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

    It not that Bill is designing the weather it’s that when and how he chooses to record the data will be reflected in the pattern that is expressed.

    Design when you boil it down to it’s core is simply the fruit of personal choice.

    Alan Fox: But should you find patterns in weather that enable you to make accurate predictions, then you should become wealthy and famous

    We are only talking about a less than one degree difference in temperature in a particular location.

    It’s not the sort of thing that will change the world. It is a pretty good proof of concept though IMO.

    peace

  2. fifthmonarchyman
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    Alan Fox: unless, like Cassandra, you are cursed that nobody will believe you.

    Whether anyone believes me is not my concern. I’m only interested in whether the observation is statistically significant and repeatable.

    peace

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

    I thinking one for each and every location might work as well.

    It’s pretty hard to tease apart locality from personality

    peace

  4. newton
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    fifthmonarchyman: Design when you boil it down to it’s core is simply the fruit of personal choice.

    And the abilities of the designer.

  5. fifthmonarchyman
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    newton: And the abilities of the designer.

    IMO abilities are not remotely the same thing as design. a tiny amount of power can do phenomenal things if you can find the right lever.

    peace

  6. Alan Fox Alan Fox
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    fifthmonarchyman: Whether anyone believes me is not my concern.

    That’s what Cassandra said. But nobody believed her – she was cursed! 🙂

  7. OMagain
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    Odd how there is a procedure to “detect intelligent design” and yet there are no worked examples linked.

    It’s almost as if there’s a flaw somewhere. But my “detect flaw” procedure has some kinks of its own…..

  8. fifthmonarchyman
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    OMagain: Odd how there is a procedure to “detect intelligent design” and yet there are no worked examples linked.

    Would you count the detection of personal proclivities of a weather station operator as an example?

    I’m just making sure I understand the position of the goalposts before we begin the game. 😉

    peace

  9. fifthmonarchyman
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    Alan Fox: That’s what Cassandra said. But nobody believed her – she was cursed!

    Do you think that she was cursed or was it the poor folks who were unable to believe the truth when they heard it?

    I can think of nothing worse that being condemned forever to believe falsehoods
    😉

    It’s been a while since I quote scripture here but in honor of Cassandra here goes

    quote:
    because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
    (2Th 2:10-11)
    end quote:

    cheers
    peace

  10. Mung Mung
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    dazz: What’s that crap supposed to be an example of?

    How long has it been since you’ve read Dawkins?

  11. Mung Mung
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    OMagain: Odd how there is a procedure to “detect intelligent design” and yet there are no worked examples linked.

    🙂

  12. Mung Mung
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    fifthmonarchyman: because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

    What “strong delusion” do you think that was?

  13. fifthmonarchyman
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    Mung: What “strong delusion” do you think that was?

    I’m a post/amillennialist so I would say that this passage has relevance to the present day as well as the future

    As far as the present goes I would say that the particulars of the deception are tailored to the individual who refuses to love the truth. If it’s going to be “strong” it sort of has to work that way.

    peace

  14. Nonlin.org
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    Rumraket: Of course biospheres are just one among countless phenomena created by nature.

    But who is nature?

  15. Nonlin.org
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    Corneel: You appear to be saying that stochastic processes cannot be responsible for the patterns you are interested in. Yet it is not trivial to show this is true. A statistical test for equiprobable outcomes won’t cut it.

    What “stochastic processes” are responsible for cave art or DNA shape or sand dunes, etc?

  16. Mung Mung
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    fifthmonarchyman: I’m a post/amillennialist so I would say that this passage has relevance to the present day as well as the future

    I was a post-millennalist once. And an amillennialist. Not sure how you can be both.

    🙂

    So no relevance at all to the past, regardless of the context?

  17. Nonlin.org
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    OMagain: Odd how there is a procedure to “detect intelligent design” and yet there are no worked examples linked.

    You’re in luck.
    Someone else asked for an example, so here it is:
    We NEVER-EVER have to analyze simple sequences like 20 coin flips. Instead, we’re dealing with patterns that go on and on and on. Take galaxy shape (trillions of them?), take sand dunes waves (trillions?). Take shape of DNA segments (trillions?). And of course DNA is in every cell of every organism out there. We can take DNA and see several non-random features: nucleotides type, shape of the DNA chain, DNA conservation over organism types, etc.

    Let’s pick one of these, ‘nucleotide type’, and reject the null hypothesis: “DNA is a random composition of A, C, G, T, and X (at least one more) nucleotides”. Select a DNA segment of say 100 nucleotides and see P( “no X encountered” | null) = (4/5)^100 = 2.03704E-10 which is way lower than the typical .05 threshold. Conclusion: “reject null”, therefore unlikely for this DNA to contain a nucleotide other than ACGT making ‘nucleotide type’ “not random”.

    Of course, we only looked at one 100 nucleotide-long sample. Feel free to extend this analysis to the whole population of such samples. For political polling, I believe they select 1000 samples from the whole US population. But for every one of those extra sample showing the same pattern, the Null becomes even more unlikely.

    Next, can we identify a designer of this feature? No! Then ACGT composition is a DNA “necessity”. But “Necessity is Design to the best of our knowledge”. Final conclusion, ‘nucleotide type’ is a designed feature.

  18. John Harshman John Harshman
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    I didn’t have any DNA handy so I tried non.lin’s proposed test of design at a beach. I theorized that a beach is a random collection of quartz grains and X grains, where X is some other mineral. I collected 100 grains at a time, but they turned out to be quartz every time. Sand is designed!

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

    phoodoo: If only such a feat was possible.

    Clever response. I call for a conceptual distinction, and you turn it into a call for a real distinction in explanations of traits that we observe. I’m fine with that. But you’re also pulling a rhetorical switcheroo, changing not always possible into impossible.

    Let’s see if the telegraphic communication goes both ways. I suspect that you’ve got an array of objections to the (excellent, and still improving) fossil record of the evolution of cetaceans. According the model of you that I’ve formed, you’re bright enough to see quickly why I would bring up the evolution of cetaceans in this particular context. In all sincerity, I’d like to see you do an opening post on the matter, with the proviso that you attempt to help others understand where you’re coming from, and don’t simply turn the post into an expression of indignation.

  20. Tom English Tom English
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    Mung:

    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.

    I don’t know why you would suggest that I’m not addicted to ID. Different addicts have different responses.

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

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

    Eureka! I’ve found the missing piece of the puzzle of intelligent design: feng shui.

  22. Tom English Tom English
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    fifthmonarchyman: Whether anyone believes me is not my concern. I’m only interested in whether the observation is statistically significant and repeatable.

    Of course, you do 20 experiments, and neglect to report the 19 for which the results were not significant at the .05 = 1/20 level.

  23. Allan Miller
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    Nonlin.org,

    Ouch, that is painful. DNA is composed of a subset of all possible bases, therefore design. Hey, I wonder if we can do the same with protein monomers … wow! Over here! There are only twenty(-two), guys!

  24. Rumraket Rumraket
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    Nonlin.org: But who is nature?

    It isn’t a who.

  25. dazz dazz
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    Mung: How long has it been since you’ve read Dawkins?

    And you think that stuff about coin tosses addresses what Dawkins said that small steps make adaptation far more probable? Seriously?

    If beneficial mutations are relatively rare, it helps to fix 10 of them individually, one after the other, instead of having to wait for 10 of them to happen at a time. Don’t you think?

  26. Corneel Corneel
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    Nonlin.org: What “stochastic processes” are responsible for cave art or DNA shape or sand dunes, etc?

    Unpredictable variations in the mood of the artist, salinity and wind direction, respectively, among many, many other things.

    I give you a chance for the conformation of DNA, but did you really believe you could perfectly predict variation in cave art or the shape of sand dunes?

  27. Corneel Corneel
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    Nonlin.org: Let’s pick one of these, ‘nucleotide type’, and reject the null hypothesis: “DNA is a random composition of A, C, G, T, and X (at least one more) nucleotides”. Select a DNA segment of say 100 nucleotides and see P( “no X encountered” | null) = (4/5)^100 = 2.03704E-10 which is way lower than the typical .05 threshold. Conclusion: “reject null”, therefore unlikely for this DNA to contain a nucleotide other than ACGT making ‘nucleotide type’ “not random”.

    Ouch!

    The probability that you have calculated is the chance of observing no X when we draw 100 times from an equal mixture of A, C, G, T and X. Hence the null-hypothesis that you have rejected is: “there is an equal mixture of A, C, G, T and X”. You are NOT allowed to reject the hypothesis that all DNA is composed of A, C, G, T. After all, if X is rare, you have a slim chance of encountering it.
    By the way, there exist modifications of the canonical bases, for example 5-methylcytosine, which is important in epigenetic regulation.

    Of course, none of this is even remotely relevant for detecting Design.

  28. fifthmonarchyman
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    Tom English: Of course, you do 20 experiments, and neglect to report the 19 for which the results were not significant at the .05 = 1/20 level.

    1) You take that risk with anyone who reports their findings on anything

    2) you are perfectly free to repeat the experment yourself and report what you find

    3) No one expects to detect design in every single place they look. If we did there would be no reason to infer design in the first place

    peace

  29. fifthmonarchyman
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    Nonlin.org: You’re in luck.
    Someone else asked for an example, so here it is:

    You are on the right track IMO. The problem with this approach is that there is no good way to ever rule out hidden but ultimately random law or fabulously lucky accident.

    It’s Darwinism of the gaps and a determined “skeptic” will always be able to retreat to that explanation.

    peace

  30. Corneel Corneel
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    fifthmonarchyman: It’s Darwinism

    Nonlin’s example concerned the biochemistry of DNA and statistics.

    You can’t blame evolutionary biology for everything, you know.

  31. Allan Miller
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    fifthmonarchyman: You are on the right track IMO. The problem with this approach is that there is no good way to ever rule out hidden but ultimately random law or fabulously lucky accident.

    It’s Darwinism of the gaps and a determined “skeptic” will always be able to retreat to that explanation.

    What you sneer at is hardly ‘Darwinism of the gaps’. It’s not hidden, nor fabulously lucky. All DNA around today is template copied from a prior molecule. If another base arose at a particular site, it would not be copied, because it would have no complement, and would in any case probably upset DNA polymerase and repair. Now if, on some crazy planet, all present DNA organisms traced their origin to a single ancestor, this restriction would be in place at every copy step. We might wonder why the first organism in that series only had 2 base pairs, but it’s only one organism, so we need not unduly trouble the probability gods regarding such deviations from imagined expectation.

    I’m not suggesting we live on such a planet for a moment, of course 🙄 But it is a perfectly rational possibility. To translate into the coin toss language so beloved of some, 5 squillion heads may arise because the coin-placing apparatus can’t get hold of them by the tails; it is simply a result of constraint, and multiplication of probability is not the answer. There is a biological analogue of this.

  32. Tom English Tom English
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    fifthmonarchyman: Whether anyone believes me is not my concern. I’m only interested in whether the observation is statistically significant and repeatable.

    Tom English: Of course, you do 20 experiments, and neglect to report the 19 for which the results were not significant at the .05 = 1/20 level.

    fifthmonarchyman: 1) You take that risk with anyone who reports their findings on anything

    2) you are perfectly free to repeat the experment yourself and report what you find

    3) No one expects to detect design in every single place they look. If we did there would be no reason to infer design in the first place

    Congratulations! Anyone with a modicum of statistical acumen knows now why you are not to believed.

    Paraphrased:

    1) “But everybody does it.”

    2) “The burden is on you to show that I did something wrong, not on me to do things right.”

    3) “No one ever told me about the experiment-wise error rate, and I’m allowed to ignore whatever you say about it now, cuz you’re not nice.”

  33. CharlieM CharlieM
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    Allan Miller (to fifthmonarchyman): All DNA around today is template copied from a prior molecule. If another base arose at a particular site, it would not be copied, because it would have no complement, and would in any case probably upset DNA polymerase and repair.

    In other word what we see is a well regulated process aimed at maintaining the viability of the organism to which it belongs. There is a purpose to all the normal genetic processes taking place within each organism and it has been that way as far back as we care to look.

    It cannot be compared to human design which is very hit or miss by comparison.
    The processes of DNA replication have been successful in maintaining life for as long as DNA has been in existence.

  34. Entropy Entropy
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    Tom English (quoting filthymonarchyguy):
    3) No one expects to detect design in every single place they look. If we did there would be no reason to infer design in the first place

    Yet this is what creationists claim, that everything is designed. How would anybody know? Nothing to contrast and compare would mean that it’s untestable.

  35. Allan Miller
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    CharlieM: In other word what we see is a well regulated process aimed at maintaining the viability of the organism to which it belongs. There is a purpose to all the normal genetic processes taking place within each organism and it has been that way as far back as we care to look.

    You can’t infer purpose from existence.

  36. Tom English Tom English
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    Entropy: Yet this is what creationists claim, that everything is designed. How would anybody know? Nothing to contrast and compare would mean that it’s untestable.

    Yeah, I saw that too. I suspect that FMM operates as though failures to reject the null hypothesis are failures to affirm what is true in reality.

  37. newton
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    fifthmonarchyman: IMO abilities are not remotely the same thing as design

    Nether am I , I agree the selection( personal choices) is important component , but without creativity you may have only one possible choice which would render choice as superfluous.

    a tiny amount of power can do phenomenal things if you can find the right lever.

    Right, but you got to know what the levers are to choose the right one.

    peace

  38. CharlieM CharlieM
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    Allan Miller: You can’t infer purpose from existence.

    Existence implies being, but I am not talking about being. I am talking about becoming.

  39. Allan Miller
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    CharlieM: Existence implies being, but I am not talking about being. I am talking about becoming.

    That doesn’t really clarify anything. Things can ‘become’ without purpose too.

  40. Corneel Corneel
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    Tom English: I suspect that FMM operates as though failures to reject the null hypothesis are failures to affirm what is true in reality.

    It is more complex than that. What I gathered from my exchange with Fifth is that he indeed believes everything is intended to be as it is by the Designer, but that humans are hardwire to perceive only a subset of phenomena as such. The remainder will be perceived as either “random” or “algorithmic”.

    Quite a lot of the discussion in that thread resonates quite closely with the discussion with Nonlin here. I am not the least bit surprised to see Fifth showing up 🙂

  41. CharlieM CharlieM
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    Allan Miller: That doesn’t really clarify anything. Things can ‘become’ without purpose too.

    That’s true enough (your last sentence). So for clarity, can you provide some examples?

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

    Kitzmiller was in December of 2005, Dembski served as a senior fellow at the Center for Science and Culture until 2016. As an active post here demonstrates , the defense of Dembski continues. Seems the boat is still firmly docked.

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

    Given the overwhelming , unconditional support of theocratic advocates is behind D.Trump and the level of devotion demonstrated to an grifting, amoral, unrepentant adulterer, we now know the future of the theocratic arc. Jesus is out, their kingdom is of this world.

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

    No offense intended ,how is the way Tom chooses to spend his time any concern of yours or mine?

    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.

    It is a big risk that you might have a hard time buying something, I hope Tom realizes the peril he is in.

    peace

  43. Allan Miller
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    CharlieM: That’s true enough (your last sentence). So for clarity, can you provide some examples?

    If it’s true enough, I’m sure you could provide your own.

  44. CharlieM CharlieM
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    Allan Miller: If it’s true enough, I’m sure you could provide your own.

    A snowfield can become an avalanche, a section of meandering river can become an oxbow lake, grains of sand can become sedimentary rock, and so on.

  45. newton
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    fifthmonarchyman: 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

    So you completed the analogy in a way that I did not intend, and then refuted my not analogy? I stand not corrected. Thanks.

    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.

    I guess it another example of refuting what I didn’t say, that wind created the Arch. And why the air quotes around erosion? Not really a thing?

    Any less humorous, alternative explanation for the Arch?

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

    Certainly not from any argument you have put forth.Is this type of argument ever effective for you? Phoodoo is much better at this emotional kind of filibuster. I do want to commend you on the spelling improvement. By design or random?

    Any chance of a less vacuous explanation will be forthcoming at some point in the near future for the existence of the Arch?

    It appears a smiley face will be the most substantive argument offered.

    Wait a minute, in “Forest Gump” there is the scene where he invents the smiley face and there also is a scene where he is running through one of the most iconic erosional landscapes in film history, Monument Valley . John Wayne starred in “The Searchers “ which was filmed in Monument Valley. And John Wayne also appeared in the “ The Greatest Story Ever Told (1960) “ as the Centurion ,where he delivered the line referring to Jesus” Truly, this man was the Son of God”.

    I now see where you were going, well played sir.

    Glad we cleared that up.

    peace

    Yes , you have clearly demonstrated your expertise on the matter. Geologists throughout the nation are even now busily revising their theories to accommodate your groundbreaking “erosion” of their previously held , vacuous understanding. Biologists wept.

  46. Allan Miller
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    CharlieM: A snowfield can become an avalanche, a section of meandering river can become an oxbow lake, grains of sand can become sedimentary rock, and so on.

    Indeed. You would of course exclude a comparatively poor replication system becoming better. But you would be doing so simply by fiat, which I can easily counter by doing the same.

  47. CharlieM CharlieM
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    Allan Miller: Indeed. You would of course exclude a comparatively poor replication system becoming better. But you would be doing so simply by fiat, which I can easily counter by doing the same.

    If you want an answer you will need to give me an example of a poor replicating system becoming better and explain in what way it is better.

    Maybe you should consider the role played by a zygomatic arch compared to the role, if any, played by Delicate Arch. What do you consider to be the key differences between a living arch and a dead lifeless arch?

  48. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    CharlieM: If you want an answer you will need to give me an example of a poor replicating system becoming better and explain in what way it is better.

    I don’t particularly want an answer to be honest. I’m not sure how something that is not the thing under discussion would convince you of the thing under discussion.

    Maybe you should consider the role played by a zygomatic arch compared to the role, if any, played by Delicate Arch. What do you consider to be the key differences between a living arch and a dead lifeless arch?

    The key difference is replication. Variants are produced and, if there is a differential associated with survival, ultimately represented in reproduction, then the system can be tuned by that alone, without anyone willing it. To tie that back to replication itself, it is clear that improvements in the system would be rewarded by more copies made. If you make more copies, you tend to outcompete those that make fewer, all else being equal.

  49. fifthmonarchyman
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel: Nonlin’s example concerned the biochemistry of DNA and statistics.

    You can’t blame evolutionary biology for everything, you know.

    Darwin’s contribution was the ability to explain things that look designed as being merely the result of a combination of chance and necessity. His idea has reached far beyond evolutionary biology.

    In fact I can’t think of a single field of study that has not been affected by it.

    In this very thread a combination of chance and necessity was offered as an explanation for the Delicate Arch.

    peace

  50. fifthmonarchyman
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: Congratulations! Anyone with a modicum of statistical acumen knows now why you are not to believed.

    You really do crack me up. 😉

    I never cease to be amazed at how perfectly innocuous comments can be “paraphrased” to mean something entirely different and utterly sinister when you apply the skeptics squint to them.

    LOL

    peace

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