Assume the IDers are right.

When we look at designed objects we can often tell a lot about the designers. For example, if we look at medical tools, fluffy teddies and cellos, we can see that the designers are compassionate and Value music. When we look at iron maidens and racks, we can see they have a sadistic streak.

Look at life on earth and assume it is designed, what can we tell about the designer?

51 thoughts on “Assume the IDers are right.

  1. Why assume one designer? If we extrapolate from human design, then we should expect thousands if not millions of designers, spanning countless generations, often competing with one another.

  2. Look at life on earth and assume it is designed, what can we tell about the designer?

    That he had an inordinate fondness for beetles (the phrase is said to be from Haldane).

  3. For one thing, the designer is very unlike us. Very unlike us.

    For example. Separation of concerns:

    The value of separation of concerns is simplifying development and maintenance of computer programs. When concerns are well separated, individual sections can be developed and updated independently. Of especial value is the ability to later improve or modify one section of code without having to know the details of other sections, and without having to make corresponding changes to those sections.

    These “multiple multilayer multi-purpose codes in DNA” so beloved of some IDers just don’t make any sense if you then go on extrapolate from designers we know about (us) to those we don’t using those tangled “ropes” of code as a bridge to get from here to there.

    The designer is different, not similar. About as different as it’s possible to be.

  4. Look at life on earth and assume it is designed, what can we tell about the designer?

    One thing that is often ignored is that the designer is not only a designer, but also a creator. In this sense, not only the living organisms are designed, but also the parts, the components, namely the electrons and protons and quarks. All these ex nihilo, because an infinitely pre-existing matter would raise all kinds of additional questions about the nature of matter and the nature of this designer.

    Now, regarding the often asked question Who designed the designer?, the question should be then asked as Who created the creator of the things we observe?. And, if we think deeply about the act of creation ex nihilo, we should see that it doesn’t really make sense anymore. A being that is able to create something out of nothing must be itself uncreated. That power can not belong to a creature, as we obviously don’t have it.

    As for the design part, obviously the design/creation is intentional. It is evidence of reason and of a reason, a purpose. And of all reasons that the designer had to create/design the world, freedom and love must have been the central one. Love and freedom.

  5. Cristian Pascu: One thing that is often ignored is that the designer is not only a designer, but also a creator. In this sense, not only the living organisms are designed, but also the parts, the components, namely the electrons and protons and quarks. All these ex nihilo, because an infinitely pre-existing matter would raise all kinds of additional questions about the nature of matter and the nature of this designer.

    Now, regarding the often asked question Who designed the designer?, the question should be then asked as Who created the creator of the things we observe?. And, if we think deeply about the act of creation ex nihilo, we should see that it doesn’t really make sense anymore. A being that is able to create something out of nothing must be itself uncreated. That power can not belong to a creature, as we obviously don’t have it.

    As for the design part, obviously the design/creation is intentional. It is evidence of reason and of a reason, a purpose. And of all reasons that the designer had to create/design the world, freedom and love must have been the central one. Love and freedom.

    Methinks you’re projecting a bit.

    All these ex nihilo, because an infinitely pre-existing matter would raise all kinds of additional questions about the nature of matter and the nature of this designer.

    Why does the raising of additional questions constitute an obstacle?

    And of all reasons that the designer had to create/design the world, freedom and love must have been the central one. Love and freedom.

    Why must love and freedom have been central? How does love and freedom explain (or motivate) the creation of tarantulas and tarantula hawk wasps? Or tapeworms? Or ad nauseum?

  6. This is actually a pretty interesting topic. I’ve looked at this very question myself and thought about the universe as something like a holodeck out of Star Trek; and if so, what does it say about the designer?

    It says the designer has a mathematical and logical mind with a keen sense of elegance, efficiency and beauty. There are mathematical codes and patterns deep in the fundamental properties of physics and biology. There are astounding synergistic properties that rely upon each other in a great symphony of matter and energy that gives rise to a canvas of contrasting and complimentary forms and characteristics.

    We have the capacity for almost limitless experience – tastes, combinations of tastes and textures, fragrances and sensations, sights and sounds … virtually unlimited variations and combinations. There’s no necessary reason for experience to be such a smorgasbord of sense, emotion, thought, reason, imagination … it’s as if this world was finely tuned to be able to experience … not just what it takes to survive, but in almost limitless capacity beyond that.

    It’s as if the creator gave us a field of potential through which there is almost infinite means to create and experience. Humans were not built to “survive”; they were built to create and experience.

  7. Efficiency? Most of the universe is lifeless.

    The young of one species bursting out of the guts of another could be called elegant I suppose. Disease is a rather elegant solution to overpopulation too.

  8. Oh, and limitless capacity? Uh, we can only see a tiny bit of the EMS. We can’t hear much at all. We can’t follow nested ideas infinitely (He knows that she knows that she said that he said…). We can distinguish about 10,000 smells.

    Then there is the issue of those who cannot appreciate such things. Especially, to my mind, that there are many who can apprehend but are still (to use a phrase from a band) “disappointed in the sun.” Now that, depression, is a cruel trick. It’s almost as if it wasn’t part of some grand design at all.

  9. Cristian Pascu: One thing that is often ignored

    Ignored? No, not ignored, but hidden by IDists who need to pretend that their Designer is not just an Abrahamic god rebranded to sneak into US public schools. No surprise, they won’t mention it themselves and they will usually shout down questions about the identity of their Designer. But, do go on …

    is that the designer is not only a designer, but also a creator. In this sense, not only the living organisms are designed,

    Yes, of course, it makes zero sense to discuss living organisms being “designed” unless those designs were implemented somehow, instantiated into the material somehow, created physically somehow, rather than remaining incorporeal pure design concepts.

    but also the parts, the components, namely the electrons and protons and quarks.

    Oh dear, the IDists aren’t going to like you claiming that their hypothetical Designer is actually the Creator of each individual quark. That does rather give the game away, doesn’t it. How can it be meaningful to claim that life is specially “designed” (because it has a “signature of design” or whatever the current pitch is) when every thing that is not-life is also designed.

    All these ex nihilo, because an infinitely pre-existing matter would raise all kinds of additional questions about the nature of matter and the nature of this designer.

    Huh. What did you say the nature of this designer was, exactly? I’ve got questions. Do you have answers or are you just blowing bubbles?

    Now, regarding the often asked question Who designed the designer?, the question should be then asked as Who created the creator of the things we observe?.

    Yes, most people think that’s one of the things wrong with the IDist spiel: who/what/where did their Designer/Creator come from? If we can “know” that we must have had a creator, because we’re too complex to have arisen naturally, then how could our creator (more complex that we are, complex enough to be able to create entire universes, supposedly, or at least to create some original lifeform) have arisen itself? Who or what created it?

    And, if we think deeply about the act of creation ex nihilo, we should see that it doesn’t really make sense anymore.

    Good, then we can both agree that a so-called Creator, creating any thing ex nihilo, doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, and almost certainly never occurred. That’s almost certainly not where our observable universe came from and it’s absolutely not where Earth’s biota came from.

    A being that is able to create something out of nothing must be itself uncreated.

    Nope, not making sense.

    That power can not belong to a creature, as we obviously don’t have it.

    Well, since you just agreed that there is no creation ex nihilo, it should go without saying that human creatures don’t have that power. I have no idea why you feel it necessary to stress this point, but go on …

    As for the design part, obviously the design/creation is intentional. It is evidence of reason and of a reason, a purpose.

    Oh, dear, off the rails. Remember, evolution has no brain, no mind, no soul. The natural forms which evolution creates have no reason (other than because they can and do survive) and no purpose. But evolution is the only kind of design/creation which we can be certain exists in our natural world – if there is some other kind of designed/created parts which were made with reason/purpose, we’ve never seen any evidence of them. (That is, except for artifacts known to be created by humans and animals.) Myabe, some could exist, but you can’t just assert that they do without evidence.

    And of all reasons that the designer had to create/design the world, freedom and love must have been the central one. Love and freedom.

    Barf. Happy-clappy hypnotized nonsense.

  10. I know it’s been said before, but …

    The Designer is inordinately fond of beetles. 😉

    Also, a real stickler for making everything look like it evolved.

  11. llanitedave: Methinks you’re projecting a bit.

    All these ex nihilo, because an infinitely pre-existing matter would raise all kinds of additional questions about the nature of matter and the nature of this designer.

    Why does the raising of additional questions constitute an obstacle?

    And of all reasons that the designer had to create/design the world, freedom and love must have been the central one. Love and freedom.

    Why must love and freedom have been central?How does love and freedom explain (or motivate) the creation of tarantulas and tarantula hawk wasps?Or tapeworms?Or ad nauseum?

    Yes, I am projecting. We’re doing a set of inferences here. I guess we have no choice, but to project a bit.

    Why does the raising of additional questions constitute an obstacle?

    Not an obstacle, but an additional burden. Rather than having a single conscious simple being, we have that being and matter, all kinds of matter.

    Why must love and freedom have been central? How does love and freedom explain (or motivate) the creation of tarantulas and tarantula hawk wasps? Or tapeworms? Or ad nauseum?

    We don’t live in empty houses, do we? We have furniture and paintings on the wall, and pets which we love and care about.

    However, the explanation for why is there love and suffering goes beyond the design question. You will not reasonably find answers to such questions just by inference from design.

  12. to those who have jumped the gun and gone straight for a universal creator, note that I specified looking at life on earth. the ID hypothesis is supposed to be perfectly fine with the idea that it could have been Aliens who plopped life down here on Earth.

  13. y is there love and suffering goes beyond the design question. You will not reasonably find answers to such questions just by inference from design.

    why not? We have nothing else to go on, so infer from the designed objects. What do you think that the malarial parasite says about the designer?

  14. JetBlack: why not? We have nothing else to go on, so infer from the designed objects. What do you think that the malarial parasite says about the designer?

    Actually we do. You have design of the biological organism, to which we attribute all kind of biological attributes, on one hand. But on the other hand you have the thing to which we attribute conscious characteristics, such as intentionality and awareness. This thing is supposedly not the brain.

    Pain and pleasure have physiological support, but when we talk about them as values or contrary to accepted values, then values don’t have a support on the physical organism, designed or not.

    Thus the discussion goes to a different level, of personhood and relationship between us as persons and the designer as a person. I believe the the discussion becomes more complicated.

  15. William J. Murray:It says the designer has a mathematical and logical mind with a keen sense of elegance, efficiency and beauty.There are mathematical codes and patterns deep in the fundamental properties of physics and biology.

    You say this as if the, alleged, designer had a choice. I’m wondering. Did she? Is it possible to create a universe where there are no math codes and patterns deep in the fundamental properties? Can a universe exist where Euler’s Identity is E^i(pi)=42.37? One where Pythagoras’ theorem isn’t just different but doesn’t exist at all? Could we have perpetual motion machines but for the caprice of a malign designer? After all the talk about free will and choice just how much free will and choice does the alleged designer have?

  16. Cristian Pascu: What do you think that the malarial parasite says about the designer?

    What do you think that the malarial parasite says about the designer?

  17. Aardvark,

    You are mixing concepts here. No, you can’t have a universe in which the Euler identity is something else, because the Euler identity is not contingent on any particular universe. Like all mathematical theorems, it is a tautology.

    On the other hand, I see no inconsistency in the idea of a universe in which local conservation of energy doesn’t hold, or which doesn’t even exhibit universal regularity.

  18. JetBlack: What do you think that the malarial parasite says about the designer?

    With respect to being the designer, nothing else than what any other living organism says. If you’re trying to enter the moral area of the discussion, than it’s not about design anymore.

  19. of course it is about design, that is the whole purpose of this discussion – what can you infer from designers by looking at the objects they design.

    Cristian Pascu: With respect to being the designer, nothing else than what any other living organism says. If you’re trying to enter the moral area of the discussion, than it’s not about design anymore.

  20. Jetblack,

    Definitely not a show stopper.

    The malarial parasite says about the designer that he/she has set guidelines/mile markers by which we should’ve/could’ve/must’ve been able to use to find our way around town.

    Is disease some kind of sadistic joke? Yes, sure; if you rebel against the knowledge you have to prevent it.

    There are a host of diseases that are preventable but we just keep on drinking, smoking, eating our hearts out, indulging in all sorts of behaviour, going into mosquito infested jungles unprepared, unwilling to foot the bill for those that dont have the means to prepare; not will to build those stilt housing in known flood prone areas- screaming ” There is No God because no omniscient, benevolent God would ever let His people have to build those stilt houses on their own, dammit” is just the easy play.

    Basically, we are too smart for our own good and God gets to wipe asses as a day job. I would never second guess the Big One’s preference for an ice cold beer and Sunday football while we twist in the wind. Heck, we DO know how to sail, now don’t we??!

    Enough already. Pay attention to the signposts, milemarkers an other whatnot clever communication devices HE has hidden under our noses (figuring we surely would smell the bacon when its close by)…

    and voila….the shouts of sadism slow to a hushed trifle of nitpicks.

    JetBlack: What do you think that the malarial parasite says about the designer?

  21. Steve: Is disease some kind of sadistic joke? Yes, sure; if you rebel against the knowledge you have to prevent it.

    So Steve you are saying that if we don’t have the knowledge to prevent them (and God, by definition, does) then they ARE a sadistic joke.
    Anticipating your ‘houses on stilts’ defense of tsunami, I will rather ask:
    “What do inborn errors of metabolism tell us about the designer?”
    Let’s take heparan N-sulfatase deficiency as an example.

  22. Common design – common designer. Right? The designer re-uses “old designs”, right?

    Well, maybe..

    Let’s try to take a look into the mind of a designer who’d design life so that it orders into statistical twin nested hiearchies:

    Oh, I’m going to design a bacteria with a genome like this(the first genome!).
    Oh, I want to design another organism, re-using some of my bacteria designs(the “common designs”-argument), so it looks like this new organism genetically and morphologically mostly derives from the first one.

    Oh, I’m going to design a 3rd organism, this time re-using designs from the 2nd organism, so it looks like it mostly derives from the 2nd one.

    Oh, I’m going to design a 4th organisms, this time re-using designs from the 3rd, so it looks like it mostly derives from the 4th one.

    Oh, I’m also, intermittently, going to go back and re-tweak my previous creations, so that it looks like they each independently changed since I first created them.

    Not only am I going to do this, mysterious designer as I am, I’m going to do it in such a way that the degree of change it looks like they underwent, is directly proportional to how old their time of divergence will look like if calculated(and extrapolated from the fossil record). Haha, take that – future humans whom I’m going to create at some point too!

    Anyway, back to business, creating a 5th organism, this time re-using designs from the 4th, so that it looks like it mostly derives from the 4th one.

    Oh, I just got a brilliant idea! I’m going to go back to the first organism I designed, and then derive a whole new “branch” from it. But I’m not going to be deriving this branch from the original genome I first created, no, I’m going to change it slightly so it looks like that first genome evolved for a time before this new “divergence” happened, THEN I’m going to make the new branch. There, perfect!

    Oh, I just got another brilliant idea. In addition to the intermittent return to tweaking the genomes of previously designed organisms, I’m going to do the exact same I just did to the first lineage: Intermittently derive more independent branches off of each of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. etc. linages I created, using the same hilariously illogical method I just used to create a branch off of the 1st one. Brilliant!

    And I’m going to do this for millions and millions and millions of species. And to top it all off I’m going to do it intermittently so that massive diversifications follow immediately after large catastrophic extinction events. I’m going to bury the fossils in morphological progression matching temporal order too, just to confuse some future organism I’m going to design some individuals of which who will infer that to design anything like this is tantamount to insanity and doesn’t make sense.

    Yeah, makes total sense to think this pattern is the product of design. Even when we include “common design – common designer” and “re-using old design” catchphrases, I submit that the observed nested hierarchy is a nonsensical pattern for a designer to make.
    That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen of course. ID is infinitely inclusive, we can just always come back and ad-hoc reason that “well, fuck it, that’s just what the designer wanted” and shrug our shoulders.

    Why anyone would even infer design with such a pattern so manifestly unlike any kind of design we’re familiar with is beyond me when an observed and simple natural mechanism can do it is beyond me. Call me unimaginative if you will.

  23. Steve:
    Jetblack,

    Definitely not a show stopper.

    The malarial parasite says about the designer that he/she has set guidelines/mile markers by which we should’ve/could’ve/must’ve been able to use to find our way around town.

    Is disease some kind of sadistic joke?Yes, sure; if you rebel against the knowledge you have to prevent it.

    There are a host of diseases that are preventable but we just keep on drinking, smoking, eating our hearts out, indulging in all sorts of behaviour, going into mosquito infested jungles unprepared ….

    This is so typical of the sick immorality of modern-day christians it makes me want to vomit.

    So Steve thinks that a thousand generations of children born into families who had always lived in “mosquito infested jungles unprepared” deserved to die painful prolonged deaths from malaria because, what? because the Big Guy in the Sky had left “mile markers” by which their families must have been able to use to find what? a way out of the jungle to some other place to live (not already occupied by other,unwelcoming tribes)? what? a foolproof way to protect themselves from mosquitos in the absence of modern technology/chemistry? what? a way to stop grieving and thank god for using the deaths of the babies to show them the way to worship the one true Big Guy in the Sky?

    And if they didn’t, if they stupidly or stubbornly refused to follow the “milemakers” then they deserved all the suffering they got; doesn’t reflect on the Big Guy at all. He did his job perfectly, of course.

    What is it, Steve? What specific message did those thousands of generations of children and their families fail to notice in spite of your favorite Big Guy giving them such obvious milemarkers? What, exactly, were the milemarkers? What, exactly, were they supposed to have done differently?

  24. Not to be a killjoy, but I think appeal to consequence sucks coming from either side.

  25. This would be a good point if there was no religious motivation for “the designer”. As it is, almost all believers in a designer also believe their god is aware of human needs, loving, ethical, competent etc etc.

    The evidence plainly speaks against such a deity.

  26. Nope, I’m not claiming that “bad design” or “bad results” should be taken as evidence that there was no Designer. Also, not as evidence that – if a Designer existed to begin with – we could infer it was a “bad” or “evil” one. (Maybe the explanation was simply incompetence or bad luck, which we know happen to actual human designers all the time),

    What I am pointing out is that Steve’s post shows the specifically christian vomit-inducing immorality, while he tries to defend his christian designer-concept. He means that their Big Guy gave everyone sufficient knowledge, sufficient “milemarkers” such that anyone who is suffering from a disease [caused by a Designed organism, but that’s irrelevant] deserves to suffer as a a natural consequence of their stupidity or stubbornness in ignoring the Big Guy’s oh-so-clear directives. Steve’s immorality is “I’ve got mine, fuck you Jack” with zero empathy for the actual sufferers. The victims should have known and should have behaved differently.

    They are without excuse.

    Says so right in the bible.

  27. Pay attention to the signposts, milemarkers an other whatnot clever communication devices HE has hidden under our noses

    So something Gloriously Great produced the stuff that impresses you, and scattered clues amongst its endless forms? Meanwhile things that might strike one as dubious, taken in light of the general Argument From Design, are brushed aside because … how can we mere mortals know what something Gloriously Great would actually do? Apart from the obvious, that is: the Good Stuff.

  28. petrushka:
    Not to be a killjoy, but I think appeal to consequence sucks coming from either side.

    Intelligent design is intentional design, as others have argued. Therefore, consideration of consequences is central to intelligent design.

  29. SophistiCat: Intelligent design is intentional design, as others have argued. Therefore, consideration of consequences is central to intelligent design.

    Absolutely. Intentional design involves selecting actions on the basis of their anticipated consequences. It’s not the only way to design a thing.

  30. Not to be a killjoy, but I think appeal to consequence sucks coming from either side.

    More, I think, if this viewpoint (or that) were true, what would we expect to see, rather than this (or that) theory is invalid because it has Bad Consequences, one of the frequent wet kippers used to slap ‘Darwinism’..

    What-we-would-expect-to-see, in the Design case, does require some importation of assumed properties from the designer of theistic tradition, regarding an expectation of adherence to ethical standards. Sloppy design, or downright meanness, are not incompatible with ID per se.

  31. What I mean is that the goodness or morality of an object is not correlated with its origin.

  32. Why not? I wouldn’t expect my sister to put rat poison in my food. She would be conscious of consequences, and she is not the kind of person to intend the consequence of her sibling’s agonizing death.

  33. Th e question at issue is whether the putative designer of life is good or evil. Why would this be relevant?

    Certaintly there are designers of both good and evil things, but there are also unintended consequences of design.

    As I see it, the only question worth asking is whether unintentional design is sufficient.

  34. petrushka:
    Not to be a killjoy, but I think appeal to consequence sucks coming from either side.

    not at all. Studying the consequences of a hypothesis allows us to eliminate possibilities.

  35. Examples? I’m not talking about entailments. I’m trying to discuss the use of moral judgement.

    As in this couldn’t be designed because god wouln’t do it that way.

    Or from the other side, evolution can’t be true because it would undermine thw basis of morality.

    Both arguments are duds in my book.

  36. These are two very different arguments. The second one is a classic fallacy. The first one can be legitimate, as long as we agree about the premises: that God/creator/designer possesses certain qualities that have the potential to constrain the properties of its creation.

    Alternatively, we can ask the question that started this line of discussion, i.e. given what we know about the creation, how does that constrain the nature of the creator?

  37. petrushka:

    Not to be a killjoy, but I think appeal to consequence sucks coming from either side.

    As in this couldn’t be designed because god wouln’t do it that way.

    Or from the other side, evolution can’t be true because it would undermine thw basis of morality.

    Both arguments are duds in my book.

    There is a subtle difference between those two arguments. Only the latter is an ‘appeal to consequences’, because only in the latter case is the conclusion rejected because it is undesirable.

    The first argument amounts to:

    1. If X is designed, then Y must be the case (where Y is something we find desirable).
    2. Not Y.
    3. Therefore, X is not designed.

    The logic is correct, but the truth of the conclusion depends on the premise expressed in #1. You correctly complain that the premise is false.

    But notice that the logic was correct, and that no conclusion was rejected because of undesirability.

    The second argument is:

    1. If evolution is true, then there is no basis for morality.
    2. That would be bad.
    3. Therefore, evolution is false.

    Here, the logic itself is incorrect, because #1 and #2 together do not imply #3. The conclusion was incorrectly rejected because it was regarded as undesirable.

  38. I think they are incorrect for different reasons. God wouldn’t do it depends on the premise being true — something that is not supportable by evidence. Or denable. So the claim is vacuous rather than wrong.

  39. petrushka:
    Th e question at issue is whether the putative designer of life is good or evil. Why would this be relevant?

    Because almost everything is politics. I think you are either in an obtuse mood or your viewpoint here is very naive.

  40. I have been arguing online for the last 15 years that a distinguishing feature of science is that it transcends politics and religion. Physicists and chemists of different countries and cultures agree on results.

    They agree on the science even when something harmful can be made from a discovery.

    How is debate over the goodness of god relevant to the evolutionary history of malaria? I would expect that question to be outside the realm of scientific discourse.

    On the other hand, I see no moral incompatibility between th Abrahamic god and a god that would take delight in creating malaria. One could argue over the goodness of such a god, but I see no inconsistency with the behavior of the scriptual god.

  41. Petrushka, since when was ID science?

    I agree with your point about scripture. Many apologists have tried to justify the acts in the Hebrew Bible, just as they attempt to explain natural evil.

  42. Cristian Pascu: With respect to being the designer, nothing else than what any other living organism says. If you’re trying to enter the moral area of the discussion, than it’s not about design anymore.

    What???? “Freedom and Love” are not moral areas of the discussion? Please try to stay, if not coherent, at least self-consistent.

  43. What’s the point of focusing on what impresses you as ‘dubious’? Its seems to be the difference between evo-devo and design.

    Evo-devos see dubiousness in nature and declare ‘there cannot be a God’. He wouldn’t let the bad in!. And if He does, Hes’ a sado-machist(sp).

    Meanwhile, IDists sees the disproportionate amount ‘good stuff’ all around and declare “Hmm, there’s likely a God regardless of his penchant for silent communication”

    I’ll take the positive evidence over cynical dismissals any day.

    Allan Miller: So something Gloriously Great produced the stuff that impresses you, and scattered clues amongst its endless forms? Meanwhile things that might strike one as dubious, taken in light of the general Argument From Design, are brushed aside because … how can we mere mortals know what something Gloriously Great would actually do? Apart from the obvious, that is: the Good Stuff.

  44. Steve: I’ll take the positive evidence over cynical dismissals any day.

    Positive evidence for “intelligent design”?

    As Ghandi remarked when asked about western civilization, I think that would be a very good idea.

  45. What’s an evo-devo … ?

    Anyway, one does not focus on anything particularly. But the ‘dubious’ stuff can hardly be swept under the carpet. God, if he exists, appears to be something of a heartless twat. One can see counterindications when something Good or Nice pops onto the radar, but it would be confirmation bias to use the good stuff as evidence of Goodness, and put the rest down to Ineffability.

    I’m not arguing that the bad stuff means God does not exist, but it is hardly consistent with assumed other qualities, such as caring about anything in particular in the way a human being might, for example.

    “I will call no being good who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellow creatures, and if such a being can sentence me to hell for not so calling him, to hell I will go.” – JS Mill

  46. Steve: I’ll take the positive evidence over cynical dismissals any day.

    I take mild exception to that. AFAIK most of the ID non-acceptors and unbelievers hereabouts have actually made a reasonably objective assessment of the factors behind their opinions. I certainly have.

    Your very comment here suggests that you’d accept “positive” evidence over evidence against, regardless of their relative strengths; and seek to ascribe cynicism to an opponent simply for disagreeing with you. .

    That’s pretty cynical.

  47. Steve:
    Evo-devos see dubiousness in nature and declare ‘there cannot be a God’.He wouldn’t let the bad in!. And if He does, Hes’ a sado-machist(sp).

    I’ve never seen any skeptics of intelligent design creationism make that claim, except in the context of refuting IDC proponents who bring theodicy into the discussion.

    With respect to the original post of this thread, if we accept arguendo that life on Earth was designed, one conclusion we can draw from the evidence is that the designer(s) either cared little about the suffering of sentient creatures or that he/she/it/they lacked the capability to minimize such suffering.

  48. The argument from bad design does little except counter the argument from good design.

    Evolution explains evil without the problems associating with reconciling an omniscient and omnipotent creator with the cause of pain.

    Evolution is neither good nor evil. It’s just what happens.

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