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"[Intelligent design] is not an argument for the existence of a benevolent God, as Paley's was. I hasten to add that I myself do believe in a benevolent God, and I recognize that philosophy and theology may be able to extend the argument. But a scientific argument for design in biology does not reach that far. Thus while I argue for design, the question of the identity of the designer is left open. Possible candidates for the role of designer include: the God of Christianity; an angel--fallen or not; Plato's demi-urge; some mystical new age force; space aliens from Alpha Centauri; time travelers; or some utterly unknown intelligent being. Of course, some of these possibilities may seem more plausible than others based on information from fields other than science. Nonetheless, as regards the identity of the designer, modern ID theory happily echoes Isaac Newton's phrase hypothesis non fingo.

(Michael Behe, "The Modern Intelligent Design Hypothesis," Philosophia Christi, Series 2, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2001), pg. 165.)

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/04/richard_dawkins_misrepresents.html#more
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Behe: "[Intelligent design] is not an argument for the existence of a benevolent God.'

What a curious statement.

I think one can say with considerable justification that the Designer of ID is far more benevolent than the God of Christianity. The act of Creation was a singular act of great benefit to all.

Even if we set aside all the nastiness of Yahweh in the Old Testament and restrict Christianity to the New Testament, how can anyone square the Second Coming with benevolence? To me it looks like a supreme act of genocidal rage.

If we further restrict Christian Scripture down to just the sayings of Jesus that are solidly attributable to Jesus — the so-called Book of Q — then perhaps one can make a good argument for benevolence. Of course, few Christians would sit still for such a drastic scholarly truncation of their holy scripture.

Loren
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I think one can say with considerable justification that the Designer of ID is far more benevolent than the God of Christianity. The act of Creation was a singular act of great benefit to all.

How can you be sure they are not one and the same? If so, it seems your criticism of the one attaches to the other as well.

I'm assuming you are speaking hypothetically about a Designer as a personal being, or have you changed your mind on this issue?


few Christians would sit still for such a drastic scholarly truncation of their holy scripture.

Have you read any scholarly critiques of the Jesus Seminar's work, for example "Jesus Under Fire", Wilkins and Moreland, eds., or "Reinventing Jesus" by Komoszewski, Sawyer, and Wallace?

Always nice to have you drop by Loren

-Bryan
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"[Intelligent design] is not an argument for the existence of a benevolent God, as Paley's was. I hasten to add that I myself do believe in a benevolent God, and I recognize that philosophy and theology may be able to extend the argument. But a scientific argument for design in biology does not reach that far. Thus while I argue for design, the question of the identity of the designer is left open

This logic escapes me.

The whole basis of the ID argument is the assertion of the improbability of random events to produce some specified complexity (like flagellum).

The necessary implication is a higher probability for an intelligent cause.

How does one assess the probability of the existence of an intelligent cause that is neither identified or described?
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How does one assess the probability of the existence of an intelligent cause that is neither identified or described?

Don't you ever watch CSI on tv?
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How does one assess the probability of the existence of an intelligent cause that is neither identified or described?



like Holmes said --
"when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”


sounds like Behe is claiming (disingenuously?) that he's only trying to show 'Evolution' impossible. Then the probability/improbability of alternatives is irrelevant

...since Science can't prove HIS god is impossible ...


=
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How does one assess the probability of the existence of an intelligent cause that is neither identified or described?

Don't you ever watch CSI on tv?


On CSI, considerably lower standards are required to prove that people exist.
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How does one assess the probability of the existence of an intelligent cause that is neither identified or described?

Don't you ever watch CSI on tv?


My kids love that show (pick one. There's like 90 of them) so, yes, yes I watch it.

They always, always start with the assumption that the intelligent agent is human.

X Files, not so much.
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And, to repeat something that I'm sure has been said here quite often, if we accept the arguments for ID and a hypothetical intelligent designer, then the same arguments would suggest that the designer was itself intelligently designed. So either it's turtles all the way down, or you have to accept that some complex entity in the pathway was not designed--thus disproving the ID arguments.
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How does one assess the probability of the existence of an intelligent cause that is neither identified or described?

Don't you ever watch CSI on tv?

On CSI, considerably lower standards are required to prove that people exist.


You wouldn't make a good detective . . . a chimpanzee could have pulled the trigger, the dog could have accidently stepped on the gun and it went off, heck the parrot could have been so sick of "Polly want a cracker?" that he beaked the gun at just the right time to nail the guy.

You have to consider the evidence, does it point to accident, self-inflicted, or non-human agent.
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And, to repeat something that I'm sure has been said here quite often, if we accept the arguments for ID and a hypothetical intelligent designer, then the same arguments would suggest that the designer was itself intelligently designed. So either it's turtles all the way down . . .

. . . or its not. Nothing at all follows from there being at least one designer.

Yes, a lot of things are repeated here.
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Nothing at all follows from there being at least one designer.

Why? For a relatively superficial perspective it seems like the arguments stem from the complexity of the presumed "designee", are they not? If humans are too complex to have evolved through natural selection, then surely whatever intelligently designed humans is too complex to have evolved through natural process too.
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sounds like Behe is claiming (disingenuously?) that he's only trying to show 'Evolution' impossible. Then the probability/improbability of alternatives is irrelevant

yet, he has stated that he doesn't have a problem with common descent... wait - he said that common descent can't explain all of the diversity we see..... OH WAIT! Intelligent Design doesn't say anything about common descent.

cliff
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If humans are too complex to have evolved through natural selection, then surely whatever intelligently designed humans is too complex to have evolved through natural process too.


I agree that the designer of humans did not itself evolve through natural processes. But logic doesn't require that, and ID can't determine that through examining evidence for design. It's a philosophical question.

Dawkin's "Too complex" argument against the existence of God has not been well received in philosophical circles, for good reason.
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Why? For a relatively superficial perspective it seems like the arguments stem from the complexity of the presumed "designee", are they not? If humans are too complex to have evolved through natural selection, then surely whatever intelligently designed humans is too complex to have evolved through natural process too.

That's one of Dawkins' arguments, and it is probably (I would expect) not really his. Probably someone thought up the same thing a long time ago. One of the principle arguments for ID is that complexity cannot arise spontaneously, we are complex organisms, therefore we are designed. But that same logic must then call into question the designer, and leads to "who designed the obviously-complex designer"...and it's turtles all the way down from there.

Somehow ID folks manage to gloss over that point. Probably the same way they try to ignore the annihilation they suffered during the Kitzmiller trial (where their chief proponent, the DI, pulled all of their expert witnesses from the witness list...unwilling to defend ID under oath...).

They want to replace science. No amount of reason matters, not amount of evidence...God himself could come down and say Darwin was right and they'd argue the point. And if they ever succeed, the scenario from video #21 will play-out (from the MadCap video link).

1poorguy
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If humans are too complex to have evolved through natural selection, then surely whatever intelligently designed humans is too complex to have evolved through natural process too.

That's the logical argument, but this god guy has super powers.

The argument does, however, present a dilemma for any creator. Maybe not so much if one presumes an unmoved mover that must exist to set the universe in motion, but then we have simultaneous existence, and so much a creator in the biblical sense.
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You wouldn't make a good detective . . . a chimpanzee could have pulled the trigger, the dog could have accidently stepped on the gun and it went off, heck the parrot could have been so sick of "Polly want a cracker?" that he beaked the gun at just the right time to nail the guy.

You have to consider the evidence, does it point to accident, self-inflicted, or non-human agent.


I don't watch CSI but I am wondering: Does any episode ever conclude with a detective saying "Case closed -- God did it! Let's go home"?

Also: are there characters on the show who doubt the existence of parrots?
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I agree that the designer of humans did not itself evolve through natural processes. But logic doesn't require that...

The ID premise seems to be that complexity implies design. If we accept that premise, logic dictates that we have an infinite series of progressively more complex designers. If we deny that premise, then complexity can occur through an unguided process like natural selection. All I am saying is that ID as a scientific thesis doesn't really seem to be well thought out (now if you were to say ID is philosophy, not science, then I have no problem with that).
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Also: are there characters on the show who doubt the existence of parrots?

The amacawists do make guest appearances from time to time
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The ID premise seems to be that complexity implies design.

Not exactly. It has to be certain types of complexity, called "complex-specified information".

If the wind blew a deck of cards onto the yard, the pattern it made would be complex, but no design involved.

On the other hand, if you said the wind blew the cards into what I can see is the perfect bridge hand, I'd think you've been smoking something. The more plausible conclusion is that someone arranged the cards that way.
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I agree that the designer of humans did not itself evolve through natural processes. But logic doesn't require that, and ID can't determine that through examining evidence for design. It's a philosophical question.

Yes it does.

Nice try at deflecting the issue though Bryan.

Your logic dictates that anything as complex as God MUST have been designed.

Of course you could turn to the Dark Side and realize that this argument doesn't makes sense in either case (the case for man or God).
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Don't you ever watch CSI on tv?

Once or twice, but I'm not sure why you bring this up since I think homicide investigations make my point.

The cause of a death is assumed to either be due to natural phenomenon or the act of some intelligent agent already known to exist (in other words humans, in case I was being too subtle). Police in real life or TV rarely assume the perpetrator was a hypothetical creature like Big Foot or Zeus. By sticking to processes and beings that they know empirically exist, they can use scientific methods to investigate a potential crime.

Suppose police detectives took the approach of IDists. Then they would attribute the cause of a death to an intelligent agent that cannot be identified or described. I suspect this would put a damper on futher investigations. At least by those who rely on the scientific method.

They could, of course, still call in the Discovery Institute.
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Suppose police detectives took the approach of IDists. Then they would attribute the cause of a death to an intelligent agent that cannot be identified or described.

This approach may be exactly what the evidence calls for. They're called "unsolved cases". Not enough evidence.


I suspect this would put a damper on futher investigations. At least by those who rely on the scientific method.

I thought scientists were allowed to say "We don't know", and keep looking for an answer.

Yet you'd require ID to name the designer in order to conclude something has been designed.
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This approach may be exactly what the evidence calls for. They're called "unsolved cases". Not enough evidence.

I don't believe that police assume in unsolved cases that the agent cannot be identified. Nor do they assume that because a case is unsolved, it increases the probability of a supernatural agent.

I suspect investigators continue to assume natural or human cause regardless of how long a case is unsolved. Legendary creatures are rarely considered.

I thought scientists were allowed to say "We don't know", and keep looking for an answer.

That is correct.

Yet you'd require ID to name the designer in order to conclude something has been designed.

I simply expect ID to describe their putative intelligent designer enough so that an objective observer can determine whether the existence of such a designer has a higher probability of occurring than the alternative natural explanation.

If ID can't do that, then there is no point making arguments about the improbability of a natural explanation.
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Suppose police detectives took the approach of IDists. Then they would attribute the cause of a death to an intelligent agent that cannot be identified or described. I suspect this would put a damper on futher investigations. At least by those who rely on the scientific method.

Look to some other countries to see what happens when the supernatural is allowed as an explanation:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080422/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_congo_democratic_witchcraft_1
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft....

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.
...
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This approach may be exactly what the evidence calls for. They're called "unsolved cases". Not enough evidence.
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I don't believe that police assume in unsolved cases that the agent cannot be identified. Nor do they assume that because a case is unsolved, it increases the probability of a supernatural agent.


Irrelevant. They don't go beyond what the evidence allows. You're faulting me for using analogy, which has known limits.

I simply expect ID to describe their putative intelligent designer enough so that an objective observer can determine whether the existence of such a designer has a higher probability of occurring than the alternative natural explanation.


Exactly. A double standard . . . that's my point.
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I simply expect ID to describe their putative intelligent designer enough so that an objective observer can determine whether the existence of such a designer has a higher probability of occurring than the alternative natural explanation.

Exactly. A double standard . . . that's my point.


Oh, what an interesting supposition you've made. Scientists stating that they aren't sure how a natural process explains a physical event is the same as ID folks stating that they're not sure what supernatural process explains a physical event?

Whoops. ID folks won't admit to that of course, because the designer could be a natural phenomena, like aliens - except that logic doesn't have to be extended for one to assume that they were themselves designed. They've always existed.

I'll bet you're awesome at Twister......

cliff
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You're faulting me for using analogy, which has known limits.

I'm not faulting you at all. I like your analogy because it makes my argument more than yours.

A double standard . . . that's my point.

And what a silly point it is. You see, when detectives look at a crime they don't seriously consider the possibility that the intelligent agents are time-travelers, extraterrestrials, a new humanoid species, or robots. They stick with what they know exists, human beings, and try their best to specify the specific human beings involved, their habits, motives, methods, etc.

If IDists followed that example, they would limit their inquiry to intelligent agents that are contained within the physical universe and try to describe: the level of intelligence required, where such an intelligence is likely to have arisen, how such an intelligence might have arisen, why such an intelligence would make such a design, how such an intelligence made the design, etc., etc. This would all be part of a comprehensive theory that scientists could then use to evaluate whether the proposed designer is plausible and more probable than natural causes.

But they don't. Why do you suppose that is? I suspect it is because the answers to those questions would make obvious the IDists' religious agenda.
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You see, when detectives look at a crime they don't seriously consider the possibility that the intelligent agents are time-travelers, extraterrestrials, a new humanoid species, or robots. They stick with what they know exists, human beings, and try their best to specify the specific human beings involved, their habits, motives, methods, etc.


You're being obtuse. I'll spell it out for you. The analogy breaks down because CSIs have agents they can arrest and interrogate, ie who are available for study. Even if they don't have enough evidence to identify a specific agent, they can reasonably assume a certain kind of agent.

ID does not assume that whatever intelligence (if any) was involved in biology is still here on earth at the scene of the "crime". Such an agent may have only been active millions, even billions of years ago.

I call this the "IDists can't do time travel to find the agent, so it's not science" objection.
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ID does not assume that whatever intelligence (if any) was involved in biology is still here on earth at the scene of the "crime". Such an agent may have only been active millions, even billions of years ago.

So now you do agree that homo sapiens sapiens evolved from non-homo ancestors millions or billions of years ago. I seem to recall you said a while ago there was some ID-istic intervention around 50,000 years ago that changed homo into real humans.

Nevertheless...

Cosmologists are investigating all sorts of wild-ass theories about the fundamental laws of nature. Unified theory and string theory and what else. There's a lot of theorizing, mathematics and hypothesis there. But at least they're doing something. Even building LHC's to try to verify the theory. String theory is still totally theoretic at this moment, so ID-ists could go the same direction and perform some nifty calculations on the probability of a designer couldn't they ? How much more difficult is that than calculating strings and branes ?
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You're being obtuse. I'll spell it out for you. The analogy breaks down because CSIs have agents they can arrest and interrogate, ie who are available for study. Even if they don't have enough evidence to identify a specific agent, they can reasonably assume a certain kind of agent.

ID does not assume that whatever intelligence (if any) was involved in biology is still here on earth at the scene of the "crime". Such an agent may have only been active millions, even billions of years ago.


We still don't know who Jack the Ripper was, and that was a century ago. Can I assume that we can add hobgoblins and fairies to the list of suspects, or isn't that long enough to go outside the list of natural causes? How about if it was 1,000 years ago? How about 10,000?

Where is the cut-off point, where we are allowed to say "Well, it's old enough now that we should stop considering 'natural agents' and start believing in magic?
 
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ID does not assume that whatever intelligence (if any) was involved in biology is still here on earth at the scene of the "crime". Such an agent may have only been active millions, even billions of years ago.


Since astrobiology is already exploring that, why ID if not a farcical attempt to slip in god?
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You're being obtuse...ID does not assume that whatever intelligence (if any) was involved in biology is still here on earth at the scene of the "crime". Such an agent may have only been active millions, even billions of years ago.

Those doing legitimate science in these areas face the same difficulty of "it was a long time ago". Yet IDists constantly criticise researchers in abiogenesis and evolution for the lack of details, even though the details presented in existing theories are orders of magnitude greater than that proposed by ID.

Why don't IDists hold their proposal to the same exacting demands they hold evolution?

A double standard perhaps?
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Where is the cut-off point, where we are allowed to say "Well, it's old enough now that we should stop considering 'natural agents' and start believing in magic?


There is no cut off point. If you don't have enough evidence, you can't identify the agent. And if it's been long enough, you don't expect to find any more physical evidence at the crime scene. You have to conclude "We may never know who the killer is".

If that is true, then why fault ID, as Centromere and others do, for not being able to identify the intelligence behind biology? If there is not enough scientific evidence to make a determination, you leave it at that. You can't go further if you are developing a scientific theory of the cause of a certain effect.

That's what I'm arguing here. I'm not saying you are not rational for finding the circumstantial evidence pointing to natural causes. That's another issue.

-Bryan
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ID does not assume that whatever intelligence (if any) was involved in biology is still here on earth at the scene of the "crime". Such an agent may have only been active millions, even billions of years ago.

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Since astrobiology is already exploring that, why ID if not a farcical attempt to slip in god?


I'm not aware that astrobiology is scientifically investigating whether intelligence is behind life on earth.

If someone is, then why is that science, and ID not? Seems like whatever criteria you establish for AB, it would include ID.

-Bryan
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You're being obtuse...ID does not assume that whatever intelligence (if any) was involved in biology is still here on earth at the scene of the "crime". Such an agent may have only been active millions, even billions of years ago.
-----------------------

Those doing legitimate science in these areas face the same difficulty of "it was a long time ago". Yet IDists constantly criticise researchers in abiogenesis and evolution for the lack of details, even though the details presented in existing theories are orders of magnitude greater than that proposed by ID.

Why don't IDists hold their proposal to the same exacting demands they hold evolution?

A double standard perhaps?


Sure, there could be a double standard here. The purpose of ID's criticism of lack of details in OOL studies seems to be to "wedge" the door open to an ID explanation.

I'm afraid we're locked in a stalemate on this issue . . . OOL forever lacking the details of how it all got started by natural processes, and ID forever unable to give the slightest scientific evidence of what agent could have done it.

Science will certainly be able to create life in the lab eventually, probably in our lifetimes. It will at least demonstrate how an intelligent agent could have done it, wouldn't it? And assuming science can't demonstrate how it happened by natural processes, until such explanation is forthcoming it would leave ID as the better explanation to many of us.



-Bryan
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There is no cut off point. If you don't have enough evidence, you can't identify the agent. And if it's been long enough, you don't expect to find any more physical evidence at the crime scene. You have to conclude "We may never know who the killer is".

Example one: We find a stone aged man locked in ice in the Alps. A cursory study of his body shows he was shot with an arrow. Conclusion: he was killed by another human, although we'll never know who or why.

Example two: human remains dating from prehistoric times are unearthed in a cave in France. A study of the bones shows breakages and the wear and tear associated with a tough subsistence life. Conclusion: died from natural causes.

That's what I'm arguing here. I'm not saying you are not rational for finding the circumstantial evidence pointing to natural causes. That's another issue.

Not when arguing about ID. All the posturing in the word will not change that ID is a religious movement attempting to obfuscate the existence of god by playing science. Back peddling, dropping the rhetoric, and attempts to distance from the original ID positions don't change where it came from.
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If someone is, then why is that science, and ID not? Seems like whatever criteria you establish for AB, it would include ID.

-Bryan


AB is amalgam of physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry, and was born from science, not theology. As such, there is no non-scientific god-of-the-gaps loop hole.

AB is searching for life outside of Earth, as well exploring chemicals in space, and life on Earth to better understand the origins of life. If ID wasn't religious in nature, it would seem to me ID scientist would have an affinity for this field or fields related.
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Not when arguing about ID. All the posturing in the word will not change that ID is a religious movement attempting to obfuscate the existence of god by playing science. Back peddling, dropping the rhetoric, and attempts to distance from the original ID positions don't change where it came from.

It is generally considered a logical fallacy to fault an idea because of where or who it came from. I know that is a popular approach on the web, but its not scientific.

Ideas have to be evaluated on their own merits in order to determine its truth, no matter how much you think the proponent is a doodoo head.

-Bryan
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AB is amalgam of physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry, and was born from science, not theology.

And science itself was born from theology. I don't hear too many complaining about its origins.
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Science will certainly be able to create life in the lab eventually, probably in our lifetimes.

Maybe not in our lifetimes...apparently it takes 25 years to generate the building blocks in anything resembling a "natural" fashion:

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/feb/did-life-evolve-in-ice

It will at least demonstrate how an intelligent agent could have done it, wouldn't it?

Still leaves open the question of what intelligent agent mixed some chemicals and froze them to create YOUR alleged intelligent agent. And it's frozen turtles all the way down again. But, in practice, if some part of a theory is not needed then it is not included. In this case, there would be no need to account for an intelligent agent unless the data indicated otherwise (which it doesn't so far).

1poorguy

Over a quarter-century, the frozen ammonia-cyanide blend had coalesced into the molecules of life: nucleobases, the building blocks of RNA and DNA, and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. The vial’s contents would support a new account of how life began on Earth and would arouse both surprise and skepticism around the world.

(Now THAT'S science...)
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I'm afraid we're locked in a stalemate on this issue . . . OOL forever lacking the details of how it all got started by natural processes, and ID forever unable to give the slightest scientific evidence of what agent could have done it.

What stalemate? I have no idea what OOL is but will assume it has something to do with legitimate science, as opposed to ID. Science may never demonstrate how life began, but it will continue to propose detailed molecular descriptions of how the process might have occurred. The details are critical because that's how the proposals get tested for plausibility. And the proposals will be tested, criticised, torn apart, and modified. Then the process will start again. That's how science works.

For example, consider the RNA world proposal. By specifying the molecule involved and some of the processes required, scientists can test the plausibility of the RNA model for life's origin based on existing knowledge. The proposal gets critiqued and is either dumped or modified.

Compare that with ID: "It's possible that life was designed by an unspecified and undescribed intelligent agent." By avoiding any details, ID avoids being tested. Cute.

What is the point of the ID movement? To demonstrate the possibility that some undefined intelligence could have created life? Too late. There have been several hundred religions that have already made that claim. It's not new.

But if IDists are trying to say that their proposal crosses the line from religion to science, well there are some criteria that have to be met. Like providing enough details to their proposal that generates a lot of testable propositions. Otherwise you guys are just blowing smoke.

But we really know the point of the ID movement don't we? It's in the Wedge document. It's to conduct a PR campaign. Not to convince scientists, but aimed at the general public to advance religious and political agendas.

It's odd, but I respect the YEC folks more than the IDists. The YEC thinking is odd, but it is honest. They don't try to be anything other than what they say. I respect theistic evolutionists and others who believe in design and purpose and understand that this is a philosophic or religious choice. They are upfront in their placing their religion above what can be demonstrated by scientific materialism.

In comparison, I see nothing but deceit in the ID movement and their claims of a "scientific" theory. No one is really trying to make a scientific argument for ID. The goal is simply to generate talking points for politicians and the public.

And assuming science can't demonstrate how it happened by natural processes, until such explanation is forthcoming it would leave ID as the better explanation to many of us.

Fine. I don't think anyone here cares whether you believe in a religious or scientific explanation for things.

What is annoying is your consistent attempts to try to blur the lines between religion and science.

What is annoying is your constant allegations about how the science community so lacks intellectual integrity and courage that they practice witch hunts on creationist thinking. Or how scientists are full of bias and prejudice compared to the noble idealism of the Discovery Institute, Wedge document notwithstanding.

Sometimes people are justly criticised because the quality of their research stinks, their productivity is low, or their ethical behavior questionable. That the ID movement seems to attract such folks is not the fault of the scientific community.
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I'm afraid we're locked in a stalemate on this issue . . . OOL forever lacking the details of how it all got started by natural processes, and ID forever unable to give the slightest scientific evidence of what agent could have done it.

No, you are stuck in a stalemate.

Your (& ID's) thought experiments are fine for philosophical or religious pondering but provide no insight, no useful information into how the Universe works. Because of these shortcomings, they won't be used by Science and scientists.

If you wish for your convictions to be considered by Science, they must provide some usefulness or insight. If you can provide such an insight, then your thoughts will be considered - as long as they don't contradict what's already known.

As for OOL (which I presume stands for "origin of life" and is distinct from evolution), you are wrong there too. Scientists will never be able to provide conclusive evidence of the OOL. However, current research does still provide some evidence and provides a lot of useful insights.

Once again the perspective that God must have started it all, provides Science with nothing useful. If you could extend that to say "God must have started it all, therefore I would expect life to look like ___" (fill in the blank), then that might be a useful observation that could be tested.

Unless/until Creationists are willing to make some predictions, have Scientists test the predictions, and find that the Creationists are correct where current theories are wrong; then Creationism as a school of thought in Science is a dead end.

Somehow Bryan I think you already know this. Yet you continue to attempt to equate Science's rejection of Creationism as some sort of dishonesty. It's not. Scientists started off attempting to PROVE the events in Genesis but discovered to their dismay that the evidence DISPROVED the events in Genesis.

Don't take my word for it, go out and do some direct observations of your own.
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[i]And it's frozen turtles all the way down again. [/i]

Alright folks. There is not an infinite supply of turtles. Even if it were to turn out that earth was designedbu alpha centurians who were themselves designed by The VorlonsTM who were designed by some doddering old man; the universe is only (about)15 billion years old.

You will eventuially reach the first turtle who was either naturalistically evolved or created by an unknowable supernatural agent who does not need to have its own more complex creator because it represents absolute complexity (or perhaps infinite simplicity [afterall does not infinity double back on itself just like the number 8]) and otherwise exists outside the confines of the explorable universe anyway.

If that first turtle got lonley and created a second turtle for company and they created more turtles between them, the progression can only go from the big bang to the present (perhaps humans create the next turtle and it is ...SKYNET ;-)s). A fininte progression.

Science must either eventually positivly conclude that entirely naturalistic causes resulted in the first lonley turtle or else that something beyond science's capacity to study did it.

If the first turtle turns out not to have been naturalisticaly evolved, then ID can't tell anything more about that creator thany any other discipline can.

All it can do is study whether or not turtle A displays evidence of design or not. They can't even do that if earth is really turtle E. The best that can be done is to show that turtle E displays evidence of having been designed rather that naturalistically evolved.

If a non-naturalistic "First Cause" behind turtle A tat exists outside of the universe/time/space/reality/etc. would be an infinite ...I suppose impulse might be the right word to use... and therefore loop back on itself (the proverbial alpha and omega as it were) being before the big bang and after the big crunch; and consistantly maintaining the cycle; creating one (or more) new turtles whenever all of the old turtles happen to die.
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