Why Mung is an ID supporter

In the tradition of offering threads to our visitors from Uncommon Descent (Gil Dodgen, Upright BiPed, gpuccio and others), I’m creating a thread in which Mung can explain why he is an ID supporter.

Mung continually complains that we misrepresent ID at TSZ.  Here’s his chance to set the record straight, to tell us what ID really is, and to explain why he thinks the case for ID is strong.

Take it away, Mung.

(Thanks to OMTWO for the suggestion.)

53 thoughts on “Why Mung is an ID supporter

  1. So let’s get one thing straight. I didn’t ask keiths or anyone else to start this thread. I may or may not choose to participate in it. If I do decide to participate, there will be one rule and one rule only which will guarantee my continued participation. No censorship!

    If you don’t want your members presented in all their glory for the world to see, block them from this thread now!

    Banning them from the site might be better.

    First, it’s highly questionable that this thread was started out of any honorable “tradition” regarding how to treat people from UD. But leave that for another post.

    Second, I don’t need a forum to present my views on ID or my case for ID. I can post anytime I want at Uncommon Descent, an ID-friendly site. No doubt there are numerous other places I could go, friendly and hostile alike, to post as well. I’ve spent many an hour on talk.origins. TSZ is no threat.

    Third, I am pointing out the  misrepresentations of ID in another thread. You want me to repeat myself here? We could devote an entire thread to that one topic alone and I could restrict myself just to content right here at TSZ. Frankly that’s what I ought to do to expose this charade for that it is.

    Fourth. I am presenting arguments for ID in another thread (or I was trying to), so why the need for this one? Is the other thread too focused on a single topic? Probably.

    Fifth, and this is what i think is the real reason for this thread This thread was begun so that people here could have more opportunities to ridicule me and my beliefs. It appears some members were sorely disappointed when I refused to allow them to draw me off-topic in other threads. They just weren’t finding enough to attack in the other threads. The sharks smell blood, but no meat in the water. Too bad.

    Take it away, Mung.

    I haven’t even begun my opening argument. Are you sure?

     

  2. Over at Uncommon Descent an invitation has been presented to anyone at TSZ. They get a full 6000 words to make a case for their position. It’s been on the table for quite some time now.

    You want me to put out a case for ID here at TSZ? How about a little quid pro quo?

    But from what I’ve seen you all would be getting far more from me than what you’re capable of giving in return, so that would not really be a quid pro quo, would it? But we can’t always get what we want, can we.

    gpuccio and Upright BiPed have shown far more guts by posting here than any of you poseurs. Where have you taken up the chance offered by KF at UD?

    Yes, keiths, even in spite of your prior banning at UD you’ve been given the same opportunity. But what have you presented? Nothing.

    So. Why Mung is an ID Supporter. Reason Number 1: 

    Your side is bankrupt. Your arguments for your position on all the big issues turn out to be negative arguments against ID.

    And even if ID is false, it doesn’t make your side right.

     

  3. Mung: So. Why Mung is an ID Supporter. Reason Number 1: 

    Your side is bankrupt. Your arguments for your position on all the big issues turn out to be negative arguments against ID.

    But our argument has existed before ID.

    Your argument requires the TOE.

    Show us an argument that doesn’t include an improbability argument against the TOE.

    For instance, how does the designer know what is required for the future?

     

     

  4. I think we should refrain from arguing against Mung’s case before he presents it. I would like to hear his case.

  5. I haven’t even begun my opening argument. Are you sure?

    Let me raise a question that I also mentioned elsewhere.  Do you want me to set you as the author of this thread (in place of keiths)?  That should give you the ability to rewrite the main post.

  6. Mung:

    If I do decide to participate, there will be one rule and one rule only which will guarantee my continued participation. No censorship!

    Don’t worry about censorship. This isn’t UD. We’re not afraid of open discussion here.

    Joe is the only person who’s been crude enough to get himself censored or banned here, and he had to link to a photo of female genitalia in order to accomplish that.

    Yes, keiths, even in spite of your prior banning at UD you’ve been given the same opportunity [to submit a 6,000 word essay]. But what have you presented? Nothing.

    Oh, really?

    Given the inhospitable environment at Uncommon Descent (from which I, like most of the ID critics at TSZ, have also been banned), I had (and have) no desire to submit an essay for publication at UD. However, I did respond to the spirit of KF’s challenge by writing a blog post here at TSZ that explains why unguided evolution, as a theory, is literally trillions of times better than Intelligent Design at explaining the evidence for common descent.

    Mung:

    Your side is bankrupt.

    If you repeat that often enough, maybe you will begin to believe it.

    Your arguments for your position on all the big issues turn out to be negative arguments against ID.

    Such as? Be specific about the issues and the arguments.

    I haven’t even begun my opening argument.

    Please do. We want you to make your very best case for ID.

    In the unlikely event that I agree with your argument, I will tell you. Otherwise I will offer my criticisms, and I’m sure others here will do the same.

  7. Neil,

    I thank you for the offer, but I decline.

    Like I said, I did not ask for this thread. If I was here at TSZ asserting that I had a specific argument for ID, like the argument Upright BiPed has set forth, or the argument that gpuccio has set forth, perhaps this thread could be seen as analogous.

    There shall be no pretense that I was claiming to put forth some case for ID and only needed the platform to do so. No one asked me if I wanted this thread.

    keiths sets out the parameters nicely.

    1.) Misrepresentations of ID. I’ll limit myself to misrepresentation found here at TSZ and at Uncommon Descent (if made by people who also post at TSZ).

    2.) My own reasons for supporting intelligent design.

    No reason therefore to modify the OP.

  8. petrushka,

    I will be happy to post a 6000 word essay at UD just as soon as I’m allowed.

    I’ll make sure that your offer reaches the appropriate ears.

    In good faith I offer the following additional items which factor in to why I am an ID supporter.

    Carbon

    Water

  9. Toronto:

    But our argument has existed before ID.

    Stuff happens is not an argument. Do you mean Darwin’s argument existed before Paley’s argument?

    Given that Darwin was responding to Paley, that’s a bit hard to swallow.

    Your argument requires the TOE.

    Demonstrably false.

    For instance, how does the designer know what is required for the future?

    Really? You are at least someone aware of programming. How does a designer of a software program know what is required for the future?

    We design a system to travel to the moon and back. How did we know what was required for the future?

    Another reason I am an ID supporter. The objections are facile.

  10. keiths,

    Don’t worry about censorship. This isn’t UD. We’re not afraid of open discussion here.

    So you’ve never banned anyone. Great!

    And no comments have ever been sent to Guano. Great!

    There’s a problem. The facts intrude.

    So what you meant to say was, as long as we [the moderators at TSZ] are not offended, there’s no censorship. Right?

    But see, I’m willing to waive all that. Call me all the names you like. Say all the nasty things you like. Just be willing to leave it all out there for everyone to see. A true free for all, hosted by the most open site on the net, TSZ!

  11. keiths,

    Joe is the only person who’s been crude enough to get himself censored or banned here, and he had to link to a photo of female genitalia in order to accomplish that.

    So what are the rules here?

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    So I’m going to start a bit vague, then get more specific as need arises.The principle is in the strapline: Park your priors by the door. 

    Is that even possible?

    If you left your priors by the door when you signed up at TSZ, raise your hand.

  12. I did not park my priors by the door.

    But I’m guessing that neither did anyone else.

    Discuss.

     

  13. It’s a fair point. But then nobody’s perfect. I happen to agree with mung about the free exchange of views and avoidance of censorship and that we should err on the side of caution in exercising moderation control. I especially dislike pre-moderation not least for the extra work it makes. It also discourages participation.

    Posting (or linking) porn or spamming the site will result in bans but moving a comment that is off-topic to Guano is not the same as deleting it without trace. It is OK as it is reversible and we are a democracy. The sandbox thread is there for discussion of such issues.

  14. Mung,

    This thread was begun so that people here could have more opportunities to ridicule me and my beliefs.

    Can’t do that if I don’t know what they are. And I don’t.

    Call me all the names you like. Say all the nasty things you like. Just be willing to leave it all out there for everyone to see. A true free for all, hosted by the most open site on the net, TSZ!

    Boring. Boring Boring. Why are you an ID supporter?

  15. Can we get past ‘UD this’ and ‘TSZ that’ then, Mung?

    This site’s policy is clear, and so is UD’s. Play there, play here, play nowhere: who cares?

    But while you are here …

    I’m sure your tongue was firmly in your cheek, but you have named an element (carbon) and a compound (water) in support of Intelligent Design. Generating matter, elements, and a periodic table with different elemental properties and combinatorial possibilities is not within the capacity of intelligence per se, at least not on empirical grounds. Why do you regard the existence of matter with particular properties as evidence that an agent had to ‘think it up’ in some way?

  16. I don’t understand the drama. Nothing has been deleted here except one link to pornography. Things have been moved to guano. I have had posts moved. It’s irritating sometimes, but it’s not being banned or censored.

  17. I don’t understand the drama. Nothing has been deleted here except one link to pornography. Things have been moved to guano. I have had posts moved. It’s irritating sometimes, but it’s not being banned or censored.

    The ID denizens want the world to understand that they are all oppressed victims of the “War on Christianity“TM (even though ID has nothing to do with Christianity…wink wink…nudge nudge). Anything that can be perceived as even a remote slight is cried from the mountains and rooftops as yet another example of being religiously oppressed and Expelled. Yawn…

     

  18. I’d say it’s just a tactic to avoid having to actually engage on the issues. 

    There’s a problem. The facts intrude.

    Snort. Facts? You mean like the “fact” that my side is bankrupt? The “fact” that all arguments on all the big issues turn out to be negative arguments against ID?

    And even if ID is false, it doesn’t make your side right.

    It seems to me what Mung is doing is taking some of the stock arguments against ID and just replaying them back. Almost like the last 150 odd years did not happen.

    And yes, you are right Mung, even if ID is false it does not make my side right.

    Yet ID supporters make the argument all the time that if “my side” is wrong the only alternative is ID. Don’t you actually read the other posts at UD? Perhaps you should point that out to Joe next time he says it, for one. 

  19. Hi.

    I parked my priors at the door.

    I am open to the idea that Design Detection is a valid scientific pursuit. However, the examples I have seen to date with regard to biology are pitiful.

    I am open to the idea that the mutational/selective resources that are available to evolution are inadequate to explain the diversity and complexity of life on earth. Sadly, the examples I have seen to date fail to account for the  power on RM + NS in populations, especially sexually reproducing ones.

    I’m all ears; make your case.

    P.S. You wrote “And even if ID is false, it doesn’t make your side right.”

    An excellent point. I couldn’t agree more.

     

  20. Would you prefer an answer that was comforting or one that was true?

    We don’t know. Maybe humans aren’t intelligent enough to ask the right questions or come up with adequate explanations. Why should we expect to be able to answer all the questions we can think up?

  21. Today, Darwinists…insist that ID is just an argument from ignorance – plugging God into the gaps of our current scientific understanding. Darwinists have made many thoughtful arguments over the years, but this isn’t one of them. The theory of intelligent design holds that many things in nature carry a clear signature of design. The theory isn’t based on what scientists don’t know about nature but on what they do know. Its built on a host of scientific discoveries in everything from biology to astronomy, and some of them are very recent discoveries.

    Intelligent Design Uncensored
    William Dembski and Jonathan Wells

     

  22. Unfortunately the clear signiture of design is that ID advocates think evolution couldn’t have done it.

    That’s it. That’s all there is to ID. 

    No designer

    No attributes of the designer.

    No capabilities, no limitations, no motives, no methods of actions, no means of action, no times or places, no instances.

    And most damning of all, no demonstration that design is even possible by anything other than a being capable of magic.

  23. Mung, this is pointless nonsense.  Surely you can do better than merely plop down a paragraph from Dembski/Wells without evidence.  Where’s your evidence?

    What, specifically, is even one tiny “clear signature of design” that makes you think D/W are right about this?  

    Which specific one, out of a supposed “host of scientific discoveries” do you understand to support ID?

    Where’s your godblessed argument, Mung? 

    Surely you have an argument …

    … besides “Darwin was wrong, har har”.

    Or is it true that you can’t do better than that? 

     

  24. Behe argued on the stand in Dover that design is a directly observable property of an object, almost like mass or color. You just LOOK at the object, you see the sort of useful function only design can produce. It is self-evident.

    But under cross-examination, Behe was obliged to admit that this self-evident design was only so to those of a particular narrow set of religious preconvictions. And that for everyone else, there simply is no way to test for or measure or quanitfy design.

    The conclusion one comes to from reading all this is that sincerity of conviction is the only “evidence” the ID people have, but that’s no problem because it’s the only “evidence” that actually matters.   

  25. His argument isn’t even an argument for intelligent design,” the keiths clone said. “It’s just a negative argument against Darwinism.”

    [At least this version of keiths understands the difference between an argument for something and an argument against something.]

    “That’s wishful thinking on your part,” the ID puke retorts. “He offers positive evidence for design. It runs like this: We know from experience that intelligent agents build intricate machines that need all of their parts to function, things like mousetraps and motors. And we know how they do it – by looking to a future goal and then purposefully assembling a set of parts until they’re a working whole. Intelligent agents, in fact, are the one and only type of thing we have ever seen doing this sort of thing from scratch. In other words, our common experience provides positive evidence of only one kind of cause able to assemble such machines.”

  26. So are you saying that the key argument for Design is that at some level of functional abstraction, life can be seen as analogous to certain human designs? Kind of like saying that if the ocean is like a bathtub, then rain IS a faucet, and therefore we can conclude that rain has valves hidden behind the wall? Or do we need to say first that rain is a machine?

    This seems entirely understandable. Efforts to appeal to frankly human motivations on the part of the rain gods have been made since before recorded history. We have flattered them, we have bribed them, we’ve even tried to threaten them. And sometimes it works, showing that the rain gods DO have human motivations after all. When these efforts fail, it shows we have angered or disappointed the rain gods. What ELSE could it mean? 

  27. Mung: [quoting?] “Intelligent agents, in fact, are the one and only type of thing we have ever seen doing this sort of thing from scratch.”

    And evolution doesn’t design things from scratch.

    Does ID show how biological life was designed?

    Does it try?

     

     

     

     

  28. The teleological argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of a god that created the universe.

    The title of this thread is “Why Mung is an ID supporter.”

    Does this link to an essay on the teleological argument mean that Mung supports ID because he believes in a god that created the universe?

    If that’s the reason why he is an ID supporter, it’s not a surprise  and it eliminates any need for further discussion.

  29. Well, conceptually, a Tuner God who started our universe with some set or other of “fine-tuned” properties (and then may or may not have stuck around to see how well its experimental protocol worked out) is quite separate from a Designer God who started life on one insignificant planet in one random galaxy and stuck around to meddle intimately in the direction in which that life evolved.  

    They could be the same entity, and obviously many christians believe they are the same entity, but it’s possible to believe in either one without believing in the other.

    I get your point – if Mung links “Fine Tuner” as one of his reasons to support ID, then he’s almost certainly one of the many religionists who believe both are the same.  

    But even so, it should be possible to discuss what evidence there is for the Designer’s supposed designs.  Where’s the artist’s signature?  Where are the toolmarks?  What’s the hypothetical explanation for why an oh-so-powerful Designer took 3.5 billion years of apparently-random evolution to shape a conscious family of apes?  How does the idea of an Intelligent Designer fit with the facts that 99.99% of all species have gone extinct?

    Even ox-carts aren’t “extinct” in our humanly-designed world, much less Model Ts and VW beetles.

    I think there’s plenty to discuss.  Of course, that’s not saying that Mung is able or willing to discuss it …  

  30. But even so, it should be possible to discuss what evidence there is for the Designer’s supposed designs.  Where’s the artist’s signature?  Where are the toolmarks?  What’s the hypothetical explanation for why an oh-so-powerful Designer took 3.5 billion years of apparently-random evolution to shape a conscious family of apes?  How does the idea of an Intelligent Designer fit with the facts that 99.99% of all species have gone extinct?

    Like I said, what is there to discuss? 

  31. The are many reasons why I am an ID supporter.

    Do I think they can all be condensed down into a single argument for ID that would convince everyone here?

    No.

    But really, why isn’t intelligent design the default hypothesis?

    Is there anyone posting here who thinks they are not intelligent?

    Are there any posters here who agree they are intelligent but deny they have ever designed anything, including a post submitted to this blog?

    So if someone denied that you were intelligent or that your work product was not the product of intelligence, how would you respond?

    If they denied even the possibility that your response could be ‘scientific,’ what would you say then?

    Say you patented some design, and they claimed that the same design could be created by blind, unintelligent forces and that therefore your design should not be honored. You’d have to agree, right, since unintelligent causes are absolutely capable of doing anything intelligence can do?

    Or you might fight back.

    You might find yourself arguing before a jury.

    What would you accept as evidence of an intelligent cause?

    If you deny that there can be any scientific evidence for an intelligent cause, nothing I say will convince you. You are a not here in the spirit of this blog.

    If you agree that there can be scientific evidence for ID then you also do not belong here at TSZ. It is the stated position of this blog that ID is not science.

  32. sez mung:

    But really, why isn’t intelligent design the default hypothesis?

    Intelligent design is the default hypothesis, in some (not all, obviously) fields of science. Archaeology and forensics, yes; biology and cosmology, no.

    The sticking point is this: Does the bare assertion “X is Designed” constitute a testable hypothesis? ID rests on the implicit presumption that the bare assertion “X is Designed” is a testable hypothesis, but thus far, no ID-pusher has yet managed to come up with a practical, useful test for Design.

    Real scientists don’t think that Design, in and of itself, is either a testable hypothesis or something on which you can build testable hypotheses—but since every physical thingie that was Designed must necessarily have been Manufactured, and Manufacture is something on which you can build testable hypotheses, it really doesn’t matter to real scientists that they’re not detecting Design directly. They can detect Manufacture, and that’s good enough to do the job.

    What would you accept as evidence of an intelligent cause?

    If the ID alphabet-soup of CSI/FCSI/dFSCI/MOUSE actually did live up to its press releases, I would accept it as evidence of an intelligent cause. Of course, that’s a hypothetical statement, and as far as I can tell, I don’t happen to live in a universe where CSI/FCSI/dFSCI/MOUSE actually does live up to its press releases. ID-pushers, who are the only people that tout CSI/FCSI/dFSCI/MOUSE as evidence of an intelligent cause, can’t make up their minds how to define or measure the stuff; nor do they exhibit any significant degree of willingness to test any of their various concepts of CSI/FCSI/dFSCI/MOUSE.

  33. What would you accept as evidence of an intelligent cause?

    It would have to depend in part upon the reasonableness of inferring the existence of such causes at the time and for the phenomenon in question. Intelligent causes for Stonehenge, etc? Not a problem. These are gross arrangements of matter for which no sensible ‘natural’ explanation has been forthcoming, and which are contemporary with the apparent existence of intelligent agents in the locality, detected by independent means. 

    Intelligent causes for biology, or quarks, or the four fundamental forces? A totally different set of phenomena IMO, and there is no direct evidence of a contemporary intelligent agent, and a considerable body of ‘natural’ explanations for the many phenomena that are emergent upon these interactions.  

    An argument of the form “these are designed therefore those are designed”, to which many sophisticated and not-so-sophisticated ID arguments reduce, is not convincing. I am open to the possibility that design could be detected by a means other than analogy, but no-one who claims to have such a method seems willing to publish it.

  34. Mung,

    If you deny that there can be any scientific evidence for an intelligent cause, nothing I say will convince you.

    Who denies that?
    As it turns out so far, nobody does.
    Rather, in general, it seems to be the case (and you have said as much) that ID’s “evidence” is the insufficiency of “Darwinism” to explain X.
    What scientific evidence do you have *for* an intelligent cause regarding the *actual claims* of ID?
    There is plenty of scientific evidence out there for other “intelligent causes”, as already noted in the last few posts.

    It’s not controversial that an event had an intelligent cause and can be ascribed to an intelligent action. It’s just that if you want to extend archaeology’s methods to the origin of life you have to, you know, have some evidence other then “Darwinism can’t explain X to my personal satisfaction”. 

  35. I have stated a number of times that ID has got to posit some attributes for the designer. Capabilities, motives, times places. This is how forensics works.

    As it stands, ID is merely shorthand for magic.

    As for why ID is not the default, well it used to be the default a couple centuries ago when scientific theists were mostly deists, and the model for God was the great clockmaker, and the function of science was to explore the clock mechanism. It was assumed that most things in nature were the result of regular processes.

    Unless Mung can demonstrate otherwise, there is no instance in the history of science where it has been useful to posit anything other than regular processes. I have not seen a credible argument for the possibility that science can do otherwise. 

  36. The sticking point is this: Does the bare assertion “X is Designed” constitute a testable hypothesis?

    The sticking point is this: is that even an ID hypothesis?

     

  37. Mark Frank:

    I don’t think this is an appropriate subject for this blog (although Barry Arrington and KF found it quite suitable for UD).  However, it interests me and I have written a small piece on my own blog. So I thought I would take the opportunity to advertise it here.

    [Comments closed for this topic.  Please comment at Mark’s blog (link above). – Neil Rickert]

    Yet another reason I’m an ID supporter.

     

  38. Yet another reason? I’m still waiting for the first one. Oh, no, you said that already “Evolitoon ain’t got nuffink – Joe”. 
     

  39. OMTWO is still waiting for the first reason why I am an ID supporter.

    Or not.

    Which is it?

  40. All I’m waiting for from you now is for you to go away. That seems to be the most constructive thing that it’s within your capability to do. 

    After all, What would you accept as evidence of an intelligent cause? 

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