Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 168 (8190 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 12-22-2014 9:58 PM
79 online now:
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Rodnas
Post Volume:
Total: 744,439 Year: 30,280/28,606 Month: 2,009/3,328 Week: 169/616 Day: 108/61 Hour: 4/4


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
234Next
Author Topic:   Silly Design Institute: Let's discuss BOTH sides of the Design Controversy...
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 1 of 219 (244396)
09-17-2005 1:25 PM


Give Equal time for Silly Design -- let the people decide which is better ...

The Silly Design Institute


"Not a platitude"

Vision

Dedicated to the serious investigation of Silly Design in "life, the universe, and everything" (D. Adams, BA MA, and post humus honorary member).

Mission Statement

The Silly Design Institute's mission is to make Americans fully aware of both sides of the Design debate, whether they want to be or not.

We feel that both sides of the design debate need to be provided in schools and in the media, to inform the public and the students so that they can make up their own minds and not be dictated to by self-serving organizations, and to this end the Institute:

  • supports research by scientists and other scholars challenging various aspects of "Intelligent" Design;
  • supports research by scientists and other scholars developing the scientific theories for investigating Silly Design;
  • supports research by scientists and other scholars developing falsification tests to demonstrate the superior scientific basis of Silly Design compared to other design "theories"
  • encourages the media to portray Silly Design as not just a valid, but the ne plus ultra alternative to "Intelligent" Design whether it has been shown to be one or not
  • encourages schools, colleges and universities to improve science education by teaching students more fully about the various concepts of the Design Spectrum, including the scientific weaknesses various Design theories as well as any strengths.

History

The Silly Design Institute will be started as soon as we get funding, people, and a couple of chairs, a desk, a telephone, and a list of Scientists that don't think that Neo-Paleyism explains the diversity of silly organisms. Seriously.

The Theory

The Silly Design Theory (SDT, not to be confused with STD) is based on a very simple set of concepts:

  • the existence of design in natural systems is obvious, whether it is a human eye, a bird wing or the flagellum of a bacteria, there is a feature with a purpose;
  • the preponderance of these purposeful features in all forms of life, from simple to complex, shows that a design process is at work;
  • that the debate over whether the design is the result of natural forces or the intent of some cosmic designer cannot be resolved by investigation of the designs, because the natural forces could be designed by the cosmic designer as the means to achieve the end purpose of the designs;
  • that the ultimate purpose of the designs can be determined by investigation of multitudes of features to see if they more accurately reflect (a) random design, the result totally natural forces, (b) highly specific design, for some intelligent purpose, or (c) variations on a silly design, for some silly (entertainment, amusement, reality tv) purpose;
  • that the design purpose, as determined by rigorous scientific investigation, will then make clear whether the designer is (a) a Natural Nothing (NaNo), (b) an Intelligent Designer (IDr) or (c) a Cosmic Imp (CImp), and that this will then finally resolve whether there is or is not a designer as well as the nature of that designer: a metaphysical two-fer.

The Hypothesis to be tested, therefore, is that "life, the universe, and everything" show evidence of Silly Design (SD).

To accomplish this task there are several parameters that will be used to differentiate the different design possibilities. These include:

  • SI - the Silliness Index - for comparing the relative silliness of different features, the higher the SI the higher the probability of Silly Design
  • IC - Impossibility Content - a feature that is not consistent with the rest of the organism, has no discernable purpose and no possible natural need, finding an IC component would be de facto discovery of a Silly Design feature.

We expect more to be developed as the scientific effort to determine Silly Design matures.

Mascot:

The Duck-billed Platypus, for a variety of reasons, not least of which is high SI and possible IC in it's features, from PLAtYPUS WeiRDeR tHAn THOUGHt:

Unlikely but true. In addition to a ducklike bill, poisonous claws, and terminal confusion over milk and eggs, the platypus has 10 sex chromosomes. Most mammals have only two. But a female platypus has 10 X chromosomes and males have five X and five Y. Some of the chromosomes are like ours, and others are like those of birds.

Or as Ogden Nash Wrote:

The Platypus
I like the duck-billed platypus
Because it is anomalous.
I like the way it raises its family
Partly birdly, partly mammaly.
I like its independent attitude.
Let no one call it a duck-billed platitude.

Foreign Affiliates:(1)

  • Instituto del Diseño Tonto
  • Institut de Conception Drôle
  • Institut des Dummen Designs
  • Istituto del Disegno Divertente
  • Instituut van Grappig Ontwerp
(1) - all at the same address

Submit Papers:

Submit papers as subtopics to this thread (be sure to reference properly), all submissions to become the property of the Institute, and the author(s) will automatically be added as members of the Institute, thus providing us a growing base of "Known Scientists that Support Silly Design"

Our highly trained editor(s) will peer at, and review, all submissions before including any in our on-line journal. Amount of peer\review to be determined on a case by case basis.

{edited to add papers as they are presented}
Papers to date:


Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : title changed from debate to controversy & subtitle added

Edited by RAZD, : updated sig

Edited by RAZD, : No reason given.

Edited by RAZD, : added list of scientists


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminBen, posted 09-17-2005 6:24 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 09-17-2005 9:04 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 18 by RAZD, posted 09-21-2005 10:06 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 23 by RAZD, posted 10-12-2005 8:17 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 24 by Nighttrain, posted 10-12-2005 9:10 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 33 by RAZD, posted 10-16-2005 10:33 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 60 by Clark, posted 07-13-2006 12:38 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 3 of 219 (244479)
09-17-2005 8:51 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminBen
09-17-2005 6:24 PM


Re: The Silly Design Institute
My concept is an open thread dedicated to both sides of the Design debate, where people can add subtopics that they feel are more appropriate to Silly Design (one coming soon on the eye?) than to Intelligent Design, and where the topics can be debated on their scientific\logical merits.

Consider this as an opening statement of the Silly Design Theory for comment and consideration in the ongoing debate.

I think that each of the elements that have been discussed as valid for Intelligent design will be seen to be more applicable to the Silly Design Theory.

Let me add the "paper" on eye design and see what you think.

We could always put it in coffeehouse if you don't think it enough for the ID forum (and see how it goes?)

{goes off grumbling about the suppression of new scientific thought by the establishment ...}:D

ps thanks.

{abe}(it is on my website, as is the eye paper, I need to update my index however){/abe}

This message has been edited by RAZD, 09*17*2005 09:08 PM


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by AdminBen, posted 09-17-2005 6:24 PM AdminBen has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 4 of 219 (244482)
09-17-2005 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
09-17-2005 1:25 PM


Investigator: Eye's Silly Design (paper #1)

Investigator: Eye's Silly Design

The Eye Design Problem

Intelligent Design proponents often point to the eye as a sign of design that can be readily seen and understood. For Dembski(1), the match between features of organisms and human technologies shows that design is involved, and in the case of the eye, the comparison is to a camera design, with pinhole opening for light, a lens, and a surface on which to project an image.

They employ various arguments, from "complex specific information" to "irreducibly complex" but these terms are not being adequately defined to provide an objective measurement of these characteristics for comparison. More importantly they don't address some severe failures of ID concepts to explain both the variety of design and the specific usage of these designs.

You often see claims from the ID camp that express certainty that the eye must have been designed. After all, they'll say, how could evolution start with a sightless organism and produce an eye with so many independent parts, such as a retina, which would itself be useless without a lens, or a lens, which would be useless without a retina? The question we raise is: designed for what purpose?

The combination of specific design features of each of the various eyes together with the species where they are found demonstrate the intent of the design. Let's review some of them:

Human:

The human eye has all the necessary components to allow it to gather light, focus it into an image, and process it into recognizable patterns.

But, the retina faces away from the light source, and it is covered by the nerves that convey the impulse from the photoreceptors to the interpretation area of the brain and the veins and arteries that deliver the necessary nutrients to these photoreceptor cells. This is like a clown standing on home plate facing the umpire and holding the bat in front of him, hoping that the pitcher will miss him and hit the bat.

Not only that, but these nerves, veins and arteries all enter and leave the eye near the center of the retina in prime vision territory:

Close your right eye and look at the right side green spot, move in or out and you will find a point where the left side green spot disappears, but the grid is still visible - this is because your brain assumes continuity over the blind spot, but is blind to the reality.

One has to wonder at the cosmic humor of giving the species with probably the biggest ego on the planet an unavoidable blind spot.

But, you ask, is there a better eye?

Octopus:

From What animal has a more sophisticated eye ... (Click):

The octopus eye ... has a cornea, an iris, an accommodating lens, a fluid-filled vitreous humor, a retina, and so forth ... the photoreceptor cells in the cephalopod eye point forwards toward the incoming light ... Cephalopods have a rigid lens of fixed focal length ... change their range of focus by moving the entire lens closer or farther from the retina with the ciliary muscle ... are able to always keep their slit-shaped pupils in a horizontal position ... cephalopods also have polarized vision. The chromatophores and iridescent cells on the skin of cephalopods can create a visual pattern that coincides with polarized light. Octopuses and squid can recognise these light patterns and since the chromatophore patterns change depending on mating season, behaviour, and stress, they can effectively communicate with each other. Polarized vision also allows cephalopods to detect otherwise transparent prey such as jellyfish and ctenophores.

Note that all human designs that use lenses and means to capture the light in images or data points involve a fixed focus lens and some means of moving the lens or the receptor field to bring the objects into focus and that in all such cases the field between the lens and the receptor is kept as free from other objects is (humanly) as possible. This is evidence of good design practice refining the efforts of previous designs. Remember that camera example as used by Dembski?

The irony here is that this better design is given to a creature that lives at the bottom of the ocean, participates in psychedelic light shows, bizarre mating rituals and a complete disregard for civilized life as we know it.

Can anything be sillier?

Copepod:

This is a little critter that (shown here as a larvae) has a single eye and a single photoreceptor ... and yet it has a lens.

Why would it have a lens with only one photoreceptor (that is basically an on\off signal processor)? Because the photoreceptor is at the end of a little stalk that can move back and forth and up and down, covering the area that a more complete retina would cover with this single sensor. The stalk dances for the light.

Copepods are predators and use this dancing eye to build up a picture of their surroundings in much the same way that a laser light show can produce an image with one dancing light, or a television can produce an image with a dancing beam (of course both examples are commonly used to expand the intelligence of their viewers ... or is it just for silly entertainment?).

Bug-Eyed!

There are critters with one eye, and critters with two. Snakes have infra-red sensing patches in addition to their eyes. Some spiders have eight (one for each leg?). Some scallops have over a hundred eyes, and one has to wonder if some cosmic designer said "So ya want to see, and a hundred eyes isn't good enough for you ... how about a thousand eh?" And almost covered the entire heads of some insects with little beady eyes.

Integrate that!

Anything else unusual in the eye department?

Four-Eyed Fish?

Try the Anableps minnow, a fish about 4 inches long from South and Central America and that feeds on aerial and aquatic prey. This eye is bifurcated with one half dedicated to looking up at the aerial prey and one half looking down at the aquatic prey simultaneously.

There are two different areas of the retina and different curvature of the lens to accommodate these different views.

Looks like Ben Franklin was not the first to invent the bifocal glasses ... and speaking of glasses, why is it that most humans need optical assistance to read the words that they themselves write?

So, is it Silly or Intelligent?

Assuming that design by some outside Force or Entity is involved in the development of eyes of all the different species on earth, is this a better example of Silly Design Theory or Intelligent Design Theory?

Let's check the Silly Index:

Pegged

After all, they'll say, how could evolution start with a sightless organism and produce an eye with so many independent parts, such as a retina, which would itself be useless without a lens, or a lens, which would be useless without a retina? Isn't that a silly argument?

(1) Dembski has also claimed that not all things need to have been designed. This is his answer when he confronted with questions like "how does the scrotum exhibit good design" (as he was asked on the "Schmevolution Panel" Discussion on the Daily Show by Jon Stewart Sept 15, 2005), when the obvious answer is that this is a Silly Design feature: look at all the film clip on "America's Funniest Home Videos" that end up with {object} striking {scrotum}. The Cosmic Imp must be hooting eh?

Edited by RAZD, : updated sig

Edited by RAZD, : pictures


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 09-17-2005 1:25 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Warren, posted 09-18-2005 1:28 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 42 by TimChase, posted 11-28-2005 8:59 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 6 of 219 (244492)
09-17-2005 10:13 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by AdminBen
09-17-2005 10:02 PM


thanks.

ps - when it comes to web pictures, I look for repeated instances on the web to see if there are statements of copyright etcetera. I do try to honor most wishes in that regard, although the aborigine skull got by me the other night (late, tired, still no excuse). This has a couple of original pictures and people are free to use those that I have made here.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by AdminBen, posted 09-17-2005 10:02 PM AdminBen has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 8 of 219 (244556)
09-18-2005 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Annafan
09-18-2005 5:29 AM


Silly Meter
LOL

I love it.

Could I ask for some tweaks ... change "oddities per design" to "Silly Index" (so that it is "SI" ... and unitless), and then provide a couple of needle settings, one "pegged" just beyond 100?

{ABE} OO and add a shaded red area for 80 and above? {/abe}

This message has been edited by RAZD, 09*18*2005 07:59 AM

This message has been edited by RAZD, 09*18*2005 08:23 AM


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Annafan, posted 09-18-2005 5:29 AM Annafan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Annafan, posted 09-18-2005 9:11 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 10 of 219 (244573)
09-18-2005 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Annafan
09-18-2005 9:11 AM


Re: Silly Meter
Pegged means the needle goes as far as it is able. Many meters have pegs to stop the needle at maximum points - kind of like "red-lined" except that here a red line is set for maximum desired level (engine rpm, coolant temperature) and the needle is still capable of going further.

Multiples are cool as they show movement.

Settings could be 50%, 80%, 100% and "pegged"

{abe} you could add a peg just after the word SILLYMETER {/abe}

This message has been edited by RAZD, 09*18*2005 09:34 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Annafan, posted 09-18-2005 9:11 AM Annafan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Annafan, posted 09-19-2005 3:56 PM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 12 of 219 (244643)
09-18-2005 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Warren
09-18-2005 1:28 PM


Re: Investigator: Eye's Silly Design (paper #1)
Cut and paste of an entire paper by someone else is frowned on in this forum. You can post the link to it and then discuss the points.

{abe}the paper is on the Access Research Network website:
http://www.arn.org/docs/odesign/od192/invertedretina192.htm
and "mirrored" on a couple creationist websites {/abe}

You really need to learn the rules and proper procedures (like those quote boxes).

This "paper" by {Michael J. Denton} is totally bogus. It seems to assume that there is a threshold of light beyond which vision does not work.

The fallacy of this is several fold:

(1) the iris is designed to reduce light levels as needed, so any other mechanism is not needed, and in addition there are many critters that have nictating membranes that are translucent (like a second pair of eyelids that are like built in dark glasses), so this mechanism solves the problem without the bad wiring design.

(2) this just accepts that vision in low light situations is not necessary, when a turned around retina would provide that at no biological cost to the individual.

(3) this doesn't answer the problem of the blind spot -- or the susceptability of the nerves arteries and viens to damage from uv, and several other diseases common to man that make bad eyesight worse.

(4) it fails to address the problem that humans need glasses to read their own writing because the vision system is so poor, the focus system used by the octopus is more adaptable than the system humans have for a greater range of vision, and this is completely independent of the "high energy" problem.

(5) "very high energy demands of the photoreceptor cells in the vertebrate retina" also fails to address the added layer in dogs, cats, etcetera that mirrors the light back (why animal eyes glow in the headlights), but not in humans. Certainly they have exactly the same "high energy" problems as humans in exactly the same environments, but they have systems to INCREASE the energy reaching their eyes with no additional regulatory mechanism to REDUCE it in peak periods.

{(6) the arrangement of arteries and veins to feed and service the optic\photoreceptor cells would work just as well turn right-side-out, there is no need to have it inverted to make this work.}

No, the cosmic joke is that the eyes of humans are those of Mr Magoo compared to other species.

{edited to add comments and reference to the copied article}

This message has been edited by RAZD, 09*18*2005 02:29 PM


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Warren, posted 09-18-2005 1:28 PM Warren has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by sidelined, posted 10-14-2005 12:15 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 16 of 219 (245043)
09-19-2005 10:38 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Annafan
09-19-2005 3:56 PM


Re: Silly Meter
oo close. take out the "pegged" and put back the "100" and then turn the needles so the black on is touching the peg?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Annafan, posted 09-19-2005 3:56 PM Annafan has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 17 of 219 (245045)
09-19-2005 10:41 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by jar
09-19-2005 5:01 PM


BSilly
Nothing butt silly about it eh?

And speaking of BS ... why would an intelligent designer make the waste product so messy? You have a division process for liquid and solid, and many other animals make pellets ...

... this has to be another example of Silly Design.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by jar, posted 09-19-2005 5:01 PM jar has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 18 of 219 (245607)
09-21-2005 10:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
09-17-2005 1:25 PM


A Wing and A Walkingstick

A Wing and A Walkingstick

Walkingstick Insects

See Figure 1 from Nature 421, 264 - 267 (16 January 2003); doi:10.1038/nature01313 (reproduced below)

Walkingstick insects originally started out as winged insects (blue at start and top row). That diversified.

And some lost wings (red). And diversified.

And some regained wings (blue again). And diversified.

And one lost wings again (Lapaphus parakensis, below, red again).

And this doesn't even address the ones where one sex (usually male) has wings and the other sex doesn't (the red includes these, so it is hard to determine from this graphic how many times the female sex gained and lost wings independent of the winged males).

From a Design standpoint, this is not intelligent design, it is either "Make up your #*! mind" design, or it is classic "Now you see it now you don't" silliness.

{edit}You decide.{add:}

To pursue this point a little further, we need to look at the elements of good design, determine what the use of basic practices of good design would result in, and then see whether or not these results are incorporated or observable in overwhelming degree in known organisms.

Design, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

A good starting point for discussing what makes good design is to go to the professional designers.

First there is Systems Design Engineering:

Systems design engineering refers to the definition, analysis, and modeling of complex interactions among many components that comprise a natural system (such as an ecosystem and human settlement) or artificial system (such as a spacecraft or intelligent robot), and the design and implementation of the system with proper and effective use of available resources. ... It is a unique blend of a systems philosophy and a creative problem- solving and design framework. ... The challenges ... require the ability to cross disciplines easily in order to use technology and research results

And we can look at the process of design (from Wikipedia):

Design as a process can take many forms depending on the object being designed and the individual or individuals participating.

In the context of the applied arts, engineering, architecture and other such creative endeavors, design is both a noun and a verb. Design in its verb context is the process of originating and developing a plan for an aesthetic and functional object, which usually requires considerable research, thought, modeling, iterative adjustment and re-design.

Or a codified design process:

  • The Problem (define the goal of the design)
  • The Design Brief (describe simply and clearly what is to be designed)
  • Investigation (define the parameters of the design)
  • Developing Alternative Solutions (brainstorming)
  • Choosing a Solution (summarize the design requirements and solutions and evaluate the best solutions)
  • Models and Prototypes (flesh out the design)
  • Testing and Evaluating (does it work? does it meet the design need? can it be improved?)
  • Manufacturing (put it into production)

Good design often involves a reiteration process at any stage before final production that goes back to earlier steps, redefines those steps and then proceeds to a new final design. This is often referred to by various terms, such as Design Feedback Cycle, Design Spiral, the Design Circle and the like.

Likewise, design of a new product does not begin from scratch, but takes elements of previous designs, or combines elements from other designs together in new ways, and then adapts or refines them to new uses.

The elements of good design then are:

  1. Integrated systems approach to ensure that the final design does what it is supposed to do and is fully compatible with the environment where it will be used,
  2. Optimized, efficient and user friendly with a minimum of extraneous features and waste products,
  3. Combination of new features with refined features of previous designs that are applicable, freely taking from multiple sources to combine the best features of relevant previous designs.

More specifically, what we would see in biological systems, if there were intentional and intelligent design of organisms, would be:

  • Organism completely in tune with it's environment, adapted to predictable variations with immediate changes at the individual level ,
  • No broken, unworkable, useless or vestigial features,
  • New organisms that combine features of several previous organisms, rather than just modification of old ones.

We don't see this.

When we see change in response to variations in environment, the adaptation is piecemeal, fickle, and takes several generations to become effective, and then when the environment reverts, it takes generations again to return to previous form. The adaptation of Galapagos (Daphne Major Island) Finches to drought (heavier beak) and reversion (smaller beak) when the drought ended are a case in point, particularly when this same kind of variation in environment has been observed in the past (1). An intelligent design would have allowed the individual finches to change beak size as needed for the conditions. For insects like the walkingsticks above, an intelligent design would allow the individual to molt to gain wings (as individual insects of other species do at certain stages of development) or drop wings when they are no longer necessary (as the king and queen ants and termites do), so that one superior design would occupy all the niches now occupied by 39.

There are numerous examples of vestigial or useless feature in species. The tailbone in apes, which can be completely removed from humans with no loss of any functionality for the individual and no long term complications (2), and the appendix, that no longer serves any digestive purpose (3) and can get infected to the point of threatening death to a significant portion of the population if not treated (to cite but two examples), can hardly be called evidence of good design.

Finally, there are no examples of features combined from different previous sources. Take the eye for example: in the article Investigator: Eye's Silly Design(4), there are two different eyes with very similar outward features, the human eye and the octopus eye. Ignoring for now the issue of the human retina facing the wrong way, there is one aspect here that shows an absolute failure to improve the basic design: there are two different completely functional methods to focus the image in these eyes. One system (human) changes the focal length of the lens and the other system (octopus) moves the retina into the space where the image in question is focused. If good design practices were being used, these would be combined into one eye to allow the organism to have zoom vision by changing the focal length and relocating the retina to the new focal location. This would also make glasses totally unnecessary - by design.

Alternatives

One alternative is {evolution\darwinism} as espoused by the {evolutionist\darwinist} faction. Because this process relies on random processes and selection events it's result would show no design purpose or process.

Another alternative, put forth by the Silly Design Institute (5), is that the purpose of these features is Silly Design for some cosmic entertainment value. First consider that at the beginning we discussed insects that look like sticks, and then fly. Then consider that humans joke about the coccyx, the appendix, and bad eyesight. Thus even people recognize that these features posses an innate, high Silliness Index.

The only other conclusion would be that these features are the result of bumbling and incompetent Intelligent Designers in training (IDITs) that are barely able to stay in the program, but who have been given free reign on our corner of the universe. Now that would be a silly hypothesis eh?

Conclusion:

Using the actual tools of intentional, practical design procedures to evaluate the evidence of design in nature shows that the basic practices and effects of good design are not incorporated. Further, using these results to be able to discern whether the result is (a) a Natural Nothing (NaNo), (b) an Intelligent Designer (IDr) or (c) a Cosmic Imp (CImp), shows that the Neo-Paleyanism Intelligent Designer concept cannot be considered a valid concept regarding these features, or any like them.


  1. Grant, Peter. Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's Finches. 1999 edition, Princeton University Press.
  2. Miles, Jon. Summary of the results of seven studies of coccygectomy for the treatment of coccydynia. On-line article, Updated 1999-05-08
  3. Open source. Vermiform appendix. Wikipedia On-line article, no date.
  4. RAZD. Investigator: Eye's Silly Design. Silly Design Institute, (Message 4), no date.
  5. RAZD. The Silly Design Institute (vision, mission and theory). Silly Design Institute, (Message 1), no date.

Edited by RAZD, : updated sig

Edited by RAZD, : picture

Edited by RAZD, : corrected red/blue

Edited by RAZD, : red/blue correction

Edited by RAZD, : updated nature link


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 09-17-2005 1:25 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by RAZD, posted 09-25-2005 3:03 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 19 of 219 (246311)
09-25-2005 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by RAZD
09-21-2005 10:06 PM


Re: A Wing and A Walkingstick
updated, with material added.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by RAZD, posted 09-21-2005 10:06 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 23 of 219 (251301)
10-12-2005 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
09-17-2005 1:25 PM


Sex, Sickness and Silliness
More problems for the Neo-Paleyists concepts of "Intelligent Design" that they are loath to confront.

Sex


This has to be one of the silliest features of life that can be observed. If one wants to see an organism in a fit of silly behavior, all one needs to do is observe the mating behavior.

Look at Rocky Mountain Sheep that bang heads until one is left standing, thus demonstrating their ability to run directly into rock walls as a survival skill?

Look at all the birds that puff up and preen like some Prima Donna Prom Queen, or frogs that try to double their size by inflating their throat, like some little kid comparing muscles with his dad ("see how big I am?").

Sexual pre-mating behavior appears to be much closer to juvenile show-off displays of stupid behavior, particularly for the males.

In fact I know of no single species that is in the habit of making a list of desirable traits in a mate and then going out and checking off the list against possible mates before choosing one.

Humans are no exception, in spite of having a fairly well developed sense of reason and causality (some would say the "most developed" but that is open to debate). The most intelligent male can become a tongue-tied, inarticulate goofus in the presence of a desirable dame while some addle-brained lothario can sweep the subject off her feet, both failing (thereby) to make the intelligent choice.

But that is not all. Let us assume (for now) that the purpose of such behavior is intelligent improvement of a species, a mechanism for designing increased fitness by the intelligent combination of beneficial genes from two different organisms. If this were the case there would be a couple of observable trends:


  1. All beneficial mutations would be passed on,

  2. All deleterious mutations would be blocked, pre-screened from being passed on,

  3. Species would become visibly improved in each generation.


In contrast, what we see is that there is absolutely no discrimination in the process between beneficial and deleterious, and species are virtually indistinguishable from generation to generation.

A further problem of sex as a design mechanism is that it is limited in its ability to transmit good design from one organism to another: there is no lateral transfer of good design material. This lateral transfer has been observed in several species of bacteria (1)(2), so one should be able to assume that this efficient kind of transfer would be maintained in the design of more complex 'improved' model species. The idea of sex is to transfer genetic material, but it doesn't transfer material between the participants when this would be an obvious benefit to the species. This also rules out any less drawn out or intimate contact between individuals (a handshake, for instance) as a means to transfer beneficial material.

For the Neo-Paleyists, the problem for them is that we have motive, we have opportunity, we have ability, we have ... absolute failure of a design mechanism to be intelligently applied.

The obvious conclusion is that sex is not designed for the intelligent improvement of species over time. The corollary is that if this behavior is designed, and it is not for an intelligent purpose, then it must be designed for the silliness that is evident. Thus this behavior displays a high Silliness Index (SI).

Sickness


If sex is not a viable mechanism for spreading intelligent design within a species (or between species) then what are other possible mechanisms that we can observe in action that could be used?

Bacteria


Bacterial infection would be an obvious possibility, not only are such bacteria transmitted between individuals, but they are transmitted between species. As noted above, bacteria have displayed the ability to transfer genetic material between individual organisms, so this transfer mechanism should also be useable to select beneficial design elements from one individual of any species and transfer it via the bacteria to any other individual of any other species.

There are also multiple ways and means to transfer bacteria between individuals of larger organisms. Not only do we have the 'scatter spores' approach of nasal discharges, and the mixing of bodily fluids involved with the acts of such as sex, kissing, licking and the like, but we have the natural syringe to transfer blood samples: the mosquito for example, an excellent vector to direct the specific transfer of design material from one organism to another.

There is no evidence of any bacterial infection being beneficial to the genetic structure of the individuals infected, rather these individuals display various levels of rather silly behavior, from sneezing, to funny voices, to bizarre appearances, to itches in funny places.

For the Neo-Paleyists, the problem for them is that we have motive, we have opportunity, we have ability, we have ... another failure of a design mechanism to be intelligently applied.

The obvious conclusion is that bacterial infections are not designed for the intelligent improvement of species over time. The corollary is that if this is a mechanism of design, and it is not used for an intelligent purpose, then it must be used for the silliness that is evident. Thus this mechanism displays a high Silliness Index (SI).

Virus


Bacteria fail to transfer genetic material, so what about viruses: when they infect a cell they hi-jack the cell to manufacture more copies of the genetic material carried by the virus. Again, this is a mechanism that involves direct transfer between individuals and between species.

We have the same mechanisms available to transfer viruses as we have for bacteria, and we have the same results: no change to to genetic structure of the individuals infected, rather these individuals display various levels of rather silly behavior, from sneezing, to funny voices, to bizarre appearances, to itches in funny places. In addition we can have some other silly results, like loss of memory or use of various limbs.

Once again, for the Neo-Paleyists, the problem is that we have motive, we have opportunity, we have ability, we have ... another failure of a design mechanism to be intelligently applied.

The obvious conclusion is that viruses are not designed for the intelligent improvement of species over time. The corollary is that if this is a mechanism of design, and it is not used for an intelligent purpose, then it must be used for the silliness that is evident. Thus this mechanism displays a high Silliness Index (SI).

Cancer


One other mechanism remains, cancerous growths, where genetic material in an individual is directly altered and results in new growth and the potential to form new features as needed.

Consider the possibilities: a population living near water could grow gills to allow staying in the water for extended periods; a population living high in the mountains could grow a third or fourth lung to allow processing oxygen from the thinner air; people who have lost a limb or a sense organ (eyes, ears, etc) could grow new ones.

One can argue about the relative silliness of bulging growths, displacing of normal features, inducing people to indulge in treatment that renders them infertile or removes all bodily hair in the process, but one cannot show any known benefit to such features.

Once again, for the Neo-Paleyists, the problem is that we have motive, we have opportunity, we have ability, we have ... another failure of a design mechanism to be intelligently applied. The obvious conclusion is that cancers are not designed for the intelligent improvement of species over time. The corollary is that if this is a mechanism of design, and it is not used for an intelligent purpose, then it must be used for the silliness that is evident. Thus this mechanism displays at least a positive Silliness Index (SI).

Silliness


There is no known mechanism for intelligently transferring design information from one individual to another that does not show both a failure of intelligent use and a high Silliness Index (SI) except for one case: the direct transfer of genetic material from one bacteria to another. This particular mechanism is used to defeat the design by humans of means of suppressing these organisms. The obvious conclusion is that if this is a mechanism of "intelligent design" that then these bacteria are the focus of such design effort. The corollary is that all other organisms are subsidiary to these bacteria and are meant to provide support mechanism for them, however this means that the least intelligent species are the most intelligently designed. This mechanism displays an excessively high Silliness Index (SI).

Enjoy.



References:

  1. - Microbiology
    and Immunology On-line, University of S. Carolina School of Medicine,
    Chapter 8 - EXCHANGE OF GENETIC INFORMATION

  2. - BioInteractive
    on-line animation of bacterial conjugation

Edited by RAZD, : updated sig

Edited by RAZD, : No reason given.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 09-17-2005 1:25 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 25 of 219 (251312)
10-12-2005 9:17 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Nighttrain
10-12-2005 9:10 PM


Re: Champagne for the SDI
Btw, can you direct me to the Post-of-the-Year forum?

You'll have to talk to Percy.

I think I need to get into marketing ... some t-shirts, some mugs, bumper stickers, a book about pandas ....

and then for excercise I could get into a little self flagellation.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Nighttrain, posted 10-12-2005 9:10 PM Nighttrain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Nighttrain, posted 10-12-2005 10:16 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 28 of 219 (251605)
10-13-2005 9:55 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by bkelly
10-13-2005 7:41 PM


BS Meter
Please consider putting some version(s) of your BS Meter in the icon list available for replies. Maybe one each boots, lifevest, and lifeboat with the needle set appropriately.

it is available: you just need to copy the peek coding used once any picture has been used

This message has been edited by RAZD, 10*13*2005 10:08 PM


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by bkelly, posted 10-13-2005 7:41 PM bkelly has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 16236
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 29 of 219 (251607)
10-13-2005 9:59 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Nighttrain
10-12-2005 9:10 PM


Post-of-the-Year forum?
thinking some more about this, I feel that this level of recognition should not go to one post

there should be a thread of the year award, where not only are there good quality posts, but that they come from both sides and really discuss the issues and arrive at some resolutions

a tough standard for a high award.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Nighttrain, posted 10-12-2005 9:10 PM Nighttrain has not yet responded

  
1
234Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2014 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2014