The true origin of “intelligent design”

| 111 Comments

Well, my time at NCSE is almost up. Next week I will be moving up to Berkeley to start a PhD in for-real, honest to goodness evolutionary biology. It’s quite exciting. Unfortunately, before I go I have to clean all my files out of my cubicle at NCSE to make way for Josh Rosenau (yes, the Thoughts from Kansas guy), who will be occupying my desk. Amongst the stacks of books that I have checked out from libraries, borrowed from various people at NCSE without giving them back, etc., I came across one I hadn’t seen since The Great Hunt for the Origins of Intelligent Design back in early 2005, during the research period of the Kitzmiller case. As everyone now knows, even though the ID guys will never admit it, “intelligent design” as such originated in the 1989 ID textbook Of Pandas and People, with “intelligent design” being the new label chosen after the 1987 Edwards decision made creationist terminology difficult to use in textbooks. Pandas was the first place the term “intelligent design” was used systematically, defined in a glossary, claimed to be something other than creationism, etc. In a desperate attempt to obfuscate this basic historical point, ID guys have dug up various random instances of the words “intelligent” and “design” placed together (although they missed the 1861 Darwin letter, and the 1847 Scientific American article), most of them with absolutely no evidence of having influenced the actual actors in the 1980s who created the ID movement (there are some legitimate precursors, but they are in explicitly creationist works, e.g. Lester and Bohlin’s (1984) The Natural Limits to Biological Change, so the ID guys won’t cite them post-Kitzmiller).

A.E. Wilder-Smith (1915-1995) was a European “creation scientist,” now deceased, sometimes described (pre-Kitzmiller) as inspiring pieces of ID. He was active from the 1960s to the mid-1980s. It is true that Wilder-Smith discusses “information”, “design”, “Design”, Paley, etc., a lot (as well as human tracks next to dinosaur tracks, Noah’s Flood, and other extremely embarassing creationist nonsense). But I have never found the actual phrase “intelligent design” in his work. However, in early 2005, I did come across this, in a 1968 work by Wilder-Smith, discussing a certain oh-so-amazingly-complex organ. For some reason the IDers don’t cite this example as a precursor:

To deny planning when studying such a system is to strain credulity more than to ask one to believe in an intelligent nipple designer, who incidentally must have understood hydraulics rather well.

(pp. 144-145 of: Wilder-Smith, A. E. (1968). Man’s origin, man’s destiny: a critical survey of the principles of evolution and Christianity. Wheaton, Ill., H. Shaw. Italics original, bold added.)

There you have it. The origin of “intelligent…design.”

(In fairness, the full quote is posted below the fold.)

There are also grave difficulties in the more general application of the idea of intermediate forms. It is often impossible to account for a complex organ and its derivation. It is only understandable in its fully developed form. The halfway stages in its evolution would serve no purpose, being completely useless. As an example take the complex structure possessed by the female whale for suckling its young under the water without drowning the suckling. No halfway stage of development from an ordinary nipple to that of the fully developed whale nipple, adapted for underwater feeding, is conceivable. Either it was completely developed and functional, or it was not. To expect such a system to arise gradually by chance mutations upward is to condemn all suckling whales during the development period of thousands of years to a watery grave by certain drowning. To deny planning when studying such a system is to strain credulity more than to ask one to believe in an intelligent nipple designer, who incidentally must have understood hydraulics rather well (see pp. 207-208).

The same applies, of course, to many other intermediate organs and states. But lack of space forbids us to go into further details here. The principle remains the same: in a highly developed complex organ intermediate stages must of necessity have often been less than functional and therefore probably a hindrance rather than a help in natural selection.

(pp. 144-145 of: Wilder-Smith, A. E. (1968). Man’s origin, man’s destiny: a critical survey of the principles of evolution and Christianity. Wheaton, Ill., H. Shaw. Emphasis original.)

Come to think of it, this sounds an awful lot like Behe’s “irreducible complexity” also…

PS: I know I kind of opened the door, but please let’s try to keep the comments in safe-for-kids mode, shall we?

111 Comments

Nick,

I think everyone here will agree that your efforts at NCSE have been magnificent. I and everyone here have deeply appreciated the detailed footwork you did for the Dover case, and we all appreciate your contributions to this site. NCSE is better for having had your services.

Have a great time at Berleley. I assume you will stay in touch even though your prime commitment will be to your studies.

Re “As an example take the complex structure possessed by the female whale for suckling its young under the water without drowning the suckling.”

Well, the obvious question to ask here is whether during that period of evolution, the whales might done their calf feeding on land? Or if not on land, in shallow water?

Henry

How far do you really have to move (other than office space)?

I am sure you will have a wonderful experience.

Re: Nipples. I recall a Steve Gould essay on “Why men have Nipples?” One answer was, “So men have something to do with their other hand.”

Err, maybe that wasn’t Gould’s responce. ;)

Obviously, it’s totally impossible for a critter that suckled on the beach to suckle in the same way in the water. I mean, how could anyone think that?

Gary –

How far do you really have to move (other than office space)?

Like four miles. I am moving from my oh-so-huge studio apartment which I could afford while working for NCSE, to a cosy little room in a house with like 8 grad students. Downside: tiny room. Upside: the house has a fussball table.

Mike – thanks! I will try to keep a hand in although I’m sure I will have to cut back.

Hahaha!

You should check Hugh Ross’s book, Creation as Science, he goes at length about how male nipples were created for sexual arousement. There’s something about these guys, Haggard included, that really perks up about nipples. Now, I think the nipple is a fine structure built by evolution, but I have no doctrine underlying my beliefs that suggests I shouldn’t be thinking about such things…

Nick, you’ve done science, and science education a huge service, built upon the work of everyone at the NCSE and the members that sent in little bits of info that helped you dig up the transitional fossils of Intelligent Design. Now you can join the ranks of the researchers working on those problems themselves, and perhaps you may find your papers quoted in the next generation of science defenders, and maybe it will be your turn to be the expert witness at Scopes 3.0. Good luck, We’re both getting going on that next stage right now!

Enjoy the honey, there’s more when you publish again!

Obviously, the infamous Designer messed it up yet again.

All the nipples that I’ve encountered, heard or read about haven’t been very intelligent at all - in fact, most of them could best be described as boobs.

Clearly this whole subject is pumped up and over blown.

The Designer’s grand plan was not for an hydraulicaly assisted feeding arangement for a certain kind of animal but actually for the amusement of him and his buddies. Down at the cosmic gym where the shaved hard oiled bodies of the masters of the universe work out in front of hell to heaven mirrors it was quite accepatble to gaze longingly at the male nipple.

Why else would the designer put them there?

When the Designer made Adam, did he add nipples as an afterthought? I think not. No, nipples were given to Adam to celebrate the The Designers gaze and so when he made Women they couldn’t complain he short changed them by making them bigger than Adams. Even though he tricked them by keeping the best bit for himself.

So there you have it, The Designer made Adam in his own image and females were just a fantasy to keep straight men away from his boys.

I’m tempted to throw in a comment here, but for the sake of good taste I’ll refrain. After all, I wouldn’t want to make a tit of myself.

For the pedantically inclined, I see that this book is a translation from a German original:

Herkunft und Zukunft des Menschen. Ein kritischer Uberblick der dem Darwinismus und Christentum zugrunde liegenden naturwissenschaftlichen und geistlichen Prinzipien, A E Wilder-Smith

Giessen, Basel, Brunnen-Verlag, 1966

I think that it is worthwhile to make a reference to this quotation in the Wikipedia article on “Irreducible Complexity” under the heading “Forerunners”:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irredu[…]#Forerunners

Nick,

You have done a great work and I have also enjoyed your kick-ass posts. Good luck in your studies and future research!

And don’t worry about PT, I’m as pleased as Punch to see that Josh moves in here.

Btw, the Intelligent Nipple Design theory is a titillating addition to the zoo of woo. When they come to Intelligent Boob Design theory…, we could start field tests identifying diverse plastic surgeons. Safe-for-kids field tests of course.

Udderly ridiculous, but I’m glad they made a clean breast of it.

Why do you keep this endless debate? Do you think you’ll be able to convert a single ID believer into an evolution theory advocate?

Andrea Bottaro

This clearly adds to a large body of evidence against evolutionary theory.

Warning: do not click on the provided link if you have coffee in your mouth. Trust me.

Heddle: Damn you. I should have listened. XD

Uri: no, people who genuinely believe in ID (and it is a belief, since ID offers no evidence beyond well-thats-kind-of-like-what-a-human-does) are probably beyond help - but there are surely people still undecided who we can save from the scam.

No halfway stage of development from an ordinary nipple to that of the fully developed whale nipple, adapted for underwater feeding, is conceivable.

This is an argument from ignorance. “I can’t see how my foot evolved, so god exists.”

It isn’t even a very good example of ignorance. There are many mammals who have various levels of adaptations to water, otters, beavers, muskrats through hippopatamuses, sea otters, seals, sea lions, to whales and dolphins. None of them seem to have any trouble feeding their young.

There is also a transitional whale fossil record complete with 4 limbed whales. Whales have vestigal leg bones and occasionally whales are found with atavistic.…legs sticking out their sides.

A better example of sophistry is the creo claim. “There is no fossil record of bat echolocation evolving.” True, there are not even many fossils of bats inasmuch as fragile flyers don’t fossilize well, especially their brains and ears. There is also no evidence that echolation didn’t evolve.

Why do you keep this endless debate? Do you think you’ll be able to convert a single ID believer into an evolution theory advocate?

Probably not the hard core. After 400 years, 20% of the US population still believes the sun goes around the earth.

The serious ID advocates believe what they believe for ideological, political, and religious reasons. There are many more people who just want to know what is real and what is true.

Look at that, two fallacies in one:

To deny planning when studying such a system is to strain credulity more than to ask one to believe in an intelligent nipple designer, who incidentally must have understood hydraulics rather well (see pp. 207-208).

Perfect example of the argument from personal incredulity, and a false dichotomy to boot.

Hey! Good luck with the graduate studies. It will be fun.

We’ve never met, but Nick is the guy who inducted me into the “ID Resistance”. I’m sure scores of others of us would say the same thing.

Hi Nick!

Why do you want never even mention James E Horigan?

He used the terms “intelligent design” and “intelligently designed” over 50 times in his book the “Change or Design?” (Philosophical Library, 1979). Some examples here.

He wrote about “intelligent design” also elsewere.

Hi Nick!

Why do you want never even mention James E Horigan?

He used the terms “intelligent design” and “intelligently designed” over 50 times in his book the “Change or Design?” (Philosophical Library, 1979). Some examples here.

He wrote about “intelligent design” also elsewere.

Out of curiosity, is there a generally accepted hypothesis/theory about how underwater nursing evolved in whales. Nick mentioned that hippos also nurse under water, perhaps underwater nursing evolved even before whales, and was one of several prerequisites before proto-whales could become totally independent of land?

Good luck at Berkeley Nick! We all appreciate your hard work and dedication towards good science education in America.

Doug

No halfway stage of development from an ordinary nipple to that of the fully developed whale nipple, adapted for underwater feeding, is conceivable.

I just realized that this is Behe’s argument against irreducible complexity, however it denies not only “Darwinism” but also any sort of evolution at all.

So, Behe, how do you answer Wilder-Smith? Your so-called irreducible complexity has more problems than mere complexity, after all. Did your “designer” not only fix the problem of “simultaneous mutations” (in your ignorant phrase), also fixing the problems of transitioning slowly (presumably) between land mammal and sea mammal?

The fact is that Behe’s descent with modification is an absurdity all around, because the problems (and they are genuine problems in science, because we know from the evidence that they did rather gradually (very gradual compared with normal design practices, no matter how large some changes might be) appear, yet we don’t always know how this could happen) involve much more than merely how many mutations have to “appear simultaneously”, or even that have to recombine. The fact is that the flagellum’s evolution involves a great many changes, most likely, and if it really could’t change gradually (not that there couldn’t be any larger changes, like two protein systems combining), it didn’t evolve. Likewise with the eye. Yet all of the evidence is that they did evolve, and Behe is using arguments that they can’t evolve to say that they evolved with assistance.

The fact is that either the eye and the flagellum are challenges to evolution, or they are not. Either “nipple evolution” is a challenge to evolution, or it is not. No “designer” tweaking evolution can fix the problems of transitional forms (if indeed they are ‘problems for evolution’ per se) so long as one recognizes that fairly gradual evolution took place. Wilder-Smith and Behe are both arguing that complex organs and systems in biology were actually created, Behe is just too incoherent to recognize this fact. And neither one has any sort of explanation for why every solution the “designer” chose happened to involve modifying the organs that their apparent ancestors had, rather than transplanting and more slightly modifying the organs from unrelated organisms.

Oh yeah, obligatory titter about “nipples”.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Nick,

Best of luck and many thanks again for your major contributions to NCSE. I hope you’ll encourage many new colleagues to join.

To the lurkers, This is not a paid ad, nor am I employed by NCSE. I’m just a member since 1999.

Glen Davidson wrote:

I just realized that this is Behe’s argument against irreducible complexity, however it denies not only “Darwinism” but also any sort of evolution at all.

More general than that. The argument is really an argument against change. The argument appears in an early form as an argument against embryonic development, and in favor of preformation. And many of the preformationists were “creationists” in the sense that they believed that each individual was the product of an individual act of creation, back at the beginning, remaining in latent form for all those years. I think that it is interesting that Behe has toyed with the idea of a kind of preformation of the DNA, with the genes for such-and-such being designed into the genome at the beginning and remaining hidden over the generations until they were expressed.

analyysi: I have read Horigan’s book and article.

(a) Show me someone, anyone, in the early ID literature actually citing the guy. You can’t, in 2007, just dig up an obscure reference and then claim it was influential without any evidence that it actually was influential, especially when probably a dozen “histories” of ID have been published, many of them pro-ID, and none of them have ever cited Horigan as a source AFAIK. Ditto for the 1897 Schiller reference and other things dug up after Kitzmiller and retrospectively inserted into apologetic histories of ID. In the vast expanse of english writing some people will occasionally stick the two words together when discussing the Design Argument (e.g. Darwin), and these instances can be found with computer searches (e.g. Horigan’s article comes up when you google the ASA website, probably no one would know about it otherwise) but this is not necessarily at all relevant to the actual history of the modern ID movement and their adoption of “intelligent design” as a term.

(b) Horigan freely mixes in creationist and Bible terminology, whereas denials of exactly this are associated with the ID of the ID movement

(c) Ain’t in a glossary and not an official term in Horigan. Pandas came along and said what “intelligent design” was, instead of just using it in passing. Behe came along and said what “irreducible complexity” was. Horigan did nothing like this for his pairing of the words AFAICT.

Nick,

Thanks for everything. Enjoy grad school, it can be the greatest time of your life (with the right advisor). I’m sure we’ll be hearing from you from time to time and I’m also sure that you will make your mark in Biology and have a long and succesful career. Best of luck.

Best of Luck, Nick! Remember, if you finish the Ph.D. in less time than John Wilkins took, you win!

Ummm, design is the antithesis of sheer dumb luck. Duh.

Not when it’s the magical mystery “design” which has no empirically-known designer, and none of the aspects of thought that are discernable in normal design, idiot. Can you even read, dullard?

Also it is obvious that the “Dover” decision was based on the school boards’ lies and deception.

And what you say are lies, though so pathetic that they typically don’t deceive anybody.

The judge didn’t even listen to what the ID experts had to say but bought what the anti-IDists said.

What’s the evidence for that, slug? Oh, that’s right, you don’t bother with evidence, being an IDist.

And those ID experts already testified that ID does not require the supernatural.

And they’ve often said the opposite. Behe, who has testified that ID does not require the supernatural also gives talks accusing “naturalists” of refusing to consider ID because it gets into the supernatural. Plus, what’s natural about the one who fine-tuned the entire universe, lackwit?

The supernatural is irrelevant- yes because all positions require either something beyond nature or some other metaphysical explanation.

Said the one who lacks all relevant knowledge of science and philosophy.

As for the importance of history- history demonstrates that some/ most of the greatest scientific minds used science as a tool for understanding “God’s” creation.

How does it show that, imbecile? No one denies that the religious can do good science, but we have yet to see in evidence that religion is a tool in science (other than it’s empirical aspects, of course).

IOW somewhere along the way someone arbitrarily changed the rules.

Nobody changed the rules, dishonest cretin. You bozos want to change the rules away from the science propounded by Newton and other honest religious scientists.

Linneaus was trying to figure out what the originally created kinds were when he came up with binomial nomenclature.

Here’s a thought, moron. Linnaeus’s system was part of the evidence that Darwin used to show that evolution occurred, you know, when he came up with the beginnings of the only adequate theory to explain said evolution.

Was he conducting science?

Yes, buffoon, because he was using evidence, not appealing to the supernatural like the current stupid crop of creationists do.

And in the end all you have to do to refute ID is to actually find some scientific data that supports your position.

You’ve been answered, and given reference for the evidence. Go to Talkorigins, and learn something for once, Joetard.

Yet the best you can do is hide behind your computers and post nonsensical drivel.

Can you even write something that would pass for intelligent? You can’t answer what we’ve written, you just repeat your insipid lies.

If you want to “educate me” Glen D- just provide the data I asked for.

It’s out there, retard. Answer what we’ve said to you, if you can ever achieve literacy. You bring even the stupidity of ID down another notch with your incapacity even to pretend to be able to make a response.

BTW I can hardly wait for your reactions to Ben Stein’s film that should be released next Feb 12.

Oh, we’ll answer the ignorant economist, all right, droolmonkey.

Do you even know the stupidity that ID is, btw? I mean, it’s just on the border of your capacity to understand, what with it’s inability to say anything but “it looks designed” and “God, no I mean the Designer, did it”.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

One more thing- ID is not anti-evolution.

Only someone completely ID ignorant could make such a claim.

ID only argues against blind watchmaker-type processes as having sole dominion over evolution.

IOW were populations designed to evolve or did they evolve solely via culled genetic accidents?

One doesn’t have to know the designer before making a design inference.

In fact REALITY says the ONLY way to make ANY determination about the designer in the absence of direct observation or designer input is by studying the design in question.

BTW Glenn D- thanks for demonstrating your stupidity. The data I asked for DOESN’T EXIST.

To Glenn Dumbass:

If it was OK to say that science was a tool for understanding “God’s” Creation and now one cannot say that, then the rules changed.

If you are too stupid to understand that then you are just too stupid.

Ummm, design is the antithesis of sheer dumb luck. Duh.

Duh, indeed. Glen just explained at some length why your assertion to that effect is untenable, so naturally you just assert it again. His point, in short form, is that a pretend “explanation” with zero explanatory power is indistinguishable from “sheer dumb luck” and equivalent to “how the hell should I know?” It’s useless, and can’t be refuted with the “scientific data” you pretend to be interested in, because it has no more epistemological content than an admission of ignorance.

As for the importance of history- history demonstrates that some/ most of the greatest scientific minds used science as a tool for understanding “God’s” creation.

IOW somewhere along the way someone arbitrarily changed the rules.

Presumably, you would include Sir Isaac Newton among these. Refer to his rules, explicitly stated in the Principia, and tell me some crafty atheist arbitrarily jerrymandered ID out of the game in the dark of night. You’re frankly too stupid to understand the lessons of the history of science or the evolution of empirical epistemology. Your heroes, were they alive, would heap as much scorn on your idiotic indictment of modern science as any of us out here, “hiding (in your paranoid imagination) behind computers posting [cogent arguments which between your ears become] nonsensical drivel.”

One doesn’t have to know the designer before making a design inference.

I didn’t say that one did, retarded jerk. You really are too dumb to read anything above 5th grade level, aren’t you?

In fact REALITY says the ONLY way to make ANY determination about the designer in the absence of direct observation or designer input is by studying the design in question.

Non sequitur, impossibly stupid fool. Why can’t you even understand what was written? Why do you have to make up your own stupid patter before you’re capable of understanding anything at all?

BTW Glenn D- thanks for demonstrating your stupidity.

Wow, he can’t spell, and can’t do anything but write insults, without even a semblance of backing up his lies and mindlessness.

The data I asked for DOESN’T EXIST.

Said the one too stupid to learn anything.

To Glenn Dumbass:

You learned a little word, didn’t you retard? Ooh, you can’t spell to save your life, you can’t answer anything written, you can’t even paraphrase any of our responses properly, but you can write dumbass. Baby steps, Joe Grunt, baby steps, maybe someday you can write real insults, if you strive very hard and learn far more than you know now.

If it was OK to say that science was a tool for understanding “God’s” Creation and now one cannot say that, then the rules changed.

You aren’t dealing with the substance of what I was writing about, but then you don’t know how to do anything but ape the dullards who you admire.

If you are too stupid to understand that then you are just too stupid.

You’re even too stupid to know that I didn’t deny the retarded nonsense that you wrote above, idiot-boy.

And btw, troll-moron, I knew that you couldn’t write a sensible response to anything I wrote, or even had the intelligence to understand it, and I only wanted to reveal you more fully as the gibbering boob that you are and always will be. So write as much appallingly stupid nonsense as you wish, I’ve achieved my purpose of trolling the troll, and of reducing you to a quivering mass of jelly just trying to churn out the pathetic insults and standard idiocies of ID. I won’t be answering your tripe any more on this thread.

Even the IDiots know that you’re just an embarrassing clown.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 11, column 10, byte 633 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

OK Glen Dumbass I know the data I requested doesn’t exist.

Now you can either show everyone how “stupid” I am by presenting it, or you can admit that you are a lying piece of shit.

As for Aristotle’s link to ID, well he cared about final causes “including both purposeful and instrumental actions and activities.”

However I doubt the simple-minded regulars here will understand the connection.

BTW Glen Dumbass- natural selection is a RESULT. And it just so happens it is a result of random inputs.

Sheer Dumb Luck explained for the simple-minded PT regulars

OK Glen Dumbass I know the data I requested doesn’t exist.

Now you can either show everyone how “stupid” I am by presenting it, or you can admit that you are a lying piece of shit.

As for Aristotle’s link to ID, well he cared about final causes “including both purposeful and instrumental actions and activities.”

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle/

However I doubt the simple-minded regulars here will understand the connection.

BTW Glen Dumbass- natural selection is a RESULT. And it just so happens it is a result of random inputs.

Sheer Dumb Luck explained for the simple minded PT regulars

On a slightly less incendiary note, Joe G., the questions we ask are still:

“What designer? What did it do? When? How? How does ID apologetics explain - in all the messy details and grand sweep - the history of life, better than the explanation that seems to be working best for those who understand it best?”

So far all we’ve seen is neo-paleyism and arguments from incredulity, and the occasional bit of Bible-thumping. If you have more, then I for one would love to see it.

Thank you.

OK Glen Dumbass I know the data I requested doesn’t exist.

Now you can either show everyone how “stupid” I am by presenting it, or you can admit that you are a lying piece of shit.

As for Aristotle’s link to ID, well he cared about final causes “including both purposeful and instrumental actions and activities.”

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle

However I doubt the simple-minded regulars here will understand the connection.

BTW Glen Dumbass- natural selection is a RESULT. And it just so happens it is a result of random inputs.

Sheer Dumb Luck explained for the simple minded PT regulars

OK Glen Dumbass I know the data I requested doesn’t exist.

Now you can either show everyone how “stupid” I am by presenting it, or you can admit that you are a lying piece of shit.

As for Aristotle’s link to ID, well he cared about final causes “including both purposeful and instrumental actions and activities.”

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle

However I doubt the simple-minded regulars here will understand the connection.

BTW Glen Dumbass- natural selection is a RESULT. And it just so happens it is a result of random inputs.

Sheer Dumb Luck explained for the simple minded PT regulars:

http://intelligentreasoning.blogspo[…]plained.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle

“The final cause is that for the sake of which a thing exists or is done, including both purposeful and instrumental actions and activities. The final cause or telos is the purpose or end that something is supposed to serve, or it is that from which and that to which the change is. This also covers modern ideas of mental causation involving such psychological causes as volition, need, motivation, or motives, rational, irrational, ethical, all that gives purpose to behavior. The final cause of the artist might be the statue itself. (teleology).”

That is his connection with ID although I doubt the regulars here will understand it.

On a slightly less incendiary note, Joe G., the questions we ask are still: “What designer? What did it do? When? How? How does ID apologetics explain - in all the messy details and grand sweep - the history of life, better than the explanation that seems to be working best for those who understand it best?”

ID isn’t about the designer. The only way to make any determination about the designer or the specific design process(es) used, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

ID is only about the detection and understanding of that design. The designer and the specific process(es) are separate questions.

Ya know just like life’s origins is a separate question from its subsequent evolution yet any subsequent evolution depends on how life originated.

BTW the alleged history of life is useless to scientific endeavors. Heck we can’t even objectively test the premise that we share a common ancestor with chimps. No one even knows whether or not any amount of accumulated mutations can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed.

Joe G Wrote:

Ummm, design is the antithesis of sheer dumb luck. Duh.

In Joe’s world, bald assertions and the word “Duh” are considered valid arguments. No need to actually address the issues.

The judge didn’t even listen to what the ID experts had to say but bought what the anti-IDists said.

If that could be demonstrated, then school board would have appealed and had the decision overturned, saving themselves a million bucks. But apparently you know something that they don’t, being the genius that you are.

… ID does not require the supernatural. … all positions require either something beyond nature or some other metaphysical explanation.

It takes a special kind of imbecility to continue contradicting oneself even after the contradiction has been pointed out.

history demonstrates that some/ most of the greatest scientific minds used science as a tool for understanding “God’s” creation.

And guess what? There are still scientists who are theists, performing perfectly valid research in order to understand what they view as God’s creation.

IOW somewhere along the way someone arbitrarily changed the rules.

It’s against the rules to be a scientist and a theist? No wonder Ken Miller can’t hold down a technical job. Oh wait, that’s Dembski I’m thinking of.

BTW I can hardly wait for your reactions to Ben Stein’s film that should be released next Feb 12.

Because in Joe’s world, established scientific theories are overturned by movies rather than by primary literature.

The final cause of the artist might be the statue itself.

Well said by Aristotle. It’s amazing that you think that this somehow supports ID.

BTW I can hardly wait for your reactions to Ben Stein’s film that should be released next Feb 12.

Shorter Joe: “Ben Stein will come save us! He’s making a *movie* and everything!| He’ll show all you wicked liberal atheist scientists! Then evolution will be destroyed and ID will win and you’ll all quit laughing at me!”

(shrug) Okay, Joe, skip the first bit.

“How does ID apologetics explain - in all the messy details and grand sweep - the history of life, better than the explanation that seems to be working best for those who understand it best?”

Still waiting for an answer to that one. “This looks designed” doesn’t explain how things work. Or anything else, for that matter.

Joe G Wrote:

Sheer Dumb Luck explained for the simple minded PT regulars:

http://intelligentreasoning.blogspo[…]plained.html

To my simple mind, Joe’s preferred definition of luck seems to include design, as characterized by Dembski.

Joe G Wrote:

Luck- an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another

Dembski Wrote:

Yet unlike natural laws, which are universal and uniform, designers are also innovators. Innovation, the emergence to true novelty, eschews predictability. Designers are inventors. We cannot predict what an inventor would do short of becoming that inventor. Intelligent design offers a radically different problematic for science than a mechanistic science wedded solely to undirected natural causes. Yes, intelligent design concedes predictability.

Hmmm. Things seem to have wandered over into the “feeding the troll” region.

In a pathetic swipe at the original topic, I’d like to add my good wishes and thanks to Nick Matzke. Hope you have a blast.

And re. Dr. Gould’s essay–the title was “Male Nipples and Clitoral Ripples.” According to Gould, he wanted to title it “Tits and Clits,” but his wife objected ;^)

And his point was that males have nipples because females need them. We’re all the same species, you know. Males and females are just two versions of the same critter.

Of course, if your understanding of creatures is informed by ID instead of science, that makes no sense. Why would a designer put something like nipples where they didn’t have any purpose? Doesn’t matter to the Designer–she can do anything she wants, because she gets to write out the blueprints.

Lynn

Who would you believe?

1. The many men and women of several thousand years ago who determined how the Earth came to be, and eventually got it written down on tablets of stone. Remember that the Earth was the centre of existence at that time and also that the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars (no galaxies) were still in orbit around the Earth.

2. The many thousands of men and women of the last two and a half thousand years (To include the Greeks), who have “Built on the Shoulders of Giants” (that sounds like a quote) and determined how the earth came to be, and been writing it down in books, tablets of silicon (stone), and the Internet. Think about the Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy, the Local Cluster, and the 14 or so Billion Light-Years extent of the Universe.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on August 14, 2007 10:19 PM.

Farewell San Francisco was the previous entry in this blog.

Tangled Bank #86 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter