Evolution in Florida and God and Intelligent Design

| 134 Comments

The Ledger reports how “..45-member committee appointed by the state Department of Education began revising the science standards in May in response to a failing 2005 report on Florida’s public school science curriculum by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit group.”

The science side is well supported by an NCSE representative

Jonathan Smith, a Lakeland resident and a representative of the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group critical of intelligent design, helped write the new standards.

“It (new standards) closed the door on any ambiguity” about evolution, Smith said. “There isn’t both sides. There is only one side as far as science is concerned.” That side is evolution, he said.

and there are also some creationists who lament that God/Intelligent Design is unfairly excluded

But Mickey Carter, pastor at Landmark Baptist Church in Haines City, said the revisions will be a disservice to students.

He said there should be a balance between both intelligent design and evolution.

“We are denying freedom of ideas, speech and shutting down one side,” Carter said. “The kids ought to be able to study both sides of it so we don’t just turn out a bunch of rubber-stamped robots in the classroom.”

Carter said that science is limited in its ability to determine every fact. “When it’s all said and done, folks just don’t give God enough credit,” Carter said. “Too many things on this world cannot just be an accident. You’ve got to give some credit to some intelligence.”

Why is it that Intelligent Design supporters are honest enough to admit that it ID is all about God while its major activists seem to be denying the obvious fact? Teach the controversy… Despite denials by the Discovery Institute, Intelligent Design is correctly identified as a religious concept. O’Reilly, Ben Stein and many ID supporters could not possible be all wrong :-)

134 Comments

Don’t you just love it when they keep spilling the beans on ID? I know I do.

PS, I’m using this comment thread to test a cookie problem I’ve been having…

Yeah, it seems Spybot Search & Destroy’s cookie precautions were doing it… It kept flipping cookie settings to “block” for whatever domain on which I was trying to invoke CoComment.

It does not surprise me too much that the ID supporters believe that the “designer” of ID is God. I mean, really, what else could it be?

BTW, this line: “Too many things on this world cannot just be an accident”

is a classic argument from personal incredulity.

As their proponents keep saying - “…but there are, there are, there are gaps that only ID (Insert Deity) can answer.…”

Aerik Wrote:

Don’t you just love it when they keep spilling the beans on ID? I know I do.

At best the DI doesn’t care (their whining to the contrary notwithstanding), and I suspect they even want a little of it to slip through. Heck, Dembski himself admitted that ID was the “Logos of John’s gospel.” After all, all the God-speak keeps their critics distracted from questioning IDers on what the designer did, when and how.

Nigel D Wrote:

It does not surprise me too much that the ID supporters believe that the “designer” of ID is God.

ID supporters, but not necessarily ID leaders. Recall that Behe said under oath at Dover that the designer could be deceased. While I think that they strongly hope that they found God, and that their audience infers it, I think that, privately, they figure that at best that they caught only the last in a possibly long line of “intermediate agents.” At worst they know that they have nothing but a neat bait-and-switch scam.

Too many things on this world cannot just be an accident.

Yes. Inbreeding, for instance.

Question: When presented with specific reasons why ID is not religious, what can you guys do? Answer: Nothing.

Except, of course, to keep on saying “ID is religious”, over and over like some kind of mantra, while hoping the lurkers don’t notice that you keep on avoiding actual engagement with the specific reasons given.

So here’s a treat just for you lurkers. Watch the Panda Gang duck this one:

http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork[…]religion.htm

Finger-lickin’ good!

******

Now, here’s a question for you PvM.

Given the following 3-point ID hypothesis (adapted from Dembski’s book “Intelligent Design” and Behe’s book “Darwin’s Black Box”):

1. Specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity is well-defined and empirically detectable.

2. Undirected natural causes are incapable of explaining specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity.

3. Intelligent causation best explains specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity.

Tell me now, from this hypothesis itself, exactly how this particular 3-point ID hypothesis is religious, since it clearly doesn’t depend on ANYBODY’s religious text nor pre-requires, pre-assumes or states ANY religious claims (not even supernaturalism or theism) at ANY plank of the hypothesis.

Thanks in advance!

FL

Given the following 3-point ID hypothesis…

Tell me now, from this hypothesis itself, exactly how this particular 3-point hypothesis is religious…

You describe a deity.

In 3, the lack of an operational definition for “intelligent causation” makes the hypothesis religious. All we know about it is that it is not an “undirected natural cause” (from 2), and that it has the ability to create things that nature cannot (1 & 2). These attributes are generally attributed to deities.

While PvM takes valuable time out of his busy day to answer FL (or not).…

The Ledger reported…Mickey Carter, pastor at Landmark Baptist Church in Haines City, said: “We are denying freedom of ideas, speech and shutting down one side,…the kids ought to be able to study both sides of it so we don’t just turn out a bunch of rubber-stamped robots in the classroom.”

Now lets consider applying this “rubber-stamped robots” notion to Sunday bible study class.

Mickey might consider saying, “OK kids, here are the precepts of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, atheism, FSMism, …and about 30 other belief systems. We will study each in depth until you are 18 and then you may decide which best suits your belief system.”

Now that ought to allay Pastor Carter’s concern about “rubber-stamped robots in the classroom.”

Ya think?

FL - OK, I’m a lurker (non-biologist, non-scientist) and I read through that link you provided.

If that’s the best you can provide, you’re no closer to swaying me.

The title of that nonsense is “Is ID a Religion?”

I don’t think too many folks would argue that it’s “a religion” - a stand alone religion. The question is, “is ID religious in its origins/assumptions relying on the supernatural?” I think it clearly is - as a layman, man-on-the-street observer. Until someone can provide evidence otherwise, “poof” is supernatural.

But wait, there’s more -

The article states: “The theory is based on the empirically-testable assumption that systems which exhibit high-information content are more likely the result of an intelligent design rather than undirected natural causes.”

Can you please point me to the empirically-tested results? Hint: giving up and not looking further just because something looks designed isn’t good enough. A lot of naturally occuring things looked designed until you continue looking and find natural reasons. Despite your assertion to PvM, based on my reading, natural causes have been shown capabale of all the “irreducible complexity” claims by IDists.

As for the rebuttal to ID isn’t religious > The Wedge.

Dave, going back to lurk mode

FL, please give definitions of specified complexity and irreducible complexity, and please show how they can be empirically detected. Furthermore, how does Intelligent Design explain organisms such as Thalassocnus, or heteromorph ammonites such as Nipponites?

Carter said that science is limited in its ability to determine every fact. “When it’s all said and done, folks just don’t give God enough credit,” Carter said. “Too many things on this world cannot just be an accident. You’ve got to give some credit to some intelligence.”

The MIGHTY THOR is angry that you apostate worshipers of the Heathen Flying Spaghetti Monster have not been giving him proper credit. Just for that, he’s going to set Southern California on fire with his mighty lightning bolts!!!

Tell me now, from this hypothesis itself, exactly how this particular 3-point ID hypothesis is religious

What am I missing here? Of course, all three statements are flat incorrect, but beyond that, what’s left if we disallow “undirected” natural causes? Isn’t this deliberately meant to imply some sort of external direction? AND that this direction isn’t natural?

This sounds to me like a game: Rule out everything that is NOT supernatural, carefully don’t mention the supernatural by name, and challenge people to find the supernatural in there!

Unfortunately, in actual practice the “specified” part of “specified complexity” is invariably done post facto, after Dembski (nobody else ever even tries to apply this test) has *already* decided in his own opinion that it’s Designed. When this is not known or decreed in advance, even Dembski refuses to play - the chance of a false positive or false negative is non-zero, which is simply not to be noticed when Dembski doesn’t already know the answer (but someone else does!)

Next, ‘irreducible complexity’ (Pick Behe’s definition of your choice; he keeps moving these goalposts) is a prediction of the ToE, as was explained 80 years ago in detail. Natural causes are not only capable of explaining this, they PREDICT it.

So if ‘specified complexity’ simply reflects the opinion of the specifier, and irreducible complexity is entirely natural, what are we to make of the claim that “undirected natural causes” can’t explain them? This is false on the face of it.

As for whether “intelligent causation” explains these things, what IS this “intelligent cause”? How does it work? Without any useful operational definition, the phrase “intelligent causation” lacks any semantic content at all; it’s meaningless. We can give it meaning ONLY be describing the source of this intelligence - rendering it immediately and explicitly a religious claim, nothing but.

So I ask FL to describe the source of the “intelligence” he hypothesizes is required to produce Dembski’s opinion (specified complexity) or Behe’s error (naturally inevitable irreducible complexity). I ask FL to show how this “intelligence” is supposed to operate in practice, and why this operation is not religious.

Thanks in advance!

FL, you are phunny. NOT!

Intelligent Design is not a “religion” in itself, but it is a philosophical assumption that can be used to support religion. Indeed, all three of the claims above you gave:

(((1. Specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity is well-defined and empirically detectable.

2. Undirected natural causes are incapable of explaining specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity.

3. Intelligent causation best explains specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity.)))

are FALLACIES! Even the blind, unintelligent process known as natural selection is a method of design, just not intelligent design. And it explains such absurdities as the miswired vertebrate eyes, why most plants are green rather than a more light absorbing color like black, and why organisms can because so specialized to their environments that they become prone to extinction later.

I Wrote:

These attributes are generally attributed to deities.

Ack. Woeful usage. It’s still before my third coffee, sorry.

The truth is that the fact that the designer is God isn’t really a problem for ID.

Consider it this way: They believe evidence for God can be found by examining the details. Thus it should be possible to discuss this “evidence” without endorsing a specific religion. Hence the creation of ID, where the specifics of the designer would in principal (though it is likely to fail in practice) be left outside the classroom. In much the same way “In God we trust” is not generally considered an government endorsement of a specific religion.

Of course the quest for the mythical “fingerprints” of God has always been a fruitless one. Which is not to say that God was not responsible, but rather to say that like any good master criminal he wore gloves.

FL:

Question: When presented with specific examples of how the true motivation of the vast majority of ID supporters are religiously motivated, what can you do? Answer: Nothing.

Either is ID is thinly veiled religion that exists only to promote religion, or it is just a poor excuse for science that never provides any real answers. Either way, why should anyone take it seriously?

FL Wrote:

Question: When presented with specific reasons why ID is not religious, what can you guys do? Answer: Nothing.

I have yet to see any “reason”, FL, that withstands more than the most casual scrutiny.

All I have seen is claims that the designer could be God but does not have to be, therefore ID isn’t religious.

These claims do not hold water.

What “reasons” do you have, FL, to convince someone that ID is not religious or religion-based?

Except, of course, to keep on saying “ID is religious”, over and over like some kind of mantra, while hoping the lurkers don’t notice that you keep on avoiding actual engagement with the specific reasons given.

Hmm, yes, while repeatedly citing the bucketloads of evidence that ID is, in fact, religious.

Very briefly, since this has been addressed time and time again, and in no particular order:

(1) Pretty much all of the proponents of ID consider the designer to be God, and have said so publicly in front of partisan audiences.

(2) Behe has testified under oath that ID makes more sense if you consider the designer to be God.

(3) Even as a speculative statement, ID makes no sense whatsoever unless you consider the designer to be God, since, if this designer designed various structures we find in microbes, the designer must pre-date the existence of multicellular, and hence intelligent, life.

(4) All of the arguments used to support ID have been used before, by “creation scientists”; Dembski and colleagues have simply dressed them up in new terminology.

(5) The ID argument from ignorance is logically identical to the “God of the gaps” argument.

(6) Early drafts of ID’s seminal text, Of Pandas and People has been shown in a court of law to have been drafts for a new creationist book.

(7) If we examine ID as a non-theistic idea, we get into the infinite recursion of “who designed the designer?”.

(8) ID proponents, yourself included, FL, refuse point blank to suggest motives of abilities of the designer, yet if, as is claimed, ID aspires to be science, these questions would first have been asked by IDologists, and at least tentative answers would have been proposed. Thus, the ID movement has missed a trick that would have thickened the veneer of science that ID tried to portray. This only makes sense if the ID proponents already have a designer (God) in mind.

(9) None of the ID proponents accept MDID (multiple-designer ID), even though it actually gives a significantly better match to the evidence than single-designer ID. Thus, they must obviously have a particular, individual designer in mind already (i.e. God).

(10) Judge Jones (to whom the ID proponents did not object when they had the opportunity) was convinced by the evidence presented during KvD that ID is religiously-based.

(11) ID proponents completely and utterly fail to address the reformulation of ID as Incompetent Design, even though this represents a significantly better match to the evidence than the ID of Behe, Dembski, Wells et al. this can only be explained if they have a specific omnipotent designer already in mind (i.e. God).

(12) The Wedge document describes ID as a starting point to replace “materialistic” science with a “spiritual” science. What can that possibly mean if not religion?

(13) When challenged about the total absence of any physical evidence of a designer, IDologists start going on about a disembodied designer. What could that possibly be if not God?

So, FL, now that I’ve finished repeating that ID is religion, are you going to address the evidence above?

Incidentally, I am sure that I have missed one or two points off the list. After all, there is so much evidence that ID is religiously-based and religiously-motivated that it is sometimes hard to keep track of it all.

Intelligent Design is not a “religion” in itself, but it is a philosophical assumption that can be used to support religion.

You mean the same way that evolution can be used to support the religions of atheism or Buddhism but evolution is not itself considered to be a religion? Mmmm.

Well, then, sincere thanks indeed. Now we can KNOW for certain that ID is NOT a religion, and that some folks around here (not to mention a certain judge back east) have got things very badly mistaken (either by accident–or more likely by design!).

FL

FL:

Intelligent Design is not a “religion” in itself, but it is a philosophical assumption that can be used to support religion.

You mean the same way that evolution can be used to support the religions of atheism or Buddhism but evolution is not itself considered to be a religion? Mmmm.

Well, then, sincere thanks indeed. Now we can KNOW for certain that ID is NOT a religion, and that some folks around here (not to mention a certain judge back east) have got things very badly mistaken (either by accident–or more likely by design!).

FL

Unfortunately for you, virtually every advocate of ID is a religious nut. The concept has been hijacked by, and is constantly phrased in terms of, religion.

Evolution has not. Evolution is a well-established scientific theory; ID is idle speculation without evidence.

Sorry, FL - those are just the facts. Learn to live with them.

FL Wrote:

Given the following 3-point ID hypothesis (adapted from Dembski’s book “Intelligent Design” and Behe’s book “Darwin’s Black Box”):

1. Specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity is well-defined and empirically detectable.

Wrong. It is poorly defined and has yet to be applied to any non trivial examples. For instance what is the complexity of the bacterial flagellum?

2. Undirected natural causes are incapable of explaining specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity.

Wrong again

3. Intelligent causation best explains specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity.

Begging the question

Tell me now, from this hypothesis itself, exactly how this particular 3-point ID hypothesis is religious, since it clearly doesn’t depend on ANYBODY’s religious text nor pre-requires, pre-assumes or states ANY religious claims (not even supernaturalism or theism) at ANY plank of the hypothesis.

Simple, in order for something the be complex, it cannot be explained by natural processes of chance and regularity, thus what remains is one or more of the following 1) the empty set 2) ignorance 3) the supernatural.

You pick.

PvMYes the quote function is cool… However, correcting the comment is even better

FL Wrote:

You mean the same way that evolution can be used to support the religions of atheism or Buddhism but evolution is not itself considered to be a religion? Mmmm.

Well, then, sincere thanks indeed. Now we can KNOW for certain that ID is NOT a religion, and that some folks around here (not to mention a certain judge back east) have got things very badly mistaken (either by accident–or more likely by design!).

Almost right. ID however was invented as a transition from creationism and thus historically lays at the foundation of the ID movement. The basic claim of ID that design is the set theoretic complement of regularity and chance makes design one or more of the following 1) the empty set 2) ignorance 3) supernatural. In fact, ID is clear that it wants to add the supernatural to scientific inquiry. Combine this with the inevitable lack of scientific content and fertility and it is clear that ID is nothing more than creationism in drags.

Hope this helps. I just wonder how many more times I have to educate FL about these simple facts?

PvM:

FL Wrote:

You mean the same way that evolution can be used to support the religions of atheism or Buddhism but evolution is not itself considered to be a religion? Mmmm.

Well, then, sincere thanks indeed. Now we can KNOW for certain that ID is NOT a religion, and that some folks around here (not to mention a certain judge back east) have got things very badly mistaken (either by accident–or more likely by design!).

Almost right. ID however was invented as a transition from creationism and thus historically lays at the foundation of the ID movement. The basic claim of ID that design is the set theoretic complement of regularity and chance makes design one or more of the following 1) the empty set 2) ignorance 3) supernatural. In fact, ID is clear that it wants to add the supernatural to scientific inquiry. Combine this with the inevitable lack of scientific content and fertility and it is clear that ID is nothing more than creationism in drags.

Hope this helps. I just wonder how many more times I have to educate FL about these simple facts?

I do so love that new “Quote” function…

as to 2. Undirected natural causes are incapable of explaining specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity.

Even Dembski admits that natural causes can explain specified complexity and irreducible complexity but now the argument is probabilistic rather then deterministic, destroying the explanatory filter approach.

You mean the same way that evolution can be used to support the religions of atheism or Buddhism but evolution is not itself considered to be a religion? Mmmm.

Well, then, sincere thanks indeed. Now we can KNOW for certain that ID is NOT a religion, and that some folks around here (not to mention a certain judge back east) have got things very badly mistaken (either by accident–or more likely by design!).

FL

So, how does this provide a definition of “specified complexity” and “irreducible complexity” and how does this demonstrate how either concept can be empirically detected in, say, Thalassocnus or heteromorph ammonites like Nipponites?

The IDist have left so many tracks and clues and statements that their Intelligent Designer is Jehovah, that at this point to deny the Designer is a pointless lie. Pointless because it is easily demonstrably wrong and also because everyone knows who they mean.

Something to be said about not lying constantly. Makes them look like devious, shady, conpeople.

You’ve got to give some credit to some intelligence.

Yes. Give the intelligent people some credit. Listen to them, and when they tell you that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports evolution, don’t insist that this be balanced with some sectarian fables.

And of course ID isn’t religious–Dembski said so. Except when he said it was.

It looks like Nigel quite thoroughly covered the reasons, if necessarily redundantly for the obtuse FL (ignoring what we write doesn’t absolve you of honesty, churl), why ID is religious.

There is another worth mentioning, though, I think, hinted at, but worthy of a more direct statement. ID is retained and promoted by religious dolts like FL with obvious religious zeal. The mere fact that FL can’t support any of his claims, and ridiculously resorts to the fallacy of appeal to authority, yet maintains that ID is science and not religion, is an indication that he’s likely driven by religion alone, as most IDists are (some may be unbalanced, but the majority are clearly just religiously motivated).

Indeed, there is no secular rationale behind ID. And this is not for FL, who cannot learn–the reason there is no secular rationale for ID is not that claiming that anything, including life, has been designed, is on the face of it religious. The reason is exactly what I mentioned before, real erroneous scientific hypotheses are abandoned when they’re either shown to be incorrect (many versions of ID), or to be unverifiable (the rest of the versions of ID). When demonstrably false or vacuous “hypotheses” are flogged by people who want to change the meaning of science to fit their beliefs, we know that it’s something other than scientific investigation that drives them. To be sure, that “something other” is not always religion, but in the case of ID it is religion at least 99% of the time, while the various problems involved with its other supporters do not detract from the thrust of the Wedge and its religious goals and aims.

Now, we know that monotonous ignorant drones like FL will turn around and accuse us of having religious zeal. Yay yuh, FL, when you can discuss a single subject intelligently, then we might start listening to your zealous religious propaganda.

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

Specified complexity and/or irreducible complexity is well-defined and empirically detectable.

Awesome.

Given: a pocketwatch resting in a patch of grass.

How much specified complexity is there in the watch, and how much is there in the grass?

Oh, and FL? Please, show your work.

ignoring what we write doesn’t absolve you of honesty

Of course I should have written, “ignoring what we write doesn’t absolve you of dishonesty.”

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

like i said, all you have to do is define how the designer operates, so we can actually predict what might be “designed”, and you’re good to go.

any anthropologist can make easily testable hypotheses about whether a specific item is human designed.

all you have to do is figure out how a designer operates, and then you can do the same.

you know how your god desiger works, right?

er, other than in “mysterious ways”, i mean?

we’ve been waiting for years now. well, hundreds of years to be more precise.

still nothing.

the silence is deafening.

Specified Complexity is like the sentences in your post or mine. Too high in both specification and complexity together, to be attributable to mere chance or necessity (natural laws.) Irreducible Complexity is a special case of Specified Complexity, it is like a mousetrap in which all the individual parts must work as one and work correctly all at once in order for the mousetrap to fulfill its function.

Is this the best you can do for definitions of specified complexity and irreducible complexity? Seriously?

What is meant by ‘high in specification’? How on earth can you measure specificity in general? What do you mean by complexity and how is that measured? Irreducible complexity is like a mousetrap? Irreducible complexity is supposed to be an attribute, not an object.

It’s no wonder you prevaricated for so long before giving us your ‘definitions’.

That is a point that effectively proves that the 3-point ID hypothesis is NOT religious, whether or not a person agrees or disagrees with the individual planks or the overall hypothesis itself.

Not really, a natural intelligence is well captured by natural processes of regularity and chance.

FL Wrote:

Just a quick note: In philosophy, if you combine the design argument with the cosmological arguement, you eliminate the infinite recursion thing, and the ID concept is again validated as non-religious.

But the “cosmological argument”, FL, is not one that I consider “successful” (and note that Dr Koons whom you quote was careful to point out that the cosmological argument only protects ID if it (the cosmological argument) is successful).

All it essentially says (from your quoted passage) is that whatever created the universe also created the first intelligence. Now, unless you are about to concede that quantum fluctuations in a singularity could design an intelligence that could design humans, this is the same as saying God did it.

So, your argument, FL, and your quote bring you to this question: do you now concede that quantum fluctuations in a singularity could design an intelligence that could design humans?

Well?

FL Wrote:

That’s fine (or at least it doesn’t matter in this forum.) Just be sure not to “care what Ratzsch said” when PvM quotes him likewise.

Sadly, FL, you have failed to notice the difference in the way PvM and you have quoted Ratzch. You quoted him as an authority in response to a point I raised, as if his words are enough to settle the issue. This is one of the classic logical fallacies (argument from authority), because it will only work if both sides accept the authority. Meanwhile, PvM has quoted Ratzch because he is one of very few authors to actually publish a definition of design.

So, FL, do you acknowledge that you attempted to argue your position using a logical fallacy?

Or were you trying to duck the issue?

FL Wrote:

Specified Complexity is like the sentences in your post or mine. Too high in both specification and complexity together, to be attributable to mere chance or necessity (natural laws.)

Right. That’s great. Really. Clear as mud, in fact.

In what way does the above define anything?

IOW: Specified complexity is made of two things that I have not defined, and I won’t define them here.

It is interesting to note that you use SC as a marker for the supernatural, unless you meant something else by “[not] natural laws”. Does this mean you now accept that ID is based on religion?

Irreducible Complexity is a special case of Specified Complexity, it is like a mousetrap in which all the individual parts must work as one and work correctly all at once in order for the mousetrap to fulfill its function.

Again, completely failing to define the term. Even Behe did better (even though his definition included three terms - function, system, parts - that the reader could define in any way they chose for any phenomenon).

Undirected natural causes would necessarily mean evolution, of course, because “evolutionary theory does not admit conscious anticipation of the future, i.e. conscious forethought” as Futuyma wrote in his famous evolutionary biology textbook (3rd ed.)

I notice that you deliberately conflate the meanings of “undirected” and “[no] conscious forethought”. Do you know what the word “selection” means? Go look it up, then go and read TOOS, which discusses both artificial selection and natural selection.

This outright and total denial of teleology at any point in the evolutionary process (“a completely mindless process” as Fut says), is the hallmark of evolution and evolutionist, and it’s proclaimed by Ernst Mayr and others.

With very good reason, dimwit: there is no evidence of teleology in nature. Therefore, presuming no teleology is the only parsimonious hypothesis.

“Intelligent causation” is pretty self-evident there, especially in light of Fut’s statement.

Right, that means “man-made”. I’m glad we agree on that.

Causation deriving from “conscious forethought”, teleological goal-directed purposeful causation—well there you go amigo.

Yes, as I said, “man-made”.

And don’t be too quick to dismiss those definitions just cuz you’re an evolutionist.

well, aside from the fact that you have failed to define several of the terms, I shan’t.

Evolutionist Ken Miller has already admitted that IC is testable, and evolutionist Victor Stenger has already admitted that SC is testable. (Both think that they’ve been shot down of course, which is wrong, but they at least clearly said out loud that SC and IC are testable.)

There are several things here, upon which you touch oh-so-briefly: (1) You are once again arguing from authority; (2) Both of the scientists you mention have subsequently decided they were wrong, when their errors were pointed out to them, so, if you accept them as authorities, you should at least accept their latest understanding of the issues; (3) The definition of IC has changed since Darwin’s Black Box, so which definition were they referring to is not clear; (4) SC has never been clearly and unambiguously defined AFAICT.

Since we know that undefined fuzzy-wuzzy mess is NOT testable, and since we know that SC and IC are indeed testable (because that’s what you evolutionists have admitted),

No. Two individuals have stated that IC and SC may be testable, and then changed their minds after their errors were pointed out. This does not mean that “evolutionists” in general accept the testability of IC or SC. Indeed, quite the opposite is true.

that HAS to mean that SC and IC are quite well enough defined for evolutionists to boast that they actually can be tested and defeated on a scientific basis.

Except that they are so poorly- and changeably- defined that they are not testable.

Even if they are testable, how come the DI, with all its millions, has not embarked upon a research programme to test them?

Which, ONE MORE TIME, brings us to this main point: the specific 3-point ID hypothesis is NOT religion nor religious.

You are wrong. I have shown you to be wrong. You have not addressed the main point (you tried to evade it by argument from authority, but your authority’s argument was weak). Any argument for ID in nature must address the question “who designed the designer?”. There are 3 basic answers: (1) God (or a God-like entity); (2) evolution; (3) infinite recursion. If you deny evolution, then to avoid the infinite recursion, you must accept religion as the answer.

It really is that simple.

Now you have your definitions Torbjorn, and make no mistake–they are quite clear. You now have no basis on which to claim that the ID hypothesis is religious. Agreed?

Since you obviously (from a previous comment) expect me to answer your challenges to others too, I’ll answer this one.

No. ID is based on religion. Others have addressed your 3-point hypothesis, but you have addressed only 2 of the 13 points I raised earlier (and even those two you addressed illogically and incompletely). You have not made any convincing argument to deny the religious basis of ID.

PS….for those who want mathematical rigorous definitional stuff and all that jazz, see Dembski’s onlinearticle: “Specification: The Pattern that Signifies Intelligence.”

No thanks. Dembski abuses mathematics even more than you abuse logic.

But I’ve found that most folks can understand what I said earlier, quite a bit easier.

Well of course. Dembski’s mathematical concepts are intended to obfuscate, not to enlighten.

Most of the folks here seem to understand what you are saying far better than you do yourself. Maybe you should listen to the experts for a change. They might know or understand stuff that you don’t.

FL:

I need to ask if you have a copy of Dembski’s book “Intelligent Design” and Behe’s book “Darwin’s Black Box”.

No, I don’t. Why, aren’t there any peer-reviewed paper with these definitions? :-P

Specified Complexity is like the sentences in your post or mine. Too high in both specification and complexity together, to be attributable to mere chance or necessity (natural laws.)

Good. Now we are getting somewhere.

If this is your framework of making a testable definition of “specified complexity” we now need to know:
- How do you define “specification” measurably?
- How do you define “complexity” measurably? There are many different complexity measures.
- How do you make sure your complexity measure are applicable to all the cases of biology you apply it to? No single complexity measure can describe all characteristics of a structure, so this must be a central concern.
- How do you define “too high in both specification and complexity together”?
- How do you connect “both specification and complexity together” to “mere chance or necessity” or rather natural laws?
- And how do you decide what is “too high” relative to natural laws?

It would also help to know how “specific information” helps model or clarify anything in nature. (This is intended to lead from your definition to your hypothesis. But let’s make the definition first.)

Look, seeing that so much remains for you to clarify how to make a testable measure of “specific complexity” I think we can forget the other definitions for the time being. Concentrate on this one first.

Evolutionist Ken Miller has already admitted that IC is testable,

There are testable versions of so called “irreducible complexity”.

One problem is that there are several definitions out there. Behe IC v 1.0 (“Irreducible Complexity”; subtractive functionality) has not been retracted as he published IC v 2.0 (“Irreducible Complexity”, but really “Improbable Complexity”; two consecutive non-selective mutations) or IC v 3.0 (“Improbable Complexity” again; two protein-protein binding sites).

Another problem is that irreducible complexity isn’t a unique design concept. Behe originally copied an old biological concept of “interlocking complexity” from the 1930’s when he made “IC” v 1.0. It was already a confirmed prediction by evolution.

But again, let us concentrate on the simpler task of defining “specified complexity” to be sound, measurable and testable, instead of mucking about with your fallacy of false choice.

evolutionist Victor Stenger has already admitted that SC is testable.

I would like a reference to that.

Most scientists are clear on that SC can’t be made into a sound definition. Some of Dembski’s attempts, if you nail one of them down and stick to it, are outright self-conflicting. (I.e. he makes “specificity” the complement to “complexity”.)

Which, ONE MORE TIME, brings us to this main point: the specific 3-point ID hypothesis is NOT religion nor religious.

Why in the universe do you then try to define “specified complexity” as not “attributable to mere chance or necessity (natural laws.)” ??? You can’t have it both ways.

I have to wonder: in the “phrase” “specified complexity”, by whom or what is the “complexity” specified, and why?

When a human designed something, it’s the requirements that are specified. Any resulting complexity is a side effect, and in general the less complex it is the better so long as it meets the specifications.

So to an engineer (or at least to this software engineer), “specified complexity” makes no sense.

Henry

Henry, I agree.

When I first heard about “Irreducible Complexity” a few years ago, my first thought was: how can you use complexity as a marker for design? Simplicity is a sign of good design.

A classic example of this is pebbles on a beach. We may find all sorts of ovoid shapes that are quite complex (i.e. describing them requires a lot of text); whereas if we were to discover a pebble that was a perfect sphere, we would suspect that it had been shaped by human hands (or a machine), because it is a much simpler shape.

If you wish to use complexity as a marker for design, it can only be a marker for poor design.

Simplicity is a sign of good design.

To add further to the confusion, indeed Dembski often defines “complexity” as the inverse to Kolmogorov complexity.

Kolmogorov complexity measures a description’s compressibility. So a low measure means a lot of symmetries - an equation for a sphere makes a shorter “string” description than the coordinates of an irregular polytope.

But Dembski takes instead such traits to be more “designed”, more complex. Or at least he seems to do so, when one fixes on some of his constantly changing definitions and removes his equivocations.

I guess one should make a pun out of the “simplicity” in Dembski’s blather, but somehow I fail to see the humor. :-\

So to an engineer (or at least to this software engineer), “specified complexity” makes no sense.

I’m not too sure about that. When I see a modern car engine I suspect part of the specification was ‘make it complex’ ;-)

I know this is off-topic, but…

Richard Simons Wrote:

When I see a modern car engine I suspect part of the specification was ‘make it complex’ ;-)

Too true. How I rue the loss of those days when you had simple carburetion and distributors, as opposed to modern computer-controlled fuel injection and ignition.

Mind you, on the plus side, you get engines with vvti (variable valve timing and ignition) that can be quite fun and yet still reasonably economical.

FL:

hypotheses can be generated and tested, etc.

Including the ID hypothesis. Did you know that?

See examples in the “Denyse O’Leary” thread. You are invited to respond there, to the same comments that I’m offering to Stanton.

FL

How does this magically neutralize the fact that you have not shown me a concrete example of where the concepts of “specified complexity” and “irreducible complexity” are defined, and used to explain the “design” of an organism, such as explaining how saying the heteromorph ammonite Nipponites mirabilis was “designed” serves to explain that species’ lifestyle?

OT, yeah, but:

Richard Simons:

I’m not too sure about that. When I see a modern car engine I suspect part of the specification was ‘make it complex’ ;-)

I may be showing my age, but I distinctly remember my sense of shock the first time I looked under the hood of a car and was unable to see the ground.

Intelligent design is at its heart a purely anti-evolution belief that asserts that naturalistic explanations of some biological entities are not possible and such entities can only be explained by supernatural causes. Advocates of ID maintain that their belief is scientific and provides empirical “proof” for the existence of God. They claim that intelligent design should be taught in the science classroom as an alternative to the science of evolution. ID is essentially a hoax, however, since evolution is inconsistent with a belief in an intelligent designer of the universe. The two are contradictory and are not competing for the same “proofs.”. ID is proposed mainly by Christian apologists at the Discovery Institute and their allies, who feel science threatens their Biblical-based view of reality. They also should point out that their said same beliefs call for a flat earth, an ark and the slavery of others. this they always seem to forget. ID is a sham, an idea from a time long since past and it needs to be forgotten. Religion has managed to retard human progress for nearly twenty centuries. It’s time has passed- it needs to go.

One could also point out that by saying evolution can’t happen in a way consistent with natural law, they’re saying that arranging things that way was beyond God’s abilities.

Henry

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on October 24, 2007 11:14 PM.

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