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True, but speculations about who caused the Big Bang are not science. Philosophers and theologians have seen the implications of TBB, and have written extensively on it. Scientists have too for that matter, but they don't call what they are doing "science".

You are being a bit too quick here. There is a great deal of work being done to determine what characteristics the big bang must have had to produce the universe we know.

Similarly it seems reasonable to determine what aspects the designer(s) must have had to produce the life forms we know.

I agree with you that many inferences can be made about a designer like you say, but they'd be highly speculative. Unless you were able to interview it, you would be very limited in what legitimate conclusions you could make.

I don't see why the inferences made about the character or nature of the designer are any more or less speculative than the inference that the designer is intelligent.

You argue that the irreducible complexity of flagella could only have been created by intelligence. I see no justification for that. Bacteria make flagella all the time and they aren't intelligent. So all one can legitimately infer is that the observed complexity requires information, which in the case of flagella we know is encoded in DNA.

Now, does information require an intelligent cause? I don't see any logical requirement for that, and in fact one could argue the reverse (intelligence requires information). In any case, I see no logical argument for why intelligence should be the ultimated designer rather than information. You might ask where did this information come from? I'll answer the same place your intelligent designer came from.

My point is that intelligence is not a necessary conclusion of IR. It is an inference, no less speculative than the inference that whoever created the human female reproductive system didn't care about embryos.

The focus has been on a relatively few, well-understood cases like the flagellum and the clotting cascade, but (Dembski or Behe, I don't recall) recently said there are thousands of IC structures in biology.

I know what they said (I have read their books). But I've also have spent a lot of years in science and I am convinced after reading the scientific literature that a convincing case has been made for the evolution of the clotting cascade. Given that this was one system Behe said was irreducible, I don't have much faith in his ability to identify IR or even in the concept of IR. In any case, I see no justification for assuming "thousands" of IC structures.

Furthermore, I don't see much difference between the complexity of IR systems like flagella, from non-IR complex systems like the inner ear or the Krebs cycle protein complex. The only difference I see is that the latter have had their evolution explained. In short, I don't believe Behe has a methodology that can identify IR from not IR other than the current absence of an evolutionary pathway.

No, determining if something has specified complexity (Dembski's term), or irreducible complexity (Behe's term, which D considers a form of SC), would lead you to the conclusion that a natural explanation is highly improbable at least.

The way specified complexity and IR are operationally defined by these guys presuppose the improbability of a natural explanation (e.g., how do we test for IR--show the impossibility of a natural explanation). The argument is circular.

Furthermore, you still have to demonstrate why we should believe that a supernatural agent who makes flagella has a higher probability of existence than even the least probable known natural explanation.

For any phenomenon we have these choices:

1. assume a known natural explanation.
2. assume there is an as yet unknown natural explanation.
3. assume a supernatural explanation

Suppose #1 is highly improbable. Why assume #3? And why assume the probability of #3 is any better than #1?
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