In both your quotes people are using the term machines as a means of description. "entire cell can be viewed as" and "flagellum resembles a machine". They are not saying that they ARE machines, they are saying that they are LIKE machines.
This is correct.
A machine is tasked with a purpose. We tend to try variations on it to achieve the best result. We are approaching the problem from the bottom up, saying "Let's make a machine that does X".
Another way to approach the problem would be, "What happens if I add a battery to this transistor?"
One way is clearly better if you are trying to achieve a specific goal, but the other way would lead to discoveries.
If you believe the first way is like ID, effecient selection of parts put together to make the machine the way we want it, then why did it take 450 billion years to get us to where we are today?
Shouldn't man have shown up, say, 350 billion years ago? 200 billion?
Is it that the great designer isn't very intelligent after all, or maybe he's just really really lazy
Chiroptera: Fine. If all you're saying is that they look like machines to you, then I don't think that there is much more to discuss. What I object to are those people who think that I should see that it is obvious that these things have been intelligently designed, and those people who think that we should teach school children that ID is a reasonable, scientific hypothesis. If that isn't you, then I apologize for wasting your time.
Yes, they look like machines to me and they also look like machines to other scientists as my references show. I really don't care if you agree. What I object to are persons telling me I'm irrational for not accepting that these machines are the product of evolution. And for the record I do not advocate that ID be taught in school as a scientific theory.
Nuggin: In both your quotes people are using the term machines as a means of description. "entire cell can be viewed as" and "flagellum resembles a machine". They are not saying that they ARE machines, they are saying that they are LIKE machines.
Warren: Then there is the F-ATP synthase, where Science News reported "With parts that resemble pistons and a drive shaft, the enzyme F1-ATPase looks suspiciously like a tiny engine. Indeed, a new study demonstrates that's exactly what it is." Science News vol 151, p173
Am I reading this wrong or is this saying the F-ATP synthase is exactly a tiny engine?
What would it take for you to recognize that that something in nature is an actual machine? And even if you did, you still wouldn't attribute it to design, right?
But remember, I'm not claiming anything here as proof of design. I'm just saying that I merely suspect that machines are designed. What is unreasonable about that?
This message has been edited by Warren, 09-16-2005 12:25 PM
Chiroptera: What ID critics want is that the IDists present a scientific theory that can be evaluated.
Warren: You mean something like Darwin started off with? Consider:
Scientific inquiry proceeds in the absence of theories
Does a biological theory exist for intelligent design? No. But folks -- let's not get carried away by the obvious.
Scientific theories do not come into the world like Athena springing from the head of Zeus, perfectly formed. "The transition from data to theory,"argued the philosopher of science Carl Hempel (1966, p. 15), "requires creative imagination....and great ingenuity, especially if the [new ideas] involve a radical departure from current modes of scientific thinking, as did, for example, the theory of relativity and quantum theory." Hempel might have added that a lot of hard work is also needed, mainly in hypothesis generation and testing -- to start the difficult cycle of reasoning Karl Popper (1962) called "conjectures and refutations."
At the moment, we -- that's all the people who care, both design theorists and anti-design theorists -- are in the midst of the first major cycle of proposed refutations. Heck, you the reader may have attempted some of those refutations yourself. Don't get hung up on whether what you're doing is "science" or not. Leave the naming for historians. The dialectical activity of proposing and weighing new ideas is underway. Either a theory of biological design will emerge from all this work or it won't. I say it will, but I worry enough about laziness (my own included) that I've tried to scare the design community into making the next round of design conjectures.
Currently, there is no theory of biological intelligent design. There, I said it again. Does that matter? Not really. The fact that you're reading this right now means you care about design, one way or another, and you want to know what can be said for, or against, the idea. You're caught up in the cycle, dear reader.
What experimental support did Darwin provide for natural selection in the Origin of Species? None. And therein resides a lesson. In the Origin, under the heading, “Illustrations of the action of Natural Selection” (1859, p. 90), Darwin wrote, “I must beg permission to give one or two imaginary illustrations.” Ooh, naughty Darwin –- making things up like that. Shouldn’t he have waited to publish until he had some hard experimental evidence to back him up? Shouldn’t he have exercised the proper caution, seeking peer review of his ideas by first testing them within the context of a well-defined theory making precise predictions?
Maybe, but then the idea of descent with modification by natural selection might well have died with Darwin in 1882. “The credibility of natural selection as a factor in evolution,” writes evolutionary biologist Mary Jane West-Eberhard (2003, p. 508), “is based almost entirely on indirect evidence and abstract reasoning.” West-Eberhard notes that “of all the numerous demonstrations of natural selection in the wild listed by Endler (1986, table 5.1), only five were published prior to 1950.” That is, nearly a century after the publication of the Origin, only five observational studies of natural selection existed in the literature.
But science lurches along. Descent with modification by selection was so plainly an idea worth exploring that the science of evolutionary biology began decades before anything resembling a theory was in hand. I’d say that Bill Dembski and Michael Behe have done pretty well in stirring critical discussion of their ideas. No, they and the rest of the design community haven't published as many papers in the gawd-almighty peer-reviewed literature as we would like. So what. Listen closely (shhhh): It doesn't matter. The Popperian cycle is underway.
quote:What experimental support did Darwin provide for natural selection in the Origin of Species? None.
Have you ever read Origin of Species? That and Descent of Man can get pretty boring at times because both of these books are almost nothing but very detailed observations supporting the theory of evolution.
Oh, wait, I see the word "experimental" in the quote. The quote isn't about the difference between "operational" science and "historical" science, is it? I've been trying to be patient, but if that crap is going to be tossed up again then I think I am going to lose my temper again.
What would it take for you to recognize that that something in nature is an actual machine?
You're really asking what would it take for me to accept ID, and I have given that answer above.
The whole point of the thread is what it would take to convince IDers that they are incorrect?
I have yet to hear an answer, which leads me to believe that the IDers are nothing more than YECs in sheep's clothing.
There's nothing "unreasonable" about the belief in ID. Just like there's nothing "unreasonable" about a childs belief in Santa Claus. The child doesn't have the facts, they believe what they are told, what they want to be true, what comforts them.
But, an adult who still clings to that fantasy has a problem.
Nuggin:The whole point of the thread is what it would take to convince IDers that they are incorrect?
I have yet to hear an answer..
Warren: I already told you. In case you missed it here is how you can convince me I'm wrong. Show me why it's unreasonable to suspect that "a factory full of interlocking assembly lines" is designed. Show me how this is comparable to belief in Santa Claus.
Some things in nature are machine-like and scientists have to think like engineers to understand them. Their parts are decribed as transmission shafts, mounting plates and bushings, pistons and drive shafts, rotors, stators, clutches etc. Show me why it's unreasonable to suspect these things are actual machines. Show me how this is comparable to belief in Santa Claus.
Show me why it's unreasonable to suspect that machines are designed. Show me how this is comparable to belief in Santa Claus.
This message has been edited by Warren, 09-16-2005 03:18 PM
Chiroptera: Have you ever read Origin of Species? That and Descent of Man can get pretty boring at times because both of these books are almost nothing but very detailed observations supporting the theory of evolution.
Warren: Yeah, all of it based on it looks evolved so it must have evolved.
“The credibility of natural selection as a factor in evolution,” writes evolutionary biologist Mary Jane West-Eberhard (2003, p. 508), “is based almost entirely on indirect evidence and abstract reasoning.” The science of evolutionary biology began decades before anything resembling a theory was in hand.
ID is similarly in the early stages of its development. Many of its hypotheses are based on indirect evidence and abstract reasoning just as Darwin's hypotheses were and just as currect origin of life hypotheses are. But the ID critics expect initial ID hypotheses to have the properties of a scientific theory that has matured at the hands of thousands of scientists working over decades. I smell a double standard here.
This message has been edited by Warren, 09-16-2005 03:13 PM
This message has been edited by Warren, 09-16-2005 03:14 PM
Warren, if you look at the end of my post, you will see a button labelled simply "reply". If you use that button, you will generate a reply specifically to this particular message. It will create a link from this message to your reply, and a link from your reply to this message. It will help people who may be interested in following just one particular chain of the conversation. The "general reply" button that you are using should be used when you are posting a message that is not meant as a direct reply to any particular message -- it does not provide links between messages.
quote:Yeah, all of it based on it looks evolved so it must have evolved.
I have no idea what you mean here. Have you read Origin of Species? There are some pretty detailed observations that support the theory of evolution. In the 150 years since the publication or Origin of Species, much more evidence has been observed. I can only make sense of your statement if I interpret it as meaning that "the observations indicate that life has evolved, so we may conclude that life has evolved" -- which is what every other scientific theory says: things look like they obey this scientific principle, therefore they do obey this scientific principle.
Are your problems with the more subtle epistemic issues in the nature of the scientific method?
At any rate, unlike the theory of evolution, ID has not yet presented anything that can be called a theory; it presents no observations that can be made to distinguish intelligently designed features from non-intelligently designed features. If Darwin had presented such an incomplete theory back in the 1850s, no one would have taken him so seriously. If Behe had taken the time that Darwin had to lay a solid foundation for his ideas, then scientists would have taken him as seriously as they did Darwin. Instead, Behe opted for PR. I suspect that is because there is no foundation that can be laid. But let us see; my prediction is that twenty, thirty, fifty years from now ID will still be a fringe movement supported by cranks, if it is still supported by anyone at all.
Chiroptera: At any rate, unlike the theory of evolution, ID has not yet presented anything that can be called a theory; it presents no observations that can be made to distinguish intelligently designed features from non-intelligently designed features.
Warren: Well, I can throw this argument right back in your face. Do the ID cricics have a test to distinguish non-intelligently designed features from intelligently designed features. No! So on what basis do they exclude design when explaining the origin of biological features? Also keep in mind that when ID citics say "distinguish," this usually refers to two themes: show me something that couldn't possibly evolve or show me the designer.
As I said before we know that evolution can provide the appearence of design but conversely the process of design can yield an appearance of evolution. In his book, Climbing Mount Improbable, Richard Dawkins introduces the term, 'designoid.' He defines designoid objects as things that look designed, but in fact are not. Instead, Dawkins asserts these things are created by variation and selection to provide the illusion of design. Of course, Dawkins fails to provide a way to distinguish between designed objects and designoid objects. I would like to follow in Dawkins' footsteps and introduce another term to the origins lexicon, something I will call evolvoid. An evolvoid phenomena/thing is something that looks like it evolved, but did not. That is, these phenomena/things were designed in such a way that it merely looks like they evolved. The very process of design itself often yields things that are prone to evolutionary interpretations. This would mean only that evolvoid phenomena are a function of the way we impose beliefs upon reality.
Now answer this question. Is there a way to differentiate between evolvoid phenomena and real evolution?
This message has been edited by Warren, 09-16-2005 06:03 PM
quote:Well, I can throw this argument right back in your face.
You could, but then you would just look silly. The theory of evolution is the established theory, and has successfully passed all the tests to which it has been subjected in the past century and a half. ID is the new idea (at least the current version claiming to be scientific is), and so it is the idea that must be investigated.
IDists seem to come in two different types. The first type consists of the Biblical literalists who insist on a special creation of the entire universe only 6000 years ago; they lost the debate over 150 years ago, and they have not come up with anything more intelligent to say since. No more needs to be said about them.
The other type seems to accept common descent, but its adherents claim that there are certain features in life that could not have come about through strictly naturalistic processes. Fine, their ideas are consistent with what we know about the natural world; it may very well be that there are a few biological systems that have been "intelligently designed". But they are the ones who are proposing a new (or at least remodelled) theory. But if they are going to propose a theory, then they are the ones who have to show us how to test their ideas to determine whether they warrant further consideration.
Darwin's theory of evolution has passed the tests it has needed to. Every portion of it has been verified, either in a laboratory, or in the wild, or both. Heredity has been known since the dawn of civilization and earlier; new genetic variations, some beneficial, have been observed; natural selection has been observed (and I don't even think it is under dispute by even the creationists, anyway); "microevolution" is accepted by even creationists, and the long history of the earth has been well verified; we see evolutionary lineages in the fossil record; we see taxonomical and molecular evidence that pretty much proves common descent; and we know that evolution has produced very complicated organs and systems. This is not in dispute. So if IDists now want to claim that there is some complicated organ or biochemical system that could not have been produced by evolution, then they are the ones who have to convince the rest of us. That is how it works in any science.
quote:Now answer this question. Is there a way to differentiate between evolvoid phenomena and real evolution?
Now you are being silly. Is there a way to differentiate between the planets moving according to Newton's law of gravity and gravitoid behavior? Is there a way to differentiate between chemical elements combining according to quantum mechanics and chemoid behavior?
Sure, I suppose that I cannot prove that the planets do not travel through there orbits because angels are pushing them in a way that mimics Newton's inverse square law of gravitation; I cannot prove that little demons don't link and unlink atoms together in a way that mimics the laws of chemisty; and I cannot prove that known species were created by a designer in such a way as to make it look as if they evolved from previous species by natural selection acting on random variations.
But if Newton's Law of Gravity predicts the movement of planets so well that new planets have been discovered based on it, then why should I take anyone seriously who advocates the "intelligent pusher" theory? If the laws of physics explains chemical behavior so well that new chemical compounds can be designed before actually being manufactured, then why should I listen to advocates of the "intelligent linker" theory? And if the theory of evolution explains biology so well that phenomena not even known to Darwin, like the pattern of Endogenouos Retroviral Insertions, can be be predicted, why should I feel that advocates of "intelligent design" theory have anything useful to contribute?
I suppose that it is a matter of Occam's Razor. Seeing how the theory of evolution explains so much, and seeing how there has not yet been found any feature that poses a conceptual problem for the theory (except for a few people, I suppose), why should I unnecessarily add an additional item to my mental universe, a designer which isn't needed because it explains nothing?
here is how you can convince me I'm wrong. Show me why it's unreasonable
So, you can be proved wrong by proving you wrong? Basically you are saying you can't be proven wrong.
If your hypothesis that everything was perfectly designed by some allpowerful being, then what examples would you expect NOT to see.
In the case of ToE, we'd expect not to see the spontaneous appearence of features completely unrelated to anything that came before. (ie Rats with laser eyes)
Show me why it's unreasonable to suspect these things are actual machines.
Because they weren't manufactured, they weren't built at one location and brought to another one. They don't contain components which are interchangable. They aren't made of a material different than the entity itself.
Show me how this is comparable to belief in Santa Claus.
People believe in Santa Claus because it's a comforting thought. They see evidence (presents under a tree) and assume that the complicated solution (a magical man flies around and puts them there) is more reasonable than the simple solution (your mom put them there).
People believe in ID because it's a comforting thought. They see evidence (complicated animals) and assume that the complicated solution (a magical man flies around and designs them that way) is more reasonable than the simple solution (small changes over time, just like we see happening today).
I understand WHY people want to believe ID. It's nice when people tell you that you're special. But that doesn't make it true