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Author Topic:   Is there a legitimate argument for design?
PlanManStan
Member (Idle past 1100 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 12-12-2013


Message 1 of 638 (713546)
12-13-2013 4:31 PM


I'm somewhat new to EvC (second day, and I've just learned the basics), but I've been involved in this kind of debate for a while now. Is there a legitimate scientific argument to made for ID? Many of the times I have asked people (pastors, friends, relatives, etc.) for any evidence, they usually give me first-hand accounts of divine intervention. Sometimes, they provide me with gaps in other theories. I guess what I am asking here is how good of evidence is first-hand accounts, and how are we to treat gaps in theories, as evidence of another theory or as evidence against the theory at hand? Personally, I don't see them (gaps or first-hand accounts) as scientific because there is no falsifiability. Either there is a gap or not a gap, no debate necessary. First-hand accounts, as well, could easily be lies? What do you think?

Edited by PlanManStan, : Advise from admin.

Edited by PlanManStan, : Admin advice.


Replies to this message:
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 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 12-14-2013 10:58 AM PlanManStan has responded
 Message 6 by ringo, posted 12-14-2013 11:15 AM PlanManStan has responded
 Message 19 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-15-2013 12:03 AM PlanManStan has not yet responded
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Admin
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Posts: 12504
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Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 2 of 638 (713547)
12-13-2013 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by PlanManStan
12-13-2013 4:31 PM


To clarify what you want to discuss, can you provide an example or two of what people have offered in past debates with you as scientific arguments for ID, and briefly describe why you believe they're not really scientific.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by PlanManStan, posted 12-13-2013 4:31 PM PlanManStan has not yet responded

    
Admin
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From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
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Message 3 of 638 (713549)
12-14-2013 10:13 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Is there a legitimate argument for design? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18472
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 4 of 638 (713552)
12-14-2013 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by PlanManStan
12-13-2013 4:31 PM


Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
Hi PlanManStan, and welcome to the fray.

Is there a legitimate scientific argument to made for ID?

Not that I am aware of, and I too have seen a lot of purported arguments for it, arguments usually full of the argument from incredulity logical fallacy.

Sometimes, they provide me with gaps in other theories.

But a gap in anything -- theory or biological evidence of evolution -- does not provide an alternative, it just allows some people to believe what they want to believe.

First-hand accounts, as well, could easily be lies?

Could be, could be hallucinations, could be ... most anything, even perhaps a glimpse of reality ... perhaps ...

No different than subjective evidence for say sasquatch or yeti ... or alien visitations ...

There may be truth behind them, but the truth may not be what the believers think. See YETI nother explanation? for a possible truth.

What do you think?

Personally I think there are a lot of questions where falsifiability cannot be assured and thus science as we currently know it would not be able to provide an answer.

That does not mean we should not ask the questions or search knowledge for hints, it just means we should not expect clear scientific answers.

The criteria I use is open-minded skepticism -- open to the idea of possibilities, skeptical of concepts with little or no evidence. Content to wait for more complete information before needing to decide ...

Is there a legitimate scientific argument to made for ID?

To my thinking ID is a philosophical pursuit rather than a scientific one (see Is ID properly pursued?)

Enjoy

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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 PlanManStan, posted 12-13-2013 4:31 PM PlanManStan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by PlanManStan, posted 12-14-2013 11:10 AM RAZD has responded

  
PlanManStan
Member (Idle past 1100 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 12-12-2013


(1)
Message 5 of 638 (713553)
12-14-2013 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by RAZD
12-14-2013 10:58 AM


Re: Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
Thanks for the assistance with quoting. I had no idea how people did that! You provide some interesting ideas that I've never heard of before.
Personally I think there are a lot of questions where falsifiability cannot be assured and thus science as we currently know it would not be able to provide an answer.

I don't understand what you mean by "falsifiability cannot be assured". I would say that there is a dichotomy of false and not false. No in between.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 12-14-2013 10:58 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by RAZD, posted 12-14-2013 1:00 PM PlanManStan has not yet responded
 Message 10 by AZPaul3, posted 12-14-2013 3:42 PM PlanManStan has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13025
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 6 of 638 (713554)
12-14-2013 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by PlanManStan
12-13-2013 4:31 PM


PlanManStan writes:

... they usually give me first-hand accounts of divine intervention.


There's a difference between divine intervention and intelligent design. Given a divine entity with the ability to intervene in a way that is observable by humans, can we assume that that entity has the ability to design and not just manipulate?

And if that entity could design (presumably) life on earth, did it? There's also a difference between possibility and history. Maybe Napoleon Bonaparte could have translated the Bible into Swedish but did he?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by PlanManStan, posted 12-13-2013 4:31 PM PlanManStan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by PlanManStan, posted 12-14-2013 11:28 AM ringo has responded

  
PlanManStan
Member (Idle past 1100 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 12-12-2013


Message 7 of 638 (713557)
12-14-2013 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by ringo
12-14-2013 11:15 AM


I never said (or didn't mean to) say that there was a similarity between ID and divine intervention. I suppose what people who use this kind of argument are going for is the assumption that it created everything if it can manipulate it and its laws.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by ringo, posted 12-14-2013 11:15 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 13025
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 8 of 638 (713561)
12-14-2013 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by PlanManStan
12-14-2013 11:28 AM


PlanManStan writes:

I never said (or didn't mean to) say that there was a similarity between ID and divine intervention.


I know you didn't. I was just pointing out the flaw in the argument, which requires two gaps in logic, not just one.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by PlanManStan, posted 12-14-2013 11:28 AM PlanManStan has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18472
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 9 of 638 (713566)
12-14-2013 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by PlanManStan
12-14-2013 11:10 AM


Re: Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
I don't understand what you mean by "falsifiability cannot be assured". I would say that there is a dichotomy of false and not false. No in between.

There is "can't tell if it is one or the other" and "we don't know yet" ...

The question "do god/s exist" is not necessarily falsifiable, in part because it is difficult to prove a negative unless you know everything. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but evidence of the absence of evidence in our current state of knowledge.

The question "does Yeti exist" is not necessarily falsifiable either, for slightly different reasons -- you can have 'ardent believers' and 'ardent deniers' such that when a feasible explanation for the fairly subjective evidence to date is a previously unknown species of bear, both groups dismiss it as "not ape so not Yeti" and claim therefore existence or non-existence is not demonstrated. Someone not committed to either ardent extreme can look at the evidence and conclude that such a bear would explain the subjective evidence, and that it is certainly a possible answer, even while there remains no solid evidence (other than DNA from a hair) that this animal exists. Is it the final true\false answer though? No.

Enjoy


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 5 by PlanManStan, posted 12-14-2013 11:10 AM PlanManStan has not yet responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3427
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 7.4


(2)
Message 10 of 638 (713575)
12-14-2013 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by PlanManStan
12-14-2013 11:10 AM


Re: Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
Welcome PMS ... eh ... a lot of us here are/were married so PMS is probably not such a good short version of your name. If you don't mind I think I'll just call you Stan.

I don't understand what you mean by "falsifiability cannot be assured". I would say that there is a dichotomy of false and not false. No in between.

Falsifiability is a specific scientific concept relating to the formation of hypotheses and theories. The concept is that the hypothesis must be such that there is the possibility of finding evidence that would falsify the hypothesis. It does not relate to whether it is true or false at the moment but just that the hypothesis can be tested.

Example ...

Hypothesis: All ravens are green.

This is falsifiable.

It is testable by looking at ravens to see if there are any non-green ones. If one is found then the hypothesis is false. Note, however, that if all the ravens we ever see are all green, unless we have actually seen ALL ravens, everywhere through all time, then there is still the possibility that there is a non-green raven out there somewhere that we have yet to see. The hypothesis is still valid and still falsifiable though it has not yet been proven false.

The more tests, the more evidence, we collect that does not falsify the theory serves to make the theory stronger and more reliable.

Special Relativity is one of our most powerful theories. Everywhere we look, every time we test it, we cannot find a violation. But, it is still falsifiable. All we need do is find a violation, any violation, just one would do.

All scientific theories MUST be falsifiable. If there is no way to ever show a theory false (and, again, that does not mean it has or will be or is false) then it is not science. It's BS.

Hypothesis: God made the earthquake by causing a fault to slip.

This hypothesis can not even be tested, let alone falsified. There is no possibility (fudge factor required) to ever show any evidence because no such evidence can exist. Not any for. Not any against. It is not falsifiable. It is not, therefore, a valid scientific hypothesis to be treated with any seriousness. It is ignored.

Edited by AZPaul3, : clarity - maybe

Edited by AZPaul3, : more


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by PlanManStan, posted 12-14-2013 11:10 AM PlanManStan has responded

Replies to this message:
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PlanManStan
Member (Idle past 1100 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 12-12-2013


Message 11 of 638 (713577)
12-14-2013 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by AZPaul3
12-14-2013 3:42 PM


Re: Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
I understand what falsifiability is. Maybe it was just the wording that was used. And yeah, PMS might not be the best nickname out there...

To the test the hypothetical "God Earthquake", we would first have to prove God. It isn't the fact that God made the earthquake that is falsifiable, it is whether or not God exists. If He does, it is easily falsifiable, if He doesn't, it is also falsifiable.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18472
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 12 of 638 (713581)
12-14-2013 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by PlanManStan
12-14-2013 4:08 PM


Re: Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
To the test the hypothetical "God Earthquake", we would first have to prove God. It isn't the fact that God made the earthquake that is falsifiable, it is whether or not God exists. If He does, it is easily falsifiable, if He doesn't, it is also falsifiable.

And this gets back to the question of whether we can detect design or not, whether we can sense/understand god/s or their actions. If god/s are not falsifiable then it isn't science ... but philosophy or theosophy.

And like the green ravens, you cannot disprove god/s by the apparent absence of evidence because you haven't looked everywhere, everywhen, every dimensional aspect of the universe or bulk universe (Did a 5-D black hole brane event horizon make the universe? ... the math makes my brane hurt ... )

Enjoy


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 11 by PlanManStan, posted 12-14-2013 4:08 PM PlanManStan has responded

Replies to this message:
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PlanManStan
Member (Idle past 1100 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 12-12-2013


Message 13 of 638 (713583)
12-14-2013 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by RAZD
12-14-2013 5:05 PM


Re: Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
To say that I cannot completely disbelieve something just because I haven't looked EVERYWHERE is, well, stupid. Like I said before, I go into something with disbelief and try to find evidence for its belief. My opinons can easily change with new evidence. That is the beauty of science. It is constantly updating as we explore more and more. Currently, I see no evidence for a God or ID, so therefore I disbelive in both of them.
This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18472
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 14 of 638 (713623)
12-14-2013 10:17 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by PlanManStan
12-14-2013 5:10 PM


Re: Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
To say that I cannot completely disbelieve something just because I haven't looked EVERYWHERE is, well, stupid. ...

Now there is a nice scientific retort ...

And no you can never completely believe/disbelieve anything unless you know everything.

This is why science is tentative -- it approximates reality by ruling out false concepts, with each new concept improving on the work previous, but even falsifications can turn out to be erroneous.

You have 7 basic patterns on a spectrum of belief:

ardent believerconvinced and committed to true
tentative believernot convinced but committed to true
potential believernot convinced and not committed but inclined to true
abstainerneither convinced nor committed to either true or false
potential deniernot convinced and not committed but inclined to false
tentative deniernot convinced but committed its false
ardent denierconvinced and committed its false

Like I said before, I go into something with disbelief and try to find evidence for its belief. My opinons can easily change with new evidence.

This is easy to say, in practice you are already somewhat committed to denial in your world view and this flavors how open you really are to new information.

Cognitive dissonance - (Wikipedia, 2010)
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing them.[2] It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

A powerful cause of dissonance is an idea in conflict with a fundamental element of the self-concept, such as "I am a good person" or "I made the right decision". The anxiety that comes with the possibility of having made a bad decision can lead to rationalization, the tendency to create additional reasons or justifications to support one's choices. A person who just spent too much money on a new car might decide that the new vehicle is much less likely to break down than his or her old car. This belief may or may not be true, but it would reduce dissonance and make the person feel better. Dissonance can also lead to confirmation bias, the denial of disconfirming evidence, and other ego defense mechanisms.

See some of the experiments ...

This slight commitment can still cause your initial reaction to be negative. You may find yourself more committed than you realized.

The approach I strive for is open-minded skepticism -- that it is possible until shown falsified, but how possible is debatable, and I can abstain from making a decision if it doesn't affect my life directly.

Yeti as an example - is it possible they exist, yes, should one believe they exist? show me evidence ... and whether they exist or not doesn't affect my life directly so I can abstain from choosing true\false at this time, I can afford to wait for new information.

... That is the beauty of science. It is constantly updating as we explore more and more. ...

Indeed, knowledge builds on knowledge, sometimes with surprises.

Currently, I see no evidence for a God or ID, so therefore I disbelive in both of them.

Currently I see no evidence sufficient to decide one way or the other -- there is no known direct impact on my life that depends on such choice. The choice to believe has no direct benefit nor does the choice to disbelieve.

... therefore I disbelive in both of them.

Belief is not scientific. You can disbelieve in Ohio if you want (old family joke).

Belief\disbelief\opinion has shown a very poor track record on affecting reality. One could simply say "I don't know" and be honest about it. I find it curious that people have trouble (feel uncomfortable?) just saying "I don't know" as if there is some great intellectual failure for not knowing, and choosing denial gives a (false?) sense\feeling of knowing ... perhaps a touch of cognitive-dissonance ... ?

Enjoy

ps -- it's a slow time here, and I've been bored. Have fun - you'll fit right in I do believe ...


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 13 by PlanManStan, posted 12-14-2013 5:10 PM PlanManStan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by PlanManStan, posted 12-14-2013 10:35 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
PlanManStan
Member (Idle past 1100 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 12-12-2013


(1)
Message 15 of 638 (713624)
12-14-2013 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by RAZD
12-14-2013 10:17 PM


Re: Deism -- the first Intelligent Design Belief
Thanks for making me feel welcome! I see your concepts of the different types of beliefs, and indeed I've seen something like it (although it used different labels). I also respect your view of the world (positive skepticism), but I guess there's no way of arguing which is better, seeing as they are unscientific psuedo-philosophies about how one goes about life. Indeed, no one is tied to either one.

I wouldn't say that negative skepticism makes one close-minded. I've recently had a change of heart on many issues, the existence of God and gay marriage being two examples. But, as I said above, to each his own.


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