What is the evidence for “purposeful intervention”?

FMM: Purposeful intervention is pretty much the opposite of random mutation.

FMM notes in the same comment:

 If there in nothing about an idea that distinguishes it from it’s alternative it seems to be superfluous.

So the idea is “non designed mutations” and the alternative is “purposeful intervention”.

Give that, and given FMM has not discarded the idea of purposeful intervention there must be something that distinguishes it from non designed mutations.

What is that distinguishing factor? What is the actual evidence for “purposeful intervention” regarding mutations?

And, more broadly, what is the evidence for “purposeful intervention” in any area of biology? Apart from, of course, wishful thinking.

603 thoughts on “What is the evidence for “purposeful intervention”?

  1. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yybsSqcB7mE

    During that process were purposeful interventions the root cause of the antibacterial resistance that evolved?

    If so, then it seems we can attempt to design an experement to watch the designer in action. There must have been many such interventions in that video alone.

    If not, then antibacterial resistance can evolve without help from god? Sorry, the “designer”? But then what else is evolution capable of?

  2. quote:

    What is that distinguishing factor? What is the actual evidence for “purposeful intervention” regarding mutations?

    end quote:

    I think a distinguishing factor would be the presence of a recognizable pattern that is non-algorithmic in origin. I think that is a hallmark of purposeful intention

    I don’t have the expertise to look for patterns in mutations specifically yet, I’m not even sure how you would go about it but I strongly suspect they are there.

    I’m looking for them right now in recorded weather data as a proof of concept.

    peace

  3. My tentative hypothesis is that we humans are hardwired to infer design when we observe patterns like that.

    Often the observation is informal, we see something and just feel that it was intentional rather than random or algorithmic.

    I think that with some effort we can make the inference more formal and explicit. That is what I’m doing. But the pattern will never be mathematically indisputable.

    That is because a mathematically indisputable pattern is algorithmic by definition

    peace

  4. fifthmonarchyman: Often the observation is informal, we see something and just feel that it was intentional rather than random or algorithmic.

    I think that with some effort we can make the inference more formal and explicit.

    It’s called the watchmaker analogy.

  5. I think Bill got it right, before it was pointed out to him that life doesn’t actually reveal anything like what he claimed it should if it were designed:

    You have a fundamental problem with your whole analysis, a flying animal requires precise engineering, not the co-option of parts designed for something else. This is only the result of a planned process not random changes to a land animal especially when the animal is built by functional sequences.

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/natural-selection-evolution-magic/comment-page-3/#comment-215731

    Of course a flying animal does not require precise engineering, and, because flying animals evolved rather than being designed, they could only co-opt parts “designed” for something else.

    Essentially, because Bill has not paid attention to the evidence frequently given to him, he inadvertently gave us a reasonable design prediction based on his presupposition that flight couldn’t evolve, when of course the evidence from both fossils and comparative anatomy is and always was exactly the opposite of what he claimed was the case.

    He has moved the goalposts since (his point–evolution is wrong, evidence be damned), but it’s an interesting design prediction that he made before he realized that the prediction had been falsified. With the failure of the reasonable design prediction, IDists just redouble their “it’s too complex to evolve” nonsense, never giving us any reason to believe in design in the first place.

    Glen Davidson

  6. It has been the same since Paley:

    1. Living things are too complex to have originated through chance.

    2. Darwin replies: populations of living things change incrementally over time; complex things never emerge in one big step.

    3. Paleyists respond: things like eyes or wings are too complex to have evolved incrementally.

    5. Darwin: the evidence shows incremental change over time.

    6. Pause.

    7. GOTO 1

  7. Corneel: It’s called the watchmaker analogy.

    nope.

    The watchmaker analogy is meant to compare the natural world with an nifty artifice.

    I’m just looking for patterns that are not random or algorithmic.

    peace

  8. GlenDavidson: IDists just redouble their “it’s too complex to evolve” nonsense, never giving us any reason to believe in design in the first place.

    Complexity has nothing do with what I’m talking about.

    Patterns can be very simple and still be non algorithmic and non random

    peace

  9. petrushka: It has been the same since Paley:

    The latest crop seems to have changed the plan a little. Now they just have step one. Don’t care about any other steps.

    1. Living things are too complex to have originated through chance.
    2. GOTO 1

  10. fifthmonarchyman: nope.

    The watchmaker analogy is meant to compare the natural world with an nifty artifice.

    I’m just looking for patterns that are not random or algorithmic.

    My bad. I thought you were looking for hallmarks of purposeful intervention.

  11. fifthmonarchyman: The watchmaker analogy is meant to compare the natural world with an nifty artifice.

    Imagine someone actually looking for evidence of artifice, rather than merely for some meaningless negative state.

    That’s why we can take Paley half seriously, and not the current crop of vacuous non-thinkers.

    Glen Davidson

  12. Corneel: I thought you were looking for hallmarks of purposeful intervention.

    I think a nonrandom non-algorithmic pattern is a hallmark of intention.

    intervention and intention are similar but not equivalent concepts.

  13. GlenDavidson: That’s why we can take Paley half seriously, and not the current crop of vacuous non-thinkers.

    I’m a big fan of Paley. His argument is not mine but I respect it.

    peace

  14. GlenDavidson: rather than merely for some meaningless negative state.

    Do you think non-random is a meaningless concept?
    What about non-algorithmic?

    Isn’t “meaningless” a negative state denoting the absence of meaning?

  15. fifthmonarchyman: Do you think nonrandom is a meaningless concept?

    Why can’t you read properly? Do you know what a “state” is? Do you have a clue why we don’t want “design” defined negatively, rather than according to actual design principles?

    Do you ever respond according to what is written, rather than to some idiotic restatement that wasn’t what was written?

    What about non-algorithmic?

    How is “non-algorithmic” meaningful to intention or intervention, other than that it goes back to your basic lack of knowledge?

    Isn’t “meaningless” a negative state denoting the absence of meaning?

    Of course it isn’t, it’s a symbol for the vacuity of your concept.

    Why must every encounter with you indicate how uncomprehending you are?

    Glen Davidson

  16. GlenDavidson: Do you have a clue why we don’t want “design” defined negatively, rather than according to actual design principles?

    What exactly are “actual design principles”?

    GlenDavidson: How is “non-algorithmic” meaningful to intention or intervention

    Persons are not algorithms and algorithms are not persons. That’s why it’s not murder to turn off a chat bot.

    GlenDavidson: Of course it isn’t, it’s a symbol for the vacuity of your concept.

    LOL 😉

    Meaningless is not negative because it’s a “symbol” for vacuity? Is that the claim?

    peace

  17. Corneel: I doubt that many people will agree.

    They won’t have to consciously agree.

    All that is necessary is to show them two number sequences one with a non-algorithmic non-random pattern and one with a random distribution and have them chose which one is more likely to be from an intentional process.

    If they chose the one with the pattern then the null hypothesis can be rejected.

    peace

  18. fifthmonarchyman: All that is necessary is to show them two number sequences one with a non-algorithmic non-random pattern and one with a random distribution and have them chose which one is more likely to be from an intentional process.

    No that won’t do at all! It is quite easy to obtain non-algorithmic non-random arrangements without an intentional process. We encounter examples of this in our everyday lives, e.g. pebbles ordered by size on a beach. My guess is that most people will fail to distinguish such sequences from intentially ordered sequences that are not following some obvious algorithm.

  19. Has the structure in the photo been designed?

    It seems, you know, too algorithmic to fit FMM’s criteria (even the building could be largely algorithmic).

    I wonder what FMM thinks an algorithm is supposed to do. Making designs seems, I don’t know, a rather obvious purpose for algorithms.

    Glen Davidson

  20. fifthmonarchyman: All that is necessary is to show them two number sequences one with a non-algorithmic non-random pattern and one with a random distribution and have them chose which one is more likely to be from an intentional process.

    As far as I know, the digits in the decimal expansion of \pi appear to be random.

  21. Neil:

    As far as I know, the digits in the decimal expansion of π appear to be random.

    Fifth actually thinks that π is non-computable:

    This is intuitively obvious given that the information in the concept PI is fully integrated. So the K complexity necessary to reproduce PI entirely would be effectively infinite, Again that is just another way of saying that PI is non-computable.

    He is one confused dude.

  22. Neil Rickert: As far as I know, the digits in the decimal expansion of \pi appear to be random.

    There is no way to ever rule out false negatives and you can always hide your intent if you try hard enough.

    We are not talking about cases like that.

    When it comes to the decimal expansion of \pi. It only appears random when you aren’t aware of the source of the pattern at the given location

    If I saw 314159265359 in a 12 digit sequence of numbers in a geometry text book I would not say that it appears random.

    peace

  23. Corneel: My guess is that most people will fail to distinguish such sequences from intentially ordered sequences that are not following some obvious algorithm.

    That is OK.

    I’m not saying that nonrandom non-algorithmic patterns prove design.

    I’m saying (tentatively) that we are hardwired to infer design when we see a pattern that is not random and we don’t know an algorithm produced it.

    Once we know that the pattern was produced by an algorithm we modify our initial inference

    peace

  24. GlenDavidson: Has the structure in the photo been designed?

    It seems, you know, too algorithmic to fit FMM’s criteria (even the building could be largely algorithmic).

    I don’t know of an algorithm that would produce exactly that pattern but if I did it would only make me be not as quick to infer design.

    GlenDavidson: Making designs seems, I don’t know, a rather obvious purpose for algorithms.

    Algorithms don’t “make designs” they simply produce an output by modifying an input according to set of predetermined rules.

    Persons often “make designs” by using algorithms but the intentional part happens upstream .

    peace

  25. GlenDavidson: What’s the algorithm for these patterns?

    I don’t know. You tell me.

    Why is that relevant?

    I would say that a person who did not suspect that the pattern was produced by an algorithm would infer intention when he looked at that object.

    On the other hand a person who did assume that the pattern was produced by an algorithm would not make that inference.

    It’s seems pretty strait forward to me

    peace

  26. fifthmonarchyman: I’m not saying that nonrandom non-algorithmic patterns prove design.

    I’m saying (tentatively) that we are hardwired to infer design when we see a pattern that is not random and we don’t know an algorithm produced it.

    I’d definitely agree with that; No need to test. All the ID-proponents at this very site are clearly afflicted with that particular bug. But what you said was:

    I think a nonrandom non-algorithmic pattern is a hallmark of intention.

    Because you wanted to detect mutations that were the result of purposeful intervention/intention, remember? But I am claiming that you cannot spot intention or purpose merely by observing the regularity of a pattern. This is why your proposed test is useless with respect to the challenge in the OP.

  27. fifthmonarchyman: I don’t know of an algorithm that would produce exactly that pattern but if I did it would only make me be not as quick to infer design.

    Then how is being non-algorithmic the hallmark of purposeful intention?
    Algorithms are purposefully made, after all.

    Algorithms don’t “make designs” they simply produce an output by modifying an input according to set of predetermined rules.

    Why do you misrepresent what someone writes in such a slimy manner? I said: “Making designs seems, I don’t know, a rather obvious purpose for algorithms,” and you said algorithms “don’t ‘make designs.'” Is the latter what I wrote? No it isn’t, algorithms are part of making designs, notably software designs. Quit projecting your mistakes onto others.

    Persons often “make designs” by using algorithms but the intentional part happens upstream .

    You think that you made an actual point? Why can't you just discuss things, rather than make misrepresentations and meaningless objections?

    Glen Davidson

  28. fifthmonarchyman: I don’t know. You tell me.

    Well, was it designed? It has patterns and wasn’t made algorithmically. Why can’t you deal with real-life examples, rather than trying to word-lawyer everything? Oh right, word-lawyering is a crucial part of your religion.

    Why is that relevant?

    Why don’t you ever write relevantly? Why won’t you discuss a subject, rather than circle defensively around your incompetent pronouncements?

    I would say that a person who did not suspect that the pattern was produced by an algorithm would infer intention when he looked at that object.

    OK, then how did its non-algorithmic pattern mislead the person to inferring intention?

    On the other hand a person who did assume that the pattern was produced by an algorithm would not make that inference.

    Well, no, because most people actually know that humans (and their machines) make algorithms, and would probably think that it was designed if the pattern were produced by an algorithm. You do manage to get things almost completely wrong most of the time.

    It’s seems pretty strait forward to me

    That’s because you’re just sticking with your mindless claim rather than actually dealing with matters.

    Glen Davidson

  29. Corneel: But I am claiming that you cannot spot intention or purpose merely by observing the regularity of a pattern.

    I would say there is no infallible way to spot intention. If there was then we could construct an algorithm to mimic it perfectly and it would not be intention at all.

    On the other hand I believe there is a particular kind of pattern that we are hardwired to attribute to intentional processes.

    Whether our innate intuitions are always correct or not is beside the point.

    I would argue however that in everyday life in general we tend to accept hardwired intuitions until given specific reason to reject them.

    Corneel: This is why your proposed test is useless with respect to the challenge in the OP.

    I’m not sure why not.

    The OP asked what the distinguishing factor for intentional processes was and I provided one.

    The output of intentional processes exhibit the presence of a recognizable pattern that is non-algorithmic in origin.

    Find me a pattern that is not random and also not the result of an algorithm and I will infer that it came from an intentional source pretty much every time.

    By the same token provide an algorithm that fully explains the pattern I see and I will no longer infer intention was involved directly in it’s production.

    It really seems strait forward to me.

    peace

  30. GlenDavidson: Then how is being non-algorithmic the hallmark of purposeful intention?

    because algorithms are not persons and persons are not algorithms I thought we covered this already.

    GlenDavidson: Algorithms are purposefully made, after all.

    So are things like hamburgers and ski slopes. That does not make hamburgers or ski slopes a hallmark of intentional processes. It just makes them things that might be made on purpose.

    I think you are confusing the goal/product of an intentional process and a pattern that represents the process itself.

    GlenDavidson: algorithms are part of making designs, notably software designs.

    Algorithms are tools that designers sometimes use. Designers are not their tools.

    GlenDavidson: It has patterns and wasn’t made algorithmically.

    How do you know that? Please be specific?

    If you could infallibly demonstrate that something was not made algorithmically then you could develop a algorithm to make that determination.

    That same algorithm could be used to infallibly evaluate random number generators.

    That would be quite useful.

    peace

  31. GlenDavidson: OK, then how did its non-algorithmic pattern mislead the person to inferring intention?

    I think I already said that I believe that we are hardwired to infer intention when we see a pattern and don’t know of an algorithm that can explain it.

    From an atheist perspective you could say that the instinct is helpful for determining how to react when we see patterns like that.

    If a Cro-Magnon man sees a strange rustling in the bushes that he can’t ascribe to the wind It’s useful to assume that there is an intentional agent behind it.

    peace

  32. fifthmonarchyman: because algorithms are not persons and persons are not algorithms I thought we covered this already.

    Just because you said something stupid doesn’t get us anywhere. Of course algorithms aren’t people. That means absolutely nothing with respect to non-algorithmic patterns being the “hallmark of purposeful intention.” It’s appalling the mindless cant that you spit out as if you think it’s intelligent.

    So are things like hamburgers and ski slopes. That does not make hamburgers or ski slopes a hallmark of intentional processes.

    So? I’m not the idiot claiming that non-algorithmic patterns are the hallmark of purposeful intention, and I certainly didn’t claim that algorithems are the hallmark of intentional processes (can’t you keep track of the truth at all, or do you just make it up as you write?). So quit trying to misrepresent what I write.

    It just makes them things that might be made on purpose.

    If you find evidence of a hamburger or of an algorithm, you have evidence of something designed. Even you ought to be able to understand that, rather than misrepresenting what I was saying.

    I think you are confusing the goal/product of an intentional process and a pattern that represents the process itself.

    I think you’re incapable of understanding what people are saying, since you’re too busy thinking you’re right about everything, including what you know almost not at all.

    Algorithms are tools that designers sometimes use. Designers are not their tools.

    If I were stupid enough to equate designers and their tools, this pedantic tripe of yours might mean something in this context. Since I never equated them, and it’s your own pathetic misrepresentation that your responding to, I can only conclude that you’re not competent to discuss anything with those who understand things like sentences.

    How do you know that? Please be specific?

    I know that because I have the background to discuss things that are “natural” and those that are “artificial.” I’m not going to try to educate you, who can’t even respond without grossly misrepresenting what I write about algorithms.

    If you could infallibly demonstrate that something was not made algorithmically then you could develop a algorithm to make that determination.

    If you knew how to discuss things without bringing up concepts like “infallibly,” you might begin to understand actual issues, that don’t involve infallibility.

    That same algorithm could be used to infallibly evaluate random number generators.

    That would be quite useful.

    So would you learning how to understand what others write, rather than misrepresenting their points.

    Glen Davidson

  33. GlenDavidson: I know that because I have the background to discuss things that are “natural” and those that are “artificial.” I’m not going to try to educate you,

    that is certainly not very specific.

    What exactly is the “distinguishing factor” that tells you that something is natural rather than artificial?

    peace

  34. fifthmonarchyman: I think a nonrandom non-algorithmic pattern is a hallmark of intention.

    intervention and intention are similar but not equivalent concepts.

    Is there such a thing as random in a deterministic universe?

  35. fifthmonarchyman: The output of intentional processes exhibit the presence of a recognizable pattern that is non-algorithmic in origin.

    … or a recognisable pattern that is algorithmic in origin.
    … or a non-recognisable pattern that is algorithmic in origin.
    … or a non-recognisable pattern that is non-algorithmic in origin.

    Non-intential processes also can produce all of the above.

    The only way to distinguish an intential process from a non-intential process is by recognizing the intent.

  36. Corneel: … or a recognisable pattern that is algorithmic in origin.
    … or a non-recognisable pattern that is algorithmic in origin.
    … or a non-recognisable pattern that is non-algorithmic in origin.

    Non-intential processes also can produce all of the above.

    The only way to distinguish an intential process from a non-intential process is by recognizing the intent.

    How do you do that in quantum mechanics?
    You realize that quantum mechanics runs everything on subatomic level, which includes mutations?

  37. Corneel: Non-intential processes also can produce all of the above.

    I think I disagree.

    Can you provide an example of a recognizable pattern that is non-algorithmic in origin that we all agree comes from a source with out intent?

    peace

  38. newton: Is there such a thing as random in a deterministic universe?

    1) No. But things can appear random to an observer who does not have universal perspective

    2) I don’t think it has been conclusively established that we live in a deterministic universe

    peace

  39. Corneel: The only way to distinguish an intential process from a non-intential process is by recognizing the intent.

    I tentatively think that is what we are doing when we see patterns that aren’t algorithmic in origin.

    I think for me at least it is tied up in my own personal “theory of mind”.

    It’s why I don’t think a computer that happens to pass the Turing test is conscious or has human rights.

    The same goes for a philosophical zombie.

    If it’s algorithmic it’s not directly intentional seems to be a common sense conclusion.

    peace

  40. J-Mac: How do you do that in quantum mechanics?
    You realize that quantum mechanics runs everything on subatomic level, which includes mutations?

    The gaps for God are getting reeeeally small these days.

  41. fifthmonarchyman: Can you provide an example of a recognizable pattern that is non-algorithmic in origin that we all agree comes from a source with out intent?

    Not sure what you are willing to accept, but let’s try this one:

  42. Corneel: Not sure what you are willing to accept, but let’s try this one:

    1) not sure it’s un-intentional

    much more importantly

    2) I would suspect that the pattern is algorithmic.

    A good way to test this suspicion is to see if an algorithm can be created that leaves a pattern that is indistinguishable from the one in question.

    If you can do so then there is less reason to maintain that the pattern has a non algorithmic source

    check it out

    https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-2735696-stock-footage-abstract-cgi-motion-graphics-and-animated-background-with-orange-lines.html

    better yet

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI0kSh1SJOg

    and

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYKnUic4C5w

    peace

  43. fifthmonarchyman: 1) not sure it’s un-intentional

    Yes, I saw that one coming. Good, we can now discuss some very fundamental problems of your test.

    Question: In a world created by an all powerful, omniscient Designer, does there exist anything that is not intentional? If so, please give me an example.

    fifthmonarchyman: 2) I would suspect that the pattern is algorithmic.

    Yes, any regularity (pattern) looks like it might be produced by an algorithm. That is, of course, how we recognise them. I fully agree with you that algorithms can be found that describe the formation of sand ripples, and that intelligent agents can use that knowledge to reproduce similar patterns. This is a major problem for your claim that we can use that information to detect intentional processes. Do you not see that?

    I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that in the three examples you gave, none of them replicated this exact pattern. Unreasonable? Yes it is! But note this is the point that is always raised against the evolutionists here: The chance of hitting any specific pattern by chance is infinitesemally small, and this is always used as an argument that it must be designed.

  44. fifthmonarchyman: 1) No.But things can appear random to an observer who does not have universal perspective

    Could not the same be said of algorithms?

    2) I don’t think it has been conclusively established that we live in a deterministic universe

    Predestination would seem to imply it.

    peace

  45. Corneel: Question: In a world created by an all powerful, omniscient Designer, does there exist anything that is not intentional?

    Not if God is also sovereign,

    There are however things that perhaps appear to be unintentional to us.

    And I fully realize that not everyone concedes that we occupy a world with an all powerful and sovereign God.

    Inferring design is about whether we can be justified in concluding a phenomena is intentional and even in world where God is not sovereign there are times when that is the case.

    Corneel: I fully agree with you that algorithms can be found that describe the formation of sand ripples, and that intelligent agents can use that knowledge to reproduce similar patterns. This is a major problem for your claim that we can use that information to detect intentional processes. Do you not see that?

    No I don’t,

    Could you elaborate.

    When Cro-magnon man saw a pattern of movement in the bushes that he could not explain as algorithmic he inferred intention. Later if he determined that the pattern could have been the result of an algorithm he modified his inference.

    That seems to be the common sense way it’s always done. Why is that a problem?

    peace

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