Ibm111, you have no direct evidence that I exist. Perhaps I am an ipod who is unhappy with your suggestion that I am not intelligently designed! The point is, there are many things we believe on the basis of indirect, and not always quantifiable evidence. I believe that I am the son of the woman who raised me, but I have no direct evidence – there is only the testimony of my family and the fact that she fed me and was nice to me all those years.
The question is rather what hypothesis provides the best explanation for the facts. When I see a stop sign I have no direct evidence of how it came about or how it ended up at the intersection where I wish it hadn’t. But I don’t believe it got there by natural processes, because I have never heard of any natural processes that would result in an exact octagon of unvarying thickness with two contrasting and evenly distributed colors which spell a word in the language spoken around here.
How many units of intelligence must I have to figure out that any natural combination of wind and water and sunlight and radiation and air and whatever else you want to add did not produce that sign? Why is this difficult?
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add blank lines between paragraphs.
Some definition of terms might help me understand what is being bandied about on this thread. According to presumably intelligent people at m-w.com, intelligence seems related to reason, manipulation of one’s environment, and information. Design involves creating or executing according to a plan (which requires a mind?), and evolution seems quite centered around the idea of process.
If these definitions are correct, I think they suggest to me that one critical point in the ID – evolution controversy is whether there are processes which could reasonably provide a sufficient explanation for the tiger or supercomputer without any manipulation of the environment (intelligence) according to a plan (design). Since I know of no supercomputers that have DNA or sex, I’m guessing natural selection and descent with modification will not be a sufficient process to explain very much about them. In the case of the tiger, once you’ve got one (OK, maybe two), then evolutionary processes can seem to explain quite a few things.
Natural selection and descent with modification seem to be processes that require a self-replicating organism to have any explanatory relevance. What process do we know of that give rise to such organisms from water and chemicals and such?