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Author Topic:   is there any case for Intelligent design in man made products
lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


(1)
Message 1 of 72 (653789)
02-24-2012 6:46 AM


I want to raise a topic that seems to be discussed very little by either the ID camp or the Science camp - the issue of intelligent design as it applies to human activities.

While there is much debate about whether the universe or the natural world was created by intelligent design it seems to be generally accepted that human beings can design intelligently. An ipod, a scientific theory or a work of Art are routinely accepted as being evidence of mankind's intelligent capabilities.

My issue is that surely the same reductionist arguments that apply to ID - i.e that the phenomenon can be better explained by chance and the laws of nature - must also apply to human activity.

Hence if we follow this argument to its logical conclusion we are forced to accept that intelligence in any form is a fanciful and unnecessary concept. We are foolish to invoke an intelligent designer in any circumstances whatsoever whether talking about the natural world or other human beings.

thoughts?

Edited by Admin, : Fix typo.


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 11 of 72 (653834)
02-24-2012 6:53 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
02-24-2012 8:16 AM


nice picture!
this is missing the point - Im not saying that ipods aren't manufactured by foxxcon employees or that foxxcon employees aren't human.

Im asking by what measure we class this as an 'intelligent' action.

Is intelligence something that we can scientifically verify? Can we say how many units of intelligence it takes to create an ipod?

of course not.

"why should we ignore this direct evidence of "intelligent design" of iPods?"

There is no direct evidence of "intelligent design" - "intelligent design" does not exist

We have direct evidence that an ipod was made that is all. Beyond that is mere conjecture


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 12 of 72 (653835)
02-24-2012 6:58 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Dr Adequate
02-24-2012 11:15 AM


Dr Adequate "We know that intelligence exists. But on the same basis we know that magic does not."

How do you know intelligence exists? How do you know magic does not exist?


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 13 of 72 (653836)
02-24-2012 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Stile
02-24-2012 9:23 AM


Re: Your Idea is Already Done
"Origin Test on human created devices - conclusion is that it is better explained by human activity"

You're going to have to explain that a bit more.

Are you trying to suggest that human activity is somehow not governed by chance and laws of nature the same as the rest of the natural world?

Yes human activity may be a suitable pseudo-explanation but ultimately any rigorous explanation must come down to scientific fact and the laws of nature.


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Replies to this message:
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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 15 of 72 (653839)
02-24-2012 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Panda
02-24-2012 7:09 PM


quote:
Because, when we look away from your posts, we see it in abundance.

hahahaha you're too funny


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 19 of 72 (653875)
02-25-2012 5:21 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Jon
02-24-2012 9:35 PM


"Stop playing word games and get to the point."

What word games?

The point is exactly as I stated before - where is the observational proof for intelligent design in humans??

Going to a foxxcon factory and watching an employee constructing an ipod is not PROOF that there is intelligent design. Neither is watching the apple employee in Cupertino use a CAD package on their laptop. Neither is observation of any of the people involved in the supply chain

all they are are observations of particular human beings carrying out some actions. Some human shaped lumps of matter following the laws of nature just like the rest of the natural world. It is proof that humans created it but nothing else.

My point is that we can never observe "intelligence" only the result of it


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 24 of 72 (653937)
02-25-2012 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Percy
02-25-2012 9:58 AM


I also think many believe intelligence can be recognized when encountered, say in themselves or others they meet or in the things people make.

yes I agree as you rightly point out no method exists for identifying intelligence. We can 'feel' that we are intelligent and guess that other people are too but this is no different from people 'feeling' that god is in them.

people 'feel' all sorts of strange ideas and notions but to scientifically claim something exists based on evidence we cannot rely on what people 'feel' is true. We need to measure

it actually sounds a lot like IDists who claim to see evidence of the results of intelligence at work all around us

yes exactly!! to say human activity is intelligent because you 'feel' that you are intelligent therefore other humans must be too is equivalent to saying the natural world is intelligently designed because you 'feel' god's presence


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 27 of 72 (654159)
02-27-2012 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Stile
02-27-2012 9:26 AM


Re: What is it you can't face?
"stile" writes:

In another sense of the term "intelligent design," it is simply the difference between animal intelligence and human intelligence.
In this sense, I do not agree. There are markings of intelligent design in human activity that can clearly and measurably distinguish it from the activity of the rest of natural, biological life. For instance, the use of abstract thought and our relatively large memory can be used to create complicated tools (and even tools to create tools) that are measurably distinct from anything else found in the biologically natural world (like sky scrapers or our methods of controlling electricity).

I think you are adding a distinction here where none need exist.

yes there are different ways of using the word "intelligence" and one is supernatural vs natural (This is my main point and i agree we see no evidence for anything otehr than mechanistic causes in either humans or nature and hence no supernatural dimension)

the other situation you describe animal vs humans is rather spurious. yes we can use the term as a proxy to mean 'invented by humans' but surely that is a rather limited example of what most people mean by 'intelligence'. If we look at artefacts we can identify their complexity and uses and conclude they were made by humans and if we so choose we can label them as signs of 'intelligence' as a way to tell them apart from other artefacts that were not created by humans such as fossils.

equally we can differentiate humans from animals by looking at their excrement. We can identify the unique genetic structure of human excrement and label that as a sign of intelligence by just the same measure.


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Replies to this message:
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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 30 of 72 (654203)
02-27-2012 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Stile
02-27-2012 12:00 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
"stile" writes:

I think you are saying that "IF" the world is entirely deterministic (mechanistic), "THEN" there is no purpose behind anything (because it all just "had to happen this exact way anyway") and THEREFORE there is no such thing as intelligence.

yes this is kind of close to where i'm coming from...

Firstly as regards the IF - i am making no assertion over how deterministic the universe is. Current theories predict that the quantum wave function collapses essentially at random so the outcome is not predetermined in that sense. but it is really irrelevant whether events are completely determined or random - the point is that the same rigour, the same laws of nature apply to the functioning of the human brain as to the functioning of any other piece of matter.

secondly - yes i think most people's definition of intelligence includes a concept of free will.

You seem to be making two distinctions

1 based on the ability of somebody to answer questions. This is clearly not sufficient. What if i ask you why you built your hammer in latin and you cant speak latin are you no longer intelligent? how can i ask an ancient hunter when he is dead? what really happens I would say is that we interrogate the world around us - that might be waggling your vocal chords to create vibrations in the air in order to determine something about the hammer builder ( in the hope he answers truthfully) or equally it could be creating an experiment to determine something about the electron.

2 You seem to make the point that intelligence is really just a placeholder, a sort of catch all term to describe a variety of events that roughly equate to animal or human activities. i.e communication. certainly this is possible way of using the word but not really what most people would fully understand by intelligence i would argue. For example, we can develop robots that do many of the actions that would be described as intelligent in animals but nobody would really call the robots intelligent because we are all to aware why they do each action ( having programmed them ourselves)

"stile" writes:

Sure, it's something that's possible. But it's also something that really doesn't change much of anything in a practical, local sense (even if true), and we still all live within a practical, local system. Until there's some actual evidence to give the philosophical musings an indication that they may actually be a part of reality... there's also no point (other than "for fun") in pursuing their implications.

Yes indeed it doesnt, we all go on with our lives and obviously we use concepts like intelligence everyday. My point is that it negates much of the argument against an Intelligent Designer. If you are aware that intelligence is jsut a catch all term you have arbitrarily picked to describe a certain class of events ( say certain things that humans or animals do) then you have to realize the reasonableness of other people choosing different arbitrary classes of events (certain things that humans do and also certain unexplained processes that lead to the creation of the universe)

Edited by lbm111, : No reason given.


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 31 of 72 (654204)
02-27-2012 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Stile
02-27-2012 12:14 PM


Re: Wait.. what's your point, again?
stile writes:

What, specifically, are you attempting to talk about?
"...just the same measure??"

sorry shouldnt have used the word 'measure'- I mean by similar reasoning.

my point is you can come up with multiple reasons or 'uses' or 'purposes' for any of those items.

we are familiar with assigning purpose to something like a stone age axe and viewing excrement as purposeless. however a scientific narrative could equally be spun to explain why excrement had some purpose - in agriculture say. The nitrogen content of the human excrement may be better adjusted to supporting plant life say and this could be shown to be a distinguishing feature of humans. you could create a compelling narrative of why human's 'intelligence' meant that they were able to produce excrement that gave them an evolutionary advantage by allowing more nutritious plants to grow near them.

Obviously this is not how most people would think of intelligence because it tends to be seen as a process that results from events in the brain rather than from events in our stomach or physiology.

Fossils, axes, excrement all of these things are inanimate objects left behind by once living creatures. We can put different interpretations on them and spin stories to say why some thing had a purpose or not but the data will never show a purpose - it can only show a state of events at a particular time.


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 33 of 72 (654246)
02-28-2012 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Perdition
02-28-2012 9:18 AM


Re: I understand your flow, now
I guess the question I have for you is, how are you defining intelligence that A) requires free will and B) cannot be mechanistic?

I am not defining intelligence - I would argue that we cannot meaningfully define it and in a fundamental sense it does not exist.

The definition of intelligence as the ability to problem solve is rather circular as it requires the definition of what constitutes a 'problem'.

you might say that an axe is a good example of human intelligence because it 'solved the problem of hunting for food'.

equally you could say that for certain animals the development of claws 'solved the problem of hunting for food' and by your definition was a sign of intelligence.

hence i would dispute your definition


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 35 of 72 (654261)
02-28-2012 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Perdition
02-28-2012 1:04 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
Intelligence is a personal, or unique attribute

this was not part of your original definition - i agree if you add a limiting factor that says intelligence can only take place in certain places (as defined arbitrarily by you) then you can rule out certain cases - such as populations of animals.

you could for example say intelligence is the ability to solve problems but only when achieved by a configuration of matter that is identified as a human being.

Requiring the definition of a different word in no way makes the definition of the first word "circular....Another way to say a definition is circular is to define a word using that word or a derivative of it, which I clearly did not do.

the reason it is circular is because you are placing an artificial perspective on what constitutes a 'problem' and saying it is something that can only be determined by us as intelligent beings. There can then be no objective existence of a 'problem' - if its only a problem when you think its a problem. or it requires our particular brand of intelligence to identify what is or is not intelligent.

Beyond that, "problems" are pretty well defined. They are obstacles in the way of attaining goals. Now, I guess you'll just say that "goals" needs to be defined, or "obstacles", or "in."

This is surely just as much of a word game? yes i would say what are 'goals'? it is just a restatement of the original definition. you would no doubt tell me that a population cannot have a 'goal' because that is something only humans or animals can have. This is fair enough but you must realize that it is arbitary to define certain sections of the underlying quantum field ( that happen to be in the shape of humans or animals) and say that the quantum field within this section of the universe can have goals but that any other section of the quantum field cannot.

True this is exactly the every day meaning and I don't dispute this is how it is used - my point is that we are making an arbitary distinction that is not warranted by scientific evidence.


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 38 of 72 (654274)
02-28-2012 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Perdition
02-28-2012 3:12 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
Your logic seems to imply that language means absolutely nothing because, it's all just quantum fluctuations. It is, sometimes, useful to us human beings to categorize. Sure, these categorizations may ultimately be arbitrary, but if we all agree to use the same arbitrary definitions, then communication becomes possible.

yes I agree - this is my point - if we all agree then everything is fine.

Occasionally though there is disagreement - some people might say intelligent design only applies to quantum fluctuations in individuals whereas other people might extend that to include things like populations of animals.


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 40 of 72 (654309)
02-29-2012 4:27 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Perdition
02-28-2012 5:44 PM


Re: I understand your flow, now
yes exactly - that is all i'm saying

it just seems to me there are a lot of people on here trying to state categorically that their particular definition of intelligence is the correct one and that anyone who doesn't agree should be shot down in flames.

my initial point in starting this discussion was that intelligent design in man made products is an arbitrary categorization. It does not represent some underlying distinction at the quauntum level - we are therefore free to make different categorizations and absolutely should reasonable and civil in accepting other people's views.


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lbm111
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 32
Joined: 02-24-2012


Message 46 of 72 (654934)
03-05-2012 5:37 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Panda
03-03-2012 4:14 AM


If you are in a factory watching humans manufacture supercomputers, then you would know that supercomputers had an intelligent cause.
In fact, it would require a very poor grasp of reality to think otherwise.

That is not an argument.

What you would know is that humans had assembled it. You are free to make whatever suppositions about them being intelligent you want but it does not prove it irrefutably.

Unless you mean you


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