Friday, May 15, 2015

This is what Intelligent Design Creationist apologetics looks like

Vincent Torely writes at: Bad math: Why Larry Moran’s “I’m not a Darwinian” isn’t a valid reply to Meyer’s argument.
Now, it’s no skin off my nose if Professor Moran wants to call us creationists. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. But the Intelligent Design movement has never claimed to have scientific evidence that the history of life was “directed by gods.” What we claim is that certain highly specific, functional systems which are found in living things were designed by some intelligent agent or agents. By “intelligent,” I don’t mean “humanlike”; rather, what I mean is: capable of engaging in abstract reasoning, when selecting suitable means to achieve one’s goals. In the most clear-cut Intelligent Design cases, the agent has to engage in mathematical reasoning – whether it be about squares (in the case of the monolith on the Moon in the movie 2001, whose sides are in the ration 1:4:9) or about digital code (in the case of the DNA we find in living things), or about which complex geometrical arrangements of amino acid chains will prove to be capable of performing a biologically useful task (in the case of protein design).

When I speak of the agent’s “goals,” I don’t mean the agent’s personal motives for doing something, which we have no way of inferring from the products they design; rather, I simply mean the task that the agent was attempting to perform, or the problem that they were trying to solve. Beyond that, there is nothing more that we could possibly infer about the agent, unless we were acquainted with them or with other members of their species. For instance, we cannot infer that the designer of an artifact was a sentient being (since the ability to design doesn’t imply the ability to feel) , or a material being (whatever that vague term means), or a physical entity (since there’s no reason why a designer needs to exhibit law-governed behavior), or even a complex or composite entity. To be sure, all the agents that we are familiar with possess these characteristics, but we cannot infer them from the products designed by an agent. Finally, the fact that an agent is capable of performing a variety of functions does not necessarily imply that the agent is composed of multiple detachable parts. We simply don’t know that. In short: the scientific inferences we can make about non-human designers are extremely modest.
It's really just an amazing coincidence that all Intelligent Design Creationists believe in gods. There's not a single one who thinks that the universe was designed by a bunch of immaterial, nonsentient, mathematicians who were just fooling around after the bar closed.

Do you think anyone really believes this crap? Do they?


94 comments :

  1. Larry,

    Lately, whenever I go to sandwalk, my window eventually (after minutes, or maybe as much as an hour) changes by itself to a place called "gogarden", which seems to be, as it sounds, a gardening site. Do you have any clue why that's happening?

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    1. It did it again just now, after about a minute. Except that the site is now "HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable." WTF?

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    2. It happens on other sites, too (scienceblogs, at least). Some quick googling says it might have something to do with something called "sitemeter"?

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    3. I'm getting redirected to gogargen and x.vindicosuite.com after a minute or two too.

      Googling "gogargen vindicosuite" suggests that sitemeter is the cause and removing it solves the problem. Sitemeter was recently bought by a malware company, apparently.

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  2. I've said this before... if you really study all the ID literature, they are all talking about the "D", not the "I". There's nothing in their work that specifies the intelligence. Since we know, for a fact, that non-intelligent sources can create complex systems (even irreducibly complex system), then we are really just talking about design. And evolution is a perfectly valid designer.

    Of course, if you also read UD, where Torely posts a lot, you'll find that they are all Christians and many of their discussions revolve around the God of the Bible.

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    1. You have been corrected on that before, too. Of course wrt to ID the "I" just differentiates between apparent design on one side and optimal design on the other.

      And no, non-intelligent sources cannot create IC- you are confused. And of course ID is not anti-evolution- both genetic and evolutionary algorithms model Intelligent Design Evolution.

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    2. The IDC position is completely vacuous. They can offer nothing but 'it looks designed. And Hitler loved Darwin.' Their arguments are, whether they will admit or recognize it or not, nothing but strained analogies. The ONLY intelligence, or intelligent designer we know of (using their own criteria) is US. Thus, they are applying criteria employed in identifying human activity to a decidedly non-human entity.. They are very desperate people.

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    3. N. Manning- what does your position have, exactly? You are upset with our use of analogies because your position doesn't even have that.

      BTW using our criteria all organisms are intelligent designers, or capable of being one.

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    4. Joe G, I don't quite follow your first sentence. Are you saying the ID (intelligent design) is optimal design? Are all organisms intelligently designed? Does it follow, therefore, that all organisms are optimally designed?

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    5. "N. Manning- what does your position have, exactly? You are upset with our use of analogies because your position doesn't even have that."

      We have the progression in the fossil record. We have actual experimentation (Lesnski, Lederberg, etc.). We have molecular phylogenetics. We use analogies the way they are supposed to be used - as teaching tools, not as evidence.


      "BTW using our criteria all organisms are intelligent designers, or capable of being one."


      Well, isn't that cute.

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    6. Joe G: You wrote, " Of course wrt to ID the "I" just differentiates between apparent design on one side and optimal design on the other." Because "wrt to ID" is not comprehensible, we can't be sure what you're trying to say, but you suggest that "I" differentiates apparent from optimal design -- but now you refer us to Dembski who says intelligent design isn't optimal design and in fact that no real design is optimal.

      Therefore, your statement "I" just “differentiates between apparent design on one side and optimal design on the other” appears to be a statement devoid of real content even in within your own set of ideas.

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    7. Of note:

      "Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.

      I say these things not because I'm crazy or because I've "converted" to evolution. I say these things because they are true."

      - Todd Wood, PhD.

      Wood is a creationist. He at least admits that he rejects evolution because it conflicts with his religious beliefs. So, what do IDCs know that Wood does not - how, for example, can Joe G. justify his truly absurd assertion "what does your position have, exactly? You are upset with our use of analogies because your position doesn't even have that."?

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    8. Lenski doesn't help you and neither does Lederberg. You are clueless as to what is being debated.

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    9. Joe G contradicts himself and then claims that someone else is clueless? Muahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!!! Haaaaahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa!!!

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    10. Please explain this alleged contradiction. I dare you to try.

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    11. You dare me to try? You're an ass. Read your own comments above Joe. Read your own words. Start with your first answer to OgreMkV. Check exactly what you said, then check what you answered a few comments later. If you can't see such an obvious contradiction on your own then you're much more of an imbecile than I could possibly imagine.

      (I'll leave aside that somebody else explained your contradiction to you already. Your illiteracy fits the open stupidity of your claims.)

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    12. Here's what Joe "fired from his job for making threats from his work computer" Gallien first wrote:

      "Of course wrt to ID the "I" just differentiates between apparent design on one side and optimal design on the other."

      So intelligent design theory is about optimal design.

      Then Joe "I could tell you what I do for a living if you get a top secret security clearance" Gallien wrote:

      "As Dembski said Intelligent Design is not Optimal Design"

      Now Intelligent Design is not optimal design.

      Joe "wounded in the Iraq War" Gallien next writes:

      Please explain this alleged contradiction. I dare you to try.

      OK. The contradiction is that you are dumb as a box of hammers, yet you are simultaneously one of the greatest intellects of Intelligent Design.

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    13. "Lenski doesn't help you and neither does Lederberg. You are clueless as to what is being debated."

      Oh, well your mere contrarian assertion most definitely put me in my humble place.
      I was unaware* that for the IDCreationist, a mere assertion is tantamount to an absolute proof.
      Lederberg and Lenski don't help us because - Dembski the theologian says so? Meyer the philosopher? Wells the Moonie? Nehe the charlatan? Why?
      No mention of fossils or phylogenetics, either. No biggie - I'm sure it would have been the same sort of fluff - a mere dismissal based on desire.


      RE: Iraq war wounds - I had read some years ago that when Gallien first made that claim, DoD records were searched (they keep lists of such things, after all) and no Joe Gallien, civilian contractor, was listed anywhere during the tie period he claims ot have been there. I suspect that Joe G. added such events to his bizarre fantasy life - the same one wherein he is an expert scientist by virtue of having earned a bachelor of SCIENCE degree.


      *Actually, I was aware of this and have always been. Joe G. is simply laughably predictable and ineffective.

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    14. OK. The contradiction is that you are dumb as a box of hammers, yet you are simultaneously one of the greatest intellects of Intelligent Design.

      I must disagree. It's possible and indeed probable that both those statements are true.

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    15. Moran, are you laughing because people are ignoring your comment and talking only about intelligent design of biological systems? You had written,
      It's really just an amazing coincidence that all Intelligent Design Creationists believe in gods. There's not a single one who thinks that the universe was designed by a bunch of immaterial, nonsentient, mathematicians who were just fooling around after the bar closed.

      Had my first post to this thread not mysteriously disappeared, ypu might have seen a sort of answer within a few hours of posting your LOL. The gist of it was that there are three main alternatives about our less-than-15 billion year old universe to choose from:

      1. It is everything that there is or was or ever will be.

      2. It was designed by an incredibly intelligent and powerful (but not necessarily immaterial) entity or team of entities that did not owe
      their existence to it.

      3. There is a mind-bogglingly vast, perhaps infinite, multiverse with an appropriate number of universes, of which ours is just one, exhibiting all manner of possibilities of values for the fundamental physical constants (if there are any such constants at all--some universes may be too chaotic for their constituents to be describable), only a very narrow range being conducive to life.

      That last clause is what makes 1. implausible in comparison to 3. This is expounded on in a book, Just Six Numbers by Martin Rees, Cambridge Professor and Astronomer Royal of England, and a much more wide-ranging book by Paul Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma . Here is a short synopsis that gives the gist of the argument:


      http://www.ichthus.info/BigBang/Docs/Just6num.pdf

      As for 2., it is actually made more plausible than 1, in my opinion, thanks to 3. The idea is that since there is a universe so wonderful that it was possible for intelligent life to arise in it, there may also be a universe vastly older and with more possibilities, in which beings so intelligent and powerful arose naturally, that they could manipulate some of the stuff of their universe (perhaps inside a black hole) to produce universes like ours from much less promising material.

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  3. Larry, If you don't like ID all you have to do is step up and demonstrate that physics and chemistry are all that is required- matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions, or whatever nonsense you can think of.

    Then tell us how to test it, scientifically. Show us that you have a mechanism or mechanisms capable of producing living organisms and their diversity.

    Attacking ID will never be positive evidence for evolutionism or materialism. And positive evidence for either is a thorn in the side, if not fatal, to ID.

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    1. "Attacking ID will never be positive evidence for evolutionism or materialism."

      Interesting bit of ironic projection.

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    2. N. Manning, You are confused. Science mandates that design inferences be checked against necessity and chance- ID has to eliminate evolutionism and materialism.

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    3. No Joe G., I am not at all confused. First, please show me where 'science' has mandated anything having to do with ID. Second, show me where this has been done with any actual structure in biotic reality. Third, please try to understand that the overwhelming majority of ID arguments are, in fact, attacks on evolution.

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    4. Joe Security Clearance: "Science mandates that design inferences be checked against necessity and chance"

      Bullshit, "science" never mandated any such thing. That's Dembski's method of implementing God of the Gaps: you set up God as the default hypothesis that wins if "necessity and chance" fail. Then you lie to make "necessity and chance" fail, by saying you're going to compute the "probability" of a system evolving-- but in fact, you compute the probability of a tornado assembling the system by randomly scrambling all its parts. Then you falsely call that the probability of evolution, then you say, "necessity and chance failed, so God wins."

      "Science" never mandated that, "God of the Gaps" mandates that.

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    5. Joe Security Clearance admits that ID is based entirely on God of the Gaps, entirely on attacking evolution: "Attacking ID will never be positive evidence for evolutionism or materialism. And positive evidence for either [evolutionism or materialism] is a thorn in the side, if not fatal, to ID."

      If all evidence for evolution kills ID, then ID is built only on negative evidence. God of the Gaps.

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    6. Only a mental midget would jump to that asinine conclusion. Evidence for evolutionism kills ID. Evidence for geology kills archaeology. However it isn't enough to eliminate evolutionism.

      Newton's four rules of scientific investigation- ie parsimony- says that we have to eliminate necessity and chance first, moron. If geological forces can produce Stonehenges we wouldn't infer they are designed.

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    7. Joe G demonstrates explosive mouth diarrhea: "Newton's four rules of scientific investigation- ie parsimony- says that we have to eliminate necessity and chance first, moron."

      Bullshit. Newton said no such thing about first eliminating necessity and chance, and then saying a human or a god did it. Newton never said it.

      If geological forces can produce Stonehenges we wouldn't infer they are designed.

      What the hell does that have to do with Intelligent Design? ID is based on bullshit like Dembski's specified complexity, which we know can be produced by natural processes, and Behe's Irreducible Complexity, which again, we know can be produced by natural processes.

      A natural bridge like Landscape Arch has irreducible complexity, but is produced by nature. A natural bridge used for travel has low tornado probability and it matches an independently given pattern, so it has Dembski's specified complexity, but again, is produced by nature.

      No IDer has ever defined a "complexity" which

      1. Can't be produced by nature and

      2. Is present in biology.

      Demski's specified complexity and Behe's irreducible complexity fail criterion 1.

      And don't bring up $%^&ing Shakespearean sonnets, there are no poems in DNA so that fails criterion 2. Don't bring up Mount $%^&ing Rushmore, there are no heads of any presidents in DNA so that fails criterion 2.

      You IDiots define some bullshit "complexity" that fails criterion 1, then when we call you out on it, you change the subject to a different kind of bullshit "complexity" that satisfies 1 but fails criterion 2. You never defined anything that satisfies 1 and 2 simultaneously. Everything after that is fraud, lying, and evasion. It's why you ID shits can never answer a straight question.

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    8. Dio, you are a moron. Newton's four rules demand we eliminate necessity and chance first. ID is not about mere complexity you dipshit. And no, nature cannot produce IC and SC. It can't even produce DNA. You lse, asshole.

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    9. Why exactly is anybody supposed to care about "Newton's four rules"?

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    10. "And no, nature cannot produce IC"
      What about by the Mullerian two-step process? It's been a prediction of Darwinian evolution that such systems should evolve, so why shouldn't we think that nature can do this?

      Secondly, there have been observations of such systems evolving. Of mutations that were once advantageous becoming essential for survival. Are you suggesting that these observations are either not IC systems, or that they are proof of the IDer in action?

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    11. Joe G is simply lying, as he does in every thread.

      "Newton's four rules of scientific investigation- ie parsimony- says that we have to eliminate necessity and chance first, moron."

      Bull... shit. Newton never said it and you couldn't produce a citation if your life depended on it.

      You lied about what Newton said. No citation = you're lying.

      Cough up the citation. Cough it up.

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    12. I, too, would like to see Newton's writing on necessity and chance. If true, it seems that Dembski is not only incompetent in science generally, but is apparently also a pathetically dishonest plagiarist.

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    13. I, too, would like to see Newton's writing on necessity and chance. If true, it seems that Dembski is not only incompetent in science generally, but is apparently also a pathetically dishonest plagiarist.

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    14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    15. Most interesting that the simple request for Joe G. to produce evidence that Newton wrote of 'chance and necessity' went unanswered.

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  4. & I thought this was a blog about science… :(

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    1. If you don't like a topic Larry posts on, you can always ignore it. What do you hope to achieve by complaining?

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    2. I thought the Discovery Institute was about research - according to The Wedge, it was originally supposed to be. Apparently, that did not work out, so they went directly to appealing to their religious base. And whining.

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    3. Could you put your face a little closer to that crocodile?

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  5. Similar thoughts had at The Skeptical Zone: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=5168

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  6. VT writes: By “intelligent,” I don’t mean “humanlike”;

    He then proceeds to produce a list of "humanlike" traits: selection (choice), achieving, goals, abstract reasoning, mathematical reasoning or just plain reasoning.

    Why does the Designer have to possess any of those qualities? VT's "reasoning" is no different than Aquinas describing the Christian God, and it's not surprising to me at all that that's the approach VT takes.

    ID is nothing more than bad apologetics. IDiots know absolutely nothing about the designer except what their tiny minds make up.

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    1. LoL! If ID is bad apologetics then what does that make your position which has less than ID?

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    2. JoeG pins Doc Bill to the mat with the inescapable Pee Wee Herman Maneuver, "I know you are, but what am i?"

      I yield!

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    3. Joe makes the case once more that ID argumentation is largely about mainstream evolutionary theory - the threadbare 'your position' gambit.

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    4. IDiots know absolutely nothing about the designer except what their tiny minds make up.

      The funny thing is, if a god/designer did exist its nature would be incomprehensible to us. Yet, enter religion, which creates a ridiculous cartoon version of this hypothetical entity, complete with human motives and emotions, pretends it can be certain of these qualities, and is earnest in its insistence that all of these details are absolutely true. Is there anything more absurd than adults kneeling in worship of a cartoon?

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  7. Torley's admission of systematic ignorance is exactly what was obvious to me when I first read Darwin's Black Box, 15 years ago -- that they can infer nothing about the Designer, that ID is an empty hypothesis. It may as well stand for "I Dunno".

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  8. Torley walks right into the disastrous circular-logic of teleology, which has hung like an albatross around the neck of Christian theology since Aquinas:

    When I speak of the agent’s “goals,” I don’t mean the agent’s personal motives for doing something, which we have no way of inferring from the products they design; rather, I simply mean the task that the agent was attempting to perform, or the problem that they were trying to solve. Beyond that, there is nothing more that we could possibly infer about the agent

    And HOW do you determine that?

    Many creationists use the argument (these are real creationist arguments) that the moon reflects light, therefore its purpose is to reflect light; that glaciers melt in the spring, therefore the purpose of glaciers is to melt in the spring. Bryan Fischer of AFA once said on his radio show that a child's bottom is easily spanked, therefore God's purpose in designing the ass was to make it spankable. Where does it end!?

    We have seen IDers do the same thing. Regarding Guillermo Gonzalez's book "Privileged Planet", Judmarc in the other thread says Gonzalez argues that, since the Moon was created when a Mars-sized planet (Thea) crashed into the proto-Earth, therefore the purpose of Thea was to crash into Earth to create the Moon.

    IDers look at enzymes like a nucleotide methylase and say, "Clearly its purpose is to methylate nucleotides."

    Where does it end?

    The above arguments are real creationist detections of purpose, but many parodies are possible. If priests molest children, were priests created with the purpose of molesting children? If the harbor of Lisbon drowns Jacques, was the purpose of the harbor of Lisbon to drown Jacques?

    And now we return to Junk DNA.

    Many, many, many times I have asked ID proponents: how do you know that Junk DNA must have a function that, specifically, serves its host-- us humans? How do you know that your Great Omnipotent Designer didn't make us to carry around broken transposons? How do you know our purpose is not just as a vector to carry around Junk DNA?

    How do you know the purpose of every nucleotide everywhere is, ultimately, to serve YOU? No ID proponent ever answers that question.

    In short, the prediction "all DNA has a function" never followed from the bare hypothesis of Intelligent Design. It only follows from they hypothesis of Design PLUS your religious belief that you know God's purposes, and God's purpose in creating the universe was for us. That's at best, partially, a scientific hypothesis, and partially a religious belief. You have to admit that any prediction, any testable prediction, from ID from proponents is at least partially a religious belief.

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    1. Correct for Junk DNA. It's a Good Design argument. But when anyone raises examples of Bad Design, creationists and "ID theorists" protest. You can't, they say, assume that you know the purposes of the Designer. So Bad Design objections aren't valid.

      But Good Design arguments are valid, apparently, because they know the purposes of the Designer. Go figure.

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  9. "Do you think anyone really believes this crap? Do they?"
    The problem, as I see it, is this:
    If one is to posit a designer, it's not at all obvious how anyone making this supposition could make it about anything other than something godlike, as we don't have any evidence of intelligent alien life interfering on this planet. But since an alien intelligence would at least have some plausibility, it would be a preferable hypothesis to a designer outside of nature because we at least have a conception for how intelligent agency could exist physically.

    While I think it's fair to say that an inference to design says nothing as to the identity of the designer, the inference relies on existing beliefs about supernatural agency in order to to have any plausibility at all. That is, if one already believes in a supernatural intervener on earth, then it's perfectly reasonable to think that the inference to design would detect the handiwork of that intervener. But that's only if you already have that existing belief.

    If one is trying to establish such an intervener, as arguments to design try to do, then the argument becomes a lot more tenuous. It would seem a far better tactic for ID proponents to establish an intervening intelligence on grounds independent of design, such that the inference to design becomes plausible. Otherwise, they face the problem of establishing an unseen force.

    This is why I find it amusing that ID put so much effort into trying to say how current evolutionary mechanisms couldn't account for the "appearance of design" seen in nature. Even if it were true that they couldn't, positing a hidden agency has so many conceptual and empirical problems that it's not going to simply replace the current theory. It's like knocking down current theories of geological formation to try to get a literal reading of Noah's Ark into the science books...

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  10. I was recently posting at UD as Unwilling Participant. I was pretending to be an ID supporter to see if I could disagree with Gordon Mullings without being banned, as I had several times before. Surprisingly I was allowed to call Gordon a paranoid conspiracy theorist, and the only reaction was Gordon going off the rails and claiming that he was being stalked by atheists, etc.

    But none of this got me banned, supposedly because I was towing the ID line. Then I made the mistake of saying that in addition to being an ID supporter, I was also an atheist. God-like, Barry yells from the heavens that I am a liar and a troll, and bans me. As Gordon would say, that speaks volumes.

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    1. You were a moron as unwilling participant. But you are a moron, anyway.

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    2. Oh I'd love to see the link for that.

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    3. I mean I'd like to see the link to He Who Shall Not Be Named going off the rails (was he on the rails?), and Barry the Abortion Ambulance Chaser banning you.

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  11. I wouldn't let Joe (fired for posting threats at work) Gallien get under your skin. After all, we are talking about I guy who claims that wavelength = frequency. Scientific credibility is not one of his strengths.

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  12. Finally, the fact that an agent is capable of performing a variety of functions does not necessarily imply that the agent is composed of multiple detachable parts.

    Huh? What's Torley getting at here? Who ever says a god must be composed of multiple detachable parts?

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    1. Yeah, really. I perform a variety of functions, and I've also designed (in a way I hope would be considered intelligent) a number of artifacts, and even constructed a few of them -- and none of my parts are detachable, thankyouverymuch (unless you include tools used).

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    2. Induction does mean that if gods exist, and they are intelligent beings, then they must have multiple parts, be made of matter, interact with matter by material means, and be morally imperfect, as these are the properties of every intelligent being we've ever observed.

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  13. Do you think anyone really believes this crap? Do they?

    What was quoted does not follow the tenets of Evolutionary Creation, but I found Vincent's reply to be scientifically wonderful.

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  14. I did a post earlier today, and it showed up, but now it's gone. What's going on here?

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  15. Yeah, well does anyone actually believe the 'evolution is much more than just NS acting on RM crap?"??

    Larry Moron has no shame is co-opting design objects to do his bidding for him..

    ...where did organism pick up the ability to assimilate drifting genes...never mind that, its not the point IDiot!!!

    ...where did organism pick up the ability to reproduce itself...never mind that. Its not the point, IDiot!!1

    ...but, but where did organisms get all that machinery to detect errors in its own genome and repair them..you know us humans do??? Never mind that. ITS NOT THE POINT, IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ...er excuse me, just WHAT is the point Prof. ???? Never mind the point, YOU, you IDIOT!!!

    You wouldn't understand the point anyway. Only guys like me, Jerry, Dick, Tom, Joe, guys like that have studied it enough to know just WHAT evolution is and does.

    Look IDiot, you will just have to take our word for it. We gots lots of round tuits to spend so dont bother hanging around waiting for a slam-dunk explanation.

    Besides, Evolution doesnt do slam dunks anyways IDiot; only free throws if you have to know..

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    1. You've got it all wrong Steve. For starters, those questions are not the problem with IDiots. I work on figuring out answers for those kinds of things (we don't have all the answers, of course). The problem is that IDIots have their minds set on the idea that every question they can find to lack a fully-detailed-to-quantum-mechanics-level answer, is a great excuse for then to yell "Aha! god-did-it you evolutionist materialist atheist fool!! As ID theory has always predicted!!"

      Not only that. You misrepresent Larry, Jerry, Dick, and whoever Tom and Joe might be. They have tried time and again to explain things to IDIots. Innumerable times. But IDIots have no interest in listening to any answers.

      I would suggest that you learned to read for comprehension and re-evaluated what you're saying, and whether you ask questions in all honesty. You would take this suggestion seriously if you honestly cared, but I doubt that you care at all.

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    2. See the following comment for information on what you're up against, for an ID theory:
      http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-best-case-for-intelligent-design.html?showComment=1432064269320#c6441883451524828140

      Talking about what others said or might expect does not excuse anyone in this forum from themselves needing a more complete model to explain the origin of intelligence, or what I have remains the best theory of them all to use for modeling that.

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    3. Gary,

      You're a kook. Your "ID" "theory" is your personally developed "idea" that everything is intelligent. I get it. I understand what you're trying to do. You're still a kook. You believe that you have the answers to life, the universe and everything. You have managed to model some shit and call everything in your model intelligence. Fine by me. Be happy. Your ideas are still crap. Your problem is mainly philosophical besides an abject lack of self-awareness and of humility.

      As I said. I already admire you, I have all my computers running your software, and I will soon capture the local computer clusters and GPU-heavy machines to run your simulations and learn the true name of the gods.

      Now be happy. Take refuge back in that fantasy where you have solved all the problems of the world.

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    4. Lack of humility? Well then, make sure to study this weirdness:
      The wacky history of cell theory - Lauren Royal-Woods

      Welcome to the way science actually is.

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    5. Woa! I mention lack of humility and your answer is that you're a Newton / Einstein / whatever in the flesh!

      Here's Carl Sagan's answer you kook:

      "They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

      Welcome to the way science actually is Bozo.

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    6. JAQing off is so honest and logical. A spectacular example of the vacuous nature of the anti-evolutionist's intellectual toolkit.

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  16. I have to say, Larry, I'm loving your posts over on the Uncommon Descent blog. I'm particularly enjoying the responses you're receiving from Barry Arrington. Comedy gold!

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    1. I much prefer the ones from Gordon (Kairosfocus) Mullings and his paranoid persecution complex. Larry keeps calling them IDiots in spite of Gordo's correctives.

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  17. "An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence."- Carl Sagan

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    1. By that definition, Richard Dawkins isn't an atheist. Are you certain it's a good definition?

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    2. It's of course a poor definition. It is not possible to be certain that god does not exist, and the number of atheists making such a claim would be quite low. Of course, there are compelling reasons to think that the god almost all christians have ever imagined does not exist, but one would require the intellect of a seven year old to believe in that god anyway.. But then come along the sophisticated theologians to advise that god is something else altogether. The god concept becomes immune to evidence, either for or against.

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    3. Are you certain that Richard Dawkins calls himself an atheist?

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    4. Are you certain that the pope shits in the woods?

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    5. "Richard Dawkins: I can't be sure God does not exist
      He is regarded as the most famous atheist in the world but last night Professor Richard Dawkins admitted he could not be sure that God does not exist.
      He told the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, that he preferred to call himself an agnostic rather than an atheist.
      The two men were taking part in a public “dialogue” at Oxford University at the end of a week which has seen bitter debate about the role of religion in public life in Britain.
      The discussion, in Sir Christopher Wren’s Sheldonian Theatre, attracted attention from around the world.
      As well as being relayed to two other theatres, it was streamed live on the internet and promoted fierce debate on the Twitter social network.
      For an hour and 20 minutes the two men politely discussed "The nature of human beings and the question of their ultimate origin" touching on the meaning of consciousness, the evolution of human language – and Dr Williams’s beard.
      For much of the discussion the Archbishop sat quietly listening to Prof Dawkins’s explanations of human evolution.
      At one point he told the professor that he was “inspired” by “elegance” of the professor’s explanation for the origins of life – and agreed with much of it.
      Prof Dawkins told him: “What I can’t understand is why you can’t see the extraordinary beauty of the idea that life started from nothing – that is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want to clutter it up with something so messy as a God?”
      Dr Williams replied that he “entirely agreed” with the “beauty” of Prof Dawkins’s argument but added: “I’m not talking about God as an extra who you shoehorn on to that.”
      There was surprise when Prof Dawkins acknowledged that he was less than 100 per cent certain of his conviction that there is no creator.
      The philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, who chaired the discussion, interjected: “Why don’t you call yourself an agnostic?” Prof Dawkins answered that he did.


      An incredulous Sir Anthony replied: “You are described as the world’s most famous atheist.”
      Prof Dawkins said that he was “6.9 out of seven” sure of his beliefs.
      “I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very very low,” he added.
      He also said that he believed it was highly likely that there was life on other planets.
      At one point he discussion strayed onto the theoretical question of whether a traditional cut throat razor could be described as a more complicated thing than an electric shaver.
      There was laughter as the Archbishop said he would attempt an answer before adding: “Not that I know much about razors.”
      During a wide-ranging discussion the Archbishop also said that he believed that human beings had evolved from non-human ancestors but were nevertheless “in the image of God”.
      He also said that the explanation for the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis could not be taken literally.
      “The writers of the Bible, inspired as I believe they were, they were nonetheless not inspired to do 21st Century physics,” he said.
      When Prof Dawkins suggested that he believed the Pope took a rather more literal interpretation of the origins of humans, the Archbishop joked: “I will ask him some time.”

      It is worth noting that Richard Dawkins said that he less than certain of his beliefs and not that."

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    6. Newbie,

      First, if you want to make a point, don't quote many paragraphs of which only one little bit is relevant. Second, you misunderstand how scientists think and speak. Nothing is 100% certain, only certain enough for all practical purposes. "Very very low" is as close to a probability of zero as we ever get. Dawkins is an atheist.

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    7. I couldn’t possible know what other people think and even more so scientists. I’m glad someone has that ability.
      I quoted the entire article to avoid the usual counterargument of quote mining.

      But I started off on this thread with the quote that true atheist is someone who is certain that God doesn’t exist because he has compelling evidence against the existence of God.

      I don’t think what someone else thinks constitutes as compelling evidence more so if that someone claims to be a scientist.

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    8. Well, if Carl Sagan thought that an atheist had to be one convinced with absolute certainty, then that's what he meant when he talked about atheism. That does not mean that everybody today agrees to that way of defining atheism. Most atheists today mean atheist in the sense that they're not convinced that there's gods, not that they know with certainty that there's no gods. It's important for you to learn what it means to the person you're arguing with.

      For example, as of most recent experience, people who call themselves just "agnostic," tend to be arrogant imbeciles who give the idea of a god a lot of weight. They even write "God" with a capital "G." That does not mean that I will think that these guys who call themselves mostly atheists, but clarify that they are agnostic atheists (or soft atheists), are the same as those arrogant imbeciles (they're not). I check the context and the people I'm talking to.

      So that's my message. Make sure that you understand who you're talking to.

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    9. I'm afraid that compelling evidence doesn't make a scientist certain. It just makes him or her assign a very low probability. As for what people thing, have you thought about looking for other statements by Dawkins? Maybe he says somewhere that he's an atheist. Of course just because he's an atheist doesn't make him a true atheist. A true atheist seems to be rather like a true Scotsman.

      And the absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence if we would expect there to be such evidence, given the existence of the thing. Do you think there would be evidence for god, given his existence?

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    10. Newbie, Dawkins has claimed many times that he is an atheist. But most atheists put a fair bit of thought into the god question and almost inevitably conclude they cannot be 100% certain of anything in this universe, let alone god. It is often those who do not think so much about these matters who are nominally or deeply religious.

      The reason the atheist cannot be certain there is no god, is because any god (ie ominpotent entity) could arrange that it be absolutely invisible to human senses, and thus appear not to exist when it really does. Such is the peril of dealing with a hypothetical omnipotent entity. This is why spending much time on the god question is a waste of time, except to point out how ridiculous most people's beliefs are, and to prevent the spread of irrationality whenever possible.

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    11. True atheist is someone who has scientific proof that excludes the need for the existence of higher being to explain unknowns in nature. Dawkins and others have nothing but wishful thinking that they sell to the naïve as science.

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    12. True atheist is someone who has scientific proof that excludes the need for the existence of higher being to explain unknowns in nature.

      Then unfortunately for you, all of human experience and learning is converging on True Atheism. Shall we compare the explanations for "unknowns in nature" of today with those from 100, 500, and 1000 years ago? Shall we consider how much of our modern fact-based understanding of the world comes from theology vs scientific research?

      As is typical for the average god-goggled commenter here, you might want to think a little deeper about your ideas before posting.

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    13. Really?

      Give a few examples that others can also laugh not just me.

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    14. This is where "true atheism" begins and ends. On assumptions that there would be no scientific discoveries if there were no true atheists. The problem is that those assumptions have no merit because they are just a big part of the new atheists' propaganda.

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    15. This is where "true atheism" begins and ends. On assumptions that there would be no scientific discoveries if there were no true atheists.

      Firstly, who ever said such a thing?
      Secondly, nevermind. You make no sense at all. You layer incoherencies and then wrap them into a roll. Who has the time to unravel your nonsensical statements?

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    16. "Inquirer"

      True atheist is someone who has scientific proof that excludes the need for the existence of higher being to explain unknowns in nature. Dawkins and others have nothing but wishful thinking that they sell to the naïve as science.

      No idiot. A true atheist doesn't need "scientific proof that excludes the need for the existence of higher being to explain unknowns in nature." Thinking that gods are default explanations for unknowns in nature, as you do, is beyond idiocy.

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    17. I guess that means God is real. How profound.

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    18. And the absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence if we would expect there to be such evidence, given the existence of the thing. Do you think there would be evidence for god, given his existence?

      Well, there was apparently evidence everywhere, back in the day - pillars of cloud by day and fire by night, seas splitting, plagues, loaves and fishes, rising from the dead, etc., etc. Then as more and more observing equipment becomes available, until you can't jaywalk without Homeland Security knowing about it, The Big Boss suddenly turns into Shy Boy. Can you think of other examples showing the same pattern (lots of oral history written down, followed by opportunity for actual observation with no observations recorded)?

      I can: Bigfoot, Nessie, leprechauns.... This type of pattern doesn't look good for the Big Guy's existence.

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  18. ID is not religion because they can believe in human-programming UFO -humanoids. And that is the reason why we should take them seriously?

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    1. You are giving only the most far out reason why ID is not a religion. You may not be consciously erecting a strawman, but what you are describing is one of at least four ways ID is not a religion; and the last is something so non-religious that the atheist Francis Crick wrote a whole book, _Life Itself_, with it as the centerpiece. It is the hypothesis of directed panspermia, of which he and Orgel wrote an article a number of years earlier in Icarus 19 (1973) 341-346.
      Excerpt: "Could life have started on Earth as a result of infection by microorganisms sent here deliberately by a technological society on another planet, by means of a special long range unmanned spaceship?"

      http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/SCBCCP.pdf

      Crick made the intelligent design connection in his book, with:

      "The senders could well have developed wholly new strains of
      microorganisms, specially designed to cope with prebiotic
      conditions, though whether it would have been better to try to
      combine all the desirable properties within one single type
      of organism or to send many different organisms is not
      completely clear."

      --Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, _Life Itself_
      Simon and Schuster, 1981, p. 137
      One possible bit of special design is the bacterial flagellum, its genetically engineered bearers having been sent here ca. 3.5 billion years ago.

      Behe even mentions Crick's directed panspermia in his book, _Darwin's Black Box_ but since that has only to do with microbes, he puts far greater stress on a much more farfetched idea of the "master cell" having genes for all later major innovations, like the blood clotting cascade.

      In the following talk.origins post of yesterday evening, I suggested yet another non-religious form of ID to a believer in human-programming UFO -humanoids. It has the raw material for a rather realistic science fiction novel, of "aliens" whose planetary system came within a fraction of a light year to our solar system, enabling mass colonization ca. 550 million years ago, lasting several million years. The Cambrian explosion would then be their lasting legacy.

      Subject: Re: why no search on venus instead of mars?
      Date: Fri, 29 May 2015 15:00:17 -0700 (PDT)
      https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/talk.origins/UeKYqRPBmLI/vVdlHodtMLgJ
      Message-ID: b6e0c046-421b-4df3-8181-505e1b10cf87@googlegroups.com

      Of course, I don't actually take this scenario seriously, but on the other hand, I have posted myriads of lines in talk.origins as to why I think directed panspermia is a more likely hypothesis for how life started ON EARTH than is the general "consensus" that it is due to abiogenesis either on earth or Mars or Venus. I talked about this on another Sandwalk blog, earlier this week, in reply to the ubiquitous Diogenes.

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    2. pnyikos,

      Intelligent design is, undoubtedly, a religious movement. You might sincerely hold to a different kind of intelligent design idea, but the movement is inherently religious. A political movement to try and inflict religion into science curricula.

      Now, as to your ideas. They don't solve anything. If you're going to come up with the idea that intelligence was involved on how life started on Earth, because you find it implausible that some biological structure could have formed by natural processes, then you're out of luck, because you would be proposing that some beings arose by natural processes elsewhere, and then did those designs. But wouldn't those beings also contain structures that you would find implausible to have arisen by natural processes? If our biological structures required intelligence, why would beings that can do those things not require to be also built by intelligent beings?

      You see? In the end, you're not solving anything. All you're doing is disguising the idea of gods behind some nebulous idea of prior life forms. But it won't work because, well, it's obvious that all you'd be doing is avoiding the necessary talk about how those beings came to be. In the end you go to gods-of-the-gaps all over again.

      If you think I'm wrong, please explain clearly. I don't see how you could escape the pathway from "implausibility means further back intelligent beings" until you get something of a god or gods.

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