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Author Topic:   Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 16 of 91 (689212)
01-28-2013 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Spiritual Anarchist
01-27-2013 7:17 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
Hi Spiritual Anarchist,

As of yet, you've heard entirely from critics of ID. I'm (one of the few) intelligent design proponents around here, so let me offer my thoughts.

Firstly, you state that:

Design implies a total lack of creativity and to me is just as cold as Richard Dawkins summary of natural selection...

I'm not sure why "design" implies a total lack of creativity to you. Design - that is, the intentional execution of a plan - can certainly be creative. I'm a bit confused, then, by your statement that design implies a lack of creativity.

Is the Intelligent Design Movement open to Pantheism or other view points beside Christianity?

That really depends on the individuals within the ID movement. I'm not a part of the ID movement, though, and the ID movement as characterized by the Discovery Institute certainly has a religious and political agenda. But there are some ID proponents out there, like myself, who are not affiliated with the movement. Instead, we think that the whole culture war between Christians and atheists is pretty silly - or more specifically, irrelevant to the question of design in biology.

So, is the general idea of design in biology open to pantheism? Yes, it is. In fact, it's open to a whole range of viewpoints. You'd have a pretty difficult time testing the idea of a pantheistic designer, but ID as a whole is open to the idea.

I think ringo succinctly summarized this situation in his message 10:

There are some people (including one or two members of EvC) who propose that the idea of Intelligent Design can be approached scientifically. But scientific inquiry is the last thing that the Intelligent Design movement wants. The Intelligent Design movement is not open to anything but its own dogma.

You also said:

From what I am reading there is little hope for ID as a Science.

If I understand this correctly, you're basically saying there is little hope for developing a scientific approach to detecting intelligent design in the biological world. Yet ID hypotheses have been outlined in the past (e.g., Mike Gene's front-loading hypothesis), and there is really nothing stopping ID from developing into a more rigorous scientific hypothesis.

It should be noted that the idea that parts of biology were intelligently design need not, in any way, be a religious idea. Indeed, a few publications in the scientific literature have theorized that an advanced society has designed parts of the biological world. Some have conjectured that certain viral genomes contain messages from an advanced civilization (Is bacteriophage phi X174 DNA a message from an extraterrestrial intelligence, 1979; SV40 DNA—A message from ϵ Eri?, 1986), though there is little supporting evidence for these views. Davies (Footprints of alien technology, 2012) speculated that aliens may have manipulated terrestrial genomes for biotechnology purposes and suggested that evidence for this tampering might exist to this day. So we see that the notion of design in biology only becomes religious when its proponents make it that way.

According to scientific reasoning what you can not accurately measure doesn't exist.

We are unable to accurately measure pretty much everything; we are only able to arrive at approximations.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 01-27-2013 7:17 PM Spiritual Anarchist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Spiritual Anarchist, posted 01-28-2013 8:19 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


(1)
Message 21 of 91 (689272)
01-29-2013 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Spiritual Anarchist
01-28-2013 8:19 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
I think I make clear why I personally think ID is impersonal and non creative. It is because I do not think of God as a person.To me God is the Universe and is therefore Transpersonal.

But intelligent design as an idea in biology has precious little to do with deities. So, I ask you again: how is the idea that the first cells were engineered "non-creative" and "impersonal"?

To me the personal God of Theology is an impersonal God when you break down their Metaphysics. And the idea of a person designing my Universe with a set goal in mind is cold. How cold is it to touch a domino knocking all the other dominoes down in a preset pattern that pleases me? So maybe I mean Egoistical. It's weird. They make their God so human like but their Theological explanations of God and his purpose is so impersonal based on the Mechanical Universe they believed was designed like a watch.

I think there's something that needs to be clarified here. When you say "ID," it appears to me that you are referring to the notion of cosmological intelligent design. However, what I mean by ID is the idea of biological intelligent design. These two views need to be separated. The thesis of cosmological intelligent design has little to do with science, and lies more in the realm of philosophy.

But is it irrelevant? Creativity is a process that never ends. Doesn't most form of ID propose the Christian God as the designer. Most of the debate I have watched with Craig and Plantinga etc are trying to justify Theology. I guess I find theology cold and dead. And I can not see science based on the theological concepts of God.

Most forms of ID do not propose the Christin God as the designer. Remember not to confuse the private ideas of the proponents of an idea with the actual idea. Sure, Behe and Dembski might think that the Christian God was the designer of life, but that doesn't mean that ID as a whole proposes that the Christian God was the designer.

Let us consider an example to illustrate this point. In 1859, Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection. His theory required hereditary variation and natural selection. His own idea of the mechanism of heredity was pangenesis. Yet pangenesis was later shown to be an incorrect explanation for the mechanism of heredity, and it was refuted by experimentation. Does this mean that Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory was also refuted? Not at all. Darwin's evolutionary theory did not depend on pangenesis to be true, even if that was Darwin's favored idea on how heredity occurs. Likewise, ID does not in any way depend on the Christian God as the designer, even if many ID proponents personally believe that the Christian God was the designer.

Well I think that should be a separate movement because the Atheist and ID proponents here alike agree that ID is a movement of Creationist.

The idea of ID is not creationism. Some people have taken the idea and fashioned a movement out of it - a movement that has a religious agenda. But the idea need not be creationism.

I think that you can detect intelligence in nature and in the Universe itself but again I have a problem with the word design.

Then substitute the word "design" and replace it with "engineer." Are there signatures of engineering in biological cells? This is the key question behind ID.

This is my point if the Aliens simply wanted to make our biology more advanced so we could one day form cultures of our own choosing then I am not as offended. But if the Aliens had a "purpose" behind this such as farming us for food or practicing slavery techniques like market advertisers do when doing market research again ugggh

I just thought I would point out that the scientific understanding of reality, quite honestly, doesn't care about people's squeamishness. Using words like "I am not as offended" and "ugggh" reveal a bias you have - a bias that is not justified except on an emotional level.


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Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 24 of 91 (689295)
01-29-2013 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by New Cat's Eye
01-29-2013 12:16 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
Christian Creationism evolved into ID because of the Dover Trial. If you don't want to be associated with Christian Creationism, then stop using the ID moniker.

I'm pretty sure you don't mean the Dover trial. That aside, "intelligent design" (more specifically, biological intelligent design) refers to the general idea that features of the biological world were intelligently designed. One can be a proponent of that general idea without being part of the movement.


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 Message 23 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-29-2013 12:16 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-29-2013 2:50 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 28 of 91 (689326)
01-29-2013 3:31 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by New Cat's Eye
01-29-2013 2:50 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
I've never seen "biological intelligent design" papers.

That's beside the point, but what's your definition of a "biological intelligent design" paper?

No doubt. The point was that people rightly associate ID with Christian Creationism and if you don't want to be seen as a part of the movement, then don't use the "ID" moniker.

They rightly associate the ID movement with Christian creationism. The phrase "intelligent design" is generally thought of as the general idea that parts of biology were designed, so I fall within that camp. The reason I use the ID moniker is because it's a phrase that accurately describes my general position.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-29-2013 3:54 PM Genomicus has responded
 Message 43 by ringo, posted 01-31-2013 11:49 AM Genomicus has not yet responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 31 of 91 (689338)
01-29-2013 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by New Cat's Eye
01-29-2013 3:54 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
But you've changed it from what it originally was. People aren't just going forget about that creationist fiasco.

I have not changed the original meaning of intelligent design. There has never been a set definition of intelligent design other than the broad idea that teleology has, in some way or another, played a role in the origin of biological complexity. This has always been its meaning. The Discovery Institute adds its own baggage to the idea of intelligent design in biology, but that baggage is not a necessary part of ID.

And you're going to continue to be associated with them.

Only those unacquainted with the broader context of the ID debate would immediately jump to the conclusion that any ID proponent is a creationist. And, of course, since all of you here know I'm no creationist, there's precious little reason for you to associate me with creationists. Just sayin'.


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 Message 29 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-29-2013 3:54 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-30-2013 10:35 AM Genomicus has responded
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 44 of 91 (689541)
01-31-2013 11:13 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by New Cat's Eye
01-30-2013 10:35 AM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
The meaning, yes you've changed it. Intelligent Design did not exist before the Discovery Institute created it. They created it to mean Christian Creationism.

The argument that teleology has played a role in biological history has been around for centuries. The modern argument is called intelligent design. This is why, very simply, I fall into the intelligent design school of thought. Did the Discovery Institute create intelligent design such that it would be creationism in disguise? This may very well be the case (and probably is, as the evidence indicates), but that would not affect the meaning of the term "intelligent design," as currently defined. I am a relative late-comer to the intelligent design debate. I was not involved with intelligent design in any way until several years after Dover. Thus, at the time I approached the subject, intelligent design was defined as the thesis that the origin of certain features of the biological world were better explained by intelligent planning. And so I adopt this meaning of intelligent design. Naturally, it is understandable that people would be inclined to label me a "creationist."

Not since we now have guys like you that aren't religious but still want to look into the possibility of life being created. But I do think you should realize that ID wasn't something that the DI just added baggage to, they outright invented it to hide the religious aspects of creationism.

Fair point. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the modern meaning of intelligent design is a bit different than what it meant in the late 80s and early 90s. Put differently, in the late 80s and early 90s, you had almost only creationists who were arguing in favor of intelligent design (Behe being an exception), but in this post-2000 era, you have a lot more non-creationists who are interested in the possibility that terrestrial life was intelligently designed.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


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 Message 34 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-30-2013 10:35 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Coyote, posted 01-31-2013 11:16 PM Genomicus has responded
 Message 46 by AZPaul3, posted 02-01-2013 7:11 AM Genomicus has responded
 Message 47 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-01-2013 10:19 AM Genomicus has responded
 Message 48 by Granny Magda, posted 02-01-2013 11:14 AM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


(1)
Message 49 of 91 (689614)
02-01-2013 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Coyote
01-31-2013 11:16 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
Can you estimate what percentage of IDers are non-creationists?

It is, of course, difficult to supply solid figures. By non-creationist, I assume you mean those who accept common descent. To be sure, the majority of the leading proponents of ID reject universal common ancestry of species (e.g., William Dembski, Paul Nelson, etc.) AFAIK, but then we do have individuals like Behe who do accept common descent. From my own personal experience (e.g., I used to belong to a major ID emailing list), I'd say that roughly a quarter of ID proponents accept common ancestry of some kind. But I really don't have any good idea of the actual percentage.


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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 50 of 91 (689615)
02-01-2013 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by AZPaul3
02-01-2013 7:11 AM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
The major problem you will face, as you have experienced here, is that the moniker is poisoned by DI's constant drumbeat from the christian far-right. You need to get away from this poison if you have any hope of gathering support from the science/evolution/intellectual community. Directed Evolution? Guided Development? Enlightened Genome Finger Fiddling?

When I do submit a design hypothesis to a science journal, I assure you that it won't be called "intelligent design." I am well aware of the baggage that that term comes with. But in circles like EvC forum, it is convenient to refer to myself as an ID proponent because "intelligent design" can mean (and often does mean) the general position that teleology has played a role in the history of life on earth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by AZPaul3, posted 02-01-2013 7:11 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Panda, posted 02-01-2013 2:27 PM Genomicus has responded
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 53 of 91 (689640)
02-01-2013 11:51 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by New Cat's Eye
02-01-2013 10:19 AM


Re: ID is Christian
The argument that teleology has played a role in biological history has been around for centuries. The modern argument is called intelligent design.

No, that's just not true. Sure ID is teleology, but not all teleology is ID. A portion of the modern arguments are called ID.

Yes, and quite a large portion at that.

But you may very well hold teleological views that do not fall under the ID portions, and are even excluded from them.

I think front-loading is generally thought to fall under the ID scope.

For example, if you're not secretly arguing for the Christian God, then the folks who invented and poularized ID aren't going to accept you.

I have no problem not being "accepted" by William Dembski et al. Some of my views on biological origins closely parallel those of Mike Gene, and it's not like Dembski is comfortable with Mike Gene's views.

Words are defined by how people use them. Look up "intelligent design" on wikipedia. You're free to mean what you're saying here, but you're fighting the status quo and you're going to continue to be, reasonably, associated with Christian Creationists.

I understand that. I've often been associated with creationists merely for being an ID proponent, but even if I argued for teleology without calling myself an ID proponent, I bet a lot of people would still associate me with creationism.

Have you read the Wedge Document?

Yes.

Yeah, but you fell for the ruse. You've been hoodwinked.

By all means, look for design. My advice to you is to stop using the ID moniker if you don't want to be associated with Christian Creationists. Come up with something new that Christians haven't tainted. You may want to fight the status quo, if so have fun with that, but these are the conversations you can expect to be having.

I don't mind fighting the status quo. I also don't mind trying to make the leading ID proponents to realize that they're doing it wrong.

Well, its a simple question: was life created or not?

By "created," do you mean a term synonymous with engineering? Or do you mean something more similar to a magic-poofing-mechanism?

Again, I understand where you're coming from. I don't blame people who would jump to the conclusion that I'm a creationist, but when I say "intelligent design," I'm using the definition that states that intelligent design is the view that life was designed.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by ringo, posted 02-02-2013 11:28 AM Genomicus has responded
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 54 of 91 (689641)
02-01-2013 11:57 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by AZPaul3
02-01-2013 11:25 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
You may want it to mean that, but in reality it means "fundamentalist christian creationism" in the minds of all who are familiar.

No, it does not always mean that. To a number of people, intelligent design is not synonymous with creationism. Biologist Albert de Roos comes to mind, and there are others.

A DI YEC hearing ID will think "fundamentalist christian creationism."

Yea, and what will a DI non-YEC, non-OEC think? You're basically saying that Michael Behe is either (a) not an ID proponent, or (b) a creationist. Choice (b) is obviously false, since Michael Behe is no creationist. And if you say Michael Behe is not an ID proponent, then I'd have to say that you have a pretty narrow view of what ID encompasses.

I am a jaded individual, I know. I would not put it beyond some anti-evolution, anti-science, let-me-in-your-science-class religionist to walk in here wearing a lab coat saying,

"No. ID isn't about any One True Jahovah, Creator Of All The Universe, Breathing Fallen Mankind Into Existence Through His Holy Nostrils, Thus Requiring The Gift Of THE Love Of Jesus, Savior To All Sinners. It's merely the general position that teleology has played a role in the history of life on earth,"

trying to "de-religionate" ID so it slides easier under the class room door.

Is that you?

Obviously not, since I strongly disagree with those who wish to put ID into the classroom.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by AZPaul3, posted 02-01-2013 11:25 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by AZPaul3, posted 02-02-2013 3:07 AM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 55 of 91 (689645)
02-02-2013 12:31 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Granny Magda
02-01-2013 11:14 AM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
If your answer to these questions is "No" then you're not an IDist, becausethat's what ID is.

That all depends how you're defining ID. You're definition of ID is more like a definition of the ID movement, not a definition of intelligent design as a view on how biological life and biological complexity on Earth arose.

In trying to rehabilitate the term "Intelligent design", all you're doing is acting as a useful idiot on behalf of the Discovery Institute and other crazy people.

Hey, if you think "intelligent design" necessarily means Christian creationism, then by all means consider me not an ID proponent.

I know you don't like it when I say this and I can appreciate why, but I can only tell you what I believe to be the truth. ID is a lie.

Okay, wait. Are you saying that the view that life was engineered is a lie, or are you saying that creationism is a lie?

Trying to salvage any genuine scientific endeavour from the ID movement is going to require that you distance yourself form the liars and zealots of the ID crowd as much as possible.

I've done my fair share of distancing myself from the ID movement, ya know. When I first got involved with ID, I was eager to investigate the possibility that life was intelligently designed. Thanks to William Dembski, I was allowed to be part of a special emailing list, where ideas were actively exchanged. I was in the midst of the leading lights of the ID movement. I defected precisely because I realized that the main thrust of the ID movement was more concerned with critiquing Darwinian theory than with advancing biological research through ID hypotheses. Instead of exchanging ideas about how we could test ID proposals, I found that the more vocal members seemed to be primarily interested in discussing theology. So it's not like I'm ignorant of how the ID movement works, and it's not like I haven't distanced myself from that movement.

Plus, it's all a waste of time anyway; life is not designed, intelligently or otherwise.

You so cavalierly proclaim that it's all a waste of time, because life is not intelligently designed. To me, this smacks of unscientific arrogance. It is as if you know life is not intelligently designed. Let's keep an objective mindset here.


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 Message 48 by Granny Magda, posted 02-01-2013 11:14 AM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 56 of 91 (689646)
02-02-2013 12:35 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Panda
02-01-2013 2:27 PM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
Convenient, but unfair to you.
On a forum like EvC, you are more likely to be incorrectly tarred with the 'creationist' brush, which would be a reason to avoid the term 'ID'.

True, and if you have a better term than "ID" to describe my overall position, then I'd be glad to adopt that term. But on EvC forum, I feel like you all pretty much know what my position is, so I see little harm in adopting the phrase "ID proponent."


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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


(1)
Message 61 of 91 (689669)
02-02-2013 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by ringo
02-02-2013 11:28 AM


Re: ID is Christian
I'll respond to this before getting to the other posts.

To me, "created" implies "creator" and "intelligent design" implies "superior intelligence". Whether that creator/intelligence used a wrench or a magic wand is not particularly relevant.

I agree that "created" implies "creator," and so on, but I think it's highly relevant whether "that creator/intelligence used a wrench or a magic wand." For if the designer used a wrench (speaking metaphorically here), we could quite possibly find clues that a wrench was used to design life. In other words, since the wrench is a tool in the physical world, used by physical designers, the wrench might very well impart an indelible stamp on the designed artifact. On the other hand, if magic was used, we would have no hope of detecting design through the methods of science.

My own personal objection to the idea of "intelligent design" is the fact that intelligence only works with existing processes. If your "designer" is just using as-yet-unknown technology to manipulate those processes, then you're talking science fiction. If he's also creating the processes, you're talking religion. Neither alternative is scientific.

The intelligent design scenario that I'm proposing involve known mechanisms of engineering. See, e.g., the Nature's Engines and Engineering thread. Thus, if cellular life was contrived using techniques similar to our own biological engineering, we should find the indelible stamp of this design within life. And this signature can be detected through the methodology of science.


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 Message 60 by ringo, posted 02-02-2013 11:28 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by ringo, posted 02-02-2013 12:24 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 63 of 91 (689672)
02-02-2013 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by ringo
02-02-2013 12:24 PM


Re: ID is Christian
To a "primitive" people, a flashlight is magic. Whether or not something can be detected through the methods of science is a function of the current capabilities of science. There is no real distinction between magic and technology. Maybe someday a device to materialize a rabbit in a hat will be readily available at Wal-mart.

Quite true, but if someone says life was designed by magic, then that idea is outside the realm of current scientific knowledge. On the other hand, if someone says life was designed by a wrench (again, speaking metaphorically), then that thesis could potentially be tested by experimentation.

So you're basically trying to ouflank SETI. Instead of direct communication with (from) extraterrestrial intelligence, you're looking for indirect signs.

It's more of a complement to SETI. Instead of scanning the skies for a signal of intelligence, I think it just might possibly be fruitful if we scan biological cells for a signal of intelligence. I'm not the first to propose this, of course. See (Is bacteriophage phi X174 DNA a message from an extraterrestrial intelligence, 1979; SV40 DNA—A message from ϵ Eri?, 1986) for example. Those researchers speculated that virus genomes might harbor messages from ETI.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 691 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 65 of 91 (689682)
02-02-2013 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by AZPaul3
02-02-2013 3:07 AM


Re: Is Intelligent Design An Open Movement?
I'm sure you can find hundreds of people who think the same as you. They came onto the scene without the "ID=fundamentalist christian creationist" mantra already pre-loaded into their thinking. And I'm sure there are many more, like Behe, who fought to mentally overcome the equality. That still leaves the rest of the world ... by the hundreds of millions.

Right or wrong doesn't matter. If you insist on staying with the "ID" name, you, Behe, de Roos, whoever are going to have to fight the preconceived notion in front of every audience you go for many many years and you still will not reach the majority.

You know the score. However you want to play the tune is up to you.

Understood. I'm having difficulty imagining what I'd be called if not an ID proponent, though.


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