Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 62 (9041 total)
96 online now:
CosmicChimp, PaulK, Tangle, vimesey (4 members, 92 visitors)
Newest Member: maria
Post Volume: Total: 885,913 Year: 3,559/14,102 Month: 179/321 Week: 39/59 Day: 0/4 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Intelligent Design just a question for evolutionists
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 3 of 146 (792317)
10-06-2016 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
10-06-2016 6:04 PM


...can you appreciate that there is the classic argument of ID, since Paley, which didn't really refer to creation or Christianity, but is basically the argument of recognising design?

Well, actually, the overall teleological argument goes back way before Paley. The teleological vs. non-teleological debate has been going on for thousands of years, and it's only recently that the pendulum of scholarly argument has swung in favor of non-teleology in the living world. That historical context is important.

Or can you recognise it is possible to form a syllogism which contains no premise pertaining to God or creationism, within it?

Sure, but science is more than just deductive reasoning through syllogisms.

The syllogism I have used for ID, was never meant to be used as a creationist argument, but only as a way to ASCERTAIN if an object or thing, is designed;

Well, that's a pretty terrible way to detect intelligent design -- and that syllogism is rendered pretty much nonsense by the fact that Neo-Darwinian mechanisms are able to create systems that have the appearance of design.

I just fail to see how it isn't a generalisation, to say that my argument would be creationism because of the modern ID movement, the conclusion, "it is intelligently designed" also makes no mention of by who or what, just that there is a recognition that the object FEATURES hallmarks of intelligence.

Your exact "syllogism" isn't inherently creationist. But it's often appropriate to consider the broader context of an argument: who is making it and why?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by mike the wiz, posted 10-06-2016 6:04 PM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by mike the wiz, posted 10-07-2016 5:33 AM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 11 of 146 (792325)
10-07-2016 4:38 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Coyote
10-06-2016 9:08 PM


Re: Recognizing design...
You mention that we can recognize design when we see it. It's not that easy.

Perhaps one of the best groups around at dealing with this issue is the archaeologists. (Full disclosure--I am one.)

And we don't just scratch our heads when we see something unfamiliar and say, "Hmmm. Must be designed."

Rather we work from analogy. We readily observe people all over the world fashioning bifacial flakes, but find that those flakes are almost never found occurring naturally, and certainly are not found in any quantities in rock slides, talus slopes or cattle wallows.

In graduate school one of my professors had a room literally full of stones--shelf after shelf--scavenged from creeks and rivers. These showed what could occur naturally. He studied them, and so of course so did we. For comparison we studied archaeological sites and what was found in them, and we learned to fashion stone tools ourselves.

All of this shows the kinds of processes that may be necessary to infer design from an unfamilar object.

Then it's reasonable to be suspicious of agency in the origin of life, given the existence of a genetic code, right? It's working from analogy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Coyote, posted 10-06-2016 9:08 PM Coyote has not yet responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 14 of 146 (792328)
10-07-2016 5:53 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by mike the wiz
10-07-2016 5:33 AM


Well, that's a pretty terrible way to detect intelligent design...

It's a terrible way to detect design by seeing if an object has the features of design?

No, I said it's a terrible way to detect intelligent design. Sure, you can detect design -- but we need an approach where we can determine if that design is the result of agency or Neo-Darwinian mechanisms.

Arguments from analogy are powerful, but you're not making an argument from analogy here.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by mike the wiz, posted 10-07-2016 5:33 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by mike the wiz, posted 10-07-2016 6:05 AM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 18 of 146 (792332)
10-07-2016 6:14 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by dwise1
10-07-2016 1:53 AM


Life Looks Engineered
Now, I have seen a number of creationists try to claim that complexity equals "design". They love to point to all kinds of complexity and, with no reason, proclaim that to be proof of design.

Well, by profession I am an engineer. I do know something about how an engineer works and thinks. An engineer works to reduce complexity. Modular design, creating functional modules that you can plug into anywhere, are very popular.

But that is not what we see in real life.

That's actually exactly what we see in life. They're called "protein domains," and they function as modular parts that give architecture to a diverse array of molecular machines and systems (which, in turn, give form and function to cells).

I see this argument a lot from those with a non-teleological perspective: that life, actually, doesn't look like the product of engineering. But the examples usually cited are not molecular -- they are typically tissue-level or anatomical.

When we go into the realm of molecular biology, the appearance of engineering only strengthens. In short, the more we know about molecular biology, the more the analogy between engineering and the molecular fabric of life deepens.

And that's suspicious. Why does life's molecular fabric look like the product of engineering? Typical arguments about "irrational design" -- like the eye's backward wiring -- simply break down when one considers the structural designs of life's core, phylogenetically basal molecular machinery (e.g., bacterial flagella, F-ATPases, etc.).

And before this is hand-waved away as an improper argument from analogy, remember that analogous reasoning is at the heart of the origin of many robust scientific hypotheses. That's kinda why Margulis' endoysmbiotic hypothesis emerged triumphant and was "almost unchallengeable" by 1974, the protestations of evolutionary biologists Uzzell and Spolsky notwithstanding. Her argument as to the origin of mitochondria was largely based on Wallin's observations concerning the similarities between the cytological properties of mitochondria and bacteria.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by dwise1, posted 10-07-2016 1:53 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by mike the wiz, posted 10-07-2016 6:25 AM Genomicus has not yet responded
 Message 27 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 10:48 AM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 20 of 146 (792334)
10-07-2016 6:18 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by mike the wiz
10-07-2016 6:05 AM


My English skills are not sufficient enough to decipher what you're saying here, so I'll opt to disengage in this particular line of discussion with you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by mike the wiz, posted 10-07-2016 6:05 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 30 of 146 (792344)
10-07-2016 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Percy
10-07-2016 9:59 AM


Arguments like, "DNA looks designed," or "The solar system looks designed," or "The universe looks designed," have no evidentiary foundation in the way that Coyote's arguments for flint chips do. We *know* that humans manipulate flint, we know what it looks like, and we recognize it when we see it. But when we look at DNA there's nothing similar to compare to that we know was designed by intelligent beings.

Not sure if you're referring strictly to DNA as a molecule here, in and of itself, or the whole genetic code. Because when it comes to the genetic code, there's plenty that's similar to it -- phenomena which we know are the products of agency. The canonical genetic code is a code in a very real sense -- this isn't metaphorical language employed by biologists. And codes and data transmission -- complete with error-correcting mechanisms, parity structure, etc. -- are known to be the products of intelligence.

Keep in mind, too, that the presence of a genetic code was not anticipated by the non-teleological perspective of biotic reality. Rather, that perspective had to accommodate the existence of a canonical genetic code:

"Imagine that in 1957 a clairvoyant biologist offered as a hypothesis the exact genetic code and mechanism of protein synthesis understood today. How would the proposal have been received? My guess is that Nature would have rejected the paper. 'This notion of the ribosome ratcheting along the messenger RNA three bases at a time—it sounds like a computer reading a data tape. Biological systems don’t work that way. In biochemistry we have templates,where all the reactants come together simultaneously, not assembly lines where machines are built step by step.'"

From: Hayes, B. The Invention of the Genetic Code. American Scientist.

And since there's a lack of historical evidence for the molecular evolution of the genetic code, it's perfectly reasonable to argue that there are tangible clues that parts of the biotic world are the products of engineering.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Percy, posted 10-07-2016 9:59 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 11:00 AM Genomicus has responded
 Message 42 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2016 12:48 PM Genomicus has responded
 Message 51 by Percy, posted 10-07-2016 1:22 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 32 of 146 (792346)
10-07-2016 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Taq
10-07-2016 10:48 AM


Re: Life Looks Engineered
What we also need to remember is how unreliable appearances are. At one time, the Sun appeared to move about the Earth instead of the Earth moving about the Sun. I can look up into the sky and find clouds that have the appearance of ducks or dragons. That doesn't mean there are dragons flying through the air.

I get your point, but IMHO it's a bit of stretch to equate perceived phantasmagoria in the clouds with what we see in biology. When we say that cells have molecular machines, we actually mean that they have machines. This isn't metaphorical language -- and the same is true for genetic codes.

But let me add a bit more nuance to this. To take your example of dragon-like clouds: what happens when we hone in on those images in the clouds in more depth? The images start looking less like dragons and more like ordinary masses of atmospheric gases. In other words, under higher resolution, the appearances fall away.

But this isn't so for life. When we look at life under increasingly higher resolutions, the deeper the engineering analogy becomes. There are actual machines with discrete, modular parts. At a core, basal level, there are systems that smack of rational design -- systems and machines that are not reflective of hodge-podge, jury-rigged Neo-Darwinian co-option mechanisms.

This doesn't mean we immediately say that life is intelligently designed. It certainly does not mean that we introduce such material in high school classrooms. But it does mean that it makes sense to be suspicious that teleology has played a role in the origin of life. We can then take that as a working hypothesis, further refine it, and see where the hypothesis' predictions and explanatory powers takes us.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 10:48 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 11:21 AM Genomicus has responded
 Message 146 by Modulous, posted 01-06-2017 8:44 PM Genomicus has not yet responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 33 of 146 (792347)
10-07-2016 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by Taq
10-07-2016 11:00 AM


Arcs of electricity are known to be the product of human intelligence and design. That doesn't mean that lightning is the product of design.

Just because humans make certain things does not mean that they can't be produced by nature.

That is correct, yes. However, I was responding to Percy's line of argument:

We *know* that humans manipulate flint, we know what it looks like, and we recognize it when we see it. But when we look at DNA there's nothing similar to compare to that we know was designed by intelligent beings.

I daresay most molecular and computational biologists would disagree with this assessment that DNA (if we mean a genetic code, and not just the molecule itself) doesn't strongly resemble anything we know to be designed by intelligence.

And, of course, any explanation -- teleological or non-teleological -- for the origin of the genetic code must ultimately rest in historical evidence. After all, we know that we're very good at conjuring evolutionary pathways that never existed in reality: John McDonald's narrative for how the apparently irreducibly complex mousetrap could have "evolved" from simpler precursor stages demonstrates this rather succinctly.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 11:00 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 11:23 AM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 36 of 146 (792350)
10-07-2016 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Taq
10-07-2016 11:21 AM


Re: Life Looks Engineered
You could just as well claim that clouds are lightning machines, or that the Sun is a fusion machine.

Sure, but those metaphors won't take you very far in terms of making sense of these phenomena. Meteorology does not borrow the terminology of engineering. Molecular biology does -- and does so extensively. Why?

Humans also produce masses of atmospheric gases. So does this mean that all masses of atmospheric gases are made by an intelligence?

My statement was regarding whether your hypothetical cloud-dragon would still look like a dragon under higher resolution, not whether those clouds were intelligently designed. Of course, concluding that all clouds are made by intelligence because humans produce some atmospheric gases is to commit a major slip in logic.

That is true of any chemical reaction. You can label oxygen and hydrogen molecules as machines, and call them water machines when they are in the presence of enough energy to catalyze the reaction that leads to water.

Again, calling oxygen and hydrogen "water machines" doesn't actually help us make sense of chemistry. Sure, you can call them "water machines" as an odd literary device, but that's about all. Why don't chemists talk about an oxygen-hydrogen circuit that shuttles oxygen to hydrogen? And why do molecular biologists use such -- ostensibly engineering-based -- language when describing protein interactions and pathways in cells?

It is only biology, it seems, that requires engineering language in order to shed more light on various biological systems and phenomena. This language, again, is not metaphorical as it pertains to biology. It is literal. And it has proven tremendously useful to the field. Why?

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 11:21 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 12:58 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 37 of 146 (792351)
10-07-2016 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Taq
10-07-2016 11:21 AM


Re: Life Looks Engineered
We already did that. ID lost. ID can't explain basic observations in biology, such as the fossil record, observed morphological phylogenies, or patterns of genetic divergence. Evolution can explain these things.

A hypothesis of agency in the origin of life need not conflict with the modern evolutionary synthesis.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 11:21 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 12:16 PM Genomicus has responded
 Message 39 by jar, posted 10-07-2016 12:17 PM Genomicus has responded
 Message 45 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 12:52 PM Genomicus has not yet responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 40 of 146 (792354)
10-07-2016 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by ringo
10-07-2016 12:16 PM


Re: Life Looks Engineered
Wouldn't that hypothesis have to explain how the "agency" evolved?

I don't see why it would have any obligation to that end, inasmuch as the Neo-Darwinian theory of common ancestry need not explain how life first arose on Earth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 12:16 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 12:50 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 41 of 146 (792355)
10-07-2016 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Taq
10-07-2016 11:23 AM


Based on what arguments?

Most molecular biologists -- I suspect, based on what's been published in the scientific literature -- would comfortably assert that the genetic code resembles human-designed codes and data transmission systems. I could provide a litany of relevant quotes from the literature, if you like.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 11:23 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 12:51 PM Genomicus has not yet responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 46 of 146 (792360)
10-07-2016 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by jar
10-07-2016 12:17 PM


Re: Life Looks Engineered
A hypothesis of agency in the origin of life need not conflict with the modern evolutionary synthesis.

But does it add anything at all other than unsupported assertions?

Yes. To the degree that the Neo-Darwinian synthesis wields explanatory power? Absolutely not -- not even close.

But a case can be made that a teleological approach to biological origins can yield valuable insights. For example, the hypothesis of eukaryotic front-loading explains why core eukaryotic proteins have well-conserved structural and sequence protein homologs in prokaryotes, as opposed to some of these essential proteins having been cobbled together from non-functional stretches of prokaryotic genomes (e.g., pseudogenes). Further, specific design hypotheses provide predictions which can then be experimentally tested.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by jar, posted 10-07-2016 12:17 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by Taq, posted 10-07-2016 2:56 PM Genomicus has not yet responded
 Message 55 by jar, posted 10-07-2016 4:31 PM Genomicus has not yet responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 47 of 146 (792361)
10-07-2016 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Dr Adequate
10-07-2016 12:48 PM


Surely the paper would actually have been rejected because clairvoyance is not an accepted form of scientific inquiry.

Eh, not really the point of that quote. The point of that quote is not to explore the nature of scientific publication practices. The point is to highlight how a genetic code was not an expected reality of the non-teleological framework.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2016 12:48 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2016 4:46 PM Genomicus has not yet responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 873 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 49 of 146 (792363)
10-07-2016 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by ringo
10-07-2016 12:50 PM


Re: Life Looks Engineered
But the Theory of Evolution does have to dovetail with any explanation we do have or will have about how life first arose.

Yes, but that we do not know how life arose on Earth has absolutely no bearing on the validity of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis and theory of common ancestry.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by ringo, posted 10-07-2016 12:50 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2021