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Author Topic:   Design With No Designer
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 307 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 1 of 50 (44834)
07-02-2003 9:46 AM


Prior to Darwin, essentialist philosophy held that design could not emerge from chaos without a pre-existing mind. Evidence was lacking that such design was even conceivable, therefore the classic definition of design assumed the existence of a designer.

Unfortunately for that philosophy, Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection dispelled the illusion of intention from the design process. Although we still use metaphors that attribute agency to certain mechanisms ("Natural selection honed the bat's sense of hearing," or "evolution co-opted the vestigial reptilian jawbones for use in the human inner ear"), we understand evolution's design work to be a step-by-step process unguided by any goal-oriented intelligence.

It seems obvious that the Intelligent Design Creationists are resurrecting the old mind-first concept of design, and using examples of natural design to infer intelligence. It is my assertion that this inference is unwarranted.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Mammuthus, posted 07-02-2003 10:24 AM MrHambre has responded
 Message 8 by Peter, posted 07-02-2003 4:50 PM MrHambre has responded

    
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4669 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 2 of 50 (44839)
07-02-2003 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by MrHambre
07-02-2003 9:46 AM


Not only is it unwarranted, ID is not a testable or falsifiable hypothesis and is therefore not science. That is why most IDists fall back on arguments such as "design is self evident" or "an eye could not have evolved step-wise".

I have to this day never heard a single proponent of ID put forth a testable hypothesis of ID with empirical evidence to back it up.

cheers,
M


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 9:46 AM MrHambre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 11:03 AM Mammuthus has responded

  
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 307 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 3 of 50 (44842)
07-02-2003 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Mammuthus
07-02-2003 10:24 AM


quote:
That is why most IDists fall back on arguments such as "design is self evident"

This is exactly my point. Michael Behe reinvented the wheel when he testified to the 'loud cry of DESIGN' that he heard when he looked at his pet biological systems. The problem with his inference was that he automatically attributed that design to intelligence, through defining 'design' as 'intelligent design'.

Darwin's theory destroyed the foundation of essentialist theory, since it demonstrated design that was attributable to unguided material forces and not intention or intelligence. Since then, the concept of design no longer presupposes a designer.

The burden is upon the IDC'ers to reestablish that foundation, but so far all they have proposed are metaphors concerning mousetraps and other products of human design. The fact that these arguments have failed to bring about a scientific revolution, they claim, is due to the 'materialist' conspiracy and not the shortcomings of their outdated hypothesis.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Mammuthus, posted 07-02-2003 10:24 AM Mammuthus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Mammuthus, posted 07-02-2003 11:33 AM MrHambre has responded

    
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4669 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 4 of 50 (44845)
07-02-2003 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by MrHambre
07-02-2003 11:03 AM


quote:
The burden is upon the IDC'ers to reestablish that foundation, but so far all they have proposed are metaphors concerning mousetraps and other products of human design.

I agree with you. They have to establish a testable hypothesis or they will get nowhere other than crying in their beers about vast conspiracies against them.

What I find ironic is that Behe is a biochemist and would probably consider someone a crank if they proposed that oligo concatamers formed in vitro because of a pink unicorn farting in the galactic ether. However, the Flatulant Pink Unicorn or FPU hypothesis is as untestable, unfalsifiable, and ridiculous as ID.

Also, almost all the IDists with any kind of scientific degree did their studies in fields that are far removed from evolution like Behe...it would be like a molecular biologist making half wit statements about quantum mechanics at physics meeting and then griping about the vast conspiracy to suppress their glorious ideas.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 11:03 AM MrHambre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 12:09 PM Mammuthus has responded

  
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 307 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 5 of 50 (44848)
07-02-2003 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Mammuthus
07-02-2003 11:33 AM


quote:
What I find ironic is that Behe is a biochemist and would probably consider someone a crank if they proposed that oligo concatamers formed in vitro because of a pink unicorn farting in the galactic ether.

This is not as facetious as it sounds. Recall that Behe is (ahem) careful not to give away the identity of his intelligent designer, arguing that this minor matter is somehow superfluous to his all-powerful Inference. Thus, the FPU hypothesis is at least more specific than anything Behe has publicly proposed. Are you gunning for a fellowship at the Discovery Institute or something?

Furthermore, according to Behe's logic, the FPU hypothesis can claim as much scientific support as any materialistic scenario in explaining the origin of irreducibly complex systems. This is because he denies that such materialistic scenarios exist, are plausible, or are universally accepted.

To return to our subject, the most glaring of Behe's deceptive tactics (and the one that defines Intelligent Design Creationism in my estimation) is the age-old conflation of 'design' with 'intelligence'. Regardless of whether he's discussing man-made or biological entities, whether the subject at hand demonstrates irreducible complexity or any other property, or whether plausible evolutionary scenarios for such a system do or don't exist, he still needs to reestablish the link between 'design' and 'intelligence' before he has the right to infer intelligent agency.

I have argued that Darwin's theory severed that link, and IDC has failed in its efforts to convince us that such a link exists in the context of biological systems.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Mammuthus, posted 07-02-2003 11:33 AM Mammuthus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by NosyNed, posted 07-02-2003 12:31 PM MrHambre has responded
 Message 11 by Mammuthus, posted 07-03-2003 4:19 AM MrHambre has not yet responded

    
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8848
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 6 of 50 (44851)
07-02-2003 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by MrHambre
07-02-2003 12:09 PM


he still needs to reestablish the link between 'design' and 'intelligence' before he has the right to infer intelligent agency.

Yes, I think it is obvious from the name there isn't a real attempt to do science.

If they were actually interested in the subject in the way they are pretending we would be discussing "the problem of irreducible complexity". We would be trying to decide if there really was any, how we would tell and so on. Not jumping to an apparent solution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 12:09 PM MrHambre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 1:11 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 307 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 7 of 50 (44856)
07-02-2003 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by NosyNed
07-02-2003 12:31 PM


Faint Praise
quote:
Yes, I think it is obvious from the name there isn't a real attempt to do science.

Hey, let's give Behe at least some credit. Thanks to his work, scientists stepped up their efforts to provide us with plausible accounts of the evolution of the bacterial flagellum and the other biological structures Behe discussed. And no one will ever again dispute the fact that the mousetrap is the product of intelligent design.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by NosyNed, posted 07-02-2003 12:31 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 2118 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 8 of 50 (44865)
07-02-2003 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by MrHambre
07-02-2003 9:46 AM


I raised the same point in the 'Intelligence behind design'
thread that I opened.

Seems IDists who frequent this site are somewhat silent
on the intelligence aspects ... or how intellgence is
to be inferred if 'dumb design' is also possible.

[This message has been edited by Peter, 07-02-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 9:46 AM MrHambre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 5:57 PM Peter has responded

    
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 307 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 9 of 50 (44866)
07-02-2003 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Peter
07-02-2003 4:50 PM


quote:
Seems IDists who frequent this site are somewhat silent
on the intelligence aspects ... or how intellgence is
to be inferred if 'dumb design' is also possible.

Even the critics of IDC who post here get a little ahead of themselves. This impatience is certainly warranted, but I wanted to see how close I could get to an answer on this particular topic.

I agree that IDC has yet to formulate its hypotheses in any detail, and needs to address honestly the evolutionary proposals for complex biological systems without making a charge of 'materialistic bias.' I agree that much of the IDC platform is stealth creationism and there's no consensus as to how much overlap there is (or possibly could be) between IDC and evolution.

However, my main point here is to establish the criteria for the way IDC equates design with intelligence as a foundational assumption with no supporting evidence other than metaphors and analogies.

As always, Peter, your input is greatly appreciated.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Peter, posted 07-02-2003 4:50 PM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by NosyNed, posted 07-02-2003 6:21 PM MrHambre has not yet responded
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8848
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 10 of 50 (44868)
07-02-2003 6:21 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by MrHambre
07-02-2003 5:57 PM


Ya know, Mr H. It just came to me in a moment of wild conjecture that maybe, just maybe, something else will come from the ID stuff.

Maybe if they keep looking for thier "irreducible complexity" they will find something intersting and, in explaining it in some genetic details we will learn some really neat things about what is possible in the way of "genetic leaps" --- or specific cases of really, really punc eeq.

Now that I'm finished typing that I guess the hox genes are an example of this and it wasn't found by the IDers at all. Ok, maybe no good will come out of this after all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 5:57 PM MrHambre has not yet responded

  
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4669 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 11 of 50 (44919)
07-03-2003 4:19 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by MrHambre
07-02-2003 12:09 PM


Hi Mr. H

quote:
Are you gunning for a fellowship at the Discovery Institute or something?

My scientific career is not that far in the crapper..at least not yet

I agree with your observation that IDist and Behe in particular conflates "design" or basically anything that has localized low entropy as a sign of "intelligence" i.e. a salt crystal or a snowflake by his vague definition would be "self-evident" evidence for design. What he never addresses is how then would you distinguish between a complex structure that has been designed or has occurred at random? That is the crux of the non-testable non-falsifiable dilema for the IDists. The second part of the ID argument usually belies the arrogance of the proponents that because they cannot imagine how say a flagella evolved it must therefore have been designed. As if their intellectual capacities are the measure of scientific knowledge. Arguments from ignorance or incredulity are bogus...especially since for pretty much every example Behe and his cohorts have come up with, someone has done research and based on evidence proposed a evolutionary pathway for the structure.

The entire ID movement is creationism desguised as science by 1) using scientific terms 2) have spokespeople with Ph.D.'s (in non evolution related fields) 3) avoiding the specific mention of a judeo christian god. However, it is not a scientific hypothesis and thus is no better than the FPU, astrology, voodoo etc.

cheers,
M


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 12:09 PM MrHambre has not yet responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 2118 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 12 of 50 (44920)
07-03-2003 4:25 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by MrHambre
07-02-2003 5:57 PM


quote:

However, my main point here is to establish the criteria for the way IDC equates design with intelligence as a foundational assumption with no supporting evidence other than metaphors and analogies.

Mine too.

The thinking seems to go along the lines that if something is
designed it must have a designer (which seems reasonable), but then
leap to the assumption that a designer must be 'intelligent'.

The assumption makes 'intelligent design' a kind of tautology.

Several people here have pointed out that computer algorithms
that operate on the proposed evolutionary principle (heritable
variation + natural selection) can produce elecrical circuit
designs so novel that some companies have patented them ...
only to be confronted with the 'yes but an intelligence wrote
the program' and 'the output was predefined within the program'
arguments that computer models/simulations are always lamblasted
with.

For biological systems I can see indications of a lack of
intelligence in the designs, but nothing that jumps up and
says 'this is the product of an intelligence.'

I too, therefore, would like to hear the support for the claim
to 'intelligence' behind bio-designs.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by MrHambre, posted 07-02-2003 5:57 PM MrHambre has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Mammuthus, posted 07-03-2003 5:45 AM Peter has responded

    
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4669 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 13 of 50 (44931)
07-03-2003 5:45 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Peter
07-03-2003 4:25 AM


quote:
Several people here have pointed out that computer algorithms
that operate on the proposed evolutionary principle (heritable
variation + natural selection) can produce elecrical circuit
designs so novel that some companies have patented them ...
only to be confronted with the 'yes but an intelligence wrote
the program' and 'the output was predefined within the program'
arguments that computer models/simulations are always lamblasted
with

This is also because of the fact that almost all of the IDists/creationists don't know the difference between the theory of evolution and abiogenesis.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Peter, posted 07-03-2003 4:25 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Peter, posted 07-03-2003 6:37 AM Mammuthus has not yet responded
 Message 15 by MrHambre, posted 07-03-2003 12:01 PM Mammuthus has not yet responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 2118 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 14 of 50 (44935)
07-03-2003 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Mammuthus
07-03-2003 5:45 AM


Couldn't agree more!!!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Mammuthus, posted 07-03-2003 5:45 AM Mammuthus has not yet responded

    
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 307 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 15 of 50 (44978)
07-03-2003 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Mammuthus
07-03-2003 5:45 AM


Mammuthus writes:

Peter writes:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Several people here have pointed out that computer algorithms
that operate on the proposed evolutionary principle (heritable
variation + natural selection) can produce elecrical circuit
designs so novel that some companies have patented them ...
only to be confronted with the 'yes but an intelligence wrote
the program' and 'the output was predefined within the program'
arguments that computer models/simulations are always lamblasted
with
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is also because of the fact that almost all of the IDists/creationists don't know the difference between the theory of evolution and abiogenesis.

Not only that, Darwinism explicitly denies these arbitrary distinctions. If all biological design is the result of the copying of ancestral forms, then you can't isolate the 'origin' of a design from the process by which it gradually came into existence through the copying of its ancestor designs.

How many times have we heard the old canard that 'Darwin explained everything in "The Origin of Species" except the origin of species'? This is why creationists have to conceptualize design according to the man-made models, where there are clearer distinctions between creator, process, and product. In Nature there are no such fine lines.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Mammuthus, posted 07-03-2003 5:45 AM Mammuthus has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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