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Author Topic:   Biological Evidence Against Intelligent Design
Iblis
Member (Idle past 4006 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


(1)
Message 61 of 264 (544480)
01-26-2010 6:27 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by RAZD
01-23-2010 8:59 PM


Re: evolving design
Perhaps the best argument for ID (properly pursued) is that it uses a highly evolved design system ....
Let's discuss this in more depth. We can tell these antenna structures aren't natural because of the way they are constructed. The fact that their design was trial-and-error doesn't prevent that. What level of technology do we have to get to, where we can no longer tell so easily? What methods might we use then?
When humans create a liposome or a PNA chain for some specific purpose, it might look natural at first glance. But I think we can tell the difference when we start looking at functionality and purpose and simplicity overall. From this viewpoint, it seems like the huge amount of noise in the genome is a good argument against design. When you make an antenna or a medicine or retrovirus to introduce some factor, do you use a big randomized version that might have numerous untold effects? Or do you make something that does the specific job you want done in as simple a manner as possible?

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Taq
Member
Posts: 10191
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 62 of 264 (544503)
01-26-2010 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by Straggler
01-26-2010 6:24 PM


Re: Mutually Exclusive? Irrefutable ID Vs The Evidenced Naturalistic Alternative?
Oh come now. The designer(s) move in mysterious ways. Mere humans are incapable of comprehending or sometimes even recognising the great plan.
Then I guess we can scratch off an additional designer suspect from the list: a designer whose actions are discernible by investigating the evidence. I wasn't planning on reading "Darwin's Black Box" anyway. Now I have a good excuse not to.

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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2808 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 63 of 264 (544520)
01-26-2010 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Taq
01-26-2010 3:20 PM


Re: perhaps still missing the point?
Hi, Taq.
Taq writes:
Simply put, we can rule out God minus Omphalos type assumptions. This is the type of designer that is falsified by atavisms, vestiges, and the nested hierarchy.
Most IDists accept that some amount of Darwinian evolution happens, so atavisms, vestiges and nested hierarchies can still happen naturally under most ID models.
Extensive nested hierarchies that include all life could go a long way to disproving most ID models, but, if the Designer only shows up here and there to tweak the system toward a certain goal, and simply lets it go otherwise, we wouldn't see much deviating from naturalistic expectations. But, this also isn't an omphalos hypothesis, because it's not design made to look like non-design: it's non-design with a few alterations along the way.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Taq, posted 01-26-2010 3:20 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
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xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2603
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 64 of 264 (544545)
01-27-2010 12:16 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Percy
01-23-2010 7:53 AM


Re: Let's Argue Against a Real Theory of Intelligent Design
I think Percy made a very good point way back in Message 21:
A truly scientific IDist, one who excluded the supernatural, would be one who believed* that conditions on the earth were insufficient to produce the diversity and complexity of life's history over the last 4 billions years. That wouldn't mean he's advocating an infinite regression. He would recognize that there would be planets in the universe where conditions were conducive not only to life but to complex and very intelligent life. He would simply be arguing that Earth is not one of those planets, and he would be looking for evidence of intelligent intervention in life's history.
*Note: Italics mine
This grabs it in a nutshell for me, with the caveat that I would use a different word than the loaded believed. I might suggest hypothesized or even theorized, or maybe just suspected. The procedure to measure this would also measure the other ID views in a simple 1, 0 manner. In other words, if experiments to test this out found evidence one way or the other, it would either rule out or rule in ID of any stripe you want, except RAZD's dude. Later on in the thread (sorry to be late to the fun) we finally get to the concept of randomness versus directed (non-random) changes.
SO:
I would propose that the body of evidence would have its randomness** measured. By appropriately measuring the myriad of variables, dropping data points into histogram bins of tiny size, but not too tiny, we can examine the results and compare them against a pure random system. If there is no difference of even faint consequence, then all we have is the RAZD dude at the beginning that set everything into motion - untestable, unfalsifiable and unusable for this thread purpose.
Now, I profess ignorance of the actual data analysis going on - however, I am certain that if a significant departure from randomness had ever been observed repeatedly, we would know about it by now. So I have to assume that currently nothing has given evidence of a departure from the Random Model. To use Rrhain's terminology, the Model works. And using another branch of statistics that's often used to predict the Mean Time Between Failure of various complex systems and the current sample size of the data in question, I currently arrive at my positive evidence against Intelligent Design of the kind Percy describes with a Confidence Factor that is acceptable for me at the moment.
**Note: Complex systems in constant agitated, perturbed, repeated motion tend to sort things, but in a predictable way most of the time. They can be evaluated in a way that would reveal randomness/non-randomness.

- xongsmith, 5.7d

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greyseal
Member (Idle past 3972 days)
Posts: 464
Joined: 08-11-2009


Message 65 of 264 (544549)
01-27-2010 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by RAZD
01-25-2010 9:50 PM


Re: perhaps still missing the point?
No, the point is that because you can't disprove it, you can't assume it is false.
No, the point is that because you can't prove it, you should not assume it is true.
Simple logic dictates that non-invalidated possibilities need to be considered in any complete evaluation.
true, but (and here's the rub) I can spend my time conjuring phantasms and contemplating the colour of the invisible unicorns (pink is the current trend), the noodlyness of invisible appendages, the precise orbit for optimum invisibility of orbiting teapots - OR I can consider these ideas and give them the brief airing they require (no proof FOR or AGAINST? okay - possible but has zero impact) and then go back to studying the facts.
You really ARE saying that "because it can't be disproved, it must be true"? REALLY?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by RAZD, posted 01-25-2010 9:50 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 10191
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 66 of 264 (544552)
01-27-2010 12:55 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by Blue Jay
01-26-2010 10:35 PM


Re: perhaps still missing the point?
Extensive nested hierarchies that include all life could go a long way to disproving most ID models, but, if the Designer only shows up here and there to tweak the system toward a certain goal, and simply lets it go otherwise, we wouldn't see much deviating from naturalistic expectations. But, this also isn't an omphalos hypothesis, because it's not design made to look like non-design: it's non-design with a few alterations along the way.
Fair enough. Not Omphalos, just undetectable.
However, if this is the type of ID that is put forward then this is a tacit admission that ID is not detectable. So while evidence consistent with evolution does not rule out all possibility of design it does run counter to the descriptions of ID put forward by such people as Dembski and Behe.
On a human level there is a strange dichotomy. Given the historical underpinnings of ID there is a hope that ID will demonstrate that there is a god, one who interacts with nature and is concerned for our well being. This requires a foundation of sorts, a set of expectations of what one should and should not see if this designer god exists. Once something is erected it quickly draws fire. So what is the other option? Make ID so ethereal and solipsistic as to dodge any criticism, but in doing so you lose any hope of saying "god did this" which was the whole point to begin with.
Quite the choice, eh?

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 67 of 264 (544556)
01-27-2010 2:43 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Blue Jay
01-26-2010 10:07 AM


Re: Teleology
Isn't this the same logical principle that's used in the Pasteur argument against Abiogenesis?
No. Since biogenesis wasn't talking about the 'ultimate' origins of life, but about the more immediate origins of certain present forms of life. Trying to argue it is a fatal blow against abiogenesis therefore is just equivocation.
However, when an argument says 'this biological entity must be designed because of its complexity.' when Darwin et al comes along and says "Here is how complexity can arise in biology without a pre-planned design or designer' - that's a direct problem for teleology.
Incidentally, we also know that complicated-looking things can be designed by intelligent beings, so this still isn’t evidence against intelligent design.
Teleology had a good point when it says that certain flavours of complicated things can only come about by design from intelligent beings. When this was shown false - that which teleology's argument relied on was taken out back and shot.
The argument will always revert to positive evidence for evolution (e.g. nested hierarchies, conserved features, vestigial traits), with the (perfectly reasonable and justifiable) inclusion of the parsimony heuristic to complete the argument. If we’re not allowed to include parsimony, then RAZD is right. Thus, there is no evidence against the principle of intelligent design.
As I said - if you want to wield an unfalsifiable version of teleology then go right ahead. But don't be surprised when I don't think it very interesting that there is 'no evidence against' it. There is plenty of evidence against Intelligent Design, of course - but as I explained, that's a different kettle of fish.
But, that’s not the same thing. They build their models to incorporate some level of non-design (e.g. microevolution). So, things that look undesigned are undesigned in many, if not all, ID models.
I was specifically talking about the people that retort 'How do we know the designer didn't design the universe to naturally evolve?' and not IDists.
Intelligent Designists get all tied in knots about these things - but Intelligent Design is a religio-political movement not an argument.
Unfortunately, that means that we have to provide evidence that absolutely everything was undesigned before the principle of ID is disproven.
Nope. ID can be said to be disproven, the 'facts' its proponents prattle on about shown to be false. What you are talking about is again, teleology. And yes - you could manufacture an unfalsifiable version of it, and yes - I reserve the right to mock anyone who thinks it is any more than imaginative fun to consider the idea.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Blue Jay, posted 01-26-2010 10:07 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by Blue Jay, posted 01-27-2010 10:52 AM Modulous has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2808 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 68 of 264 (544579)
01-27-2010 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Modulous
01-27-2010 2:43 AM


Re: Teleology
Hi, Mod.
Modulous writes:
Bluejay writes:
Isn't this the same logical principle that's used in the Pasteur argument against Abiogenesis?
No. Since biogenesis wasn't talking about the 'ultimate' origins of life, but about the more immediate origins of certain present forms of life. Trying to argue it is a fatal blow against abiogenesis therefore is just equivocation.
My point was that you can't prove a universal negative.
No amount of observations of life coming from other life will prove that life never came from nonlife.
No amount of observations of complicated things coming from natural processes will ever prove that complicated things never came from non-natural processes.
-----
Modulous writes:
However, when an argument says 'this biological entity must be designed because of its complexity.' when Darwin et al comes along and says "Here is how complexity can arise in biology without a pre-planned design or designer' - that's a direct problem for teleology.
Agreed. But, the concept of this thread wasn't "evidence against this certain biological entity being designed because of its complexity," it was, "flaws in the modern human body that prove that it wasn't designed."
My point is that flaws in the human body do not prove that it wasn't designed according to ID, so the thread amounts to beating on a strawman.
-----
Modulous writes:
As I said - if you want to wield an unfalsifiable version of teleology then go right ahead. But don't be surprised when I don't think it very interesting that there is 'no evidence against' it.
If you find beating on a strawman to be more interesting, then, by all means, let's continue this thread, but not under the pretenses of it having any sort of logical merit to it.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Modulous, posted 01-27-2010 2:43 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by Modulous, posted 01-27-2010 12:49 PM Blue Jay has replied
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 69 of 264 (544593)
01-27-2010 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by Straggler
01-26-2010 6:18 PM


Re: Mutually Exclusive? Irrefutable ID Vs The Evidenced Naturalistic Alternative?
Like, evolution doesn't rule out a designer so you can't use the evidence for evolution to determine the likelyhood of the designer.
It rules out a designer that designed things (e.g biological organisms) as they are now. I would argue that the current scientific theory of evolution by natural selection and random mutation rules out a god that had a very non-random end plan for the forms of life as well.
How do you know they're actually random?
What are you suggesting as a viable alternative to random?
What do you mean? You're the one who brought up 'a very non-random end plan for the forms of life'... But it doesn't matter. We agree that some specific designers can be ruled out. But this doesn't rule out a designer, just a subset of that category.
Random is what we teach in science classrooms. So are you saying that we are teaching kids unevidenced philosophically biased evidentially groundless information when we tell them that evolution occurs by natural selection and random genetic mutation? Should we tell them about all of the logically possible alternatives to "random"?
I know you are not an ID as science advocate. I know that. I am jusy trying to get you to think about this and what it means in practise.
I don't think we're teaching unevidenced philosophy nor should we go into all possibilities. Just let the evidence speak for itself.
How would you rule out Jesus magically causing (non-random) a mutation in E. coli so that it could digest nylon? Heh, everytime the expirement is performed... maybe not the best example.
How do we rule out any deity of any sort imaginable doing anything imaginable? If suitably magical/powerful and undetectable then logically we can't rule it out. There are an infinite number of things that we cannot refute the irrefutable doing. So where does that leave us?
With unevidenced possibilities that have not been ruled out.
But don't get me wrong, any random thing you imagine is going to be met with doubt from me too, especially without any evidence or other reason to think it.
I would argue it leaves any such claim in the defacto atheist "very unlikely" category. But what do you think?
I don't think you can actually form that likelyhood.
We have a category of 'a designer'. Some subsets of it can be ruled out and some cannot. You're saying that because of the infinite amount of specific subsets, any one in particular would have near zero likleyhood. But we still don't have a likleyhood of the category of 'a designer'.
But I don't know where to draw the line.
Well isn't that something of a problem if you want to invoke the supernatural to explain some things and not others?
I don't think the supernatural is being invoked as an explanation, its being left as a possibility that hasn't been ruled out.
I don't know if its been designed or not... it could be.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Straggler, posted 01-26-2010 6:18 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Straggler, posted 01-27-2010 12:55 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 70 of 264 (544599)
01-27-2010 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Blue Jay
01-27-2010 10:52 AM


Re: Teleology
My point was that you can't prove a universal negative.
No amount of observations of life coming from other life will prove that life never came from nonlife.
No amount of observations of complicated things coming from natural processes will ever prove that complicated things never came from non-natural processes.
I'm not suggesting that such an observation is necessary to be able to say that teleology was dealt a fatal blow. Sure - you can create a zombie teleological concept that is unfalsifiable and unverifiable but I don't think it's anymore interesting than any other such concept.
Once upon a time teleology could point at the world and say - "look at the eye! That isn't the kind of thing that just 'happens' that is one of a large class of entities that can only be reasonably explained with the design argument" - and this was a very strong and serious argument. Darwinism showed that the 'only' was not true which seriously undermined what was once a strong argument and is now a weak 'you can't prove it didn't' kind of argument.
My point is that flaws in the human body do not prove that it wasn't designed according to ID, so the thread amounts to beating on a strawman.
Indeed - so I thought I'd put forward actual biological evidence against the design argument.
If you find beating on a strawman to be more interesting, then, by all means, let's continue this thread, but not under the pretenses of it having any sort of logical merit to it.
Which strawman? I proposed that evolution is actual biological evidence that seriously undermined the design argument. I appreciate this wasn't what the OP was hoping for.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Blue Jay, posted 01-27-2010 10:52 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Blue Jay, posted 01-27-2010 1:37 PM Modulous has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 176 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 71 of 264 (544600)
01-27-2010 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by New Cat's Eye
01-27-2010 11:53 AM


Re: Mutually Exclusive? Irrefutable ID Vs The Evidenced Naturalistic Alternative?
But this doesn't rule out a designer, just a subset of that category.
Well if we accept evolution by natural selection and random mutation what active role does this designer play in designing biological life?
Just let the evidence speak for itself.
Well amen to that.
But don't get me wrong, any random thing you imagine is going to be met with doubt from me too, especially without any evidence or other reason to think it.
Are you saying that absence of evidence is evidence of absence in this case? Are you a pseudoskeptic with regard to a designer continualy and actively guiding evolution? Can you prove that there isn't a designer continualy and actively guiding evolution? Aren't these the things you accuse me of when I say exactly what you are saying here when people start invoking undetectable entities to explain other aspects of nature?
I would argue it leaves any such claim in the defacto atheist "very unlikely" category. But what do you think?
I don't think you can actually form that likelyhood.
Then on what basis did you just say you would meet any such claim with doubt? Do you consider a supernatural undetectable designer continually guiding evolution to be more or less likely than the naturalistic, evidenced and mutually exclusive alternative? Namely natural selection and random mutation.
Is it rational to consider both equally probable? Or is one evidentially superior and thus to be considered more likely to be true?
We have a category of 'a designer'. Some subsets of it can be ruled out and some cannot. You're saying that because of the infinite amount of specific subsets, any one in particular would have near zero likleyhood. But we still don't have a likleyhood of the category of 'a designer'.
I am saying that any designer actively interfering or directing evolution has been refuted to all practical intents and purposes. Regrdless of the fact that we cannot disprove this claim. Effectively refuted by the acceptance of evolution by natural selection and random mutation. A mutually exclusive evidenced alternative.
The scientific conclusion remains tentative. Not proven. As is always the case with regard to evidence based conclusions.
The un-evidenced supernatural conclusion has not been disproven. Thus it remains a logical possibility. As do all other irrefutable possibilities.
On this basis I would say that the scientifically evidenced conclusion should rationally be regarded as considerably more probable. And that the unevidenced supernatural conclusion has been refuted to all practical intents and purposes. Thus rationally we would be defacto atheists with regard to the evolutionary process being continually guided by the supernatural agent in question.
Do you agree? Or not?
I don't think the supernatural is being invoked as an explanation, its being left as a possibility that hasn't been ruled out.
Which is exactly what I am doing. But are all possibilities equally likely?
I don't know if its been designed or not... it could be.
Well I don't KNOW either. But are you seriously suggesting that the scientificaly evidenced possibility is no more or less likely to be true than any other?
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-27-2010 11:53 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-27-2010 2:00 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 176 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 72 of 264 (544601)
01-27-2010 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Blue Jay
01-27-2010 10:52 AM


Re: Teleology
My point was that you can't prove a universal negative.
Biological evidence by definition cannot disprove irrefutable forms of ID. But since when did disproving the undisprovable become a requirement of science? Biological evidence can constitute evidence against the role of an Intelligent Designer in biological processes.
Based on the evidence we have concluded evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation. This conclusion is mutually exclusive to the claim that evolution occurs by means of non-random purposeful interference acted out by an undetectable supernatural agent. Or any other similar such inherently irrefutable claim.
The scientific conclusion remains tentative. Not proven. As is always the case with regard to evidence based conclusions.
The un-evidenced supernatural conclusion has not been disproven. Thus it remains a logical possibility. As do all other irrefutable possibilities.
On this basis I would say that the scientifically evidenced conclusion should rationally be regarded as considerably more probable. And that the unevidenced supernatural conclusion has been refuted to all practical intents and purposes. Thus rationally we would be defacto atheists with regard to the evolutionary process being guided by the supernatural agent in question.
The thread is about finding evidence that refutes ID, and RAZD is saying that this can't be done. If ID is untestable, then it is untestable, and the conclusion of this thread should rightly be that there is no biological evidence against Intelligent Design.
No biological evidence against intelligent design? How can evidence in favour of a mutually exclusive alternative not be considered evidence against intelligent design? Are you not conflating disproof with scientific forms of refutation? Scientific refutation in the sense of being effectively disregarded in favour of mutually exclusive and evidentially superior alternative theory.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Blue Jay, posted 01-27-2010 10:52 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Blue Jay, posted 01-27-2010 1:44 PM Straggler has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2808 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 73 of 264 (544605)
01-27-2010 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Modulous
01-27-2010 12:49 PM


Re: Teleology
Hi, Modulous.
Modulous writes:
I proposed that evolution is actual biological evidence that seriously undermined the design argument.
I don't see how this is the case, though. If the design argument was that things were designed exactly as they are and cannot change over time, you would have a point. But, that is not the model that most IDists support. Perhaps IDists used to think that that was the case, but virtually none do anymore. You can hardly blame them for adapting their model in the face of new evidence.
You can call it an uninteresting zombie, if you want, and I don't disagree that it's lost its explanatory power... but, ultimately, the only evidence here is evidence that supports evolution, not evidence that refutes ID. We can only really refute ID by heuristic. I don't really have a problem with this: what I have a problem with is trying to make a heuristic out to be evidence.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Modulous, posted 01-27-2010 12:49 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by Modulous, posted 01-27-2010 4:42 PM Blue Jay has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2808 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 74 of 264 (544608)
01-27-2010 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Straggler
01-27-2010 1:01 PM


Re: Teleology
Hi, Straggler.
Straggler writes:
How can evidence in favour of a mutually exclusive alternative not be considered evidence against intelligent design?
How are evolution and ID mutually exclusive?

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Straggler, posted 01-27-2010 1:01 PM Straggler has replied

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 75 of 264 (544612)
01-27-2010 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Straggler
01-27-2010 12:55 PM


Re: Mutually Exclusive? Irrefutable ID Vs The Evidenced Naturalistic Alternative?
Well if we accept evolution by natural selection and random mutation what active role does this designer play in designing biological life?
Who knows... It could have set up the process, itself. It could control the environment to drive selection. It could cause a particular mutation (thereby making it non-random but we wouldn't know and our random theory would still hold). It could be actively controlling everything whilst maintaining the evolution appearance. Or Omphalism. How ridiculous do you want to take this?
But don't get me wrong, any random thing you imagine is going to be met with doubt from me too, especially without any evidence or other reason to think it.
Are you saying that absence of evidence is evidence of absence in this case?
No, its absence isn't evidenced.
Are you a pseudoskeptic with regard to a designer continualy and actively guiding evolution?
If I took the position that it didn't exists, then yes. But doubt isn't disbelief. And remember that some of them can be ruled out so I wouldn't be pseudoskeptical of those.
Can you prove that there isn't a designer continualy and actively guiding evolution?
Not really. Although from what we understand about how mutations arise, I think we can say that the guidance wouldn't be actively continual. Take the nylon eating bacteria for example; can't we make the mutation rise and fall with the selective pressure and doesn't that mean that the designer would have to be there causing the mutation every time the experiment is performed, and wouldn't that be ridiculous enough to disbelieve?
Aren't these the things you accuse me of when I say exactly what you are saying here when people start invoking undetectable entities to explain other aspects of nature?
You go a step further into disbelief and try to rationalize it with a likelihood that can't be determined.
Then on what basis did you just say you would meet any such claim with doubt?
The lack of evidence combined with the random and imaginary aspects of it for one. Plus it'd depend on whether or not certain aspects of could be ruled out.
Do you consider a supernatural undetectable designer guiding evolution to be more or less likely than the naturalistic, evidenced and mutually exclusive alternative? Namely natural selection and random mutation.
I'm not sure they're totally mutually exclusive so I don't know how I'd determine the likelihood. But yes, a mutually exclusive alternative to an evidenced explanation could be taken to disbelief without pseudoskepticism, i.e. ruling it out.
Is it rational to consider both equally probable? Or is one evidentially superior and thus to be considered more likely to be true?
I don't see what probabilities and likelihoods have to do with it.
I am saying that any designer actively interfering or directing evolution has been refuted to all practical intents and purposes. Regardless of the fact that we cannot disprove this claim. Effectively refuted by the acceptance of evolution by natural selection and random mutation. A mutually exclusive evidenced alternative.
The scientific conclusion remains tentative. Not proven. As is always the case with regard to evidence based conclusions.
The un-evidenced supernatural conclusion has not been disproven. Thus it remains a logical possibility. As do all other irrefutable possibilities.
On this basis I would say that the scientifically evidenced conclusion should rationally be regarded as considerably more probable. And that the unevidenced supernatural conclusion has been refuted to all practical intents and purposes. Thus rationally we would be defacto atheists with regard to the evolutionary process being continually guided by the supernatural agent in question.
Do you agree? Or not?
Yes, when they are mutually exclusive. But I don't think its a matter of probability. I think we've actually ruled the alternative out.
The reason I questioned the randomness earlier is because a designer that did actively cause some particular mutation wouldn't be noticed as being non-random, so our scientific explanation would remain accurate but no longer mutually exclusive. Well, it'd be inaccurate in that the mutation wasn't actually random, but we wouldn't have a clue and would maintain that it's accurate. So I don't think a designer has been ruled out in that regard, because we've lost our mutual exclusivity.
I don't think the supernatural is being invoked as an explanation, its being left as a possibility that hasn't been ruled out.
Which is exactly what I am doing. But are all possibilities equally likely?
Maybe its a terminology issue, but I think that you are ruling them out. Not comparing actual likelihoods.
I don't know if its been designed or not... it could be.
Well I don't KNOW either. But are you seriously suggesting that the scientificaly evidenced possibility is no more or less likely to be true than any other?
I meant non-bold, no-caps 'know'
I'm saying we don't know the likelihood so we can't say, unless we do have mutual exclusivity, then we can rule it out, but still not use a likelihood.
We know the nylon eating bacteria's mutation arises randomly so we can rule out a designer actively controlling it, its not a matter of it being less likely to be true. It doesn't rule out a designer being there for every experiment, and we'll never know about that, but I think its too ridiculous to be seriously considered as a possibility. Not because of the evidence for the alternative though. And I might be properly called a pseudoskeptic against it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Straggler, posted 01-27-2010 12:55 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Straggler, posted 01-28-2010 1:26 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
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