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Author Topic:   Detecting Design
Tanndarr
Member (Idle past 2649 days)
Posts: 68
Joined: 02-14-2008


Message 46 of 59 (542692)
01-11-2010 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Percy
01-11-2010 8:02 PM


Defining Design
I have a nomenclature question. What definition of the word "design" is in play in the term "intelligent design?" Is it the "intent" definition? Is it the "devised within the mind" definition? Is it the "carefully planned out in advance before constructing" definition? Or doesn't it matter?

Excellent question, and another that shows light on the heart of the issue. Just like information and kind I think design is a word the ID crowd would be happy to leave nice and fuzzy. The re-worded creationism definition applied to ID in Of Pandas and People specifies only that life began through an intelligent agent and doesn't speak directly of design as such. Dembski's Design Inference hinges on the assumption that anything sufficiently improbable is designed. While that may be of interest to philosophers it doesn't help us much.

When I started this thread I believe I was angling more for the intent definition. Human technology has been a gradual progression with few sudden leaps. From stone choppers all the way to nanotechnology we've learned mostly by trial and error. Except for fortunate accidents of discovery, humans advance technology by intent.

If the intelligent designer made errors they tend to be explained in a manner that is strangely consistent with religious beliefs (for example the idea of genetic entropy espoused by others on the board that just happens to match the idea of man fallen from grace). If we take the words intelligent design at face value then we should be able to discover not only evidence of design but evidence of intelligence. I don't know if that subject is worth a thread of its own or not.

For the moment let's associate design with intent. If any of the ID folks care to take issue with that I'd be happy to hear from them.


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Tanndarr
Member (Idle past 2649 days)
Posts: 68
Joined: 02-14-2008


Message 47 of 59 (542871)
01-13-2010 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by RAZD
01-11-2010 10:33 PM


Re: Recap - list of possible ways to distinguish design
RAZD, thanks for the list. I've thought a couple of times about trying to condense it somewhat (we've gone from the three rules I posited early in the thread to your twenty-two), but I was hoping we'd get some additional comment from others. I may still try to boil it down some later, I notice some redundancy but a long list of more specific rules is probably easier to discuss than a short list of general rules.

What we both agree on (and I'd say the rest of the contributors so far agree as well) is that there is no way to identify design without studying the properties and nature of the physical object that is supposedly designed. Scientists go into exquisite detail to look for evidence, they don't rely only on large-scale appearance.

The ID crowd appear to me to be the exact opposite. They want to stop at "It looks designed." without investigating detail and context of the find. This leads to Cloud-Cuckoo-Land explanations which the apologists will neither explain or defend.

Dembski's CSI is a great example and brought to mind by Smooth Operator mentioning Dembski's flagellum calculation in another thread. Dembski made the calculation in his book but then immediately refused to discuss or defend the calculation when others showed his calculations were off by many orders of magnitude. He's not interested in "materialistic" applications of his theory. Well if it doesn't have materialistic applications why did he even bother to write it down?

We've got a good set of working rules here. I guess we can just sit back and wait to see if someone from the other side will try to engage this conversation.


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Iblis
Member (Idle past 1362 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 48 of 59 (544112)
01-23-2010 8:57 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by RAZD
01-11-2010 10:33 PM


Inferring design based on hypothetical use
B. We can clearly identify purpose/s for the artifact.

Let's touch this harder. This strikes me as a way to do some science. We find a sharp flint, for example, but we don't have enough of the other things like knowledge of the designer and certainty as to the method and so forth to just declare it design for sure. So we hypothesize that it is design, for a use, like cutting trees. You follow? So now we need to look for fossils of cut wood. If we find them, our hypothesis is somewhat confirmed, and we have learned something about the proposed designer, he uses wood for something. We can chain on learning more about him by this method and checking our conclusions against the available evidence.

On the other hand, so we don't find evidence of cut wood. In the meantime though, we do find sharp breaks in unidentifiable bone-like things. Maybe he uses the flint to prepare his food? We keep looking, find more and more stuff like this, we know he is culinarily creative. On yet the other hand, we find that some of these bones are, his own. Assuming our ideas about preparing food are standing up, we know he is cannibalistic. If we find strange glyphs or markings that may be pictures of humans with wings or animal heads, then Perhaps he is cannibalistic in a religious manner?

And so on. Any of our hypotheses may be wrong. But if they stand up to testing, then we are not only justified in our "design" concept, we are learning about the imputed designer from his artifacts. Stonehenge is a good example here. Let's say we aren't sure those are tool marks, and those rocks could have been hewn and moved by glaciers. Nevertheless, we decide to pursue the idea that it's designed. What shall we try out as its purpose?

It could be a funerary monument. Let's dig for bodies. Wow! I found one here under this main rock! Oh and look! There's some more here! And these appear to have been killed intentionally! We are learning a bit about this designer now, aren't we? But of course, if the bodies were still there, instead of having been dug up in the 19th and 20th and stored in museums, we wouldn't be having such trouble detecting design in the first place, so while exemplary this doesn't apply well to our real problem.

So what else is there? Well, hmm. This rock seems to line up with this rock at the winter solstice. And these here line up with those at the summer one. And if you look this way then these will show the equinoxes. Is it a calendar? If so, then the alleged designer understands something about astronomy. How can we test this hypothesis? Let's look at these other arrangements of rocks we think are similar and see if -- wow, this one lines up with the solstices too! And if we work the dates we see that the best arrangement for this one was x thousand years ago, while the perfect match for that one is only x thousand years ago.

Wow, we have learned a lot about the designer by assuming he is there and then checking our hypothesis against other kinds of evidence.


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SavageD
Member (Idle past 1219 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 49 of 59 (712415)
12-03-2013 2:33 PM


short sighted
I am inclined to believe that everything in this world exists as a result of chance. This computer I'm using for example...I have never seen any one built it. Hell I can't even discern a clear purpose for this computer. What is this computer used for?

Is it to email, code, calculate, watch pictures, videos etc?
It simply does too much. There is no clear purpose for a computers use. In fact, come to think of it. I own a lot of stuff I've have never seen built by anyone. Does this all mean that all my things(car, tv, sofa, stove etc) were conjured up by nothing?

People say all the time that my devices were created by other people, but why should I take their word for it, I have never seen them being built by anyone.

Some even say that life was created by some designer, should I take their word for it? I don't see anyone creating life, why should I believe them.

If some mechanical device was to fall from space and land here on earth. How the hell would anyone know it was created? If it displayed some characteristics resembling the mechanical structures of some of our earthly machines there would still be no discerning factor to say it was built by anything intelligent. Simply because, no one would have seen it as it was being built.


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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11532
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 50 of 59 (712420)
12-03-2013 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by SavageD
12-03-2013 2:33 PM


Re: short sighted
If some mechanical device was to fall from space and land here on earth. How the hell would anyone know it was created? If it displayed some characteristics resembling the mechanical structures of some of our earthly machines there would still be no discerning factor to say it was built by anything intelligent. Simply because, no one would have seen it as it was being built.

You can tell something is created when it contains features that do not occur naturally. Like the bulb of percussion, striking platform, bulbar scar, and percussion ripples of an arrowhead.

There's even a guide for that.


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Replies to this message:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 51 of 59 (712422)
12-03-2013 3:31 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by SavageD
12-03-2013 2:33 PM


Don't rely on people's word, look it up yourself
SavageD writes:

People say all the time that my devices were created by other people, but why should I take their word for it, I have never seen them being built by anyone.

Don't take anyone's word for it. Research it yourself and find out.
There are computer facilities that you can visit, and you can see one being built with your own two eyes, if you wish.
After my own experience... it seems that, yes, computers are created by people.

Some even say that life was created by some designer, should I take their word for it? I don't see anyone creating life, why should I believe them.

Don't take anyone's word for it. Research it yourself and find out.
There doesn't seem to be any facilities we can visit to see life being built.
We do have histories and on-going research into how life works, though... you can learn about that, if you wish.
After my own experience... it seems that, no, life was not created by a designer.


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SavageD
Member (Idle past 1219 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 52 of 59 (712451)
12-03-2013 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by New Cat's Eye
12-03-2013 3:25 PM


Re: short sighted
You can tell something is created when it contains features that do not occur naturally. Like the bulb of percussion, striking platform, bulbar scar, and percussion ripples of an arrowhead.

There's even a guide for that.

There is something eerily un-natural about life itself. Lots of question to ask, and no definite answers. We're just here in this barren wasteland called space.

Besides as far as anyone here is concerned. As long you don't see an object being built and as long as it doesn't display a clear function/purpose, then the object in question exists merely because of chance circumstances. The bulb of percussion and whatnot simply cannot stand up to this sort of mindset. Nothing can.

I'd hate to see how this world would be if there wasn't technology to deliver information on a grand scale. We'd all be idiots babbling that stoves came from volcanoes and submarines, the birth-child of the sea.

It's always interesting to see certain some-ones confide and say there is no definitive way to tell if an object was designed. I'd hate to hire any architect or engineer with that mindset.


Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. (lol!) The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1

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SavageD
Member (Idle past 1219 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 53 of 59 (712452)
12-03-2013 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Stile
12-03-2013 3:31 PM


Re: Don't rely on people's word, look it up yourself
Don't take anyone's word for it. Research it yourself and find out.
There are computer facilities that you can visit, and you can see one being built with your own two eyes, if you wish.
After my own experience... it seems that, yes, computers are created by people.

Lemme see here. Nope, too lazy to look those things up. For now I'm pretty certain that my computer and such were conjured up in a thunderstorm. After all most of my devices use electricity.

Don't take anyone's word for it. Research it yourself and find out.
There doesn't seem to be any facilities we can visit to see life being built.
We do have histories and on-going research into how life works, though... you can learn about that, if you wish.
After my own experience... it seems that, no, life was not created by a designer.

I did some research before coming here. It would seems that the earth is flat and objects tend to levitate and throw themselves across rooms from time to time. Maybe, no, perhaps...no, no, I am 100% certain that from time to time objects would levitate, throw themselves across the rooms and then form computers.

Some lucky bastard found a haven of computers formed in the desert and would sell them from time to time. Bill Gates, you lucky son of a b*#!&.

I also have a tornado theory if you're interested.


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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11532
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 54 of 59 (712454)
12-03-2013 8:10 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by SavageD
12-03-2013 7:32 PM


Re: short sighted
There is something eerily un-natural about life itself. Lots of question to ask, and no definite answers. We're just here in this barren wasteland called space.

Okay.

Besides as far as anyone here is concerned.

I'm here.

As long you don't see an object being built and as long as it doesn't display a clear function/purpose, then the object in question exists merely because of chance circumstances.

Oh, you've added "display a clear function/purpose" to the qualification.

So, back to that guide I linked to.

On the second page, at the very bottom is a picture of two flakes.

It explains:

quote:
On the left is a man made flake showing all the features, on the right is natural flake or pot lid without them.

They both display a clear function, but only one contains features that do not occur naturally.

The bulb of percussion and whatnot simply cannot stand up to this sort of mindset. Nothing can.

The bulb of percussion is a side effect of a human making a flake. It doesn't display a purpose because it is a side-effect.

But it also doesn't occur naturally, that is, not artifcially, which means, made by a human.

And if I'm not actually understanding you, and nothing can stand up to what you're talking about, then there's no room for discussion.

I'd hate to see how this world would be if there wasn't technology to deliver information on a grand scale. We'd all be idiots babbling that stoves came from volcanoes and submarines, the birth-child of the sea.

Wait, now you're contradicting yourself. If we're "here in this barren wasteland", then where'd the technology (stoves and subs) come from? We came up with that stuff.

Even when we didn't have "technology to deliver information on a grand scale", we still came up with the Pyramids n'shit. We did that.

But I agree, there is something "eerily un-natural about life itself".

And I'm pretty sure it can figure out if something was created. That's easy.


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 Message 52 by SavageD, posted 12-03-2013 7:32 PM SavageD has responded

Replies to this message:
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SavageD
Member (Idle past 1219 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


(2)
Message 55 of 59 (712456)
12-03-2013 8:37 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by New Cat's Eye
12-03-2013 8:10 PM


Re: short sighted
I cannot disagree with any of the information you have pointed out. Clearly your link showcase methods of recognizing man made objects within archaeology, and there is nothing I can really disagree with you on.

You certainly make a good point, and I have learned something about archaeology. Thank you.

Edited by SavageD, : No reason given.


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Ed67
Member (Idle past 796 days)
Posts: 159
Joined: 04-14-2014


Message 56 of 59 (725486)
04-27-2014 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by SavageD
12-03-2013 8:37 PM


Re: short sighted
Yay! The sock puppet show is over!
This message is a reply to:
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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 434 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 57 of 59 (725487)
04-27-2014 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Ed67
04-27-2014 5:31 PM


R U OK?
Ed ofcourse, ofcourse writes:

Yay! The sock puppet show is over!

Are you okay? Do you need some sort of intervention? Meds?

I've seen folks resurrect old threads on purpose, because they have something new to say. I've seen it done trivially, inadvertently, because they didn't realize it's old.

But I've never seen anyone do that for the sole purpose of remarkably stupid defamation. You truly are a wonder, Ed.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

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Ed67
Member (Idle past 796 days)
Posts: 159
Joined: 04-14-2014


Message 58 of 59 (725496)
04-27-2014 7:36 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Omnivorous
04-27-2014 5:45 PM


Re: R U OK?
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11532
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 59 of 59 (725514)
04-27-2014 9:40 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Ed67
04-27-2014 5:31 PM


Re: short sighted
You responded to an agreement with my post:

The sock puppet show is over!

What is the sock puppet show? And how do you know that it is over?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Ed67, posted 04-27-2014 5:31 PM Ed67 has not yet responded

  
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