PvM posted Entry 1434 on September 2, 2005 07:45 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1430

On Telic Thoughts, Mike Gene presents an interesting but fallacious argument

If MN determined that the Earth was 6000 years old, that evolution could not occur and all living things were fitted into discrete, discontinuous groups, and a global flood once covered the Earth, does MN then mean we must explain this all “without reference to supernatural beings or events?”

What does reference to the supernatural explain? Everything and thus nothing. And notice that MN has not failed here, so unless Mike wants to argue that if in addition to these findings, science cannot explain these data that somehow ‘supernatural design’ becomes more likely then he clearly does not understand the scientific method. Why should our ignorance be seen as evidence for something which we cannot observe?

What makes a supernatural God a better explanation that the purple unicorn or Santa Claus? Or even an extra-terrestrial? Should we at least not wait until we can reject extra-terrestrial sources? Why jump to the conclusion of the ‘supernatural’?

Hypotheses do not gain strength from the weakness of others, especially when the hypothesis itself lacks much of any explanatory value beyond. Poof…

So what can we conclude from Mike’s story? That the earth is 6000 years old, that science cannot explain how life evolved, that there was a global flood and that this history was captured to some extent in oral and later written form.

Now let’s turn this around. Does Mike accept the counter argument that a supernatural entity has been disproven because the data do not match the written word?

So why should this give any credibility to the supernatural?

The fact that ID is scientifically vacuous?

Of course, Mike’s story not only is logically flawed but also disproven by the facts.

Time to wake up…

And yet, ID proponents on Telic Thoughts still have not realized that IC is an argument from ignorance. ID remains scientifically vacuous because it relies on the gap approach.

ID tries to wrap its claims in statements which attempt to give it the appearance of scientific respectability but on closer scrutiny, the “basic and simple premise” of IC is unsupportable.

As Aagcobb points out, ID is not only scientifically vacuous but theologically risky

Aagcobb wrote:

Onething says: “Why assume God acts outside the laws of nature?”

Good question. But this, in fact, is exactly what IDists do; assume that natural evolution cannot account for the diversity of life on earth, so God must intervene in the universe to somehow design it, using an undetectable method. If thats not magical thinking, I don’t know what is.

Joe G’s comment to Aagcobb exemplifies the appeal to personal incredulity, and the gap argument when it comes to IC

Joe G wrote:

I will tell you what Aacobb, if you show us something in which the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components, and it wasn’t intentionally designed perhaps someone will listen to you.

In other words, when faced with something which appears to be designed and since we have no good alternative explanation, we should thus conclude that it must have also been designed.

So what about natural geysers as a counter example:

Three components must be present for geysers to exist: an abundant supply of water, an intense source of heat, and unique plumbing.

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Comment #46350

Posted by a Creationist Troll, apparently on September 3, 2005 6:44 AM (e)

Natural geysers? That probably rates as the stupidest way of arguing against ID that I’ve ever heard. If that represents evolutionist logic, you have problems.

Natural geysers are phenomena that arise as a consequence of an abundant supply of water, an intense source of heat and unique plumbing. That was the point being made by the writer of the original article. They are not “irreducibly complex” - because each of the requirements could - and in fact does - arise naturally. Compare that to the bacterial flagellum - where all you have by way of an intermediate is a secretory system that is disputed as an intermediate anyway.

Comment #46360

Posted by Ed Darrell on September 3, 2005 9:09 AM (e)

Mike Gene’s argument is the of the same species of error that Francis Beckwith makes in the legal sphere, which may be accurately labeled the “flying pigs fallacy” – which is usually inherently coupled with begging the question (the real begging the question).

This is how it works: They start out with some bizarre, real-world-impossible assumption, like “what if pigs could fly?” Then they consider some of the effects: “Flying pigs would be hazards to commercial and small-craft aviation.” Then they look for secondary effects or responses: “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would have an interest in regulating pig farms to keep them away from airports, and to keep pigs out of flight lanes.”

Then they ask as if it were a serious question: “Why isn’t Congress moving to require the FAA to regulate pig farms? Why doesn’t the FAA have any experts in pigs?”

Mike Gene’s question is easily answered: “Yes, if everything we know about science were otherwise, things would be different.”

But they aren’t. The Earth is not 6,000 years old, nor is there any credible way to make such an argument in a world that runs on fossil fuels of coal, petroleum and natural gas. There isn’t evidence for a worldwide flood that isn’t better explained by other proximate causes, nor is there such evidence that can overcome the powerful refuting evidence. Pigs are not hazards to aviation.

That pig just doesn’t fly.

Comment #46364

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 9:37 AM (e)

They are not “irreducibly complex” - because each of the requirements could - and in fact does - arise naturally. Compare that to the bacterial flagellum - where all you have by way of an intermediate is a secretory system that is disputed as an intermediate anyway.

Says you. (shrug)

I’ve been waiting for years for someone to tell me how ID explains the flagellum. What, according to ID “theory”, did the designer do, specifically, to produce the flagellum? Did it super-glue a piece onto a poor unsuspecting bacterium? Did it use its Super Duper DNA Re-Sequencer to zap the required sequences into its genes?

Do tell.

Or is “POOF!!! God – uh, I mean The Unknown Intelligent Desigenr – dunnit!!!!” the best that ID, uh, “theory” can come up with?

Comment #46369

Posted by Creationist Troll on September 3, 2005 10:49 AM (e)

Or is “POOF!!! God — uh, I mean The Unknown Intelligent Desigenr — dunnit!!!!” the best that ID, uh, “theory” can come up with?

As the evos are fond of saying, an argument from incredulity.

Comment #46372

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 11:09 AM (e)

As the evos are fond of saying, an argument from incredulity.

How dreadful. I notice, though, that you, uh, didn’t answer my question.

I’ll ask again:

*ahem*

I’ve been waiting for years for someone to tell me how ID explains the flagellum. What, according to ID “theory”, did the designer do, specifically, to produce the flagellum? Did it super-glue a piece onto a poor unsuspecting bacterium? Did it use its Super Duper DNA Re-Sequencer to zap the required sequences into its genes?

Do tell.

Or is “POOF!!! God — uh, I mean The Unknown Intelligent Desigenr — dunnit!!!!” the best that ID, uh, “theory” can come up with?

Is there some sort of problem with your answering that simple question for me?

Comment #46379

Posted by Mark Perakh on September 3, 2005 12:03 PM (e)

In the comments to Mike Gene’s piece on Telic Thoughts several pro-ID advocates refer to Dembski’s Explanatory Filter (EF) as if it is a legitimate tool for inquiry. It is puzzling - how anybody can still talk about EF as a useful device. The first and the second nodes of EF cannot be used at all because they prescribe reading the event’s probability “off the event” without any knowledge about the event’s causal history. It is impossible. In the third node the low probability (found on the assumption of chance) has to be complemented by specification to infer design. But specification is just disguised low probability - however “specified,” i.e. subjectivly recognized as conforming to a familiar pattern, the event is, its chance occurrence can never be 100% excluded, so specification is always based on a probabilistic assumption. So, the first and the second nodes have to be discarded as impossible to use, and the third node boils down to the argument from improbability whose evidentiary value is doubted even by many ID advocates. Btw, I don’t know of anybody, either before or after myself using the above argument, which is a commentary to Dembski’s assertion that I “recycled” arguments of others.

Comment #46384

Posted by PvM on September 3, 2005 12:49 PM (e)

Creationist troll wrote:

Natural geysers? That probably rates as the stupidest way of arguing against ID that I’ve ever heard. If that represents evolutionist logic, you have problems.

Natural geysers are phenomena that arise as a consequence of an abundant supply of water, an intense source of heat and unique plumbing. That was the point being made by the writer of the original article. They are not “irreducibly complex” - because each of the requirements could - and in fact does - arise naturally. Compare that to the bacterial flagellum - where all you have by way of an intermediate is a secretory system that is disputed as an intermediate anyway.

Seems that CT is having some problems understanding the argument. It also fails to recognize that it was in response to the claim

Joe G wrote:

I will tell you what Aacobb, if you show us something in which the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components, and it wasn’t intentionally designed perhaps someone will listen to you.

Natural Geysers seem to meet this requirement. Of course as CT points out, we KNOW how they arose, so we can reject the claim that they were designed. In other words, Joe G’s claim that such systems do not arise in nature naturally has been rejected. In other words, Geyser’s are not IC because we understand how they arose.

Or in simple terms it is our ignorance of evolution of the flagellum that leads us conclude IC. Furthermore it requires ID proponents to reject plausible scenarios. Showing that ID is not only scientifically vacuous but also anti-scientific.

Ah the smell of ignorance in the morning…

Comment #46386

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 12:57 PM (e)

But specification is just disguised low probability - however “specified,” i.e. subjectivly recognized as conforming to a familiar pattern, the event is, its chance occurrence can never be 100% excluded, so specification is always based on a probabilistic assumption.

I have asked many an IDer just what exactly is “specified”, who “specifies” it, and when it gets “specified”. For some odd reason, they never answer.

All of Dembski’s blithering about “specificaiton” sounds to me like the old “Texas marksman” routine. In this, someone blazes away at a barn door, walks over and paints bullseyes around all the bullet holes, and then declares how amazing it is that he hit every target. Of course, had all his shots landed a few inches away from where they did, he’d be declaring how amazing it is that he hit THAT bullseye, instead.

Dembski is the same way. He cannot specify ANY of his presumed “CSI” beforehand. The best he can do is, like the Texas marksman, draw a bullseye around it AFTER IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED, and then declare how amazingly improbable it is to have hit the bullseye.

Comment #46389

Posted by a Creationist Troll, apparently on September 3, 2005 1:21 PM (e)

1) Please note, “a Creationist Troll, apparently” is not the same as “creationist troll”.

2)

PvM wrote:

Geyser’s are not IC because we understand how they arose.

Sorry, are you being subtle? It’s hard to tell - I also can’t tell whether your misuse of an apostrophe was deliberate or accidental. Are you suggesting that this approach is a characteristic of the ID argument (which is false, and would show you don’t understand how the ID argument works - and you really ought to know better by now)? Or are you saying this actually the case (which shows you don’t understand what IC means - and you really ought to know better by now)? Or does it just suit you to continue to propagate misrepresentations?

Geysers are not IC, because each of the requirements arises naturally independently of the others. The fact that geysers don’t arise when lots of water is present doesn’t make the presence of lots of water less likely. The fact that we know how they arise has nothing to do with whether they are IC or not. What makes the bacterial flagellum IC is that it consists of large numbers of components, which individually in general would not provide a selective advantage for an organism (and, with a reproductive overhead, would therefore tend to be selected against), but the majority of which are required for a functional flagellum.

3) As for how the flagellum might arise, Flank, that’s easy. God created it. Poof! Just like that. After all, I am a Creationist Troll, apparently. However, as has been pointed out by the ID community until they are metaphorically blue in the face, INFERRING DESIGN DOES NOT REQUIRE A KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE PUTATIVE DESIGNER IS LIKE, any more than you need to know the names of the people who built Stonehenge to know that it didn’t arise by chance. What about from the other side, Flank? Do enlighten me as to exactly how much of the CSI required to produce a flagellum evolutionary pathways have come up with so far. Do you actually even have a handle on the amount of information that is required? Do you know at what rate evolution can produce new information? Do you know ANY FACTS AT ALL about evolution? Or are you just happy to tell just-so stories still?

Comment #46390

Posted by a Creationist Troll, apparently on September 3, 2005 1:22 PM (e)

1) Please note, “a Creationist Troll, apparently” is not the same as “creationist troll”.

2)

PvM wrote:

Geyser’s are not IC because we understand how they arose.

Sorry, are you being subtle? It’s hard to tell - I also can’t tell whether your misuse of an apostrophe was deliberate or accidental. Are you suggesting that this approach is a characteristic of the ID argument (which is false, and would show you don’t understand how the ID argument works - and you really ought to know better by now)? Or are you saying this actually the case (which shows you don’t understand what IC means - and you really ought to know better by now)? Or does it just suit you to continue to propagate misrepresentations?

Geysers are not IC, because each of the requirements arises naturally independently of the others. The fact that geysers don’t arise when lots of water is present doesn’t make the presence of lots of water less likely. The fact that we know how they arise has nothing to do with whether they are IC or not. What makes the bacterial flagellum IC is that it consists of large numbers of components, which individually in general would not provide a selective advantage for an organism (and, with a reproductive overhead, would therefore tend to be selected against), but the majority of which are required for a functional flagellum.

3) As for how the flagellum might arise, Flank, that’s easy. God created it. Poof! Just like that. After all, I am a Creationist Troll, apparently. However, as has been pointed out by the ID community until they are metaphorically blue in the face, INFERRING DESIGN DOES NOT REQUIRE A KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE PUTATIVE DESIGNER IS LIKE, any more than you need to know the names of the people who built Stonehenge to know that it didn’t arise by chance. What about from the other side, Flank? Do enlighten me as to exactly how much of the CSI required to produce a flagellum evolutionary pathways have come up with so far. Do you actually even have a handle on the amount of information that is required? Do you know at what rate evolution can produce new information? Do you know ANY FACTS AT ALL about evolution? Or are you just happy to tell just-so stories still?

Comment #46391

Posted by Schmitt. on September 3, 2005 1:23 PM (e)

As the evos are fond of saying, an argument from incredulity.

That’s not an argument from incredulity. An argument from incredulity would assert a process is impossible because they consider it unlikely. The good Reverend was, rather, pointing out how laughably unscientific and lazy ‘POOF’ is. ‘POOF’ can be used to explain - without any greater understanding garnered - any process regardless of whether a naturally forming example could be found and explained in great detail. The aforementioned geysers, for example, or evolution.

-Schmitt.

Comment #46392

Posted by steve on September 3, 2005 1:42 PM (e)

However, as has been pointed out by the ID community until they are metaphorically blue in the face, INFERRING DESIGN DOES NOT REQUIRE A KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE PUTATIVE DESIGNER IS LIKE

They’ll get even bluer. No amount of hand waving will make up for their lack of proof.

Comment #46393

Posted by frank schmidt on September 3, 2005 1:46 PM (e)

I have never seen an argument that contains a second-order fallacy of Hypothesis Contrary to Fact till this one. Congratulations to Mike. This is one for the ages.

If science (i.e., methodological naturanlism or MN, at Mike likes to say) determined that Earth were 6000 years old, or that there was a worldwide flood, we would deal with that, just like any other set of data. But it hasn’t.

We would also ask for corroborating information that this were due to some un-natural event. But Mike and his buddies can’t supply that, any more than they can prove the efficacy of prayer, or that religious people are less likely to divorce than the unchurched, or that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment to New Orleans for tolerating sin.

Pitifully weak. As usual.

Comment #46396

Posted by PvM on September 3, 2005 2:26 PM (e)

aCT wrote:

Sorry, are you being subtle? It’s hard to tell - I also can’t tell whether your misuse of an apostrophe was deliberate or accidental. Are you suggesting that this approach is a characteristic of the ID argument (which is false, and would show you don’t understand how the ID argument works - and you really ought to know better by now)? Or are you saying this actually the case (which shows you don’t understand what IC means - and you really ought to know better by now)? Or does it just suit you to continue to propagate misrepresentations?

Have you stopped beating your wife :-)
Let’s however address your ‘questions’:

1. First of all, I was responding to the argument made by a particular poster on Telic
2. Second of all, this is a characteristic argument of many ID proponents where they rely on ignorance to infer design. IC is a classic example of such.
3. Third of all, I am very aware of how ID ‘works’, or better why it does not work
4. Fourth of all, the definition of IC is very familiar to me.
5. And finally, despite your claim, which is somewhat unsupported, this was not a misrepresentation.

Let’s look at a Geyser:

1. It is specified
2. It is irreducible as the removal of any of the three components would destroy its primary function

In other words, it makes for a perfect example of why ID/IC is a fallacious argument because without further knowledge we would have concluded that the Geyser was intelligently designed. Of course, we do know how it works, so we can reject this as a false positive.

Now that we have established that our ignorance can lead to false positives, we have to reject the conclusion that the flagellum is designed since 1) our ignorance should not be seen as evidence 2) no independent evidence has been presented that the flagellum was designed 3) plausible natural pathways and scenarios exist (perhaps not to the satisfaction of ID proponents, but their scenarios are totally lacking)

aCT wrote:

Geysers are not IC, because each of the requirements arises naturally independently of the others. The fact that geysers don’t arise when lots of water is present doesn’t make the presence of lots of water less likely. The fact that we know how they arise has nothing to do with whether they are IC or not. What makes the bacterial flagellum IC is that it consists of large numbers of components, which individually in general would not provide a selective advantage for an organism (and, with a reproductive overhead, would therefore tend to be selected against), but the majority of which are required for a functional flagellum.

But parts of a flagellum arise naturally as well. Interesting how ACT now adds requirements to IC which are not part of the original description. Moving the goalposts time after time…

aCT wrote:

INFERRING DESIGN DOES NOT REQUIRE A KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE PUTATIVE DESIGNER IS LIKE

Indeed, and the designer may very well be natural as we have established. In other words, ID is not really what it pretends to be after all.

aCT wrote:

Do you actually even have a handle on the amount of information that is required? Do you know at what rate evolution can produce new information? Do you know ANY FACTS AT ALL about evolution? Or are you just happy to tell just-so stories still?

Love that appeal to ignorance to infer design… Please tell us, what are YOUR answers to this question.. Or does ID have NO answers and NEVER will.

Nice trolling though but please, put in a little more effort will you…

Comment #46397

Posted by 'Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on September 3, 2005 2:47 PM (e)

As for how the flagellum might arise, Flank, that’s easy. God created it. Poof! Just like that.

Care to testify to that under oath in Dover?

Comment #46399

Posted by Dave S. on September 3, 2005 3:10 PM (e)

aCR,a wrote:

1) Please note, “a Creationist Troll, apparently” is not the same as “creationist troll”.

In which sense are you using “apparently”, as in ‘obviously’ or ‘seemingly’? It’s not clear from the context.

Comment #46410

Posted by Tom Curtis on September 3, 2005 7:36 PM (e)

Pim:

Natural Geysers seem to meet this requirement. Of course as CT points out, we KNOW how they arose, so we can reject the claim that they were designed. In other words, Joe G’s claim that such systems do not arise in nature naturally has been rejected. In other words, Geyser’s are not IC because we understand how they arose.

Unfortunately, geysers do not satisfy Joe’s claim. Certainly, if you remove any of the components, a geyser will cease to function as a geyser - but it does not follow that geysers have a function (as required by Joe’s definition). It is not the purpose of geysers to errupt.

On the other hand, there are now many examples of complex, multi part systems with a purpose that were designed by a mindless, algorithmic of duplication with error followed by selection. Some are found in biology labs, and some in computer labs. They certainly satisfy Joe’s demand despite the (guaranteed) obfustication and equivocation by creationists in avoiding these counter examples.

Comment #46417

Posted by Henry J on September 3, 2005 8:35 PM (e)

Re “what IDists do; assume that natural evolution cannot account for the diversity of life on earth, so God must intervene in the universe to somehow design it, using an undetectable method. If thats not magical thinking, I don’t know what is.”

Not to mention that if the intervention is undetectable, that would mean that the result is consistent with natural processes (or at least not distinguishable from being consistent with it), which contradicts the notion that evolution couldn’t happen without help.

Re “In other words, Geyser’s are not IC because we understand how they arose.”

I thought that IC meant if one removes a critical part the thing stops working? Well, remove one of those parts of a geyser and it stops working. So how does having an explanation cause it to not be IC? I don’t get it.

Henry

Comment #46419

Posted by Jim Wynne on September 3, 2005 8:49 PM (e)

Tom Curtis wrote:

…it does not follow that geysers have a function (as required by Joe’s definition). It is not the purpose of geysers to errupt.

Who says there must be a “purpose” involved? Doesn’t “purpose” suggest a circular argument that you might not want to make (i.e., that things with purposes must be designed)? Who says that the “purpose” of a flagellum is locomotion? It performs that function, but if it wasn’t designed (by something other than mutation and selection)how can you ascribe “purpose” to it?

Comment #46424

Posted by PvM on September 3, 2005 9:32 PM (e)

Tom Curtis wrote:

Unfortunately, geysers do not satisfy Joe’s claim. Certainly, if you remove any of the components, a geyser will cease to function as a geyser - but it does not follow that geysers have a function (as required by Joe’s definition). It is not the purpose of geysers to errupt.

How do you know this? It certainly has a specification and a function. Even if we all understand that it does not have a ‘purpose’

Comment #46429

Posted by steve on September 3, 2005 10:16 PM (e)

That’s the function/purpose confusion. Function means it does something. Purpose means it does something for someone. IDers have tried every way of turning biological function into purpose, from fake math, to “I know it when I see it.”

Comment #46453

Posted by a Creationist Troll, apparently on September 4, 2005 10:02 AM (e)

I am using “apparently” as part of a compound noun phrase - “a Creationist Troll, apparently” - which is poor use of grammar, but a handle that pleases me. :)

Comment #46509

Posted by Tom Curtis on September 4, 2005 7:05 PM (e)

PvM:

How do you know this? It certainly has a specification and a function. Even if we all understand that it does not have a ‘purpose’

It certainly has a specification, and it functions - but it does not have a function. Geysers are not part of a larger system which benefits from the functioning of geysers, and such that geysers would not exist if they did not benefit the larger system. Where Joe asked for an example of a complex system with a role in a larger system, you have provided him with an example of a complex system which operates as a system.

Jim Wynne:

Who says there must be a “purpose” involved? Doesn’t “purpose” suggest a circular argument that you might not want to make (i.e., that things with purposes must be designed)? Who says that the “purpose” of a flagellum is locomotion? It performs that function, but if it wasn’t designed (by something other than mutation and selection)how can you ascribe “purpose” to it?

“Purpose” no more suggests a circular argument than “design” does as used by Ruse in “Darwin and Design” or Dennet in “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”. They are happy to say that biological systems are designed, but insist that design can be done by mindless algorithmic processes. Regardless of whether it does suggest such a circular argument, we ought not to equivocate on our opponents claims.

Comment #46520

Posted by PvM on September 4, 2005 7:44 PM (e)

Tom Curtis wrote:

It certainly has a specification, and it functions - but it does not have a function. Geysers are not part of a larger system which benefits from the functioning of geysers, and such that geysers would not exist if they did not benefit the larger system. Where Joe asked for an example of a complex system with a role in a larger system, you have provided him with an example of a complex system which operates as a system.

Joe asked:I will tell you what Aacobb, if you show us something in which the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components, and it wasn’t intentionally designed perhaps someone will listen to you.

I fail to see why we have to keep moving the goalpost?

Why or why not does a geyser represent an IC system?

Comment #46564

Posted by Norman Doering on September 5, 2005 5:28 AM (e)

Ed Darrell wrote:
“Mike Gene’s question is easily answered: ‘Yes, if everything we know about science were otherwise, things would be different.’”

Ahh, but recall that Thomas Paine who wrote “The Age of Reason” didn’t know about evolution. Back then they thought fossils of sea animals on mountains was proof of a global flood, not plate tectonics. Yet Paine still managed to give the Bible a thrashing for it’s contradictions and implausibility.

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/thomas_paine/age_of_reason/index.shtml
http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/Paine/AOR-Frame.html

Comment #46574

Posted by wad of id on September 5, 2005 8:08 AM (e)

Everybody can play these games.

If MN determined that there are many parallel universes, that in one of those universes a group of time-traveling humanoid aliens, who possessed life-regenerating capabilities, transporters, and food replicators, visited Earth approximately 2000 years ago, and that one of these aliens could hurl lightning from the sky while driving a golden chariot across the sky, does MN then mean we must explain this all “without reference to supernatural beings or events?”

Comment #46581

Posted by Ginger Yellow on September 5, 2005 9:44 AM (e)

“It certainly has a specification, and it functions - but it does not have a function. Geysers are not part of a larger system which benefits from the functioning of geysers, and such that geysers would not exist if they did not benefit the larger system.”

How can something function if it doesn’t have a function? Geysers provide the valuable function of heat transfer and pressure release, reducing the risk of a catastrophic explosion.

Comment #46593

Posted by justawriter on September 5, 2005 12:06 PM (e)

Geysers most definitely have a purpose. They provide a complex hyperthermic, hyperacidic environment for archaebacteria that otherwise would not be able to enjoy life in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Therefore by the law of post hoc ergo propter hoc geysers were designed as vacation homes for affluent bacteria.

There, I specified a purpose. Prove me wrong.

Comment #46604

Posted by PvM on September 5, 2005 1:54 PM (e)

Justawriter, you hit the nail on the head. Which is why providing a ‘function’ aka ‘specification’ is trivial and the ID argument becomes one of ignorance.

Comment #46628

Posted by PvM on September 5, 2005 4:12 PM (e)

Mike Gene wrote:

Anyway, since your answer is close enough, let’s add another. From the scientific perspective, when it comes to weighing YEC, the evidence regarding the age of the earth, evolution, and whether a global flood occurred, is irrelevant. What is relevant is that YEC proposes a supernatural cause. Right?

A confused questions. When it comes to weighing YEC as a scientific argument, it is sufficient to show that its claims about a young earth are fallacious.

When it comes to rebutting the theology of YEC, science has to remain silent. Of course, science can very well point out that the likely reason for YEC’s failure as a science is its insistence on religious faith.

Hope this helps. Similarly the scientific vacuity of ID combined with the insistance on teaching it, can be very well explained by socio-religious motivations as laid out in the Wedge Strategy.

ID is first a theological argument and only secondarily an attempt at a scientific relevant argument. Being based on a gap argument however the best ID can do is move our ignorance back in time to where science cannot observe it and claim ‘front loading’. Scientifically again meaningless but at least defensible as a theology.

Comment #46629

Posted by PvM on September 5, 2005 4:18 PM (e)

Mike Gene wrote:

PvM posts a 368-word diatribe, yet never answers the question. I think he is trying to say the answer is ‘yes,’ but I can’t quite tell.

Sorry, let me try again. The answer is NO we can also admit our ignorance. The supernatural is never excluded, science merely remains silent about this.

PvM wrote:

Let me know what part you did not comprehend and I will see if I can put it in more accessible language.
These are important issues and Mike’s ‘argument’ or rather lack thereof is worth a discussion. Which is why I raised the issue on PT.

I find it somewhat amusing that Krauze states that I did not answer the question.
Why should MN resort to the supernatural to explain these data? Just because we at the moment fail to understand how it happened? Is that not what gap arguments are all about? Or is it because the data match to a certain extent a particular interpretation of the Bible?

In other words, Mike’s question is illogical as he provides no logical argument as to why MN should (in this case or in any other case) include the supernatural.

I understand that Mike is concerned with the inability of MN to deal with the supernatural.

Such is science. It’s time that ID proponents appreciate this simple fact namely that appeal to the supernatural explains anything and does nothing. Mike’s concern that IF the supernatural were real and MN cannot address this that somehow it will miss certain knowledge is interesting from a philosophical perspective. The same problems arise when arguing that nature is all there is. Our ignorance in both cases prevents us from drawing such strong conclusions. Of course, the latter one has one advantage, we know that nature exists.

Sal: Here I thought he was a real person, not a Sock Puppet, and now I discover Pim was all just a hoax.

How does it feel to be rebutted by not just a sock puppet but a computer program my dear friend.

PS: Are you still avoiding the questions posed to you at PT?

Comment #46650

Posted by Henry J on September 5, 2005 5:39 PM (e)

Geysers attract tourists, don’t they? Isn’t that a function? ;)

Henry

Comment #46819

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on September 7, 2005 6:09 AM (e)

Tom Curtis writes “It certainly has a specification, and it functions - but it does not have a function. “

Geysers release pressure and transport heat.

“Geysers are not part of a larger system which benefits from the functioning of geysers,”

If I define benefits to be things like “cool” and “not phreatic sxplosion”, I’d say they have some pretty good benefits. And the system of ground water is rather extensive.

“ and such that geysers would not exist if they did not benefit the larger system. “

But they do. I just showed how.

“Where Joe asked for an example of a complex system with a role in a larger system, you have provided him with an example of a complex system which operates as a system.”

Get thee to a Geology class.