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Author Topic:   Crop circles and intelligent design
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5527 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002

Message 9 of 150 (180879)
01-26-2005 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aximili23
01-25-2005 10:17 PM

Interesting analogy and lots of great responses. Let me take a whack at it as well.
Crop circles are an observable phenomena. That is to say we see that they are there, and are trying to figure out how they got there.
The nature of the damage to the fields, the shapes, do not appear natural. That is to say they do not seem the product of a series of randomly directed natural forces.
We would arrive at that conclusion given the specific changes any natural force must undergo to create such intricate figures (if it was just circles this would not be so curious), and we understand enough about ordinary atmospheric, geologic, and biologic activity to say that their random application (which is how they would occur if not guided) could not undergo those changes. They do not alter direction nor intensity fast or accurately enough.
It is possible that there are natural forces which we are not aware of which could produce varied applied pressures in those patterns, but they are something out of the ordinary and we have not been able to document so far.
However we do know that a certain creature (humans) are capable of exerting those kinds of forces with that kind of specificity. Thus humans (and human intelligence) becomes the likely explanation. Humans have the ability to supply the specific force required to create the observed phenomena, while we do not know of anything else in nature that does.
ID does not take this approach at all. It states that it measures "complexity" and "information content" to make determinations between natural and intelligent causes.
Is this what we do to state that crop circles are likely man made? No. The reason we do not is that we do not have formulas to deal with or even ways to measure "complexity" and "information". Nor do they.
My guess is they would use my own words against me and point to the fact that I mention these figures are "intricate" and that forces would have to be "accurate". In that way I am showing that I do recognize complexity and information. But the fact is that I did not measure these in some quantitative fashion, nor did I apply them to a formula. Neither did I use these terms to base my conclusion crop circles were the product of intelligent agents.
Just like crop cricles, the appearance of biological organisms and speciation is also an observable phenomena.
However, unlike crop circles, we do not have enough knowledge regarding chemical-biological forces/mechanisms to state that it is unlikely they could have generated life or speciation as they occur in nature (nondirected). Indeed the knowledge we do have suggests they could have such capabilities, even when randomly applied.
In addition to that lack of knowledge regarding natural forces, we do not have any evidence of beings living in the past which were capable of generating life when it occured (technically we don't even have evidence intelligent beings can do this now).
In this way crop circles and biological life are two totally different subjects.
ID theorists claim that when using an information measurement system such things aren't different at all, yet no explanations of formulas have been forthcoming, despite requests. No proof of experimental weight at all. Indeed I am amazed one can claim to measure a system that we have incomplete knowledge of... how can it be properly modelled, even mathematically?
Thus I think your question raises a good way to distinguish between how science approaches phenomena versus how ID approaches phenomena.
While we are definitely dealing with detecting intelligence, science approaches it in an entirely different (and more reliable) way by focusing on our accumulated knowledge of forces and mechanisms, while ID claims to cut directly to the chase by measuring information directly (though they do not say exactly how).
This message has been edited by holmes, 01-26-2005 16:42 AM

"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Aximili23, posted 01-25-2005 10:17 PM Aximili23 has not replied

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