The nature of ID

| 85 Comments

On UcD, Bill Dembski provides a somewhat confusing commentary on the following picture from My Confined Space

creationism.jpg

WAD Wrote:

If the challenge below were met, would it be evidence for ID or for teleportation?

I guess teleportation is a purely natural process and God is of course equivalent with ID. Thank you Bill for a good laugh.

Jpark expresses some concerns

Look at these guy’s mocking God…

They better hope that God doesn’t put something like a Dragon or something in there.

Shudder, those nasty dragons… Hmm a supernatural designer sending a mythological creature, what a thought. It’s good to see Bill spend his time on ‘cutting edge’ ID research though.

85 Comments

Even if one assumed the existance of a “God” it is not necessary for the “God” to create creatures out of thin air, nor has it ever been stated in the Bible (for anti-christians) that “God” caused lightning to strike the ground and behold a new creature appeared. (sudden insertion of matter into 3 dimensional space causes an explosion, making it a scientifically inpractical method of creation) Either way, while hypothetically if a “God” exists he might be able to perform such a feat, I don’t think most religions have a God that performs circus tricks.

““My friend,” replied Brown, with equal seriousness, “there is one mark of all genuine religions: materialism. Now, devil-worship is a perfectly genuine religion.”” - GK Chesterton

In almost every way Christians are materialists. Just not strict materialists.

““My friend,” replied Brown, with equal seriousness, “there is one mark of all genuine religions: materialism. Now, devil-worship is a perfectly genuine religion.”” - GK Chesterton

B-b-but, I thought materialism stood opposite of religion and was the cause of all modern evils? I’m so confused!

In almost every way Christians are materialists. Just not strict materialists.

Meaning?

Actually, this is a takeoff from an old parody of mathematics papers called “The mathematical theory of big game hunting.” The paper lists a number of methods for hunting lions in the desert. One such is to build a cage, enter the cage, and then do a 1/z inversion of the Riemann sphere, thus putting all the lions (that used to be outside the cage) into the cage, and the cage builder outside, because outside becomes inside and vice versa.

The picture here is based on the modern physics method for hunting lions: Build a cage in the desert. According to the deep laws of physics, quantum stuff, Schroedinger, etc. (“To be a physicist you must sign in blood that you won’t be troubled by things that make no sense and can’t be understood.”–Ed Fredkin), there is a finite *but most assuredly nonzero* probability that a lion will appear inside the cage. One need only sit down and wait for that outcome.

Hey, my cubicle!

Meaning?

Meaning no matter how much they talk about faith and miracles, most of them will take the pills their doctor gives them and won’t step in front of moving trucks.

I don’t think most religions have a God that performs circus tricks.

Well, certainly not while any of us are looking. We sure hear about the tricks we’ve missed, though.

What’s so “confusing” about Dembski’s comment on this cartoon? Such a ludicrous ‘challenge’ deserves an equally ludicrous response.

I don’t know if this would be allowed in an Intelligent Design lab. I was reading “Uncommon Descent” the other day and when someone who agreed with ID suggested a possible test for an ID mechanism, that was treated as some kind of disloyalty to ID. I’m afraid the cultures are too different for meaningful communication. It was mixed in with the usual insults to the ‘other side,’ from which I wish we would all just refrain. It’s almost impossible to solve a dispute over the ‘Net and way to easy to throw insults and relax in a glow of self-satisfaction.

Donald Wrote:

What’s so “confusing” about Dembski’s comment on this cartoon? Such a ludicrous ‘challenge’ deserves an equally ludicrous response.

So we agree that Dembski’s response is ‘ludicrous’ if not telling about the motivations of ID proponents. Whether or not the original challenge is ‘ludicrous’ and whether or not it deserved the response Dembski gave are what may be worth discussing here.

Q: Is it Dembski’s task to respond to ludicrous arguments while avoiding the ones that are much harder to address?

Empty cage? I see the invisible pink unicorn in there.

Empty cage? I see the Invisible Pink Unicorn in there!

I’m just a layman, but I think I understand that certain people misconstrue the 2nd law of thermodynamics when they don’t realize that without it there’s nothing to fuel biology. But, what about the whole? I mean, since the 2nd law also fuels stars, galaxies, etc., and if the universe as a whole is a closed system, then, isn’t the universe as a whole gradually losing it’s capacity to fuel (anything)?

If so, then wouldn’t that mean that the universe could not have existed forever, because if it had it would have ‘run out of gas’ by now? And, would such considerations also apply to a ‘multiverse’ or, would it be said that such a thing would have laws that don’t require fuel to get work done, or, that fuel is somehow (like a perpetual motion machine?) eternally replenished, or…?

If the answer to this is something like the mulitiverse got fuel from prior multiverses, etc., then does the fallacy of infinite regress come into play here? I mean, is it OK to ask where everything came from in the first place?

Wouldn’t it be truly amazing if the FSM appeared?

I think this represents the difference in points of view between scientists and IDiots pretty well.

Even as UD mocks the picture, they cannot begin to conceive of the huge timescales and massive parallelisms associated with biology (and probably abiogenisis). Of course they can’t address the joke – it falls completely outside their worldview.

Well, it’s good to see that at least someone is doing some experiments for Intelligent Design. :-) Of course, if Dembski doesn’t like this one, he only has to setup his own set of experiments> smrf. bwa hah. bwa hah hah! BwahHah Hah hah Hah. HA HA HAH HA HAH HA HA.

HAHA! This is the best experiment they’ve had so far. And as a music theory guy, I’m so glad someone brought up Riemann.

Bill could always test the efficacy of prayer, that would kill 2 fallacies with one cage.…or does Bill lack faith as well?

But yeah Bill, teleportation is the go all you have to do is sneak in after hours and push the teleporter in between the bars.

How about claiming airborne bacteria, after all as a professional arm waver and spin Dr. Docktor.… you would have no trouble justifying it now would you.

Look at these guy’s mocking God…

They better hope that God doesn’t put something like a Dragon or something in there.

Ooh ooh, that’s so scary – that God might sic “something like a Dragon or something” on us.

Looking at the UD comments, the one above is about par. We don’t call them idiots for nothing.

It’s almost impossible to solve a dispute over the ‘Net

There’s a “dispute” over IDiocy in the same way that there’s a dispute over whether pi = 3.

Donald M, living up to the label 'IDiot' Wrote:

What’s so “confusing” about Dembski’s comment on this cartoon? Such a ludicrous ‘challenge’ deserves an equally ludicrous response.

Being ludicrous, even justifiably ludicrous, does not automatically make a statement non-confusing.

By offering an alternative to ID, Dembski seems to be arguing that meeting the challenge wouldn’t demonstrate ID, which is the opposite of what he should be arguing – that’s a bit confusing. Or to put it another way, Dembski isn’t capable of thinking through the logical implications of his statements – which is not all that confusing, considering that he’s an IDiot.

Even if one assumed the existance of a “God” it is not necessary for the “God” to create creatures out of thin air.

Hey, us experimentalists are only working with what you theory guys give us…

Pim

So we agree that Dembski’s response is ‘ludicrous’ if not telling about the motivations of ID proponents. Whether or not the original challenge is ‘ludicrous’ and whether or not it deserved the response Dembski gave are what may be worth discussing here.

Q: Is it Dembski’s task to respond to ludicrous arguments while avoiding the ones that are much harder to address?

It’s not “telling” about anything. You really need to get out more, Pim. This is all meant as a joke…so have a laugh and be done with it.

If the challenge below were met, would it be evidence for ID or for teleportation?

It depends on what creature appeared - for example if the animal was a fantastically new species, one previously unknown to science then we might be justified in concluding that a new creature had been created just for us. If the creature was a kown or common species we might have assumed that it had been transported in from elsewhere.

Both holy-teleporation and creation would be remarkable events, and strong evidence of both would be sufficient to cause us to doubt “materialism”, which the IDers so despise.

I eagerly await the outcome of this exciting experiment.

I don’t think most religions have a God that performs circus tricks.

This is much too easy, it would be like taking candy from a baby. I’m going to resist this time.

It was mixed in with the usual insults to the ‘other side,’ from which I wish we would all just refrain.

(fart noises)

Hey, I see that our old pal Prof. Steve Steve is in the news again: Male panda said too fat to have sex

Even if one assumed the existance of a “God” it is not necessary for the “God” to create creatures out of thin air, nor has it ever been stated in the Bible (for anti-christians) that “God” caused lightning to strike the ground and behold a new creature appeared. (sudden insertion of matter into 3 dimensional space causes an explosion, making it a scientifically inpractical method of creation) Either way, while hypothetically if a “God” exists he might be able to perform such a feat, I don’t think most religions have a God that performs circus tricks.

I see, so you are saying God is not omnipotent.

There is something in there.

It’s Schroedinger’s cheshire cat! All I see is the smile. (Having a good chuckle, are ya, kitty?)

But it’s behind the sign. (Dang Heisenberg uncertainty principles and all!)

Look at these guy’s mocking God…

They better hope that God doesn’t put something like a Dragon or something in there.

For the moment, dragons, Jesus, the FSMm, bacterial flagella and Cthulu are all equally likely to appear in the cage; which would be positive evidence for ID?

It’s bizarre seeing Dembski just not get jokes thrown in his general direction, ones that he has quite obviously earned through his own adolescent attempts at humor. Part of the bizarreness is that Dembski himself has proposed in the past a totally worthless thought experiment in all seriousness.

We all remember his thought experiment where we supposed to imagine that aliens came to earth and revealed the secret of how they had been mucking with our ancestor’s DNA, and since we can imagine it, we might as well accept it as true! Nothing about the thought experiment where the aliens reveal that Jesus was one of their robots, and they were just testing the gullibility of advanced primate species, so we might as well accept that as true also!

And I haven’t seen him criticize the proposed Behe experiment, where lack of appearance of flagella after many generations is supposed to prove evolution couldn’t have formed flagella, although somehow it doesn’t prove that there is no Intelligent Designer.

I used to believe Dembski was just a scam artist. I’m now veering to the idea that he really is just as crackpot stupid as he appears. He’s been surrounding himself with morons for so long that the thinking part of his brain has shrivelled away into nothing.

It’s not “telling” about anything. You really need to get out more, Pim. This is all meant as a joke…so have a laugh and be done with it.

Oh but I am having a laugh, although, the joke seems to be mostly on Dembski.

For the moment, dragons, Jesus, the FSMm, bacterial flagella and Cthulu are all equally likely to appear in the cage;

I disagree. I think it is much more likely that a bacterial flagellum would be found in the cage. They actually exist, and it is not too difficult to imagine one sneaking in between the bars.

Stevaroni-

When and where? That would be impressive news.

You really couldn’t pay for more entertainment – given the serious with which these dolts take themselves.

GuyeFaux-

I wasn’t conflating a scientific theory with the colloquial use of the word, or at least not trying to. I was trying to express that both theories have supporting facts and both have holes. Both have stood up to tests.

I think it is very easy to believe both THEORIES

I do not think the word means what you think it means.

Science, to a great extent, has specialty vocabulary, and it’s a great help to learn it. Baseball players, managers and fans pretty much roll their eyes up when outsiders talk about “points” and so forth.

I was trying to express that both theories have supporting facts and both have holes. Both have stood up to tests.

No. Evolution could have been but was not falsified in thousands of tests over the decades. ID has not. The theory of ID has no holes in it because it does not have any substance. Insofar as evolution has holes, they’re only gaps in our understanding of it; there is no evidence which contradicts the ToE fundamentally.

To suggest that ID and the ToE are on equal footing, you need to do better than “it looks designed” and “evolution can’t explain X.” You didn’t state these explicitly, but I suspect this is where your beliefs about ID and the ToE come from.

… both theories have supporting facts and both have holes. Both have stood up to tests.

I must confess I have never seen a fact that supports ID. All I have seen has been long-refuted criticisms of the theory of evolution, which even if true would not have supported ID. I am unaware of any test that could refute ID, never mind any test that it has withstood. Perhaps you could elaborate?

In the meantime, I will continue to say that, as there is no test that could possibly refute ID, it is not a scientific theory.

I’m not that impressed. You can flip it by saying, “Lets put an animal in the cage and wait for it to evolve”.

I know I’m talking to an empty head, but … the only one impressed by this was Dembski; impressed enough to put it on his website along with an incredibly stupid – or, as PvM politely called it, “confusing” – response. According to Dembski, Behe is all wet; if the flagellum is IC, that doesn’t prove that it was intelligently designed, it might have been teleported into place. (Do try to remember that, if you argue with such nonsense, you aren’t arguing with me, you are arguing with Dembski.)

Re “The theory of ID has no holes in it because it does not have any substance.”

Yeah, it’s hard to falsify something that doesn’t say anything.

Henry

It’s funny, you go to an ID dominate webpage and say something like evolution is the way to go and ID is full of holes and has no facts all you get is sarcasm and claims that it has been proven time and time again. You go to an Evolution dominate webpage and say the reverse and you get the same thing, sarcasm and claims that it’s been proven. Maybe you guys aren’t so different after all.

Stevaroni- When and where? That would be impressive news.

Dcramer;

I wrote you a nice note yesterday with plenty of details and lots of “go here” links, but when I went to post it, I got rerouted to a screen which said, essentially “too many links, your post will be held for review”

OK, I understand the problem, without some mechanism like that, people would spam these boards with zillions of links to Viagra and horny cheerleaders.

But this has happened several times now, and it’s irritating that after spending considerable time writing a detailed post they fall into these black holes and they never come back out.

Anyhow. Here’s the one-link short answer. Start here http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq[…]ciation.html

DCramer opines… It’s funny, … you get the same thing, sarcasm and claims that (evolution’s) been proven. Maybe you guys aren’t so different

No, that’s not the case at all.

You’re getting sarcasm on this thread because you insist on equating the level of detail and available information backing the theory of evolution and the “theory” of ID.

You’re getting sarcasm because you insist on equating boxes of fossils, reams of DNA and your own body full of vestigial organs with a pseudoscientific religious idea, because you want things to be different than they are.

You’re getting sarcasm because there’s only so much you can say to someone when you’re standing in the middle of a field with them and they continue to insist that the sky is not blue and the grass is not green because the Good Book says so.

But there are other threads on this blog, threads that are devoted to the real question of “What kind of evidence have you really got?”

Check out the current posts “Axe (2004) and the evolution of enzyme function” or “Logarithmic Gap Costs Decrease Alignment Accuracy” in the current top page

Hardly an attempt to evade the issue.

Or go deep for articles about DNA, archeology and physics that are so detailed they’d put Steven Hawking to sleep.

There are actual facts here. That’s the currency of science, and there’s plenty to go around. If you had actually cared, a short cruise through the site would have told you that.

That’s what happens here when people get into a real dialogue. Their opinions are tolerated and their questions are answered. That sort of thing simply never happens on ID sites because questions aren’t tolerated in the first place (see “The Sad state of Intelligent Design: Or why it shuns ‘peer review’” for a documented example of what happens to people who go onto an ID website and ask a question)

Nothing even close to that has happened to you here.

But “They’re both theories, so they’re both equal so I’m not impressed” reveals a state of mind that doesn’t really care about the answer, so the people who post here - many of whom work in fields that actually use the genetics, physics and information theory that ID proponents insist is just imaginary - get tired of arguing with those who aren’t actually listening anyhow.

DCramer:

It’s funny, you go to an ID dominate webpage and say something like evolution is the way to go and ID is full of holes and has no facts all you get is sarcasm and claims that it has been proven time and time again. You go to an Evolution dominate webpage and say the reverse and you get the same thing, sarcasm and claims that it’s been proven. Maybe you guys aren’t so different after all.

Richard Simons

I must confess I have never seen a fact that supports ID. All I have seen has been long-refuted criticisms of the theory of evolution, which even if true would not have supported ID. I am unaware of any test that could refute ID, never mind any test that it has withstood. Perhaps you could elaborate?

It’s funny, a creationist or ID supporter comes to an evolution website, you ask them a question like that, and they never answer (note: no sarcasm, no claim it’s all been proven, just a question that is always ignored).

Stevaroni-

Thank you. I will check it out. I would give you my e-mail so that you could send me those other links but I did that on a different site and I’m still getting angry e-mails from strangers. In retrospect I realize that was really stupid to do but I never thought it would cause me so much trouble. I’m planning on reading a book by Lee Strobel titled Case for Creator tonight. Someone on an ID page recommended it. I will check out the link you gave me shortly after that. Thanks

Both have stood up to tests.

ID most certainly did NOT stand up to any of the tests it met at the Dover trial. If you’re really interested in an honest debate of evolution vs. ID, you can prove it by reading Judge Jones’ decision in the Dover trial and starting the discussion from there.

I thought the following an interesting and useful criticism of the theological position of the IDists:

Allah Does Not Need to Make a Design in Order to Create

It must be appreciated that Allah, the Lord of the heavens and Earth, has no need of making a design in order to create. Allah is free of all such imperfections.

The perfection in Allah’s creations may be expressed in such terms as “a perfection as if designed,” but that is all.

It is sufficient for Allah to say “Be!” in order for any object or event to come into being as He wishes.

Yes, it’s the egregious Harun Yahya, and the rest is here:

http://www.harunyahya.com/new_relea[…]t_design.php

continuing from above:

I don’t think he’s saying anything in that article that we haven’t, and I know that Xian IDists won’t listen to him, but he’s closer to the traditional monotheistic position than are the IDist yahoos. I should also point out that he violates his own prohibitions against saying “God designed” or “Allah designed”, yet surely that isn’t surprising with Harun Yahya.

So of course we’ve pointed out how deranged God as engineer is, both practically and theologically, but I hope that Harun can shame the dolts in a way that we cannot, as the Muslims hold to a God above the sad little incompetent engineer worshipped by Dembski and Behe.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

moderators: Are you going to allow the fictitious ‘Dr. M&M’ to bloviate on every thread.

Shenanigans!

Doc Martin’s back!

Conclusive proof however can be found for Creation Science here:

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God John 1:1.

Fine. I’ll accept that, but seeing how the original version of this experiment was poorly documented (17 words) waddaya say we run the experiment again and take better notes this time.

Could you, um, tell me how to go about that? Do I need a God-O-Meter, or a Divine Word-A-Stat or what? Where do I look for a pound of “Word ‘O God”? Is it always delivered in written word, or do I have to find a burning bush transcriber?

(But I want to get some fresh stuff, the only W’OG I ever see on the shelf is old production, and it’s kind of got that whole poorly-stored and dried-out-in-the-desert thing going, and that makes it a little eratic, like old wiring)

So, I’m more than willing to run the experiment, where do I start?

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God John 1:1.

What on Earth does this mean? Is this a hangover from the days when words were thought to be magical in themselves, as seen in remnants like “hocus-pocus” and “abracadabra”?

So DNA is a language that actually contains a grammar is it? Perhaps you’d care to give us a description of that grammar? Or do you just mean something like “This sequence of three bases means plug amino acid A into the protein, this other sequence means stop”?

Yes, there is a ‘Dr. Michael Martin’ in CSR @ NIH. However, his c.v. says nothing about any degree from Yale.

Shenanigans on the imposter!

DNA is a language that conforms to Chomsky’s Hierarchy

DNA is a molecule, not a language. If you think that DNA can be interpreted as a formal language, please provide the transformation rules of that language. Can you even tell us what the Chomsky type of this language is? There are only four, so it shouldn’t be hard.

I’m sure not many people knew that, but what this implies is an intelligent design of some sort.

The real Dr. Martin would surely know how stupid this claim is. Every formal language conforms to the Chomsky hierarchy, including randomly generated ones.

Now, there is the possibility that language evolved. However, the possibility of language evolving is not possible

One must marvel at the levels of stupidity that the creo-trolls manage to achieve.

Maybe you guys aren’t so different after all.

Maybe you’re too stupid to make distinctions.

Harun Yahya Wrote:

It is sufficient for Allah to say “Be!” in order for any object or event to come into being as He wishes.

Doc Martin Wrote:

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God John 1:1.

Why isn’t that verse the end of your comment? Why must you proceed to attack science with pseudoscience in the name of religion? Why not just reject science in its name and be done?

AC — Comment #156384 seems to anwer your question…

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on January 15, 2007 10:44 PM.

The Sad state of Intelligent Design: Or why it shuns ‘peer review’ was the previous entry in this blog.

The Open Laboratory: The Best Writing on Science Blogs 2006 is the next entry in this blog.

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