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Author Topic:   Is there a legitimate argument for design?
Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 73 of 638 (720257)
02-21-2014 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by dadman
02-20-2014 7:35 PM

dadman writes:
I do believe your pride and your unwillingness to admit you do not know the 3rd element has derailed you...
well it does seem to me that the 3rd element is indeed your greatest fear
The 3rd element is spiders!!?
I always knew there was something fishy about life...
That's my guess, anyway. The 3rd element is either spiders... or I don't know what you're getting at.
science is indeed very interesting .. especially when you have the courage to follow it to its logical conclusion . . .
This one's always fun.
Most people claim that "following science to it's logical conclusion" leads to some sort of heartless wasteland or anarchy apocalypse or something. They're not true, though, of course. They're just the logical conclusion of what some people think are the premises of science. They have the premises wrong... so they reach wrong logical conclusions. But maybe yours is different? Maybe the logical conclusion of science is spiders as well! I don't know why you're so hung up on such things.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by dadman, posted 02-20-2014 7:35 PM dadman has not replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 83 of 638 (720299)
02-21-2014 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by RAZD
02-21-2014 9:38 AM

Re: science and life
RAZD writes:
Nope, and here's why:
1. you can't fear something that isn't defined -- do you fear the todal?
2. your "definition" or "description" of life is erroneous in the first two of your "elements" ... so it doesn't matter what you think or what you claim for your mystical "3rd element" ... it won't make your claim valid.
Rocks are made of matter and they are not life.
Falling water has energy and it is not life.
The sun converts matter into energy and it is not alive.
In science when you try to describe things you do so by those aspects that differentiate what you are describing from things that are not what you are describing. So far you have failed utterly to do this, because what you list applies to non-life as well as life. That makes it a dud, man.
Thus I don't expect your "3rd element" to be anything more than a personal fantasy that is rather irrelevant to the reality of what life is. Especially if you never get off your high horse and stop playing games.
Although I agree with your conclusion. I think your description of the issue is confusing.
I think dadman is trying to say that only things with all 3 of the elements would then be "life."
Therefore, he would agree with you that a rock and falling water and the sun are not life because they do not include the 3rd element (spiders).
Or maybe you meant that as well? I took your phrasing to imply that dadman is saying anything with any of those elements would be life. I think I read a bit of sarcasm into your phrasing, though. So maybe it just isn't there anyway.
Anyway... that was just a minor point because it's Friday.
I did, however, search around teh interwebs for the "3 elements of life" (also because: Friday.)
Almost everywhere agrees that these are "Oxygen, Hydrogen and Carbon." But... something tells me this isn't what dadman is after
So, I dug a bit more and the closest thing I could find was this:
The Breath of God: Identifying Spiritual Energy
Which seems to maybe, kinda indicate that the 3 elements of life are mass, energy and "the Breath of God."
Where the Breath of God is recognized by many different people as many different things:
-psychic energy
-cosmic energy
-vital energy
-human aura
-paranormal energy
You know, anything and everything that "cannot be measured by current scientific standards" because scientists are stupid:
Victor J. Stenger, University of Colorado, in The Breath of God writes:
The common thread I see running through most of paranormal claims is the hypothesis that the universe contains a nonmaterial component that plays a significant role in the lives of humans--possibly providing the animating source for life and consciousness.5 This substance is often identified as some form of force or energy not presently registered in the scientific inventory.
Which does sound a lot like what dadman is after.
Also... it sounds like spiders. Not even scientists study spiders.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by RAZD, posted 02-21-2014 9:38 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by RAZD, posted 02-21-2014 1:18 PM Stile has replied
 Message 109 by herebedragons, posted 02-22-2014 9:24 AM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 88 of 638 (720317)
02-21-2014 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by RAZD
02-21-2014 1:18 PM

Re: science and life
RAZD writes:
In which case this "3rd element" is what determines life and the other two are not necessary to the description: matter and energy do not differentiate life from non-life.
Ah, yes... good point.
He's welcome to his opinion, but I doubt there will be any measurable effect on reality.
Yeah, I'm not exactly on the edge of my seat either...
What would put me on the edge of my seat? Spiders.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by RAZD, posted 02-21-2014 1:18 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by RAZD, posted 02-21-2014 2:30 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 91 of 638 (720321)
02-21-2014 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by dadman
02-21-2014 2:04 PM

Re: okay: I'll give you all a hint
dadman writes:
what else (not related to matter or energy)
A story!
Or Information?
But those are related to matter and energy... So then, again, I don't know.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by dadman, posted 02-21-2014 2:04 PM dadman has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by Tempe 12ft Chicken, posted 02-21-2014 2:41 PM Stile has replied
 Message 94 by dadman, posted 02-21-2014 2:42 PM Stile has replied
 Message 95 by RAZD, posted 02-21-2014 2:49 PM Stile has replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 97 of 638 (720329)
02-21-2014 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Tempe 12ft Chicken
02-21-2014 2:41 PM

Tempe 12ft Chicken writes:
although this is something that I have seen creationists attempt to argue multiple times and I have never seen any quality evidence for the idea that information requires a higher power more than just random chance and keeping what happened to work a little better.
No, it never does hold any water. From anything I've heard before, anyway.
Information is not some mystical, unknown force of nature.
Information is a word humans created to help describe our comprehension of ideas.
Some of those ideas we imagine ourselves (eg. fictional stories).
Some of those ideas we perceive from reality (eg. objective observations).
Whatever form it takes, it is, simply, "data."
Which is nothing more than a description of what we perceive.
We can write it down, using language in books.
Or we can just keep it stored in our memory in our brains.
There's nothing mystical about "information" though. It's just a word. Like "rocks." Just a word we use to describe a certain concept.
Spiders. Now there's a word with some power...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Tempe 12ft Chicken, posted 02-21-2014 2:41 PM Tempe 12ft Chicken has not replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 98 of 638 (720331)
02-21-2014 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by dadman
02-21-2014 2:42 PM

Re: very good stile .... you are a carrot
Stile writes:
dadman writes:
what else (not related to matter or energy)
Or Information?
dadman writes:
information is the correct answer . . .
But... information is related to matter and energy.
So, if you are claiming that the answer is not related to matter or energy... how can the answer be "information?"
1. facts provided or learned about something or someone.
"a vital piece of information"
2. what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things.
"genetically transmitted information"
Information is just data. A rock has information (how hard it is... how heavy it is...). But all that information is about it's matter and energy.
It is impossible to have "information" without having matter or energy.
Even made up information, like fictional stories, are about matter and energy.
Can you explain how information is unrelated to matter or energy?
Can you give an example of information that is about something that is not matter or energy?
And RAZDs examples like rocks and waterfalls and suns are filled with information.
Are you saying that rocks and waterfalls and suns are alive? I will have to apologize to RAZD... I thought he was going in the wrong direction... but he was right all along.
now, how do I plan to make the connection to all life ?
Most likely with DNA. But, of course, there's nothing special about the information in DNA that is any different from the information that is in a rock's hardness or weight or a sun's processes. It's all just objective descriptions of matter or energy that we can perceive in reality.
But we already have lots of topics on that. Feel free to read some of these:
Increases in Genetic Information
Adding information to the genome.
Information Changes in DNA by logical Analysis
coded information in DNA
Evolving New Information
Information Theory and Intelligent Design.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by dadman, posted 02-21-2014 2:42 PM dadman has not replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 99 of 638 (720332)
02-21-2014 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by RAZD
02-21-2014 2:49 PM

Re: pratt trolling
RAZD writes:
Yep -- that hoary old chestnut ... no surprises at all.
Yes, I apologize, you were right all along.
The 3 elements of life: Matter, energy and information.
According to dadman's own example... books are alive? Maybe just the really thick ones... I don't think I own a 5" thick book. Bet they're good for killing spiders.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by RAZD, posted 02-21-2014 2:49 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by RAZD, posted 02-21-2014 3:47 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied
 Message 107 by Atheos canadensis, posted 02-22-2014 12:01 AM Stile has seen this message but not replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 118 of 638 (720478)
02-24-2014 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by herebedragons
02-22-2014 9:24 AM

Re: science and life
herebedragons writes:
What about nitrogen and phosphorus? They get no respect as "elements of life."
If you're wondering... they actually were mentioned a lot in my web-searchings. But I just stuck to the main 3 here for simplicity.
I mean why can we not just put all the components of a cell into a test tube, add a bit of ATP, a little heat and generate life?
I'm not very well versed in the biological sciences.
My guess, however, would be to make the airplane-in-a-junk pile analogy:
You can add all the parts for an airplane into a giant shaker, including a dude to put them together, a whack of energy and pages and pages of directional blueprints... no matter how much you stir it up, you're not going to get an airplane out of it.
There IS something missing from that formula.
For sure. Maybe it's something we haven't discovered yet.
But (and I think this is more likely), maybe it's just a part of the process that needs to be done in the correct way that we don't know enough about yet.
If it helps... I can all but guarantee that the first cell was not created by jamming stuff into a test tube and shaking it around...
Why is it that life only comes from other life?
I don't think this is true.
Just 'cause we don't currently know exactly how it happens doesn't mean we can't ever know, or that it's impossible.
In fact, we have much evidence to say that life does indeed come from non-life.
4 billion years ago the planet was devoid of life.
3 billion years ago the planet had some life.
What happened in that billion years? Is it something that took a billion years? A few million? An instant?
Again... I can guarantee that a test-tube was not involved
There is something that is being passed on - life.
I will certainly admit that this is the easier way to create life: get it from pre-existing life.
But the evidence tells us that this is not the only way.
Oh, and he ruined ellipses for me, now I feel stupid using them.
Yeah, me too. But, it also made me realize that I use "quotes" around words too much... so I'm trying to cut down on that too.
Edited by Stile, : Injected: Life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by herebedragons, posted 02-22-2014 9:24 AM herebedragons has not replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 119 of 638 (720480)
02-24-2014 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by herebedragons
02-22-2014 12:11 PM

Re: non-science non-sense
herebedragons writes:
Yea, defining life is kind of like defining species; we intuitively know what it means but to create a one-size-fits-all definition is rather elusive.
Yes, very much so.
We also need to remember that definitions are human constructs. Just ideas we've imagined in order to make things simpler to understand for ourselves. (I'm not really sure where this post is going... I'm just rambling, feel free to ignore me).
We make classifications so that we can organize things into simpler terms.
But none of these definitions actually force what they represent to be anything more than they actually are.
Did you know that cats just think their owners are big cats?
We have this propensity in ourselves, too... to think that things are the way we are. To think that everyone thinks the way we think... and when people see things differently... they're just weird.
Our intelligence allows us to understand differently... that sometimes people are just different and think in different ways. This doesn't make them weird... just different.
Our classifications are ways to divide things, but in the end, we're all just energy and matter.
Cats see us as big cats... and we may think that's strange because we're not the same species.
But are they really all that wrong?
We may not actually be cats... but we are animals, the same as cats. We're also both mammals. And we're both vertebrates. At certain levels, we are the same... just different representations.
Sometimes if we get too "accustomed" to our classifications they can force us into believing the divisions are more than they actually are.
I'm not saying "we are cats." I'm saying that if we focus on our differences (external appearance), we can begin to create a barrier from seeing our similarities.
My point, getting back to life/non-life, is that maybe there's not such a huge distinction between life and non-life.
Maybe it's just a big human construct and we want there to be a huge distinction because it makes us feel special.
But, really, what makes you and I more special than a rock?
I'm not trying to go down some human-lives-are-worthless road... I'm just trying to explore the actual reality behind everything. Seriously... is there anything.. anything objectively from reality (in a not-from-humans context) that says people are really more special than rocks?
Maybe rocks are part of the process that is required in order to have "life"?
For one... we wouldn't be here without our planet, and our planet is, indeed, made of rock.
Meh... that's enough rambling for today.
I wish I knew more biological sciencey stuff... then I wouldn't be left with thinking of philosophical mumbo-jumbo instead.
If we do want real answers... the biological sciences are our best bet, I would think.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by herebedragons, posted 02-22-2014 12:11 PM herebedragons has not replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 533 of 638 (737111)
09-17-2014 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 515 by taiji2
09-16-2014 4:59 PM

Re: Logic and reason
Hi taiji2, I hope you are enjoying your stay at EvC. There is a lot to discuss and see here, I hope you stick around.
I have read some of your posts in this thread and I've decided not to reply to any specifically, but just to make a general reply to you and say some things and see if they strike a chord with you or not. Feel free to ignore me if I'm just completely wrong or boring. I like to ramble
First, a bit of background the way I see things:
-Humans have always wondered 'why are we here,' and they still do.
-Religions sometimes attempt to answer that question, and others.
-Science was later developed... but not to specifically address a 'why are we here' question, more to specifically address 'what can we know for sure' questions.
Science tends to probe for truth, to see what we are able to learn and to expand our knowledge.
Science doesn't ever get to "the truth," but that's not it's goal. It's goal is to learn what we can and be as confident as we can be in our knowledge.
Science doesn't care if the knowledge it uncovers leads us to a God or not, or if it is compatible with this religion or that one... the same as it doesn't care whether or not I personally approve that mammals do not lay eggs. Science wants to uncover the facts, all of them, as much as possible. Wherever that leads is where Science wants to go.
I agree that your idea of ID (that things were started by a God/Designer) is not-contradictory with the facts that Science has uncovered so far.
In that sense, I think your beliefs are very healthy and if you find benefits within them (comfort, peace, strength...) then you should continue your path.
For the question on whether or not there is a legitimate argument for design, I need to explain what I feel the word 'legitimate' means in this context.
To me, a legitimate argument is one that identifies itself as a valid possibility based on some factual data. For example, let's say I've lost my keys and want to know why.
There are many possible arguments, here are a few:
-someone stole them without my knowledge
-I dropped them
-I misplaced them
-they vanished into another dimension
Now, which are legitimate? There is an obvious progression with the first 3 being more likely than the 4th. But does that make the first 3 legitimate?
With the information we currently have, I would say none of them are actually legitimate.
If I add the information that I have a hole in my pocket, then I would say "I dropped them" becomes a legitimate argument. The other 3 remain 'possible arguments' but not 'legitimate' as there is no facts to identify them as anything more than 'possible.'
Notice how we actually have 3 layers of argument:
Top layer = "I dropped them" because there is a fact that uniquely identifies this argument against the others (the hole in my pocket).
Middle layers = "stolen" and "misplaced" because they happen in other circumstances and do not contradict any information we currently have.
Bottom layer = "other dimension" because it adds a concept we have no factual evidence for (that keys can go to alternative dimensions), it is simply an argument that does not contracdict the information we currently have.
It doesn't really matter which ones you want to call "legitimate" or not... it is obvious that the top layer is much-preferred over the middle layer which in turn is much-preferred over the bottom layer.
We should also note that just because I have a hole in my pocket doesn't mean my keys actually fell through the hole. Maybe I have shabby pants but also left my keys in a drawer at work. Maybe a pick-pocket craftily undid the stiching in my pocket and stole my keys anyway. The legitimacy of the argument doesn't actually turn the arguement into "the truth." It simply moves our confidence up a notch, that's all.
So, onto the legitimacy of the design argument, then.
I agree with you that it does not contradict any information we currently have about the reality we exist in. Therefore, it becomes a "possibility" and is not immediately discarded.
The next question becomes "is there any facts that uniquely identify design as a good argument?" So far, we only seem to be able to say that design does not contradict what we scientifically know. There doesn't seem to be any facts that actually point towards design and also point away from non-design at the same time. Unless you can offer some? Until such facts come to light, we cannot place the design argument in the "top-layer."
Now, we should mention that design also seems to imply that some sort of "God" or "Designer" exists and injected this design into our reality. However, this seems to be an additional concept for which there is no factual evidence. This would indicate that the design argument actually drops from the middle-layer into the bottom-layer. Unless, again, you can offer some sort of factual evidence that a Designer does, indeed, specifically exist?
I agree that if this reality was designed, then there would have to be a Designer. Just as if keys could vanish into other dimensions.. then there would have to be another dimension. However, without any facts actually pointing towards the existence of other dimensions or Designers... we seem to be in similar territory with the two arguments.
Therefore, to me, since the design argument falls into the bottom-layer of preferred arguments for explaining our reality... I am forced to conclude there is no legitimate argument for design.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 515 by taiji2, posted 09-16-2014 4:59 PM taiji2 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 537 by taiji2, posted 09-17-2014 11:54 AM Stile has seen this message but not replied

Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 577 of 638 (737205)
09-19-2014 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 575 by Omnivorous
09-18-2014 10:05 PM

Current Summary
Omnivorous writes:
Well, I'm disappointed.
Heh, yeah. I was hoping to have a nice conversation with the fella.
But he's just too hypocritical.
His last message says:
taiji2 writes:
Having found no potential for intellectually honest debate on this thread, I will leave all you good people to go about whatever it is you do.
Message 572
However, in his reply to me just a few posts before he states:
taiji2 writes:
That was superbly stated. Your ideas and statements absolutely do strike a chord with me.
Message 537
...but he never engages anything I talked about.
He wasn't looking for intellectually honest debate. He was trolling. Really, it was obvious from just a few posts from him. But, well, we have nothing better to do, do we? So, really, we trolled the troll. He thinks he's wasting our time or having his own fun weaving through our posts acting like an upstanding citizen or something. But in all actuality, every single one of us was just posting to see what sort of ridiculousness he'd say next
Even in his reply to me he contradicts himself:
taiji2 writes:
I respect logic, reason, and the power of deduction.
If your personal conclusion is that there is no legitimate argument for design, then that is your conclusion.
He talks about respecting logic and reason, and then totally brushes off my "personal conclusion"... which was entirely explained to him using logic and reason.
The hypocrisy was strong in this one.
The only thing resembling evidence for design was the talk of "front loading" for the very first cells (or whatever). It was a short discussion about front-loaded evolution coming from junk DNA.
At first glance, this seems to separate "designed front loading" from "blind evolutionary processes." But if we look at how evolution works, we see that front loading isn't required for this sort of evidence to exist at all.
The 'front loading' argument is that new abilities are always present, and just 'turned on' when required. Therefore, any 'turning on' of abilities when required is evidence of "designed front loading" and therefore evidence of a Designer! Weeeeee!!!
Well, not really...
Evolution is driven by random mutation... which results in random new abilities.
Therefore, at any given time every being/animal/organism on the planet may or may not have certain newish random abilities that aren't being used (because their environment doesn't change) and just pop up every now and then.
Then... something happens and the environment changes.
This then causes a bunch of critters to die.
It also causes some critters to make use of their random new abilities to adapt to the new environment.
And... voila! We have the 'turning on' of new abilities when they were required except it was not front loaded from the beginning of time. It was simply randomly developed before it was required. That's all. Just regular old evolution.
Evidence of front loading from a designer would be if every organism could 'turn on' the new abilities whenever they were needed.
But that doesn't happen. There's always a whack of them that die. In fact, most of them die. What's the number? 99.999% of all species ever are now extinct? That's not front-loaded design at work.
That's regular evolution, some organisms get random new abilities... and some of those abilities become useful when the environment changes to kill off those without it. That's why a bunch die, but some live.
That's evidence of regular old evolution, not front-loading.

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Member (Idle past 151 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 632 of 638 (737439)
09-24-2014 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 630 by New Cat's Eye
09-23-2014 9:20 PM

Re: why is the sky blue?
Cat Sci writes:
And that his insistence that the "why" questions must be ones of ultimate purpose is just Begging the Question.
Am I not correct?
I think you are correct, yes.
We must accept the ability to string words together in the form of a question that just doesn't make sense.
If there is a 'why' question that science is not fit to answer... then it is highly likely that it just doesn't make sense to ask the question.
For example: Why is the sky blue? In the context of 'ultimate purpose' may very well be a nonsense question that simply does not have an answer. (Or the answer is "because that's the way it is" or "there is no purpose for the sky to be blue" or some other ultimate finale).
Edited by Stile, : Adding something I've been forgetting

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