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Author Topic:   What IS evidence of design? (CLOSING STATEMENTS ONLY)
Member (Idle past 4718 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009

Message 376 of 377 (608815)
03-14-2011 2:29 AM

Where to start. Well I'll begin by saying that although the OP wasn't very enlightful and (labels, seriously ?) in my opinion, the question that was asked had potential for a wide variety of interesting discussions so I decided to jump in by page no 8.
Up until that point I feel the discussion was pretty useless. People were mostly saying, in effect, that some designed things can look like they were made naturally and vice versa. This seemed to me like a pretty pointless reasoning (in fact, it made me think of some old Kid Paddle strip I once read, where the kid does hours of origami just to end up with a paper ball that he claims is ''indistinguishable from the naturally occuring paper balls''), because the issue is whether there are some characteristic from which we can confidently infer design.
The concept of foresight as a clear distinction between intelligence and nature was, in my opinion, a very insightful contribution but unfortunately only Percy seemed to have picked up on it in Message 150
Following that, my participation has been mostly in discussing Irreducible complexity (IC). I think I did a fair job of clearing up some common misconceptions on this issue, including some not very well thought-out strawmen, in particular, twice by percy in Message 255 and Message 280
In the end, I think my final comments that IC systems seem to be only producible through Design or Random 'luck' stood up, and I will add to that now that if this is true, then atheists today are in no better position then they were in the time of Paley.
On a bit of a side subject, this conversation seems like a good example of what I was referring to in the 'EvC debate dream team' thread. In this discussion, there were many logical fallacies that were made by evolutionists, and yet I was the only one picking up on them. In fact, only once to my memory did an evolutionist correct another and it was Mr. Jack in Message 283 (props to him). (you can carry that out in that other thread but I won't be argumenting much on this. I think this thread was a clear example)
And on a final note, I think the IC subject was far from being finished, and so I think it could be interesting to have this discussed in a great debate. I would be voluntary, and so if anyone is interested in doing this you can just PM me.

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Message 377 of 377 (608823)
03-14-2011 6:30 AM

In my opinion the only serious attempts made by proponents of ID were slevesque's efforts to defend irreducible complexity (IC) as an indicator of design. At the end of the discussion I felt that I understood the IC argument much better, but unfortunately, I don't believe anyone even attempted to offered evidence for design. Arguments, yes, but arguments with identifiable flaws, and no evidence.
The problem in the discussion here is the same problem that underlies Behe's own efforts. The link between IC and design is merely asserted with at best expressions of incredulity that IC could arise through evolution. Several posters offered evidence that suggested that IC could result from evolution, but the examples were summarily dismissed. In particular, the failure to deal with the evidence cited for evolution of the mammalian inner ear was very telling. Also, I'm sure Behe must have encountered all of the criticisms leveled here but I did not note any attempts to cite his responses. Perhaps no proponent is really familiar with them.
What could have helped was allowing at least a little discussion of the nature of evidence. The starting post was weak in that area and that the moderator was too quick to cut off discussion of the nature of evidence.
Unlike some others, I am willing to believe that it is possible to identify design without identifying the designer, but I see no convincing argument that IC or specified complexity are useful as indicators of intelligent design. There is unchallenged evidence that evolution can produce organisms with those characteristics.

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