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Author Topic:   Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 69 of 91 (689722)
02-04-2013 12:40 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by Granny Magda
02-02-2013 7:08 AM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
But the latter is just teleology. You don't need to call it ID. You don't need to taint it with that soiled moniker.

Sure, I'm a teleologist. But that word is way too broad to cover my specific position. Teleology, broadly speaking, means the view that their is purpose in nature. What, then, is the term for the view that the origin of the biochemical complexity of life was purposeful?

Not necessarily Christian. You could be a Muslim IDist.

There's no such thing as a Muslim IDist, though, is there?

But seriously, if you keep promoting ID you are doing the work of Christian fundamentalists who want to destroy science and replace it with crazy dogma.

You mean if I keep promoting the ID movement, I am doing the work of creationists. But I'm not promoting the ID movement. Far from it. I'm simply proposing that biological life was intelligently designed.

Behe is is nice guy, I can't help but like him (where I despise Dembski) but he is a creationist in a sense. He believes that human life is dependant on direct intervention from his personal deity. I would call that a form of creationism, albeit a weak creationism.

Some would call Kenneth Miller a creationist, because, ya know, he believes that a God made all things. You're really stretching the definition of "creationism" when it comes to individuals like Behe, IMHO.

You so cavalierly proclaim that my research into leprechauns is a waste of time, because there's no such thing as leprechauns. To me this smacks of arrogance. It's as if you know there's no such thing as leprechauns. Let's keep an objective mindset here.

That's how you sound to me.

You don't even have a remotely testable leprechaun hypothesis, so the analogy doesn't fit.

Your charming ideas about taking the central thesis of ID seriously just come across as silly. Even explicit creationism doesn't sound as silly as this.

Really? Creationism isn't as silly as a simple extension of Crick and Orgel's directed panspermia hypothesis?

You are essentially suggesting that life was engineered by aliens (and there really are no other candidates, however much you whine about keeping an open mind). That's silly.

Where I come from, the merit of an idea is not determined by how silly it sounds to any one individual.

We have an overwhelming amount of evidence for life evolving through natural process.

We do not. The strongest evidence for the hypothesis that life arose through purely non-teleological mechanisms comes from experiments that demonstrate the plausibility of prebiotic synthesis of nucleic acid bases and the capability of polynucleotides to replicate in the absence of protein catalysts. However, the question of the origin of life on Earth is a historical question, and not simply one of plausibility. As such, no amount of evidence for the plausibility of the non-telic hypothesis will be able to establish the historical accuracy of that hypothesis. Yet much (if not most) of the evidence for the non-telic hypothesis merely strengthens its plausibility. For example, observations which demonstrate that RNA can catalyze its own replication say nothing about whether self-replicating RNA was indeed the precursor to modern cellular life. In short, the "overwhelming amount of evidence" for a non-teleological origin of terrestrial life is not all that overwhelming. If experiments that demonstrate the plausibility of a non-teleological origin of life are considered "overwhelming evidence" for that view, then experiments that show the feasibility of intelligent agents engineering life may be considered evidence for the thesis that life was intelligently designed.

It is true, of course, that there are some pieces of evidence for a non-teleological origin of terrestrial life. Several phylogenetic studies (and other studies based on sequence analyses) provide clues that favor a non-telic origin of life, and there are other lines of evidence (documented in a number of publications). On the whole, however, you overestimate the "overwhelming amount" of evidence for a non-telic origin of biological life, IMHO.

The idea belongs in a bad episode of Star Trek, not in a serious scientific publication.

Geez, thanks for the encouragement.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Granny Magda, posted 02-02-2013 7:08 AM Granny Magda has replied

Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 70 of 91 (689723)
02-04-2013 12:52 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by Straggler
02-03-2013 5:37 AM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
Am I right in thinking that the 'intelligent design' you are referring to (one that uses a metaphorical wrench rather than a metaphorical wand) is non-supernatural in terms of abilities and origins?

Yes. As I stated in a past thread, I'm taking supernatural designers off the table.

Are you talking about beings that are part of a physical reality and which utilise physical laws of one sort or another to construct their creations (life, our universe, whatever)?

Yes.

What sort of intelligent designer are you proposing?

I cannot specify the exact nature of the proposed designers. My overall position operates on the assumption that the designers of biological life had a degree and type of intelligence similar to our own. For if life was designed by engineers with a radically different kind of intelligence – a form of intelligence entirely foreign to that of the human species – it would be a hopeless task to find traces of engineering in cellular life. Thus, any design hypothesis must make this basic assumption about the nature of the designers.

And how would one distinguish between that which has been designed with a mataphorical wrench, that which has been designed by a metaphorical wand and that which is the result of entirely mindless natural processes? What are the defining characteristics of each such that they can be recognised as distinct from one another?

By testing specific predictions of the design hypothesis -- predictions that are not made by (a) the "entirely mindless natural processes" model, and (b) the magic wand model -- we can either confirm or refute the design hypothesis. If experiments verify that the predictions have been met, then the design hypothesis is strengthened. In this way, we can "distinguish between that which has been designed with a mataphorical wrench, that which has been designed by a metaphorical wand and that which is the result of entirely mindless natural processes." See this thread (referenced above in a response to ringo) for a cursory overview of how we could go about testing the hypothesis that biological machines were engineered.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Straggler, posted 02-03-2013 5:37 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2013 8:56 AM Genomicus has replied
 Message 76 by Taq, posted 02-04-2013 4:20 PM Genomicus has replied

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 78 of 91 (689810)
02-04-2013 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Straggler
02-04-2013 8:56 AM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
It has been postulated that we are all part of a computer simulation on a similar basis...

That is, to be sure, an interesting idea you linked to.

Re:

What do you make of that variation of your design proposition?

I don't think that's really a variation of the specific hypotheses I'm proposing. It is, however, a variation of design propositions in general.
My thoughts on it? It's interesting, but I think one would have a hard time testing that idea. And it would be a more general design proposition. In other words, if we are living in a computer simulation, then I'd tentatively propose that within this simulation, biological life was intelligently designed.

I'll read your other thread later - But in the meantime - Can you give one example of a logical consequence (i.e. prediction) that applies to a designed entity but which would not be expected to be true for a non-designed entity?

The question is not hypothesis specific, so I'll modify it a bit. The hypothesis that, say, the bacterial flagellum was directly engineered by rational design of proteins (and similar techniques of protein design), predicts a specific pattern of divergence times (as determined by molecular clocks) for various flagellar parts and their homologs. The same goes, of course, for any other molecular machine (e.g., the F-ATPase, replisomes, ribosome, etc.).

Given this it should be a simple matter of testing for this attribute in order to detect design - No?

Correct.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2013 8:56 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Straggler, posted 02-05-2013 10:05 AM Genomicus has replied

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 79 of 91 (689812)
02-04-2013 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by New Cat's Eye
02-04-2013 10:33 AM


Re: ID is Christian
Well, apparently you do think life was created (engineered), so I'd call you a creationist too.

No, I'm not a creationist.

Doesn't matter. Did life emerge all by itself or did something make it?

It does matter, though. If life was engineered by the aforementioned metaphorical wrench, then we could plausibly detect this through the methods of science. But the idea that life was magically poofed into existence is not testable.

See, some of you seem to think that design by physical tools and methods is indistinguishable from design by a magic wand. This is not correct. If life was engineered by specific mechanisms (e.g., rational design of proteins), then we can plausibly detect hallmarks of this within genomes.

What about theistic evolutionists? "Life evolved and that's how God created it". Creationists or not, in your opinion?

Not really.

Now, given all that: I wouldn't have a problem, for the purposes of sites like this one, with defining creationism as mututally exclusive with evolutionism. That is, if you're willing to accept that life evolved, then you're not a creationist. But that's more of a practical thing than anything else.

Your definition of creationism seems to be a bit idiosyncratic IMHO, and not one that will be found in dictionaries of the English-speaking world. Just sayin'.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-04-2013 10:33 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-05-2013 4:18 AM Genomicus has replied
 Message 83 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-05-2013 11:02 AM Genomicus has replied

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 80 of 91 (689813)
02-04-2013 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Taq
02-04-2013 4:20 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
This limits you to a universe with a finite history. This means that at some point in the past your designer had to come about by natural means. I don't think it is much of a stretch to suggest that this first designer would be as complex as we are, biologically speaking, and I would expect that this complexity would include irreducibly complex systems as well.

I'm not arguing from irreducible complexity.

At best, you would have an alien race dropping off LUCA 4 billion years ago and never touching life from that point onwards...

...which is what I've been arguing all along.


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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 84 of 91 (689962)
02-06-2013 7:12 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Dr Adequate
02-05-2013 4:18 AM


Re: ID is Christian
Well, wouldn't that depend on the waver of the wand, and whether s/he was into what you describe as "rational design of proteins"?

I can see no reason why someone using purely naturalistic methods would wish to create a LUCA clearly distinguishable from the LUCA that would be created by someone with magical powers. If two people have exactly the same end in mind, and one uses magic to achieve this end and the other doesn't, how would we distinguish between the two different means by looking at the two identical ends?

The difference is this: if life was created by magic, then we have no reason to expect that we can detect this. There are no predictable hallmarks that would indicate life was designed by magic. On the other hand, if life's biochemical systems were designed by rational design and similar methods, there are specific hallmarks of this mechanism that we can look for.

For example, it is possible that evolution was guided every step of the way by magical powers. Both non-teleological evolution and "magical" evolution have the same result, but the former model is (a) more parsimonious, and (b) leads to testable predictions.

But actually that is how the word "creationist" is used. No-one on either side uses it just to mean someone who believes in a Creator. Maybe that's what it should mean, but it doesn't. A creationist is one who denies evolution and asserts fiat creation of species, or "kinds", or whatever jargon they're using this week.

Yea, so I'm not a creationist.


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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 85 of 91 (689965)
02-06-2013 7:21 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Straggler
02-05-2013 10:05 AM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
Geno writes:

The hypothesis that, say, the bacterial flagellum was directly engineered by rational design of proteins (and similar techniques of protein design), predicts a specific pattern of divergence times (as determined by molecular clocks) for various flagellar parts and their homologs.

What specific pattern? And (more importantly) why is this pattern a necessary consequence of conscious design?

Figure 2 of the "Nature's Engines and Engineering" thread describes the general pattern. Flagellar parts (and their corresponding homologs) that have a slow substitution rate, but that would require large modifications in order to be engineered, would be predicted to have the earliest divergence times as determined by molecular clocks. Protein parts with a fast substitution rate and that would require only minimal modifications (to be engineered from their homologs) would predicted to have late divergence times.

This pattern is not a necessary consequence of "conscious design." It is a necessary consequence of rational design of proteins. Rational design refers to a specific mechanism for engineering proteins. Directed evolution would also lead to the same predictions.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Coyote, posted 02-06-2013 7:31 PM Genomicus has replied

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 87 of 91 (689972)
02-06-2013 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Coyote
02-06-2013 7:31 PM


Re: Rational design? How about Unintelligent non-design?
It is a necessary consequence of rational design of proteins. Rational design refers to a specific mechanism for engineering proteins.

It should not be too much of a surprise that things fit together in certain ways. The following lecture (University of Washington, 2006) shows how many paths lead to the same place. It is well worth watching.

Okay kewl, but I'm not sure how that's relevant to what I said with regards to rational design of proteins as the mechanism of engineering behind biochemical systems? Could you elaborate?

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Coyote, posted 02-06-2013 7:31 PM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Coyote, posted 02-06-2013 10:20 PM Genomicus has replied

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 89 of 91 (689976)
02-06-2013 11:36 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Coyote
02-06-2013 10:20 PM


Re: Rational design? How about Unintelligent non-design?
In other words, I would be surprised if that same principle did not extend to proteins as well.

...I'm still a bit lost as to what you're arguing exactly (I haven't watched the lecture). Put simply, if protein machines that we find in cells were engineered via the techniques of rational design and directed evolution, there are several predictions we could make. Here it should be noted that both rational design and directed evolution refer to techniques within the field of protein design. That is, directed evolution does not, in this context, mean simply evolution directed in some way. It means a specific kind of protein engineering wherein directed mutagenesis coupled with selection is used to design protein folds.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Coyote, posted 02-07-2013 12:18 AM Genomicus has seen this message

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1176 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 91 of 91 (690025)
02-07-2013 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by New Cat's Eye
02-05-2013 11:02 AM


Re: ID is Christian
So, when I tell you that your not using a word as other people use it, then you go into how it doesn't have to mean that and you can use it other ways. But then when I go and use a word another way, you throw the dictionary at me. Don't find that a bit hypocritical?

Actually, the definition of intelligent design that I use is, in fact, used by a number of people. However, your definition of "creationist" seems to be pretty unique to you. If you peruse all definitions of "creationism," none of them will simply mean "the idea that life was engineered." Creationism is more than that. Creationism is a religious idea, one that involves deities and sacred texts. It is not merely the proposition that biological life was engineered. So, from my standpoint, it looks just a bit like you're labeling me a "creationist" as a rhetorical strategy. What exactly is your definition of "creationism"?

Doesn't matter. Did life emerge all by itself or did something make it?

It does matter, though. If life was engineered by the aforementioned metaphorical wrench, then we could plausibly detect this through the methods of science. But the idea that life was magically poofed into existence is not testable.

You don't know that. And maybe we could test whether the magic poofing results in purple smoke for some thing but green smoke for others. When things go poof, do the atoms form together from the surrounding ones or are they emerging ex nihilo? Does the poofer use somatic components, or is it by will alone? How fast do things poof into existence? How often? And so on. Just because you call it magic doesn't mean its not testable.

Okay, so maybe we could test the idea that life was designed by magic. But in the meantime I'll be concentrating my efforts on more tangible mechanisms of biological design.

See, some of you seem to think that design by physical tools and methods is indistinguishable from design by a magic wand. This is not correct. If life was engineered by specific mechanisms (e.g., rational design of proteins), then we can plausibly detect hallmarks of this within genomes.

What if the magic wand used specific mechanisms?

Again, some might want to explore the idea that life was designed by magic. They're free to do that. I know that I won't be the person doing that, but hey, others might want to.

Well, the wiki page on creationism that I got to from your link has a list of Types of creationism. Not only is theistic evolution on there, but so it Intelligent Design.

I think it's reasonable to consider theistic evolution as a form of creationism.

My usage of the word creationist includes people like you.

Why?

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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