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Author Topic:   is there any case for Intelligent design in man made products
lbm111
Member (Idle past 1425 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 31 of 72 (654204)
02-27-2012 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Stile
02-27-2012 12:14 PM


Re: Wait.. what's your point, again?
stile writes:

What, specifically, are you attempting to talk about?
"...just the same measure??"

sorry shouldnt have used the word 'measure'- I mean by similar reasoning.

my point is you can come up with multiple reasons or 'uses' or 'purposes' for any of those items.

we are familiar with assigning purpose to something like a stone age axe and viewing excrement as purposeless. however a scientific narrative could equally be spun to explain why excrement had some purpose - in agriculture say. The nitrogen content of the human excrement may be better adjusted to supporting plant life say and this could be shown to be a distinguishing feature of humans. you could create a compelling narrative of why human's 'intelligence' meant that they were able to produce excrement that gave them an evolutionary advantage by allowing more nutritious plants to grow near them.

Obviously this is not how most people would think of intelligence because it tends to be seen as a process that results from events in the brain rather than from events in our stomach or physiology.

Fossils, axes, excrement all of these things are inanimate objects left behind by once living creatures. We can put different interpretations on them and spin stories to say why some thing had a purpose or not but the data will never show a purpose - it can only show a state of events at a particular time.


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 736 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 32 of 72 (654228)
02-28-2012 9:18 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by lbm111
02-27-2012 7:23 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
secondly - yes i think most people's definition of intelligence includes a concept of free will.

I would disagree here. For one thing, we just had a lively discussion where many felt that free will was even possible in a deterministic universe. For another, as far as I can tell, most people view intelligence as the ability to problem-solve, which is a very deterministic process. True, the effects are sometimes visualized in the mind, but not always. Science is a process of problem solving, is very determinisitic, and is an example of human intelligence.

Animal intelligence is often categorized the same way. Chimps, ravens, some dogs, dolphins, are viewed as intelligent because they can solve problems put to them.

For example, we can develop robots that do many of the actions that would be described as intelligent in animals but nobody would really call the robots intelligent because we are all to aware why they do each action ( having programmed them ourselves)

If we had a robot that could solve problems I would be more than willing to grant it a small level of intelligence.

I guess the question I have for you is, how are you defining intelligence that A) requires free will and B) cannot be mechanistic?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by lbm111, posted 02-27-2012 7:23 PM lbm111 has responded

Replies to this message:
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lbm111
Member (Idle past 1425 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 33 of 72 (654246)
02-28-2012 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Perdition
02-28-2012 9:18 AM


Re: I understand your flow, now
I guess the question I have for you is, how are you defining intelligence that A) requires free will and B) cannot be mechanistic?

I am not defining intelligence - I would argue that we cannot meaningfully define it and in a fundamental sense it does not exist.

The definition of intelligence as the ability to problem solve is rather circular as it requires the definition of what constitutes a 'problem'.

you might say that an axe is a good example of human intelligence because it 'solved the problem of hunting for food'.

equally you could say that for certain animals the development of claws 'solved the problem of hunting for food' and by your definition was a sign of intelligence.

hence i would dispute your definition


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Perdition, posted 02-28-2012 9:18 AM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Perdition, posted 02-28-2012 1:04 PM lbm111 has responded
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Perdition
Member (Idle past 736 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 34 of 72 (654254)
02-28-2012 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by lbm111
02-28-2012 11:20 AM


Re: I understand your flow, now
you might say that an axe is a good example of human intelligence because it 'solved the problem of hunting for food'.

Yes, I would.

equally you could say that for certain animals the development of claws 'solved the problem of hunting for food' and by your definition was a sign of intelligence.

No, I would not. Intelligence is a personal, or unique attribute. "Developing claws" is, at best, a population attribute, evolutionarily speaking. You don't have any animal think to itself, "I need to kill that rabbit, so something sharp on the ends of my paws would be great," then go ahead and grow some.

This is a ludicrous extrapolation of "problem solving."

I am not defining intelligence - I would argue that we cannot meaningfully define it and in a fundamental sense it does not exist.

I just gave a definition. Your argument works just as well for anything: "I don't think streets exist, because I argue that we can't meaningfully define them, so in a fundamental sense, they don't exist." You're playing word games.

The definition of intelligence as the ability to problem solve is rather circular as it requires the definition of what constitutes a 'problem'.

Requiring the definition of a different word in no way makes the definition of the first word "circular." Every definition of every word requires the definition of the words making up that definition. The only way in which you can say a definition is circular, is if you say all definitions are circular because they all require a language, but a language needs words, and those words need to be defined by other words that need definitions, etc. So, either all definitions are circular, or there's nothing wrong with mine.

[ABE] Another way to say a definition is circular is to define a word using that word or a derivative of it, which I clearly did not do.[/ABE]

Beyond that, "problems" are pretty well defined. They are obstacles in the way of attaining goals. Now, I guess you'll just say that "goals" needs to be defined, or "obstacles", or "in."

Edited by Perdition, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by lbm111, posted 02-28-2012 11:20 AM lbm111 has responded

Replies to this message:
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lbm111
Member (Idle past 1425 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 35 of 72 (654261)
02-28-2012 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Perdition
02-28-2012 1:04 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
Intelligence is a personal, or unique attribute

this was not part of your original definition - i agree if you add a limiting factor that says intelligence can only take place in certain places (as defined arbitrarily by you) then you can rule out certain cases - such as populations of animals.

you could for example say intelligence is the ability to solve problems but only when achieved by a configuration of matter that is identified as a human being.

Requiring the definition of a different word in no way makes the definition of the first word "circular....Another way to say a definition is circular is to define a word using that word or a derivative of it, which I clearly did not do.

the reason it is circular is because you are placing an artificial perspective on what constitutes a 'problem' and saying it is something that can only be determined by us as intelligent beings. There can then be no objective existence of a 'problem' - if its only a problem when you think its a problem. or it requires our particular brand of intelligence to identify what is or is not intelligent.

Beyond that, "problems" are pretty well defined. They are obstacles in the way of attaining goals. Now, I guess you'll just say that "goals" needs to be defined, or "obstacles", or "in."

This is surely just as much of a word game? yes i would say what are 'goals'? it is just a restatement of the original definition. you would no doubt tell me that a population cannot have a 'goal' because that is something only humans or animals can have. This is fair enough but you must realize that it is arbitary to define certain sections of the underlying quantum field ( that happen to be in the shape of humans or animals) and say that the quantum field within this section of the universe can have goals but that any other section of the quantum field cannot.

True this is exactly the every day meaning and I don't dispute this is how it is used - my point is that we are making an arbitary distinction that is not warranted by scientific evidence.


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 Message 34 by Perdition, posted 02-28-2012 1:04 PM Perdition has responded

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Perdition
Member (Idle past 736 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 36 of 72 (654266)
02-28-2012 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by lbm111
02-28-2012 1:47 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
this was not part of your original definition

This was why I asked you to define intelligence. I assumed it was pretty much a given that intelligence was a property of an individual.

i agree if you add a limiting factor that says intelligence can only take place in certain places (as defined arbitrarily by you) then you can rule out certain cases

If by "certain places" you mean, inside an individual's mind, then I guess this is correct, but I disagree that it's defined arbitrarily by me. It's more of, defined by the English language.

you could for example say intelligence is the ability to solve problems but only when achieved by a configuration of matter that is identified as a human being.

But I wouldn't say this, because animals have some form fo intelligence, and a computer or android could achieve intelligence, perhaps even in the near future.

the reason it is circular is because you are placing an artificial perspective on what constitutes a 'problem' and saying it is something that can only be determined by us as intelligent beings. There can then be no objective existence of a 'problem' - if its only a problem when you think its a problem. or it requires our particular brand of intelligence to identify what is or is not intelligent.

But this isn't true. A problem is an obstacle in the way of achieving a goal. An anteater still needs to get at ants in an anthill whether or not human beings are here to define the issue. Again, the word, "problem" may be an artificial, human term, but the thing it describes exists independently of us.

This is surely just as much of a word game? yes i would say what are 'goals'? it is just a restatement of the original definition. you would no doubt tell me that a population cannot have a 'goal' because that is something only humans or animals can have. This is fair enough but you must realize that it is arbitary to define certain sections of the underlying quantum field ( that happen to be in the shape of humans or animals) and say that the quantum field within this section of the universe can have goals but that any other section of the quantum field cannot.

You're a bit out there, you know that. Everything in language is a bit arbitrary. We arbitrarily call a quantum assemblage of forces and fields a "chair" if that assemblage happens to conform to a certain shape and perform a certain function. A definition describes a particular set of circumstances. In the word intelligence, it refers to a property of a certain subset of "things" in the universe. A problem is something that interferes with that particular subset or individual.

Your logic seems to imply that language means absolutely nothing because, it's all just quantum fluctuations. It is, sometimes, useful to us human beings to categorize. Sure, these categorizations may ultimately be arbitrary, but if we all agree to use the same arbitrary definitions, then communication becomes possible.

True this is exactly the every day meaning and I don't dispute this is how it is used - my point is that we are making an arbitary distinction that is not warranted by scientific evidence.

You've got it the wrong way around. Science is the description, or imposition, of distinctions. These distinctions are simultaneously what science does and what science needs.


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Panda
Member (Idle past 1211 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 37 of 72 (654267)
02-28-2012 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by lbm111
02-28-2012 11:20 AM


Re: I understand your flow, now
lbm111 writes:

I would argue that we cannot meaningfully define it and in a fundamental sense it does not exist.


What exactly doesn't exist?
What is it that you are actually claiming doesn't exist?
Please be specific.

If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

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 Message 33 by lbm111, posted 02-28-2012 11:20 AM lbm111 has not yet responded

  
lbm111
Member (Idle past 1425 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 38 of 72 (654274)
02-28-2012 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Perdition
02-28-2012 3:12 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
Your logic seems to imply that language means absolutely nothing because, it's all just quantum fluctuations. It is, sometimes, useful to us human beings to categorize. Sure, these categorizations may ultimately be arbitrary, but if we all agree to use the same arbitrary definitions, then communication becomes possible.

yes I agree - this is my point - if we all agree then everything is fine.

Occasionally though there is disagreement - some people might say intelligent design only applies to quantum fluctuations in individuals whereas other people might extend that to include things like populations of animals.


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 736 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 39 of 72 (654277)
02-28-2012 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by lbm111
02-28-2012 5:13 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
Occasionally though there is disagreement - some people might say intelligent design only applies to quantum fluctuations in individuals whereas other people might extend that to include things like populations of animals.

And in those cases, we usually explain how we're using the term. If there's a disagreement, it is usually that very point of contention that is the whole point of the discussion. Reasonable people are able to say, "Ok, if I accept your definition for the sake of this argument, then X and Y" etc.


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 1425 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 40 of 72 (654309)
02-29-2012 4:27 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Perdition
02-28-2012 5:44 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
yes exactly - that is all i'm saying

it just seems to me there are a lot of people on here trying to state categorically that their particular definition of intelligence is the correct one and that anyone who doesn't agree should be shot down in flames.

my initial point in starting this discussion was that intelligent design in man made products is an arbitrary categorization. It does not represent some underlying distinction at the quauntum level - we are therefore free to make different categorizations and absolutely should reasonable and civil in accepting other people's views.


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Portillo
Member (Idle past 1659 days)
Posts: 258
Joined: 11-14-2010


Message 41 of 72 (654708)
03-03-2012 3:18 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by lbm111
02-24-2012 6:46 AM


Thats why Stephen C Meyer says, "Design theorists do no infer design just because natural processes cannot explain the origin of biological systems, but because these systems manifest the distinctive hallmarks of intelligently designed systems - that is, they possess features that in any other realm of experience would trigger the recognition of an intelligent cause."

So when a scientist observes that a cell is more complex than a supercomputer. When it is a high tech factory, with artifical language, decoding systems, memory banks, information, control systems, organization and a replication system. It is rational to infer an intelligent cause.

Edited by Portillo, : No reason given.


And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually - 2 Samuel 15:12

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Panda
Member (Idle past 1211 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 42 of 72 (654710)
03-03-2012 4:14 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Portillo
03-03-2012 3:18 AM


Portillo writes:

When it is a high tech factory, with artifical language, decoding systems, memory banks, information, control systems, organization and a replication system. It is rational to infer an intelligent cause.


No. It would not be rational to infer an intelligent cause.

If you are in a factory watching humans manufacture supercomputers, then you would know that supercomputers had an intelligent cause.
In fact, it would require a very poor grasp of reality to think otherwise.

But if we look at a biological cell, we do not see any intelligent cause manufacturing it.
And to infer one would be baseless conjecture.

{abe}
"...with artifical language" should have given you enough of a clue as to the flaw in your statement.
Can you name a single artificial object that occurs without an intelligent cause?

Edited by Panda, : No reason given.

Edited by Panda, : No reason given.


If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 15684
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 43 of 72 (654718)
03-03-2012 8:19 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Portillo
03-03-2012 3:18 AM


I can go part of the way with Meyer. It makes sense to investigate whether life was designed, but to just look at it and say it has "the distinctive hallmarks of intelligently designed systems" is an opinion. Cells certainly look like nothing man has ever designed. The best ID can seem to do is to draw analogies between cells with their structures and man made systems with their components.

One of the hallmarks of human design is hard edges and corners. Here's an image of something we design that is very small, even smaller than a cell:

Now if I saw edges and corners like this in a cell, that's when I would start thinking, "By God, this was designed!"

--Percy


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 4980
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 44 of 72 (654721)
03-03-2012 9:13 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Portillo
03-03-2012 3:18 AM


The design argument was decent enough until we started understanding things about our world or until you bring a religion into it.

Crudely put, it says that if it looks designed then it probably is.

But those that use the argument also want the designs to be imperfect too (so that they can explain the imperfections in nature). They explain that god is perfectly capable of designing imperfect stuff. (Which is true because, by definition, he can do anything.)

They go on to say that even if something doesn't look designed to us, it may be designed anyway because we can't know the mind of god. And presumably vice-versa.

In other words if you want to use the design argument plus religion, you can have it all ways.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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Tangle
Member
Posts: 4980
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 45 of 72 (654724)
03-03-2012 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Percy
03-03-2012 8:19 AM


Buzzzzzz ;-)


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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