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Author Topic:   Intelligent Design just a question for evolutionists
mike the wiz
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Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 1 of 146 (792315)
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


Just wanted to ask the opinions of evolutionists here. Obviously evolutionists generally believe the ID movement is creationism, however I was just wondering, can you appreciate that there is the classic argument of ID, since Paley, which didn't really refer to creation or Christianity, but is basically the argument of recognising design? Or can you recognise it is possible to form a syllogism which contains no premise pertaining to God or creationism, within it?

While I acknowledge that you might not accept the present form of ID as anything other than a watered down form of creationism, can you accept that if a syllogism contains no premises that mention creation or God, then strictly speaking, technically, the syllogism itself is not creationist?

The reason I ask this is my own intelligent design argument was never intended to be similar to an ID movement, it is just a syllogism that takes us to the conclusion that life is intelligently designed.

I am not asking anyone to agree with my argument, all I am requesting is that you can acknowledge that strictly speaking, if I only argue one ID argument, and it really isn't part of any creationist movement to get ID in a classroom, but really is just my own ID argument, then can't that ID argument be regarded as having little to do with creationism, if there is no words or premises in the argument that refer to or depend on creationism, and the argument still stands even if creationism is false?

The syllogism I have used for ID, was never meant to be used as a creationist argument, but only as a way to ASCERTAIN if an object or thing, is designed;

If something has the elements of design it is designed. (X is X, Law of identity)
Life has the elements of design
Therefore life is designed.

Now I am not arguing this argument here and now, I know you don't accept it, but can you accept the conclusion only says whether something is designed? It is not meant to say who or what the designer is, and has nothing to do with who or what the designer is. If I were to argue MORE, like for example, "and God is the designer, clearly", then obviously that would have to be ADDED into the argument, or I would have to create a second argument.

For example we could use the argument like this;

If something has the elements of design it is designed. (X is X, Law of identity)
Pottery has the elements of design
Therefore pottery is designed.

Thus you could use the argument to pertain to any designed thing, without it pertaining to any designer, because the only purpose of the argument, is literally to conclude if something is designed. If the object is a living thing or a piece of stone or whatever the object is, the object-in-question itself is not religious. For example if we use the syllogism for a rabbit, obviously a rabbit is not supernatural or religious, the same as a piece of clay.

I just fail to see how it isn't a generalisation, to say that my argument would be creationism because of the modern ID movement, the conclusion, "it is intelligently designed" also makes no mention of by who or what, just that there is a recognition that the object FEATURES hallmarks of intelligence.

(again, I am not trying to cause a fight, I literally just wondered if you can see my point, because you could even argue that evolution is the designer if you wanted to. Yes, personally I would see that as a contradiction, but my point is, I think the more classical ID argument is much more BASIC than creationism, and is about recognising design, ONLY. It seems to me, if I mention ID, I am tarred with the brush of the modern ID movement, and people will say, "ID is religion. ID is creationism", but does that mean I am not able, according to logical rules, to formulate a syllogism that is NOT religious but is ID?


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NoNukes
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Message 2 of 146 (792316)
10-06-2016 6:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


Now I am not arguing this argument here and now, I know you don't accept it, but can you accept the conclusion only says whether something is designed?

I call BS on the entire premise behind this thread.

Intelligent design is rejected both as being cloaked creationism AND as a failed scientific argument, and folks here have long discussed exactly why they reach that conclusion in excruciating detail. Then you come along and essentially ask if people really know what they are talking about.

I literally just wondered if you can see my point, because you could even argue that evolution is the designer if you wanted to.

Actually you cannot make that argument because evolution is not intelligent. The basic ID argument is that we can tell when "looks designed" and then reach the conclusion that intelligence is involved. Proponents of evolution often make the argument that biological things that "look designed" are products of evolution.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

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Seems to me if its clear that certain things that require ancient dates couldn't possibly be true, we are on our way to throwing out all those ancient dates on the basis of the actual evidence. -- Faith


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Genomicus
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Posts: 846
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 3 of 146 (792317)
10-06-2016 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


...can you appreciate that there is the classic argument of ID, since Paley, which didn't really refer to creation or Christianity, but is basically the argument of recognising design?

Well, actually, the overall teleological argument goes back way before Paley. The teleological vs. non-teleological debate has been going on for thousands of years, and it's only recently that the pendulum of scholarly argument has swung in favor of non-teleology in the living world. That historical context is important.

Or can you recognise it is possible to form a syllogism which contains no premise pertaining to God or creationism, within it?

Sure, but science is more than just deductive reasoning through syllogisms.

The syllogism I have used for ID, was never meant to be used as a creationist argument, but only as a way to ASCERTAIN if an object or thing, is designed;

Well, that's a pretty terrible way to detect intelligent design -- and that syllogism is rendered pretty much nonsense by the fact that Neo-Darwinian mechanisms are able to create systems that have the appearance of design.

I just fail to see how it isn't a generalisation, to say that my argument would be creationism because of the modern ID movement, the conclusion, "it is intelligently designed" also makes no mention of by who or what, just that there is a recognition that the object FEATURES hallmarks of intelligence.

Your exact "syllogism" isn't inherently creationist. But it's often appropriate to consider the broader context of an argument: who is making it and why?


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jar
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Message 4 of 146 (792318)
10-06-2016 7:26 PM


Well, I can understand that an argument from design has been attempted yet so far no indication of either design or designer or any need for any designer has been presented.

Given that the idea is so ridiculous it rightly falls in the same category as design by pure chance.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

  
Coyote
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Message 5 of 146 (792319)
10-06-2016 9:08 PM


Recognizing design...
You mention that we can recognize design when we see it. It's not that easy.

Perhaps one of the best groups around at dealing with this issue is the archaeologists. (Full disclosure--I am one.)

And we don't just scratch our heads when we see something unfamiliar and say, "Hmmm. Must be designed."

Rather we work from analogy. We readily observe people all over the world fashioning bifacial flakes, but find that those flakes are almost never found occurring naturally, and certainly are not found in any quantities in rock slides, talus slopes or cattle wallows.

In graduate school one of my professors had a room literally full of stones--shelf after shelf--scavenged from creeks and rivers. These showed what could occur naturally. He studied them, and so of course so did we. For comparison we studied archaeological sites and what was found in them, and we learned to fashion stone tools ourselves.

All of this shows the kinds of processes that may be necessary to infer design from an unfamilar object.

I don't see any of that coming from creationists or ID proponents. They are much more likely to conclude design for any unfamilar or complex item, or for any item they don't understand, and there are a lot of those as most creationists won't take the time to learn much of any science and what they do learn is considered invalid if they have any biblical or scriptural beliefs to the contrary.

So, no. I have no trust in any scientific pronouncements made by creationists or ID proponents. When you come down to it, they are doing the exact opposite of science: belief first and heck with evidence.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

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nwr
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Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 6 of 146 (792320)
10-06-2016 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


Just wanted to ask the opinions of evolutionists here. Obviously evolutionists generally believe the ID movement is creationism, however I was just wondering, can you appreciate that there is the classic argument of ID, since Paley, which didn't really refer to creation or Christianity, but is basically the argument of recognising design?

Did Paley say "This is science and should be taught in science class?"

Most folk understand Paley as doing natural theology, and I guess that's a kind of philosophy. Most science people have no objection to talk of ID as part of philosophy. It's the claim that it is science that is at issue.

And then, suppose that you conclude that nature is a product of design. Shouldn't you then consider that evolution might be a system for carrying out such design?

What characterizes the ID movement, is that it is light on actual science and heavy on polemics against evolution.

If something has the elements of design it is designed. (X is X, Law of identity)
Life has the elements of design
Therefore life is designed.

But wouldn't you first have to establish (a) that there are elements of design, and (b) what those elements are? Shouldn't this require a scientific research program, and not be merely a matter of assertion? Wouldn't you need to develop a scientific consensus on these questions, before you could expect to use them?

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15963
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


(1)
Message 7 of 146 (792321)
10-06-2016 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


Well, who the designer is depends on context. When IDists are trying to get Christians to support them, it's totally God, and then when they're trying to persuade a judge that they're not violating the First Amendment they're all: "Well, it doesn't have to be God, it could be ... uh ... aliens. Yeah, aliens!"
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PaulK
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Posts: 13231
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 8 of 146 (792322)
10-07-2016 12:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


The ID movement uses that very argument - that they are only arguing for design - so it is hardly new, nor a good way to distinguish your views from theirs. Of course they do so because they want to get their ideas into schools, so hiding the religious propaganda aspect is important to them.

First, a syllogism may certainly be Creationist without explicitly mentioning God or Creation. They may be implicit, for instance.

Second, Paley's argument offers no robust argument for design - it is based on appearances only, with no direct evidence. Since evolution better explains the evidence it should not be surprising that Paley's argument is rejected. (And since Paley's argument is rightly rejected there is no good reason for adding it to the curriculum.)

Third, the context of the argument matters. For instance, since there is no good reason for introducing Paley's argument to the curriculum - other than to refute it - it is quite reasonable to assume a motive other than good education. If a creationist wishes to alter the curriculum in a way that supports Creationism - and lacks any other merit - it is quite reasonable to conclude that it is all about Creationism.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


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dwise1
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Member Rating: 3.5


Message 9 of 146 (792323)
10-07-2016 1:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


Well, the "appearance of design" must necessarily imply an Apparent Designer, not necessarily an actual one. Hence, while you might possibly argue that something appears to have been designed, that still does not mean that it was actually designed.

ID is a bit hazy. It was an actual development independent of "creation science", but while it kept itself independent of young-earth-creationism, at the same time it did cozy up to that YEC camp.

I did come across an essay by ID founder Phillip E. Johnson in which he expressed his objection to evolution as being because "evolution leaves God with nothing to do." Well, obviously , Phillip E. Johnson has no clue what he is talking about.

Now, I have seen a number of creationists try to claim that complexity equals "design". They love to point to all kinds of complexity and, with no reason, proclaim that to be proof of design.

Well, by profession I am an engineer. I do know something about how an engineer works and thinks. An engineer works to reduce complexity. Modular design, creating functional modules that you can plug into anywhere, are very popular.

But that is not what we see in real life. When we apply evolutionary methods to engineering designs, we find that the evolutionary designs end up incorporating very complex designs. For example, when evolutionary processes were used to "evolve a design" for a differential amplifier based on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) , the resultant "design" was not only very tightly defined, but also had made use of the electrical characteristic of each individual electrical component of that FPGA.


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PaulK
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Posts: 13231
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 10 of 146 (792324)
10-07-2016 2:50 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


Let us have a look at this argument:

quote:

If something has the elements of design it is designed. (X is X, Law of identity)
Life has the elements of design
Therefore life is designed.

You explicitly assert that the having "the elements of design" is identical to being designed. I don't believe that this is a common claim, and it is one that definitely requires examination, in conjunction with with the second premise.

I also note that the argument implies a designer that does not qualify as "life" which raises issues that may well be relevant to the question of whether the argument is Creationist or not.

Finally I will point out that evolution is certainly not intelligent design - if you wish to include evolution as a "designer" you must drop the qualifier "intelligent" - and wouldn't the acceptance of evolution as a valid solution make the argument useless to you anyway ?


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Genomicus
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Posts: 846
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 11 of 146 (792325)
10-07-2016 4:38 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Coyote
10-06-2016 9:08 PM


Re: Recognizing design...
You mention that we can recognize design when we see it. It's not that easy.

Perhaps one of the best groups around at dealing with this issue is the archaeologists. (Full disclosure--I am one.)

And we don't just scratch our heads when we see something unfamiliar and say, "Hmmm. Must be designed."

Rather we work from analogy. We readily observe people all over the world fashioning bifacial flakes, but find that those flakes are almost never found occurring naturally, and certainly are not found in any quantities in rock slides, talus slopes or cattle wallows.

In graduate school one of my professors had a room literally full of stones--shelf after shelf--scavenged from creeks and rivers. These showed what could occur naturally. He studied them, and so of course so did we. For comparison we studied archaeological sites and what was found in them, and we learned to fashion stone tools ourselves.

All of this shows the kinds of processes that may be necessary to infer design from an unfamilar object.

Then it's reasonable to be suspicious of agency in the origin of life, given the existence of a genetic code, right? It's working from analogy.


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mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 15 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 12 of 146 (792326)
10-07-2016 5:33 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Genomicus
10-06-2016 6:42 PM


Genomicus writes:

Sure, but science is more than just deductive reasoning through syllogisms.

Where did I mention, "science" remind me?

I am asking if you believe a syllogism can be formed for ID, that does not contain any premise of creation of theism. I have no issue or interest in, "science", in asking that.

Genomicus writes:

Well, that's a pretty terrible way to detect intelligent design -- and that syllogism is rendered pretty much nonsense by the fact that Neo-Darwinian mechanisms are able to create systems that have the appearance of design.

It's a terrible way to detect design by seeing if an object has the features of design? In that case is it a terrible way to check if someone is human if they have the usual identifying characteristics such as human dna/consciousness/anatomy? LOL!

And that's a statement called a, "bare assertion". Myself, I formulate complete arguments, and give thorough reasonings that have to be faulted, I don't just state something is, "nonsense" by use of a question-begging-epithet. If you would like to read my reasonings about the issue of appearance, since it has nothing to do with this topic, then you can read them here, but they are much cleverer than a bare assertion that my writings are nonsense, so if you want me to take you seriously, you're going to have to know what you are talking about, and a sure sign you don't know much about logical reasoning, is use of epithets and bare assertions about my arguments, of which your ignorance is rather large;

(your comment about evolution is also to MUDDY-THE-WATER, why would examining any object to test if it is designed, be hindered by what a theory hypothesizes? For example, is a particular pottery NOT designed because there is a theory that hypothesizes a piece of pottery can LOOK designed?)

http://creationworldviews.blogspot.co.uk/...pearance-of.html

Your exact "syllogism" isn't inherently creationist. But it's often appropriate to consider the broader context of an argument: who is making it and why?

But this is my point - even if my motives are the most creationist, religious motives in history, why would that change the fact we could use my syllogism to infer pottery was created. How can the syllogism be wrong, for reasons and motives SEPARATE from it?

That's like saying that someone that argues that a cyanide cake is tasty, wants to kill people, therefore that cake is not tasty. But obviously it can be tasty.

So then, basically this reveals that you would reject a sound argument, based on my motives, and you would not heed the logic within the argument.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


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mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 15 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 13 of 146 (792327)
10-07-2016 5:47 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by PaulK
10-07-2016 12:29 AM


The ID movement uses that very argument - that they are only arguing for design - so it is hardly new, nor a good way to distinguish your views from theirs. Of course they do so because they want to get their ideas into schools, so hiding the religious propaganda aspect is important to them.

But the point is there are even agnostics that argue intelligent design. I have known a couple of them online and read a few of them.

We are only addressing the question in this thread of; "can I formulate a syllogism without it being creationist".

My syllogism, doesn't contain any creationist or theist premises, sure you can SAY/CLAIM that it is really creationism, but obviously you can't say that logically you can prove my motives according to cynicism. It is 100% SPECULATION to say that the syllogism is creationist.

Think about it - even if I did form it to defend creation, as obviously I do that all the time, why does my motive change a true argument? Could I not argue the same for evolution? I could say evolution is atheism, but it's begging-the-question because evolution theory contains no premises about God.

If a creationist wishes to alter the curriculum in a way that supports Creationism - and lacks any other merit - it is quite reasonable to conclude that it is all about Creationism.

Even so, this doesn't mean that his syllogism is wrong. For in reality, if the world is atheist or theist, then there will be both atheists and theists that invent arguments for the purposes of preaching their type of beliefs, but would it then follow that we can dismiss all theist/atheist arguments, because someone has an ulterior motive?

Obviously, all or most arguments will naturally FAVOUR one or the other, if we are going to discuss the origins of things, but obviously an argument, even if it is created with motive X, is not going to be an unsound argument because of that motive.

Imagine if we all found out when we died, that Darwin had a 100% motive of atheism BUT we did evolve. Can you see my point yet? The argument of evolution would not be unsound because of his motives, and it wouldn't matter if it was implicitly atheist.

Finally, I have no "wish" or motive to get creation into science class, for why would I want apologetics in a science class given rules of science don't allow for God-of-the-gaps reasoning? I have reasoned for fifteen years, that creationism is not science.

I really don't see what science has to do with this issue, this issue is to do with whether a syllogism can be created that is sound, and is an intelligent design syllogism, that contains not premises about God or creation. Are you saying it is not possible according to logical notation, to formulate a sound ID-argument because it will automatically be theist and creationist, even if it only infers something is designed?

You could use my syllogism if you found an alien object, and you could conclude it was designed technology, like with the antikythera mechanism, because it has the features of design. The designer CAN be natural because my syllogism doesn't forbid it, just like you CAN be theistic evolutionist because evolution doesn't forbid it.


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Genomicus
Member
Posts: 846
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 14 of 146 (792328)
10-07-2016 5:53 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by mike the wiz
10-07-2016 5:33 AM


Well, that's a pretty terrible way to detect intelligent design...

It's a terrible way to detect design by seeing if an object has the features of design?

No, I said it's a terrible way to detect intelligent design. Sure, you can detect design -- but we need an approach where we can determine if that design is the result of agency or Neo-Darwinian mechanisms.

Arguments from analogy are powerful, but you're not making an argument from analogy here.


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PaulK
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Posts: 13231
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


(3)
Message 15 of 146 (792329)
10-07-2016 6:00 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by mike the wiz
10-07-2016 5:47 AM


quote:

My syllogism, doesn't contain any creationist or theist premises, sure you can SAY/CLAIM that it is really creationism, but obviously you can't say that logically you can prove my motives according to cynicism. It is 100% SPECULATION to say that the syllogism is creationist.

It is hardly cynical to suggest that a creationist making an argument intended to support creationism is being a creationist.

quote:

Think about it - even if I did form it to defend creation, as obviously I do that all the time, why does my motive change a true argument?

If the creationist label doesn't matter, why are you so concerned about it ? None of my criticisms of the argument depend on it being creationist.

quote:

Even so, this doesn't mean that his syllogism is wrong.

Lacking merit would mean that is not a good argument.

quote:

Finally, I have no "wish" or motive to get creation into science class, for why would I want apologetics in a science class given rules of science don't allow for God-of-the-gaps reasoning? I have reasoned for fifteen years, that creationism is not science.

Didn't you notice that I was talking about the ID movement which has influencing education as a major focus ? Or that their reason for making the exact same argument that they are only talking about design is part of that ? You haven't given any reason for wanting to avoid the creationist label but you seem to be dead set on it - when according to you it shouldn't matter.


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