligent cause, known or unknown, special dispensation over any other, when doing scientific work, there is no religious aspect to the theory.

Hey, I just realized something. Cats have 9 lives, not horses. We keep thinking we are beating a horse to death, but it really is a cat because it keeps coming back to life. Can't tell a cat from a horse, and we thought we were intellectuals.

JMHO

Paul

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Author: centromere Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15692 of 25048
Subject: Re: Why ID is religion, a primer Date: 7/9/2008 8:28 AM
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pauls59: That is the commonality that I was trying to describe, but Dembski, being the expert, does a better job than I did.

I don't think Dembski makes much sense. And I don't think you really understand Dembski either. In any case, Dembski doesn't run SETI. The folks who do run SETI do not use Dembski's criteria, whatever they happen to be. They use artificiality.

It doesn't really matter but I'm curious about your notions of intellectual honesty. You said that the SETI search was not based on defining artificiality. I linked to a site where the Senior Astronomer, Seth Shostak, of SETI states that artificiality is the criterium used.

So do you now agree that SETI uses artificiality as the basis for finding signals from extraterrestrials?

pauls59: You are making a presumption that all intelligence in the universe functions in a like manner to the way intelligence functions on Earth.

That's the same assumption Behe makes--Human intelligence can produce irreducible complexity therefore the IC found in life must also come from intelligence.

You don't seem to appreciate that analogy and resemblance is the foundation of the ID argument. Flagella resemble human-made motors and DNA resemble human-written coded messages. The more similar the analogy, the stronger the argument. The more alien you assume the intelligence, the less you can expect it to do what humans do.

pauls59: First there is hypothesis that each and every possible form of physical intelligence must be IC. As such, there is the "frogs all the way down" failure of any form of physical intelligence.

Geez, do you even read my posts? I posit two possible intelligences, one with IC, and one without. Do you have any other possibilities? The one without IC can, according to IDism, evolve naturally. Obviously not the option you Wedgies want. The Intelligence with IC must itself have an intelligent designer since, according to IDism, IC must be designed. Repeat this paragraph infinitely.

The second hypothesis is that, there being no possible suitable physical intelligence for ID, there is only one other possible designer, who is God.

Again, Geez, do you even read my posts? My assertion is that the only way to end the infinite regress is to state dogmatically that one designer requires no cause. For those who know the traditional cosmological argument for the existence of God, the only entity claimed to necessarily exists (e.g., require no cause) is God.

Since this is all a logical consideration based upon a limited knowledge of all things real and philosophical, it is a philosophical argument.

This is your definition of philosophical?!? A philosophical argument is one based on limited knowledge of the real and philosophical? What does this mean?

We have believers in UFOs. We have seen and heard many eyewitness reports of such UFOs. Some believe they could be the intelligent cause. How they managed to escape the "frogs all the way down" preclusion is anyone's guess, but we have the pictures of them and testimony of their visits to Earth.

You really have no understanding of the argument I'm making. Belief in UFOs is not based on an abstraction like IC. It is based on personal experience. There is no circularity or infinite regress issues associated with belief based on experience.

ID attempts a logical argument. The logical argument made by ID is flawed. It's as simple as that.

Let me end my part in this thread with a quote often used from St. Augustine. I think you should take it to heart as I don't think your posts are helping your cause much. Don't argue so definitively about stuff you don't fully understand.

St. Augustine: "Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. "

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