Intelligent Design Detection

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. “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.
  8. 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.

 Summary

  • 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

Pro-Con Notes

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.

495 Replies to “Intelligent Design Detection”

  1. Rumraket Rumraket
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    phoodoo: An eye.

    That’s an example not a definition. Do you understand the difference?

  2. Rumraket Rumraket
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    Mung: Is it evolution that is supposed to be the creative force or is it natural selection?

    Natural selection is one of the processes that can contribute to evolutionary change of populations of organisms.

    Or is it cumulative selection that is supposed to be the creative force?

    I believe I already gave a succinct and apposite description of the way in which evolution, defined as mutation and natural selection, can be described as a creative force.

    Mutation is the mechanism that creates new alleles from old ones.
    Natural selection is the process that creates particular distributions of alleles in a population.

    Did you know that random genetic drift can’t create anything?

    I didn’t know that, and I disagree. Genetic drift can create particular distributions of alleles in a population, just like selection can.

    And neither can neutral evolution.

    I was not aware of that viewpoint either. You saying neutral evolution can’t create anything? I assume you must mean something more restrictive than “anything”, since at the very least neutral evolution can create neutral changes.

    The vast majority of evolution turns out to be non-creative.

    Under my above given descriptions it follows that it is the other way around. The vast majority of evolution is changes is the creation of new alleles by mutation, and the subsequent creation of change in frequencies of alleles in the population. So it is pretty much all creative.

  3. Rumraket Rumraket
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    phoodoo:
    You know, I just don’t think Rumraket really cares, even if it makes him look ridiculously stupid.

    His position is so pathetic that it requires hypocrisy, dishonesty, and cowardice in order to be defended.

    Yes yes phoodoo, we get it, you don’t have any actual arguments. You’ve settled for just saying the word “accidents” and you don’t seem able to get that using a particular label does not constitute an argument. You’ve yet to explain where there is a problem with evolution. All you can do is say “it’s accidents it’s ridiculous”. Which is just a statement of opinion.

  4. Mung Mung
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    phoodoo: They are just waiting for the niche.

    i keep forgetting about the niche. It’s the niche that does the actual designing. All eyes of creatures that dwell in the water are the same. And if they aren’t, they lived in different niches and that’s why the eyes are not the same.

    Take snails…

  5. Allan Miller
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    Mung: Good job!

    Is it organisms that are adapted or populations? Neither? Both?

    Both.

  6. Allan Miller
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    phoodoo: You don’t know the difference between the word adapted and adaptation?This is why Ishould use baby talk I guess.

    You could just answer the question, of course. I was asking what you understand by the term well-adapted, in relation to an organismal design.

  7. Mung Mung
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    Corneel: What does it mean that selection creates stuff? In what sense does it create whereas random genetic drift does not?

    That was sarcasm. 🙂

    I see no reason that cumulative neutral evolution and random genetic drift cannot be the creative force evolutionists need in order to explain “the appearance of design” in living organisms.

    Perhaps “evolutionists” just don’t like the implications that their theory should be chance based.

  8. Mung Mung
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    BruceS: Speaking of creative forces, what artistic tradition would you place evolution into?

    Godlike.

  9. Rumraket Rumraket
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    Mung: There was a mutation. It had no idea that one day it would become an eye. But, by fortuitous happenstance, it led to a very slight increase in the number of offspring left by the carrier of the mutation. From 1.0 to 1.02. Eventually every member of the population shared that mutation. Everyone was happy.

    Then there was another mutation. By the most joyous of coincidences that mutation happened to be joined in some miraculous way with the previous mutation to make something that was even more like an eye. And, even more incredibly, it too happened to lead to a very slight increase in the number of offspring left by the carrier of the mutation. From 1.0 to 1.01.

    Over a long period of time the fortuitous accidents stacked up. Each event just as improbable as the previous one. Each event an independent event. The probabilities against continued to multiply. But lo, an eye!

    Substitute the eye for a particular bacterial cell having a large collection of specific and particular adaptations to a particular environment, and this is what happens when bacteria adapt to antibiotics, or the flask environment in the LTEE.
    Somehow mutations keep happening that all have fitness enhancing consequences and work in conjunction to increase the reproductive success of the organism. Whether those are mutations that affect enzymes, transporter genes, DNA repair, and so on.

    Over a long period of time, the fortuitous accidents have kept stacking up. Each mutation as improbable as the previous one. Each mutation an independent event. The probabilities against continued to multiply. In some of the LTEE lineages over 400 mutations have accumulated. What is the compound probability of those particular 400 mutations?

    Just like there would be mutations that affect the different aspects of eye morphology and function, whether at the protein level in Opsins in rod and cone cells, or the overall morphology of the eye.

    There is no in principle difference here.

  10. Allan Miller
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    Mung: That was sarcasm.

    I see no reason that cumulative neutral evolution and random genetic drift cannot be the creative force evolutionists need in order to explain “the appearance of design” in living organisms.

    Perhaps “evolutionists” just don’t like the implications that their theory should be chance based.

    You seem to have regressed.

    Evolution is ‘chance based’, for sure, in that it is not deterministic. Perhaps you should mention this to those theorists pioneering stochastic models, who would have been unaware of the role of probability till you pointed it out.

  11. Allan Miller
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    This is all very reminiscent of the discussions on species. “That’s not new. I mean new, you know? Yes, it’s new, but it’s not new. It’s too much like the old to be new”. New==cannot evolve. If it can evolve, it’s not new. Show me something that cannot evolve evolving, then I’ll believe ya!

  12. newton
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    phoodoo: So you feel that moving different grains around or throwing some in the ocean is similar to the concept evolution of a new body part then do you?

    No phoo, I feel like creation of something novel can take place by taking something away. Without the process of erosion the Great Lakes would not exist.

    I disagree, but then again, no one knows what the concept of evolution really is anyway, so…

    Or how the designer works, in the case of evolution people are actively trying to find out, in the later they avoid talking about at any cost.

  13. Mung Mung
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    dazz: How improbable is that? How did you come to that conclusion?

    I don’t know how improbable it is. For some reason evolutionists assiduously avoid discussing that. That’s my mockery of the theory of evolution and it’s not far off.

    Evolutionists start out with an argument from incredulity. It’s simply inconceivable that an eye should appear fully formed.

    So then they say, but if we break it up into tiny steps each one with low enough probability tht it can happen ‘by chance” and if we string a bunch of these independent events together THEN it can be probable, and we don’t need to appeal to Gods.

    That’s evolutionary theory as presented by Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker and probably repeated in Climbing Mount Improbable.

  14. newton
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    Mung: Godlike.

    I love what He did with the night sky,too.

  15. Rumraket Rumraket
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    Mung: That was sarcasm.
    I see no reason that cumulative neutral evolution and random genetic drift cannot be the creative force evolutionists need in order to explain “the appearance of design” in living organisms.

    It is not that they cannot in principle account for some aspects of adaptive designs seen in living organisms. It’s that when it comes to fixing adaptive mutations in populations, natural selection is just much much more likely to be responsible for doing that, than they slowly drifting to fixation. It’s basically just going with the more likely explanation.

  16. newton
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    Mung: So then they say, but if we break it up into tiny steps each one with low enough probability tht it can happen ‘by chance” and if we string a bunch of these independent events together THEN it can be probable, and we don’t need to appeal to Gods.

    How does one calculate the probability of which concept of Gods is correct? It would be helpful before one appeals to the wrong one.

  17. Allan Miller
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    Mung: i keep forgetting about the niche. It’s the niche that does the actual designing. All eyes of creatures that dwell in the water are the same. And if they aren’t, they lived in different niches and that’s why the eyes are not the same.

    You are surely not suggesting that different eyes imply different designers? That would go down well in certain states.

  18. Rumraket Rumraket
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    Mung: I don’t know how improbable it is. For some reason evolutionists assiduously avoid discussing that. That’s my mockery of the theory of evolution and it’s not far off.

    The probability of getting the particular 400 mutations that got fixed in one of the LTEE lineages is approximately 1 in 4*10^{2670}

    These kinds of after the fact calculations of compound series of mutations are meaningless. Any particular long series of cumulative mutation will be hyperastronomically unlikely out of the total ensemble of different possible combinations. Yet there it is, it happened.

    It’s not that we have some issue calculating the odds, it’s that doing so is meaningless. Any particular single human being will be born with roughly 100 new genetic mutations. What were the odds that you would be born with the particular set of mutations you were? Something like 1 in 2.7*10^{995}

    Now start compounding the odds 10 generations back in time. Your mom and dad each have their set of 100 mutations. For each of them, again roughly 1 in 2.7*10^{995} that they get that particular set.

    And yet it happened. Those 10 generations happened and each person got their set of particular mutations. What are these numbers supposed to tell us? We can’t draw any conclusions from large improbabilities like this, it is meaningless masturbation with odds.

  19. BruceS
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    Mung:

    Evolutionists start out with an argument from incredulity. It’s simply inconceivable that an eye should appear fully formed.

    Not inconceivable at all. It is called a ‘Bolzmann eye’.
    But perhaps you meant a human-like eye along with all the nerves, brain, and body to use it in the way that is implicit in the word ‘eye’.

    That too is conceivable. It can be called ‘Adam’ or ‘Eve;’
    ETA: Or if you want nomic possibility instead of logical, then add ‘Boltzmann’ as modifier.

    independent events together

    Not independent, if each small step confers fitness. If that single small change then spreads in a population, then the probability of the next step being taking in least one member of that new population is higher than the two steps occurring in one member of the older population, even assuming they were independent then.

  20. Rumraket Rumraket
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    I’m surprised that Mung seems to be suggesting that there is something wrong with preferring more likely to less likely explanations. What the hell else should we be doing?

  21. dazz dazz
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    Mung: I don’t know how improbable it is

    Oh, so you were simply making up all that shit. I didn’t see that coming.

    Mung: For some reason evolutionists assiduously avoid discussing that. That’s my mockery of the theory of evolution and it’s not far off.

    Bullshit again. And you’re the one claiming adaptations require impossibly improbable events. Back it up or shut up.

    Mung: So then they say, but if we break it up into tiny steps each one with low enough probability tht it can happen ‘by chance” and if we string a bunch of these independent events together THEN it can be probable, and we don’t need to appeal to Gods.

    Well, take any two species, count the differences in DNA and tell me how they got there. If you think each step was vanishingly improbable, how about 2 at a time? or 3? Oh, no problem, make it 100 simultaneous steps, piece of cake! How fucking stupid is that?

    And who needs to avoid appealing to God anyway? It’s not like anyone has ever proposed any kind of reasonable explanation with god in it for absolutely anything. There’s nothing to avoid, buddy.

  22. CharlieM CharlieM
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    There has been a lot of talk about alleles and their change in frequency. There has also been a lot of talk about eye evolution.

    So what are the best examples (in any animal) of specific alleles that have changed, and in what way have they altered the developing eye?

    I know that there is a connection but I’d like to see the best corroborating evidence linking alleles to eye development.

  23. CharlieM CharlieM
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    Here from science daily on the evolution of fan worm eyes:

    Lead author Dr Michael Bok, Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol’s Ecology of Vision Group — part of the School of Biological Sciences, said: “Surprisingly, we found an unusual set of light-sensing genes, previously only seen in simple photoreceptors in the brains of some invertebrates.

    “It seems that the eyes on the tentacles of fan worms evolved independently from all other visual systems in order to support the needs of their unusual filter-feeding lifestyle.

    Good to see features evolving for a purpose 🙂

  24. newton
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    The preceding paragraph:

    Why are these eyes so diverse? One of the most striking features of the fan worm radiolar eyes is their diversity. These unassuming tentacles are nature’s eye factories, with eye types almost as numerous as individual genera within these families. It is not clear why these eyes display so many extant forms, but just as Darwin famously referenced a complexity gradient of extant eyes to demonstrate a plausible evolutionary progression leading to sophisticated camera-type eyes in The Origin of Species, so too can we arrange fan worm radiolar eyes in order of increasing complexity starting with single scattered ocelli and culminating with elaborate compound eyes (Figure 1, bottom).

  25. fifthmonarchyman
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    newton: They gave the movement a patina of legitimate science which was necessary due to legal objections to teaching creationism in science classes.

    That might have been an excuse to fixate on them in 1999 but that ship sailed at least 15 years ago.

    You can probably relax on trying to hold back an imagined inevitable theocracy.

    Why not instead spend some time exploring and expanding on the interesting ideas those folks brought up.

    If you think their ideas are totally with out merit why not work on some of your own?

    Surely you think it would be cool if we could objectivize the universal but subjective design inference

    If you are not a little bit interested in trying to better understand and improve our ability to quantify stuff like that I have a hard time buying that you have any genuine interest in the scientific enterprise.

    peace

  26. fifthmonarchyman
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    newton: Never claimed that erosion was random though it may be unpredictable due to the complexity of geology and the comparison is to natural selection not random mutations

    I never said you did. I brought in the part about random distributions in the substrate to complete the analogy for you. they don’t have to be really random of course just random with respect to the wind. LOL

    newton: But that is neither here nor there ,the example of Delicate Arch addresses your assertion the erosion cannot create anything.

    And I pointed out that it’s a particular pattern of wind acting on a particular substrate that explains the Arch. To appeal to “erosion” as explanation is laughable.

    newton: Actually I would start with the ancient salt bed………

    Exactly even you realize the vacuousness of erosion as an explanation it’s almost as vacuous as appealing to natural selection.

    Glad we cleared that up. 😉

    peace

  27. phoodoo
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    BruceS:
    phoodoo,

    Five (at least) against you, phoodoo.Right now, I bet you arechanneling Maxwell Smart!

    At The Skeptical Zone? Hehehe, surely you jest Bruce?

    Let’s see, there are around 2 and 1/2 billion Christians in the world, just under 2 billion Muslims, 1.2 billion Hindus, half a billion Buddhists, …let’s not quibble of the number of Jews, Sikhs, Shintos, Taoists and the like shall we Bruce? I don’t want to rub it in to all you poor atheists how bad you are losing.

    I have a theory about why you are losing though Bruce. I think its because atheists believe a rock, that is less of a rock, is creating something new. To them its the same thing as a sculpture of David. If it gets a hole in it, well, it looks as good as something intelligently designed to them, so they can’t tell the difference. If they see a car in the desert, they think it could have been created by a tornado, they have no way of telling if it was designed or not. They see small bits of grain and larger bits of grain as novel. A hole, that fills up with water, creation. Leaky faucet bubble, novel. The concept is hard for them. Perhaps for you to.

    Well, keep your chin up Bruce. I have five against me at TSZ. Ouch.

  28. phoodoo
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    Allan Miller: I was asking what you understand by the term well-adapted, in relation to an organismal design.

    Are you on some kind of wild goose chase of obfuscation?

    Do you mean organismal accident? What do I understand about how well adapted all these lucky accidents are? Are you planning on tying this back into the topic in any way? You know, like how do we detect design perhaps.

    Its hard. Newton is on about puddles and lakes, you are on about grains being different sizes, how could that not be designed. Joe is on about rocks being smooth, surely that is a type of design. Heck, sometimes when I see a hawk flying by, turning into a dive, then zipping along the top of a lake and suddenly snatching out a fish at the last second, then swooping back up and landing on a branch, I think, was that just a leave, accidentally blown by the wind?

    Same thing to atheists I guess. Maybe I will ask Bruce, like most people I only know a few.

  29. Tom English Tom English
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    fifthmonarchyman:

    Tom English: I can’t think of any time when I’ve described ID as something other than a big-tent socio-political movement.

    Then why the constant appeals to folks like Dembski and Behe as being somehow authoritative as to what ID claims?

    Peace

    newton: They gave the movement a patina of legitimate science which was necessary due to legal objections to teaching creationism in science classes.

    That actually is my answer, put better than I’d have put it.

    FMM evidently has in mind “Intelligent Design and Evolutionary Computation” (the opening chapter of Design by Evolution), by Garry Greenwood and me. That’s the only place I ever said much about Behe. The two big “things” of ID at the time were irreducible complexity and specified complexity. So, in a brief survey of ID, we needed to say something about Behe. Newton’s remark, whether he knows it or not, is highly apropos of the chapter.

    The reason that I have focused on Dembski (and, later, Marks and Ewert) is very simple: I proved the main “no free lunch” theorem for search in 1994, independently of Wolpert and Macready, and subsequently published a half dozen papers related to it; Dembski began invoking the theorem in 2002, when he published No Free Lunch. There were people better able than I to respond to Dembski, back then. But now I have particular knowledge of the “evolutionary informatics” strain of ID that is impossible for anyone to acquire quickly. I’ve also improved considerably as a mathematician over the past 15 years. Being an expert in this particular aspect of ID is not a matter of pride. Speaking of it here is somewhat like confessing to an obsession. But I indeed have ended up an expert on the most technically difficult aspect of ID.

    Perhaps the best thing to say is this: It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

    As for “naturalism entails an algorithmic theory of mind,” well, that’s no more than a stinking piece of shit that’s stuck to my shoe as I’ve walked the turf. I can’t ignore it, and I learn nothing the least bit interesting as I publicly scrape it off with a stick.

  30. Tom English Tom English
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    Rumraket,

    If i recall correctly, Futuyuma characterizes natural selection as the only known mechanism of adaptive evolution. It might help to distinguish adaptive and non-adaptive evolution. Just a thought.

  31. Allan Miller
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    phoodoo: Are you on some kind of wild goose chase of obfuscation? [Snip wild goose chase of obfuscation]

    You can’t answer a simple question. Got it.

  32. Allan Miller
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    I actually did mean Design. Perhaps I should have capitalised it in the first place. When we think of organisms being well Designed, what sorts of things are they Designed for? Hunting? Escape? Camouflage? Maximising incident solar radiation? If one were casting around for a synonym of ‘well-designed’ that acknowledged the biological utility of being a good fit to one’s ecological niche, would ‘well-adapted’ be out of the question?

  33. Corneel Corneel
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    phoodoo: If by evolution you mean a leaky faucet making water bubbles, I think no one really would have a quarrel with you.

    However, I am pretty sure that is not what most people mean, so perhaps we could stick with the evolution that more people than one mean.

    Since virtually everybody in this thread picked up on it as well, let’s press this point home.

    If you talk about something new, you don’t mean something that never existed before and if you talk about evolution, you don’t mean a change in allele frequencies. The evolution you are talking about is the creation of novel adaptive features (“an eye”), and natural selection certainly is a creative force in that sense. Even better: It is the ONLY process capable of producing adaptations, although it requires that a substrate of genetic variation is present.

    Sorry for “pulling an Allan” on you, but it’s better to have some clarity about what it is that we are discussing.

  34. dazz dazz
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    fifthmonarchyman: Why not instead spend some time exploring and expanding on the interesting ideas those folks brought up.

    No one in the ID camp wants to do that, and the reason is obviously the big tent. I don’t think there’s anything to expand on, because there’s no science to ID.

    But hey, if you think it can be expanded beyond pointing and yelling “design!” why is every request to add explanatory power to that ID crap always met with pathetic excuses? When pressed about whether IC systems are incompatible with common descent or not, Behe responds that’s none of his business. Why? because Big Tent

    In response to an obvious scientific challenge: ““Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.”” Dembski uttered this infamous response: “ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering”

    See? There may be dots to be connected, or there may be discontinuities, but IDists don’t care about that. They can’t possibly get involved in that kind of thing because, yep, you guessed it… the Big Tent.

    And here you are with your cute deliriums of grandeur, like so many other ID fanboys, dreaming about “expanding” ID. How’s your design detection bullshit coming along after all this time? You abandoned the pattern detection thing for that other stuff about meteorological data, right? Still have nothing to show for? What a shame

  35. Allan Miller
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    says:

    Corneel:
    Sorry for “pulling an Allan” on you, but it’s better to have some clarity about what it is that we are discussing.

    Ach, you blew it. “Pulling an Allan” is tantamount to an admission of obfuscation … 😁

  36. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller: an admission of obfuscation

    Right! Now we start discussing what we mean by “obfuscation”.

  37. BruceS
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: At The Skeptical Zone?Hehehe, surely you jest Bruce?

    Well, keep your chin up Bruce.I have five against me at TSZ.Ouch.

    Still, when it comes to situation comedies, I have to say Get Smart is better than TSZ. Maybe TSZ needs a laugh track?

    This would be a great application of KeithS’s idea of everybody having their own moderator to curate the posts. Different moderators would no doubt attach different laughs and types of laughs to different posters. Who gets the sly chuckles of appreciation? Who gets the loud guffaws? Who gets the I-can’t- believe-they-said-that incredulous snickers?

    You could pick your own version the the comedy facts!

  38. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Before there were eyes, how was an eye not something new?

    Corneel: Even better: It is the ONLY process capable of producing adaptations, although it requires that a substrate of genetic variation is present.

    Oh, right, it “produces” adaptations by killing some adaptations. That’s a funny way of using “produces”.

    I do know the soldiers in Iraq are said to produce more terrorists, every time they shoot suspected terrorists. Maybe that’s what you mean. The creative power of bombs.

  39. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: It might help to distinguish adaptive and non-adaptive evolution.

    If only such a feat was possible.

  40. fifthmonarchyman
    Ignored
    says:

    dazz: No one in the ID camp wants to do that,

    What am I chopped liver 😉

    dazz: You abandoned the pattern detection thing for that other stuff about meteorological data, right?

    No I did not

    I’m looking for patterns in meteorological data. That is how I attempt to detect design.

    The reason I’m focused on weather forecasts is because design detection in that case is both practical and non controversial in that the designer is not God but Bill at the weather recording station.

    It’s the sort of expansion and clarification that ID needs imo.

    peace

  41. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: If only such a feat was possible.

    fifthmonarchyman: The reason I’m focused on weather forecasts is because design detection in that case is both practical and non controversial in that the designer is not God but Bill at the weather recording station.

    ?
    Bill at the recording station is designing the weather? I think you’ll find you are mistaken.

    But should you find patterns in weather that enable you to make accurate predictions, then you should become wealthy and famous, unless, like Cassandra, you are cursed that nobody will believe you. Mind you, that seems to be the fate of meteorologists and weather forecasters generally. No climate change to see here, move along.

  42. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller: You are surely not suggesting that different eyes imply different designers? That would go down well in certain states.

    I’m open to the idea multiple designers. Perhaps one per niche.

    I wonder how many designers can dance in a given niche..

  43. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: I’m open to the idea multiple designers. Perhaps one per niche.

    I wonder how many designers can dance in a given niche..

    You would have to ask the designer who created dance and the designer who designed him and his designer’s designer.

  44. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: I’m surprised that Mung seems to be suggesting that there is something wrong with preferring more likely to less likely explanations. What the hell else should we be doing?

    You’ll have to unpack that for me. 🙂

    I don’t know what it means to say that one explanation is more likely than a different explanation. Do you mean scenario?

    and how about an example. I love examples. Say you are talking about the probability of some configuration of a sequence of tossing a coin. Say you label three coins such that you can toss them and place them in a sequence based on the number you assigned. You toss them in the air and they all land heads. now in this case the number you assigned doesn’t really matter becase the sequence is the same regardless of the ordering. HHH.

    What probability would you assign to that experiment? 1/8 = 0.125?

    Now lets break that up into smaller chunks because we think it’s simply too unlikely for that to happen “by chance” and looks too much like a miracle.

    If we toss a single coin, the probability of a heads is 1/2. 50/50. 0.5. A “heads” is much more likely to happen. I think we are on to something here! Events with a probability of only .5 are much more likely to happen by chance and are clearly within the range of what is possible by chance and certainly don’t require appealing to god or Gods due to their extreme improbability.

    Toss the coin. it comes up heads! No surprise there. Toss it twice more. It happens to come up heads twice more. HHH. 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 is still = 1/8.

    Dawkins is conning you.

  45. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: Being an expert in this particular aspect of ID is not a matter of pride. Speaking of it here is somewhat like confessing to an obsession.

    I’ve been thinking of opening an IDists Anonymous near your location. It’s usually for people trying to kick their addiction to ID, but I think you’d be welcome.

  46. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Moved a comment to Guano.

    Please address ideas not personalities and perceived failings. Thank you.

  47. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Moved another comment to Guano.

  48. BruceS
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:

    I don’t know what it means to say that one explanation is more likely than a different explanation.

    Bayesian epistemology
    “The combination of its precise formal apparatus and its novel pragmatic self-defeat test for justification makes Bayesian epistemology one of the most important developments in epistemology in the 20th century, and one of the most promising avenues for further progress in epistemology in the 21st century.”

  49. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: I’m open to the idea multiple designers. Perhaps one per niche.

    Huh. That sort of thing might go down well in California …

  50. dazz dazz
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: You’ll have to unpack that for me.

    I don’t know what it means to say that one explanation is more likely than a different explanation. Do you mean scenario?

    and how about an example. I love examples. Say you are talking about the probability of some configuration of a sequence of tossing a coin. Say you label three coins such that you can toss them and place them in a sequence based on the number you assigned. You toss them in the air and they all land heads. now in this case the number you assigned doesn’t really matter becase the sequence is the same regardless of the ordering. HHH.

    What probability would you assign to that experiment? 1/8 = 0.125?

    Now lets break that up into smaller chunks because we think it’s simply too unlikely for that to happen “by chance” and looks too much like a miracle.

    If we toss a single coin, the probability of a heads is 1/2. 50/50. 0.5. A “heads” is much more likely to happen. I think we are on to something here! Events with a probability of only .5 are much more likely to happen by chance and are clearly within the range of what is possible by chance and certainly don’t require appealing to god or Gods due to their extreme improbability.

    Toss the coin. it comes up heads! No surprise there. Toss it twice more. It happens to come up heads twice more. HHH. 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 is still = 1/8.

    Dawkins is conning you.

    What’s that crap supposed to be an example of?

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