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At this point I'm only arguing that whatever you perceive as faulty design does not argue "no design".

If Microsoft designs an operating system with enough problems to make you long for the next one to be released, is that evidence that Windows ME was not designed?

And for Kazim's benefit, just to be clear, I'm arguing design in a general sense, this has nothing to do with ID theory.

Here's my problem with that, and I think it goes to the core issue of why ID isn't science. Those two theories are mutually exclusive. You cannot simultaneously put forth the idea that "There is a bumbling designer, who writes inefficient hacks into creation like Microsoft employees" while simultaneously saying "I just want to establish that there is some kind of designer first, although eventually the argument may or may not work around to the idea that the designer is God."

That kind of missed my point about Windows ME. I'm not postulating a bumbling designer. I don't consider Windows a bumbling design. For one, it's obviously designed, and incredibly complicated. It shows signs that a great deal of intelligence is behind it. And it serves its purpose, even if there might be ways to improve individual functions. In fact, its flaws may actually have a designed purpose in and of themselves. I see several analogies to God here.

You and others attempt to argue for the bumbling creator model, which I'm only too happy to accept for the purpose of demonstrating design. Any kind of intelligent creator is a creator after all. Once you accept a bumbling creator, the "Creation" side of the equation is established.

And I really don't know how to answer people who point to appendixes and near-sightedness and say "See, there can't be a designer", and totally dismiss the literally millions of systems in the human body that function extremely well.

Once you postulate a bumbling designer, you rule out your god. It's that simple. You can't just argue for a kind of "generalized design" (obviously there is no such thing as a designer without properties) while at the same time accepting logically contradictory statements about the designer.

I would agree, if I considered the things you see as "bumbling" the same way you do. I don't see the statement "Humans have an appendix with little use" to be contradicted by "God designed humans with an appendix".

This is why it is a good idea to work towards a theory, not of some kind of "generic designer," but actually make hypotheses about precisely what the designer is like and then test those hypotheses.

Not if you are trying to develop a scientific theory, and the designer is not available for analysis. When SETI discovers an intelligently designed radio signal, they will know absolutely nothing specific about who designed it other than "They have the technology to send such a signal our way". They won't be able to answer any of the questions you pose.

"God" is not a scientific theory, and I feel no obligation to use the tools of science to explore the concept beyond what they can handle.

The fact that the flagellum evolved fits in with a very detailed existing model based on observable facts, which indicates that complex parts in general do evolve

It only fits when you don't require any verification that such a thing could actually happen, but rather assume it.

If you believe that the designer is "God," then you need to find an explanation for why "God" appears to be such a screwup.

I don't think God is a screwup. The reason he appears so to you has more to do with your perception than anything else. I really don't know how to change your perception of things.

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