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Author Topic:   Biological Evidence Against Intelligent Design
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2016 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 106 of 264 (544942)
01-29-2010 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by Straggler
01-29-2010 1:21 PM


Re: Disproof and Refutation
Hi, Straggler.

Straggler writes:

If we accept evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation what biological role is left for any designer?

I have already answered this question twice. What else do you want me to say?

There are plenty of potential roles for the designer nestled deep within the gaps in our knowledge about biology and natural history.

Now, it is perfectly logical for us to infer that, if and when these gaps are filled, they will be filled with evidence for evolution, but this is still just inference.

There is no evidence there, either for or against evolution or design.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Straggler, posted 01-29-2010 1:21 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by Straggler, posted 01-30-2010 6:23 AM Blue Jay has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1423 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 107 of 264 (544943)
01-29-2010 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by Blue Jay
01-29-2010 10:05 AM


Re: ID uses teleological arguments as a Trojan Wedge
It's always been my custom to treat science much more tentatively than most scientists do. I'm always hesitant to consider any "God of the gaps" argument defeated or refuted, particularly when the reason for dismissing it is because there is evidence for another process with which the gap-argument could very easily coexist.

I'm not talking about refutation to mean 'to prove in perfect logic that the claim is absolutely false'. Everything is tentative - even refutations!

A refutation just can just show the argument collapses into pointless meaninglessness as the argument from design does in the realm of biology (and actually, by extension, in other areas too).

If an argument is shown to be special pleading from the set 'something else' - I'm fairly sure that's as refuted as any argument could possibly be. What else do you expect from a refutation?

But, if the argument is only that teleology plays a role in the origin of things, and does not have to be the only process involved, that is an entirely different concept to work with, and does require much more extensive refutation to defeat.

Again - if you construct it to be irrefutable, then it falls into the meaninglessness and by specifying one 'something other' over any other you are special pleading.

If you argument is the stronger one, that certain features can only be explained by design - showing how this isn't true ruins the core of the argument, yes?

By definition a god of the gaps argument is unfalsifiable. Nobody is attempting to falsify it, and nobody is claiming it can be falsified. We're just saying that the argument is rendered as impotent as any other unverifiable unfalsifiable claim a person might dream up: and should be given as much credit.

Naturally, it depends on how much teleology is involved in the particular model being discussed. And, I see no reason why an argument that is 90% stochastic processes and 10% teleology (such as some variants of Old Earth Creationism) couldn't be called "Intelligent Design."

Sounds to me like ID. The concept that evolution does happen but there are certain 'jumps' that are required for life to get here.

Unfortunately no such 'jumps' have ever been identified so the argument is presently useless.

Those 'jumps' that have been mentioned have been shown to not be jumps insurmountable to evolution.

And the final nail in the coffin is that by learning about something so surprising as evolution - it opens the door to the fact that we have to keep an open mind for unexpected, difficult to see, natural explanations for certain things. It then follows that even if a jump insurmountable to evolutionary mechanisms as we know them - it doesn't follow that it IS NOT an un discovered evolutionary mechanism - or any other undiscovered mechanism.

But, I think, in this case, this is a given, though: since the alternative is "stochastic, unguided processes," then "something else" is invariably teleological.

The alternative isn't "stochastic, unguided processes" , it's evolution which is a unintelligently guided (by natural seleciton) stochastic process and completely unguided (drift) and various other things. And of course there are plenty of 'it was done by a being' options that don't involve a design.

I was pretty proud of it myself.

Okay, so I completely misread the intent behind that sentence... My bad.

I was referring to Occam's razor.

I hasten to point out that all proofs and disproofs in philosophy involve these kinds of 'heuristics'. The whole of epistemology is working through them and trying to support them etc.

However, I don't think what we're doing here relies on anything that we wouldn't apply in other situations without second thought. If someone produced an argument that was as weak and unfalsifiable as the teleological argument under any other circumstances we'd just laugh them off as first year philosophy students or something.

"Maybe we're all in the Matrix and porridge actually tastes like steak!"

We can't disprove it - but we can show that it's a crap argument. We can refute the argument "What we see can only be explained if we were in the Matrix and porridge actually tastes like steak", by explaining it in another fashion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Blue Jay, posted 01-29-2010 10:05 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by Blue Jay, posted 01-30-2010 2:14 AM Modulous has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2016 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 108 of 264 (544965)
01-30-2010 2:14 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Modulous
01-29-2010 4:55 PM


Re: ID uses teleological arguments as a Trojan Wedge
Hi, Modulous.

Modulous writes:

Again - if you construct it to be irrefutable, then it falls into the meaninglessness and by specifying one 'something other' over any other you are special pleading.

I’m uncomfortable with the way this statement portrays me as having an active role in all this. I haven’t “constructed it” in any way, am not “specifying” anything, and am not “pleading” for anything, either.

I’m only looking at a concept and pointing out the inescapable, logical consequences of it. If the argument were that life was zapped to Earth via a wormhole, or that some organisms can evolve in a Lamarckian fashion, I would likewise be saying that there is no evidence against this argument, and that this thread would be a waste of time.

Here’s what I mean:

Modulous writes:

Those 'jumps' that have been mentioned have been shown to not be jumps insurmountable to evolution.

We could also say that the "jump" between corn and transgenic Bt corn has been shown to not be a jump insurmountable to evolution, based on the same set of evidence used to make the demonstrations you suggest; yet, we know that Bt corn was perpetrated by a team of intelligent designers.

However, if the genome of Bt corn’s evolutionary descendants (were it not a sterile hybrid) and a handful of fossils were the only evidence left of it, future paleontologists could, using your reasoning, reasonably argue that there is no need to propose Monsanto to explain Bt corn. And they would never know the difference.

The point is simply that Intelligent Design is innately an unsupportable and irrefutable concept, regardless of how it is constructed. There are simply too many variables and unknowns about the nature of design for us to list things that can be meaningfully considered evidence for or against design.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Modulous, posted 01-29-2010 4:55 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Modulous, posted 01-30-2010 8:06 AM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 109 of 264 (544973)
01-30-2010 6:17 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by Blue Jay
01-28-2010 3:51 PM


Shit Happens
In the interim, the only evidence we have against ID is an absence of evidence for ID, which, while certainly a valid, logical reason to not bother supporting ID, is also a valid, logical reason to consider this thread's approach impotent.

This is why a "more generic form" of those same arguments will not refute the concept behind the ID movement.

I didn't say a generic form of the same arguments. I said evidence of the mutually exclusive alternative. Namely evidence in favour of the conclusion that the very concept of a supernatural designer is a human invention.

My son's take on the world tells us a lot about human nature. When the car needs gas it is hungry. When the car won't start it is because it isn't feeling well and needs to rest. Night occurs because the Sun gets tired and needs to go to sleep. When I recently sat on the TV remote and shot the volume through the roof he decided that the TV was angry and shouting because nobody was listening to it. Rain is caused by sad clouds crying. Wind is caused by the air wanting to get from one place to another. etc. etc. etc. He is perfectly capable of grasping the fact that some things just happen. But this explanation is way down the list and he intuitively imbues pretty much everything with human-like motives, desires, emotions and conscious intent.

It is this same thinking that lies behind belief in fertility gods, harvest gods and Sun gods. It is this that lies behind the tribal sacrifice to appease the volcano god, the attributing of thunder and lightening to Thor and his hammer or the conclusion that the wrath of Zeus has been incurred when an Earthquake (or whatever) occurs. Ultimately it is this same form of thinking that lies behind the generic supernatural designer with his unspecified design role in some unspecified aspect of nature that is being
vaguely advocated here.

No matter how appealing you may find belief in this designer and no matter how un-falsifiable you may make him to protect this belief from argument the facts are against you. Every shred of evidence we have, every abandoned and disregarded supernatural explanation for any aspect of nature, points
towards the conclusion that a supernatural designer of any sort is simply a further manifestation of this same thinking. The highly evidenced fact that we as a species are very bad at accepting that things just randomly happen.

My son is 3. Others here don't have this excuse. Random shit happens.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Blue Jay, posted 01-28-2010 3:51 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Blue Jay, posted 01-30-2010 12:07 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 110 of 264 (544975)
01-30-2010 6:23 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by Blue Jay
01-29-2010 4:54 PM


Re: Disproof and Refutation
If we accept evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation what biological role is left for any designer?

I have already answered this question twice. What else do you want me to say?

Not really. Not unless I missed it. The part I want to know what you think about is the random mutation part.

Are you saying that we don't know it is random? Are you saying that when we teach biology we are teaching philosophically biased information and excluding perfectly valid possibilities? Unjustifiably removing any supernatural role on philosophical grounds rather than evidential ones?

There are plenty of potential roles for the designer nestled deep within the gaps in our knowledge about biology and natural history.

Now, it is perfectly logical for us to infer that, if and when these gaps are filled, they will be filled with evidence for evolution, but this is still just inference.

There is no evidence there, either for or against evolution or design.

I still don't see what role there is in biology for a designer if evolution is, as taught, based upon random mutations and natural selection?

What role in biology might a designer fill if we accept those two things as facts?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Blue Jay, posted 01-29-2010 4:54 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by Blue Jay, posted 01-30-2010 11:22 AM Straggler has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1423 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 111 of 264 (544983)
01-30-2010 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Blue Jay
01-30-2010 2:14 AM


Evidence destroys the strong, reason destroys the weak
Again - if you construct it to be irrefutable, then it falls into the meaninglessness and by specifying one 'something other' over any other you are special pleading.

I’m uncomfortable with the way this statement portrays me as having an active role in all this

I meant 'you' in the indefinite sense, sorry. "If one were to construct it..." seemed a little stilted.

If the argument were that life was zapped to Earth via a wormhole, or that some organisms can evolve in a Lamarckian fashion, I would likewise be saying that there is no evidence against this argument, and that this thread would be a waste of time.

Well - if the argument was 'life can only be explained in Lamarckian wormhole fashions' it can be refuted. If the argument was simply that 'you can't prove my unfalsifiable crap I just pulled out of my arse' - it is refuted by your second statement - it's a meaningless waste of time and the fact that it could be said for a billion other things serves as evidence it is a bogus argument. It isn't proven wrong, but it is as refuted as an argument can be.

Imagine if the government stuck with the WMD line and argued 'it can't be proven Iraq doesn't have a large stockpile of weapons hidden somewhere." I'd think we'd all roll our eyes and take the piss.

We could also say that the "jump" between corn and transgenic Bt corn has been shown to not be a jump insurmountable to evolution, based on the same set of evidence used to make the demonstrations you suggest; yet, we know that Bt corn was perpetrated by a team of intelligent designers.

Indeed. And I'm not suggesting at any point, that we have proven intelligent design could not have happened. We can undermine the design argument though, by showing that the once excellent argument 'It can only be explained by design' is in fact not true so that the argument becomes 'It might have been a designer, or it might have been evolution or it might have been something else I guess. I mean we certainly can't rule out a designer that designs things to look evolved'. This is the epitome of a crushed argument, yes?

The point is simply that Intelligent Design is innately an unsupportable and irrefutable concept, regardless of how it is constructed.

And my point is that teleology is a philosophical position and can't be 'proven false' in its entirety because there are always unfalsifiable alternatives conceivable. It can be shown to be an impotent argument, crushed and defeated with nothing interesting left to say.

ID is, more or less, refuted: being as it so often relies on demonstrable falsehoods.

If we're feeling generous and want to overlook the lies, misinformation, ignorance (deliberate or otherwise), spin, quote mines etc., etc, then at it's core we're just dealing with teleology which is a pretty knackered argument.

So again:

I'm not trying to produce biological evidence to falsify that which we both agree is unfalsifiable. We both agree it cannot be done.

I am producing biological evidence to show that the strong argument of design 'this can only be explained by design' is refuted.

I am then engaging in reasoning to show that this produces an argument which is as refuted as any philosophical argument can ever be said to be.

Empiricism + Rationalism. A force to be reckoned with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Blue Jay, posted 01-30-2010 2:14 AM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2016 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 112 of 264 (544994)
01-30-2010 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by Straggler
01-30-2010 6:23 AM


Re: Disproof and Refutation
Hi, Straggler.

Straggler writes:

The part I want to know what you think about is the random mutation part.

Are you saying that we don't know it is random? Are you saying that when we teach biology we are teaching philosophically biased information and excluding perfectly valid possibilities? Unjustifiably removing any supernatural role on philosophical grounds rather than evidential ones?

Boy, you loaded those questions, didn't you?

Why do you think I'm arguing any of those things (except the first one: I obviously am arguing that in some sense)?

Have I given you reason to believe that I consider Occam's razor unjustifiable?

Have I given you reason to believe that I disagree with presently-constituted school curricula?

Is there anything I can say that will convince you that I'm only trying to distinguish between evidence and inference, and not trying to prove that one of those two things is flawed?

-----

Straggler writes:

I still don't see what role there is in biology for a designer if evolution is, as taught, based upon random mutations and natural selection?

What role in biology might a designer fill if we accept those two things as facts?

Are you really having trouble understanding that designed things can evolve? Or that designers can work on evolved things?

Are you really saying that evidence of some things arising through random mutations is evidence that all things arose through random mutations?

Are you really saying that evidence of some things arising through random mutations is evidence that nothing was influenced by a designer?

(See, I can do it too)

Edited by Bluejay, : "questions" instead of "statements"


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Straggler, posted 01-30-2010 6:23 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by Straggler, posted 02-02-2010 12:55 PM Blue Jay has not replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2016 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 113 of 264 (544997)
01-30-2010 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by Straggler
01-30-2010 6:17 AM


Re: Shit Happens
Hi, Straggler.

Straggler writes:

I didn't say a generic form of the same arguments.

You did in Message 90. That’s what I was referring to.

-----

Straggler writes:

I said evidence of the mutually exclusive alternative. Namely evidence in favour of the conclusion that the very concept of a supernatural designer is a human invention.

And, I have been ignoring this portion of your arguments, because you yourself said these were outside the purview of this thread.

I instead chose to focus on these comments by you:

Straggler, post #72, writes:

Based on the evidence we have concluded evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation. This conclusion is mutually exclusive to the claim that evolution occurs by means of non-random purposeful interference acted out by an undetectable supernatural agent.

source

Straggler, post #86, writes:

Yet we cannot prove that evolution occurs by means of random mutations. We cannot disprove the claim that there is in fact some undetectable entity directing evolution to some planned end. Yet these two propositions are mutually exclusive.

source

Straggler, post #103, writes:

If we accept evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation what biological role is left for any designer?

source

And you still haven't explained to me why you think ID and evolution are mutually exclusive. You have instead tried to divert my attention to the mutual exclusivity of actual ID and psychogenic ID.

It is precisely because ID and evolution are not mutually exclusive that I think this thread’s approach is impotent. That has been the whole point of my argument since I joined this thread, and you have so far not even acknowledged my arguments in support of this.

Why do you think that things cannot be a mix of evolved and designed traits?
If you don’t think this, then why are you still debating against me?

-----

Straggler writes:

Ultimately it is this same form of thinking that lies behind the generic supernatural designer with his unspecified design role in some unspecified aspect of nature that is being
vaguely advocated here.

I'm not advocating anything. I don't think ID has any real logical merit, don't really find it appealing, and don't care to support it. But, I think the approach being advocated by the OP is flawed and impotent in tackling ID, and should never have been proposed.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Straggler, posted 01-30-2010 6:17 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by Straggler, posted 02-02-2010 12:34 PM Blue Jay has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 114 of 264 (545228)
02-02-2010 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Blue Jay
01-30-2010 12:07 PM


Re: Shit Happens
And, I have been ignoring this portion of your arguments, because you yourself said these were outside the purview of this thread.

Except that you have also asserted that there is an absence of evidence and that this is the only evidence against a designer. My point is that this is not the case.

And you still haven't explained to me why you think ID and evolution are mutually exclusive.

I have specifically said evolution by means of random mutation and natural selection. How can this be anything but mutually exclusive to evolution by supernatural non-random design?

And I have then asked you if you think that teaching evolution by means of random mutation and natural selection whilst failing to mention the supernatural possibilities is evidentially justifiable or philosophically biased?

But you haven't answered that because you keep ignoring the random and natural part.

I didn't say a generic form of the same arguments.

You did in Message 90. That’s what I was referring to.

The generic argument that one doesn't need to disprove the disprovable to consider it very unlikely if there is overwhelming evidence for a mutually exclusive alternative. That generic argument. Not the extrapolation of evidence you seem to think I mean.

Is that clearer now?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Blue Jay, posted 01-30-2010 12:07 PM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by Blue Jay, posted 02-02-2010 5:34 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 115 of 264 (545233)
02-02-2010 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Blue Jay
01-30-2010 11:22 AM


Re: Disproof and Refutation
Have I given you reason to believe that I consider Occam's razor unjustifiable?

No.

Have I given you reason to believe that I disagree with presently-constituted school curricula?

No. Nor am I accusing you of that. Whatever you may think. I think you are missing an inconsistency in your argument and I am trying to get you to confront that inconsistency. I am asking you if you think teaching evolution by means of random mutation and natural selection is evidentially justified rather than philsophically biased.

If you do think it is evidentially justified (as I suspect you do) then you agree with me that the evidence suggests a conclusion that is mutually exclusive to evolution by means of non-random purposeful design.

And that is contradictory to your assertions that there is an "absence of evidence" against a designer or that we need to disprove a disprovable designer to consider such a claim effectively refuted.

Is there anything I can say that will convince you that I'm only trying to distinguish between evidence and inference, and not trying to prove that one of those two things is flawed?

I know you are not an IDist. What I don't understand is how you can consider evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation to be the evidenced conclusion whilst simultaneously saying that the evidence does not effectively refute the mutually exclusive conclusion that there is an inteliigent designer behind non-random evolution.

Are you really having trouble understanding that designed things can evolve? Or that designers can work on evolved things?

No. You are ignoring the random and natural parts of my argument.

Are you really saying that evidence of some things arising through random mutations is evidence that all things arose through random mutations?

That is what we teach in biology is it not? That all life shares a common ancestor and that all life has evolved by means of natural selection and random mutation. Are you saying that when we teach this in school that it is evidentially unjustifiable to do so?

Are you really saying that evidence of some things arising through random mutations is evidence that nothing was influenced by a designer?

Disprove? No. But evidence against a supernatural designers role in biology to the point of being effectively refuted to all practical intents and purposes? Yes.

You are finally getting the point of my questions. Is the scientific conclusion (the one that we teach) that all life on Earth is the result of natural selection and random mutations from a common ancestor evidentially justifiable or not? You yourself said that you "doubt" that there will be evidence of a guided process. On what do you base that doubt? Evidence? Or not?

I want to know whether you think this conclusion is evidentially valid or philosophically biased. Because at the moment I think you are arguing that there is no evidence against a designer whilst implicily accepting conclusions and evidence (taught as facts) that are mutually exclusive to that argument.

(See, I can do it too)

You are misinterpreting what I am "doing".

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by Blue Jay, posted 01-30-2010 11:22 AM Blue Jay has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-02-2010 2:03 PM Straggler has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 116 of 264 (545236)
02-02-2010 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 115 by Straggler
02-02-2010 12:55 PM


Re: Disproof and Refutation
This might be a little too nit-picky, but...

Is the scientific conclusion (the one that we teach) that all life on Earth is the result of natural selection and random mutations from a common ancestor evidentially justifiable or not?

What about dog, or bananas, or Bt corn, or nylon-eating bacteria....

We know there's life that arrose from either non-random mutations or non-natural selection, so the conclusion that ALL life is the result of natural selection and random mutations would technically not be evidentially justified.

Yeah, not too much against your point, but whatever.

Also, I don't think the conclusion is that all life must have risen that way. I thought it was phrase that natural selection and random mutations can sufficiently explain the diversity of life. Parsimony dictates that we don't add uneccesary entities to a sufficient explanation, but I'm not sure that they are evidenced against.

We don't have the mutations mapped out so there's room for gap-fillers.

Like the one idea that aliens came down and genetically altered the extant apes to create humans. This wouldn't go against the process decribed by the ToE, but would still count as an intelligent design.

Now, as to what's being taught in school, and whether that "exception" should be in the biology class, I'm going with no because the way its expressed is the RM+NS can sufficiently explain the diversity. And since we don't currently have any reason to suspect that humans couldn't have arrisen by them, then there's no reason to bring it up. But that doesn't mean that there isn't room for future evidence that might suggest that there was some tampering witht the genes between humans and other apes.

In that sense, we have an ID that is not mutually exclusive to evolution that cannot be said to be evidenced against.

Now, mod brought to my attention that that isn't really the real IDTM but more of a philisophical position. And I think that's a good point to the scope of this thread, but I think it is a valid point that not all ID proposition are mutually exclusive to the ToE and that you cant use evidence for the ToE against them, and in some cases any evidence at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by Straggler, posted 02-02-2010 12:55 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by Straggler, posted 02-02-2010 2:45 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 117 of 264 (545240)
02-02-2010 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by New Cat's Eye
02-02-2010 2:03 PM


Re: Disproof and Refutation
Yeah, not too much against your point, but whatever.

Fair point. We do have evolution that is guided. Guided by us. But is the ability to consciously intend, design and create in this way not itself an evolved attribute? One that fits in perfectly with our highly evidenced paradigm of conscious intent as something that arises as a result of mindless physical processes? Not something that just exists in some vague and meaningless "supernatural" sense.

Also, I don't think the conclusion is that all life must have risen that way. I thought it was phrase that natural selection and random mutations can sufficiently explain the diversity of life.

And aerodynamics sufficiently explains why planes stay in the air. But it doesn't disprove or preclude the existence of fairies helping things along. How far do we want to take this?

Why are fairies holding up planes in a manner consistent with aerodynamics any more ridiculous than a designer designing biological organisms in a manner consistent with mindless physical processes of random mutation and natural selection?

Seriously why do you consider one ridiculous and one not? Are they not evidentially identical?

But there could be Parsimony dictates that we don't add uneccesary entities to a sufficient explanation, but I'm not sure that they are evidenced against.

It isn't just parsimony. ALL of the evidence we have suggests that nature progresses quite happily on the basis of mindless physical processes devoid of conscious intent or design. ALL of the relevant evidence also tells us that we humans just cannot resist mistaking the appearance of design as evidence in favour of a designer on whom we project our own ability to consciously act out design intentions. This is no different in principle to my son thinking that the wind is caused by air wanting to get from place to place.

We don't have the mutations mapped out so there's room for gap-fillers.

How many gap filling claims of the supernatural have we abandoned? Do you see a trend at all? Is this very clear and one way trend encompassing the entirety of human history and knowledge not evidence enough upon which to say that the supernatural answer to any further gap will be very unlikley?

Now, as to what's being taught in school, and whether that "exception" should be in the biology class, I'm going with no because the way its expressed is the RM+NS can sufficiently explain the diversity. And since we don't currently have any reason to suspect that humans couldn't have arrisen by them, then there's no reason to bring it up. But that doesn't mean that there isn't room for future evidence that might suggest that there was some tampering witht the genes between humans and other apes.

I am not denying the possibility. I am not denying any possibility.

I am asking you if what we are teaching is evidentially justifiable? Is evolution by means of random mutation and natural selection the evidenced conclusion?

In that sense, we have an ID that is not mutually exclusive to evolution that cannot be said to be evidenced against.

How many times do I have to point out that non-random guided evolution by means of purposeful design is mutually exclusive to evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation. I am NOT claiming that ID is mutually exclusive to the conclusion that things evolve in general.

I am asking you if teaching evolution as a product of random mutation and natural selection, which is mutually exclusive to non-random designed evolution, is evidentially justified.

What do you think?

Now, mod brought to my attention that that isn't really the real IDTM but more of a philisophical position. And I think that's a good point to the scope of this thread, but I think it is a valid point that not all ID proposition are mutually exclusive to the ToE and that you cant use evidence for the ToE against them, and in some cases any evidence at all.

I am not using the ToE as evidence against all designers. I am saying that accepting evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation as a fact precludes a attributing a designer any design role in biology specifically. I am asking you if it is evidentially justifiable to consider evolution by means of random mutation and natural selection as an evidenced fact?

Will you answer that question?

I am further saying that the entirety of human history and knowledge all tell us that invoking supernatural designers or explanations of any sort to anything should be rationally treated with deep skepticism. Whether it is fairies holding up planes or unspecified designers with vague design roles in biology.

The track record of the supernatural explanation is appalling. Only the foolish or misguided would ignore that or claim that there is an "absence of evidence" with regard to such matters.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-02-2010 2:03 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-02-2010 3:20 PM Straggler has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 118 of 264 (545243)
02-02-2010 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Straggler
02-02-2010 2:45 PM


Re: Disproof and Refutation
It isn't just parsimony. ALL of the evidence we have suggests that nature progresses quite happily on the basis of mindless physical processes devoid of conscious intent or design. ALL of the relevant evidence also tells us that we humans just cannot resist mistaking the appearance of design as evidence in favour of a designer on whom we project our own ability to consciously act out design intentions.

And yet, we have things that have evolved with conscious intent that if viewed in hindsight, would fit within the evidence that suggests it was a mindless physical process even though they weren't.

How many gap filling claims of the supernatural have we abandoned?

I brought up the aliens example specifically to be a gap filler that wasn't supernatural. Supernatural isn't necessary.

I am not denying the possibility. I am not denying any possibility.

I am asking you if what we are teaching is evidentially justifiable? Is evolution by means of random mutation and natural selection the evidenced conclusion?

Yes, the evidence says that the diversity of life is sufficiently explained by the process of the ToE. But that doesn't preclude some life being designed, and we know that some of it was.

How many times do I have to point out that non-random guided evolution by means of purposeful design is mutually exclusive to evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation. I am NOT claiming that ID is mutually exclusive to the conclusion that things evolve in general.

But one particular species being the result of design isn't mutually exclusive to the ToE.

I am asking you if teaching evolution as a product of random mutation and natural selection, which is mutually exclusive to non-random designed evolution, is evidentially justified.

What do you think?

Not to the point that there are no species that have been designed, no. In fact, we know that some of them were (dogs, bananas, Bt corn, nylon-eating bacteria, etc.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Straggler, posted 02-02-2010 2:45 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Straggler, posted 02-02-2010 5:47 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2016 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 119 of 264 (545265)
02-02-2010 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 114 by Straggler
02-02-2010 12:34 PM


Re: Shit Happens
Hi, Straggler.

Straggler writes:

I have specifically said evolution by means of random mutation and natural selection. How can this be anything but mutually exclusive to evolution by supernatural non-random design?

There isn’t a rule that says all things have to have the same cause.

I am saying that some traits can be designed, even if others are evolved; and, that designed traits can be changed over time via random mutation and natural selection.

This is an extremely simple point, Straggler: I'm having trouble believing that you're actually not understanding it. Not only is it extremely simple, it's also extremely crucial to my entire point: intelligent design is not mutually exclusive with evolution, because intelligently designed organisms can evolve, and evolved organisms can have some aspects of design.

This is why I have been arguing that evidence for evolution does not count as evidence against intelligent design, unless that evidence is universal (i.e., unless it can account for the origin of literally every trait). If the evidence falls short of universal, we must then fall back on Occam's razor to fill in the gaps.

I'm only complaining about the way this thread is set up: I have no complaints about the scientific method, no complaints about the Theory of Evolution as currently constituted, no complaints about educational curricula, no complaints about philosophical biases, no complaints about Occam's razor, and no complaints about the scientific community.

It's just that, any evidence that fits the criteria set forth by this thread will either be something that could also happen to a designed organism, or require some presuppositions about the designer that are not held universally among all ID proponents.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Straggler, posted 02-02-2010 12:34 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by Straggler, posted 02-02-2010 6:26 PM Blue Jay has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 120 of 264 (545266)
02-02-2010 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 118 by New Cat's Eye
02-02-2010 3:20 PM


Re: Disproof and Refutation
I brought up the aliens example specifically to be a gap filler that wasn't supernatural. Supernatural isn't necessary.

And what does the evidence available suggest about the possibility of such aliens? That they sprang forth fully formed from the ground? That they were created in the image of some immaterial being? Or that as a complex and intelligent lifeform it is almost certain that they evolved?

Yes, the evidence says that the diversity of life is sufficiently explained by the process of the ToE. But that doesn't preclude some life being designed, and we know that some of it was.

Yes. By us. By complex creatures that evolved.

But one particular species being the result of design isn't mutually exclusive to the ToE.

Why would it be? If the designing entity itself (i.e. human beings or your aliens) evolved intelligence and the ability to design?

I am asking you if teaching evolution as a product of random mutation and natural selection, which is mutually exclusive to non-random designed evolution, is evidentially justified.

What do you think?

Not to the point that there are no species that have been designed, no. In fact, we know that some of them were (dogs, bananas, Bt corn, nylon-eating bacteria, etc.)

What about to the point that intelligence and the ability to design are themselves products of evolution? Does the evidence suggest that?

But you are playing games to avoid the question. I will rephrase the question to try and stop you avoiding answering it.

I am asking you if teaching evolution as a product of random mutation and natural selection up to and including the evolution of man, which is mutually exclusive to non-random designed evolution up to that point, is evidentially justified.

What do you think?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-02-2010 3:20 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-02-2010 6:08 PM Straggler has replied

  
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