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Author Topic:   Biological Evidence Against Intelligent Design
nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 77 of 264 (544630)
01-27-2010 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by deerbreh
01-22-2010 11:45 AM


Consciousness was not designed
I propose a discussion on the question,
"What biological evidence is there against Intelligent Design?"
All of biology is evidence against ID. No self respecting designer would design things that way.
To be specific, I find it extremely implausible that consciousness could have been designed. The wannabe designer of today - the roboticists and AI researchers, haven't a clue as to how to design consciousness, and most of them will admit that they cannot see any purpose for designing consciousness into a robot. It seems likely that consciousness could only have arisen through evolution.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 139 of 264 (545521)
02-04-2010 2:49 AM
Reply to: Message 137 by Straggler
02-04-2010 1:26 AM


Re: Mutually Exclusive and Seeking Common ground
Straggler writes:
For example there are those here who would strongly advocate that it is a scientific fact in which they have great confidence that the Earth is billions of years old whilst simultaneously claiming to be agnostic with regard to omphalism (AKA Last Thursdayism) on the basis that there is an "absence of evidence".
I am not seeing any problem at all with that.
Everything we say about the past is an inference from current evidence. Last Thursdayism does not alter the current evidence. Therefore one makes the same inferences. The reason people say thay are agnostic is that Last Thursdayism is totally irrelevant since it does not change any of the current evidence.
You could, of course, propose that we change the rules of inference so that we never infer an age older than the time since last Thursday. But that would be opposed as having no basis. This gets back to science being a pragmatic enterprise rather than a truth seeking enterprise. The current rules of inference are far more useful than would be the proposed alternative rules of inference.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2010 1:26 AM Straggler has replied

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 Message 140 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2010 5:53 AM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


(1)
Message 143 of 264 (545559)
02-04-2010 9:26 AM
Reply to: Message 140 by Straggler
02-04-2010 5:53 AM


Re: Mutually Exclusive and Seeking Common ground
Let's put it this way.
Last Thursdayism makes a claim about metaphysical truth.
Statements on the age of the earth make claims about empirical truth.
Metaphysical truth seems to be completely unknowable. And even it it were known, there does not appear to be any use for it.
Empirical truth is knowable in principle (given sufficient evidence), and is knowable often enough in practice. Moreover, it is relevant to our lives.
Thus:
(1) we should stick to using empirical truth, and be agnostic about all claims regarding metaphysical truth;
(2) there is no mutual exclusion between a claim of metaphysical truth and a claim of empirical truth, for those claims are made relative to completely different truth systems.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2010 5:53 AM Straggler has replied

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 Message 144 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2010 10:32 AM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 151 of 264 (545594)
02-04-2010 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by Straggler
02-04-2010 10:32 AM


Re: Mutually Exclusive and Seeking Common ground
Straggler writes:
If the empirical evidence strongly indicates that the unverifiable, unfalsifiable, unknowable "metaphysical truth" in question is a product of human invention then we should follow the first part of your sentence and treat it as such.
"Agnostic" pretty much means that you accept it as unknowable and unverifiable. I am not understanding why you find that objectionable.
Otherwise we are back in the realm of agnosticism towards Immaterial Pink Unicorns, undetectable pixies and the Easter Bunny. Etc.
As far as I know, nobody is making serious claims about immaterial pink unicorns, undetectable pixies or the easter bunny. So there's no need to be agnostic since there is no claim about which to be agnostic.
Are you proposing agnosticism towards all such concepts?
No. Only about those for which people make serious claims.
If somebody makes a serious metaphysical claim, for which there is no evidence, then it seems to me that
  • I can punch him in the nose;
  • I can argue with him until I am red in the face;
  • I can adopt an agnostic position, and walk away.
It seems to me that the last of those choices is the more sensible one.
If omphalism claims that the universe is physically one week old and the empirical evidence says that the universe is billions of years old there is a mutually exclusive discrepancy.
Omphalism makes no claim about the empirical evidence. There is no discrepancy, so there is nothing mutually exclusive.

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 Message 144 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2010 10:32 AM Straggler has replied

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 Message 152 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2010 1:21 PM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 153 of 264 (545607)
02-04-2010 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 152 by Straggler
02-04-2010 1:21 PM


Re: Omphalism
Straggler writes:
Why do you consider the things that people make "serious claims about " to be any more or less likely to exist than things that they don't?
According to the Wikipedia article, "Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claimsespecially claims about the existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claimsis unknown or unknowable."
That says nothing about whether they are more or less likely to exist.
Perhaps we are disagreeing over what we mean by "agnostic".
Straggler writes:
nwr writes:
Omphalism makes no claim about the empirical evidence. There is no discrepancy, so there is nothing mutually exclusive.
Nonsense. Omphalism (AKA Last Thursdayism) claims that the universe is less than a week old.
That is not an empirical claim. If anything, Omphalism goes out of its way to avoid any possibility that there could be empirical evidence as to its validity.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 152 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2010 1:21 PM Straggler has replied

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 Message 156 by Straggler, posted 02-04-2010 2:48 PM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 157 of 264 (545645)
02-04-2010 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by Straggler
02-04-2010 2:48 PM


Re: Omphalism
Straggler writes:
We have generally used the Dawkins scale of belief as a reference.
Okay. So Dawkins is using "agnosticism" as a kind of soft atheism. By contrast, I use it as defined in Wikipedia, as a principled position that is outside the Dawkins scale, and would use "undecided" for position 4 on that scale.
For the record I would argue that the rational position with regard to omphalism is a 6 (de facto atheist). Where do you stand?
I don't see a need to be on that scale. I think of omphalism is analogous to that old philosophers question about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. That is, it cannot be settled, but it has no actual relevance to us. So we should just ignore it or laugh at it, depending on the circumstances.
Seriously how can you conclude both that the universe didn't exist last Wednesday whilst at the same time concluding that it has existed for billions of years? Without your head exploding?
My view: That the earth has existed for billions of years best fits the available evidence. That does not require any contradiction, nor does it lead to any head explosion.
Perhaps I should add that I think the accounts of knowledge and rationality coming from philosophy (i.e. epistemology) is mostly bullshit. I see no need for the kind of belief commitments listed on the Dawkins scale.
Edited by nwr, : fix typo

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 Message 159 by Modulous, posted 02-05-2010 7:34 AM nwr has seen this message but not replied
 Message 165 by Straggler, posted 02-05-2010 3:31 PM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 166 of 264 (545844)
02-05-2010 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 165 by Straggler
02-05-2010 3:31 PM


Re: Omphalism
Straggler writes:
My view: That the earth has existed for billions of years best fits the available evidence. That does not require any contradiction, nor does it lead to any head explosion.
So I ask you how long do you think the Earth has existed? Billions of years? Less than 10,000 years? Or both simultaneously?
My answer above should be sufficient.
I am reminded of the mathematician Paul Erdős who used to say that he was 2 billion years old. His reasoning was that when he was young the world was 2 billion years old, and now it is 4 billion years old. So a simple subtraction gave his age as 2 billion.
Erdős was joking, of course. But his joke reminds us that statements about the age of the earth are based on evidence that is present today. And it also reminds us that science is tentative and subject to revision.
You cannot claim a high degree of confidence in the Earth being billions of years old whilst also claiming to be anything but a de facto atheist with regard to the conclusion that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old (or less than a wekk old in the case of last Thursdayism).
Sorry, but I still disagree. One is a statement of empirical truth (truth derived from evidence). The other is a statement of metaphysical truth. Those are two complete different systems of truth, so one cannot contradict the other.
As I think I have said before, I am agnostic with respect to metaphysical truth. I believe it to be unknowable. We should stick to empirical truth, and not concern ourselves with metaphysical truth.
I recognize that some scientists believe that they are discovering metaphysical truths. I believe that they are mistaken.
Perhaps you are one of those who believe science uncovers metaphysical truths, and perhaps that is why you keep demanding an answer for what I have already sufficiently answered. I see metaphysics as a foolish enterprise, and will not be pressured into it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by Straggler, posted 02-05-2010 3:31 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 167 by Straggler, posted 02-05-2010 5:28 PM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


(1)
Message 169 of 264 (545854)
02-05-2010 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 167 by Straggler
02-05-2010 5:28 PM


Re: Omphalism
nwr writes:
My answer above should be sufficient.
My earlier answer was:
nwr writes:
My view: That the earth has existed for billions of years best fits the available evidence.
Straggler writes:
It isn't. It is avoiding the question.
Well, tough. I don't give in to bullies, and I will thank you to cease and desist from all future intellectual bullying.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by Straggler, posted 02-05-2010 5:28 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Straggler, posted 02-07-2010 3:02 AM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


(1)
Message 172 of 264 (546011)
02-07-2010 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by Straggler
02-07-2010 3:02 AM


Re: Omphalism
Straggler writes:
Well if you believe that the Earth is billions of years old based on the empirical evidence you cannot claim to be agnostic about the omphalist claim that the empirical evidence is lying and that the earth is less than 10,000 years old can you?
The two are blatantly mutually exclusive.
I have nothing but disdain for religion. You are making science into religion, a kind of fundamentalist scientism. A fundamentalist scientism is every bit as foolish as any other fundamentalist religion.
Science is tentative. That the earth is around 4 billion years old is a tentative conclusion. There is no need to make it into any kind of belief. And no, they are not "mutually exclusive" as I have explained several times. You appear to be too blinded by your religion of fundamental scientism to be able to understand that.
Straggler writes:
Oh don't be so damn precious. Pointing out that you are wrong is not "bullying".
Well, of course, you never pointed out that I am wrong. The most you could do was point out that you think I am wrong (as if that wasn't already obvious before my first reply to you).
My use of the term "bullying" has nothing to do with your pointing out anything. Rather, it was a comment on your repeated insistent demands that I publicly express allegiance to one of the creeds of your fundamentalist scientism.
Straggler writes:
The point you are missing is that omphalism is not claiming "metaphysical truth" (whatever that means anyway).
I'll take that as an admission that you are unable to make the distinction, probably because your religion of fundamentalist scientism does not allow it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by Straggler, posted 02-07-2010 3:02 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6442
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 258 of 264 (587204)
10-17-2010 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 256 by mosassam
10-17-2010 3:51 PM


Re: evidence against ID requires limits set on the designer
mosassam writes:
The existence of the human mind is probably best explained by "magic" as science can only accept it with the pithy assumption 'cogito ergo sum'.
"Cogito ergo sum" is from philosophy, not from science. There are scientists involved with investigations of the human mind (they are usually called "cognitive scientists"), and most of them are critical of Descartes's "cogito."

Jesus was a liberal hippie

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