Do software engineers find ‘Intelligent Design’ theory obvious, trivial or irrelevant? Eric Michael Holloway’s halfway-right, mostly-wrong, double-talking IDist ideology on display

Recently over at PS, IDist Eric Michael Holloway wrote the following to describe himself & why he accepts/believes in IDT: “we software engineers find ID so obvious.” (https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/why-we-do-not-evolve-software/3760/2) I’d like to unpack this statement & challenge the (il)logic behind it & Eric’s views of IDT, given that he is closely linked with the Discovery Institute, Robert Marks & the new Bradley Centre. Personally I find it rather sad & troubling that ideological IDists like Eric are still actively attempting to deceive others with a semantic game, even their fellow religious, while ignoring the ‘game-ending’ points that Abrahamic monotheists who are scholars & scientists, along with not a small # of atheists & agnostics, have levelled at IDT/IDism. IDists have shown time & time again that they either cannot or will not respond to calm, careful, exact criticism, so let us see if Eric Michael Holloway will be any different.

The other side of Eric Michael Holloway’s blindness to semantic accuracy in this case is that indeed, people are doing a lot of ‘designing,’ sometimes even bad designing around the world. It’s not just software engineers who see ‘bad designs’ or ‘good designs’, but rather we can learn where & when to properly make use of ‘design thinking’ in everyday life and more likely specifically in work situations. This kind of ‘design’ that doesn’t need the qualifier ‘intelligent’ before it contrasts with Eric’s tricksy theory from Seattle that includes ‘Intelligence/intelligence’ yet intentionally without identifying it. IDT thus operates at far too abstract a level for most people to do much with, while ‘real design theory’ is used ubiquitously throughout multiple fields of the contemporary academy and is widely practised even today in business, research & development, planning, operations & of course engineering. This ‘design thinking’ is simply not IDT & Eric Michael Holloway likely knows this already. The stubborn intent to propagandize the ideology of IDism by IDists is what has led to the IDM-specific affliction now known as ‘Expelled Syndrome,’ where IDists languish on the margins academically & scientifically, as well as culturally, even while some aspects of their overall critique are valid without their IDT making such grand claims.

While it’s rather obvious that computer engineers & developers design & code software and not even necessary to say that ‘computers are designed,’ it’s a rather different conversation when the main topic is origins of life, origins of information or origins of humanity, which is what the leaders of the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM) say is the main focus of ‘Intelligent Design’ theory (IDT). The IDM & its leaders, however, appear both rather confused & stubborn about their confusion. It’s leaders are notorious double-talkers between divine Creation and human-made design. This is on display in the vast array of human-made designs that the IDM has used as analogies (mousetrap, flower arrangements, Mt. Rushmore, etc.) to divine ‘Design’ & Creation in their works. It is well known that they have an overtly political & rhetorical strategy (which I discovered while visiting the DI’s summer program in 2008) of not capitalising ‘Intelligent Design,’ though divine ‘Design’ & Creation is precisely what 95%+ of them actually mean, when promoting and trying to defend their ‘strictly scientific’ theory about the origins of life, information & humanity. It’s a theory defended ambitiously by unsupportable claims & the IDM leadership knows this, but won’t answer for this to anyone publicly, which sadly makes them unworthy of trust or admiration.

Frankly, I really don’t understand how IDists can deny that they continue to double-talk while they refuse to identify legitimate ‘design thinking,’ ‘design theory’ & ‘design theorists,’ all of which imply/infer /intelligence, and their over-rhetorical position, beating the same drum since the mid-90s, already here in 2019. Could somebody here please explain with some modicrum of kindness or at least even-handedness why IDists do this when their bluff has already long been called, not just by atheists & agnostics, but also by religious theists? Will Eric Michael Holloway return to TSZ & attempt to clear his name by distinguishing two types of ‘design/Design’ that the IDM leadership will not? Or is he instead resolved to carry a battered & sinking IDist reputation with him for his career, not only among atheists & agnostics, but among those scholars & scientists who share his religious worldview, yet reject the juvenile ideology that he is now apparently possessed by that according to IDM rules actually requires his dishonesty?

Do software engineers find ‘Intelligent Design’ theory obvious, trivial or irrelevant? Please share your explanation here.

124 Replies to “Do software engineers find ‘Intelligent Design’ theory obvious, trivial or irrelevant? Eric Michael Holloway’s halfway-right, mostly-wrong, double-talking IDist ideology on display”

  1. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH: Perhaps you missed the entire body of work of someone called William Dembski?

    His farting Judge Jones animation was particularly impressive. Although there are some who preferred his Darwin doll with its head crushed in a vise.

    For me it was his running like a scared bunny rabbit from testifying at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial which cemented his place in ID history.

  2. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory:
    T_aquaticus,
    Rabbit hole
    https://evolution-institute.org/

    That doesn’t look like a textbook, let alone one used at schools. You seem a tad prone to confusion in a way that you end up presenting red-herrings.

  3. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy,

    So glad I’m not from the USA with its school textbook battles over so much evolutionist, creationist & IDist nonsense!

    No, it’s not a textbook. & textbooks aren’t the be all & end all for identifying “exaggerated evolutionary theory”. People still exaggerate evolutionary biology far beyond it’s appropriate boundaries & teach that stuff in not a small # of classrooms. Do you disagree or just not know about this?

    Let me get this straight, you folks want a reading list? This is one among many you could start with that exaggerates evolutionary theories into ideological evolutionism: “Sociological Worlds Comparative and Historical Readings on Society,” Stephen Sanderson, ed.

    Jerome Barkow, John Tooby & Leda Cosmides’ classic “The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture” does that too.

    Or open anything by David Sloan Wilson.

    Tip of the iceberg.

  4. Freelurker Freelurker
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH,

    I am glad that you are posting and commenting on this blog. I think you are sincerely seeking an exchange of ideas.

    My assessment is that due to your background you primarily think in terms of computation while (again, in my assessment) your critics here (like me) primarily think in terms of modeling. (Basically it’s calculation versus representation.) Your perspective is like that of Dembski and Marks.

    If you want to get a better understanding of the modeling perspective, I can give you some good sources.

    A pep talk on modeling: Modeling: The Activity that Shapes Us. That is from a computer scientist, Paul Fishwick. (His blog is fantastic.)

    Lots of examples of people doing modeling: ACM SIGSIM Digest (Includes articles on Icelanders’ Genetic Drift and Simulated Evolution) That website is from the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM’s) Special Interest Group on Simulation and Modeling (SIGSIM).

    A tutorial on Modeling and Simulation: Introduction to Modeling and Simulation Again, this is from the ACM SIGSIM.

    To emphasize the point that modeling is something different from computation, let me point out that the ACM has a different Special Interest Group for people with your interests. That one is the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (SIGEVO)

    I hope you do take some time to become more familiar with the modeling perspective. Not only will you have a better appreciation of what some people are saying during discussions of evolution, you may also broaden your knowledge of computer science. The concept of representing a domain in software and data actually goes beyond dynamic simulations. If you haven’t already, look into Model-Driven Engineering and Model-Based Systems Engineering.

  5. Freelurker Freelurker
    Ignored
    says:

    … And I want everyone to start capitalizing “Model.”

    (Just kidding.)

  6. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Only supermodels capitalize.

  7. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    Freelurker:
    EricMH,

    My assessment is that due to your background you primarily think in terms of computation while (again, in my assessment) your critics here (like me) primarily think in terms of modeling.(Basically it’s calculation versus representation.) Your perspective is like that of Dembski and Marks.

    What Eric really needs is a few courses in basic biology and genetics, maybe with a bit of biochemistry throw in. His understanding of the evolutionary sciences is absolutely abysmal.

  8. Freelurker Freelurker
    Ignored
    says:

    Adapa: What Eric really needs is a few courses in basic biology and genetics, maybe with a bit of biochemistry throw in.His understanding of the evolutionary sciences is absolutely abysmal.

    His area, evolutionary computation, is just math. The IDists want to claim that their math results tell us something about nature but they don’t see a need to validate the setup of their math with respect to nature.

  9. Erik
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory,

    When it comes to evolutionary theory running amok, there is a brand of theories in social sciences, psychology, sociology, pedagogy, and linguistics, involving the little keywords “behavioral” and “cognitive”. The keywords basically stand for Darwinian presuppositions. For example in psychology, the behaviorist approach treats humans exactly like Pavlov dogs and explains all functions in terms of atavisms. It’s pretty common, cannot say it’s fringe.

  10. BruceS
    Ignored
    says:

    Freelurker: he IDists want to claim that their math results tell us something about nature but they don’t see a need to validate the setup of their math with respect to nature.

    Precisely. As I understand Eric’s worldview, it is internally consistent in that he believes the ability to have scientific laws of physics presupposes an mathematical structure for the universe and that this structure can be discovered by a priori argumentation.

    (ETA: In one sense, my description of Eric’s position resembles the anthropic argument: that is, we know a priori that the physical structure of our universe supports life because we are here to argue about it! Which of course brings in cosmological fine tuning, which is what I think the issue is in addressing science and ID. That of course is the topic of another thread).

    Elsberry’s and Shallit’s 2011 captured the original point about math and science this way:

    [start of quote which continues to end of my post]

    In a moment we will list some candidates, but first let us note that it seems unlikely Dembski will accept these as invalidating his specified complexity filter. Indeed, in response to one such challenge (the natural nuclear reactors at Oklo) he says

    But suppose the Oklo reactors ended up satisfying this criterion after all. Would this vitiate the complexity-specification criterion -Not at all. At worst it would indicate that certain naturally occurring events or objects that we initially expected to involve no design actually do involve design. (Dembski 2002, p. 27)

    In other words, Dembski’s claims are, for him, unfalsifiable. We find this good evidence that Dembski’s case for intelligent design is not a scientific one.

  11. BruceS
    Ignored
    says:

    With regard to the OP: I was never a software engineer, but I managed a lot of them. In the IT projects I managed, there was a clear distinction between technical knowledge of engineering and domain knowledge: the software engineers deferred to the business analysts for domain knowledge. For example, in banking applications the engineers did not claim to know about banking.

    In the ID situation, the analogous domain knowledge is that of science: biology, biochemistry, etc. ID supporters refuse to accept that need for domain knowledge. Or they refuse to accept the expertise of the domain experts.

    I’m not aware of any evidence (eg surveys) regarding how many software or electrical engineers accept, reject, or even have thought about ID: I have only seen anecdotal claims.

    When it comes to anecdotes, let me offer this personal one regarding the reliability of software engineers’ knowledge of science: In discussions with a deservedly well respected software engineer, the question of the origin of seasons of the year came up for some reason. The software engineer told me we were having summer now because the earth’s orbit had brought it closer to the sun.

  12. BruceS
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH: However, this doesn’t cause any problems for my claim that ID is obvious from a software developer perspective. Try generating any sort of complex, effective program using any algorithm of choice, genetic or otherwise, and you’ll see it just cannot be done. The basic problem is simple combinatorics: the search space grows exponentially as the code lengthens, and this applies just as much to the genetic code.

    For software being developed to meed business or technical requirements, all this says is that the fitness landscape is not suitable for EA.

    That situation has no bearing on whether EA works for the fitness landscapes as constrained by what we know about biology, biochemistry, physics, etc. There science tells us that EA would work.

  13. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    “Do software engineers find ‘Intelligent Design’ theory obvious, trivial or irrelevant?”
    Are you a software engineer?
    How many software engineers have you surveyed?
    Have you divided them into groups of atheists, agnostic and pro ID?
    How many of them have tried to digitize biology similarly to Craig Venter?

    https://youtu.be/SOtQ5GErT7w

  14. Neil Rickert
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: No, it’s not a textbook. & textbooks aren’t the be all & end all for identifying “exaggerated evolutionary theory”. People still exaggerate evolutionary biology far beyond it’s appropriate boundaries & teach that stuff in not a small # of classrooms.

    I have never taught biology.

    When I have taught the operating systems class, I exaggerate some things and downplay others. In particular, when teaching about virtual memory, I give a greatly over-simplified description.

    There are pedagogical reasons for this. I am not training students to jump into kernel programming. Rather, I am trying to teach them the underlying concepts. They can get to a more accurate and less exaggerated account of virtual memory at a later time, if they need that. But the need at this stage, is for them to understand where virtual memory fits in the big picture. And the exaggerated and oversimplified account helps to achieve this.

    I don’t know what goes on in biology class. But, in its full detail, evolution is complex. I would expect that beginning students need a simplified account to help them get started.

  15. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory:
    So glad I’m not from the USA with its school textbook battles over so much evolutionist, creationist & IDist nonsense!

    Well, then maybe the exaggerated evolutionary theory is taught at schools in your country. I have been immersed in the teaching system in two countries, and different kinds of schools in both. In one country teachers were prone to tell us that evolution is not science, false, monkeys turning into humans in the zoo. The textbooks, however, were very clear about evolution, and contained no exaggerations. Sure oversimplifications here and there, but not exaggerations. In those textbooks it’s always easy to distinguish speculation from the robust parts of the little that was explained about evolution. The authors ensured such clarity.

    Gregory:
    No, it’s not a textbook. & textbooks aren’t the be all & end all for identifying “exaggerated evolutionary theory”. People still exaggerate evolutionary biology far beyond it’s appropriate boundaries & teach that stuff in not a small # of classrooms. Do you disagree or just not know about this?

    That might be true about your country. It’s not true about either country where I have lived. Textbooks is what counts in terms of what’s, at least supposed to be, taught about evolution. If teachers get overenthusiastic, then they should add some disclaimer to their words, but I never found any teacher that was even barely enthusiastic about evolution (I do get overenthusiastic about some subthemes in the things I teach, so I make sure to add lots of warnings when I explain those parts).

    Gregory:
    Let me get this straight, you folks want a reading list?

    Nope. You claimed that an exaggerated version of evolution was taught at schools, so someone asked you for a textbook example. You gave that web site instead. I don’t see how that translates into “an exaggerated version of evolution is taught at schools.” That’s all.

    Gregory:
    This is one among many you could start with that exaggerates evolutionary theories into ideological evolutionism: “Sociological Worlds Comparative and Historical Readings on Society,” Stephen Sanderson, ed. …. tip of the iceberg

    I don’t care Gregory. Surely people can take things beyond their proper field of applicability, surely some people might go and apply something in ingenious and unexpected ways too. That has nothing to do with my discussion with Bill, which was about Bill’s claim that “macro” evolution was “philosophical” rather than scientific, that it was “ideological,” rather than scientific. That’s nothing to do with whether an exaggerated evolutionary theory is taught at schools.

  16. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka:
    Only supermodels capitalize.

    Only SuperModels Do? I Didn’t Know.

  17. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    As a software engineer I find ‘Intelligent Design’ obvious.

  18. RodW
    Ignored
    says:

    Freelurker: My assessment is that due to your background you primarily think in terms of computation ….. Your perspective is like that of Dembski and Marks.

    I’ve always thought that Dembski is mainly trying to fit thermodynamics-style equations to the problem of generating complexity – analogous to the 2nd law.
    I dont think thats unreasonable at first glance. I remember sitting in my biochem classes in the early 80s and wondering if one could quantitate the complexity and/or its likelihood of evolving. The problem is you cant. The likelihood of a particular complex state evolving in a system can be anywhere from astronomically unlikely to overwhelmingly likely depending on the starting state of the system and the environment that the system is in. There is no way to capture that with universal equations.

  19. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    BruceS,

    “I’m not aware of any evidence (eg surveys) regarding how many software or electrical engineers accept, reject, or even have thought about ID: I have only seen anecdotal claims.”

    A few years ago, I attended a large conference in Denmark whose theme was ‘design & displacement’ http://www.4sonline.org/meeting/12. Steve Fuller was there, the American-Brit philosopher of science who promotes a kind of ‘cybernetic ID’ in a rather unusual way. The topic of IDT was raised as a question, if ‘real design theorists’ accept ID or even know about it. The response from the audience of 50+ in the session was broadly laughter.

    EricMH probably knows almost nothing about ‘design theory,’ only about ‘Intelligent Design’ theory, which is par for the course among ideological IDists at the DI. They simply ignore & avoid what is inconvenient for their neo-creationist propaganda. I have addressed this ‘trivial’ & ‘irrelevant’ charge to many IDists & not a single one has come up with an answer or even acknowledged the massive gap in IDist/IDT thinking.

    Mung, for example, seems to have collected a few books & articles about ‘design’ by non-IDists, but I haven’t seem him actually write his thoughts down about this & why the organisation he supports financially isn’t open & honest about this major strike against myopic IDism.

  20. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory:

    CharlieM:
    When you say, ” your ‘sides’ assessment”, what side do you think I am on?

    You appear to be an Abrahamic monotheist. Is that correct?

    If you want to attach a label I would to call myself a heretical Christian with a leaning towards pantheism.

    It was you who started talking about ‘sides,’ so be welcome to situate yourself.

    I was talking about sides in relation to the Talbott link. He wrote

    That mainstream biologists are quarreling with ID theorists over common ground may seem a strange idea. But look again at the quoted paragraph above. As we will see more clearly in what follows, it applies without reservation to conventional evolutionary theory as well as ID. Few biologists are reticent about their conviction that organisms are machine-like and have been “tinkered” with throughout evolutionary history by a designer capable of producing intelligent results — all without any intelligent aid from organisms themselves.

    The designer they have in mind, of course, is natural selection, which has famously been likened to a blind watchmaker and is almost universally referred to as an agent capable of intelligent activity.

    I am neither a mainstream biologist nor an ID theorist so I am on neither side of that quarrel, I just look on with interest.

    “When he talked about sides Talbott was discussing the differing views of conventional biologists and ID representatives, and the supporters of each.”

    This thread is about the ridiculously obvious & misleading statement by EricMH about ‘software developers’ & ID. Please stick to that.

    If this thread is just about Eric’s statement, then why did you ask:

    Frankly, I really don’t understand how IDists can deny that they continue to double-talk while they refuse to identify legitimate ‘design thinking,’ ‘design theory’ & ‘design theorists,’ all of which imply/infer /intelligence, and their over-rhetorical position, beating the same drum since the mid-90s, already here in 2019. Could somebody here please explain with some modicrum of kindness or at least even-handedness why IDists do this when their bluff has already long been called, not just by atheists & agnostics, but also by religious theists?

    I think that Talbott goes some way to answering this question. They do this because, just like their opposite numbers in the mainstream camp, they see the source of the design as something external and do not recognise an intrinsic intelligence.

    “Anyone who has an opinion on the matter thinks about “the intelligent agents”, that is what the whole debate is about.”

    Which ‘intelligent agents’ do you have in mind, CharlieM? IDism is piss poor talking about this & doesn’t have scholars trained in the right fields. Simple as that, really. Who do you suggest in the IDM is actually trained in the study of ‘intelligent agents’ THAT CAN BE NAMED & STUDIED? EricMH certainly does not qualify, nor does Dembski, Meyer, Behe, Wells, Nelson, Minnich, Axe, Gonzalez, Gauger, et al. None of them are competent on that topic that you say, perhaps rightly, “that is what the whole debate is about.” So, why pretend otherwise?

    Every person you mention is an intelligent agent so they must have some degree of competence in the matter.

    IMO the intelligence is intrinsic to the living being under consideration. I could go into this further but I do not think you would appreciate the diversion from the topic at hand 🙂

  21. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy: Evolutionary psychology is one of those places where unprepared people have gone nuts with trying to fit everything psychology (more often than not it’s human behaviour) into natural selection without proper justification for doing so.

    Evolutionary theory is chock full of it. Evolutionary psychology is just a small part of it.

  22. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy: Evolution at higher levels is not mere extrapolation.

    The extrapolation exists in that the same causes can explain both.

  23. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:
    The extrapolation exists in that the same causes can explain both.

    I didn’t say there wasn’t any extrapolation whatsoever.

  24. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: Mung, for example, seems to have collected a few books & articles about ‘design’ by non-IDists, but I haven’t seem him actually write his thoughts down about this & why the organisation he supports financially isn’t open & honest about this major strike against myopic IDism.

    Because I am a trumpet player, not a drummer.

  25. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:
    Evolutionary theory is chock full of it. Evolutionary psychology is just a small part of it.

    There’s a distinction between evolutionary theory and evolutionary thinking (or lack thereof). “Selectionism” (as in natural selection gone too far) is everywhere to one degree or another, but it’s not part of evolutionary theory as such.

  26. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy:
    IDiots are willing to ignore any evidence for things like evolving new information…

    Some sarcasm from Talbott

    Talbott:
    Some of those who labor to guarantee the purity of evolutionary orthodoxy habitually refer to intelligent design theorists as “IDiots” — and their argumentation naturally tends toward the same exalted level of discourse. To the shame of science, relatively few biologists have yet been willing to call out such behavior.

    Maybe the standard of argument we often see here has something to do with why Elizabeth doesn’t make an appearance. I do think this site could do with some feminine balance.

  27. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Evolutionary theory is chock full of it. Evolutionary psychology is just a small part of it.

    Correction: please don’t blame ‘evolutionary theory’ as some object of it’s own that somehow self-creates itself. To be clearer in explicating your gripe, yes, ideological “evolutionism is chock full of it,” but not ‘evolutionary theory,’ which may be innocent of whatever ideological gloss (e.g. materialism, naturalism, scientism, atheism, agnosticism, theism, etc.) is put upon it. Would you make that adjustment to your language of choice?

  28. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Because I am a trumpet player, not a drummer.

    You could at least lay down a list of titles or small bibliography, couldn’t you? And you are able to make an OP here at TSZ, aren’t you? Perhaps you could even add a short paragraph that asks your honest question, which I too hold, wondering about the credibility or integrity of leaders of the IDM at the DI who don’t address these ‘design theories,’ ‘design thinkers’ & ‘design thinking’ in public in their voluminous writings about ‘Intelligent Design.’ That would probably sound just fine played on a trumpet too. ; ) It’s a question of your will, Mung, that’s the key here: choice.

  29. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:
    As a software engineer I find ‘Intelligent Design’ obvious.

    Wouldn’t you find Intelligent Design even more obvious if you found that the genetic code creates and “operates” 2 interlocking gears synchronized to move within 30 microseconds to case a jump at speeds as high as 9 meters per second? 😉

  30. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    Freelurker: A pep talk on modeling: Modeling: The Activity that Shapes Us. That is from a computer scientist, Paul Fishwick. (His blog is fantastic.)

    It looks good to me too.

    Paul Fishwick

    Let’s take the time to listen. To hear what other people think about themselves rather than to put them in meaningless, overgeneralized, stereotypical boxes.

    I agree.

    Paul Fishwick

    The thought is the genesis of mathematics. Just as the idea that the perfect circle lives in our consciousness. Everything else is a model of a circle.

    I would suggest that we do not take the model for reality.

    Anyway, I’m just agreeing that his blog is worth reading.

  31. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik:

    When it comes to evolutionary theory running amok.

    Erik is it safe to assume you’re going to dodge all the critiques of your fallacious logic here just like you dodged all the critiques over at PS? Marks has taught you the ID way quite well it seems.

  32. DNA_Jock
    Ignored
    says:

    Adapa,

    You may have the wrong Erik, there.
    There is Eric M Holloway, denizen of Peaceful Science and “recent PhD graduate from Richard Mark’s group”, and then there is Erik, the philologist, who promotes the historical accuracy of the Old Testament at TSZ. I have not seen Erik at PS, but that might just be inattention on my part.

  33. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    The last post from Entropy seems to have been deleted so I have deleted my reply to it.

  34. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    DNA_Jock:
    Adapa,

    You may have the wrong Erik, there.
    There is Eric M Holloway, denizen of Peaceful Science and “recent PhD graduate from Richard Mark’s group”, and then there is Erik, the philologist, who promotes the historical accuracy of the Old Testament at TSZ. I have not seen Erik at PS, but that might just be inattention on my part.

    Ah, I see I have confused Eric and Erik. My apologies to Erik as the question was directed to EricMH

    Thanks DNA_J for the correction.

  35. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    “Erik, the philologist, who promotes the historical accuracy of the Old Testament at TSZ.”

    I see it more as defending the historical accuracy, than ‘promoting’ it. The historical accuracy of the Old Testament is a long-studied field. That some atheists, particularly the rabid anti-religious ones, attack the accuracy of the Old Testament thus requires defense. But promotion may be only for those actually willing to consider what the biblical narrative tells & means, which seems to be rare among atheists & agnostics here at TSZ.

  36. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    CharlieM:
    The last post from Entropy seems to have been deleted so I have deleted my reply to it.

    Sorry. I figured it was off-topic and we have enough confusion going on here as it is.

    ETA: For the same reason I held my impulse to answer the “defending the historic accuracy of the bible” … [thing], since it would start yet another line of off-topic confusion.

  37. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy:Sorry. I figured it was off-topic and we have enough confusion going on here as it is.

    Okay, no problem.

  38. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH: Yes, the difficulty of humans reproducing natural phenomena does seem indicative of some sort of designing force beyond our realm, although this is a somewhat different topic.Nature doesn’t seem capable of originating anything it doesn’t already have, so what it has must have come from a different source than nature.

    Per the OP, the combinatorics of digital codes is what mathematically seals the deal in the case of the genetic code.

    The inability of human models to precisely describe how nature works is simply a result of humans having inadequate models. Do you really think the failings of Newtonian gravity in describing Mercury’s orbit somehow evidenced gravity fairies? Thank goodness Einstein didn’t think that way.

  39. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: They are not endpoints. They are merely way stations along the path to nowhere.

    What?!?!?!

  40. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory:
    T_aquaticus,

    Rabbit hole
    https://evolution-institute.org/

    That’s not a textbook, nor is it part of school curricula. Want to give it another try?

  41. DNA_Jock
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus,

    I think Mung was merely playing with the idea that the species that we observe today (your “endpoints”) are NOT final destinations, but rather waypoints on a path to nowhere (in particular)…
    Which is true, but irrelevant to your conversation, as ever.

  42. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:
    As a software engineer I find ‘Intelligent Design’ obvious.

    As a software engineer I don’t.

  43. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    A small plea for economy in post titles, incidentally.

  44. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    Adapa: What Eric really needs is a few courses in basic biology and genetics, maybe with a bit of biochemistry throw in.His understanding of the evolutionary sciences is absolutely abysmal.

    A very common affliction hereabouts.

  45. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus,

    Read up thread. Already done.

  46. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller: As a software engineer I don’t.

    However, you do accept that software is a human-made thing that involves ‘designing’ (& coding), right? I’m not an IDist, so I’m not implying anything more than that in the question. Human-made design is not equivalent with divine Design, unless one is an occasionalist, as it appears EricMH is as he uses one term to mean ‘design’ & ‘Design’ equivocally.

    Otherwise, would EricMH please say how he distinguishes ‘human design’ from ‘divine Design’ given that he appears to use ‘Intelligent Design’ as a double-talking covering theory?

  47. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: What?!?!?!

    Do you agree then with Brian Miller, that they are targets?

  48. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: However, you do accept that software is a human-made thing that involves ‘designing’ (& coding), right?

    And it evolves.

  49. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung,

    Uh, what? Just answering the question in this case would be appreciated. If so, it means the IDM loses (because it means you see the double-talking), but that’s expected anyway, right?

  50. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: And it evolves.

    Not only that, the evolution is directed…
    Who knew?

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