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# Is it possible to identify the parts of a system objectively?

Author Topic:   Is it possible to identify the parts of a system objectively?
BVZ
Member (Idle past 4730 days)
Posts: 36
Joined: 08-20-2008

 Message 1 of 7 (486116) 10-16-2008 4:35 AM

Is it possible to identify the parts of a system objectively?

This question has some serious implications for ID theory. The reason for this is their reliance on Irreducibly Complex (IC) systems.

It is possible to identify ANY system as an IC system, by simply identifying the entire system as a single part. Removal of that part makes the system stop functioning, since removal of the entire system will leave us without a functioning system.

On the other extreme end, you can identify the parts of any system as the atoms the system is built up out of, and removal of any of these atoms (in virtually all cases) will propably not affect the system much. So removing a single atom from a system commonly regarded as an IC system, will not affect the system.

What this boils down to is this: Whether a system is an IC system or not, depends GREATLY on how the parts are identified. You can identify a specific system as IC, and someone else can identify THAT SAME system, as NON-IC, by simply identifying the parts of that system differently.

Which brings us to the following definition of an IC system by William Dembski:

 A system performing a given basic function is irreducibly complex if it includes a set of well-matched, mutually interacting, nonarbitrarily individuated parts such that each part in the set is indispensable to maintaining the system's basic, and therefore original, function. The set of these indispensable parts is known as the irreducible core of the system. (No Free Lunch, 285)

(emphasis mine).

Notice the bolded part?

Clearly, for IC to be useful as a concept by itself, there should be a method a person can follow, and OBJECTIVELY identify the parts of any system, BEFORE that person can figure out if a system is an IC system, or not.

If I take a 100 people, and tell them to use this method on a specific system (a bicycle for example), the output of the method should be a list of parts. Since there are 100 people, we should end with 100 lists of parts. They should be IDENTICAL. If they are not, the method was not objective.

Now, for any ID proponent to use IC systems as evidence FOR ID, they must first have such a method. Lets call it the PLG (parts list generator) method.

In fact, since the definition of ID provided by Dembski REQUIRES the PLG method to be in place for his definition to have meaning, clearly Dembski must be in posession of such a method already.

I may be wrong when I say this, but I am pretty sure such a method does not exist. If it does not, IC systems are not evidence for ID, since without such a method, IC systems cannot even be IDENTIFIED objectively.

So, can any ID supporter provide me with the PLG method?

Edited by BVZ, : No reason given.

Edited by BVZ, : No reason given.

Edited by BVZ, : No reason given.

 Replies to this message: Message 2 by Admin, posted 10-16-2008 8:26 AM BVZ has replied

Director
Posts: 12793
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.1

 Message 2 of 7 (486128) 10-16-2008 8:26 AM Reply to: Message 1 by BVZ10-16-2008 4:35 AM

 BVZ writes:...thier...effect (should be affect in a couple places)Weather => Whetherdepents => depends

Also, Bio-MolecularTony has proposed a very similar thread, so I'll only be promoting one. Would you prefer to have Tony reply to your opening post, or would you rather use your content here to reply to his? If you have no preference then I'll just promote the one that is more specific and scientific.

 -- Percy EvC Forum Director

 This message is a reply to: Message 1 by BVZ, posted 10-16-2008 4:35 AM BVZ has replied

 Replies to this message: Message 3 by BVZ, posted 10-16-2008 8:54 AM Admin has replied

BVZ
Member (Idle past 4730 days)
Posts: 36
Joined: 08-20-2008

 Message 3 of 7 (486131) 10-16-2008 8:54 AM Reply to: Message 2 by Admin10-16-2008 8:26 AM

Thank you for pointing out the errors. English is not my first language, so errors are bound to creep in. :)

The only proposed thread by Tony I could find is this one:

Assuming this is the thread you are referring to, I don't see any resemblance really. Please point me to the thread you are referring to, and I will check it out to see if it brings up the same issue.

Thanks.

 This message is a reply to: Message 2 by Admin, posted 10-16-2008 8:26 AM Admin has replied

 Replies to this message: Message 4 by Admin, posted 10-16-2008 9:23 AM BVZ has replied

Director
Posts: 12793
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.1

 Message 4 of 7 (486134) 10-16-2008 9:23 AM Reply to: Message 3 by BVZ10-16-2008 8:54 AM

 BVZ writes:Thank you for pointing out the errors. English is not my first language, so errors are bound to creep in. :)

Firefox and Chrome both have built-in spellcheckers, and Google Toolbar includes one for Internet explorer.

 The only proposed thread by Tony I could find is this one:Assuming this is the thread you are referring to, I don't see any resemblance really. Please point me to the thread you are referring to, and I will check it out to see if it brings up the same issue.

You're both suggesting ways in which design can be measured. Tony proposes using human design capabilities as the measuring stick, while you solicit suggestions for a reliable and reproducible method capable of reducing designs to constituent parts. In other words, Tony's thread proposal satisfies your request.

So I can promote your thread proposal and Tony can reply to you, or we can do the reverse. Do you have a preference?

 -- Percy EvC Forum Director

 This message is a reply to: Message 3 by BVZ, posted 10-16-2008 8:54 AM BVZ has replied

 Replies to this message: Message 5 by BVZ, posted 10-17-2008 1:55 AM Admin has replied

BVZ
Member (Idle past 4730 days)
Posts: 36
Joined: 08-20-2008

 Message 5 of 7 (486215) 10-17-2008 1:55 AM Reply to: Message 4 by Admin10-16-2008 9:23 AM

I dont want to discuss design at all. I want to figure out if parts can be identified objectively. I don't want to open the 'does IC systems indicate design' can of worms. What I want to do, is show that IC cannot support ID, or anything else, since it is impossible to detect IC systems reliably.

So, I would feel more comfortable with a thread of my own, since I don't think my proposed thread and Tony's thread are compatable at all.

Edited by BVZ, : No reason given.

 This message is a reply to: Message 4 by Admin, posted 10-16-2008 9:23 AM Admin has replied

 Replies to this message: Message 6 by Admin, posted 10-17-2008 6:04 AM BVZ has taken no action

Director
Posts: 12793
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.1

 Message 6 of 7 (486220) 10-17-2008 6:04 AM Reply to: Message 5 by BVZ10-17-2008 1:55 AM

Those are good points, plus Tony hasn't responded to my request to fix spelling and grammar, so I'm going to promote your thread.

 -- Percy EvC Forum Director

 This message is a reply to: Message 5 by BVZ, posted 10-17-2008 1:55 AM BVZ has taken no action

Director
Posts: 12793
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.1

 Message 7 of 7 (486223) 10-17-2008 6:04 AM

Thread copied to the Is it possible to identify the parts of a system objectively? thread in the Intelligent Design forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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