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Author Topic:   Is ID properly pursued?
Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 2 of 94 (92777)
03-16-2004 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
03-16-2004 12:36 PM


I agree with your conclusion, but not with your approach, which appears to me to be "improperly pursued." So, the question becomes, "How do we decide what is proper pursuit?"

As has been noted in the thread here on favorite quotations, it is Darwin's notion of science that it explains everything, before ideas become theories. But, in the study of the scientific method, successful prediction, not explanation, is the standard for assessing the value of ideas. Thus, since ID pretends to be a scientific idea, it ought to be pursuing it's claim to credibility by making predictions. Especially predictions that are contradicted by the non-designed universe idea. (Evolution, of course, predicts that it's results will have the appearence of intelligence, just not design.) The proper pursuit of ID, then, is to come up with predictions that, before they are tested, even those viewing evolution as most likely to be true will agree ought not occur, because they would only result if ID were true, and evolution not true.

Now, we know that bad people exist in the world, that is people from whom we can only expect bad behavior. Every definable group of people, including those affirming evolution, and those affirming ID, is expected (by inference, or experience. the theory of succession) to have such groups. A bad evolutionist, for example, would take every prediction from a well-meaning ID theorist, and would claim that this prediction might come from evolution as well. And vice versa. We have to either find a way to detect and ignore "bad" evolutionists and ID-ists from the discussion, or set things up so that they are prevented from doing their work of confusion.

This is really tricky. Let's say that an ID scientist wants to make a prediction about two measurable variables, X and Y. He predicts that if ID is true, X will increase with Y. By his understanding of evolution, he would predict that, if evolution were true, X will decrease with Y. So, he asks some evolutionists what they expect. If they are "good" evolutionists, they will take their theory and make deductions from it pertaining to X and Y, and will stand by these predictions. In this example, let's suppose that they also predict, given evolution is true, X decreases with Y. The "bad" evolutionists will take ID, will deduce the same prediction made by the ID scientist, and will then force their theory of evolution to predict the same thing. Evolution has the political edge. As a theory, it can only stand to lose in a face-off test against ID theorizing. So, the bad evolutionists make a forced prediction, so that the test will be unpersuasive.

Velikovsky successfully pulled off a proper strong inference test, with his theory of planetary collisions and the formation of Venus. He got most astronomers to predict that Venus when visited, would be found to be a "cold" planet, in contradiction to his theoretical prediction that it would be hot. It was only after Venus was discovered to be hot, as Velikovsky predicted, that the "bad" astromers ad hoc explained it from their traditional cosmology. In the end, their ad hoc theory may well be more plausible, but their proceedure was not as proper as was Velikovsky's.

Here is another example of improper pursuit. That ID depends on the existence and involvement of some intelligent designer does not make it a priori a "faith" or unscientific hypothesis. This is like someone finding a watch, but when the owner or maker shows up asking that the watch be returned to him, the finder claims that it was "naturally" produced, belonging to no one. The owner-maker tries to present evidence that he made the watch, but the finder asks that the court dismiss the claim. The dismissal is asked on the grounds that the evidence for ownership is coming from a weird person, and there is no scientific way we can test the validity of such a person's claims. All of psychological science is thrown out. Character witnesses, handwriting, lie-detector tests, finger-prints, inside knowledge....no, we cannot scientifically accept this evidence because it is from this super-human person.

I agree that, if the ID believers were honest, or "good" they would bring their Designer into the court-room, would in fact base their claim on verifiable prophecy, if prophecy is defined to include depositions from God, the deistic designer. Some persons supporting the idea of a Creator do this, counting on ELS's or other "theomatic" evidence that these depositions are signed and notarized. But none that are defending ID are taking this stand. That's improper proceedure. But, excluding the possibility of such evidence is also improper. It's a political stand, truly defending the theory of evolution, not defending the truth, per se. Such debate is from lawyers, not scientists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 03-16-2004 12:36 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Brad McFall, posted 03-16-2004 3:12 PM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded
 Message 6 by Loudmouth, posted 03-16-2004 3:49 PM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded
 Message 7 by RAZD, posted 03-16-2004 4:27 PM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 03-18-2004 1:05 AM Stephen ben Yeshua has not yet responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 9 of 94 (92852)
03-16-2004 11:40 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Brad McFall
03-16-2004 3:12 PM

Hey, Brad,

Yeh, good point, if I understand what you are saying. Let's say that a new life form is found elsewhere in the universe. Now, does evolution theory predict it will be DNA based? What might ID theory predict?

Of course, one of the problems with biblically based creation thinking, is that life, in the bible, does not refer to DNA, but something spiritual. DNA would be "flesh" in the bible, which is closely tied to death, not life. So, a biblically based creationist might predict that "life" (what they would really call, flesh) forms, having a common creator might well all be DNA based. I think that one evolutionist, at least, Dr. Crick, believes that DNA based life or flesh forms got started somewhere in the universe, and like carbon itself, has got around.

A head scratcher, as you indicate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Brad McFall, posted 03-16-2004 3:12 PM Brad McFall has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 03-17-2004 12:29 AM Stephen ben Yeshua has not yet responded
 Message 12 by Brad McFall, posted 03-17-2004 11:13 AM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 16 of 94 (93282)
03-19-2004 4:45 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Loudmouth
03-16-2004 3:49 PM


The question of intelligence and design in interesting. We see the appearence of intelligence in a river running the path of least resistance, matched by the real intelligence of highway engineers, building their "smartest" road right along side of that river, at least through a mountainous region. Design, on the other hand, implies an artistic touch might be used, something frivolous or interesting, that makes the road scenic, say.

In terms of biologic diversity, the argument for natural selection, always finding the fastest route to the most fit phenotype, appearing intelligent when it is only an appearence, is thus sound. To find the appearence of design, we have to find the taken path deviating from what seems simple "intelligence" and showing some creative touch, that still preserves functionality.

The "bad" evolutionists will take ID, will deduce the same prediction made by the ID scientist, and will then force their theory of evolution to predict the same thing.

Could you cite an example of this. I am not saying it hasn't happened, but an example might help clarify this a bit.

This is hypothetical, but it might help explain what I think I see. Suppose a scientist takes the theory of creation as presented in the bible, and considers rates of suicide in human sub-populations. The argument goes roughly like this: The bible exists, and claims to be a deposition from a supernatural creator Person, named Jehovah, setting forth His claim to have created everything in our universe. He asserts in this deposition that He owns everything, and has certain rights to our or anyone's use of any part of that creation. He also describes there existing conflicts with that claim, and how He rightfully deals with those conflicts. Part of this "conflict history" identifies "spiritual pathogens" that left to act freely, cause human "problems" including suicide. The scientist then predicts that those who "believe" in a Creator, as best that they understand the term "believe," because they meet one of the Creator's requirements for just use of the creation, will have lower rates of the spiritual pathogen attacks that lead to suicide. (Will have, as it is promised, long life.) Those who do not believe, atheists for example, will have higher rates.

So, our hypothetical scientist sends out a letter to several dozen evolutionary scientists, asking them what they might predict would be the pattern of atheism and suicide rates, given that there is no creator, but only evolution by natural selection, behind human existence, form, and behavior. Some evolutionists, bad scientists, might want to negate this as a valid test, just in case it turns out to be true that the atheist group has a higher suicide rate. They may have an inkling of the way the data will turn out, and try to ad hoc argue that this is what we expect if evolution is true. The good guys, using proper proceedure, will look into what evolutionary theory has discovered about suicide in nature, the adaptive value of it, and will make a balanced effort to predict which group might have the higher rate, deluded creation believers, or enlightened to the truth evolutionists. Given, of course, that evolution is true.

In the healthy discussion, much might be generated in terms of predictions about age patterns of suicide in the two groups, about associated psychological manifestations, illnesses, economic status, reproductive status, etc. All given that one or the other of the theories were true.

But, my claim, and that of Kuhn, is that there would be a lot of unhealthy discussion, as well, as both sides tried to "explain away" logical connections between the hypothetical truth of the ideas, and the consequences manifested in this social measurable.

"That ID depends on the existence and involvement of some intelligent designer does not make it a priori a "faith" or unscientific hypothesis." ...This argument for ID fails at every level.

I juxtaposed these two statements from your post, the first my argument, the second your reply. Note that I was not arguing "for" ID, only for the right to study the ID idea scientifically. Your arguments are valid to another point, namely that a watch must be created because it cannot reproduce. But that does not mean that something that can reproduce cannot have been created. Witness our many patented breeds of animals. Second, the many people that have prayed and believed that their prayers were answered, when their prayer concerned something that evolutionists would count as a measure of fitness, have, to their eyes, observed a creator creating the very life that they prayed for. Perhaps their witness is not persuasive to all or even most scientists. But, the case for obstrusness in the minds of the scientists is more easily made than that for delusion in the minds of those praying.

It is a pseudoscience that will never be tested, only used for political gain.

I tend to agree. It will be the good scientists who will test it by validating prophesy, bible codes, prayer studies, and such things, who will confirm it, if it is true.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Loudmouth, posted 03-16-2004 3:49 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 17 of 94 (93286)
03-19-2004 5:10 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
03-16-2004 4:27 PM


You comment,

but I would say it needs to provide predictions that differ from predictions based on evolution.


"it is Darwin's notion of science that it explains everything" - where does Darwin (the man) enter into the science of genetics? Sub-atomic physics? Darwin is not the definer of science anymore than he is the definer of the science of evolution (which would exist today without his book and theories).

Just giving credit to the earlist expression I know of of this mis-conception of science.

"Evolution, of course, predicts that it's results will have the appearance of intelligence" - where does evolution predict the appearance of intelligence? It predicts that change will happen, but makes no prediction about the direction of the changes.

Evolution drives form and function "uphill" on the fitness landscape, in that variants that are more fit take over each species over time, until one gets to the ESS, the evolutionary stable strategy, the most intelligent way for that species to deal with the environment, at least on a micro-level.

"A bad evolutionist, for example, would take every prediction from a well-meaning ID theorist ..." - would be corrected by "good" evolutionists when the papers were peer reviewed.

We would hope. But, at this level, the studies are not usually published. The one scientist asks the other what they would predict from the theory that they hold as most plausible. See the discussion of creation theories versus evolutionary theories, predicting patterns in human suicide rates. In the post 16 above to Loudmouth.

This is a straw man argument btw, requiring a bad evolutionist to make it work.

Not exactly. More of an warning, based on Thomas Kuhn's analysis of the history of scientific studies, that there are a lot of "scientists" out there who explain away new discoveries. So, theorist A, a creation scientist, predicts X from creo, and Y from evo. They ask theorist B, a evolutionary scientist, what he might predict. If X and Y are the result, we have a good test. But, A could be setting up a false test, and B could be falsifying a good test. Really need an outside judge to determine when arguments are forced.

Re faith and supernatural or deistic arguments, the only point I was trying to make was that Gods get to decide what we can or cannot do with them. We cannot say that, just because a hypothesis contains a god of some sort, it is not scientific. That's up to the god. Some gods might stay aloof, others might subject themselves to scientific scrutiny. The God, Jehovah, for example, within certain bounds of decency, allows Himself to be "tested."

The lawyer/scientist comparison allows us to better see who is a "good" and who is a "bad" scientist. The lawyer wants to win his point, even when the evidence goes against it. He objects, and tries to get evidence thrown out as "inadmissable." The scientist would rather lose his case, than have the truth suppressed.

Sorry to be so slow with this reply.



[This message has been edited by Stephen ben Yeshua, 03-19-2004]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by RAZD, posted 03-16-2004 4:27 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by RAZD, posted 03-19-2004 9:53 PM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 18 of 94 (93295)
03-19-2004 5:52 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Brad McFall
03-17-2004 11:13 AM


Have you been following the PEAR research at Princeton, where there is accumulationg evidence that consciousness affects the "random" sub-atomic breakdown of nucleii, transcends both space and time, and coupled with free-will has all sorts of potential influences over "fleshly" changes? Remember Lack's "ultimate and proximate" causes arguments? The egg came first, but without chicken-feed, would never have lasted.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Brad McFall, posted 03-17-2004 11:13 AM Brad McFall has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Brad McFall, posted 03-19-2004 11:00 AM Stephen ben Yeshua has not yet responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 26 of 94 (94190)
03-23-2004 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by RAZD
03-19-2004 9:53 PM


Your quest,

what misconception about what science?

It can be proved philosophically that explanations that explain everything are infinite, if enough complexity is allowed. The error of rationalization thus occurs, and haunts our efforts to effectively describe ontologically how the universe really is. That is, an explanation that explains "everything" may still be far from the truth. But, by a process associated with the logic behind Bayes theorem, and both intuitively and historically validated, prediction power is generally very closely associated with truth content.

This distinction is very often lost, or hidden. Kuhn observed that most scientists aren't really after the truth content of ideas, but rather are working to defend and soldify a conventional paragidm. They slide into the social role of authoritative keeper of deep mysteries, instead of the courageous and mis-understood pioneer of intellectual frontiers. The phoney scientists like to define science so their efforts look real, i.e. by extolling the explanatory power of their ideas, or worse, by excluding methodologies that would allow the discovery of ontological situations that would prove the conventional paradigms wrong. The best example of this is in evolution, where the competing theory hypothesizes the existence of a creator which relates to us more or less as we relate to our livestock, or to worms that we raise. Although such a relationship between two such beings clearly can exist, as exemplified by the way we relate to these "lower" creatures, which we in many cases have largely created, some evolutionists argue that our science cannot discover truths about them. This is patently silly. If we want worms to know about us, we have ways of letting the worms know, with the senses and mentalities that they have (with the limits of worm epistemology) that we are part of their lives. If we don't want the worms to know about us, we can keep them in ignorance. It's up to us.

In our case, the being (God) who supposedly created us, makes it perfectly clear that our epistemology, including our scientific method, is adequate to "know" Him. He says so point blank. "Test me now in this." But, ingenuous evolutionists insist that their understanding of epistemology has to be greater than that of this hypothetical God, and that science to confirm this God is not science at all. This in the face of thousands of scientific studies, and scientific anecdotes, that confirm the predictions of the "Jehovah is the Creator of life on earth" hypothesis.

how do you explain mutations that appear, are selected for and then disappear only to evolve again --- which one is on the peak and which in the valley? How do you explain those pesky moths that change from white to dark to white with the flip of a smokestack?

The adaptive landscape actually flucuates, as environments change, sometimes drastically enough that knolls turn into valleys, and back again. More interesting, in my opinion, is the effect of population size on fitness, so-called frequency or density dependent selection. When an adaptive peak is reached, the phenotype achieves the ESS, and the population grows at its fastest rate. Until crowding brings the fitness back down to zero or worse. Now the knoll has been leveled, and any nearby peaks that before were separated by a valley, might be reachable.

As I have said elsewhere in these forums, creationists of all stripes are substantially worse (less intellectual integrity) than evolutionists. Creationists are hardly worth correcting, and I actually blame the creationists for most of the bad epistemological habits of the evolutionists. Check it out! You'll find many, maybe most evolutionists have gotten their understanding of the bible from creationists, and so had hidden from them (the evolutionists) all the epistemological treasures to be found in that wisdom-filled book.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by RAZD, posted 03-19-2004 9:53 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 03-24-2004 1:02 AM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 28 of 94 (95793)
03-29-2004 11:17 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by RAZD
03-24-2004 1:02 AM


Let me address this comment first,

In other words you define the peak to be whereever the surviving population happens to be so that your {drives form and function "uphill"} is self fulfilling.

Close, but not quite. The peak exists as a goal, often unreached by the surviving population, which depends on the slow but sure process of evolution or evolition, to get there. (In evolition, we have the scriptural, "he who endures to the end will be saved") The peak is what the optimal phenotype actually is at any given moment, whatever the actual phenotype.

You also ask,

Feel free to provide one.

speaking of testable predictions from the theory of creation. There are actually many. The most frequently tested, that I am aware of, involves prayers to the Creator to modify the measures of fitness. Here, creation includes artificial selection, willful modification of the measures of fitness to produce by artificial selection phenotypes willfully, not naturally chosen. Thus, God creates species in a manner similar to our production of breeds of dogs. To test this, scientists pray to this putative Creator to change the survival, etc, of bacteria in the face of an adaptive challenge. Successfully. Spindrift studies, and others cited by Dossey describe such experimentation. If all is created, then there is a Creator, whose involvement can be demonstrated by responses to prayer. At least, this is the case if the Creator is the one described biblically. That potential creator describes how to influence their involvement through prayer, so we can study the creative process. Other experiments involve tithing, and prophecy, both of which are supposed, if all is created, to produce predictable (i.e. scientific) results.

My point stands. To define science so that it cannot reject evolution for creation, is ingenuous.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 03-24-2004 1:02 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by RAZD, posted 03-30-2004 1:38 AM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded
 Message 30 by RAZD, posted 03-30-2004 1:49 AM Stephen ben Yeshua has not yet responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 31 of 94 (95834)
03-30-2004 2:09 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by RAZD
03-30-2004 1:38 AM

Re: silly squared

This is a tautology

No, it's not. Precisely not. A bird that weighs 10 grams, eating seeds in a field where the optimal bird, with the same relative proportions, would weigh 12 grams, has a phenotype that is sub-optimal. The seed size and temperatures in the field are what determine the optimal body size, and the 10 grams birds survive the winter at the rate of only 30%, not the 40$ of the 12 gram birds. Over the course of both natural and artificial selection, we would expect the average weight of the birds that inhabit this field to increase 2 grams. Of course, 12 gram birds would put different selection pressures on the seeds. And very large seeds in the field, requiring a bird weighing 25 grams to consume them, would remain uneaten by birds in either case. The problem them is, how do we evolve, or artificially select for, a 25 gram bird? When the 12 gram birds eat their seeds down to low enough levels, perhaps a largish individual can actually eat and get a survival advantage from the very large seeds. Then, the bird species can continue its evolution/evolition to a size or polymorphism or sympatric speciation that allows it to consume both the smaller and larger seeds.

If I understand the rest of your rambling, scientists doing experiments are actually praying for the results that they then discover. A different kind of silliness that would not even qualify as a tautology.
Insulting too, but I doubt you would understand that.

I understand that you feel insulted, and are responding by insulting me. None of which changes the fact that scientists wishing to test the hypothesis that Jehovah, the God self-described in the Bible, manipulates the fitness of existing species, and thus controls their developement, do repeatable and repeated experiments with prayer, according to Dossey. Didn't mean to insult you by exposing your ignorance of this, or your trust of "authorities" that have asserted dogmatically, religiously actually, that such experiments are impossible or never happened. Hey, it's Satan's job to make a fool of you. It's your job to decide whether you want to let that happen, or would rather face the pain of knowing that you believed something that someone evil wanted you to believe, and got you to believe.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by RAZD, posted 03-30-2004 1:38 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 03-30-2004 9:16 AM Stephen ben Yeshua has responded

Stephen ben Yeshua
Inactive Member

Message 33 of 94 (97863)
04-05-2004 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by RAZD
03-30-2004 9:16 AM

Re: silly cubed

Enjoy your island of sub-optimal adaptation to the reality of the universe.

In all natural measures, my adaptation island has a much higher than average fitness, which implies to me that the reality of the universe is in agreement with my working ontology. Which is enjoyable.

I like the quote at the end of your messages. Encourages me to continue and be diligent with my efforts to increase my ability to understand.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 03-30-2004 9:16 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by RAZD, posted 04-05-2004 12:34 PM Stephen ben Yeshua has not yet responded

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