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Author Topic:   Intelligent design. Philosophy of ignorance.
Modulous
Member (Idle past 239 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 1 of 301 (365633)
11-23-2006 4:45 PM


Some of you may have managed to catch some of the videos that came out of Beyond Belief 2006.

Neil deGrasse Tyson was a speaker and he raised an interesting point that I'd like to bring forward for discussion here at EvC. I'm sure most of us have heard Newton being referenced as invoking an intelligent designer. "I am compelled to ascribe ye frame of this Systeme to an intelligent Agent" - Principia

And clearly, since Newton was one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived and published...we should give some credit to the idea. Here is Tyson's argument in written format, if you have a few hundred MB on your hard drive, you can watch the full argument. They call Tyson 'the Revererend' for good reason, the talk is not stuffy or boring. Here goes.

Ptolemy

circa AD 150 Ptolemy codified the geocentric universe that became the standard model until Copernicus and Galileo. Ptolemy's work was named, Almagest. Ptolemy reached a boundary between what was known and what was unknown and in the margins of this great book he wrote:

Ptolemy writes:

I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral; but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia

It seems clear that at the limits of knowledge, people can find themselves having an almost religious experience. This, in its two millennia old way, is an invocation of intelligent design.

As truth seekers, it needs to be accepted that some of our greatest scientists and thinkers have done this very same thing.

Galileo

circa 1615. Famously wrote:

Galileo writes:

the Bible teaches how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go

and

But I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use

An early rebuke of the argument of design, you might say. Not long after this, came Newton however.

Newton

circa 1687

Newton was a genius of the highest order. Nobody can realistically call his brilliance into question when it came to describing the world around him. In the Principia he covers the laws of motion and gravity - which he managed to codify before he reached 26 years old!

Some interesting points: When he talks about motion: no reference to God.
When he talks of his 'two body force', no reference to God.

There was no need to invoke God. Newton clearly understood the subjects he was writing on, and God wasn't needed to explain any of it. The problem came when he tried to expand the two body problem and discuss multiple bodies (eg the solar system), at which point it gets very difficult. Using this simple approach Newton was unable to generate a stable model for the solar system.

Newton couldn't get a stable model, and he reaches a limit, a point past which he can't explain. He says:

Newton writes:

The six primary planets are revolving about the sun in circles concentric with the sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. Ten moons are revolving about the earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, in circles concentric with them, with the same direction of motion, and nearly in the planes of the orbits of those planets;—but it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions...This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being

And there we have Newton, invoking Intelligent Design when he got stuck on a difficult problem. This is important for two reasons. One I will get to in a moment, but the first is that we can say that invoking an intelligent designer isn't inherently the action of a stupid man. When you get to that limit - even the smartest among us, find the temptation to invoke a supreme designer.

Tyson makes an excellent observation here. Even if we manage to increase science understanding in the public - how can we expect them to do any better than the greatest minds that have walked about this earth?

Huygens

circa 1696

Another brilliant scientist, and well known for his work on Saturn. When he talks about the motions of the planets. No problem. The moons of Jupiter. No problem either. The rings around Saturn. Totally fine. Life. Err, err...God?

Huygens writes:

I suppose no body will deny but that there's somewhat more of Contrivance, somewhat more of Miracle in the production and growth of Plants and Animals than in lifeless heaps of inanimate Bodies. . . . For the finger of God, and the Wisdom of Divine Providence, is in them much more clearly manifested than in the other.

No need for a designer in planetary orbits here, but life? The invocation begins!

Laplace

circa 1799

Remember the problem Newton had? Laplace solved it. It took a long time, but it got solved. When asked what role God had in the regulation of the heavens, he reputedly replied:

Laplace writes:

I have no need of that hypothesis

Here is the important thing - Laplace was not smarter than Newton. Not by a long shot, in my opinion. How was able to see further than Newton, by standing on his shoulders? Well, by disregarding the need for a designer. The work Laplace did to solve Newton's dilemma, was well within Newton's capabilities as a mathematician. Newton's invocation inhibited him from solving a problem that remained unsolved for two centuries.

Laplace had shown the solar system could remain stable for longer than Newton was able, by shedding the baggage of a supreme designer of sorts.

Invoking an intelligent designer is a sure fire way to ensure your discovery stops.

Perhaps one day, this God of the Gaps, will be a correct argument. Maybe at the forefront of some scientific endevour, God an intelligent designer is sat waiting to be discovered. As scientists though, we cannot allow the following reasoning to take place:

phenomenon x cannot be explained using the methods we have developed today. The only other explanation then, is that an intelligent agent is somehow behind it

It might be true, but if we do that, we could potentially set our discoveries back decades. Essentially, you've stopped doing science and you have taken to waiting for someone else to carry on the work and try to answer the puzzles. Not only that, but the argument itself is massively arrogant. When stumbling upon something you don't understand, invoking this argument is like saying "I don't understand it, if I can't understand it, nobody on earth can understand it. What's more, nobody who will ever live after me will be able to understand it. A designer, therefore, is the best solution."

The current ID movement claim a lot of things aren't explainable by current phenomenon, when they are, but that is not the point. That particular movement have a political agenda to push. Besides the political motivations and scientific errors, we still cannot allow science to accept 'Intelligent Design'. It has been part of science before, and it turned out to be straight forward ignorance.

If the greatest minds, if those that understand the problems better than anybody else in the world, if they say that the only way to explain something is by means of an intelligent designer - we have to reject it simply because it has happened before. Newton invoked ID, and about 100 years later it was shown to be unnecessary.

Therefore, Intelligent Design, by trying to demonstrate its truth by pointing out the supposed limits of our understanding, is not a philosophy of discovery (science), but a philosophy of ignorance. It is the philosophy that, we don't know how this could have happened so we'll just say a designer did it and draw a line under it.

Tyson makes a final point I'll bring forward here. This philosophy should be taught in science. It is a real pit fall that great scientists in the past have managed to fall into and it has hampered their science as a result. We should warn prospective scientists of the future of the easy temptation ID offers, and why we should remove such explanations from our scientific understanding because it has been shown to get in the way. Intelligent design is a real phenomenon, it happens to people, something happens to them and they conclude ID, right at the limits of their understanding.


There is a written copy of Tyson's argument, but the server is offline. For the moment you can look at the google cache version. I make no claim at being able to express this idea better than he - but I think I managed to capture the essence enough for discussion here.

This should probably go in Intelligent Design forum.


Replies to this message:
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 Message 186 by DivineBeginning, posted 12-20-2006 8:57 AM Modulous has responded
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AdminPhat
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From: Denver,Colorado USA
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Message 2 of 301 (365681)
11-24-2006 2:30 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
RickJB
Member (Idle past 3125 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 3 of 301 (365688)
11-24-2006 5:04 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Modulous
11-23-2006 4:45 PM


Good subject. My thoughts follow a similar train to yours.

With regard to the beliefs of Newton and others I feel it's fair to make a distinction between their apparent motives and those of the modern ID movement. Their aim, in my opinion, was uncover the secrets of God's creation as far as they were able by looking at what he created. Indeed, many modern religious biologists similarly see evolution as a another part of God's creation that we have only recently been able to uncover. Despite my agnosticism this is a view I have sympathy for since it accepts that our knowldge of God's creation is subject to modification in a similar manner to the rest of science.

The cause of modern ID, on the other hand, is to close down debate, to set limits on what we currently know in order to suit a fixed concept of God that is held by certain communites. Witness, for example, the striking inability of ID to entertain the idea that evolution may in fact be God's creation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Modulous, posted 11-23-2006 4:45 PM Modulous has responded

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


Message 4 of 301 (365712)
11-24-2006 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Modulous
11-23-2006 4:45 PM


Hi Mod'. I agree with the undercurrent of your post in regard to those genuinely commiting GOTG.

Not only that, but the argument itself is massively arrogant. When stumbling upon something you don't understand, invoking this argument is like saying "I don't understand it, if I can't understand it, nobody on earth can understand it. What's more, nobody who will ever live after me will be able to understand it. A designer, therefore, is the best solution."

The people who claim the GOTG, aren't saying all that, necessarily. They're just inspired to say that Goddidit. They say this prematurely, if they claim it is a valid conclusion for a specific matter. Also, some might allow for a belief that Godidit untill further discoveries are made.

I think these excerpts show the opinions of these scientists, rather than arguments as such.

In their worthy and brilliant opinion, a designer is believed to be behind things.

This could still be an entirely valid speculation, on behalf of great minds.

Parsimony doesn't dictate that you rule out God, or that he is necessarily "replaced" once an answer is found to a specific matter. It's just the mistake of directly concluding God is responsible as a "cause" for a specific circumstance.(GOTG)

One might see God in life on earth, another in the outer universe. If God is in neither, causally, then I don't think it would matter as such. Occam's razor only dices the excess WORD, "God", pertaining to the specific.

Example;

These drums sound brilliant, Pink Floyd MUST be responsible. ..-> As it happens, they're not directly responsible for the drums..

....Then; these great vocals...Pink Floyd must be responsible. -> As it happens they're not.

We don't then need Pink Floyd to get drums, or vocals.(parsimony)

Now we hear a great guitar.....SURELY FLOYD is responsible for this guitar!!!!! NO!! Floyd isn't.

We don't need Pink Floyd for drums, vocals nor guitar(parsimony).......The direct SPECIFIC cause for the vocals, is David Gilmour..

You can have a hundred, a thousand, a million specific circumstances where God isn't directly the cause, but overall he still can be. Now, Pink Floyd were responsible for vocals, drums and guitar, as a whole, despite, Pink Floyd not being the specific direct cause in the seperate categories, drums, vocals and guitar.

These scientists would have had intelligent reasons for mentioning God whereas Bob the Christian, who gets philosophical at midnight, might be regarded as a twurp. If we can't locate their musings in any philosophy book they wrote, then certainly we do them a dis-service by believing that their minds could only muster a one sentence fallacy. If anything these scientists simply couldn't bite their tongues.

Is the real problem that it cannot be believed that a Theist can mention God without being mistaken? Even a genius Theist?

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Modulous, posted 11-23-2006 4:45 PM Modulous has responded

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 239 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 5 of 301 (365732)
11-24-2006 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by mike the wiz
11-24-2006 10:07 AM


Hi Mike,

I'm sure some scientists have done this in a way you described, but look at Newton again:

Newton writes:

...but it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions

Newton is actually saying not that it is so wondrous it inspires a feeling that God must be involved. Instead he is saying that it's so complicated it can't be done without God. That physical laws simply cannot account for it. That because Newton cannot conceive of a solution, there isn't one.

I'm sure when most people say, I can't understand it so god did it, is not arrogant - just ignorant/naive. For a scientist to do so, is arrogant. Maybe we can forgive Newton and the like, though. They did not have themselves as examples not to follow. As Blake said, If others had not been foolish, we should be so.

For a modern day scientist to say it, knowing that major enigmas of times in the past were shown to be without the need for an Intelligent Agent, is arrogant in my opinion.

Remember: Principia was not Newton's journal, or his private letters. It was a science treatise, one of the most influential pieces of modern science ever. The non-arrogant way that Newton could have taken, would be:

Newton II writes:

The six primary planets are revolving about the sun in circles concentric with the sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. Ten moons are revolving about the earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, in circles concentric with them, with the same direction of motion, and nearly in the planes of the orbits of those planets;—I cannot conceive how mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions.

You can have a hundred, a thousand, a million specific circumstances where God isn't directly the cause, but overall he still can be.

Well that will only be an issue if/when we tackle the final causes of everything. Until then GOTG keeps getting pushed back to less and less causes and doesn't serve as an adequate explanation, and indeed tends to serve as a hindrance to scientific discovery.

It doesn't matter if a scientist is correct when he declares that 'God did it'. Science can't stop investigating it, because look what has happened before. We can't afford to be wrong in a God solution because it could cost us centuries of development in a certain field. History shows that humans are easily tempted into ID conclusions, even the smartest ones.

It's not a problem that a theist can be mistaken, it's that scientists should try and avoid the trap, we should teach our children the trap. It can happen to the best of us, and if it does, our scientific adventure in that field can come to a halt. I'm sure its possible that it isn't necessary for the discovery to end, but it remains a real danger that adopting the ID hypothesis will simply distract us from reaching the solution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by mike the wiz, posted 11-24-2006 10:07 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by mike the wiz, posted 11-24-2006 12:54 PM Modulous has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 239 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 6 of 301 (365736)
11-24-2006 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by RickJB
11-24-2006 5:04 AM


Politics of ID
I had a short paragraph in there about politics, and Tyson touches on it too. The modern ID movement attempts to show that we are on the boundary of knowledge so that others will invoke a deity to explain things for them (evidenced by the 'Wedge', but if I'm being unfair, there is plenty of evidence for the first half of the statement)

Most of what modern ID does is to say "This can't be explained". It doesn't matter if it can be or can't be, as long as they can convincingly say it, people will believe it, and buy the relevant books/DVDs whatever.

In Newton et al's case, there was a genuine mystery to be solved.

But whether or not there really is a mystery there remains the temptation. Just the perception of a mystery can invoke an Intelligent Agent in our minds. I suppose this a social animal thing, but let's not go down that alleyway today. This invocation is an illusion to be avoided because it has a tendency to blind us to discovery, often when we might be standing on discovery's precipice.


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


Message 7 of 301 (365755)
11-24-2006 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Modulous
11-24-2006 11:33 AM


Newton is actually saying not that it is so wondrous it inspires a feeling that God must be involved. Instead he is saying that it's so complicated it can't be done without God.

I don't know. Maybe he just couldn't conceive of anything.

Do you think he would encourage finding a natural explanation rather than a supernatural one? In his day, everything was God and anything that became explicable, replaced God. Almost an international fallacy of GOTG. Perhaps the likes of him, are more justified than a modern IDist. So even his work shown how God wasn't necessarily the cause.

I know you're a smart guy, which is why I mentioned that stuff about Pink Floyd.

Well that will only be an issue if/when we tackle the final causes of everything. Until then GOTG keeps getting pushed back to less and less causes and doesn't serve as an adequate explanation, and indeed tends to serve as a hindrance to scientific discovery.

I agree. I think science is pretty well established now though, MrHambre's bullshi* filter is well and truly in place, so it's unlikely people will go back to two stroke oil. Methodological naturalism is to what I refer,(the filter).

What is intelligent design though? What's an IDist? That's a topic in itself. Depending on a definition, I could well be IDist without knowing it, but people would usually call me atheistic evolutionist.

How far does it go? What would be a parameter? I'm guessing that mentioning God in a paper would be met with derision from peers, these days?

ID won't get in because as you indicate, it is a none-starter. As long as philosophy is acknowledged as valid then I have no problem with that, because truth-value, matters to people.

What do we know? Knowledge involves truth. Is God true? Science doesn't clearly answer the question, BUT, I feel branches of philosophy are seen as mental masturbation. Logic, epistemology, aren't just important to science.

Truth-value is part of the human quest. That's why spacemen read from Genesis, when they got to space. It's a genuine quest that shouldn't be cut off.

I think that a lot of "IDists" would look more favourably upon science without God, and move to philosophy, if philosophy wasn't seen as mental masturbation.

Science can't answer for "truth" always. Where does that come in, and are people disgruntled, in your opinion?

It was religion that was the big boss as you know, now it's science. People want both. Science can establish truth - religion can't. People want God to be found, or atleast his fingerprints. They want that to be seen as a valid position.

I suspect they want to get into science because of this. Just my opinion. But the gap remains, there might always be a gap. Science is a torch in the dark, it brings light upon truth, but that dark part is always there. And what about 3D? A torch can't see around bends. Perhaps science will never be able to shine light around that corner.

Forgive me, I do perorate....feel free to refute my waffle.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Modulous, posted 11-24-2006 11:33 AM Modulous has responded

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 Message 8 by Modulous, posted 11-24-2006 2:46 PM mike the wiz has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 239 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 8 of 301 (365781)
11-24-2006 2:46 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by mike the wiz
11-24-2006 12:54 PM


I don't know. Maybe he just couldn't conceive of anything.

Do you think he would encourage finding a natural explanation rather than a supernatural one?

We know he couldn't conceive of anything; his hubris lead him to declare that This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.

And yes, I really think that if someone had half of a natural explanation worked out that looked promising to him, he'd complete the work and then prove it from first principles. That's the kind of guy he was.

People want God to be found, or at[ ]least his fingerprints. They want that to be seen as a valid position.

A poetic way of putting it. This it seems to so common that it should be taken seriously, not just a phenomenon made public by small group of religious people. The case is quite compelling, in my view, to teaching it as a pitfall in science, something to be careful of.

And in a wider scope, you're also right. Some people want God's fingerprints so bad they try and 'legitimize' that feeling by going into science. Its like Newton in reverse. He started out peeling away at the understanding of the universe, got to a point he couldn't explain and resorted to ID.

In their case they start with ID/God and try and go into science and add layers of misunderstanding to the universe in order to find somewhere for God to hide.

When looked at in that cynical light, it is quite a theo-demeaning endeavour.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by mike the wiz, posted 11-24-2006 12:54 PM mike the wiz has responded

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


Message 9 of 301 (365845)
11-24-2006 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Modulous
11-24-2006 2:46 PM


God is still a concept worthy of consideration
A poetic way of putting it. This it seems to so common that it should be taken seriously, not just a phenomenon made public by small group of religious people. The case is quite compelling, in my view, to teaching it as a pitfall in science, something to be careful of.

As long as we're not confusing God, with a fallacy, then that's fine.

The God-concept in itself, has nothing to do with the pitfall. Faulty arguments do.

There are many compelling and intelligent arguments put forward by many intellects over the years. Aristotle's causes, etc..

I see it like this; God doesn't need science, and science doesn't need God.


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RickJB
Member (Idle past 3125 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 10 of 301 (365860)
11-24-2006 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by mike the wiz
11-24-2006 6:11 PM


Re: God is still a concept worthy of consideration
Mike writes:

I see it like this; God doesn't need science, and science doesn't need God.

Perhaps because they are one and the same! Perhaps, as in Asimov's short story "The Last Question", a civilization will learn all that there is to be learnt and find "God" in its own reflection.....

As far I am concerned there is no better way to get closer to a hypothetical God than through science.


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Confidence
Member (Idle past 4453 days)
Posts: 48
Joined: 11-23-2006


Message 11 of 301 (366157)
11-26-2006 8:21 PM


Newton mistaken or.. You guys.
Modulus, it seems to me you are mistaken when it comes to interpreting the quotes that you have used. Maybe its the evolutionary 'air' in this place that you are unwilling to see the real meaning behind them.

But I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use

An early rebuke of the argument of design, you might say. Not long after this, came Newton however.

This quote is not an early rebuke of design argument. Instead Gallileo is saying that the God who has given us these senses, also wanted us to use them. In other words, God wants us to seek His glory by performing science and try to see how things work. This is Gallileo FOR design.

likewise with Newton

Newton couldn't get a stable model, and he reaches a limit, a point past which he can't explain. He says:

Newton writes:

The six primary planets are revolving about the sun in circles concentric with the sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. Ten moons are revolving about the earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, in circles concentric with them, with the same direction of motion, and nearly in the planes of the orbits of those planets;—but it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions...This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being

And there we have Newton, invoking Intelligent Design when he got stuck on a difficult problem.

Do you not see that Newton believes in equations to explain all this. He is not questioning the idea of more equations governing more than what he has figured out. BUT he is questioning the idea that ALL this randomly organized itself into what we see.

but it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions
Emphasis mine.

Newton is talking about birth, he does not question the idea of understanding the motion via mechanical means, but he questions mechanical means assembling all this without guidance. Newton believes God wrote the equations. Whereas you believe the big bang somehow generated the equations for objects to obey, but also for them to follow such intricate paths. Newton is saying he DISPROVES of the idea of randomness assembling all the planets the way they are.

It is too bad that so many people misinterpret what Newton is clearly saying. Newton is not invoking God because he cannot explain things further. He is invoking God as the originator of everything.

Design arguments are not ignorance. Lets perform two science experiments:

Science experiment 1.
Observation:
-life comes from life.
-information comes from information

Conclusion:
since life cannot come from innate matter alone, and information does not assemble by itself by chance. There must be a intelligent source behind life, and the information coded within it to carry out its intricate tasks.

Science experiment 2
observations
-information (messages from a sender to a recipient) has never been observed to come from chance.
-life has never been observed to come from non-living material.
-human designers can assemble improbable objects together via information to perform tasks that randomness alone would be insufficient.

Conclusion.
Even though information has not been observed to come from chance, and life has never been shown to come from non-living things, WE CANNOT invoke an intelligent cause for them. For this would imply a being we are accountable to. Since we don't like this, even though we are without excuse, OUR conclusion is that life and information all came about by chance. Time and chance is our saviour. Time and Chance is our escape from this unwanted Designer.

so.. which is the ignorant followers of anti-science?
you pick.


We have already shown that life is overwhelmingly loaded with information; it should be clear that a rigorous application of the science of information is devastating to materialistic philosophy in the guise of evolution, and strongly supportive of Genesis creation.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v10/i2/information.asp


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 239 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 12 of 301 (366166)
11-26-2006 9:09 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Confidence
11-26-2006 8:21 PM


Newton is mistaken and you guys
This quote is not an early rebuke of design argument. Instead Gallileo is saying that the God who has given us these senses, also wanted us to use them. In other words, God wants us to seek His glory by performing science and try to see how things work. This is Gallileo FOR design.

Of course Galileo believed there was a cosmic designer, it says so right in the quote. What the rebuke is, is saying that we shouldn't allow the good book to provide us with insight into science. It is warning us to use the evidence to reach conclusions about the universe, not what the Bible says to be true.

Galileo continues writes:

He would not require us to deny sense and reason in physical matters which are set before our eyes and minds by direct experience or necessary demonstrations. This must be especially true in those sciences of which but the faintest trace (and that consisting of conclusions) is to be found in the Bible. Of astronomy; for instance, so little is found that none of the planets except Venus are so much as mentioned, and this only once or twice under the name of "Lucifer." If the sacred scribes had had any intention of teaching people certain arrangements and motions of the heavenly bodies, or had they wished us to derive such knowledge from the Bible, then in my opinion they would not have spoken of these matters so sparingly in comparison with the infinite number of admirable conclusions which are demonstrated in that science. Far from pretending to teach us the constitution and motions of the heavens and other stars, with their shapes, magnitudes, and distances, the authors of the Bible intentionally forbore to speak of these things, though all were quite well known to them.

Now it isn't a rebuke on modern ID, because that pretends it isn't about God. It is a rebuke on those that would use the Bible as a reason to believe something about the universe - including whether or not we were designed by a God. The comment was a remark against the modern ID movement which is clearly religious.



Do you not see that Newton believes in equations to explain all this. He is not questioning the idea of more equations governing more than what he has figured out. BUT he is questioning the idea that ALL this randomly organized itself into what we see.

Yes - he reaches the limit of his understanding and he argues it must have been God. And yet, Newton's issue is later solved using science.

It is too bad that so many people misinterpret what Newton is clearly saying. Newton is not invoking God because he cannot explain things further. He is invoking God as the originator of everything.

So you are saying that he isn't invoking God to explain anything, just everything?

Oh. OK. That clearly isn't a design argument at all.

Sorry, I'll put my nice hat back on now. Whatever you think he is attempting to explain with God, it is a design argument. The birth of the solar system, the stability of the solar system - is irrelevant to what he is doing right in front of us. You don't think invoking God as an explanation is a design argument?

Lets perform two science experiments:

I love thought experiments!

since life cannot come from innate matter alone

Woah, where did that conclusion come from? You forgot the part of the experiment where we performed every single biochemical experiment that could ever be done.

and information does not assemble by itself by chance.

Then you forgot the part where you define information, then run every single information based experiment possible.

Your science so far would be comparable to this:

Observation:

Radios are built in radio factories.

Conclusions

Since no radio factories existed before the radio - the radio has always existed.

or better:

Observation:

Labradors come from Labradors

Conclusion:

Since Labradors cannot come about by evolutionary means, they were the ancestral dog kind.

Even though information has not been observed to come from chance, and life has never been shown to come from non-living things, WE CANNOT invoke an intelligent cause for them.

Nobody is saying we cannot invoke an intelligent cause for them. I am saying that rather than just invoking an intelligent cause, why not continue performing biochemical experiments earnestly trying to account for how replicators can form and how they pass on heredity.

Here is my thought experiment:

Obervation:
I can't understand how x works. x is completely baffling to me. I have no explanation for x.

Conclusion:
x must be the result of some intelligent and deliberate agency.

Or we can try this one:

Obervation:
I can't understand how x works. x is completely baffling to me. I have no explanation for x.

Conclusion:
I'll need to study up on the maths, perhaps even develop a new mathematical branch to help me understand it. I'll develop some testable hypothesis, experiment. GET MORE DATA. Fit it into my growing framework of understanding. Have my peers get in on the act, criticize their work, let them do likewise. GET MORE DATA. Arrive at a theory which is not falsified by what data we have gathered so far. Use the theory to make a prediction on what new data we might find. GET MORE DATA. If new data is in line with prediction, celebrate.

If I am unable to develop a framework of understanding, hope one of my peers does and grudgingly applaud if they develop one.

so.. which is the ignorant followers of anti-science?
you pick.

I vote for the option that says 'Stop looking - you won't find an answer. It was God.'

Imagine if we did that when it came to disease? Well - I guess we can imagine that. I'd rather have the germ theory of disease than the god theory of disease. I'd rather look for the x theory of abiogenesis rather than settle for god theory of abiogenesis. One of them is the philosophy of discovery. One is the philosophy of ignorance. I guess you can pick - though I suspect you think ID is the philosophy of discovery.


One thing we can say is: Newton was mistaken. What he said couldn't be explained in mechanical terms was later explained in mechanical terms.

I'm mistaken all the time too - its no big existential crisis for me. I consider Newton a genius but not perfect.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Confidence, posted 11-26-2006 8:21 PM Confidence has not yet responded

Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16094
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 13 of 301 (366310)
11-27-2006 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Confidence
11-26-2006 8:21 PM


Re: Newton mistaken or.. You guys.
chance ... chance ...chance ... chance ... chance ... Chance ...

so.. which is the ignorant followers of anti-science?

The people who summarize the theory of evolution as "chance" because they're either too ignorant or too frightened to debate against the actual theory of evolution.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Confidence, posted 11-26-2006 8:21 PM Confidence has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Confidence, posted 11-27-2006 3:08 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Confidence
Member (Idle past 4453 days)
Posts: 48
Joined: 11-23-2006


Message 14 of 301 (366345)
11-27-2006 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Dr Adequate
11-27-2006 12:56 PM


Re: Newton mistaken or.. You guys.
What the rebuke is, is saying that we shouldn't allow the good book to provide us with insight into science
.

He is saying that the Bible doesn't tell us how everything works. On those matter we need to use our senses. But conclusions reached in the Bible should be used in science. Otherwise, if the good book is wrong, then God himself did not know the universe He allegedly created. And the rejection of the Bible all together seems to be the logical consequence. I hear people use the argument that God used metaphors and poetry in Genesis because people back then would not understand how God really did make the universe. Well, since God created everything, including language, God must be some sort of in-articulate being with an incomplete vocabulary. But since God is the powerful being we so believe, He must be able to communicate to us, and able to do it well. The reason why people do not always agree, is because they let fallible scientists tell them what happened so long ago, instead of listening to God, who Himself was there.

And Galileo was mistaken that God did not speak about the universe very often. In Genesis, God goes through an account on how He created everything. D. Russel Humphreys, Ph.D. uses the first few verses to explain how God created the universe with the physics we have today, including black holes, white holes and the theory of relativity in his book 'Starlight and Time'. He also uses the several verses (17) that mention God spreading the heavens like a tent, which indicate a fourth dimension besides the 3 we are used to. But also that this hints that space is really something that can be stretched bent and so forth. For the Bible also mentions rolling the heavens up like a scroll. Some people like to dismiss this as metaphors, but God mentions this several times and throughout the Bible that it is hard to ignore as something real.

Anyways, it really is surprising how much information is in the Bible that we just haven't seen before because at first glance it does not register to the non-physicist mind what God is really talking about.
But I am positive God reserved these verses for later on when people are figuring out more and more of His creation. But this shows as well, that there is truth in the Bible concerning physics and astronomy. But I agree, the Bible is no science textbook. For God wants us to do the exploring.

The people who summarize the theory of evolution as "chance" because they're either too ignorant or too frightened to debate against the actual theory of evolution.

You must admit that chance is the beginning of evolution. I know that natural selection is the supposed guiding factor for evolution. I know hat natural selection is not chance. But natural selection only operates on organisms that are able to reproduce, replicate, duplicate or whatever. Bear in mind that to make the first living thing, natural selection could not work. It is then that the randomness really plays the role that most people forget about.

Edited by Confidence, : No reason given.


We have already shown that life is overwhelmingly loaded with information; it should be clear that a rigorous application of the science of information is devastating to materialistic philosophy in the guise of evolution, and strongly supportive of Genesis creation.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v10/i2/information.asp


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-27-2006 12:56 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by PaulK, posted 11-27-2006 3:16 PM Confidence has not yet responded
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14922
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 15 of 301 (366346)
11-27-2006 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Confidence
11-27-2006 3:08 PM


Re: God mistaken or.. You guys.
So basically God wrote the Bible but he wasn't very good at it so we need you guys to come and tell us what he really meant.

Or maybe God didn't write the Bible - have you actually READ it ? Can you name one book which claims to be written by God ? Or even one that is written as if God were the author ?

It seems to me that you're rejecting the Bible - in favour of the dogma of your church.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Confidence, posted 11-27-2006 3:08 PM Confidence has not yet responded

  
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