In the previous section I described the argument that many biologists have endorsed for thinking that the hypothesis of evolution by natural selection is more likely than the hypothesis of intelligent design. This argument considers the observation that organisms are often imperfectly adapted to their environments and construes the design hypothesis as predicting that organisms should be perfectly adapted. This version of the design hypothesis presupposes a very definite picture of what God would be like if he existed.
Actually, in the previous section Sober was primarily concerned with creationism. This is made rather obvious by the chapter title. It’s as if he was writing about Creationism and then Intelligent Design burst on the scene and he had to change things up to make it appear as if the two are the same. But what’s a philosopher of biology to do?
The point here is to demonstrate how evolutionary arguments are in fact theological rather than scientific. This is admitted by a major philosopher of biology. This OP was motivated at least in part by claims by Rumraket that the genetic code ought to be perfect if it was designed. Arguing that it’s not perfect, therefore it’s not designed. To quote Sober, “This version of the design hypothesis presupposes a very definite picture of what God would be like if he existed.”
What does this have to do with actual science, if anything?
Why do biologists (and Rumrakians) require the foil of a perfect designer God in order to make their case for evolution?
What reason do we have to believe that an intelligent designer would ensure that her organisms were perfectly adapted to their environment?
What reason do we have to believe that natural selection leads to organisms that are imperfectly adapted to their environment?
I thought one tested specific entailments of a theory in the sciences. How does ID science solve the issue?
Nope, I do blame them and will blame them. They are trying to persuade their listeners that natural selection is ineffective in bringing about adaptation. The only question is whether the creationists and ID supporters who make that argument are disingenuous or ignorant.
It’s totally irrelevant whether natural selection is a cause or an effect. It is a process which can be thought of as either. We do this all the time. Check out some others that are highly useful processes:
1. Mendelian segregation
3. Brownian motion
You can quibble all you want that these are effects, not causes. But they will continue to be useful parts of scientific arguments, processes and phenomena that can illuminate what happens.
Even supposing the genetic code was the best one possible wrt error minimization, that would still not constitute evidence it was intelligently designed by a god.
At least he had a thing that would convince him, unlike those of you who believe for no other reason than because you were indoctrinated when you were children and now just refuse to let go, and rationalize away contradictory evidence.
You’re confused, I’m not talking about the genetic code there, but the general concept of the best possible combination of alleles for some species.
Perfection doesn’t come in degrees. Something is either perfect or it is not. I don’t believe perfection is physically possible, exactly for the reasons phoodoo describes. So on that point I actually agree with him.
It already is, in comparative religion class.
In so far as it is an empirical claim testable by science, it is false, and as such does not belong in science class, like lots of other old and outdated “scientific theories” that the universe spins around the Earth, that witches can curse you and that black cats are bad luck etc. etc.
What do you mean “evidence for intelligent design”? Intelligent design of what? The diversity of life, or the program?
The program can’t constitute evidence for the evolution of the diversity of life, nor evidence for the intelligent design of life, because the existence and properties of the program, isn’t part of a hypothesis for either the intelligent design or evolution of life.
There is no hypothesis of ID, or evolution, that posits that life evolved or was designed, therefore this program with these properties should come to exist. As such, it is evidence of neither.
Nobody says “WEASEL – thefore evolution is true”. And nobody says “WEASEL – therefore life was intelligently designed”.
The program, once again, is meant to constitute an analogy that furthers understanding of a process of gradual adaptation, aka cumulative selection. It is not necessary for it to be exactly analogous in all aspects, to real biology, to succeed at the goal of furthering understanding of this process. It is primarily a teaching tool.
The only people who have a problem with it are religious nutjobs who get a mental short-circuit at the mere mention of anything evolution-related and who gets confused about it’s purpose and merits.
How the hell did you come up with this idea that the program is “evidence” for intelligent design (or evolution, for that matter)?
Yes and let’s not forget that when they have claimed that, they never bothered to elaborate on exactly which aspects were testable, and how to test them.
Hahah yes yes Mung, bla bla bla you would never take something from biology found to be somehow “optimal” in some respect as evidence for ID. You’d neeeeever do that. Maybe someone else would, but not you.
Ironically your counter-argument was to invoke another fitness dimension for the genetic code besides error-minimization. The idea was that the code could then be the optimal compromise between several fitness dimensions.
Somehow it’s always supposed to be optimal in some way, and if we find out it isn’t, then the ID ad-hoc rationalization is that we just don’t understand the entity well enough to see how it is in fact still optimal.
Are you admitting to not admitting to admitting?
The only thing standing between you and the information you seek is your own incompetence.
When you link to an entire page, and claim it contains information in there that you are referring to, no one can know what information you mean. Is it this:
“I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”
It must suck to be helpless.
Again, how do you think newton figured it out? Was it magic?
Maybe you are mistaken again, maybe Newton just thinks he figured it out. Or maybe you just think he figured it out. You seem to enjoy bringing up things no one knows what you are talking about.
You don’t know how to paste?
You don’t know how to read?
newton explained it thus:
I guess phoodoo isn’t praying hard enough.
I definitely think I think I figured it out.
I lit a “candle”.
When observing the nature of any kind of phenomena, it’s absolutely relevant what sort of metaphysics you have. Even those who claim to have none necessarily have one, because “phenomena” is a metaphysical concept.
The processes that you mention, they are mechanistic frameworks. In mechanistic frameworks there’s a cause that deterministically leads to an effect. From the fact that “we do this all the time” with the mentioned sort of processes, it does not follow that all natural processes are of this sort or that these are the only sort of processes we can discern.
For example consciousness is a different sort of process (if it can be called a process). It is non-mechanical. From the fact that there’s food around an individual animal, it does not follow that the animal will eat any time soon. The animal may be already well fed or the food may be vegetarian while the animal is not. Or if the animal is a human being, he may have made up his mind to starve himself to death for whatever reason. You may call his reasons “unnatural” but consciousness is an irreducible sign of biological life and if you talk about biological life without consciousness, you are not really talking biology, but physics or some such. At any rate, it’s conscious decisions that lead to outcomes, so consciousness is a cause in reality as we see it.
Causes and effects are irrelevant only if you don’t care about biology in its complete sense.
Another useless point thrown into the ether. Do all evolutionist struggle with trying to express something?
“Here, I will just link to some words, that ought throw them off!”
Yes, you said to consider you may be wrong. So have you considered?
Or were you saying, Guano? You were contemplating batshit? And Newton got it? Because he often thinks of batshit?
Only when standing under a roost.
Thanks for the lecture. I would not agree with you on whether, say, a roundworm has “consciousness”, but then, we don’t usually define that term well. Anyway this discussion was not about consciousness.
When discussing the outcome of genetic crosses, I use the phenomenon of Mendelian segregation. Of course someone might say that Mendelian segregation is an effect, not a cause.
At which point I would say that you can have fun reducing it to the level of quarks (or attributing it to consciousness, I suppose). But if you want to solve that genetic problem, and figure out what fraction of offspring have what genotypes, you’d better invoke Mendelian segregation. Correct metaphysical understanding or no, you’re going to have to use it. Or get zero points on the test question.
Recall that all this started when Mung complained about evolutionary biologists being confused about cause and effect, and I believe that Mung meant, when they invoke natural selection.
You’re flailing away at the margins, as usual.
Not sure if that means (to you) that E. coli is conscious, or that microbiology is physics.
Question is, how much of a sense of humor does an E. coli have? And how much does a quark have?
I know. Because you keep linking to some margins that supposedly show your great self-awareness in showing you are able to admit your mistakes, by not admitting to any mistakes.
Somewhere in the margins it says, keiths is afraid to admit things even to himself, little yet to others.
So in answer to Joe’s question: More than keiths.
Reading in your margins (like looking for Amelia Earhart):
Maybe you could just point an arrow, since you can’t cut and paste? Use a highlight pen? Rent a spotlight? Is it in between the lines? In invisible ink?
Jesus Christ, phoodoo. The link points here, not to the comment you just quoted.
What is wrong with you?
He’s following your link. It’s the same link to a comment of yours that contains three further links. None of which fulfill your assertions.
No, he isn’t. The comment he quoted is not the one I linked to.
Well, make it clear then!
I did. Newton had no trouble getting it.
You and phoodoo are the only ones having trouble here. August company.
keiths,Well, help us then. Apologies for not following along. Be a bit clearer for those less gifted. Links to those mistakes you owned up to. The mistake, then the owning up. Pretty please!
It’s a chronic problem with you.
You don’t remember? You were the one who made the original false accusation, and you were the one who had your ass handed back to you. To refresh your memory, just follow the links, like newton did. You’ll see this:
keiths, to walto:
Did you really think you could bluff your way out of this, Alan?
This is keiths admitting a mistake,
Most of the rest of the link was criticisms of everyone else’s dishonesty and keiths congratulating himself .
Then miraculously I escaped the tar pit.
That’s odd. I’ve looked through the thread, but I don’t see all those instances where I’m supposedly congratulating myself.
I did find this, though:
That’s true enough. The thread certainly got a rise out of you as well as a bunch of other people.
It certainly got a rise out of walto, to whom I commented:
Is the entire page you admitting to your mistakes in code speak? You ahven’t given out the code breaker.
Were you linking to this line:
Was that your code, and it means the opposite?
Or was this the line you were linking to?:
Or is this you admitting you were wrong?:
You already knew, is that what you meant? Its an admission?
That last one isn’t even from me.
Just pray harder, phoodoo. God surely won’t leave you floundering, will he?
More code for your admitting mistakes?
I wonder why you only do it in code.
Sorry phoodoo that was me. In my many years as a carpenter I must admit it had never occurred to me.
Sure, you wrote it, but since keiths refuses to indicate what he is linking to, perhaps he is referring to your posts admitting he was wrong.
If “evolutionary theory” had any specific entailments perhaps “evolutionary theory” could be tested. But alas.
That has to hurt.
Surely this is false.