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Author Topic:   A thought on Intelligence behind Design
Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 1 of 261 (40045)
05-14-2003 6:21 AM


I have said a few times that I feel intelligent design
to be a tautology ... but having read varous posts over
the last few months I have changed my mind.

If we take design to be the production of a system which is
suited to a particular purpose (note: not designed for that
purpose, but the result is suited to it) then we do not
require any intelligence behind the design.

An algorithm that produces electrical circuits or landscape
drawings is performing design, but has no intelligence
behind it.

Heritable variation + natural selection operates to 'design'
biological systems to suit a particular set of environmental
constraints.

Viewed this way evidence of design is not evidence of
'intelligent design'.

To find the intelligence behind a design requires something
else.

Doesn't that reduce ID to a search for the designer?


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Mammuthus, posted 05-14-2003 6:30 AM Peter has responded
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 Message 257 by fredsr, posted 09-01-2003 1:18 PM Peter has responded

    
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4519 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 2 of 261 (40046)
05-14-2003 6:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Peter
05-14-2003 6:21 AM


"Doesn't that reduce ID to a search for the designer? "

Was ID anything else?
And in their search, they have never been able to propose a testable, falsifiable hypothesis for a designer and thus ID is not science...it is religion with technical jargon.

cheers,
M


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Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 3 of 261 (40070)
05-14-2003 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Mammuthus
05-14-2003 6:30 AM


Well I never thought it was anything else, but I hadn't
thought of a clear and logical way of asking the
question before.
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Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 4 of 261 (41088)
05-23-2003 7:59 AM


I was hoping for some kind of ID comment on any ideas
here .... ah well.

In essence I am asking why ID uses 'evidence' of design to
infer a designer, when it can be shown that evolutionary
processes can produce 'designed' objects.


Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Peter, posted 06-16-2003 8:54 AM Peter has acknowledged this reply
 Message 6 by NosyNed, posted 06-16-2003 10:47 AM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 5 of 261 (43010)
06-16-2003 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Peter
05-23-2003 7:59 AM


Still no takers?

No IDer's tuning in at the mo'?


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 6 of 261 (43015)
06-16-2003 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Peter
05-23-2003 7:59 AM


What they keep trying to say is that somethings can [q]not[/q] arise through evolutionary steps. You know, the "irreducible complexity".

The obvious clue to what they are up to is the name. If they really were interested in science they would talk about the "problem of complexity in evolutionary theory" without jumping to the solution so fast. Obviously they're jumping to the solution and trying to find something that can be used as support.

If they had a different agenda they would be trying to find solutions for any apparent "irreducible complexity". If they did this they wouldn't be getting caught over and over again with things with are not irreducibly complex. They'd figure it out themselves before publishing.


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Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 7 of 261 (43017)
06-16-2003 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by NosyNed
06-16-2003 10:47 AM


It seems to me to be even more insidious.

The definition of 'irreducible complexity' doesn't itself
preclude step-wise development of the IC system.

I have not seen any proof of 'IC cannot evolve' ... and
opened a thread sometime ago suggesting it was an argument
from incredulity.

The main thing I was looking at here was the relationship
between 'design' and an 'intelligence' behind the design.

It seems to me that ID focusses on the idea that 'design' automatically requires an intelligent designer ... so all
they look for (as far as i can see, correct me if I am wrong)
is 'evidence' of 'design' and then say 'See!!'

Given the 'genetic programming' model of evolution, and the
highly complex results leads me to conclude that 'design' is
possible via mechanistic process being directed by some form
of selective pressure. This removes the need for
intelligence.

We then need to look at any complex system and see if we can
find the fingerprints of intelligence ... more importantly to
consider what such fingerprints might look like.

The focus of ID has been on D when it should be on I.


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Warren
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 261 (43167)
06-17-2003 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Peter
06-16-2003 11:33 AM


A thought on Intelligence behind Design
Peter<< Given the 'genetic programming' model of evolution, and the
highly complex results leads me to conclude that 'design' is
possible via mechanistic process being directed by some form
of selective pressure. This removes the need for intelligence. >>

William Dembski<< No genetic algorithm or evolutionary computation has designed a complex, multipart, functionally integrated, irreducibly complex system without stacking the deck by incorporating the very solution that was supposed to be attained from scratch.>>


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 261 (43170)
06-17-2003 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Warren
06-17-2003 3:32 PM


Re: A thought on Intelligence behind Design
No genetic algorithm or evolutionary computation has designed a complex, multipart, functionally integrated, irreducibly complex system without stacking the deck by incorporating the very solution that was supposed to be attained from scratch.

So what? This is not a description of living systems, in my view. Living systems aren't well designed, or functionally integrated - they only work well enough to reproduce. If an intelligent designer had designed life, especially the human body, I'd send the design back. ("Bleeding every 28 days?! Unacceptable!")


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Warren
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 261 (43171)
06-17-2003 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Warren
06-17-2003 3:32 PM


Re: A thought on Intelligence behind Design
Peter<< I have not seen any proof of 'IC cannot evolve' ... and
opened a thread sometime ago suggesting it was an argument
from incredulity.>>

The ID argument isn't that certain things can't evolve. It's impossible to prove a negative. ID critics try to put ID proponents in the position of proving the impossible. Where is the evidence that the flagellum DID evolve? Arguing that something is merely possible is about as weak an argument as there can be.

"Any one of us can come up with multiple, plausible stories concerning the evolution of a given biological feature. But plausibility is about the weakest criterion one can apply to an evolutionary hypothesis." - Robert Dorit, Biology Dept., Yale University

[This message has been edited by Warren, 06-17-2003]


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Warren
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 261 (43178)
06-17-2003 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Warren
06-17-2003 3:49 PM


Re: A thought on Intelligence behind Design
Crashfrog: "So what? This is not a description of living systems, in my view. Living systems aren't well designed, or functionally integrated - they only work well enough to reproduce. If an intelligent designer had designed life, especially the human body, I'd send the design back. ("Bleeding every 28 days?! Unacceptable!") "

Would you send your brain back? If your brain is poorly designed then how do you know the view you have just presented is correct? Why are you even debating this issue with other poorly designed brains? In any event, the human body isn't an IC system. The concept of IC in biology is mainly confined to systems within the cell such as molecular machines.

[This message has been edited by Warren, 06-17-2003]


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 261 (43179)
06-17-2003 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Warren
06-17-2003 4:16 PM


Re: A thought on Intelligence behind Design
The concept of IC in biology is mainly confined to systems within the cell such as molecular machines.

IC is a non-argument. Nothing is truly irreducably complex. Consider the arch. The arch is "irreducibly complex", by the standard definition - remove one component, and the whole thing fails. But arches aren't constructed all at once by fiat, they're built piece-by-piece. How do they do this? With scaffolds that support the system until all the pieces are in place. When that occurs, the scaffold is no longer needed, and is removed.

So, where you or Demski see irreducibly complex cellular machinery, I see systems that evolved using scaffolds that are no longer present. Sometimes they are - our cells contain both the "modern" aerobic respiration metabolisms and the "ancient", less-efficient anaerobic pathways.


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 13 of 261 (43180)
06-17-2003 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Warren
06-17-2003 3:32 PM


Re: A thought on Intelligence behind Design
without stacking the deck by incorporating the very solution that was supposed to be attained from scratch

What does he mean by "incorporating the solution". That is not what is done?

the "from scratch" might mean he wants an algorithm to start with nothing and arrive somewhere specific. How is that a sensible disagreement. The GA's show how a design can come about without intelligence. That's all we are analogizing here.


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 14 of 261 (43181)
06-17-2003 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Warren
06-17-2003 3:49 PM


Re: A thought on Intelligence behind Design
The ID argument isn't that certain things can't evolve. It's impossible to prove a negative. ID critics try to put ID proponents in the position of proving the impossible. Where is the evidence that the flagellum DID evolve? Arguing that something is merely possible is about as weak an argument as there can be.

The ID argument seems to have two approaches:
1) "You don't know exactly how it evolved." This is just an argument from ignorance I guess. Not very convincing when we keep learning new things. (see my post in the book nook)
2) "It can not evolve in steps because it is irredicably complex". This is the arguement around the flagellum. Apparently it has been demonstrated that the flagellum is not "irreducibley complex".

The flagellum argument was that it COULD NOT have evolved. Thus showing that it could is enough to demolish that.


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Warren
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 261 (43182)
06-17-2003 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by NosyNed
06-17-2003 4:53 PM


Re: A thought on Intelligence behind Design
NosyNed: "The flagellum argument was that it COULD NOT have evolved. Thus showing that it could is enough to demolish that."

Absolutely false. As I said before, the ID argument isn't about proving something impossible. Here are some more comments from Dembski that points this out:

Note that to attribute such an incapacity to the Darwinian mechanism isn't to say that it's logically impossible for the Darwinian mechanism to attain such structures. It's logically possible for just about anything to attain anything else via a vastly improbable or fortuitous event. For instance, it's logically possible that with my very limited chess ability I might defeat the reigning world champion, Vladimir Kramnik, in ten straight games. But if I do so, it will be despite my limited chess ability and not because of it. Likewise, if the Darwinian mechanism is the conduit by which a Darwinian pathway leads to an irreducibly complex biochemical system, then it is despite the intrinsic properties or capacities of that mechanism. Thus, in saying that irreducibly complex biochemical structures are inaccessible to Darwinian pathways, design proponents are saying that the Darwinian mechanism has no intrinsic capacity for generating such structures except as vastly improbable or fortuitous events. Accordingly, to attribute irreducible complexity to a direct Darwinian pathway is like attributing Mount Rushmore to wind and water erosion. There's a sheer possibility that wind and water erosion could sculpt Mount Rushmore but not a realistic one.

Intelligent design's demonstration of the failure of Darwin's program is a combination of empirical and theoretical arguments. In both cases, however, the issue is one of connectivityŚcan the mechanism in question supply a step-by-step path connecting two otherwise disparate elements.

[This message has been edited by Warren, 06-17-2003]


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