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Author Topic:   What difference does evidence of ID make?
Springboard
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 20 (38767)
05-02-2003 12:22 PM


My apologies if this is a well worn topic but I am curious -

What difference would evidence of intelligent design make? Presumably we are being asked to extrapolate from this evidence to some conclusion about the continued existence and nature of the designer or designers.

As far as I can tell the evidence for ID is compatible with a range of options, e.g.

a) one designer now dead
b) many designers working in committe now all dead
c) one designer still living
d) many designers some living some dead
e) a mad designer
f) a bad designer
g) accident which we have ex post facto concluded is evidence of design

My confusion arises because that promote ID seem to do so with a particular agenda - e.g. to establish the existence and nature of a Christian God - but ID does not do this. So why bother?


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NosyNed
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Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 2 of 20 (38770)
05-02-2003 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Springboard
05-02-2003 12:22 PM


The real reason
I'm no expert on ID so I shouldn't be voicing and opinion. But, since that doesn't seem to stop most of us here, I'll dive in.

There a lots of things going on with ID and they are pretty much all political.

The proponents don't really care what the ramifications of their idea is. They just want some little chink in the armour of evolutionary theory. All they want is to be able to say "This could not have evolved". Anything, any one thing at all. They keep trying.

They think that if something couldn't have evolved then the whole ToE will come tumbling down. They think that if something couldn't have evolved their has to be a designer. Your list includes various designer options. However, if RM + NS can't do that job maybe there is another way. So the leap to designer would be false anyway.

There are two unfortunate problems with ID:
1) Everything they've put forward so far as "impossible" hasn't been shown to be impossible. Each case is knocked down.
2) If they did get a toughie to deal with then all they have is an "I dunno" which they want to use as a gap in which to stuff a God of the Gaps. If you look around you will find arguments against this on both logical and a theological grounds.


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Peter
Member (Idle past 2059 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 3 of 20 (41581)
05-28-2003 6:56 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Springboard
05-02-2003 12:22 PM


The only reason I can come up with is that 'science' is
viewed to undermine faith in a God. So if you can come
up with something that looks scientific it makes one feel
all warm and glowy inside ... a bit like Linus's blanket.

It seems to have elluded some people that science says nothing
about the nature and/or existence of any God ... it simply attempts
to uncover the 'rules' that nature appears to follow.

Whether these rules came about by chance or intelligent design
doesn't really matter to most scientists ... it's figuring out
how things work that is interesting.

Take evolution ... it wasn't really about undermining christianity
it's just a theory that covers the observations. If that makes
some people nervous perhaps they should examine their faith rather
than attack the stimulus of their doubt. I thought doubt
was considered a good thing in faith anyhow.


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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 832 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 4 of 20 (46201)
07-16-2003 5:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Springboard
05-02-2003 12:22 PM


Springboard,

You asked:
"What difference would evidence of intelligent design make?"

Well, I'd say that it would make no difference whatsoever for the ID-people, because evidence of intelligent design would only prove what they already believe to be true in the absence of evidence. (Or even in the presence of a huge load of evidence that supports an alternative story that actually does provide an explanation, i.e. the ToE.) But, insofar as the ID-people are in fact Christians with a hidden agenda to promote the belief in their God, wouldn't it be priceless if some irrefutable evidence of ID popped up that said that the intelligent designers were actually spacefaring blobs of jelly, originating from a planet somewhere on the other side of the Galaxy? And that the evidence had a P.S. saying: "Oh, by the way, your God does not exist, that's just a thought we rigged your minds to come up with. Well, if seemed rather funny at the time."

Then you went on:
"[those?] that promote ID seem to do so with a particular agenda - e.g. to establish the existence and nature of a Christian God - but ID does not do this. So why bother?"

I think that a lot of ID-people cannot be denied a certain amount of ignorance and lack of understanding of even their own pet theories, let alone science as a whole. (Though admittedly, to understand "science as a whole" is a bit of a tall order.) This is what makes the discussion with these people a tad difficult, if not quite cumbersome. Perhaps it would be best if the discussion focussed on exposing and attacking their hidden motives. But of course, that's just my alien jelly blob legacy speaking.

Cheers.

{edited to correct "science as whole"}

[This message has been edited by Parasomnium, 07-18-2003]


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MrHambre
Member (Idle past 249 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 5 of 20 (46221)
07-16-2003 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Parasomnium
07-16-2003 5:32 AM


quote:
evidence of intelligent design would only prove what they already believe to be true in the absence of evidence.
This is the fundamental tautology of Intelligent Design Creationism. It assumes that a phenomenon is designed, as if that somehow relieves IDC of the burden to prove the hypothesis true.

The IDC Shell Game is one we've discussed before. The claim that something must be designed because it's so complex has many problems that are never fully addressed. Is it complex because it's intelligently designed or because of the millions of years of evolution? Wouldn't true intelligence create something with minimum complexity? Is an artifact whose function ceases if even one part is removed really a sign of intelligence?

The IDC proponents are confident that they know how to discern evidence of intelligent design from evidence of design by purposeless processes. However, it seems that literally any criterion is sufficient to discern evidence of intelligent design, and in contrast no evidence is sufficient to falsify the conclusion of their analysis.

------------------
Quien busca, halla


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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 6 of 20 (46281)
07-16-2003 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by MrHambre
07-16-2003 9:47 AM


Yawn, I agree with Newton , who was A better scientist than you all!
(and again they attack those who believe, now how predictable was that,they all get a prize for agreeing with each other.But that doesn't change A thing)

I also agree with Bagger Vance.


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mark24
Member (Idle past 3331 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 7 of 20 (46285)
07-16-2003 9:20 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by mike the wiz
07-16-2003 9:00 PM


Mike,

But the bit of Newton you believe in wasn't scientific, making your comment spurious. Mr Hambre is right. ID is tautological. It cannot test, nor attest to falsifying data for that matter, as regards it's claims. ID is therefore unscientific, making me, on this point at least a better scientist than Newton.

Mark


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MrHambre
Member (Idle past 249 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 8 of 20 (46345)
07-17-2003 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by mike the wiz
07-16-2003 9:00 PM


quote:
I agree with Newton
You're not alone in your respect for Newton. Of course, I doubt that you realize how many works on astrology and numerology he produced. His scientific achievements (the Principia and Optics) are monumental in that he set forth a model for empirical evidential inference, the basis of today's scientific method: we understand everything in terms of the regularity of physical laws, and our inquiry can only focus on causes we can verify. I fail to see how this makes him a poster boy for creationism, which relies on supernatural causes and miraculous interventions.

------------------
Quien busca, halla


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Peter
Member (Idle past 2059 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 9 of 20 (46347)
07-17-2003 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by mike the wiz
07-16-2003 9:00 PM


Newton wasn't a scientist .... he was a natural philosopher.

[Added by edit:: Besides he invented calculus, the man was
clearly evil to the core [This message has been edited by Peter, 07-17-2003]


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MrHambre
Member (Idle past 249 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 10 of 20 (46370)
07-17-2003 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Peter
05-28-2003 6:56 AM


quote:
It seems to have elluded some people that science says nothing
about the nature and/or existence of any God ... it simply attempts
to uncover the 'rules' that nature appears to follow.
The existence or non-existence of God is in no way connected to the existence or non-existence of a naturalistic mechanism for evolution. This is where IDC conflates the accepted guidelines of scientific inquiry with ontological naturalism (i.e. atheism).

Intelligent design creationism has never announced the standards according to which their science would proceed. How their experiments would demonstrate consistency or repeatability without the traditional naturalistic constraint has never been explained.

IDC's charge that science has been unfairly monopolized by methodological naturalism sounds like postmodern relativism. However, its core constituency of fundamentalist Christians would be more likely to agree with the objectivism inherent in IDC's assertion that there exists absolute Truth that science is too blindfolded by atheistic assumptions to recognize.

Can IDC possibly be both? Can anything?

------------------
Quien busca, halla


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14930
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 11 of 20 (46372)
07-17-2003 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by MrHambre
07-17-2003 3:57 PM


In my experience religious apologists often do not care about producing a consistent picture - they are only interested in raising objections to arguments and ideas contrary to their own views. The consequences of the objections are not something they even consider.

Since IDC is primarily a disguised religious apologetic it is no surprise if they were to fall into the same trap.


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Warren
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 20 (46386)
07-17-2003 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by NosyNed
05-02-2003 12:39 PM


Re: The real reason
NosyNed<< There a lots of things going on with ID and they are pretty much all political. The proponents don't really care what the ramifications of their idea is. They just want some little chink in the armour of evolutionary theory. All they want is to be able to say "This could not have evolved". Anything, any one thing at all. They keep trying.>>

This is all stereotype. First of all, ID isn't anti-evolution. That you think it is demonstrates that you don't understand ID. ID is itself a theory of evolution, albeit teleological evolution. ID theorists don't attempt to prove the impossible. Why would they? How does one prove a negative? ID doesn't argue that non-teleological evolution is impossible. If your are arguing for the merely possible that's fine. Have at it. Just don't expect to convince me with such a weak argument.

"Any one of us can come up with multiple, plausible stories concerning the evolution of a given biological feature. But plausibility is about the weakest criterion one can apply to an evolutionary hypothesis.
- Robert Dorit, Biology Dept., Yale University

NosyNed<< They think that if something couldn't have evolved then the whole ToE will come tumbling down. They think that if something couldn't have evolved their has to be a designer. Your list includes various designer options. However, if RM + NS can't do that job maybe there is another way. So the leap to designer would be false anyway.>>

Nonsense. No ID theorist I know of makes the argument that something couldn't have evolved therefore it must have been designed.

Your use of the expression "ToE" is presumptuous and equivocal, since it really is only referring to DE, i.e., Darwinian Evolution. ID hypotheses are also ToE.

NosyNed<< There are two unfortunate problems with ID:

1) Everything they've put forward so far as "impossible" hasn't been shown to be impossible. Each case is knocked down.

2) If they did get a toughie to deal with then all they have is an "I dunno" which they want to use as a gap in which to stuff a God of the Gaps. If you look around you will find arguments against this on both logical and a theological grounds.>>

Again, no ID theorists are arguing that anything is impossible. And what is the difference between God of the Gaps and naturalism of the gaps? Both are philosophical assumptions, evidence can be interpreted as supporting either, but neither should be imposed upon society as scientific truth.

[This message has been edited by Warren, 07-17-2003]


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Peter
Member (Idle past 2059 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 13 of 20 (46401)
07-18-2003 3:38 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Warren
07-17-2003 8:34 PM


Re: The real reason
quote:

If your are arguing for the merely possible that's fine.

Arguing for the highly improbable is fine too ... which is what
you are doing.

But agruing for ANYTHING requires a certain amount of evidential
support. I am not even as fussy as some here .. I don't require
'scientific' evidence to consider something worth looking in to,
just some credible hypothesis backed up by some relevant
observation.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14930
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 14 of 20 (46402)
07-18-2003 3:40 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Warren
07-17-2003 8:34 PM


Re: The real reason
It's pretty obvious that either Warren knows nothing about ID or he issimply making things up.

Consider :

quote:

ID is itself a theory of evolution


But the ID movement is a blanket group covering anyone who beleives that intelligence is somehow involved in the origin of life - including Young Earth Creationists. Is Warren going to tell Young Earth Creationists that their views are a "theory of evolution" ?

Or how about:

quote:

Nonsense. No ID theorist I know of makes the argument that something couldn't have evolved therefore it must have been designed.


Does Warren not know of Behe or Dembski ? Behe's irreducible complexity argument is exactly as described. Dembski's Explanatory Filter relies on eliminating ALL explanation other than design.

These are the best-known arguments that ID has produced. And I know that I rased this very point in another thread. So Warren why are you denying that Behe and Dembski are ID theorists ? Or are you just trying to discredit ID by "defending" with obvious falsehoods ?


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14930
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 15 of 20 (46403)
07-18-2003 3:45 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Warren
07-17-2003 8:34 PM


Re: The real reason
And to answer Warren's final question there is no such thing as "Naturalism of the Gaps". Nobody tries to take a gap in our knowledge as PROOF that naturalism is true.

So the real question is "what is the difference between claiming that our ignorance of how something happened is proof that God exists and extrapolating known mechanisms to cross that gap, pending further investigation"

I think that that question answers itself.


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