Ooooooooh we are gonna have aaaaaaaaants!

OH NOOOOOOO!!!

Someone let Cottage Cheese Cordova out of his cage!!! Oh noooooooo! His putrid, milky slime is everywhere! We are gonna have aaaaaaants! Oh noooooo!

If youve ever wanted to engage in a 'nice conversation' with IDiots outside of their protected habitat, heres your chance! TARD is out in force over at this article at the OUDaily.

LOL eeeeeeeeeeew! We are gonna need so many paper towels.....

(Thanks Aseem!)

More like this

Noooooo! It's another paradox! This is a Cthulhu birthday cake, but it's entirely vegan! This is just not right. A Cthulhu cake has to be made of various meats stacked in alien geometries and in a state of corruption and decay, topped with ichor icing. (Hillary is out to get me because I haven't…
The other day, I received something in the mail that was so horrifying, so disturbing, so utterly disconcerting that I had to go into my office and hide for a while to regain my composure. No, it wasn't a death threat from some wacked-out antivacccinationist. Nor was it a scientific paper that was…
In Wisconsin, a bill has been proposed to ban intelligent design from science courses. Two Democratic lawmakers introduced a plan Tuesday that would ban public schools from teaching intelligent design as science, saying "pseudo-science" should have no place in the classroom. The proposal is the…
Noooooo! I'm a proud graduate of the University of Oregon, and I think Eugene is a wonderful place…and now I learn that damned dumb creationists were drooling stupidly in the student union. Three creationists lectured on their nonsense there. There was Tom Alderman. There is "a mountain of evidence…

Well, at least you're being really mature about it. It wouldn't do for the side that has mountains of evidence to engage in ad hominem all the time! No sir!

"LOL eeeeeeeeeeew! We are gonna need so many paper towels....."

All this garbage is springing full grown from the soft skull of "Kid IDEA", the opinion editor at the daily. If you want to be completely grossed out then read his, no doubt, self authored bio:

"Ray Martin - Charles Ray Martin has a passion to penetrate the secular field of journalism with the gospel of Christ while training others to do the same. He is completing his BA in journalism and mass communication at the University of Oklahoma."

Charles Ray Martin has a passion to penetrate

a passion to penetrate

to penetrate

a passion

http://oudaily.com/staff/ray-martin/

You may now climb into a tub of Purell hand sanitizer.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

"Darwinism doesn't deserve to be called science. It has abandoned empiricism in favor of story telling. Ernst Mayr said it in so many words: "Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry...attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes.
Physics and Chemistry: real science, laws and experiments
Evolutionary Biology (with the exception of the discipline of population biology): story telling and speculation"

So it seems that Mr Cordova is an ignorant. Who would have thought! I don't know about his level in science; I suppose it's pretty low. But here he shows his knowledge of epistemology to be near zero. So, the only good science is the one that produces "laws"? Hey, I've already heard that before, but where... Ah, I know! It usually goes with the old, silly "just a theory"!

Sorry, Mr Cordova. Attempting "to explain events and processes that have already taken place" does not equal bad science. You'll find this attitude in cosmology, in geology, in all historical sciences (including, of course, history itself). You'll have to discard the primitive view that only laboratory experiments are science, because something like 150 years have past since the last time it was taken seriously.

Sal Cordova's comments are really painful to read (but some other commenters are, too).

By Christophe Thill (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

The first commenter is really, really painful to read. "It's completely valid to say that if science can't explain something, then therefore MAGIC!"

Once upon a time, we didn't have mathematical explanations for lightning or the ability to duplicate it. This is why scientists gave up trying to understand it, and our science textbooks now attribute lightning to Mighty Zeus.

And, of course, that's not even touching on the fact that evolution can be quantified and replicated.

And Sal Cordova gave up the right to be treated with respect a long, long time ago. He is dishonest, full of slander against scientists, and blisteringly, intentionally ignorant. He does not argue in good faith and there is no need for productive members of society to waste any time arguing with him. And ultimately, he is a nobody: he has no science, he has no influence, he barely even has any name recognition outside the tiny circle of UD sycophants; he is, like Casey Luskin, a mouse who thinks his squeaks are roars.

By minimalist (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Cordova is a dishonest pseudointellect, copying and pasting content he doesn't understand and attempting to pass it off as his own arguments. He's the perfect mascot for ID, the pretend scientist for pretend science.

"It's completely valid to say that if science can't explain something, then therefore MAGIC!"

So, to you, any non-naturalist force in action is "magic"? There's no other name for it?
If so, how precisely does this argue for naturalism? Just calling the other side names doesn't mean your side is correct, as I'm sure you realise in your calmer, more sober times of reflection.

Rhology -

Yes, "Non naturalism" DOES = magic = god = Intelligent Designer= space aliens ad nauseum, or however you want to define it. But this is actually a discussion about science, not semantics, so please take your word games back to the church basement, or your local IDEA club chapter, which is pretty much the same thing.

If so, how precisely does this argue for naturalism?

It works.

Magic doesn't.

I win.

Unless you can think of another situation where "non-naturalism" explained something science could not?

I'd dearly like to see how you define "non-naturalist force" in a way that doesn't amount to "POOF!" though.

Just calling the other side names doesn't mean your side is correct

We've demonstrated that our side is correct repeatedly. Nobody is obliged to treat a known serial liar with respect, in perpetuity.

By minimalist (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

J-Dog,

But this is actually a discussion about science, not semantics

I wasn't the one who mislabeled the action of a theistic God (or an unknown Designer) "magic". So yes, by all means let's do so. I'll presume you directed your critique to minimalist.

minimalist said:
It works.

? "Naturalism" works? Naturalism is a worldview. Worldviews don't "work".

where "non-naturalism" explained something science could not?

Sure. The fact that atheists by and large (including your own ERV) treat moral questions as if there were objective, prescriptive answers to them, while a naturalist worldview can't justify such statements at all. Much less can science make any statement thereon.
Or perhaps you could prove that evidence is the best way to discover truth. I'd like some evidence for that claim.
Or prove that you can discover truth using your senses. I'd like you to provide evidence that your senses are reliable for discovering truth (just make sure to provide evidence that doesn't involve your senses, since that would be begging the question).
The consistent naturalist can't prove that he is not a brain in a vat. He can *assume* it (presumably thru ESP, or even magic, or the tenacious power of self-willed deception), but he can't prove it.

Sorry, you asked. I answer.

I'd dearly like to see how you define "non-naturalist force" in a way that doesn't amount to "POOF!" though.

If by "POOF!" you mean "one second it was like this and the other it was like that, thru some unobservable force", I answer that you believe in all sorts of unobservable things, like the reliability of your brain, the reliability of your senses, the problem of induction, etc. If "POOF!" is indeed the way it sometimes is, so what?
Further, you believe in "no life, long-drawn-out-POOF!, life". Why is one preferable to the other? Give me a good reason rather than your typical mockery, please.

Peace,
Rhology

Rhology wrote:

âJust calling the other side names doesn't mean your side is correct, as I'm sure you realise in your calmer, more sober times of reflection.â

There were these carnival chimpanzees who had been taught to smoke cigarettes so I had a little talk with them about causation, reproducible results and cited several surgeon generalâs reports in support of my solid foundation of Aristotelean logic and when they realized I had no smokes or bananas they threw poop at me.

In case you had failed to notice, the appropriate response to absurdity is laughter. Not logic.

If we are amused at the complete lack of qualifications of a I.D. proponent or his collection of disingenuous politicized sources, we are accused of the ad hominem fallacy. If we waste time attempting an intelligent point by point dissection of ludicrous claims we are accused of arrogance.

I wish you luck in your mission of apologetics based on the Groucho Marx Plurium Interrogationum School of Discourse.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Plurium Interrogationum

Hey, he asked. I'm not holding a gun to his head forcing him to type easy setups.
Maybe you could take one at a time. Start with an easy one (that's just my advice).

I tried to comment on the OU Daily site. I guess they didn't like me calling scordova a Troll and to not feed him. So sad. There goes your objectivity in journalism.

By Barklikeadog (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

It has appeared on the site, Barklikeadog, but in my experience the OU Daily site does not always immediately post comments.
I even replied to you, and they posted that too.

"? "Naturalism" works? Naturalism is a worldview. Worldviews don't "work"."

Natrualism is also a methodology that does, indeed, work.

"Sure. The fact that atheists by and large (including your own ERV) treat moral questions as if there were objective, prescriptive answers to them, while a naturalist worldview can't justify such statements at all."

And yet again I see some twit using some variant of the moral argument for theism without realizing the self-defeating nature of it. He was specifically asked what "non-naturalism" explains that naturalism doesn't. Of course, this doesn't explain anything, it merely argues by assertion (i.e., god exists, therefore morality) and demonstrates nothing.

"Or perhaps you could prove that evidence is the best way to discover truth. I'd like some evidence for that claim."

You prove something through analytical deduction, not empirical observation. If you merely want evidence that evidence is the best way to discover truth, there is plenty you could look to in modern societies, including successful technological implementations of the principles we discover with such evidence.

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

(i.e., god exists, therefore morality)

No I didn't. Prove it by quoting me from this combox.
I'm simply arguing that (and I'll do you a favor by showing my cards), if naturalism, then no objective morality; to be consistent with naturalism, there is no way to make prescriptive moral statements to anyone else, to make moral value judgments on someone else's actions, like ERV did recently in the post I linked to, like everyone does. I've never met a consistent naturalist, it goes without saying.

If you merely want evidence that evidence is the best way to discover truth, there is plenty you could look to in modern societies, including successful technological implementations of the principles we discover with such evidence.

That's not what I asked. Please try again.

"(and I'll do you a favor by showing my cards)"

It is probably not a good move, if you want people to judge you as an intellectually honest person, to admit you're being deliberately obscuritanist.

"...to make moral value judgments on someone else's actions, like ERV did recently in the post I linked to, like everyone does. I've never met a consistent naturalist, it goes without saying."

Maybe you could try actually reading what people ask of you, i.e., an example of something that naturalism can't explain that non-naturalism does. I'm not surprised that you can't see that this is completely irrelevant to that question.

"That's not what I asked. Please try again."

Yes you did, you asked for "evidence" and I provided it. Or do you have a superior explanation for such successes?

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

"That's not what I asked. Please try again."

I rather think it is. Please stop trying to prevail in an argument by changing the original premise. Like most theists, you are a poor legalist.

Your style is also disingenuously saccharine which you may regard as a fallacious observation. Tell us again how the idea of what is correct has to do with informal fallacies.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Rho, you've disappeared so far up your own black hole of illogic that it's hard to keep up with your nonsense. I'm not even sure you know what you're trying to say anymore.

The first commenter in the OU article claimed that certain "patterns" (by which he/she likely means irreducible complexity or whatever half-assed ID-creationist 'concept' he's trying to parrot) cannot be mathematically explained or replicated, therefore one must by default accept the "non-naturalist" position.

At best, even if your examples weren't tedious freshman-philosophy conundrums, the sad fact is that you still can't demonstrate that non-natural explanations are superior. Even if we are brains in vats, within the boundaries of that wacky virtual world, naturalistic explanations and mechanisms have demonstrated themselves through relentlessly positive feedback. "Non-naturalistic" explanations, on the other hand, have never been anything but comically fruitless tail-chasing, as you amply demonstrate.

By minimalist (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

#6

So, to you, any non-naturalist force in action is "magic"? There's no other name for it?

It is supernatural (or otherwise untestable*) causation, and thus falls outside the scope of science. This is why ID has failed to produce any body of scientific research.

*I only offer the caveat that, to borrow from Michael Shermer, a sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from the supernatural. In either case, the action in question cannot be observed, tested, or otherwise analyzed by the scientific method.

"I'm not even sure you know what you're trying to say anymore."

It is because he is regurgitating two week old postings from his blog in lieu of actual comment and trying to revamp them into the basis of the dispute. He is looking for his keys, not in the place where he dropped them but where the light is most favorable and would like you to help him search.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

The only comment of note here is:
In either case, the action in question cannot be observed, tested, or otherwise analyzed by the scientific method.

James, can you observe, test, or otherwise analyse the scientific method by the scientific method?
How about the claim "there is no God"?

I have been having a bit of difficulty cramming a microscope onto the stage of another microscope which I then must cram onto the stage of another microscope in order to validate any observations that have been made using the first microscope. On this basis I now declare all microscopy jibber jabber.

Attempting to force people into working through goofy tautologies is either a new low, or you are being held hostage by Nietzsche scholars in a fortune cookie factory

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

"The only comment of note here is..."

It's so adorable when a poser like yourself attempts to mask his/her incapability to respond to criticism.

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Oops, missed this one:
Tell us again how the idea of what is correct has to do with informal fallacies.

To dismiss someone with name-calling as ERV has done is called "ad hominem". It's not necessarily the end of the world, but I never claimed it was. I said it was ad hominem. Thanks for playing.

"To dismiss someone with name-calling as ERV has done is called "ad hominem"."

Except for the fact that it isn't. An ad hominem is an argument that takes the form of "you are X, therefore you are wrong", and Abbie made no such statement. You don't know what the fuck you are talking about, as usual.

"Just calling the other side names doesn't mean your side is correct, as I'm sure you realise in your calmer, more sober times of reflection."

"Thanks for playing."

Game set and match.

Thank you for the win.

Next time bring a full deck.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

I have been having a bit of difficulty

You don't say.

cramming a microscope onto the stage of another microscope

Not suggesting that, I'm suggesting you have a couple of questions you could try answering.

Tyler wrote:

"To dismiss someone with name-calling as ERV has done is called "ad hominem"."

Except for the fact that it isn't. An ad hominem is an argument that takes the form of "you are X, therefore you are wrong", and Abbie made no such statement. You don't know what the fuck you are talking about, as usual.

No, no, no, Tyler, you're way off base here!

What you need is a translation table between the Real World and the Creationist World.

In the RW ad hominem is as you say. But in the CW it means "criticism."

"Criticism" in the CW is like anti-matter in the RW, except it's more like anti-brain-matter. It causes Creationist's brains to explode. That's why when you look in a Creationist's ear all you see is light coming in from the other side.

"Not suggesting that, I'm suggesting you have a couple of questions you could try answering."

But you are not interested in answers, you are interested in roping me into adopting a infinitist epistimological position so that I will become frustrated by your demands for reasons for my reasons until ad nauseum I attempt to escape into foundationalism where your chances are better at hog tying me. You still can't but I'm not going to make it easier for you. This isn't my first rodeo and you are not the apologetics version of M.C. Escher.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Ooh, this is just sad. Rhology must be new at this. Even the deep ideas fail. Let's look at this one:

James, can you observe, test, or otherwise analyse the scientific method by the scientific method?

Yes. Yes we can.

Hypothesis: "Use of the scientific method to analyze hypotheses does not result in finely tuned ideas that stand up to scrutiny due to repeated attempts at falsification of their tenets"

Data: Every well-designed study for the past century.

Result: Hypothesis falsified.

That's a simplification, of course, but, frankly, it was a simple-minded question

you are interested in roping me into adopting a infinitist epistimological position

You are correct, sir! It's b/c that's the result of your position. And it would seem that you concede that a naturalist worldview leads to an infinite regress, or else a blind leap of faith. If not, why not?

you still can't but I'm not going to make it easier for you.

Haha, oh, you mean by actually answering questions? Yes, by all means, just lob insults and run away into the sycophantic crowd. Typical Darwinian response.

Hypothesis: "Use of the scientific method to analyze hypotheses does not result in finely tuned ideas that stand up to scrutiny due to repeated attempts at falsification of their tenets"

Data: Every well-designed study for the past century.

Result: Hypothesis falsified.

Thanks for the colossal exercise in circular reasoning. What precise experiment did you run to let you know that the method you used was the right method? Don't beg the question and say, "Well, duh! They just work!"

And thus, Rhology demonstrates the usual creationist ignorance of what the scientific method actually *is* and how it works.

Fail.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Rhology demands answers to his questions but when faced with other people's questions, hides behind a wall of bluster.

You can add "irony" to the long list of terms he doesn't grasp.

By minimalist (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

What the hell. Iâll play. Here are your question marks for the day.

1. can you observe, test, or otherwise analyse the scientific method by the scientific method?

Yes you can. The scientific method is regularly subjected to validation by external disciplines using criteria derived from the method itself. The contexts are law, public policy, social science philosophy etc.. Name another methodology with an inherent reproducibility requirement or you canât challenge scientific method on the basis of a lack of self reflexivity.

2. How about the claim "there is no God"?

There is that problem of infinitism again. That is a claim of absence, which I think Russell has dealt with very tidily. Perhaps the design of an experiment to test the claim "there is a God"would be better suited to both of our respective ideological positions. I can think of a great many such experiments but since I donât advance the proposition and you do, I invite you to undertake them at your expense. I have already reached my expenditure limits underwriting Boogeyman and Santa research.

3. If so, how precisely does this argue for naturalism?

It doesnât because it doesnât have to. You are banking on the proposition that most people confuse ontological naturalism with methodological naturalism to create a trojan horse premise. Since you have not specified, you havenât asked a question that can be answered. Try again

4. So, to you, any non-naturalist force in action is "magic"?

Yes and no.
See ontological naturalism vs methodological naturalism

5. If so, how precisely does this argue for naturalism?

Badly and well.
See ontological naturalism vs methodological naturalism

6 .There's no other name for it?

Yes and no.
See ontological naturalism vs methodological naturalism

7. Or perhaps you could prove that evidence is the best way to discover truth. I'd like some evidence for that claim.

Oh good Iâll just guess how you define truth, answer the question and then you can tell me how my guess was wrong and.......hey wait a minute.

8.Or prove that you can discover truth using your senses.

Ah the chestnut. I could..... but you see Iâm tied up in a cave watching these shadows.

9. I'd like you to provide evidence that your senses are reliable for discovering truth

Arhgh but I canât because all of my evidence of reliability would be derived by using my senses arrrrg green kryptonite arrrg.

Look Iâm sure you AMAZE the average high school atheist who stumbles into an I.D. hugbox for some sport trolling but your version of the dialectic is hobbled by presupposition. The best you can do is set up rickety box traps and when the rabbits run past them you shout,

âPip Pip! Though you convince yourself you have bested me it was my secret intention you savage my cabbage patch! Wot wot playing right into my hands you are!â

And that has become tiresome.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Rhology - Please seek help immediately. You have a major disconnect with reality. I visited your blog... Whoa! That is some sorry shit you're spewing out. Perhaps you can get a good attorney and sue the shit our of whoever programmed you when you were younger. Good luck, we'll be pulling for you.

Basing your beliefs and opinions on moldy old canards written down by bronze-age goat-herders is not the act of a rational person dude! Trying to base science on the opinions of the goat-herders is ludicrous.

Well done, Prometheus. I thought this was going to be like most encounters with atheists - insults and then more insults. Instead, you started off promising but then your baser instincts took over and you started Dawkins/Hitchens-ing.

1. I didn't ask you to test external disciplines with the method. I asked you to test the method with the method.
The point - it's not all-powerful, not self-justifying. You need sthg behind it to back it up.

2. That is a claim of absence, which I think Russell has dealt with very tidily.

To use an atheist illustration, you can't prove there's no IPU. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Moreover, you can't run an experiment on physical processes and objects to test for the existence of a supernatural sthg.

I can think of a great many such experiments

Oh, do tell! No no, I'm interested in this. You can tell me about Santa later. Go ahead. (FYI, this is calling your bluff.)

3. It doesnât because it doesnât have to.

Oh, OK.
Then I don't have to argue for theism. I don't have to. It just IS.
Wow, that was really convincing for everyone.

3-6. people confuse ontological naturalism with methodological naturalism

Enlighten me. Let's go with ontological. Unless you're not a naturalist, please let me know if you're not.

7-9. Oooohh, you were doing so well! You were (kind of) ponying up the dough and everything. All of a sudden you appear to have lost your nerve. Feel free to actually answer the questions sometime. Unless you don't think they're worthwhile. It makes me wonder why anyone should grant your view any credence if you can't answer simple questions like these, especially if you don't even want to try. You're acting like a cult member who blindly switched off your mind when the high priest of your faith opened his holy textbook.

J-Dog,
Non-answers duly noted. Keep 'em coming.

I answered your questions. You didn't like the answers you invented amorphous baseless ones that suited your taste and limited experience and poor argumentative style. This is how religions begin. You also don't know what methodological naturalism is and.....oh god I just realized.... I have met you. You are......stupid horrid child....ick.

You are incurably undereducated and so in love with the sound of yourself speaking I would not be surprised if you had a third ear growing in the roof of your mouth.

I am so sorry that I wasted our time. I have a great many friends in the clergy and am apt to entertain this sort of B.S. longer than most but this was a mistake. I will stop feeding it now.

Enjoy the weekend everyone.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

his list of self-contradictory demands for "non-intelligent experiments" in that thread

Interesting you should bring that up. I'm actually very interested in knowing how people like yourselves would explain your heavy reliance on experiments that are manipulated by intelligent agents working on often non-random mutations and conditions to provide evidence for an unguided mechanism working on random mutations. How does that work, exactly?

Prometheus said:
I answered your questions.

When? You answered some of them, thus inviting others thru the inadequacy of your answers. Others you simply ignored.

I have met you.

You have? Email me. Maybe we can get together for a brewski or an americano or something and talk.

I will stop feeding it now.

Hey, don't worry about it - this is just a blog and I'm just some guy. On the other hand, doesn't it bother you just a little that you either can't or won't deal with many of these serious questions, and the ones that you tried to, you just provided question-begging assertions?

Good weekend to you as well. Mine has started quite well.

-Rhology

On the other hand, doesn't it bother you just a little that you either can't or won't deal with many of these serious questions

Can and will, but only when it's worth it. Why waste the time on a guy who revels in his ignorance and refuses to learn?

And on that note, thanks for linking to that same cut-and-pasted list of arbitrary, self-contradictory conditions for a third time; you only helped my point. (Also proving the efficacy of not having to waste much time in belaboring a point, since such things make themselves painfully obvious when you roll out enough rope.)

By minimalist (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Rhology said on his link above:"1) A laboratory injects intelligence into the equation. No lab."

This is an idiot's argument. It treats intelligence as if it were some sort of magic serum or cantagious infection. It also essentially rejects all lab work. No wonder people mock you. Prometheus hit the nail on the head earlier. You're just a chimp tossing poop at us.

eww...I shouldn't have clicked that link for Rhology.

Oh well, I will wash out my brain by working on taxes.

This is an idiot's argument. It treats intelligence as if it were some sort of magic serum or cantagious infection.

Hah, I was going to say the same thing too, but decided to just keep it minimal.

At first I thought, "he must be talking about experimental manipulation, righ--- oh, wait, that's a separate point, WTF???"

Has Rho ever even been in a lab? Does he have the slightest idea what goes on in there? This must be some new corollary of Clarke's Third Law: if you're appallingly ignorant enough, even the mundane looks like magic...

By minimalist (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

"Has Rho ever even been in a lab? Does he have the slightest idea what goes on in there? This must be some new corollary of Clarke's Third Law: if you're appallingly ignorant enough, even the mundane looks like magic..."

This pretty much isolates the disconnect between Rho and the rest of us. In attempting to answer his idiotic questions, we're talking about the scientific method as it is actually implemented while he's talking about some notion of it that exists only in philosophical fantasy land. He's talking about magic carpets while we're talking about airplanes.

"Look, the plane flies" we say. "Ha!" he responds, "that doesn't prove that the carpet flies!"

"What you need is a translation table between the Real World and the Creationist World."

In this case I'd imagine that the entry for "regurgitating coffee-shop pseudo-philosophy and having people call you an idiot for it" in the RW translates to "INTELLECTUAL CHECKMATE" in the CW.

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

Forgot the requisite ED link above. Srry.

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 06 Feb 2009 #permalink

I'm late to this thread, but somewhere upstream Rhology seems to take offense at the statement that that the concept of an intelligent designer = magic.

Rho, can you tell us a single objective parameter that distinguishes ID from magic? Quoting your magic book doesn't count. What I want to know is how would an objective person be able to tell if something happened via ID or via magic?

thanks

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

I don't have much to add, apart from

this which many of you have already read.

18 hours and nobody has attempted to answer my questions yet. Is this a pattern around here? Or do you only answer questions that you like, from people you like and agree with? That's my running hypothesis. Maybe you hope to rely on sheer nastiness and irrational behavior to drive dissidents away...

Science Avenger said:
It treats intelligence as if it were some sort of magic serum or cantagious (sic) infection.

Spare me the hyperbolic caricatures. Answer the questions, please.

minimalist said:
Has Rho ever even been in a lab?

Yes.
Have I ever done much experimentation, no. A little, at the elementary level.
So what? Mind answering the questions?

It seems that this guy's been bugging other people as well.

So? I enjoy blogging and debating topics of importance. Sue me.

Albatrossity said:
can you tell us a single objective parameter that distinguishes ID from magic?

Sure. Magic is an incantation calling on the power of some mystical, barely-defined cosmic principle or power, performed out of an irrational worldview by a non-omnipotent agent, also frequently accomplishing said incantation pretty quickly. Intelligent Design is, at its base, the understanding that the characteristics of life in nature show evidence of design by an intelligent and otherwise unidentified agent, probably over the course of many hundreds of millions of years, though not necessarily. It's only in the strawman of ID that you find the major parallels to ID. A major college prof like you should know better than that. Why not just deal with ID as it is? It cracks me up to see well-established minds like you burn strawmen all over the place. Makes me think you don't have a leg to stand on and some part of you knows it.

Rho

I think you missed the point. I didn't ask for definitions of magic and ID, I asked for objective distinctions between that two that would enable an objective observer to distinguish between them as causes of any event.

I won't bother with all the personal jibes in your comment; I've learned that creationists like to get personal when they would rather not deal with facts or ideas.

Let's restate the question with an example.

Someone claims that a particular phenomenon, e.g. the appearance of a new species in the fossil record, or the appearance of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was due to magic. You claim that the same phenomenon was due to an intelligent designer. What objective evidence (i.e., evidence that would make sense to another observer like me) could you use to show me that you were right?

Thanks

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

So, Rhology, I notice that besides you bugging the people on the Atheist Experience blog, someone equally as annoying has you as a guest blogger on his blog.

"Evidence for Evolution is evidence for ID"? You should tell the Disco people that. It'd save them a lot of trouble.

I'd say for the evidence of evolution that you're asking for, to just go to the Evidences for Macroevolution site.

By the way, one of your qualifications is that you ask for no human intervention, since that in your mind just shows evidence for "intelligent design". I think what you're missing is that when human intervene, it's just to speed the processes up, not to make sure that they happen at all.

If I'm wrong, I'm sure one of the people here will correct me.

It seems that this guy's been bugging other people as well.

So? I enjoy blogging and debating topics of importance. Sue me.
I have no intention of doing that, after all, we all share the same attitude. I would like to point out all the posts that you got pasted on however.

Just because I'm bored.

Interesting that Rho defined them in two completely different ways, too; he gave a (sort-of) mechanistic definition for magic, but then gave a (sort-of) phenomenological definition for ID. Was it intentional, in order to dance around the complete lack of any mechanistic definition of ID (as Albatrossity points out), or is Rho really just thick?

Either way, this is why we don't find it worth the time to do anything other than mock him.

Why not just deal with ID as it is?

Plenty of people have. Why reinvent the wheel?

ID hasn't even come up with anything new since Behe's last book; how are we supposed to work with that. Of course, I use the term "new" quite loosely, but, y'know, most of us have jobs that require us to keep up with science. ID'ers are welcome to try their hand at doing some, rather than give church talks.

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

the personal jibes in your comment

Haha, your thin skin is pretty pathetic. Quote me "jibing" you. I'll show you ten against me for every one from me (if you can find one).

What objective evidence (i.e., evidence that would make sense to another observer like me) could you use to show me that you were right?

Well, let's see. I would probably look at whether said occurrence were the result of an incantation calling on the power of some mystical, barely-defined cosmic principle or power, performed out of an irrational worldview by a non-omnipotent agent, also frequently accomplishing said incantation pretty quickly.
But of course, this doesn't matter. If the evidence is that it was NOT due to an unguided process working on random mutations, then the answer lies in somewhere other than Darwinian mechanisms. If you don't like the answer or where the evidence leads, that's no one's problem but yours.

minimalist,
Arguments for my position are on the table. I'm waiting.

Assertions aren't arguments.

Until you learn the difference, there is no point in engaging with you.

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

Scuse me, assertions aren't evidence, and you haven't presented any.

You switch between pretensions of empiricism and "evidence" (which you don't provide) and trying to make pseudo-formalistic logical arguments so swiftly -- in the same post, no less -- that it's hard to keep up.

In any case, your assertions are completely baseless, and all you ever have to fall back on are false dichotomies.

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

I haven't presented evidence at all. I'm calling YOUR evidence into question now (although I gave quite a few arguments about naturalism above, which no one is touching).

Yes, false dichotomies, as I said.

Thanks for admitting there is no positive case for ID.

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

Rho

Quit trying to derail this conversation with grudges from the last time you lost an argument with me. Pay attention to this conversation and you might win one for a change.

So far I haven't heard an answer to my question about the objective difference between ID and magic. Your last comment was also NOT an answer; it was mere hand-waving. You provided no objective evidence, so perhaps we need to define that more explicitly.

Tell me HOW you would "look at whether said occurrence were the result of an incantation calling on the power of some mystical, barely-defined cosmic principle or power, performed out of an irrational worldview by a non-omnipotent agent, also frequently accomplishing said incantation pretty quickly." That's quite a mouthful of stuff, but nothing in there tells me HOW you would show me any difference between that sort of cause, and the think-poof causality that underlies ID. How, exactly, do the results of incantations look any different from the invisible hands that ID requires? Causes leave fingerprints; different causes should leave different fingerprints. I can't see the difference between ID and magic, and apparently you can't see it well enough to show me. I'm still looking, so please show me the fingerprints.

And if you say "it doesn't matter", why did you argue with commenters above when someone suggested that ID = magic? Why did it matter then, but it doesn't matter now? Is that because you have realized that your pet explanation is logically indistinguishable from magic?

If you still think that there is a difference, tell me how you would show an objective observer that difference. If you can't do that, then we all (including you) will have to conclude that magic and ID are indistinguishable.

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

"Well, let's see. I would probably look at whether said occurrence were the result of an incantation calling on the power of some mystical, barely-defined cosmic principle or power, performed out of an irrational worldview by a non-omnipotent agent, also frequently accomplishing said incantation pretty quickly."

You really are a twit and a pseudo-intellectual poser. How can you not realize that this is nothing but raw question-begging?

Folks, there is no point in dealing with this stupid fuck any further.

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

the last time you lost an argument with me.

Yes, I clearly lost, that's why I link to that convo from my own blog. Let the reader judge (as always).

nothing in there tells me HOW you would show me any difference

Take Scenario X on a case-by-case basis and apply those criteria. Not that hard, though it might require a bit of logical and philosophical rigor, which I've not come to expect from most Darwinians, especially not most in academia, whose writings are often rife with unaccounted-for and unjustified assumptions.

why did you argue with commenters above when someone suggested that ID = magic?

B/c "magic" carries quite a pejorative connotation. I dispute that connotation.
And again, the bare assumption of naturalism (especially ontological, and yes, I know the difference) is not convincing, if it's unargued-for. Argue for it. Start by answering my above questions (and you'll reveal it's a faith-based position or an infinite regress, the former of which is the same thing you accuse the hated creationists of, the latter of which is clearly irrational). If "magic" is the way things are, where the evidence leads, what merit is there in clinging to Darwinian-style naturalistic processes as the way things are? That's the stuff of cults.

tell me how you would show an objective observer that difference.

If you'd like to discuss one single example, even a thought-experiment of your making, I'll be happy to engage it.

Rho,

The fact that you link that conversation from your own blog is merely more evidence that you live in a very interesting and evidence-free world. I hope you link to this one as well!

Give me a reason to think that "Take Scenario X on a case-by-case basis and apply those criteria" is anything other than more handwaving. When you "apply" those undefined criteria, what are you looking for in the way of objective evidence (aka fingerprints)? Does magic leave a smell of sulfur? Does ID leave a brown and smelly residue? Inquiring minds, a description which apparently does not include yours, want to know.

I'm sorry if "magic" has bad connotations for you. To me, its connotations are not nearly as negative as when I hear the words ID, or Cordova, or Behe, or Wells. But the connotations are not going to get better if you continually avoid showing us how to tell the difference between magic and ID. It's up to you.

Finally, when I wrote "tell me how you would show an objective observer that difference", and you replied "If you'd like to discuss one single example, even a thought-experiment of your making, I'll be happy to engage it", I guess you didn't read my other comments very carefully. I did give you a thought experiment or two in #52 above. Here it is again; give it some thought of your own this time.

Someone claims that a particular phenomenon, e.g. the appearance of a new species in the fossil record, or the appearance of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was due to magic. You claim that the same phenomenon was due to an intelligent designer. What objective evidence (i.e., evidence that would make sense to another observer like me) could you use to show me that you were right?

If two examples is too much, just concentrate on the Plasmodium case. How does Behe detect the fingerprints of the designer in that lethal parasite?

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

If "magic" is the way things are, where the evidence leads, what merit is there in clinging to Darwinian-style naturalistic processes as the way things are?

Why, then you've all but admitted that all you can do (and all the IDcreationists do) is to call the evidence for evolution into question?

Do you just not want to face the fact that you got nothing to bring to this fight, or do you truly not know what a false dichotomy is?

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

* then = when

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

"Look, the plane flies" we say. "Ha!" he responds, "that doesn't prove that the carpet flies!"

Is that what he means? I thought he meant we need another method to show aerodynamics works than seeing a plane fly. (or for that matter, a way to prove this post is in English other than reading it.)

Rhology said: 18 hours and nobody has attempted to answer my questions yet. Is this a pattern around here? Or do you only answer questions that you like, from people you like and agree with? That's my running hypothesis.

Most people will only answer questions that make sense, or that are posed by someone sincerely interested in the answers. Then there are those of us that are masochists.

Me: It treats intelligence as if it were some sort of magic serum or cantagious (sic) infection.

Rho: Spare me the hyperbolic caricatures. Answer the questions, please.

That is not hyperbole. That is literally what that ridiculous argument does. Not distingusihing between intelligence in setting up a test and intelligence within the test is so basic and simple a flaw you'll have to forgive people for not taking you seriously when you do so. There is only so much irrationality one can be expected to take.

And on that score, we don't need absolute morality. It's a completely empty argument. We do just fine with our subjective, collectively formed ones, and in fact, vastly outperform in many ways societies that stick with the absolute versions.

Albatrossity said:
I hope you link to this one as well!

Believe me, I will. The amount of questions you guys have so far left on the table is impressive.

When you "apply" those undefined criteria, what are you looking for in the way of objective evidence

Are you planning to repeat your same questions all day? I'm not going to change my answer unless you give me a reason to.

Does ID leave a brown and smelly residue?

No, ID leaves evidence of design. Which is bolstered when people perform lab experiments that are GUIDED BY INTELLIGENT AGENTS. If you could provide some evidence that these mechanisms are at work, transforming organisms into significantly different kinds of organisms, WITHOUT INTELLIGENT INTERVENTION, you might have sthg.

the appearance of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was due to magic. You claim that the same phenomenon was due to an intelligent designer.

OK, sorry I missed it in your above comment.
But this is not a good experiment, as it is a false dilemma for my position; I don't contend that the evolution of drug resistance is an example of ID "at work", but rather natural, microevolutionary forces. Who's denying that? I'm more interested in your evidence for, say, unicellular organisms developing into giraffes, etc. Things that are under dispute. I don't see why engaging the topics actually under dispute is too much to ask.
Further, please explain how naturalistic mechanisms to which you'd appeal to explain this change in the organism is distinguishable from, say, karma. Thanks.

How does Behe detect the fingerprints of the designer in that lethal parasite?

That's a question for Behe, not me. My questions here are fairly specific and are laid out in previous comments. My guess is he or another DI person would be happy to engage in a public moderated debate with you, given the position you occupy and your education.

Raguel said:
I thought he meant we need another method to show aerodynamics works than seeing a plane fly.

Not at all.
See, we can observe the plane fly. We can also observe organisms changing slightly over time. Thing is, we haven't been keeping track long enough, nor does anyone live long enough, to observe the really juicy evolutionary changes take place. Yet those major, large-scale changes, are what Darwinians want everyone to think is how the current variety of life arrived at its current state. They say, "A finch's beak got bigger. See? Lizards can turn into birds!" That extrapolation is unjustified.
They say, "We can make organisms become different by applying certain conditions and pressures to their reproduction and genes." And that is intelligent design, the very thing they're trying to DISprove.

Science Avenger said:
we don't need absolute morality.

I don't think you really believe that. Let me suggest you reflect on a (admittedly over-the-top and extreme) scenario. Feel free to leave a comment there so as not to sidetrack the convo here. Or email me. Or post a response on your own blog. Or ask ERV to post her own response. I don't care.

We do just fine with our subjective, collectively formed ones

Uh oh, this hasn't started well for you - you beg the question here, since you just admitted you don't have an objective standard by which "just fine" could be judged or recognised. Please try again.

Peace,
Rhology

I've read through every word of Rhology's postings here. My conclusion: He's gone far beyond mere mental masturbation into the realm of auto-sodomy. Probably feels good to him but looks REALLY disgusting to anyone who's exposed to it.

Rho weaseled: Are you planning to repeat your same questions all day? I'm not going to change my answer unless you give me a reason to.

The repetition of the question is solely dependent on the fact that you haven't answered it yet. So the only way you can "change" your answer would be to generate one.

Your latest attempt is tautological, and again, not an answer to the question - No, ID leaves evidence of design.

How is that different from magic? Why would it be impossible for magic to leave "evidence of design"? What is "evidence of design", anyway? Would you accept it if I said that magic leaves "evidence of magic"? I hope not!

You may think you are getting closer to an answer, but until you define some terms, and until you show how ID is different from magic in the fingerprints it leaves, we're still left with the conclusion that ID = magic.

I'm amused that you contend that Behe's example of drug resistance in P. falciparum is a "false dilemma. Mostly because I have no idea what a "false dilemma is! But here's the facts. Behe claims that drug resistance in this organism cannot have occurred via evolution (aka, natural mechanisms). So it could have occurred by magic, or it could have occurred via the intervention of an intelligent designer (Behe's contention), or by other mechanisms that need not concern us in this discussion. So you have, by saying that this is a natural phenomenon, dissented from Behe. That's fine. What other Behe positions are you willing to declare yourself a heretic from?

More amusingly, you ask how this naturalistic explanation for malarial drug resistance is different from karma. That's pretty easy. It is explainable by purely natural mechanisms (changes in bases in DNA resulting in changes enzyme structure resulting in changes in enzyme function resulting in changes in drug metabolism), which can replicated in other organisms by other scientists. That's the definition of objective, in case you didn't understand that word either. Let me know when you figure out a way that ID think-poofing can be replicated or explained by natural mechanisms.

So, to sum up, you have not been able to give us any objective evidence that distinguishes ID from magic, other than the tautological "evidence of design", a characteristic which could be shared by magic. Thus ID could still be magic, and you can't tell the difference. Furthermore, you have distanced yourself from one of the members of the ID pantheon, Mike Behe, in your pathetic scramble to get out of the corner you find yourself in.

If this is the sort of thing that your blog readers will misconstrue as you winning the argument, they must be even more ignorant and illogical than you are. I'm surprised that they can run a web broswer...

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

"Is that what he means? I thought he meant we need another method to show aerodynamics works than seeing a plane fly. (or for that matter, a way to prove this post is in English other than reading it.)"

No, what he's continually saying is that we can't prove his simple-minded caricature of the scientific method works by appealing to the actual, practical scientific method. Notice that in his own answer to you he brings up an imagined version of evolutionary biology without citing any actual examples of this methodology being A.) carried out and B.) being used to justify evolutionary theory in the way that he claims.

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

Albatrossity,

the only way you can "change" your answer would be to generate one.

Let the reader judge, then.
Were you ever planning to discuss the challenges to naturalism I raised above? Or the discussion of how I think it's probable that a great deal of "evidence" cited for Darwinian processes is actually evidence for ID, given that these experiments are conducted by intelligent agents?
For the former, I imagine you'd do about as well as Dick Dawk in The God Delusion; that is to say, not well. (And that's not your field, so I kind of understand.)
For the latter, feel free to jump right in.

How is that different from magic?

I suppose somehow you know that magic always leaves evidence behind.
Indulge me - where have you observed "magic" to know that about it? No, you're just making this up as you go along without doing the hard work of establishing an actual realistic framework to ground your argument.

Why would it be impossible for magic to leave "evidence of design"?

It wouldn't be impossible.

What is "evidence of design", anyway?

A car.

Would you accept it if I said that magic leaves "evidence of magic"?

If you had a good argument, I'd consider it. It should be obvious that makes me far more open-minded than you (for better or for worse).
Got an argument?

until you define some terms

You have the burden to do so as well. I'm not the one who introduced "magic" into the discussion. Neither were you, to be fair, but you've run with it. So go for it, please.

Mostly because I have no idea what a "false dilemma is!

Here you go. Google (and the IEP) are your friends.

On P. falciparum...OK, so, Behe claims this is an example of irreducible complexity? Is that right?

So it could have occurred by magic

OK, and how does magic operate, exactly? Give me some info about it.
Out of what worldview are you operating? What are your presuppositions? On what power does this magic draw?

you have, by saying that this is a natural phenomenon, dissented from Behe.

I'd heard of P. falciparum before today just as much as you'd heard of false dilemmas, so, sorry.
I was reacting in general to the imagined problem often posed (though I don't know why) to ID-ers, namely that organisms change over time, therefore Darwinianism is right. Sorry, that doesn't necessarily follow.

(vs karma) It is explainable by purely natural mechanisms

And karma controls the natural mechanisms.
I'll explain my 'karmic' worldview if you explain your magic one.

which can replicated in other organisms by other scientists

Yes, using INTELLIGENT MANIPULATION. Why isn't that evidence for ID, since these things are conducted by intelligent agents (and thus non-unguided processes)?

"A car."

And for evidence of evolution, I present: a human. That's all I need! Wham, bam, thank you ma'am!

A car is only "evidence of design" if one takes into account the well known causal history behind car design and manufacturing. You are conflating instances where you are aware of the causal history of the entity with instances where the causal history is either not directly known or ambiguous. You've presented no method by which "design" can be extrapolated from the raw existence of the car, much less whether "design" can be differentiated from magic, as Albatrossity requested. So, you're still in the corner, trashing and trying to get out as ineptly as a cat wrapped in a blanket. It really is fun to watch. :)

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

unicellular organisms developing into giraffes...Things that are under dispute.

Who is saying that we went straight from unicellular organisms to giraffes? We're talking a process of descent with modification over time versus God creating the African savannah and then "Poof!", he populates the savannah with giraffes.

They say, "We can make organisms become different by applying certain conditions and pressures to their reproduction and genes." And that is intelligent design, the very thing they're trying to DISprove.

No, it's a way of demonstrating that organisms become different when they are exposed to certain conditions and pressures that parallel what happens in nature without human intervention. I remember years ago my wife and I toured the Lost Sea in Tennessee, a cave with a large lake inside of it. The guide explained how years ago, rainbow trout (IIRC) were released into the cave lake in the hope that they would follow some underground streams and end up in a river lake somewhere. But the trout never left and over time their descendants lost their pigmentation and, if memory serves, their eyesight as well.

Now, this wasn't a case of some scientists saying "Let's expose these fish to different conditions so we can see how they change!" The results were purely unintentional. But it does provide an example that has been observed and documented that explains how creatures that live in caves are influenced by their environment and why they look different from their counterparts that do not live in caves.

This also addresses creationist claims that something as complex as an eye can only have come about from an Intelligent Designer. But if we can see (no pun intended) that species lose their eyesight (and in some cases, their actual eyes) in response to a change in environment, then why can't the process work in reverse as well? Same thing with say, dodo birds, which were flightless birds that lived on a remote island in the Indian Ocean. If they lost the power of flight that their ancestors once possessed as a result of adapting to local conditions, why again can't the ability to fly be a result of adaptation and natural process?

Rhology:
Questions: 1) Do you consider the bacterial flagellum, or the blood clotting cascade or the eye to be examples of intelligent design? If so, what evidence allows you to determine that they are such and not products of God poofing them into existence or of natural processes?
2) You resort to the creationist canard of "micro" vs. "macro" evolution. Where is the line drawn between these? What barrier exists to stop microevolution from becoming macroevolution? Why can't pennies eventually add up to dollars?
3) You say "Darwinism" lacks evidence. Hypothetically, what evidence could be shown you that would lead to accept that "Darwinism" was sufficient to explain all of today's life?

tl;dr

I leave you with this query. There are about SEVENTEEN MILLION individual peer-reviewed scientific papers indexed at the National Library of Medicineâs online database. Not a single paper refutes evolution, and not a single paper provides data in support of ID (the list provided by the Discovery Institute showcases a handful of data-free hypothesis and review papers, one of which was formally repudiated, and a few that are irrelevant to ID). What is the reason for this?

1. ID is based on supernatural (or otherwise untestable) causation, and thus is not science
2. There is a vast global conspiracy that has prevented even a single piece of data supporting ID from being published in peer-reviewed scientific literature
3. ID proponents are utterly incompetent at performing scientific research

Let's recap.

Our new creationist plaything:

1. doesn't know the evidence for evolution

2. doesn't know the evidence for ID creationism (well done, Albatrossity)

3. cannot even competently define "design" or differentiate the mechanism for "design" from magic

4. yet, is convinced the evidence for "design" is totally overwhelming.

And I can't even begin to unpack the rats' nest of absurd circularity and ignorance around his conception of scientific experimentation. I can only say that if he really thinks that experimentation gives hot intelligence injections into experiments, and because he has no good reason whatsoever to believe "design" is a better explanation than evolution since he has no conception of what evidence lies behind either model, his choice is entirely arbitrary. And surprise, surprise, it all derives from his simpleminded authoritarian view (see, in past threads, his circular logic about the Bible's infallibility).

So, in the end, anyone can get a bug up his butt about any scientific concept, arbitrarily demand that, say, a simple acid-base reaction demands "intelligence", and declare all experimentation invalid because it requires intelligent manipulation.

Rho's intent is nothing less than to tear down all of science, and indeed pretty much any modern post-Enlightenment advancement. This is intuitively obvious to anyone who's been following his inane jabbering about "naturalism", but it's important that we make this absolutely clear -- especially since this is also the stated goal of the ID movement as a whole (see also: Wedge Document).

The good news is, the "leaders" of the ID movement aren't much more competent than Rho-bot. Which explains why they continually lose so humiliatingly.

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

Rhology
Yes, using INTELLIGENT MANIPULATION. Why isn't that evidence for ID, since these things are conducted by intelligent agents (and thus non-unguided processes)?
Offhand, I'd say it's because what scientists try to do in a lot of those experiments is to set up conditions that simulate what happens in nature, if perhaps accelerated.

That's different then having an "intelligent designer" being necessary for anything to happen at all.

If I'm wrong, I'm sure one of the actual science people here will correct me.

Put another way, let's say:

A. A small puddle of bacteria sees a sudden infusion of a certain toxic substance leaching out of the soil.

B. Scientists collect a flask from that puddle and grow it in the laboratory.

How much "intelligence" has been infused into situation B? How can you measure it? What is the mechanism of effect? If the bacteria mutate and develop resistance to the substance in nature, but not the lab, what do you think this means?

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Feb 2009 #permalink

Dudes. The Rhobot is clearly not here to learn but to posture (for whom I'm not sure 'cause it ain't impressive) and annoy. Stop wasting your valuable time on it.

Strider

Sometimes you just need some entertainment, and Rho has provided that, for sure!

Rho,

Thanks for your latest amusing comments. I learned that a false dilemma is the same as a false dichotomy, and that is good, since creationists are very fond of false dichotomies. I now have a new term with which to baffle them. That car argument will surely win you lots of followers! And this one

Why would it be impossible for magic to leave "evidence of design"?

It wouldn't be impossible.

makes my point for me, thanks. Magic cannot be distinguished from ID.

Enjoy the day.

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 08 Feb 2009 #permalink

Hi all,

Due to a hospitalisation of a family mbr, I'll have to rejoin this convo later. Maybe tomorrow. Sorry to keep you waiting.

Science Avenger said:
we don't need absolute morality.

Rhology said:I don't think you really believe that.

Fuck you. Seriously. Accusing people of lying based on no evidence other than that their answer is incompatible with your little fantasies about how the world should be, deserves no more response than that. I do believe that, since the evidence is all around us.

SA: We do just fine with our subjective, collectively formed ones

Rhology said: ...you beg the question here, since you just admitted you don't have an objective standard by which "just fine" could be judged or recognised. Please try again.

I don't need to, since "just fine' is yet another aspect of the human experience where I don't need an objective standard, and for the same reasons. All it takes to rip the knees out from this absolutist nonsense is a refusal to grant that unwarranted presumption in the questions. Demonstrate that we must have absolute standards for any of these things.

Rhology said:Yes, using INTELLIGENT MANIPULATION. Why isn't that evidence for ID, since these things are conducted by intelligent agents (and thus non-unguided processes)?

Because a rock falls exactly as fast when released from the hand of an intelligent agent as it does from rolling off a cliff. It's the same reason it isn't cheating for adults to set up a game for kids to play. This really shouldn't be that hard to grasp.

Due to a hospitalisation of a family mbr, I'll have to rejoin this convo later.

Best wishes on the speedy recovery of your family member. May he/she be in the hands of competent people trained in the medical sciences.

Rhology-

Since Tyler's response to me is essentially what I would have written, I'll just let his comment stand, with this addition: If you meant to ask, "How do you know evolution is true? Were you there?" you should have just said that. What you typed instead implied something else entirely.

Hahaha, thanks Rhology, that was humorously typical of a dishonest creationist. Or maybe just a daft one? You've confirmed most of the contentions made here already, beginning with: ID is no different than "POOF!" (magic) in how it predicts *anything*

I love it how you confirm the allegation that ID is a silly false dichotomy with every other declaration you make about evolution, too! HILARIOUS! You don't even realize that you do it, do you?

By Shirakawasuna (not verified) on 08 Feb 2009 #permalink

Rhology sed I don't contend that the evolution of drug resistance is an example of ID "at work",

Can you provide evidence that ID has nothing to do with the evolution of drug resistance? In other words, can you falsify this statement: "Drug resistance is not the work of some Intelligent Designer."

Ta ever so.

Are you guys still doing this? I hope you are having fun. I spent the weekend drinking wine talking to girls and watching Humphrey Bogart movies.
Hereâs hoping my tags work:

Human perception is finite
Observation is limited
*flees to obtain medical diagnosis*
Empirical evidence is based on finite limited observation.
Science is not a perfect way of knowing things.
We should not rely on itâs conclusions.
*eats antibiotics*
Only through Metaphysical Epistemology can a thing truly be known.
*attributes recovery to prayer*
*reduces tithe to reflect medical billing*
*is insane*

Do you really need more than this?
Yes?
Rhology is part of the Trinity Baptist Churchâs God Warrior Army
Even in the greater context of religious infantilism he is an infant.
He canât stomach his own belief system without poetic sophistries posing as aphorisms and the strumming of electric guitars.
He is why Meyers has a Helldump rouges gallery and why Ms.Smith needs one.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 09 Feb 2009 #permalink

"... since these things are conducted by intelligent agents (and thus non-unguided processes)?"

Was that phrase really not unnecessary? I'm trying to follow. Really. But this guy lost me 50 comments ago.

No, ID leaves evidence of design.

Which is bolstered when people perform lab experiments that are GUIDED BY INTELLIGENT AGENTS.

If you could provide some evidence that these mechanisms are at work, transforming organisms into significantly different kinds of organisms, WITHOUT INTELLIGENT INTERVENTION, you might have sthg.

But as I've pointed out to you on the other thread, in every case the 'designer' is a known, non-supernatural agent.

Since the designer of ID is (apparently) responsible for fine tuning the universe for life to exist, it cannot be a natural agent. How therefore, even assuming for argument you are correct in your assessment that intelligence is somehow 'polluting' these experiments, how can the actions of a known and detectable, physical, finite biological agent be considered evidence of the actions of an undetectable, non-natural agent's actions?

As for detecting design - we were told (amongst other things) that IC was an example of how to detect design. However, none of Behe's examples are IC (examples of why this is so have been provided to you by me in the past, so I will not restate them), so that's that one out the window.

Another option was Dembski's explanatory filter, which I gather even he has recently doesn't actually do what he proposed it does ie it fails to provide a means to detect biological design.

So essentially your only conclusion from all of this is that we can detect human agents conducting lab experiments. This is not news to most people I'm afraid.

By Dr Funkenstein (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

Hi all. Sorry for the delay. And thanks to ERV for hosting (ie, not shutting down) this debate.

Tyler DiPietro said:
A car is only "evidence of design" if one takes into account the well known causal history behind car design and manufacturing.

So you would seriously contend that if you encountered a car in the wilderness and didn't know about cars, you'd think it had evolved thru natural processes...?

You've presented no method by which "design" can be extrapolated from the raw existence of the car

This is not my strength, honestly; while I find the standard ID arguments convincing, it's not my intent to deal with those things here. I have presented other arguments.

much less whether "design" can be differentiated from magic, as Albatrossity requested.

I gave an answer. No one has rebutted it yet. Albatrossity has kindly declined. Did you plan to try?
I even asked a question along the same lines for you the naturalist. I'd like a reply to that myself.

Tommykey said:
Who is saying that we went straight from unicellular organisms to giraffes?

The Darwinian side is. It just took a REALLY long time.

God creating the African savannah and then "Poof!", he populates the savannah with giraffes.

I'm not aware of anyone who believes that either. I join you in rebutting such a view.

(trout) wasn't a case of some scientists saying "Let's expose these fish to different conditions so we can see how they change!"

I'm not aware of anyone claiming that trout can't become...trout, over time.

why can't the process work in reverse as well?

I may have some idea, but I am not prepared to grant that without seeing some evidence of it.

And thank you, Tommykey, for your well-wishes. It is appreciated.

tresmal asked 3 questions:

1) Yes. I am a Christian. I consider everything to be an example of intelligent design, since God created the universe. And God "poofing" them into existence would be an example of intelligent design, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.
2) I haven't said there's necessarily a barrier. I just refuse to accept such an assumed extrapolation without some good evidence. The fossil record doesn't help you. You resort to trying to show that such things occur, via unguided processes, with experimentation, and a big problem is that a lot of said experimentation is much better classified as intelligent design since the experiments are guided by intelligent agents.
3) You could start by actually proving that, you know, lizards turn into birds, that nonrational things become rational organisms, w/o bringing intelligent manipulation into the picture.

minimalist said:
cannot even competently define "design" or differentiate the mechanism for "design" from magic

And what is your response to my reply to that and my counter-question?

absurd circularity

Is a priori restriction to naturalistic assumptions to perform experimentation and then appealing back to said experimental results to justify one's naturalistic assumptions an example of absurd circularity? Please let me know why or why not.

his circular logic about the Bible's infallibility

Did you miss the ones about the circular logic with respect to naturalism? Don't tell me you missed those.
I posted some challenges on that very thing earlier in this thread. Only one person (Prometheus) has taken a swing at them, and badly at that. minimalist, you talk big - care to back it up?

declare all experimentation invalid because it requires intelligent manipulation.

Not all. I suggested a few possibilities. But I should think that most would certainly qualify.
You seem afraid to deal with the ramifications here, and that's b/c you have an a priori commitment to reject ID, and to reject unthinkingly the suggestion that my ideas here, if true, would indeed undermine most of your 'evidence'. You are not dealing with this question rationally at all.

the "leaders" of the ID movement aren't much more competent than Rho-bot. Which explains why they continually lose so humiliatingly.

Hopefully your "rebuttals" to them amount to more than what we've so far seen here, which has been mostly a bunch of insults and "we just KNOW he's wrong, so let's rejoice in how wrong he is!"

How much "intelligence" has been infused into situation B?

How about you study what's happening out in the wild? You know, to avoid suspicion that you're inputting some guidance into the process and then writing it up and displaying it as an example of unguided processes?

If the bacteria mutate and develop resistance to the substance in nature, but not the lab, what do you think this means?

I'm not aware of anyone who disputes that bacteria can evolve into bacteria.

Reynold,
I'd say it's because what scientists try to do in a lot of those experiments is to set up conditions that simulate what happens in nature, if perhaps accelerated.

Thank you for at least trying, which is more than most here could say.
The thing is, we can't necessarily figure out how much meddling actually resembles how nature goes.
It's bad enough that we can't know with any significant amount of certainty what all these natural environments and processes were like 100, 1000, 10000, 1 million, 10s of millions of yrs ago, b/c we don't have a time machine. We can make all sorts of assumptions, but assumptions aren't the most solid of foundations.
Anyway, you're trying to show that these nat sel processes are UNGUIDED. To do that, you GUIDE stuff. How much sense does that make?

Albatrossity said:
Magic cannot be distinguished from ID.

I will reply on the same level as your reply:
Yeah huh!

You disappoint me, sir. It would be great if you could actually deal with what I wrote.

Science Avenger said:
_ you. Seriously. Accusing people of lying based on no evidence other than that their answer is incompatible with your little fantasies about how the world should be, deserves no more response than that.

So, are you saying that it is absolutely wrong for me to misrepresent you like you think I did (I don't grant that, but let's just say for the sake of argument I did)? Or could it be wrong for you and right for me?
I note that your very reaction is the evidence of my statement.

since "just fine' is yet another aspect of the human experience where I don't need an objective standard,

"Just terrible" is also an aspect of the human experience. So is "I'm killing numerous people" and "I'm on a rape rampage". I'm not celebrating those things, not at all! I'm just saying that this can't be the standard of comparison.

Demonstrate that we must have absolute standards for any of these things.

Oh, well, if naturalism is true, there IS no absolute standard for any of these things, you're right. So the claim "it is wrong at all times, for everyone, everywhere, and under any circumstance to rape and murder little girls" and the claim "it is right at all times, for everyone, everywhere, and under any circumstance to rape and murder little girls" are equivalent, aren't they? Since you're the one telling me that there are no absolute standards?

nunyer said:
Can you provide evidence that ID has nothing to do with the evolution of drug resistance?

I don't know why you'd want ME to answer that...

Prometheus said:
Observation is limited *flees to obtain medical diagnosis*

Can you quote me casting doubt on anything remotely related to this question of the utility of modern medicine? Questioning what happened in the past when nobody was there to observe it is a far cry from this. To think that is pretty hubristic of you.

Rhology is part of the Trinity Baptist Churchâs God Warrior Army

And we meet every Wednesday night in secret to drink the blood of babies born to atheists and Democrats.

Dr Funkenstein said:
the designer of ID is (apparently) responsible for fine tuning the universe for life to exist, it cannot be a natural agent.

You know me well enough to know that I don't believe the IDesigner is a natural agent. So I'd agree.

how can the actions of a known and detectable, physical, finite biological agent be considered evidence of the actions of an undetectable, non-natural agent's actions?

I'm not being specific about the Designer at all. This is an internal critique of naturalistic evolutionary theory.

Behe, Dembski

Those questions are irrelevant to the present discussion.

Peace,
Rhology

tl;dr

Dude, you really need to take a science class. Try your local community college. They should have some remedial bio class you could take, 'cause damn.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

Hi Rho,

I hope the hospital incident was not too serious.

while I find the standard ID arguments convincing,

I'm not sure how you can claim that, since you have already demonstrated that you don't know what those arguments are. Albatrossity already demonstrated how unfamiliar you are with Behe's arguments.

So why do you claim the design arguments to be superior?...

I consider everything to be an example of intelligent design, since God created the universe.

...Oh, right, through the magic of circular logic.

Behe, Dembski

Those questions are irrelevant to the present discussion.

Of course they are, because you can't answer them.

The same with your dodge of my "how much intelligence does a lab inject" question.

But it's never been about the quality of the arguments (which you don't understand or care to); your a priori beliefs are paramount.

Anyway, you're trying to show that these nat sel processes are UNGUIDED. To do that, you GUIDE stuff. How much sense does that make?

:headdesk:

It makes perfect sense to those who understand that natural selection IS a guided (directional) process; do you not even grasp that? Good grief!

By minimalist (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

Of course they are, because you can't answer them.

So, that's one question I can't answer, and at least 5 I've posed that you've not even touched.

It makes perfect sense to those who understand that natural selection IS a guided (directional) process

Guided by whom or what? I'm quite curious to hear this!

You know me well enough to know that I don't believe the IDesigner is a natural agent. So I'd agree.

Right - but you're claiming natural agents are evidence for the actions of non-natural agents ie the ID hypothesis - I don't see any obvious reason our actions qualify as evidence that would support supernatural activity. (Additionally, the ID movement have claimed the designer could be natural - but this can't be the case because of what I said before).

I'm not being specific about the Designer at all. This is an internal critique of naturalistic evolutionary theory.

But thus far (and I'm just going with the assumption here for the sake of discussion that human endeavour in some way renders experiments invalid) all you've demonstrated is that even if we assume what you say to be true is that a. humans do experiments, and b. we don't know if processes operating in nature can do the same things that happen in an experiment (remember, I'm just assuming this position you've presented for argument's sake). Nothing more or less - for your claim that experiments are evidence for the kind of ID practiced by religious groups and the DI (ie supernatural ID), you'd need some way of demonstrating this that distinguishes it from human activity eg identifying the designer and how a scientific investigator could establish this hypothesis via the usual scientific methods of investigation.

This is what Dembski and Behe claim to have found, which is why I find it confusing that you say their methods for detecting design are irrelevant here. I understand that you want to show 'Darwinism' to be inconsistent, but that's not all you're trying to do - you're also claiming it supports the ideas promoted by the ID movement.

Behe, Dembski - Those questions are irrelevant to the present discussion.

They're not - the means to detect supernatural design are described in the writings of those 2. If their methods fail (and they do on both counts), we have no means by which to identify supernatural design and rule out natural processes in biological structures. So unless they have some means to scientifically detect this non-natural designer, what do they have in the way of support for the supernatural ID thesis?

By Dr Funkenstein (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

So you would seriously contend that if you encountered a car in the wilderness and didn't know about cars, you'd think it had evolved thru natural processes...?

C'mon man,you're just regurgitating the age old watch argument. There are means to either investigate a car's design either via comparison to other similar mechanical processes of human engineering or via identifying parts of the mechanical device (serial numbers, manufacturers tags, number plates)

Mechanical devices also substantially differ from biological ones:

Some biological organisms can replicate themselves by dividing, others via reproduction with another member of the same species - cars and watches can't

Biological organisms repair damage to themselves, isolated mechanical devices don't

I'm sure you can think of other comparisons that demonstrate them to be suitably different

By Dr Funkenstein (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

So, that's one question I can't answer, and at least 5 I've posed that you've not even touched.

Wrong. You haven't answered a single question posed to you here. Sure, you type a bunch of crap and hit "Post", but you weasel, you equivocate, you stumble clumsily between definitions in an effort to avoid being pinned to any one solid point. But you haven't, by any reasonable definition, answered a question.

Guided by whom or what? I'm quite curious to hear this!

Seriously, man? Seriously?

The environment. In a certain environment, if allele A confers greater fitness than allele B, you will see more of allele A, and less of B, in successive generations.

This is basic, textbook, Bio 101 stuff here.

Go read a damn book.

By minimalist (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

"It makes perfect sense to those who understand that natural selection IS a guided (directional) process"

Guided by whom or what? I'm quite curious to hear this!

By the environment, of course. Remedial Science 101: In any given environment, those species that are generally the most succesful are generally the best adapted to that environment (also known as "fittest"). When the environment changes the characteristics of each species that previously made it well-adapted may now be a detriment, and so previously inconsequential variations in individuals become relevant in determining who lives long enough to reproduce and who doesn't. If the enviromental changes are large and sudden enough, many species go completely extinct. Either way, the long-term descendants of the survivors will eventually be sufficiently different from their forebears as to be a different species altogether. That, in a brief nutshell, is how natural selection works and how it is guided by environmental factors. It's quite simply, really.

minimalist said:
But you haven't, by any reasonable definition, answered a question.

Let the reader judge. The questions and non-answers are all out on the table.

The environment. In a certain environment, if allele A confers greater fitness than allele B, you will see more of allele A, and less of B, in successive generations.

Yeah, it's what I thought. This is a complete equivocation on the use of "guided". You know (or ought to know) the distinction and the arenas of disagreement between the Darwinian camp and the ID camp, and then you say "but no, dude, seriously, OUR stuff is 'guided' too!" What's the point?
The "environment" (whatever you mean by that) doesn't "guide". The only teleology it has is that there are only a few configurations of genes that will be viable and survivable. And who disputes that?
But since you're so happy to accept that the processes are guided after all, what precisely repels you from accepting a more intelligent guide? After all, if you accept guidance, then it's simply a naked assertion, begging the question, to say that it's definitely the environment and definitely not some higher Designer doing the guidance. So please clarify, thanks.

Rhology, 99: Let the reader judge. The questions and non-answers are all out on the table.
1) The readers have judged, hence minimalist's comments are still valid.

2) Are you really putting your position up to a vote?

The "environment" (whatever you mean by that) doesn't "guide".

Whatever we mean by that? Here's a helpful Wikipedia link as a starting point. Briefly, the term "environment" encompasses all the conditions that pertain to a given place. Many of those conditions have a lot to do with whther or not life can survive there and, if so, what kinds of life can survive there. Anyy student of biology can tell you that different environments reuire diffrent survival strategies, and therefore species will vary widely in form and behavior.

there are only a few configurations of genes that will be viable and survivable. And who disputes that?

Precisely the point! The variations in species are merely the outward expressions of alleles! It is good to see that you are beginning to grasp the basics.

what precisely repels you from accepting a more intelligent guide?

Lack of evidence.

After all, if you accept guidance, then it's simply a naked assertion, begging the question, to say that it's definitely the environment and definitely not some higher Designer doing the guidance.

As opposed to "My car is designed, therefore everything is."

But since you're so happy to accept that the processes are guided after all, what precisely repels you from accepting a more intelligent guide? After all, if you accept guidance, then it's simply a naked assertion, begging the question, to say that it's definitely the environment and definitely not some higher Designer doing the guidance.

Primarily because for any environmental effect (whether natural selection or something else, like erosion, gravitational pull or whatever) how on Earth would you scientifically demonstrate that this was happening? All it would be doing is adding a superfluous and untestable hypothesis on top of the findings/observations for absolutely no obvious reason.

By Dr Funkenstein (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

This is a complete equivocation on the use of "guided". You know (or ought to know) the distinction and the arenas of disagreement between the Darwinian camp and the ID camp, and then you say "but no, dude, seriously, OUR stuff is 'guided' too!" What's the point?

It's important to note that when people who understand science use the word "guided" in reference to biology, we are referring to the physical constraints that an environment places on everything in it. For example, a river or stream is "guided" by its bed, which is shaped by various geological factors; it is not "guided" in the sense that a car is "guided" by a driver. When minimalist used the term above he was attempting to distinguish between the well-understood natural factors that both place constraints upon, and open pathways to, species on the one hand, and the nonsensical canard of "Oh, yeah? You just think it's RANDOM!" on the other.

For those of you unfamiliar with Rhology,"Let the reader judge" is what he says when his arguments have been completely destroyed. If you point out that you're the reader and his arguments have been completely destroyed, he claims that there may be other readers who believe he's won the debate. Strangely, none of those readers ever actually appear in any of the comments threads where Rhology appears.

Rhology said: So, are you saying that it is absolutely wrong for me to misrepresent you like you think I did (I don't grant that, but let's just say for the sake of argument I did)? Or could it be wrong for you and right for me? I note that your very reaction is the evidence of my statement.

Only if you assume only absolute standards of morality are worthy of such reactions, which is precisely what I am challenging, and why your arguments are hopelessly circular. So no, I am not saying it is absolutely wrong for you to misrepresent me (like you just did again). Your unwillingness to deal with the argument Iâm actually making is duly noted.

Rhology: "Just terrible" is also an aspect of the human experience. So is "I'm killing numerous people" and "I'm on a rape rampage". I'm not celebrating those things, not at all! I'm just saying that this can't be the standard of comparison.

Why not? You are long on assertions, short on supporting logic and/or evidence.

Rhology: Oh, well, if naturalism is true, there IS no absolute standard for any of these things, you're right.

The evidence suggests Iâm right even if naturalism is not true. Note the perpetual difficulty those against naturalism have in expressing and agreeing on these absolutes. Youâll also notice in fields where notions are actually absolute, say mathematics, the group dynamics are quite different.

Rhology: So the claim "it is wrong at all times, for everyone, everywhere, and under any circumstance to rape and murder little girls" and the claim "it is right at all times, for everyone, everywhere, and under any circumstance to rape and murder little girls" are equivalent, aren't they? Since you're the one telling me that there are no absolute standards?

Your inability to refrain from raping and murdering little girls without the help of youre absolute morality provider is duly noted.

And again, your argument is circular, since you are implicitly assuming that any difference that is not absolute is not a difference. This flies in the face of practically every aspect of human interactions. What I am saying (I know itâs an odd notion to insist you respond to what I actually say instead of inventing fictions easier to deal with, but humor me), is that subjective differences are real, and serve people all over the world quite well thank you, according to our nonabsolute, imperfect, subjective standards. Itâs all weâve got. Your discomfort with the perceived implications is irrelevant.

Rho: "Let the reader judge."

I'm a reader. I'll judge. Your arguments are illogical. Your claims are nonsensical. Your ideas about science are based on ignorance. You lose.

Albatrossity said:
Magic cannot be distinguished from ID.

I will reply on the same level as your reply:
Yeah huh!

You disappoint me, sir. It would be great if you could actually deal with what I wrote.

Sorry, Rho, that's not on the same level at all. Kindergarten-level sound-bites are not arguments. Look it up.

The onus is on YOU, not me, to show that magic can be distinguished, as a cause, from ID. You have evaded that responsibility from the beginning. I have repeatedly asked for evidence of design that could be distinguished from evidence of magic. To that you finally retorted "A car is evidence of design". That is inadequate, and tautological, and you know it.

A car is a designed object. In the parts of that car you can find what I am asking about. Evidence of design would be part numbers stamped into the metal, or marks left by the sheet-metal bending apparatus. We know that these are evidence of design because we know about the designers, and how they work. The car itself is not the kind of evidence that you need, it is merely an object within which you can detect that evidence.

Cells are complex. You would like to believe that they were designed, either because you cannot wrap your mind around a more nuanced alternative, or because the implications of a non-teleological universe cause your faith to shrink (or both). But if you want to convince others that cells are designed, you need more than your conclusion. You need evidence of design. More pertinently for this discussion, you need evidence that would clearly distinguish your explanation from magic. As others have pointed out, neither Behe nor Dembski, using the "standard ID arguments" with which you claim familiarity, provide no help for you here. So you are floundering, on your own, in a wind generated from your own hubris.

You don't have evidence; you just have the conclusion (a car). You won't admit it. But it is clear to all who read this, and might even be clear to the other faith-addled folks who read your blog, when/if you link to this thrashing of your ignorant notions.

SO I'll ask the question until you give some sign of understanding it, even though I fully understand that you can never answer it.

What evidence of design can you point to in a cell, or any other object that you contend was made by your supernatural designer, that will allow an objective observer to conclude that design, not magic, was the causal agent?

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

"So you would seriously contend that if you encountered a car in the wilderness and didn't know about cars, you'd think it had evolved thru natural processes...?"

I would contend that if I'm sufficiently ignorant of the principles and history of the engineering that goes into the car, including peripheral knowledge of other kinds of manufacturing and other engineering, I do not have sufficient knowledge with which to draw conclusions. That's why watchmaker arguments like these fail, they are simply weak analogies.

Rhology, dude, I'm a reader and I've decided. Your "arguments" suck, you lose.

Cheers & Happy Monkey,
Ray

Thank you for your reply, Rho.

I'm not aware of anyone claiming that trout can't become...trout, over time.

Please note though that I was not offering up the trout story in support of macroevolution. It was an example of how human activity unintentionally resulted in microevolutional changes in the trout which mirror natural selection in nature where human intervention is or was lacking. In other words, it was not a guided process designed with the intent of showing how the fish would react to a change in environmental conditions.

"So you would seriously contend that if you encountered a car in the wilderness and didn't know about cars, you'd think it had evolved thru natural processes...?"

The thing is, in order for the example to work, it would have to be a person who not only didn't know about cars, but had never encountered or knew of the existence of any metal objects whatsoever. If a man from Medieval Europe were to encounter a car in the forest, he would likely be aware of swords and armor plating. He wouldn't know wtf the he just found, but he would see that it had what seemed to him to be armor plating.

Another analogy I thought of was that of a natural stone bridge. As we all know, bridges are manmade structures. But there are also numerous examples of natural stone brides and arches such as shown here. This goes to show that naturally occurring structures that were formed by geologic forces can give the impression of being designed by an intelligent designer even though they were not.

For more entertainment, try:

http://talk.thinkingmatters.org.nz/

Example article: "Creation Ministries International Needs Help.
By Stuart. A request for help from Creation Ministries International and an invitation to equip pastors and churches on refuting evolution."

They need help...?

By Heraclides (not verified) on 10 Feb 2009 #permalink

Another reader here.

Well I've decided you don't understand modern evolutionary biology enough to make any relevent comments.

As I write I have a table of cytochrome C sequences in front of me (having a little break from lesson planning to do some tinternet).
These data are the kind of things biologist deal with and analys to come up with our modern understanding, not waffliechat about finding cars in the forest.

You want evidence that birds evolved from reptiles well these cytochrome C sequences are one tiny bit of the puzzel. Oh and no 'common designer' wont cut it, as whilst that could explain the highly conserved functional parts it does not explain the nested heirachy of differences in the entire sequence. A pattern that is constantly repeated for every protien or gene sequence ever studied. The pattern can only be explained by comon descent.

Oops forgot at work I don't have firefox checking my spelling.
Most is forgivable but not 'protien'.

Another reader. Rho, you are wrong. First, as many have pointed out to you, cars don't reproduce. Second, as has been pointed out to you MANY times, evolution takes time. It is not an instantaneous change. Even bacteria that have evolved in laboratory studies took generations (30+ generations, if I recall the experiment correctly).

So, I just want to clarify this for you Rho.

What you're basically asking for in this "challenge" is the equivalent of saying that you want us to swim across a pool but we can't get wet.

It's a logical impossibility.

What you're basically asking for in this "challenge" is the equivalent of saying that you want us to swim across a pool but we can't get wet.

I bet Jesus could swim across a pool without getting wet! :-)

Rho writes: I appreciate your thoughtful and thought-provoking interaction.

Hopefully they will provoke thoughts beyond your last reply to me, "Yeah huh"

But I'm not optimistic, based on recent performances here.

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 11 Feb 2009 #permalink

I bet Jesus could swim across a pool without getting wet! :-)

Sorry, Rule 3 is that you have to be completely submerged in the water as part of the definition of swimming.

Hey, where did Rho go?

Wow, I'm more popular than I thought.
I got a little more than halfway thru a response yesterday. I hope to get it posted here before the weekend is out. Sorry, my time is limited, but thanks for your patience, all.

Wow, I'm more popular than I thought. I got a little more than halfway thru a response yesterday.

Actually, it's not that you're popular, it's simply that you're one the more recent and prolific purveyors of these types of assertions to arrive at this site. There have been others before, there will be others after.

As to your forthcoming âresponseâ, be advised: Many of the people whoâve been engaging you thus far are practicing scientists and those who are not are at least scientifically literate. We know what we are talking about. You have consistently demonstrated a profound ignorance of science and an equally profound lack of critical thinking. If your response continues to manifest such traits, if you continue to belch out such shoddy fallacies and then preen as if youâve somehow made a point, then your response will be ungraciously deflated, dismembered, and ridiculed as it deserves.

Perhaps this is precisely what you seek, in order to feed a persecution complex. You would not be the only one; the commenter who posts under the alias âWilliam Wallaceâ has made it abundantly clear that he is driven by exactly that sort of narcissistic masochism. As such, he is routinely met with jeers, scorn, and insults since that is the only level on which he can be engaged. He is a monkey being pelted with his own feces, and is never disappointed.

I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt and reserve judgment on whether you are simply Wally Redux, but what you have offered since youâve been here certainly points in that direction. In addition to your evasions, equivocations and non sequiturs on these pages I note that the recent post you made specifically about Abbie on your own blog deliberately avoids addressing both the substance of her writing and work, and the large body of essays sheâs written over last couple of years or so that sheâs been blogging, to sneer at her colorful use of youthful idiom and contemporary internet jargon in much of her writing. Committing the âstyle over substanceâ fallacy does not serve you, especially since your own substance is so sorely lacking. And especially since Abbie usually uses her style to communicate substantive matters very effectively.

Communication is certainly an opportunity for you here, as is learning (and there is clearly a great deal you have to learn). But availing yourself of these opportunities requires that you man up.

And if you have no such desire, so be it.

Hi all. Thanks for the patience. Science Avenger, I'll address your comments elsewhere, maybe in a later comment, since I've been over that ground dozens of times with more thoughtful people than you.

Dr Funk,
I'm simply raising questions with regard to what intelligently-manipulated experiments provide evidence for. W/o bringing in extraneous questions of the identity of the IDesigner (whom I of course am convinced is the God of the Bible), it would seem that experiments guided by intelligent agents provide evidence that the processes and events observed in said experiments have a much higher correlation to the concept of intelligently-guided processes and events than unguided. It's virtually a tautology, which is why it's so strange to see otherwise-rational people like y'all here denying it so vociferously. But a priori-decided allegiances and emotions can lead to strange actions.

You said:
b. we don't know if processes operating in nature can do the same things that happen in an experiment

I'd say that is a fair statement also. And that puts a significant kink in the "mountains of evidence" mantra.

you'd need some way of demonstrating this that distinguishes it from human activity eg identifying the designer and how a scientific investigator could establish this hypothesis via the usual scientific methods of investigation.

That's probably true. It seems that would be a very early step. Step 1 is recognising these things (which no one here has seemed willing to do, though most of the "rebuttals" consist of argumenta ad incredulum). And there's no Step 2 if there's no Step 1, but I'm not far enough along in thinking about this to forward a fully-constructed framework. Modern science is the heir to thousands of years of much smarter (than I) men's thinking. I'm not saying I have all this totally down; I'm looking for good arguments to shoot it down, and I'm not seeing many.

you're also claiming it supports the ideas promoted by the ID movement.

It just so happens that ID mvmt proposes the contrary view at the exact point of tension. It's more of a coincidence than anything.

If their methods fail (and they do on both counts), we have no means by which to identify supernatural design

So, Step 2 fails. But I'm still looking for good rebuttals to my proposed Step 1. If you're right about their Step 2, then back to the drawing board to move on FROM STEP 1.

There are means to either investigate a car's design either via comparison to other similar mechanical processes of human engineering or via identifying parts of the mechanical device (serial numbers, manufacturers tags, number plates)

ISTM that this whole question is not the fulcrum. Rather, either answer - designed or non-designed - begs the question in favor of their previous concepts. Dan Barker is on record as saying almost verbatim - "On evolution, a car can turn into an airplane. [[audience laughs]] What are you laughing at?! That's SCIENCE!" Anyway, I'm not the one who brought it up.

Mechanical devices also substantially differ from biological ones:

OK, but the request to me was not specific. If you're asking me for a BIOLOGICAL example of design, I'll tell you to look at your arm, or the amoeba under the microscope, or the deer you almost hit on the drive to work. It's all designed. You ask a naturalist, he'll tell you none of it is designed. That's why I find my own line of questioning more valuable, particularly my questions attacking naturalism, which no one here but Prometheus has touched, and he touched them badly.

Primarily because for any environmental effect

That's a fine question. I don't know right now, actually. I'm just saying that, absent any good argument to the contrary, we need to work from the standpoint of intelligent guidance of these mechanisms, since that is what the structure of much of our experimentation supports over and against the standpoint of non-guidance.

Eric Saveau,
I dispute nothing in your first comment until
the long-term descendants of the survivors will eventually be sufficiently different from their forebears as to be a different species altogether.

Prove it. That's the point here.

Many of those conditions have a lot to do with whther or not life can survive there and, if so, what kinds of life can survive there. Anyy student of biology can tell you that different environments reuire diffrent survival strategies, and therefore species will vary widely in form and behavior.

That's a far cry from "guiding". It's much better described as organisms reacting to their environment. The environment doesn't DO anything, it's just there. This is an equivocation on minimalist's part.

The rest of your 2nd comment is worthless.
As for the 3rd,
a river or stream is "guided" by its bed,

Still disanalogous, b/c a bed is not intelligent. A scientist is.

he was attempting to distinguish

Point taken, and appreciated. It is the Scylla on one side, and ID and creationists do often seem to fall into it. I still think it's disanalogous, but you have served a good reminder.

Albatrossity,
You have completely lost track of what has gone before, or you are selectively impervious to irony.
Here's how it went down in chronological order:
1) You said: What I want to know is how would an objective person be able to tell if something happened via ID or via magic?
2) I answered you with a paragraph.
3) You said: I didn't ask for definitions of magic and ID, I asked for objective distinctions between that two that would enable an objective observer to distinguish between them as causes of any event.
4) I answered that.
5) You replied.
6) I replied.
7) You replied.
8) I replied.
9) You summed up: So, to sum up, you have not been able to give us any objective evidence that distinguishes ID from magic, other than the tautological "evidence of design", a characteristic which could be shared by magic.
10) I answered you extensively, specifically raising counter-questions, namely:
and how does magic operate, exactly? Give me some info about it.
Out of what worldview are you operating? What are your presuppositions? On what power does this magic draw?
where have you observed "magic" to know that about it?
...And karma controls the natural mechanisms.
I'll explain my 'karmic' worldview if you explain your magic one.
11) You then said: Magic cannot be distinguished from ID.
12) I then mocked your non-answer: I will reply on the same level as your reply: Yeah huh!

Notice, since you apparently lost track, how YOU are the one who left several questions on the table and concluded that you were just right, regardless of their value. And then you act like *I* was the guy who started off with the "Yeah huh!"s. I know these threads can get long and involved, but that's what the Preview function is for, sir. I hope for your own credibility's sake that you'll be more careful next time.

To that you finally retorted "A car is evidence of design". That is inadequate, and tautological, and you know it.

I address that above. Interestingly, from my worldview, the question of whether a human (or an anemone or a shark or a tree) is designed is also as much tautological as you think the question of a car is. That's why I wanted to discuss naturalism above, but noooo, nobody apparently wants to touch that one!

We know that these are evidence of design because we know about the designers, and how they work.

Look, I didn't want to go here, b/c it's outside of the points we were discussing wrt intelligent guidance. So again I'll remind you that there are serious questions on the table that you should be able to answer, given your education and position and experience, and you're resorting to these questions that are more in the philosophical arena, which is hardly your forté. Just saying.
It is a presupposition on your part that we DON'T have any info about the designer of life. You can't prove there isn't one. I presuppose there is one, and He has revealed an awful lot about Himself, in the Bible. He works thru supernatural means.
You of course don't believe this. Prove your belief. Provide a good argument for naturalism.

What evidence of design can you point to in a cell, or any other object that you contend was made by your supernatural designer, that will allow an objective observer to conclude that design, not magic, was the causal agent?

We've been over this. Feel free to address what I've already said, particularly on the question of karma and on the worldview underpinnings of "magic".

Tommykey said:
It was an example of how human activity unintentionally resulted in microevolutional changes in the trout

OK, and I was just saying that I never said anything disputing that. Doesn't change the fact that an intelligent agent contributed to the occurrence of the change. But of course, like I said, neither is trout --> trout under dispute.
I mean, maybe you can think of a time when "rainbow trout...were released into the cave lake" by a non-intelligent agent at some point in history, then you'd have an analogy for what might have happened in the past, which IS what's under dispute. Then you might have a point.

neil said:
You want evidence that birds evolved from reptiles well these cytochrome C sequences are one tiny bit of the puzzel.

And what does that have to do with the question of how the variety of life that we see today came to be? That's the question that concerns me, mostly, not whether organisms have similar genetic structures or not. I know you really truly think that they are a piece of the puzzle, but you're not telling the whole story. You're not describing the massive assumptions that underlie the contention.

Oh and no 'common designer' wont cut it, as whilst that could explain the highly conserved functional parts it does not explain the nested heirachy of differences in the entire sequence.

Explain why a designer, about whom you don't know anything, couldn't include those also. You'll say you don't believe in such a designer, or you (or others here) will mock the idea, but that doesn't interact with the question.

Dawn said:
First, as many have pointed out to you, cars don't reproduce.

But some have said they evolve.
(That was mostly a joke. I explained above in this comment why I don't want to get into this car example.)

Amnistar,
What you're basically asking for in this "challenge" is the equivalent of saying that you want us to swim across a pool but we can't get wet.

Anyone can read my challenge and the interaction so far. Crappy analogies don't answer my challenges.

Eric Saveau said:
it's not that you're popular

Eric's immunity to irony rivals Albatrossity's.

it's simply that you're one the more recent and prolific purveyors of these types of assertions to arrive at this site.

I actually haven't seen anyone advance this argument before. I'm sure I'm not the 1st, but I've never seen it. Do you happen to recall any thread (anywhere) where these points have been discussed before?

Many of the people whoâve been engaging you thus far are practicing scientists and those who are not are at least scientifically literate

And I am a layman, by my own admission. I've never pretended to be sthg I'm not. And I have full sympathy for those who don't have tons of time to deal with this thread. It's just a blog after all, and I don't have infinite time either.
It says sthg (or maybe a few sthgs) when the majority of what said practicing scientists have so far brought to the table are argumenta ad incredulum, reams and reams of mockery and mean-spirited nastiness, and forgetting who said what, even though the threads are visible to all. That said, I can't say I really expected anyone to touch my challenges to naturalism with a 10-foot pole, since most Darwinians are far more comfortable sitting on their presuppositions and lobbing put-downs than *examining* their presuppositions.

You have consistently demonstrated a profound ignorance of science

What you apparently mean by this is that I am proposing some changes away from the way YOU PREFER science to be and asking why it shouldn't be that way. Why should anyone care about your preferences?
The rest of your post is apparently a simple (and failed) attempt at psychoanalysis. One would think that you could've used all that typing to interact with the questions that your side has so far left on the table.

the recent post you made specifically about Abbie on your own blog deliberately avoids

And nowhere did I claim it to be saying anythg else. It is nothing more than what it is.

Committing the âstyle over substanceâ fallacy

1) And where did I say "ERV writes often like a weirdo, therefore she has no idea what she's talking about?" A direct quote will suffice, thanks.
2) ERV often engages in mockery and bluster. My post answers such on the grounds on which she has walked many times.

Peace,
Rhology

Rho

Despite your extensive linking and citations documenting your evasions, you have yet to give me even ONE criteria by which an objective observer could distinguish magic from ID.

I didn't "lose track" of the fact that you have failed to answer that question.

If you have answered the question, rather than linking to a a dozen or so messages which you are sure that most folks will never read, please provide a single sentence or paragraph which answers this question. Please avoid links and red herrings about definitions and focus on the evidence for once.

What objective evidence can you use to distinguish magic from design as the causal agent in the origin of any biological structure?

Thanks in advance for ignoring this question again.

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 13 Feb 2009 #permalink

Yawn. Too much tedious incomprehension on the Rhobot's part, so I'll just address the bits addressed to me.

It's much better described as organisms reacting to their environment.

No, it really isn't. That's one of the worst, most basic errors creationists make, thinking that evolution says organisms "react" by evolving. It really isn't.

The environment sets the parameters that filter alleles through successive generations. Though it is an unconscious, natural process, that is still guidance.

And sorry, but everyone does indeed use the term "guide" for all manner of inanimate objects, whether in the sense Eric used it (a river guided by natural formations) or even in the sense you used it, as intelligent beings reacting to something that is "just there" (say, a sailor guided by the North Star). Sorry; even by your own standards, you fail. Again.

The environment doesn't DO anything, it's just there.

Then you have no idea (surprise surprise) what is meant by the term "environment."

Let's say you are a Thomson's gazelle. Your environment includes the tall, swaying grasses of the Serengeti, that small winding river over yonder... oh, and that cheetah crouched down just past that hill. He is hunkering down and getting ready to strike, sinking his fangs into your soft neck.

If that, to you, does not qualify as "doing something", then it is best to let natural selection take its course.

But beyond that, of course, as I said, even the passive, unconscious effects of the environment do indeed "do" something: they set the parameters by which you must live. The nature and availability of food and water sources, shelter, etc.

This is an equivocation on minimalist's part.

No, it really wasn't, you were just caught unawares. I meant it in exactly the sense Eric said -- and though I was aware that it would set you off, that's not the same as equivocation. I simply knew, from what you said, that you were completely unclear on the concept, and used it to tweak your nose.

By minimalist (not verified) on 13 Feb 2009 #permalink

So much BS, so little time...I admit, it's been tame not seeing Rho spout his drivel. I did tell my roommate about the "find a car and think it evolved" bit. That doesn't just earn a *headdesk*, but a *double facepalm* with a *headdesk* cluster. Damn, that was stupid.

Did anyone make any sense of his attempted formulation of some theory of his (the "first part""second part" bit)? Is this his idea that he used to come to his conclusion of design, or what? I'm somewhat used to Rho and his twisting, but that lost me completely with that. Anyone have the thread to lead us out of the labyrinth?

I did want to comment on something, so I'll just toss this idiocy out there (from a few posts above):

"Oh and no 'common designer' wont cut it, as whilst that could explain the highly conserved functional parts it does not explain the nested heirachy of differences in the entire sequence.

Explain why a designer, about whom you don't know anything, couldn't include those also. You'll say you don't believe in such a designer, or you (or others here) will mock the idea, but that doesn't interact with the question."

Actually, laughing at the question is interacting with it.

The problem is that you haven't provided evidence that there is such a designer in the first place. An unknown designer could potentially do anything, but we don't deal with potentials (or possibilities) - we deal with probabilities. So far, the probability of a designer is down to the infinitesimal level.

You might also want to look into the views of the DI crowd some more - they have admitted that the designer has to be a supernatural being that created the universe. Saying that the designer could be natural just goes back to the infinite regress of who designed the designer.

I did discuss something similar in another forum long ago, where this individual said aliens could have designer us, but that somehow they arose naturally somehow (IIRC, he said they could have evolved somewhere where evolution was easier, whatever that meant).

sez rhology: "Explain why a designer, about whom you don't know anything, couldn't include those also."
Well, that's the problem, isn't it? You IDists explicitly refuse to provide any details whatsoever about this "Intelligent Designer" thingie of yours, aside from the bare facts that It is (a) "Intelligent", and (b) a "Designer". As a result, ID can be *accurately* summarized in seven words: "Somehow, somewhere, somewhen, somebody intelligent did something." And *this* is a scientific theory? Yeah, right. If you disagree with my seven-word ummary of ID, feel free to explain where it goes wrong. Specifically:
"Somehow": What, if anything, does ID have to say about the Designer's specific tools and/or method (or methods, if It has more than one)?
"Somewhere": What, if anything, does ID have to say about the specific location (or locations, if more than one) in which the Designer did Its thing?
"Somewhen": What, if anything, does ID have to say about the specific timeframe (or timeframes, if more than one) during which the Designer was doing Its thing?
"Somebody": What, if anything, does ID have to say about the Designer (or Designers, if more than one), beyond the bare assertion that It is (a) Intelligent, and (b) a Designer?
"Did something": What, if anything, does ID have to say about any specific action (or actions, if more than one) that the Designer may have performed in order to do... whatever the heck It did?
I look forward to your failure to answer these questions, rhology.

Prove it. That's the point here.

The fossil record and genetic comparisons handle that proof quite nicely. Your failure to recognize that does not constitute any shortcoming on our part.

That's a far cry from "guiding". It's much better described as organisms reacting to their environment.

Er, no. I see that minimalist has already addressed this. You are ignorant about biology; admit it, learn, and move on.

The environment doesn't DO anything, it's just there. This is an equivocation on minimalist's part.

âThe environment doesnât do anything?â Have you ever spent any time on Earth?

a river or stream is "guided" by its bed,
Still disanalogous, b/c a bed is not intelligent. A scientist is.

Irrelevant. The analogy works, because its point was to instruct you in the usage of the word. Another good example is the word âtheoryâ which has a specific meaning in science but is used completely differently by non-scientific layman.

"We know that these are evidence of design because we know about the designers, and how they work."
Look, I didn't want to go here, b/c it's outside of the points we were discussing wrt intelligent guidance.

Actually, it is precisely the point of why assertions of Intelligent Design have no informational or predictive value.

Eric's immunity to irony rivals Albatrossity's.

Your immunity to logic, evidence and common decency rivals Wallyâs. You need some new material.

Okay, that's GOT to be a weak attempt at a joke. EVERYTHING you've said has been said before here and at every other site where scientific matters are discussed, for YEARS. We've heard it all before.

It says sthg (or maybe a few sthgs) when the majority of what said practicing scientists have so far brought to the table are argumenta ad incredulum, reams and reams of mockery and mean-spirited nastiness, and forgetting who said what, even though the threads are visible to all.

Snort. You were saying something about irony�

I can't say I really expected anyone to touch my challenges to naturalism with a 10-foot pole, since most Darwinians are far more comfortable sitting on their presuppositions and lobbing put-downs than *examining* their presuppositions.

And the irony keeps rolling...

"You have consistently demonstrated a profound ignorance of science"
What you apparently mean by this is that I am proposing some changes away from the way YOU PREFER science to be and asking why it shouldn't be that way. Why should anyone care about your preferences?

Itâs not at all about preferences; itâs simply about what science actually is and how it produces results. But I will thank you for admitting that what you want is to re-define science so that it encompasses whatever you want it to.

The rest of your post is apparently a simple (and failed) attempt at psychoanalysis. One would think that you could've used all that typing to interact with the questions that your side has so far left on the table.

Weâve left clear simple answers on the table; youâve left mendacity and evasion and narcissism and logical fallacies on the table. And youâre doing it again now. As to my âpsychoanalysisâ, all Iâve done is point out the obvious. We judge you by your behavior. Granted, a frequent protest of your ilk is that decent honest people should be forbidden to use your actual behavior to evaluate youâ¦

And where did I say "ERV writes often like a weirdo, therefore she has no idea what she's talking about?" A direct quote will suffice, thanks. ERV often engages in mockery and bluster. My post answers such on the grounds on which she has walked many times.

Ah. My apologies; I thought you had a point to make, or at least to imply. I will accept your apparent position that your post was as pointless as everything else you write.

Meaningless and insincere invocation of "peace",

Apologies; missed a paste on my comment above, fixed here-

I actually haven't seen anyone advance this argument before. I'm sure I'm not the 1st, but I've never seen it. Do you happen to recall any thread (anywhere) where these points have been discussed before?

Okay, that's GOT to be a weak attempt at a joke. EVERYTHING you've said has been said before here and at every other site where scientific matters are discussed, for YEARS. We've heard it all before.

#132. I have the book Index to Creationist Claims and they address a lot of Rho's points. I know there's a website out there are well, so maybe we should just link to that whenever Rho trots out a tired old canard.

Badger3k, that's not a bad idea. Granted, he'll still cry that the facts don't validate his worldview and are therefore not facts but tools of the atheist-humanist-liberal-darwinist-communist-islamofascist-Martian conspiracy to oppress him, but at least it'll save the rest of us some time.

Badger3k, there is indeed a website of the (a href="http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html" target="_blank">Index to Creationist Claims -- indeed, the website came first, and the book exists exists because a bunch of people on the pro-science side kept on saying "Damn, this is useful stuff! How come it isn't a book already?"
Someone else can, if they like, review rhology's posts in this thread (and others) and identify the specific ICC entries which deal with the points (you should pardon the expression) he raises therein. Me, I have to organize my sock drawer today...

Way upthread rho made some absurd argument about finding a car in a forest. A car is obviously a designed object not because it is complex, but because it is simple. The aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said that the designer's work is done not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Living organisms on the other hand or complex kluges with lots of vestigal bits. The complexity of living organisms is evidence against intelligent design, not for it. If life was designed then gawd is a piss poor engineer.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 14 Feb 2009 #permalink

Rhology said: "Science Avenger, I'll address your comments elsewhere, maybe in a later comment, since I've been over that ground dozens of times with more thoughtful people than you."

In other words, you can't deal with my argument, so you bail. I'm not surprised, no one promoting the "absolute morals are necessary" argument has ever done any better once the unwarrantd presumption is challenged, and once (gasp) we actually observe reality rather than playing in your little fantasy world in your head. As for the commenters on your blog, you seem to have redefined "more thoughtful" to mean "more prone to grant my unwarranted assertions". Nice try. Fail.

I don't think I shall bother responding to Rho's own blog.
Just like his comments here it is painfully obvious that he doesn't know what I am talking about.
There is no point in myself of others using examples from actual biology, on his blog I myself made reference to all sorts of evidence including pseudogenes as compelling evidence for ToE. It is clear from his response that he doesn't even know what they are, or what any of what I wrote is about.
Rho' if you have any genuine interest in really understanding that which you argue against can I recommend just one book to read, 'Your inner fish' by Neil Shubin. It will give you an insight into what biologists get up to and how we have got to where we are now. It is not over long or over wordy/complicated and is very personnel and entertaining.

Until you can demonstrate a working knowledge of the biological principles involved there is no point in this discussion.

Science Avenger,

I had asked:
Rhology said: So, are you saying that it is absolutely wrong for me to misrepresent you like you think I did (I don't grant that, but let's just say for the sake of argument I did)? Or could it be wrong for you and right for me? I note that your very reaction is the evidence of my statement.

You answer:
Only if you assume only absolute standards of morality are worthy of such reactions, which is precisely what I am challenging

I don't think you are following me, but I'm not going to patronise you. Defend your statement or retract it.
So what you're saying is that it is *not* wrong for me to misrepresent you. You responded with some vicious invective at the perceived slight, but in fact it wasn't wrong for me to do it at all, as you concede. One can only conclude either you don't really believe this, or you can't bring yourself to act consistently with it.

Your unwillingness to deal with the argument Iâm actually making is duly noted.

Which, again, it isn't wrong to do. You may not like it, but so what?
In fact, maybe it's morally obligatory and praiseworthy in my view to misrepresent you. You may think it's wrong. So who's right, and can we know? If so, how? If not, wouldn't it be a more expedient course of action just to say "hey man, wrong for me, right for you. I don't like it, but that doesn't matter. Chillin'" to ANYTHING that happens? Someone steals your ice cream cone? Someone shorts you $0.23 in your transaction at the store? Someone rapes and murders your entire family? Chillin'. Right? B/c none of those are absolutely wrong, n'est-ce pas?

I'd said:
I'm just saying that this can't be the standard of comparison.

You ask why not? Um, maybe b/c
1) those guys who rape and murder and do other things you find reprehensible are humans and thus their experiences are part of the human experience, which is your standard.
2) appealing to human experience to judge human experience is viciously circular.
Tell us why we should hold human experience as standard. The burden of proof is on you to commend your standard to anyone else.

Note the perpetual difficulty those against naturalism have in expressing and agreeing on these absolutes.

1) Note the intrinsic impossibility for naturalism to agree on or justify ANY action beyond "I don't like it" or groups of people saying "we don't like it". Seriously, so what if you don't like it?
2) If I have an overarching standard of comparison for moral questions and come across someone who shares the standard or holds a similar one, we can talk on those grounds. On naturalism, there are no grounds at all. Is does not inform ought, not at all. Not up on your David Hume, I see.

Youâll also notice in fields where notions are actually absolute, say mathematics, the group dynamics are quite different.

Please let me know how, contrary to Hume, you think that morality can be studied like mathematics.

Your inability to refrain from raping and murdering little girls without the help of youre absolute morality provider is duly noted.

You are apparently unfamiliar with the notion of "hypotheticals". Here's some help. Now answer the question.

your argument is circular, since you are implicitly assuming that any difference that is not absolute is not a difference

No, this argument is not circular, b/c I'm not appealing back to the very issue at hand to answer the issue. YOUR response will be circular if/when you actually get around to answering the question, but you could surprise me, though you haven't yet.

subjective differences are real

So what? Prove that I *SHOULD* respect said subjective differences as making a difference in whether I OUGHT TO do this or that.

serve people all over the world quite well thank you

This is simply begging the question, since you haven't defined a way by which one can define "well" in a naturalistic universe. Get to work, you've got some ahead of you.

Peace,
Rhology

BTW, Science Avenger:

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: âFor Nature, heartless, witless Nature Will neither care nor know.â DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music" Richard Dawkins, _River out of Eden_, (1995), p.133.

Hi all,
Here I'll respond only to the statements worthy of anyone's attention.

Albatrossity,

You said:
you have yet to give me even ONE criteria by which an objective observer could distinguish magic from ID.

And you haven't answered my setup questions that would show that you even have any idea what groundwork is necessary before answering such a question. Get on it.
You also haven't responded to my request that you show the ways in which your precious Darwinian processes are distinguishable from karma. It's all out there.

minimalist,
You said:
everyone does indeed use the term "guide" for all manner of inanimate objects

but then you say:

intelligent beings reacting to something that is "just there" (say, a sailor guided by the North Star)

The latter statement is obviously not analogous to your case, since the sailor is an intelligent agent. The environment is not.
This is interesting and gets to the question of how we define terms in the Darwinian/ID debate.
1) The Humanist Manifesto III, to which Dawkins is signatory, says: "Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing."
Professor William Provine, Cornell University, said,
"...There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind" (Provine, W.B., Origins Research 16(1):9, 1994).

So why should I accept your definition over theirs? What are your credentials or better yet, your argument?
The point is that the Darwinian/ID debate centers around whether there has been any guidance involved in producing the variety of organisms we see today. And here you are equivocating, though I don't know why.

2) And I'm trying to think thru this, so I appreciate your indulgence and any guidance (lame pun intended) you have to offer:
So you don't have a problem with saying that nat sel and such are guided. What's your problem with a intelligent guide, then? The riverbank "guides" the river (mostly; the river can change the riverbank, but much more slowly); thus the river reacts to what the bank "does", in being there. So why not say that organisms react to what an intelligent guide does? The riverbank was there "first", before this or that gallon of water arrived to be guided in its path thereby. Why not say the same about the intelligent guide?

Badger3k said:
Did anyone make any sense of his attempted formulation of some theory of his (the "first part""second part" bit)?

I'm expressing that my proposals here, if true, deal a great deal of damage, maybe a fatal blow, to Darwinianism as it's currently conceived of. That's what I'm asking about here. Further questions of "Where do we go from there, then?" are outside both my interest and the bounds of this discussion. Those are the "Step 2"s.

they have admitted that the designer has to be a supernatural being that created the universe.

Oh no! The DI *agrees* with me? How dare they?

Saying that the designer could be natural just goes back to the infinite regress of who designed the designer.

I'm surprised to see a (I presume) naturalist admit this. It's the same infinite regress for the atheistic naturalist, you know.

Cubist said:
You IDists explicitly refuse to provide any details whatsoever about this "Intelligent Designer" thingie of yours

I'm not even a big fan of ID, to be honest. What I'm doing here is performing an internal critique of naturalistic evolution and challenging whether many/most of the experimentation you perform to provide evidence for the operation of these processes you're pointing to isn't actually providing support for ID. Try actually reading my comments instead of just assuming you know what I'm saying.

Somehow - What, if anything, does ID have to say about the Designer's specific tools...?

Maybe nothing, that's a question for another time. Even if it doesn't, so what? What does that have to do with my arguments here? Go throw these out at Uncommon Descent or something, someplace where someone might care.

Eric Saveau said:
The fossil record and genetic comparisons

I love it.
More credible people than you have cast doubt on the utility of the fossil record for the purposes to which you're twisting it.
Genetic comparisons tell you one thing unless you cover them in a thick gravy of question-begging assumptions - these organisms have similar genes. Don't tell you that they came from a common ancestor. Don't tell you anything about the past. Such could easily have been designed by the Designer. To say "but why would he/she/it do that?" is to ask an irrelevant question - we're dealing with what IS, not what you think should be.
So... what was your proof again?

neil,
Thanks for the recommendation. It's gone on my list.

I'm simply raising questions with regard to what intelligently-manipulated experiments provide evidence for. W/o bringing in extraneous questions of the identity of the IDesigner (whom I of course am convinced is the God of the Bible), it would seem that experiments guided by intelligent agents provide evidence that the processes and events observed in said experiments have a much higher correlation to the concept of intelligently-guided processes and events than unguided. It's virtually a tautology, which is why it's so strange to see otherwise-rational people like y'all here denying it so vociferously. But a priori-decided allegiances and emotions can lead to strange actions.

But all you have demonstrated is what natural agents are capable of doing (whether manipulating environments, or in the case of humans, manipulating genomes). Your aim was presumably to show evidence that not only can we not exclude human or other natural intelligent activity as a factor, but that somehow this validates or supports in some way the existence and actions of a supernatural agent - but of course that's a non sequitur.

You said:
b. we don't know if processes operating in nature can do the same things that happen in an experiment

I'd say that is a fair statement also. And that puts a significant kink in the "mountains of evidence" mantra.

Obviously you realise I'm just assuming that position for argument - I'm merely pointing out that if we accept your claims, at the absolute most, all you can say based on the criteria you've demanded be met is we don't know what nature minus humans can do, because we can't ever exclude humans from the equation. Again, if true, this doesn't invalidate natural processes - it just means your criteria make it impossible to study. So the task for the naturalist is simply to show how human agency can be accounted for in the experimental process and removed as a causal variable (eg via control experiments).

As for mountains of evidence, both for common ancestry and evolutionary mechanisms, plenty of people have provided you with it - you then say 'ah, but creationism accounts for it just as well' to which we say 'great then show us how observation X fits better with the creationist model than it does the evolutionary one eg how organisms can be grouped into distinct kinds' to which you reply something like 'well your side can't define a species, so I'm not going to' or you appeal to 'the designer just wants it that way' - good luck with conducting research based on that hypothesis!

That's probably true. It seems that would be a very early step. Step 1 is recognising these things (which no one here has seemed willing to do, though most of the "rebuttals" consist of argumenta ad incredulum). And there's no Step 2 if there's no Step 1, but I'm not far enough along in thinking about this to forward a fully-constructed framework. Modern science is the heir to thousands of years of much smarter (than I) men's thinking. I'm not saying I have all this totally down; I'm looking for good arguments to shoot it down, and I'm not seeing many.

There's no probably about it! It has to be true - it's an enormous jump to get from identifying human experimental work to get to what you claim.

So, Step 2 fails. But I'm still looking for good rebuttals to my proposed Step 1. If you're right about their Step 2, then back to the drawing board to move on FROM STEP 1.

Great, but as I have said, we are now at best (from your perspective) stalled at the discovery that 'humans do experiments' - as you know, noone is likely to be shocked by this finding. Your initial claim was this was somehow proof of the next step ie that it also validates supernatural activity and disproves that natural processes can operate in the real world in the same manner as seen under human observation. I don't see how either conclusion will be reached on your 5-6 criteria you've provided, even if noone was able to discount human activity.

OK, but the request to me was not specific. If you're asking me for a BIOLOGICAL example of design, I'll tell you to look at your arm, or the amoeba under the microscope, or the deer you almost hit on the drive to work. It's all designed. You ask a naturalist, he'll tell you none of it is designed. That's why I find my own line of questioning more valuable, particularly my questions attacking naturalism, which no one here but Prometheus has touched, and he touched them badly.

But then you need to have a means to identify biological design, or you have to be able to prove a negative and rule out every natural process possible (even if just in principle). Thus far you either have Dembski/Behe's methods - both fail. You can compare biological organisms to human designed objects - again, fails because human designed objects are not actually like biological objects (the cell is not actually like the fancy animations you see in presentations!). The last option is you need to be able to show the designer in action, or as Albatrossity says, have some way of distinguishing supernatural agents from each other or from magic by means other than resorting to special pleading on behalf of the Christian God.

That's a fine question. I don't know right now, actually. I'm just saying that, absent any good argument to the contrary, we need to work from the standpoint of intelligent guidance of these mechanisms, since that is what the structure of much of our experimentation supports over and against the standpoint of non-guidance.

But your term of guided design seems exceptionally vague, ranging to cover everything from

-deliberate genomic manipulation,
-deliberate environmental manipulation to test a hypothesis,
-accidental and unintended secondary effects from human designed chemicals (eg dumping nylon giving rise to nylon digesting bacteria)
-accidental and unintended actions where the sort of environmental manipulation that occurs naturally on a daily basis is mimicked by human building work eg mosquitoes entering the London Underground is for some reason remarkably different from them entering an undergound cave for reasons I have not been able to fathom, or knocking down a wall allowing fish to enter a stream or cave is for some reason completely different from a wall falling down of its own accord and the same thing happening
-covering situations where the 'designer's' presence is ruled out as an effector (ie via control vs experimental condition) then claiming polar opposite results with a human present in both (ie effect versus no effect) are both evidence of guided design.
-comparing a process where there is an intended end result with experiments where the end result is unknown/uncertain

You request
- do an experiment that shows X (we give example)
- rule out human intervention as the cause (we highlight control experiment(s) accounting for researcher presence)
- show this is based on environmental variation (we highlight environmental variables in the study)
- you then complain that we haven't replicated the entire world in a test tube, therefore natural selection in a lab doesn't count
- then you go on to claim this is all somehow support for the supernatural claims of ID/creationism

Your conclusions are totally overreaching as far as I can tell, and your criteria are impossible to be reasonably met since they are in many ways not clearly defined and secondly you wish a human to do an investigation in which you demand no humans can be present!

By Dr Funkenstein (not verified) on 17 Feb 2009 #permalink

In fairness to Eric Saveau, he had posted this short comment before my two longer of the last 3 comments had been approved, so had only seen the Richard Dawkins, _River out of Eden_ quote.
However, Eric, I specifically directed my comment to Science Avenger. Seriously, don't let your emotions get the best of you so that you post thoughtlessly.

'Genetic comparisons tell you one thing unless you cover them in a thick gravy of question-begging assumptions - these organisms have similar genes. Don't tell you that they came from a common ancestor.'

For the umptithtime it's not just about the similarities, the key thing is the nested hierarchy of differences that are also (if not more) important.

As one tiny example research about the L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase (GLO) gene. It's facinating IMO and I would love to see how a 'design hypothesis' would explain it.
Of course to understand it you will have to know what a pseudogene is, worked it out yet?

What is your argument that an omnipotent Designer couldn't create nested hierarchies of differences? I don't need to have great knowledge of that (and don't pretend to possess it) to know that the claim that an omnipotent Designer couldn't do this or that would require a pretty decent explanation.

For those who like to cut to the chase, here it is:

Rhology said: This is simply begging the question, since you haven't defined a way by which one can define "well" in a naturalistic universe. Get to work, you've got some ahead of you.

Hardly â "whatever anyone says is 'well' to them" will suffice. You have yet to demonstrate why anything more is required, absent your circular argument, which goes like this:

R: You need absolute moral standards

SA: No we donât, we live just fine without them

R: You canât justify that absolutely

SA: Why do I have to?

R: Because you need absolute moral standards

And round and round we go. There are no moral absolutes. There are only subjective morals recognized as such by people like me, and subjective morals touted as absolute by people like you.

As for the rest...

Rhology said: Defend your statement [it is absolutely wrong for me to misrepresent you]or retract it. So what you're saying is that it is *not* wrong for me to misrepresent you.

Fuck you again. I never made any such statements, so I donât need to defend them. I said if you misrepresent what others say you donât deserve common courtesy. It is a very good indication that you have no answer for the argument actually made.

Rhology: If I have an overarching standard of comparison for moral questions and come across someone who shares the standard or holds a similar one, we can talk on those grounds.

Yes, and since humans have similar instincts, desires, and values, we have very many similar standards of comparison, which is why we do in fact talk on those grounds. Philosophy is irrelevant in the face of actual data. You speak as though human beings just popped into existence and the entire topic is theoretical.

SA said: Youâll also notice in fields where notions are actually absolute, say mathematics, the group dynamics are quite different.

Rhology said: Please let me know how, contrary to Hume, you think that morality can be studied like mathematics.

You are the one claiming morals can be absolute, so that burdon is on you. My point was that when one observes the group dynamics of disagreement among those who believe in absolute morals (who often resort to violence or force) and compare that to said dynamics in areas of thought where the subject is actually absolute, like mathematics (resolution via discourse), we see virtually no similarity at all. So we have very little evidence that even those who claim to have absolute morals actually do. They bicker and fight just as much, if not more so (due to an undeserved overconfidence) than those who accept the inherent subjectivity of morality.

SA said: Your inability to refrain from raping and murdering little girls without the help of youre absolute morality provider is duly noted.

Rhology said: You are apparently unfamiliar with the notion of "hypotheticals". Here's some help. Now answer the question.

Iâm very familiar with hypotheticals thank you, and with people like you who use them to divert from arguments they are losing. You implied that without an absolute moral standard, raping and murdering little girls was just fine and dandy. If not, clarify and Iâll stand corrected.

Prove that I *SHOULD* respect said subjective differences as making a difference in whether I OUGHT TO do this or that.

Because those around you who expect you to are going to react badly if you don't, which can carry sometimes formidable consequences (pain, ostracism, lack of cooperation when you have a request). The omission of this fact is one of the many achilles heals in your arguments. Perhaps when someone asks you to turn down your stereo because the sound disturbs them, you demand they derive the moral justification of their request from absolute first principles, but the rest of us are happy to comply out of simple, subjective courtesy.

'What is your argument that an omnipotent Designer couldn't create nested hierarchies of differences? I don't need to have great knowledge of that (and don't pretend to possess it) to know that the claim that an omnipotent Designer couldn't do this or that would require a pretty decent explanation.'

So we end up with either.

1)Common ancestry.
Or
2)An unspecified designer, who by unspecified but never witnessed and supernatural means, for some unspecified reason has created the perfect illusion of common ancestry.
What's more this designer has created a universe where common ancestry would be possible, actually inevitable amongst life on Earth but then instead of common ancestry having happened, faked the whole thing.

Actually option 2 is growing on me, all hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

If you think I'm building a false dichotomy here then please give me other options.

BTW
'I don't need to have great knowledge of that (and don't pretend to possess it)'

And yet you dismiss it.

BTW 2

'What is your argument that an omnipotent Designer couldn't create nested hierarchies of differences?'

But why would they?
Also we have another, observable explanation for the pattern, common ancestry.
If there was evidence for the existence of this 'omnipotent designer' I could take the question seriously.

As it stands it's along the lines of.

What is your argument that the universe didn't come into existence 5 seconds ago complete with all the faked evidence (including your memories) that it is much older?

Rhobot-
Eric, I specifically directed my comment to Science Avenger. Seriously, don't let your emotions get the best of you so that you post thoughtlessly.

It's amusing how much you think you can read in a single casual word. Also, it's not your place to instruct me on when, how, or why I should post, whether here or anywhere else.

And I am mirthful at the irony of you presuming to advise someone on posting thoughtlessly.

"What is your argument that an omnipotent Designer couldn't create nested hierarchies of differences?"

Oh sweet fucking Osiris in the Nile, you're actually resorting to this as an argument? Do you have any idea how stupid this is?

Let me introduce you to a little thing called falsifiability: the precise problem is that no possible argument and no possible observation can contradict the notion that an omnipotent designer can do anything, by definition. Thus it's impossible to prove that it can't do anything. It's something that can explain every conceivable thing, and thus explains nothing. That's why science can't feasibly admit it as an explanation, it's meaningless.

Rho wriggled, again failing to tell us how ID can be distinguished from magic: And you haven't answered my setup questions that would show that you even have any idea what groundwork is necessary before answering such a question. Get on it. You also haven't responded to my request that you show the ways in which your precious Darwinian processes are distinguishable from karma. It's all out there.

Shorter Rho: There is no way to distinguish ID from magic, so I'll just pretend that nobody has answered my questions and maybe nobody will notice my weaseling.

Shorter Albatrossity: I noticed. One can only conclude ID=magic.

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 17 Feb 2009 #permalink

Oh, has Rho painted himself into the "trickster god" corner?

How totally unexpected.

By minimalist (not verified) on 17 Feb 2009 #permalink

Now that wre left with the trickster god - I think the "design" of life points to the the god of the bible ratehr than the the Flying Spagetti Monster or the god fo last Tuesday. The latter 2 would have done a much better job of design. The ass backwards design of the vertabrate eye, appendicitis, cancer and our immune system's enthusiam for turning against us seem more like the work of the vain, dimwitted, homicidal Yahwe.

This engineer may not understand biology as well as ERV and many of the rest of you, but I do understand design and I do know enough about biological systems to see that they are not intelligently designed. This rho feller sounds like someone who has let a couple of first year philosophy courses go to his head.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 17 Feb 2009 #permalink

#153 - I think most people would argue that Rho hasn't even had first-year philosophy classes, and no science classes after grade school. I still think that either a design-by-committee-of-gods or incompetent-designer (my Omnincompetent Designer) hypothesis are more likely than YHVH.

Rho - I used the DI admission that they need a supernatural designer to shoot down your assertion that a designer could be natural. Beyond that, your proposals have so many holes (as have been pointed out) that only a demented gnome could think that they might be true, or that they could be fatal to more than a straw man.

Tyler DiPietro,

Do you realise that the principle of falsifiability is itself unfalsifiable?
That doesn't mean it's totally worthless, of course. It just means that it is not the final standard.
Yes, an amorphous omnipotent designer could potentially account for most everything. A few points on that:
1) It's precisely what I would expect. I am a Calvinistic Christian - the God of the Bible has created everything and everything that occurs occurs according to His foreordained plan. So of course He accounts for all these questions.
2) Maybe you'd prefer an explanation that DOESN'T explain everything. Apparently, you do prefer that, since you're a Darwinian naturalist.
3) If the evidence leads away from a naturalistic explanation, then the intellectually honest person (not that I've seen many around here) will follow the evidence to something else, like a Designer.
4) If you want to then find out the identity of the Designer, those kinds of questions come LATER. Including questions like "Why would he do ____?" like in Militant Agnostic's most recent post and also that of neil.
Just look at what neil said:
'What is your argument that an omnipotent Designer couldn't create nested hierarchies of differences?'
But why would they?

and

for some unspecified reason

Maybe "they" wanted to. Next question? We're not asking about motivations or trying to peer into the mind of the Designer (not now), we're asking whether the evidence leads to a Designer. And my points about intelligently-manipulated experimentation sure seem to lead to support for a Designer.

Tyler said:
That's why science can't feasibly admit it as an explanation, it's meaningless.

This is as clear an admission as one will ever hear from the naturalist.
"We a priori rule out any designer, so there's no designer. Duh!"
Tyler, in case you missed my points above, naturalism is not a viable option. I suggest you stop worshiping the principle of falsifiability and actually start dealing with evidence.

neil said:
What is your argument that the universe didn't come into existence 5 seconds ago complete with all the faked evidence (including your memories) that it is much older?

An argument that destroys your position as much as mine isn't much of an argument FOR your position. So why even bring it up?
My answer is the same as my proposition that naturalism can't prove that you are not a brain in a vat. And they accuse ME of knowing no philosophy! Haha.

Actually option 2 is growing on me, all hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

If you really want someone to accept the hypothesis of the FSM, tell me about him. Is he material or immaterial? Where has he revealed himself? How do you that he revealed himself there? If he didn't, how do you know anything about him? What did he say? How do you know that he exists? Does this mean you're not an atheist, but are actually a real Pastafarian? If you're not, why should anyone accept the hypothesis if there's no one around to defend, define, or explain him? You've got a big framework to construct. Get on it.

Albatrossity,

I'm more than happy to leave our interaction where it is. Presumably you exhibited a little more tenacity towards actually explaining your arguments when you went in for your dissertation defense, b/c you've done virtually squat here. But go on telling yourself you pwnd me again here. And send out the link to interested students so they can see just how well you did.

minimalist,

See my discussion of the idea of an evil god here. Our own Paul C participated.

Dr Funk,

I'll be back later. Sorry my time is limited.

Rhobot, seriously, don't let your emotions get the best of you so that you post thoughtlessly.

Oh, wait; you're not capable of anything else. Never mind, carry on...

Rho

Again with the insults when you don't have anything substantive to say.

I'm content to leave our interaction where it is as well, because you have failed miserably to answer the questions about how to distinguish between magic and ID, leaving us with an inescapable and hilarious conclusion.

Even the most rabid adherents of ID cannot distinguish it from magic.

Take care. You never know when a witch might pop up and design a car in a forest right in front of you!

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 19 Feb 2009 #permalink

neil said:
What is your argument that the universe didn't come into existence 5 seconds ago complete with all the faked evidence (including your memories) that it is much older?

An argument that destroys your position as much as mine isn't much of an argument FOR your position. So why even bring it up?

I cannot say for certain that this was the most spectacular missing-of-the-point that you have ever committed, but it has provided me with the biggest belly-laugh in recent memory.

Neil's position is the same as that of any sane person: That our senses are fairly reliable; that what can be measured, confirmed, and found to be consistent is likely to be accurate; and that what we build based on that knowledge will work.

You're the one with the crazypants anything-goes worldview that maybe a trickster-god planted all those fossils to lie to us; or the laws of nature could all be rewritten tomorrow and we'll all be flung off into space. Who's to say that angels didn't roll that boulder in front of your car? When you turn your back on me, maybe I actually teleported instead of walking across the room; or maybe a ghost manipulated my legs so it looked like I was walking, and I was moving, but I actually wasn't walking! Who knows? It's ghosts all the way down, WOOOoooOOooOO!

That's kind of what I imagine it's like to live in your head. But I suspect that not even someone as invincible to reason as you are would have the courage or consistency to live by that view. You don't go walking off of tall buildings because you expect gravity to work the same way now as it did a minute ago. Ditto science.

My answer is the same as my proposition that naturalism can't prove that you are not a brain in a vat.

And as I said before, the proper answer is "who cares?" Within the rules laid down by the vat, what we see and measure is constant and consistent, and what we build based on that knowledge works. Staring sullenly at the ground, denying the tangible products of methodological naturalism, appealing to invisible ghosts who never actually do anything... well, that hasn't exactly invented very many computers and medicines, has it?

It's obvious that the vat-god likes do-ers and not whiners. He rewards people who act as if there is a constant, uniformitarian universe.

Or maybe there is no vat-god, and science actually works.

Science actually wins any way you slice it, then. All you're left with is just trying pathetically to kick over the chessboard when the game doesn't go your way.

Show us your trickster-vat-god actually rewriting the rules, and maybe we'll talk.

And they accuse ME of knowing no philosophy! Haha.

It's because you get all your philosophy from The Matrix and have all the depth of a mud puddle.

By minimalist (not verified) on 19 Feb 2009 #permalink

Aw, this is why I love trolls-- I love reading the responses from real commentors :)

**HUGZ!**

See my discussion of the idea of an evil god here. Our own Paul C participated.

Hi, Paul C here.

Rhology keeps pointing to that post, so I'll keep reminding people that he completely fails to deal with the Evil God hypothesis. In fact, it would be fair to say that he doesn't even grasp what the hypothesis is - essentially, that all the arguments that he puts forward for the existence of his (Good) God also support the existence of an (Evil) God. In addition, the Evil God hypothesis also deals with the problem of suffering, the inability of man to meet God's requirements and the historical schisms between Christians, so it has stronger explanatory power than his (Good) God.

Please do visit that post, and see how completely his responses fail to address the issue, and then how he deludes himself into thinking he's struck a killer blow and does his little victory dance. It's really quite touching.

"This is as clear an admission as one will ever hear from the naturalist.
"We a priori rule out any designer, so there's no designer. Duh!"
Tyler, in case you missed my points above, naturalism is not a viable option. I suggest you stop worshiping the principle of falsifiability and actually start dealing with evidence."

Not quite. The problem isn't that no scientist will believe in an intelligent designer, many do from what I recall, the problem comes in when you attempt to present this as science; because it is unfalsifiable there is no issue. Pressuming there is an Intelligent Designer, why not simply accept that said designer works through evolution? Heck there we go, argment over. You can't prove that the Intelligent designer did not choose to work through evolution; and all the evidence we have points to the idea that evolution exists.

End of story, and argument, you get your intelligent designer, but since he's not the HOW, we won't worry about him in science class, we'll just focus on how he accomplished what he did.

Dr Funk, I'll be back later. Sorry my time is limited.

Not a problem - really, the only answer to my previous post you need to give is how you define guided design so it doesn't simply mean 'humans exist' as well as covering various diametrically opposed occurrences (ie the accidental and deliberate, the intended vs unknown outcome), and how you demonstrate that natural agents doing experiments is evidence for anything other than natural agency.

1) It's precisely what I would expect. I am a Calvinistic Christian - the God of the Bible has created everything and everything that occurs occurs according to His foreordained plan. So of course He accounts for all these questions.

You believing it doesn't demonstrate said entity actually exists though. If you can demonstrate how we are supposed to establish the existence and identity of the designer of ID, go ahead.

This is as clear an admission as one will ever hear from the naturalist. "We a priori rule out any designer, so there's no designer. Duh!"

That's not true at all (ruling out a designer a priori)- there are no a priori barriers to supernatural explanations in science.

The problem is, as many people have pointed out to you myself included several times in the past, is that how are you going to generate predictions from a starting hypothesis that predicts every possible outcome, a group including the correct answer and the vast amount of different wrong ones? There's no way to take that hypothesis any further, thus it has zero explanatory or predictive power as Tyler pointed out. The only way to show it is by demonstrating the all powerful designer actually exists.

Secondly, people have actually been able to use the scientific method to demonstrate young earthism, creationism and ID to be false. There's no a priori barrier to some of creationism's testable claims being true:

-the irreducibly complex structures are in fact not irreducibly complex after all. Furthermore, there are plausible evolutionary explanations that have been provided for some of these systems (eg by Russ Doolittle's lab for the blood clotting cascade).

- the inability to divide organisms in to groups of distinct kinds that would adequately account for the distribution, genetics and morphology of living animals, as well as accounting for the morphology of fossil animals. Being able to do this would provide a strong case for creationism - of course, since this is impossible based on discoveries that have been made, the sensible thing to do is assume that creationism is in fact just another in a long line of failed hypotheses.

- the inability of young Earthers to demonstrate how fundamental constants such as the speed of light change, how radioactive decay can accelerate by several orders of magnitude and where the excess heat generated by this went to.

Of course they can appeal to the Omphalos hypothesis or ad-hoc miracles - but then they essentially admit they are caught in the 'trickster God' scenario and therefore can know nothing to be true or not. They are either wrong and common ancestry is true, or they accept the existence of a deceptive God who happily plays tricks on the whole world. And as stated before, investigation instantly grinds to a halt as the hypothesis can't be taken any further.

2) Maybe you'd prefer an explanation that DOESN'T explain everything. Apparently, you do prefer that, since you're a Darwinian naturalist.

An explanation provides an accurate answer or roughly accurate answer to a problem - it doesn't take a shotgun approach of predicting every possible wrong and right outcome before investigation. Since appeal to God/the designer predicts considerably more wrong outcomes than right ones, I think I'd have to say it looks remarkably like the antithesis of an explanation to me (and likely most other people).

3) If the evidence leads away from a naturalistic explanation, then the intellectually honest person (not that I've seen many around here) will follow the evidence to something else, like a Designer.

In the past people have appealed to supernaturalistic guesses where at the time there was no obvious natural one. Of course, over time eventually naturalistic ones supplanted these. I can't think of a single documented instance where a God explanation has done any better than simply guessing or appealing to magic or demons would have.

Secondly, it assumes you can prove a negative by ruling out all natural explanations - what do we do if we appeal to the supernatural then it later gets supplanted by a natural one? Was the supernatural ever at work? Did it in fact exist at all or did we just make it up due to ignorance?

And my points about intelligently-manipulated experimentation sure seem to lead to support for a Designer.

A human designer though. Since in your book your criteria mean that mere human existence negates the validity of any study, the best you can conclude is that 'humans do experiments' and that you have no idea what natural processes in the absence of humans can do (or not do). I'm sure by now everyone else would like to know how either of these serves as proof that natural processes can't create new species or increase biological complexity or how it serves as evidence for a supernatural designer.

I don't like to give you a hard time or anything Rho, but having seen you post this exact same stuff time and time again, Paul C has a point when he says you tend to just ignore the answers people give to you then make the same claim again.

By Dr Funkenstein (not verified) on 19 Feb 2009 #permalink

Paul C:

Yeah, you know, I thought that's what he was referring to, given that he said "evil" where I said "trickster". Two different things, but as we've established, Rho is very, very good at missing points. And I've been arguing with creationists so long that there are terms I take for granted, and I always forget that the particularly thick ones have to be walked, in little baby steps, point-by-point though things.

The "trickster god" is not the Problem of Evil, Rho. It is the idea that once you open the door to the possibility that "maybe the Intelligent-vat-god-trickster-ghost made it look that way", as you do, you open the door to believing that the world just came into existence 5 minutes ago. Or that, every time you close your eyes, the Universe ceases to exist, only to rebuild itself exactly as it was before when you open your eyes again. Or that your ghost-vat-god could alter the laws of nature on a whim.

That's what Neil was doing -- taking your position to its logical conclusion.

Saying "god made it look that way" explains nothing, adds nothing to our understanding of the process -- hence it is useless, and discarded.

This is why chemists don't append "we cannot rule out the possibility that elves stole our reagents and replaced them with the reaction product" to every paper. They tend to believe that a chemical reaction took place, those damn elf-haters!

By minimalist (not verified) on 19 Feb 2009 #permalink

"This is as clear an admission as one will ever hear from the naturalist.
"We a priori rule out any designer, so there's no designer. Duh!"

Nice try, but I didn't a priori rule out any designer. I used your own words as an illustration of the absurdity to which admitting completely unfalsifiable explanations leads. Want another example of an explanation that is compatible with any and all observations? It just poofed into existence. Try disproving that, Mr. designist!

"Tyler, in case you missed my points above, naturalism is not a viable option. I suggest you stop worshiping the principle of falsifiability and actually start dealing with evidence."

No, your point about naturalism was really just a heal-baked Cartesian skepticism which, ironically, ruled out the use of evidence. I suggest you start being a wee bit more coherent.

Rhobot-

On the "John Lynch at OU" thread I announced that I was the elusive Designer to which you attribute everything, thus placing you in the position of having to demonstrate conclusively that I was NOT in fact the Designer, and why I couldn't be. You couldn't. Everyone else here got that point instantly, hence their enthusiastic codas to my comment.

Your challenge to me to prove that I was the Designer was precisely the challenge you face for all your Design claims. If you have something to offer that has predictive and informative value, then produce it. If you don't have it... then you don't have it.

Since you haven't produced it yet, despite endless opportunities to do so, we can reach a reasonable conclusion.

sez rho: "Maybe you'd prefer an explanation that DOESN'T explain everything. Apparently, you do prefer that, since you're a Darwinian naturalist."
Question, rhobot: When you use the word "everything", do you mean "all the stuff which actually exists"? Or do you, instead, mean, "absolutely everything, regardless of whether or not it actually exists"? Because if you asked me choose between (a) explanations which are 'limited' to explaining That Which Actually Exists, on the one hand, and (b) explanations which are just as good at 'explaining' That Which Doesn't Exist as they are That Which Actually Exists... well, I'll take Door A for $500, Mr. Trebek!

also sez rhobot: "This is as clear an admission as one will ever hear from the naturalist. 'We a priori rule out any designer, so there's no designer.' Duh!"
Right, right. This is why archaeologists and forensics specialists (to name only two fields of so-called 'science' which are vitally dependent on the taboo concept of a 'designer') are universally scorned by those dogmatic, rigid naturalists, eh rho?
More clearly: Science has no problem whatsoever with the concept of a Designer. What science does have a problem with, is concepts that are so bleeding vague/ill-defined, that there's no bleeding way to tell whether said concepts might be true or not. A testable Designer-concept is AOK, but a non-testable Designer-concept is another matter entirely. And this is where the Intelligent Design movement fails utterly, as far as science is concerned: while ID-pushers yammer about how their maximally vague "somehow, somewhere, somebody intelligent did something" notion really is science, honest to God it is, they persistently refuse to grow a set of testables.
So... where are your testables, rhobot? Or are you yet another of those intellectual eunuchs who never had any testables in the first place?

I'd say the real problem is that Rho doesn't understand what an explanation is. It's the same problem that leads him to think that repeating the same assertions he made before is an "answer" to a question.

Saying "goddiddit" to anything and everything is meaningless because it's a rote response to any and every eventuality. It provides no insight, has no explanatory or predictive value.

Why is the sky blue? "Goddidit."

Why does lightning happen? "Goddidit."

Why can't we breathe water? "Goddidit."

Why did those chemicals react? "Goddidit."

Why didn't those chemicals react? "Goddidit."

After a while the word just becomes a senseless animal noise, barked out by the irrationally superstitious, and disregarded by any sane human being who wants to get out of his damn cave and stop being scared of the lightning-god.

Even if you're going to wave your hands and say, well, this answer is important in the ghost-world of the supernatural, where the vat-god lives, it's still a lazy answer, because a pat one-word answer that covers every eventuality, even the ones that contradict the other ones, explains nothing about the vat-ghost-world.

Rho, being of a total authoritarian mindset, cannot even begin to grasp this, though, because to him, to simply assert something makes it True.

By minimalist (not verified) on 20 Feb 2009 #permalink

I will post my reply in a day or so, thanks for your patience.

IOW, "I gotta ask my pastor about this! I'm over my head!"

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 23 Feb 2009 #permalink

sez rho, on 23 feb: "I will post my reply in a day or so, thanks for your patience."
Gosh. Here it is, 3 March, and no reply from Der Rhobot. I am shocked -- shocked, I say! -- that a fine, upstanding Christian like Der Rhobot would forswear his own word like that...

1. Cut him a little slack, the guy's baby was due any day now, and it may have actually arrived.

2. It's not like we were expecting anything other than blatant question-begging and circular logic, anyway.

3. The answer is probably BUY MY BOOKREAD MY BLOG

By minimalist (not verified) on 03 Mar 2009 #permalink