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Author Topic:   Design and the intelligence hypothesis
sidelined
Member (Idle past 4658 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 1 of 109 (226053)
07-24-2005 9:47 PM


This is the start of a new topic that grew from another.In Moral Arguements for God {Faith and Belief} I answered a statement by 1.61803 as follows.

1.61803 writes:

The fundamental laws of nature and the universe that allow the processes of increased complexity could be the design elements themselves

Since the intelligent design theory

certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by positing an intelligent designer

requires that anything of great complexity requires that there must be a designer behind it {as in your "design elements"} then we are left with the puzzle of what designed the designer since,it is reasonable to assume,that the designer is of even greater complexity.

So,if we ask what designed the designer necessary to support your hypothesis, and,continuing on in like fashion ad infinitum, what designed the designer of the designer of the design,we quickly see the absurdity of the position.

1.61803 writes:

What better way to insure ever increasing complexity than to design a system that is self regulating and self designing according to ever changing conditions just like those genetic engineers you are mentioning.

But,in designing a system,we then need to ask the mechanism by which this was accomplished,since,in order to place a pattern in nature it seems necessary to place constraints upon the degrees of freedom of the system that the laws of nature reflect.

The existence of the mechanism would proceed again,as with the designer,as a consequence of its complexity,into absurdity.

Jar thought this was off-topic but would like to argue it on its own,hence the thread.Charles Knight alsos mentioned that this was along similar lines to discussions he wa carrying on elsewhere in which the ideas of infinte regression and Occam's Razor come into play.

In the theory of intelligent design the complexity we observe within nature purportedly cannot be due to other than a designer of great intelligence.
However,an enigma arises when we apply the principle of intelligent design to the proposed intelligent deisgner.Any intelligent designer would,I assume,be quite the more complex than that which he designs leading to the question,which arises from the position taken of intelligent design,what deigned the designer? Naturally,the futrther consequence is that this designer now needs to be addressed in the same manner and we thus arrive at the infinite regression which of course is ludicrous.It answers nothing and adds unenecessarily to the phenomena a condition that is never observed.

Occam's razor is often quoted in this forum and for clarity we will define this term.Between competing explanations of a given phenomena the one which makes the least number of assumptions sufficient to explain the evidence is to be given the greatest weight of credibilty.

This same issue arises of believers of gods since the common escape is that the god itself is not subject to observation as a consequence of being a god. If the proposed god is not subject to observation that is without conditions{believe first,then see}it is not,therefore, an explanation at all
So is the idea of an intelligent designer or a god actually the answer to the question of the complexity of the world about us or is this a means to avoid the hard work of teasing out nature's secrets?

We should probably run this in miscellaneous topics.


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AdminNosy
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Message 2 of 109 (226091)
07-25-2005 1:42 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 854 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 3 of 109 (226131)
07-25-2005 7:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by sidelined
07-24-2005 9:47 PM


Desginer of the designer
So,if we ask what designed the designer necessary to support your hypothesis, and,continuing on in like fashion ad infinitum, what designed the designer of the designer of the design,we quickly see the absurdity of the position.

This seemingly logical tangle occurs in the Big Bank type theories. Where did the laws of physics come from? Did they just 'poof' into existence? From where did they 'poof'? If they poofed as the result of a set of laws and rules, where did those rules poof from?

AbE: I agree that the most parsomonius solution is naturalism. At some point the IDers have to accept that there is either a timeless/eternal being with phenomenal universe creating powers (everyone else calls him God, but the IDers seem to go beserk at the suggestion) or that the universe is the result of a sequence of natural, albeit unexplainable, circumstances.

This message has been edited by Modulous, Mon, 25-July-2005 01:13 PM


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CK
Member (Idle past 2877 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 4 of 109 (226135)
07-25-2005 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Modulous
07-25-2005 7:46 AM


Re: Desginer of the designer
That's true but an exploration of that would be a parallel discussion of this one. Because otherwise we will start to get certain posters saying "Hah you cannot prove X so therefore Y must be true" and the usual nonsense.

It's an interesting question however - maybe you should propose it in the cosomological area (where all the big brains hang out!) because I suspect you will get a far fuller answer there (on this grey manchester day).

quote:
AbE: I agree that the most parsomonius solution is naturalism. At some point the IDers have to accept that there is either a timeless/eternal being with phenomenal universe creating powers (everyone else calls him God, but the IDers seem to go beserk at the suggestion) or that the universe is the result of a sequence of natural, albeit unexplainable, circumstances.

ABE: This is the crux of the matter, the IDers always shy away from this question by saying that it's only important to know that a designer exists not how he/she was designed. This is of course rot, the next level of evasion is that the Designer exists outside of our universe and therefore is not constraited by the same "laws" of ID as the rest of us (but doesn't everything complex require a designer...??). Of course this,again, is just a dodge. Both of those are to get around the infinite regression that ID otherwise suggests (I've never understood how Iders can claim it's NOT about God).

Now my problem has always been this - If at one level, the designer does not need to designed - why couldn't the universe just POOF itself in existance.

This message has been edited by Charles Knight, 25-Jul-2005 08:19 AM


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 854 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 5 of 109 (226136)
07-25-2005 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by CK
07-25-2005 8:13 AM


physics of physics (meta physics)
The problem is, that if I ask that question one of two things will happen.

1) A boffin will say "We don't know", and I will accept that and the thread will end.

2) A boffin will say "We don't know, but here is my favourite theory, *cue a string of arcane physics three steps ahead of my measly A-Level*"

Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to have a constructive discussion either way...though I might enjoy watching such a discussion to see what ideas get thrown around.


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jar
Member
Posts: 33120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 6 of 109 (226186)
07-25-2005 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by sidelined
07-24-2005 9:47 PM


"I Am"
God supposedly used those words to describe who She was.

Those of us who are theists, particularly the Christian ones, believe that GOD exists and that GOD created the universe. The question "but who designed the designer" has no real meaning since by definition GOD is that which was not created; He Is.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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CK
Member (Idle past 2877 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 7 of 109 (226210)
07-25-2005 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
07-25-2005 11:05 AM


Re: "I Am"
And that's fine and I have no problem with it. In fact that the only way I can see the christian god existing.

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sidelined
Member (Idle past 4658 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 8 of 109 (226228)
07-25-2005 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
07-25-2005 11:05 AM


Re: "I Am"
jar

The question "but who designed the designer" has no real meaning since by definition GOD is that which was not created; He Is

This sentence highlights is where the difficulty lies jar.Taking things as you do on faith is fine as this is a personal decision arrived at by emotional means.However,your statement here,contadicts itself since on the one hand you state that god is. You also state he was not created.You do this from the position of our world so I am wondering how something can be yet not have been a part of the creation.Am I assuming wrongly that that you are equating god with being as an integrated part of the world or not?

If he was not created what was he? What origin could god have? This again runs the course of problems that arise with infinite regression in that something that never had a beginning cannot have come to exist since this seems to require a temporal evaluation.

We cannot simply state god always existed since we again are trapped by the notion of temporal cause and effect.


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jar
Member
Posts: 33120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 9 of 109 (226232)
07-25-2005 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by sidelined
07-25-2005 12:39 PM


Re: "I Am"
We cannot simply state god always existed since we again are trapped by the notion of temporal cause and effect.

Of course we can. By definition GOD is without cause. GOD is that which was not created and which created.

Am I assuming wrongly that that you are equating god with being as an integrated part of the world or not?

Yes, IMHO you are mistaking what I said. What we see as the Universe may well be part of GOD, but the Universe does not contain GOD. GOD may contain the Universe and the Universe may be part of GOD, but the limits are on us, not on GOD.

What origin could god have?

GOD had no origin. To speak of "Before GOD" has no more meaning that talking about before the Singularity.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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CK
Member (Idle past 2877 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 10 of 109 (226233)
07-25-2005 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by sidelined
07-25-2005 12:39 PM


'Old on a minute...
I think we have to be very careful here - we are in the intelligent design forum and thus we should be concentrating on how this infinite regression is a problem for and an element of Intelligent Design. While we could could get into the issue of the christian (or muslim for that matter) God - is that not more of a faith question?

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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8954
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 11 of 109 (226251)
07-25-2005 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by CK
07-25-2005 12:54 PM


Infinite Regression

I think we have to be very careful here - we are in the intelligent design forum and thus we should be concentrating on how this infinite regression is a problem for and an element of Intelligent Design. While we could could get into the issue of the christian (or muslim for that matter) God - is that not more of a faith question?

Let's gather a few things from previous posts together.

Note that above:

CK writes:

This is the crux of the matter, the IDers always shy away from this question by saying that it's only important to know that a designer exists not how he/she was designed.

Remember that the basic argument between the two sides if that creationism in any form does not belong in the science classroom. The reason that IDers shy away is that god is not an acceptable answer without evidence for this god.

Once they admit that the designer is faith based then they admit that they have no other backing than personal faith. Most of us don't mind that as long as they stay out of the classroom.

Once we reach that point we have finished with the topic as far as this thread is concerned.

Modulous writes:

A boffin will say "We don't know", and I will accept that and the thread will end.

There is a big difference between "We don't know." and "godditit". One is what leads the scientific process on to new knowledge. The other has, for all of history, stopped the developement of new knowledge.

If we don't know some answers that doesn't mean we don't know anything .

It may well be that the quest to continue answering such questions will regress infinitely or that we will finally run up against a wall that is simple more than our minds can reach over. So far, so good. Let's give it a few more decades at least before we give up to quickly.

If you even look at our current state of knowledge from the point of view of a century ago we see that we now answer questions which, if they could have been conceived of would have been classed as forever unknowable.

This message has been edited by NosyNed, 07-25-2005 01:44 PM


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jar
Member
Posts: 33120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 12 of 109 (226252)
07-25-2005 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by NosyNed
07-25-2005 1:43 PM


Re: Infinite Regression
I think there needs to be one other distinction made between the classical Creationist/ID proponent and the Theistic Evolutionist.

Remember that the basic argument between the two sides if that creationism in any form does not belong in the science classroom. The reason that IDers shy away is that god is not an acceptable answer without evidence for this god.

The Theistic Evolutionist would agree with both of those statements.

Once they admit that the designer is faith based then they admit that they have no other backing than personal faith.

Again, the Theistic Evolutionist would agree that it is a position of Faith and so does not belong in Science Classrooms.

But the Theistic Evolutionist is also a Creationist. We believe that GOD created the Universe and point to the majesty of the rules that seem to apply, the universality of those rules and the inevitable consequences of those rules as evidence of that which we call GOD.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8954
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 13 of 109 (226257)
07-25-2005 2:29 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by jar
07-25-2005 1:57 PM


Creationist and creationist
jar writes:

But the Theistic Evolutionist is also a Creationist. We believe that GOD created the Universe and point to the majesty of the rules that seem to apply, the universality of those rules and the inevitable consequences of those rules as evidence of that which we call GOD.

sure, sure, completely correct. But in the context of the discussions we have here and in the wider world it is misleading to use the term creationist in such a fashion.

How about we distinguish between Creationist (the specific type who not only believes God is the responsible creator for everything but also think that s/he is in a postition to tell God just how He/She did the job) and creationist (small c) who isn't so prideful to think they can order God to toe the line.


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jar
Member
Posts: 33120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 14 of 109 (226304)
07-25-2005 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by NosyNed
07-25-2005 2:29 PM


Re: Creationist and creationist
Works for me. I don't think I can tell GOD how to do much of anything.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 359 days)
Posts: 3811
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 15 of 109 (226326)
07-25-2005 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by CK
07-25-2005 8:13 AM


Re: Desginer of the designer
Charles Knight writes:
quote:
Now my problem has always been this - If at one level, the designer does not need to be designed - why couldn't the universe just POOF itself in existance.

jar writes:

quote:
GOD had no origin. To speak of "Before GOD" has no more meaning that talking about before the Singularity.

and

quote:
But the Theistic Evolutionist is also a Creationist. We believe that GOD created the Universe and point to the majesty of the rules that seem to apply, the universality of those rules and the inevitable consequences of those rules as evidence of that which we call GOD.

Like Charles Knight (I think), I have no problem with anyone's personal faith when that faith ends where my liberty begins. But the point he makes above, IMHO, is the most trenchant in this thread.

If God needs no beginning, why does the universe?

Why should our observations of the universe promote a belief in God? The experience of majesty is in us, not in the universe; the argument from majesty is the mirror of the argument from incredulity: Quien es mas majestuoso? A school bus or a pulsar? Universality runs no farther than current theory and instrumentation; in fact, our theoriticians outrun it, positing sister universes where all the constants of our anthropic universe may well vary.

To speak of "before the singularity" makes a great deal more sense than to speak of "before God"; cosmology considers cyclic Bang and Crunch, colliding sister universes, ultimate heat death, etc., and proposes observational tests of each possibility.

To speak of and consider "before the singularity" may lead to knowledge, not only making sense theoretically but promising to be productive. To conclude from our subjective experience of majesty that there must be a God is in principle no different from the conclusion of the Cargo Cult islanders, who could only explain these material wonders washing up on their shores via a deity.

IDers are, indeed, hoist by their own petard via regression: one cannot validly cite one's notion that apparent complex design evidences a creator without raising the question of that creator's origin; responding to that question with a reason-proof definition creates a nullity, not a refutation (I am not ascribing that maneuver to jar)

I am endlessly fascinated and curious about another's experience of majesty, and quite willing to listen at length to it, as long as the life consequences remain theirs, not mine. But when my ID interlocutor tells me, "I don't have to reply to questions about First Cause, for I have defined them away," the discussion cannot proceed.

This message has been edited by Omnivorous, 07-25-2005 09:13 PM


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