- Design is order imposed on parts of a system. The system is designed even if the order created is minimal (e.g. smearing paint on cave walls) and even if it contains random subsystems. ‘Design’ is inferred only for those parts of the system that reveal the order imposed by the designer. For cave art, we can analyze the paint, the shape of the paint smear, the shape of the wall, composition of the wall, etc. Each one of these separate analyses may result in separate ‘designed’ or ‘not designed’ conclusions. The ‘design’-detection algorithm shown in the attached diagram can be employed to analyze any system desired.
- How do we know something is not random? By rejecting the null hypothesis: “the order we see is just an artifact of randomness”. This method is well established and common in many fields of research (first decision block in diagram). If we search for extraterrestrial life, archeological artefacts, geologic events, organic traces, etc., we infer presence based on specific nonrandom patterns. Typical threshold (p-value) is 0.05 meaning “the outcome observed may be due to randomness with a 5% or less probability”. The actual threshold is not critical, as probabilities quickly get extreme. For instance, given a 10-bit outcome (10 coin toss set), the probability of that outcome being random yet matching a predetermined sequence is 0.1%, well below the 5% threshold. A quick glance at biological systems show extreme precision repeated over and over again and indicating essentially zero probability of system-level randomness. Kidneys and all other organs are not random, reproduction is not random, cell structure is not random, behavior is not random, etc.
- Is a nonrandom feature caused by design or by necessity? Once randomness has been excluded, the system analyzed must be either designed as in “created by an intelligent being”, or a product of necessity as in “dictated by the physical/scientific laws”. Currently (second decision block in diagram), a design inference is made when potential human/animal designers can be identified, and a ‘necessity’ inference is made in all other cases, even when there is no known necessity mechanism (no scientific laws responsible). This design detection method is circumstantial hence flawed, and may be improved only if a clearer distinction between design and necessity is possible. For instance, the DNA-to-Protein algorithm can be written into software that all would recognize as designed when presented under any other form than having been observed in a cell. But when revealed that this code has been discovered in a cell, dogmatic allegiances kick in and those so inclined start claiming that this code is not designed despite not being able to identify any alternative ‘necessity’ scenario.
- Design is just a set of ‘laws’, making the design-vs-necessity distinction impossible. Any design is defined by a set of rules (‘laws’) that the creator imposes on the creation. This is true for termite mounds, beaver dams, beehives, and human-anything from pencils to operating systems. Product specifications describe the rules the product must follow to be acceptable to customers, software is a set of behavior rules obeyed, and art is the sum of rules by which we can identify the artist, or at least the master’s style. When we reverse-engineer a product, we try to determine its rules – the same way we reverse-engineer nature to understand the scientific laws. And when new observations infirm the old product laws, we re-write them the same way we re-write the scientific laws when appropriate (e.g. Newton’s laws scope change). Design rules have the same exact properties as scientific laws with the arbitrary distinction that they are expected to be limited in space and time, whereas scientific laws are expected to be universal. For instance, to the laboratory animals, the human designed rules of the laboratory are no different than the scientific laws they experience. Being confined to their environment, they cannot verify the universality of the scientific laws, and neither can we since we are also confined in space and time for the foreseeable future.
- Necessity is Design to the best of our knowledge. We have seen how design creates necessity (a set of ‘laws’). We have never confirmed necessity without a designer. We have seen that the design-necessity distinction is currently arbitrarily based on the identification of a designer of a particular design and on the expectation of universality of the scientific laws (necessity). Finally, we can see that natural designs cannot be explained by the sum of the scientific laws these designs obey. This is true for cosmology (galaxies/stars/planets), to geology (sand dunes/mountains/continents), weather (clouds/climate/hydrology), biology (molecules/cells/tissues/organisms), and any other natural design out there.
- Scientific laws are unknowable. Only instances of these laws are known with any certainty. Mathematics is necessary but insufficient to determine the laws of physics and furthermore the laws of chemistry, biology, behavior, etc., meaning each of the narrower scientific laws has to be backwards compatible with the broader laws but does not derive from the more general laws. Aside from mathematics that do not depend on observations of nature, the ‘eternal’ and ‘universal’ attributes attached to the scientific laws are justified only as simplifying working assumptions, yet too often these are incorrectly taken as indisputable truths. Any confirming observation of a scientific law is nothing more than another instance that reinforces our mental model. But we will never know the actual laws, no matter how many observations we make. Conversely, a single contrary observation is enough to invalidate (or at least shake up) our model as happened historically with many of the scientific laws hypothesized.
- “One Designer” hypothesis is much more parsimonious compared to a sum of disparate and many unknown laws, particles, and “random” events. Since the only confirmed source of regularity (aka rules or laws) in nature is intelligence, it takes a much greater leap of faith to declare design a product of a zoo of laws, particles, and random events than of intelligence. Furthermore, since laws and particles are presumably ‘eternal’ and ‘universal’, randomness would be the only differentiator of designs. But “design by randomness” explanation is utterly inadequate especially in biology where randomness has not shown a capacity to generate design-like features in experiment after experiment. The non-random (how is it possible?) phantasm called “natural selection” fares no better as “natural selection” is not a necessity and in any case would not be a differentiator. Furthermore, complex machines such as the circulatory, digestive, etc. system in many organisms cannot be found in the nonliving with one exception: those designed by humans. So-called “convergent evolution”, the design similarity of supposedly unrelated organisms also confirms the ‘common design’ hypothesis.
- How does this proposed Intelligent Design Detection Method improve Dembski’s Explanatory Filter? The proposed filter is simpler, uncontroversial with the likely [important] exception of equating necessity with design, and is not dependent on vague concepts like “complexity”, “specification”, and “contingency”. Attempts to quantify “specified complexity” by estimating ”functional information” help clarify Dembski’s Explanatory Filter, but still fall short because design needs not implement a function (e.g. art) while ‘the function’ is arbitrary as are the ‘target space’, ‘search space’, and ‘threshold’. Furthermore, ID opponents can easily counter the functional information argument with the claim that the ‘functional islands’ are linked by yet unknown, uncreated, eternal and universal scientific laws so that “evolution” jumps from island to island effectively reducing the search space from a ‘vast ocean’ to a manageable size.
- Design is order imposed on parts of a system
- A system is nonrandom if we reject the null hypothesis: “the order we see is just an artifact of randomness”
- Current design detection method based on identifying the designer is circumstantial hence flawed
- Design is just a set of ‘laws’, making the design-vs-necessity distinction impossible
- Necessity is Design to the best of our knowledge
- Scientific laws are unknowable. Only instances of these laws are known with any certainty
- “One Designer” hypothesis is much more parsimonious compared to a sum of disparate and many unknown laws, particles, and “random” events
- This Intelligent Design Detection Method improves on Dembski’s Explanatory Filter
Con: Everything is explained by the Big Bang singularity, therefore we don’t need Intelligent Design.
Pro: How can a point of disruption where all our knowledge completely breaks down explain anything? To the best of our knowledge, Intelligent Design is responsible for that singularity and more.
I like Dembski I find his writings to be thought provoking. That does not mean that we are in any danger of becoming Gilead from handmaid’s tale.
If you are still fixated on the guy just because he is not universally scorned and ridiculed. You need to get a life IMO
I was always against teaching ID in public schools and I don’t personally know anyone who ever wanted to do that.
Here is where you are grossly mistaken
I happen to know a few “theocratic advocates” they are an extreme minority even among conservative evangelicals and the one’s I know can’t stand Trump.
You are lumping Theonomists in with the garden variety Bible thumper.
That sort of stereotypical grouping is borderline offensive. It’s like lumping members of ms-13 together with your Hispanic neighbor
You are better than that.
Erosion is not an active force that does anything whatsoever. It’s a description of what things like wind and water do.
To claim that erosion caused the Delicate Arch. Is like claiming that walking took you to the park.
You already gave one in your own post. You started by explaining how the sand was deposited in the first place.
I liked it a lot. It was certainly better that chalking it all up to erosion
You missed the point entirely a Geologist would never seriously claim that the Delicate Arch was caused by erosion.
She would give an explanation like the one you did except with more detail.
For extra lols note that this is a two way street. Us evolutionists are just talking snakes, don’cha know, edging you towards The Pit.
I have no idea what are you talking about. What is a two way street? Who thinks we evolutionists are talking snakes headed towards the Pit?
Why is “The Pit” capitalized?
Another expression. Bloody Americans, need subtitles for everything. It means that something works both ways, ie, Creationists display a tendency to suspect everything an evolutionist says, much as you portray the reverse situation.
I was fancifully portraying that tendency using ironic metaphor. You are familiar with the source of the talking serpents, I presume.
Because it’s not just any old pit.
Cripes, I’d forgotten what fun it was talking to a literalist.
Thank you for the attempt.
Now, would it be possible for you to give another example, an example that demonstrates the case where the object in question was not designed?
…whereas it was … designed?
And this is all Darwin’s fault, is it?
You can’t follow a simple process?!? No wonder you believe in the Evolution Santa.
“Feel free to extend this analysis to the whole population of such samples”?
Rest assured, that if you do that, you will find not just quartz but also calcium carbonate, cigarette butts, and other organic materials.
“The actual composition of sand is highly dependent on the location of the sand and geology of the general area. Sand can be made from a number of different rock and/or mineral.” https://wanttoknowit.com/what-is-sand-made-up-of/
Furthermore, in the original example if one sample yields (4/5)^100 = 2.03704E-10 but you selected that out of a mountain of 1 Bil such possible samples, then the overall expected probability is 20%, hardly significant. And your average beach is way bigger that 1 Bil samples of 100 grains.
Cheap shot? Incompetence? Both? I hope your head does not explode on my watch.
And you know that how?
Yes, you can. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Really? “Unpredictable variations in the mood of the artist”?!? IOW, not the artist (ID), paints, but “his/her moods”?!? And you know those two to be different entities? How?
How do “stochastic” variations in “salinity and wind direction” create sand dunes? Will you get sand dunes from these two randomly changed? Of course not. But go try.
“Perfectly predict variation”? Where is that coming from?
Yes, this is a simplified example. You can rework it with your desired (more accurate) assumptions. We got trillion+ samples out there. The conclusion is the same. Go ahead and try.
This IS detecting Design. Do you have a BETTER explanation? …and I don’t mean the Darwin Santa.
There is no such thing as “random law”. THAT is the whole point of this OP. To the best of our knowledge, laws are a mark of designers!
“Arising” of anything is pure Darwinist nonsense. WE simply do NOT see anything ARISE. Ever. http://nonlin.org/arising-of-everything/
The ‘constraint’ you’re talking about IS design. This is how design works as CLEARLY explained in the 1st paragraph of the OP.
I don’t care about that. This OP is about identifying design.
Of course cryptography is human design that seeks to look as random as possible to avoid decryption. But that is NOT my concern here.
Because it has none of the traits associated with personality.
You missed the point. I had 2 flies, now I have ten million, all much the same. If the probability of one fly is x, what therefore is the probability of ten million flies? If things reproduce, only a fool would multiply probabilities without taking account of the multiplication done by organisms themselves. The same goes for lineages. You may doubt that lineages multiply, but you can’t use that doubt to justify hokey probability calculations.
Talking past each other again, I’d wager.
We were talking about statistics. When you ask what “stochastic processes” are responsible for cave art, DNA shape and sand dunes, then I read that as asking how unpredictable factors explain variation in cave art, DNA shape and sand dunes. If you meant something else, then you need to explain.
If I was proposing a system like this to identify design I’d want to know that it correctly did not claim design when it was not warranted.
That you don’t share that desire is very telling.
OMagain asked you for a worked example of design detection, and you have not provided one. So far you have demonstrated in a hypothetical case that there is not an equal mixture of adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine and some unspecified base “X”. This did not convince many people, as you may have noticed. I’ll give you spoiler as well: the human genome is not an equal mixture of the four canonical bases either, but relatively AT-rich. Does that prove design? Why would the Designer be restricted to the use of equal proportions of four bases?
Hey, some bloody Americans if you please.
If that’s the test – if nothing ever ‘arises’, our evidence being that presently WE do NOT see anything ARISE. Ever. – that’s a bit of a strike against Creationism, innit?
Rustle me up an organism. You can even reverse engineer an existing one, that’s how generous I am.
And yet Delicate Arch exists due to erosion and its mechanisms and Delicate Arch is definitely something.Reality does not agree with you. Sorry.
And ice and heat. The word erosion describes how all these things interact with the material world and the resulting transformations
Or I ended up at the park through the process of walking . The stone of the Arch ended up in its shape through the process of erosion. The seems pretty close. My location changed and the rock changed shape both due to a mechanism.
newton: Any less humorous, alternative explanation for the Arch?
And how was the sand moved that was deposited? Erosion of the material from the Uncompahgre Uplift to the east. Just as presently material is moving down the Colorado River, canyons are still being cut.
Again that is another way where we differ. Geology is a narrative on display , it puts one in touch with vanished landscapes. Its beauty dwarfs the works of man. The silence is profound.The empty space breathtaking. The smell of ancient rock last exposed millions of years ago intoxicating. It is the West.
And would she include erosion in the description?
So if we want to describe how the design of the The Pietà was created we need to go back to all the geologic processes that lead up to the marble being formed, every one of Michelangelo’s ancestors, the processes that created the metal, the geologic processes the created the ore?
Or do we go a proximate cause?
“Delicate Arch is formed of Entrada Sandstone. The original sandstone fin was gradually worn away by weathering and erosion, leaving the arch. Other arches in the park were formed the same way but, due to placement and less dramatic shape, are not as famous.”
(Quote in reply) (Reply)
It’s just making me upset that a medical problem keeps me from going on a Grand Canyon rafting trip with the NCSE.
So sorry, a trip down the Canyon would be a dream come true. Ever read John McPhee’s “ Encounters With The Archdruid”?
You’re someone whose recommendation I’ll trust. (I recall enjoying The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed, about 35 years ago.) I just found a scan online. It’s probably illegal, but I’m reading it anyway.
Just looking at the Canyon makes my hairs stand up. Rafting? Holy crap, I’d be too amazed to hold it together.
Hope you enjoy it. Might have to dig it out myself.
No. YOU missed the point! Big time.
The first phase is rejecting the null hypothesis: “the order we see is just an artifact of randomness”. Everyone but you knows biologic reproduction is ordered, not random.
Don’t know what you mean. Variations of what and from what?
“Unpredictable factors explain” cave art?!?
That’s not what you asked:
“Now, would it be possible for you to give another example, an example that demonstrates the case where the object in question was not designed?”
Rejecting the null hypothesis (probabilistic): “the order we see is just an artifact of randomness” + the other steps do what you’re asking now (best inference!).
Do you have an example where you think this might not work? Are you asking me to do your work? Nice try. Besides, I looked and didn’t find any.
Huh? You replied to my example.
And did you miss this:
“Yes, this is a simplified example. You can rework it with your desired (more accurate) assumptions. We got trillion+ samples out there. The conclusion is the same. Go ahead and try.” ?!?
“Did not convince many people” means nothing without your counterexample. Where is it?!?
The materialist claim is that stuff puts itself together for no reason. That we have never seen!
That’s totally different from Designers putting stuff together. That we DO see every day.
I’ll rustle you what I can. So does the bee, the beaver and etc. But don’t ask the bee to “rustle you” a Tesla cause it can’t. But the mechanism IS the same. And we see it every day. Except the blind and the mentally blind 🙂
Nonetheless, if something replicates, using that ‘ordered process’, you don’t multiply up the probabilities of the original according to how many copies get made. This is the same error Kirk Durston makes.
If I see an ‘ordered collection’ – a billion near-identical flies, say, or copies of DNA in a PCR – I haven’t necessarily tossed a coin a billion times.
We don’t see designers putting organisms together. The fact that someone can make a toaster, or a beaver can have offspring, says nothing about the physical possibility of designers designing designers. Quis designet ipsos designores?, as no Roman would ever say.
There are thermodynamic reasons why simplistically assembling the atoms of a fully functional working eukaryotic cell – a beaver’s, let us say – is nothing like assembling a toaster. We never see it. Ever. Therefore …
You were invoking statistical testing to distinguish intentional patterns from randomly generated stuff, right? That means that we have some hypothetical collection of, say, all the ways you can smear paint on a cave wall. The variation in that collection is the background against which you will be testing whether some observed painting is high art or just accidental smearings.
This is pretty basic. All statistical analyses suppose a population of possible observations, usually described by a statistical distribution with a mean and its variance.
Yes, I explained why it fails as an example of design detection.
No, I did not miss it, but adding more samples does not change anything: your test is not testing what you claim to be testing.
That’s not the way it works. You said you could provide a worked example of design detection. Shifting the burden by demanding I prove the opposite does not suffice.
While I agree with what you said, I think that you conceded too much by not complaining about Nonlin’s misrepresentations.
No “materialist” says that “stuff puts itself together for no reason.” There’s physical-chemical “reasons.”
Designers would not even exist, let alone be able to put anything together, if it wasn’t for the very same physical-chemical reasons. So Nonlin is putting the cart before the horse.
Yes, it’s the same: physical-chemical phenomena. Design also depends on them. And yes, we see it everyday, only Nonlin overlooks it because she’s too focused on one of its products: design; rather than on what it really is: physical-chemical phenomena. So, yes, Nonlin makes a huge effort to keep herself mentally blind.
After trying very hard to get Nonlin to understand but one of her most obvious mistakes, and failing, I doubt that she can understand what I just wrote. So, either way, I’m just saying that we should not rush buying into her not-so-hidden assumptions.
Moved a comment to Guano.
Fair enough – two different angles, I think. My general beef with the design-jockeys is not so much the need for thermodynamic considerations in allowing Design to take place at all, but the ignorance of thermodynamics in assembly. You can’t just pass a couple of reactive molecules past each other without them reacting – without the system shedding energy. The idea that you can manoeuvre an entire cell’s worth of molecules is even more laughable. If one has a mental picture of a ‘minimal cell’, and believe that can simply be bolted together, one does not have much chemistry.
They have this view informed by macro level intuition – typically programming or engineering – where you can shove thing around with the power off. They also routinely confuse design with assembly.
It’s worse than that. They regard uniform random sampling, in which there usually is no identifiable relation at all in the sequence of states of the system, as the way things “naturally” would have been in the absence of Design. I’ve long suspected, but have never gotten any clear evidence, that it’s their reading of Genesis 1:2, “Now the earth was formless…”
I can’t speak for others but I think when Genesis speaks of the erets (Land) being tohuw (formless) and bohuw (empty) it just means that it was barren and nothing was living there. Check out Jeremiah chapter 4 for a parallel.
I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled. I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger.
Looks like I haven’t missed much while away.
Your tacit agreement that “stuff doesn’t put itself together” was noted as admission the “evolution” narrative fails.
We DO see “designers putting organisms together” (see GMOs). Just that they cannot get too far from the original for now.
We generally do not design and build by “assembling the atoms”.
You’re not making any sense. We’re not looking for “high art” or even “accidental smearing”. Both of those are instances of design and positive design identification is not the intent of this phase.
This is wrong:
“You were invoking statistical testing to distinguish intentional patterns from randomly generated stuff, right? “
Only these “physical-chemical reasons” are a product of design to the best of our knowledge. This is what’s shown in this OP if one reads for comprehension.
How do soap bubbles form? Is an invisible magic conjurerer somehow pushing the soap molecules around?
Well if you can just sit there and claim that, I can claim it’s negation. These physical-chemical reasons are NOT the product of design to the best of our knowledge.
What now, where do we go from here?