PvM posted Entry 2358 on June 10, 2006 12:14 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2353

Dembski argues, without supporting evidence, that when the natural processes of chance and regularity have been eliminated, that which remains should be called ‘Intelligent Design’. This definition presumes that ‘Intelligent Design’ is not reducible to natural processes, leading to the inevitable conclusion that Intelligent Design is about the supernatural.

In the early 20th century, Edgar Singer presented his thesis on mechanism and teleology. Krikorian read the following paper during the 1955 memorial meeting for Edgar A. Singer, Jr., at the University of Pennsylvania.

Since living beings are defined in terms of teleology, the laws that apply to them can be called teleological laws. These laws, as earlier noted, are statements of averages. It is because the laws are of this character that we may describe the behavior of living beings in terms of chance, spontaneity, and variability, and in some cases even of freedom.

Since behavioral sciences captures the behavior of intelligent, living beings in teleological laws which are expressed as a ‘law of averages’ or in other words, expected behavior, combined with chance, variability and spontaneity. Or to use Dembski’s terminology: reducible to regularity and chance.
In fact, advertising, Amazon’s suggestions, all are based on predictable characteristics of intelligent life. In other words, the claim that intelligent design cannot be reduced to regularity and chance seems to go against common sense knowledge.

Mind functions through the medium of body and never ceases to be part of it. There is no evidence of a non-physical reality, such as psyche, spirit, or soul, apart from body or as an addition to it. What is empirically given is only body and its behavior. Singer was the first American philosopher who in his brilliant paper “Mind as an Observable Object,’’ read before the American Philosophical Association in 1910, argued for a behavioristic theory of mind. This paper came two years earlier than John Watson’s more extreme mechanistic paper on ‘ ‘Behaviorism. ’ ’ In a series
of subsequent articles Singer formulated one of the most adequate statements of the behavioristic standpoint.

Singer’s central contention is the pragmatic claim that a thing is what it does and that what it does is verifiable. In terms of this principle mind is behavior. Mind is not “something inferred from behavior, it is behavior.” Or more definitely, our belief in mind “is an expectation of probable behavior based on an observation of actual behavior, a belief to be confirmed or refuted by more observation as any other belief in a fact is t o be tried out.”

And now as to the bearing of mechanism and teleology on Nature. Nature for Singer is mechanical at every point. More precisely, Nature is that image of mechanism which science approaches as the error of observation approaches zero. Within this universal mechanism certain groups of points, such as living and mental beings, form teleological systems. These purposive systems have their career without violating the laws of the medium within
which they have their being. Life and mind are not alien to Nature, they have their origin, growth, and final decay within her. This much is an empirical fact. But might we claim an over-all purpose for Nature?

Y. H. Krikorian Singer on Mechanism and TeleologyThe Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 54, No. 19. (Sep. 12, 1957), pp. 569-576.

Read at the memorial meeting for Edgar A. Singer, Jr., held at the University of Pennsylvania on December 5, 1955.

There seems to be little reason for Intelligent Design activists to appeal to teleology as evidence for ID. As long as regularity and chance processes can at least in principle explain teleology in nature, and since the outcome of natural selection and variation IS function and since function is specification, it should be clear that ID’s argument that only intelligent designers can generate CSI is a flawed premise.

On Uncommon Descent, Dembski can be observed struggling with these concepts

Dembski wrote:

“Useful” is an inherently teleological notion.

And usefulness or function is actual a notion that follows naturally from the processes of variation and selection. Or in other words, teleology in nature is not really the issue but rather the nature of the teleology. Since ID relies exclusively on eliminative procedures, any ID relevant design inference is blocked by the unknown probability of regularity and chance explaining a particular function in biology. Which of course does not mean that evolutionary science automatically wins, it merely means that ID cannot even compete with our ignorance.
I intend to discuss ‘useful variations’ in a later posting. Indeed since the processes of variation are mostly internal and thus under genetic control, variation itself can be under selection. I intend to show that not only neutrality itself can be under selective constraints but also that the genome can ‘learn’ from its past experiences to bias the variation to ones that are more likely to be succesful.
While ID has done little to explore these concepts in any meaningful scientific manner, science is moving forward on unraveling yet another area of our ignorance and showing how evolution itself can evolve under the same processes that guide evolution.

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Comment #104927

Posted by Henry J on June 10, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

Re “but also that the genome can ‘learn’ from its past experiences to bias the variation to ones that are more likely to be succesful.”

Iow, a gene pool is an intelligent designer, unless one uses an artificially restrictive definition of “intelligent”.

Btw, why do they never seem to talk about the deliberate engineering that has to be done for a “design” to actually become something?

Henry

Comment #104936

Posted by Chiefley on June 10, 2006 10:58 PM (e)

Yes, Ken Miller asks that all the time. By definition, a designed life form is the first of its kind and did not evolve from something else. As Ken says, having not evolved, the new life form must be created. So he classifies ID as a kind of creationism. I think its appropriate if everyone called it Intelligent Design Creationism. As the right wing already knows, if you say something often enough, everyone will believe it is true.

Comment #104937

Posted by Jason on June 10, 2006 11:10 PM (e)

Very nice. You dismantled Dembskis whole reason for being in a few paragraphs.

Comment #104959

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 11, 2006 4:29 AM (e)

Again Dembski is pitiful.

On another note I don’t think the ability to make the creationist inherent supernatural assumption a conclusion from the explanatory filter is as convincing or robust as the usual conclusion from the creation events themselves. (Even if one has to make tiring detours due to panspermists.)

But that one can conclude “that ID cannot even compete with our ignorance” is made clear here, much more tangible than when pointing out the general emptiness of creation events, or CSI specifically. I’m sure Demsbki didn’t mean to propose something that makes the problems with creationism clearer so this must be paining him.

Comment #104961

Posted by Mark Frank on June 11, 2006 4:51 AM (e)

I am not sure about this argument. I imagine that most ID proponents would disagree with the premise on which it is based.

I happen to agree that design can be reduced to necessity+chance, but philosophers have been arguing about this for centuries and it is still very much an open question. It is essentially the debate about free will and determinism. The fact that people are on average predictable is not conclusive. The philosopher that thinks that free will is something distinct and different from necessity and chance would just say that free will may, on average, be predictable but it is still free will.

Comment #104976

Posted by J. G. Cox on June 11, 2006 8:56 AM (e)

Yes, but until free will can actually be demonstrated, science cannot address it. Until then, it remains a purely philosophical concept.

Comment #104992

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 11, 2006 10:21 AM (e)

Yes, but until free will can actually be demonstrated, science cannot address it. Until then, it remains a purely philosophical concept.

Just like a supernatural designer.

Comment #105060

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 11, 2006 7:55 PM (e)

“It is essentially the debate about free will and determinism.”

Perhaps. It is an interesting observation. So instead of stretching the natural vs supernatural dualism this is stretching the mind (percieved freww will, whatever that means) vs soul dualism (‘true’ free will).

I see the creationists take their dualisms there they can find them.

Comment #105296

Posted by Sawyer on June 12, 2006 9:55 PM (e)

I’ve tried my hardest, yet I cannot see how ID in and of itself brings the supernatural to the table. In EVERY case I’ve seen, it’s been the interpreter of ID that has brought it to the table, whether the person be religious or atheist. Panspermia comes up frequently in my readings. SETI sweeps the sky for extraterrestrial life. Why is ID arbitrarily limited to a supernatural entity to provide the intelligent designer?

And in the reverse, since when is establishing something “in principle” proof of anything, other than worthiness of further investigation? ID established proof “in principle” because various biological chemical processes quite easily look as if they could have been designed.

Also, where has science been shining the light on our ignorance? As far as I’ve seen, it’s only been bringing up more and more questions.

Is science actually concerned with what reality is, or is it concerned with what we think reality should be? Evolution has not so far provided any scientific basis for the development of basic biochemical systems. Intelligent design has not offered independently verifiable claims about life.

Every argument one way or another I have read is grounded in presumptions. Remove those presumptions, and the argument, even the evidence, collapses. Upon what are we to base those presumptions? The evidence? Evidence does not by itself say anything; you need a premise with which to interpret it to begin with.

When Darwin started his work, he came up with a great idea. That idea in its original form has done a good job of explaining much variation in life. Yet, in Darwin’s day, life consisted of “living jelly” - literally where the word “protoplasm” derives its meaning. When life was discovered to be significantly more complex than it seemed, ideas such as biochemical predestination and punctuated equilibrium were developed. But while general principles of evolution have been demonstrated at one scale, these attempts to apply it at the sub-microscopic level, while developing our knowledge base to a large degree, have remained wholly unproven.

Personally, I have an easier time of ID. But if evolution is so absolutely certain, so able to show how life began and developed, where is my proof? I’ve not found it, and it’s CERTAINLY not for lack of looking (how else did I end up here?).

I have seen cogent proofs, evidences, and theories of physics, chemistry, astronomy, cosmology, and even general biology. But anything to do with origin of life immediately becomes a murky haze punctuated by grandiose claims and sweeping statements. It seems to me that if one wants to reduce any scientist to a hypocritical idiot, ask him/her about the origin of life. Yeah, a strong point of view, but the insane debate does nothing to raise my respect for the scientific community as a whole.

Comment #105322

Posted by Chiefley on June 12, 2006 11:40 PM (e)

“I have seen cogent proofs, evidences, and theories of physics, chemistry, astronomy, cosmology, and even general biology. But anything to do with origin of life immediately becomes a murky haze punctuated by grandiose claims and sweeping statements. It seems to me that if one wants to reduce any scientist to a hypocritical idiot, ask him/her about the origin of life. Yeah, a strong point of view, but the insane debate does nothing to raise my respect for the scientific community as a whole.” - saywer

Well here is a hint, saywer. Evolution says nothing about the origin of life. It only addresses the evolution of life from one form to another. Perhaps this misconception of yours may have led to your murky haze.

Comment #105338

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 13, 2006 1:43 AM (e)

It seems to me that if one wants to reduce any scientist to a hypocritical idiot, ask him/her about the origin of life.

Well, there’s your problem right there. You’re on the wrong board.

the abiogenesis board is next door; go past the door that says “abuse”.

Comment #105416

Posted by fnxtr on June 13, 2006 2:54 PM (e)

This is, however, the right room for an argument. In the classical sense: a series of connected statements intended to establish a proposition. It isn’t just saying “Yes it is”/”No it isn’t”.

Comment #105417

Posted by Flint on June 13, 2006 3:27 PM (e)

My understanding is that current investigations into abiogenesis are examining some phenomena quite similar to what evolution studies. Self-replication of molecules (even if they are clearly not alive), for example. Imperfect replication of these molecules in many cases, and effective selection among the variation (‘failures’ stop replicating; ‘successes’ are better at it), for example. Paradoxically, there seems to be a consensus among these workers that there is NOT a consensus as to how complex such molecules ought to be, or what the mechanics of the replication process need to be, before they’d be considered ‘alive’.

Clearly the path from inorganic chemistry to life is very long, involving many many thousands of steps. Those allergic to magical explanations presume that at least one such path exists; probably there are a great many.

If I read this material correctly, nobody is assuming that *even if* such a path is demonstrated experimentally, that the actual path followed bears any resemblance to it. At best, we can only show (much like the case of the flagellum) that a natural path is plausible and doesn’t violate any known rules. Now, how such claims can be construed as ‘grandiose’ or hypocritical is another question. I personally can’t see these evils lurking in the material I’m familiar with.

Comment #105419

Posted by Raging Bee on June 13, 2006 3:57 PM (e)

Sawyer wrote:

Every argument one way or another I have read is grounded in presumptions. Remove those presumptions, and the argument, even the evidence, collapses. Upon what are we to base those presumptions? The evidence? Evidence does not by itself say anything; you need a premise with which to interpret it to begin with.

Which “presumptions” are you talking about? Why should we remove or replace them? And with what alternative presumptions would you replace them?

And which “presumptions” underlie ID? IF different, why are they preferable to whatever other “presumptions” you’re so non-specifically complaining about?

And where is the proof that ID has that evolution seems, in your eyes, to lack?

I strongly suspect, Sawyer, that you’re simply repeating a set of talking-points that have been spoon-fed to you by others, without necessarily understanding any of them. “Everything’s based on assumptions therefore science is crap and no one really knows anything” is a head-game that philosophers have dispensed with centuries ago. It’s basically nothing but mental masturbation, and believe me, the physical kind is much more useful.

Comment #105423

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 13, 2006 4:23 PM (e)

Sawyer says:

“I’ve tried my hardest, yet I cannot see how ID in and of itself brings the supernatural to the table. In EVERY case I’ve seen, it’s been the interpreter of ID that has brought it to the table, whether the person be religious or atheist. Panspermia comes up frequently in my readings. SETI sweeps the sky for extraterrestrial life. Why is ID arbitrarily limited to a supernatural entity to provide the intelligent designer?”

ID trivially implies supernatural causation. It is due to the fact that the remaining nature is causal. An event without natural cause will stand out, and we design it an supernatural cause.

The usual rather tedious iterative analysis follows. First, assume we see designed life. This stems from a creation event. Either it is natural, by panspermia or intelligent life designing other life, or supernatural. If natural, you now have an earlier similar creation event. Iterating backwards you run up against bigbang, which no life passed through. (Since spacetime didn’t.) So the first design event is supernatural.

Ultimately it is not an arbitrary designation, but due to that creationism asks for a creation event to be fitted into existing knowledge (excepting evolution), ie what we already know about nature.

Comment #105428

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 13, 2006 4:26 PM (e)

“we design it an supernatural cause”

Heh! We assign it a supernatural cause.

Comment #105450

Posted by Coin on June 13, 2006 4:45 PM (e)

Sawyer wrote:

I’ve tried my hardest, yet I cannot see how ID in and of itself brings the supernatural to the table. In EVERY case I’ve seen, it’s been the interpreter of ID that has brought it to the table

By “the interpreter” do you mean, like, Michael Behe or William Dembski? Because they seem to bring up the supernatural rather a lot.

Sawyer wrote:

Panspermia comes up frequently in my readings. SETI sweeps the sky for extraterrestrial life.

Panspermia and extraterrestrial life– though we lack evidence of their existence, and their existence is incredibly unlikely– would be examples of natural phenomena, subject to the natural law of the universe. If panspermia or extraterrestrial life exist, we can analyze them within the framework of natural law.

Moreover, were it discovered that panspermia or extraterrestrial life do exist, our understanding of natural law would be enriched and clarified. Even a small amount of verified information about either of these things would open up fascinating new areas of inquiry and research related to the circumstances and likelihood under which life arises, the types of life-like replicating systems which are possible, the possibility of life migrating between planets due to asteroids or similar events, the possibility of abiogenesis events in environments other than earth’s…

It would not be good science to assert the existence of ETs and such in the absence of scientific evidence that they do. But the possibility of their existence is a scientific question, and a great deal of science would result if by incredible chance it turned out they did.

Incidentally, though, panspermia doesn’t come up all that often in anything I read. I wonder what it is you have been reading.

Sawyer wrote:

ID established proof “in principle” because various biological chemical processes quite easily look as if they could have been designed.

ID has established proof of no sort. If I see a cloud that I think looks like a rabbit, this does not establish proof “in principle” of a race of giant Fenrir-kin sky-bunnies.

Meanwhile, if you see a biological system that “looks like it could have been designed”, this tells us nothing about anything except your perceptions.

Sawyer wrote:

Also, where has science been shining the light on our ignorance? As far as I’ve seen, it’s only been bringing up more and more questions.

You can’t answer questions unless you ask them first.

But, aside from this, I think most average people might be of the opinion that we actually do know a good bit more about life and the universe than we did 200 or 600 years ago, and in general we’re better at things like curing diseases and building spaceships and whatnot than we were back then. Perhaps you don’t think things like spaceships or vaccines or treatments for cancer are positive steps forward. Well, okay, but I personally am happier to live in a world where such things exist.

Sawyer wrote:

Evolution has not so far provided any scientific basis for the development of basic biochemical systems.

It depends on what exactly you mean by “basic biochemical systems”. If you are asking about issues of abiogenesis, then no, evolution does not explain such things, becuase that is a separate theory. You might as well complain that a map of Mexico does not show the origin of the Colorado River.

If by “basic biochemical systems” you mean molecular-level subcellular structures, then you are mistaken, evolution has provided quite a lot of published scientific basis for the development of these systems. There just seems to be a mysteriously persistent problem where “Intelligent Design” proponents are unaware of the existence of this published science, even when it’s sitting in big stacks of binders piled around them.

Sawyer wrote:

Upon what are we to base those presumptions? The evidence? Evidence does not by itself say anything; you need a premise with which to interpret it to begin with.

“Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.”

Sawyer wrote:

When life was discovered to be significantly more complex than it seemed, ideas such as biochemical predestination… were developed

One last thing. I’d never heard this “biochemical predestination” term before, and it sounded a bit odd, so I decided to look it up.

I discovered: That the inventor of the term (“Dean Kenyon”, around 1969), is mainly notable for his late-life work in favor of creationism, which involved work on “Of Pandas and People” and testimony in favor of “Creation Science” in the 1988 Edwards case; that as he became more and more involved with creationism he repudiated his work on “biochemical predestination”; and that a cursory search turns up virtually no references to “biological predestination” anywhere as an important scientific concept (all google hits on the term turn up creationist websites, citeseer turns up zero hits for the phrase, wikipedia has no knowledge of the term except a one-line mention in a bio of Dean Kenyon, Amazon shows that the book on the subject is out of print and has no reviews). Meanwhile the theory itself, which seems to concern a hypothesized mechanism by which amino acids might self-assemble into proteins, seems at first glance to have more to do with abiogenesis than evolution.

Anyway, I was just curious why you found this particular term noteworthy enough to mention alongside punctuated equilibrium. Considering it seems to clearly not be part of accepted scientific theory now, I for one don’t see any evidence it was ever an influential part of accepted scientific theory, and the term’s originator repudiated it not that long after he formulated it.

Comment #105462

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 13, 2006 5:57 PM (e)

the insane debate does nothing to raise my respect for the scientific community as a whole.

I’m not sure why on earth you would think that the “scientific community as a whole” should give a flying fig what you think about it … ?

Comment #105508

Posted by Sawyer on June 14, 2006 3:10 AM (e)

I’m not sure why on earth you would think that the “scientific community as a whole” should give a flying fig what you think about it … ?

It shouldn’t.

Glad to see my frustrations provoked such a visceral response though.

I rather strongly believe in intellectual integrity. Debates about assumptions may, as has been pointed out, been “disposed of” generations ago. However, I’m not regurgitating anything that’s been spoon-fed to me. My thoughts may not be original, but they are my thoughts.

Maybe I shall come to a better conclusion later. I’m not interested in discussing everything pertaining to my conclusions in detail here; I do so in many other places.

For the record, I don’t disagree with evolution in principle. I think it explains a lot of presented evidence quite clearly. Right or not is one thing, but a lot of it makes enough sense.

However, I have been told many times before that ID proponents often ignore evidence toward biochemical evolution (yes, “molecular-level subcellular structures”; they’re made of chemicals, and “biochemical” is much easier to type :-P). I have honestly been looking for it. I’ve browsed through Talk.Origins archives, run through journal searches (I love colleges for this…), and scoured my college’s library system. All I can come up with are arguments that appear as ambiguous to me as ID probably does to most people here.

Panspermia came to mind for mainly two reasons. Publicity about various space missions (comet dust gathering, for example), and that red rain event in India a while back. I care little about how accepted the idea is; my point is that life on Earth could be designed, but the designer might be a result of natural processes, and thus NOT supernatural (this, by the way, IS a regurgitation, though more of expression than principle).

Biochemical predestination was just one of the first ones to come to mind. I already know it’s defunct. To be honest, I shouldn’t have included it. I had been writing about it earlier, and it stuck in my mind.

A lot of ID proponents DO bring up the supernatural a lot. So? A lot of them are Christian. But when you’re arguing against ID, who are you arguing against: the idea, or those supporting the idea? When I argue for or against ID (yes, I have argued against ID) or evolution, I try to leave the motivations and principles of the proponents/opponents out of the picture. Evolution itself has no inherent theological/religious impact, regardless of what commentary is freely available.

My frustration is that it’s so rediculously difficult to reasonably argue anything without devoting an inordinant amount of time to sorting through the word games. I never have claimed perfect understanding, and I speculate I never will.

For example, I have just recently read Darwins Black Box. I delayed reading it because I didn’t want to unduly influence myself with his ideas. In response, I looked at specific rebuttals of his arguments.

I found word-games, false analogies, ad hominem attacks, straw men, ambivalence, and many cases of simply missing the point.

You’ll notice that I’ve STILL not provided much substantiation for my points, other than cobwebs. This is because much as the scientific community should not care what I think, so do I not care what most people here think. If somebody has something genuinely new to introduce to me, that’s great; I love those moments. But I also can’t honestly be bothered to provide enough information FOR somebody to provide me with something new.

So, whatever anybody does, DON’T assume that my reticence in explaining my evidences, research, logic, or even discussing points brought up by others in response to me is a sign of laziness, lack of knowledge/understanding, or fear. It is, in fact, the sign of a college student has other priorities (grades, gas, food, etc) and simply doesn’t have the time or gumption to reiterate his ideas to a crowd he will likely never interact with again. Priorities, priorities.

Yeah, I know, in that case I shouldn’t have said anything at all.

Comment #105579

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 14, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

Sawyer says:

“Also, where has science been shining the light on our ignorance? As far as I’ve seen, it’s only been bringing up more and more questions.”

This is BTW to be expected - as our knowledge grows, the interaction “surface” between what we know and what we don’t know grows, ie the number of outstanding questions will grow indefinitely.

Comment #105675

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 14, 2006 7:06 PM (e)

Glad to see my frustrations provoked such a visceral response though.

(yawn) Yeah, right, whatever.

Like all fundies, you seem to have an awfully inflated sense of your own self-imnportance. (shrug)

Comment #105702

Posted by Sawyer on June 14, 2006 9:16 PM (e)

(yawn) Yeah, right, whatever.

Like all fundies, you seem to have an awfully inflated sense of your own self-imnportance. (shrug)

I was being mildly sarcastic. Now that you mention it though, every posting after mine has been in reference to my post.

Although, I do understand how it would be easy to think that I’ve got an overinflated ego or something. To be honest, I care extraordinarily little about what others think of me or of my importance. I suppose that kind of apathy could be seen as arrogance of a sort. However, I am also aware that in the grand scheme of things, I am neither important nor significant. I’ve just learned that I have to develop a thick skin when talking on the internet.

However it shows, it’s not my intention to be pretentious.

And yes, I know that as our knowledge increases, new questions arise. It’s just how the universe seems to work :P That’s not the issue I was addressing specifically with my statement, but it doesn’t matter now.

Comment #105705

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 14, 2006 9:25 PM (e)

(yawn) Yeah, right, whatever.

Like all fundies, you seem to have an awfully inflated sense of your own self-imnportance. (shrug)

I was being mildly sarcastic.

I was not.

Comment #105721

Posted by Coin on June 14, 2006 10:02 PM (e)

sawyer wrote:

However, I have been told many times before that ID proponents often ignore evidence toward biochemical evolution (yes, molecular-level subcellular structures; theyre made of chemicals, and biochemical is much easier to type :-P). I have honestly been looking for it.

Here’s a good example from this very website of an explanation for (and link to further resources on) the evolution of a biochemical system, originating from the Dover trial last year.

sawyer wrote:

A lot of ID proponents DO bring up the supernatural a lot. So? A lot of them are Christian. But when youre arguing against ID, who are you arguing against: the idea, or those supporting the idea?

I don’t think you understand. Many ID proponents talk about the supernatural in the context of ID. William Dembski for example has made it clear on multiple occasions he believes it isn’t even possible for ID to survive unless it is allowed to invoke the supernatural:

William Dembski wrote:

The view that science must be restricted solely to purposeless, naturalistic, material processes also has a name. It’s called methodological naturalism. So long as methodological naturalism sets the ground rules for how the game of science is to be played, IDT has no chance Hades.

And Behe as well has made statements to the effect that Intelligent Design must be allowed to include supernatural components:

Michael Behe wrote:

The second philosophical objection in Tower of Babel is that design violates “methodological naturalism,” which means roughly that science must act as though the universe were a closed system of cause and effect, whether it really is or not… Methodological naturalism proves at last nothing more than an artificial restriction on thought, and it will eventually pass.

If even Intelligent Design’s most visible proponents allow that Intelligent Design stretches beyond the “naturalistic” world, surely it is fair for Intelligent Design’s opponents to criticize it on that basis.

Sawyer wrote:

Youll notice that Ive STILL not provided much substantiation for my points

I did notice that, actually. I assume this to be a sign of laziness, lack of knowledge/understanding, or fear.

Sawyer wrote:

Yeah, I know, in that case I shouldnt have said anything at all… it doesnt matter now.

Ah… one of those “if I can’t win the argument, then I’m not going to participate in it” debaters, then.

Comment #105722

Posted by Coin on June 14, 2006 10:05 PM (e)

Whoops. Left out the link on that Behe quote.

Comment #105732

Posted by Sawyer on June 14, 2006 10:24 PM (e)

I must admit, I’ve not read much of Dembski.

Coin, your points are valid. Yes, I don’t always like debating when I can’t win. My first post was an emotional reaction to frustration; I know I can’t win the debate on hand. Hence another reason I’m not really bothering. I don’t understand how recognizing the fact is a character flaw, as you might be implying though. Would you have been happier had I stated that explicitly earlier?

However, I’d be happy to REALLY have a debate on the occasion that I honestly make this stuff my life’s work. Or maybe even after I’ve simply learned more. I’ve only been into it for five years or so, and it’s all been informal, on-the-side study.

Thanks for the links, anyway. Got any book recommendations? I’m particularly interested in the idea of irreducible complexity. Yes, I’ll go out and find them myself, but why waste footwork (and money) on bad books?

Comment #105749

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 14, 2006 10:53 PM (e)

However, I’d be happy to REALLY have a debate on the occasion that I honestly make this stuff my life’s work.

You’re gonna make ID your, uh, life’s work …. ?

Why not help out Dr Buouw with his Biblical Astronomy, instead? At least he hasn’t lost any major court cases.

(snicker) (giggle)

Comment #105751

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 14, 2006 10:55 PM (e)

I must admit, I’ve not read much of Dembski.

And, naturally, that didn’t in any way prevent you from expounding your holy opinion on the matter anyway, right?

(sigh) Typical fundie.

Here’s some advice for you, junior ——- if you don’t know anything about a topic, then, uh, don’t talk about it.

Comment #105753

Posted by Coin on June 14, 2006 11:09 PM (e)

sawyer wrote:

Thanks for the links, anyway. Got any book recommendations?

I unfortunately cannot really help you there. If this is a sincere question, Talk.Origins which you mentioned earlier would probably be a more fruitful place to ask it.

Sawyer wrote:

Im particularly interested in the idea of irreducible complexity.

Of course, if you’re looking for recommendations of fiction books, may I suggest “Perdido Street Station” by China Mieville and “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin. Both are introductions to excellent series but stand on their own as well.

Comment #105813

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 15, 2006 10:58 AM (e)

Sawyer says:

“And yes, I know that as our knowledge increases, new questions arise. It’s just how the universe seems to work :P”

Obviously new questions, as some of the old ones are answered, but also indefinitely *more* questions. Both the areas of our knowledge and our naivity increases.

“That’s not the issue I was addressing specifically with my statement, but it doesn’t matter now.”

Maybe you should rephrase. You said about science that “it’s only been bringing up more and more questions” which I answered to. Your question “where has science been shining the light on our ignorance?” is too general and naive to answer meaningfully since science has given us so much knowledge.