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Old 11th September 2017, 04:27 PM   #1
Thor 2
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Intelligent Design

Just wondering if any others here have heard any good ones about the proof of Intelligent Design. The topic can be tackled from a number of different angles as I read, but have yet to see anything that holds much credibility.

Have just been looking at the Golden Ratio Phi, and how it is seen to be evident in nature by many, who seem to get off on this stuff. Different measurements of the faces and bodies of humans and all sorts of other animals, are looked at and presented by these guys as proof of Phi in nature. The religious get worked into a frenzy as they see it as an obvious sign of design.
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Old 11th September 2017, 04:34 PM   #2
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My brother in law insists that the eye proves intelligent design and cannot conceive how it might have evolved from "why we would need to see". Make of that what you will.
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Old 11th September 2017, 04:39 PM   #3
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If by "good ones" you mean funny claims about things that are supposed to prove that Intelligent Design is true, I think it is almost impossible to beat Ray Comfort and his discussion about the Athiest's Nightmare.

/thread
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Old 11th September 2017, 05:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
My brother in law insists that the eye proves intelligent design and cannot conceive how it might have evolved from "why we would need to see". Make of that what you will.
Yes the irreducible complexity argument tackles this one as well . Richard Dawkins handles this one quite well.

It is all about a very primitive eye to start of with, and the ones that have the better ones survive, because they have an advantage over others.
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Old 11th September 2017, 05:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
If by "good ones" you mean funny claims about things that are supposed to prove that Intelligent Design is true, I think it is almost impossible to beat Ray Comfort and his discussion about the Athiest's Nightmare.

/thread

Ah yes "The Banana Man", it doesn't get much sillier than that.
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Old 11th September 2017, 05:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
My brother in law insists that the eye proves intelligent design and cannot conceive how it might have evolved from "why we would need to see". Make of that what you will.
Radio lab does a pretty good take down of this, demonstrating the prevailing theory for how the eye evolved slowly with each step contributing a little bit of improvement.
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Old 11th September 2017, 05:34 PM   #7
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The link sir drinks-a-lot provided for the Banana Man did not work for me so here is another link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfv-Qn1M58I
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Old 11th September 2017, 05:44 PM   #8
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There is literally no such thing as "Intelligent Design."

It's an admitted PR ploy, an attempt to backdoor pure religious Creationism into public schools and to legitimize it as a "scientific" theory to the general public.
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Old 11th September 2017, 05:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Just wondering if any others here have heard any good ones about the proof of Intelligent Design.
The Institute for Creation Research, so far, hasn't come up with any, indeed, zilcho, although it seems they are trying hard not to try.
Quote:
Have just been looking at the Golden Ratio Phi, and how it is seen to be evident in nature by many, who seem to get off on this stuff. Different measurements of the faces and bodies of humans and all sorts of other animals, are looked at and presented by these guys as proof of Phi in nature. The religious get worked into a frenzy as they see it as an obvious sign of design.
I see it as an obvious sign of mathematics, something invented by humans. If 2+2 = 4, what contribution does a god have?
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Old 11th September 2017, 06:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
My brother in law insists that the eye proves intelligent design and cannot conceive how it might have evolved from "why we would need to see". Make of that what you will.
Ignorance about the evolution of the eye (well known), and the existence of multiple precursors that exist in lifeforms today is what I make of it.
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Old 11th September 2017, 06:29 PM   #11
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When Behe's irreducible flagellum hypothesis was disproved, The Discovery Institute (here in Seattle) shifted to claiming mitochondria are irreducible.

I don't believe Behe has ever accepted his hypothesis failed, confirmation bias in the extreme.

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Old 11th September 2017, 06:39 PM   #12
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Those who believe in Intelligent Design are evidence against Intelligent Design.
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Old 11th September 2017, 07:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Those who believe in Intelligent Design are evidence against Intelligent Design.

Or, at least, against intelligence...
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Old 11th September 2017, 09:58 PM   #14
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My favorite little corner of ID is "fine tuning". With some living organisms or parts of them, it really is hard to picture a plausible path by natural selection to explain them, so I can understand the perspective, even though I don't share it. But apparently, we're also supposed to somehow be impressed by how finely tuned the universe is for us to live in it‽ How in the world could anyone ever look at this universe and think something so deeply odd‽
  • Most of it is empty space, which we can't survive.
  • Of the bit that isn't empty space, it's mostly stars and black holes, which we can't survive.
  • Of the bit that's rocky objects, most are either far too high or far too low in either gravity, temperature, amount of atmosphere, or concentration of any of a long list of chemicals, which we can't survive.
  • Of the one planet we know we can survive at least parts of, most of its volume is the interior, which we can't survive.
  • Of the surface of our own planet, most is open ocean, which we can't survive.
  • Of the land surface area, a significant fraction has one extreme or the other in temperature, dryness, or altitude, which we can't survive. (And even survivable levels can easily be pretty miserable.)
  • Even in the remainder that is survivable, it also contains elements that tend to randomly turn non-survivable temporarily, like other critters wanting to eat us, diseases, tornadoes, mudslides, volcanoes, poisonous gas pockets, diseases, and other critters wanting to eat us.
I would have thought that as soon as the abstract concept of a finely tuned universe came up, most ordinary people's first thought would have been to start by imagining one without some of those very obvious & basic problems in it.
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Old 11th September 2017, 11:05 PM   #15
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A link on my internet favourits list is to the ID poem. I have just tried it and it still works!

https://www.csicop.org/si/show/intelligent_designer
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Old 12th September 2017, 12:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
There is literally no such thing as "Intelligent Design."

It's an admitted PR ploy, an attempt to backdoor pure religious Creationism into public schools and to legitimize it as a "scientific" theory to the general public.
The ID movement was an utterly dishonest attempt to backdoor religion into science class, yes, and undermine trust in science in general. Saying that there is no such thing as Intelligent Design, however, is likely going a bit too far. Intelligent Design is a common feature of quite a few religions, after all, which is something, and there are a number of Christians who believe that intelligent design happened, but are deeply offended if you try to lump their beliefs in with what they consider the dishonesty of the ID movement. Alien creators are postulated by some as intelligent designers, too, which is also something. And, of course, we are surrounded by things that were intelligently designed by humans.

With that said... there really aren't any good arguments for humans or life in general being intelligently designed, that I've seen. Arguments from incredulity regarding the complexity of life and how unimaginable it is that it could have come to be without a designer and appeals to how obvious it is that there must have been such a designer have seemed to be the most common arguments that I've seen for it. More rarely, there were the arguments that tried to abuse concepts like "language" and "code" to "prove" it. If my memory's not been dulled a bit by the many years since I was more actively investigating the topics, the most "solid" argument that I saw along those lines was a guy who was trying to make a case out of DNA (along with RNA and similar) being uniquely and dramatically more complex among chemical structures that were claimed to be natural, but par for the course for something that was designed, to make a case that it should be treated as intelligently designed. On the sillier front, of course, there were things like the banana argument, as was already pointed out, a person popping a cell in a water filled test tube and claiming that the fact that it wasn't going to spontaneously reform was proof of life being created by an intelligent designer rather than abiogenesis, the quote mining from Darwin's The Origin of Species (especially when the issue was addressed in the very next sentence), and so on.
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Old 12th September 2017, 01:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
......Saying that there is no such thing as Intelligent Design, however, is likely going a bit too far. Intelligent Design is a common feature of quite a few religions, after all.......
I have no idea what argument it is you are trying to make here. Could you expand on the above?
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Old 12th September 2017, 01:30 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
There is literally no such thing as "Intelligent Design."
Speaking as a design engineer, I wish I could disagree...

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Old 12th September 2017, 01:33 AM   #19
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I wonder if God used a nice modern CAD system, pencil and paper, or just did it all in her head?
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Old 12th September 2017, 02:05 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I wonder if God used a nice modern CAD system, pencil and paper, or just did it all in her head?

More importantly, who would they apply to for permits and patents?
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Old 12th September 2017, 03:03 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I have no idea what argument it is you are trying to make here. Could you expand on the above?
It's pretty much exactly as I said. That we are here now because of the actions of an intelligent creator of some form, rather than simple chemistry or some other undirected process, is a commonly used concept that is not based on the ID movement at all (rather, the ID movement simply invoked what had already been separately popularized) and is thus something, in direct contradiction to the claim that there is no such thing as "Intelligent Design" because the ID movement was thoroughly political and dishonest in nature and goals. That the ID movement tried (and is still trying, really) to lie their preferred version of it into science classrooms in no way negates that ID itself has been a popularly believed concept for a very long time. As for an overarching point to posting in the first place? While I put no stock in ID myself, I generally value accurate representations of the facts and cogent arguments.
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Old 12th September 2017, 03:07 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
More importantly, who would they apply to for permits and patents?
I'm reminded of the Eastern Asian stories about a Heavenly Bureaucracy.
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Old 12th September 2017, 04:02 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
My favorite little corner of ID is "fine tuning". With some living organisms or parts of them, it really is hard to picture a plausible path by natural selection to explain them, so I can understand the perspective, even though I don't share it.
People tend to allow their personal expectations of the outcome to influence the details that they most critically and carefully analyze in a theory. "Fine-tuning" or "gradual development" is something that Creationists and ID'ers love to bash with a big hammer, and evolutionists love to take for granted without even explaining how it exactly could work.

Among the most important examples are how evolutionists draw diagrams of how an eye or an ear was first like this, and then these and those bones and details moved here and there, and it became a much better version of the original.

Creationists and ID'ers see here an opportunity to refute the credibility of evolutionism, by asking how a primitive ear or eye can "gradually evolve" into the more sophisticated version, if the assumed temporary versions between these two are evidently less functional than the original version, so evolution should work against the said process rather than towards it (as evolution cannot "see" the final outcome of the assumedly slow and long transformation process, it only sees and punishes the immediate inferiority and dysfunctionality of the first malformed temporary version towards the more sophisticated version).

Evolutionists tend to be happy enough for having two diagrams that are somehow logically related with each other, even if they cannot give a plausible sequence of such temporary versions between these, which would be functionally superior to the original version, and thus preferred by natural selection in a long and painstaking transformation process.

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Old 12th September 2017, 04:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
It's pretty much exactly as I said.
Of course Intelligent Design exists...as a concept.

But that's only trivially true - all sorts of absurd and falsified claims exist as concepts.

I have Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" in my library. To a layman, it seemed to make a cogent case for irreducible complexity. But after reading it, I easily found point-by-point refutations to each example given in the book online. And even if no refutation to a particular case could be imagined, that's basically an Argument From Ignorance, and not proof of anything beyond a lack of imagination.

Any of Dawkins' books could help disabuse one of the whole "Intelligent Design" thing. "Climbing Mount Improbable" is probably the most targeted in this regard.

As an aside, I came across Behe's book in the "Evolution" section of a bookstore once. Seemed out of place, but an easy mistake for an employee to make.

Then again, it's where I have my copy sitting!

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Old 12th September 2017, 04:45 AM   #25
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[quote=JJM 777;11992270

Among the most important examples are how evolutionists draw diagrams of how an eye or an ear was first like this, and then these and those bones and details moved here and there, and it became a much better version of the original.

Creationists and ID'ers see here an opportunity to refute the credibility of evolutionism, by asking how a primitive ear or eye can "gradually evolve" into the more sophisticated version, if the assumed temporary versions between these two are evidently less functional than the original version, so evolution should work against the said process rather than towards it (as evolution cannot "see" the final outcome of the assumedly slow and long transformation process, it only sees and punishes the immediate inferiority and dysfunctionality of the first malformed temporary version towards the more sophisticated version).

Evolutionists tend to be happy enough for having two diagrams that are somehow logically related with each other, even if they cannot give a plausible sequence of such temporary versions between these, which would be functionally superior to the original version, and thus preferred by natural selection in a long and painstaking transformation process.[/QUOTE]

How would a succession of less functional versions lead to a better one? Maybe I'm misreading this argument, but it appears to be the complete opposite of natural selection. I would also have thought that natural selection would account for a plausible sequence of different versions, though improved rather than inferior. I'm also not sure where you got the idea of 'temporary' , as presumably opposed to 'permanent', from. Is this a creationist strawman, or one of your own invention?
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Old 12th September 2017, 04:59 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
How would a succession of less functional versions lead to a better one? Maybe I'm misreading this argument, but it appears to be the complete opposite of natural selection. I would also have thought that natural selection would account for a plausible sequence of different versions, though improved rather than inferior. I'm also not sure where you got the idea of 'temporary' , as presumably opposed to 'permanent', from. Is this a creationist strawman, or one of your own invention?
Think of a penguin's wing.

It's clearly less functional for flying than a hawk's, let's say. But also clearly more functional for the environs a penguin finds itself surviving in. And it's there ready to evolve back towards flight should its environment change. Someone naively looking at the fossil record might ask why the wing first became less functional on its way back to flight, when in fact at each step along the way it was perfectly - or at least maximally - suited to its environs.

I still love Dawkins' "The Ancestor's Tale" for providing great insight into evolution.
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Old 12th September 2017, 05:22 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I have no idea what argument it is you are trying to make here. Could you expand on the above?
It was in response to this:

Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
There is literally no such thing as "Intelligent Design."

It's an admitted PR ploy, an attempt to backdoor pure religious Creationism into public schools and to legitimize it as a "scientific" theory to the general public.
So it pointed out that it really is what a lot of religionists actually think. The people who came up with the label for it were being dishonest, trying to hide the fact that their creationism was just plain old creationism but the description they came up with for what creationists think and why they think it was a perfectly accurate label. The PR ploy caught on because it accurately reflected an idea that was already popular and just didn't have that name before.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
How would a succession of less functional versions lead to a better one? Maybe I'm misreading this argument...
Not less functional than before; less functional when compared to the end result.
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Old 12th September 2017, 05:29 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Creationists and ID'ers see here an opportunity to refute the credibility of evolutionism, by asking how a primitive ear or eye can "gradually evolve" into the more sophisticated version, if the assumed temporary versions between these two are evidently less functional than the original version, so evolution should work against the said process rather than towards it (as evolution cannot "see" the final outcome of the assumedly slow and long transformation process, it only sees and punishes the immediate inferiority and dysfunctionality of the first malformed temporary version towards the more sophisticated version).
The unspoken assumption, of course, being that functionality is a one-dimensional entity, with any variation being either more or less functional in an absolute sense. In reality, environments change, and adaptations to earlier environments are then less suited to a changed environment; an adaptation may then be less suited either to the earlier environment or to some later, differently changed environment, yet be better suited to the environment at the time. The result is a process by which the direction of change may itself change, because the drivers of that change are changing. This may be a bit difficult for people with a highly simplistic world view to understand.

Any theory can be made to look wrong by the careful omission of a key part of it.

Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Evolutionists
This is a loaded word in itself, in that it suggests a belief system rather than a conclusion from study of the evidence

Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
tend to be happy enough for having two diagrams that are somehow logically related with each other, even if they cannot give a plausible sequence of such temporary versions between these, which would be functionally superior to the original version, and thus preferred by natural selection in a long and painstaking transformation process.
In other words, people who take a rational approach to understanding of the world, and don't invoke additional entities to explain something quite amenable to a simpler explanation, also do not discard that simpler explanation on the basis of an argument from ignorance.

Dave
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Old 12th September 2017, 05:58 AM   #29
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When I was reading a lot about art, I read an article by a fellow who wanted to show how the "golden ratio" could be applied to your painting.
He divided a canvas up into grids and subdivided the grids according to mathematical principals to determine where one's "points of interest" should fall.
Unfortunately, by the time he was finished there were so many intersecting grid lines that it would have been almost impossible to avoid them when plotting points of interest.....
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Old 12th September 2017, 02:44 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
When I was reading a lot about art, I read an article by a fellow who wanted to show how the "golden ratio" could be applied to your painting.
He divided a canvas up into grids and subdivided the grids according to mathematical principals to determine where one's "points of interest" should fall.
Unfortunately, by the time he was finished there were so many intersecting grid lines that it would have been almost impossible to avoid them when plotting points of interest.....



Those obsessed with the "golden ratio" Phi will seem to go to extraordinary lengths to show its existence everywhere.

https://www.goldennumber.net/nature/


And the god bots will lap it up as proof of the finger of god in everything. Words like precisely and exactly are thrown in, to describe the ratios observed although the points measured from seem to be arbitrarily selected.

As we know of course exact just doesn't exist in the world and universe we observe. If God had created just one example of it, (say the orbit of the Earth being a perfect circle instead of an ellipse), it would be impressive and perhaps compelling evidence of her existence.
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Old 12th September 2017, 03:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
My brother in law insists that the eye proves intelligent design and cannot conceive how it might have evolved from "why we would need to see". Make of that what you will.
You might point out to your brother-in-law there's no such thing as "the eye." There are scores of different eyes out there and several are far superior to our own in one or more attributes. And, as others have pointed out, the various developments of various eyes have been well-understood for quite some time.
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Old 12th September 2017, 03:16 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Those obsessed with the "golden ratio" Phi will seem to go to extraordinary lengths to show its existence everywhere.
An interesting treatment can be found in The Golden Ratio, Mario Livio, 2002, Broadway Books, ISBN 0-7679-0816-3. Livio shows some astonishing and/or intriguing aspects of Phi but does not embrace the tabloid gee-whiz approach. Along with being level-headed & quite informative, his book is a fun & easy read.
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Old 12th September 2017, 10:16 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Of course Intelligent Design exists...as a concept.

But that's only trivially true - all sorts of absurd and falsified claims exist as concepts.
*points back at the claim and argument that he had actually responded to* "There's no such thing as "Intelligent Design." Why? Because it was a "PR ploy." That's quite clearly making claims about the concept, so your statement here elicits little more than "Duh?" as a reaction from me, and an expectation that you're trying to pin a position onto me that clearly is in opposition to the things that I clearly and repeatedly stated.
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Old 12th September 2017, 10:31 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
How would a succession of less functional versions lead to a better one? Maybe I'm misreading this argument, but it appears to be the complete opposite of natural selection.
Are you responding to the part of that post that specifically refers to IDers/creationists trying to claim things along those lines? It's certainly true that IDers/creationists have tried to use arguments like "What advantages would half a wing give?" as part of their attempts to discredit evolution, after all. It looked like no such claim had been made in relation to the "evolutionists," but rather more implied that the evolutionists tend to be okay with not always knowing all the specifics, at least not yet.
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Old 12th September 2017, 11:58 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
It's pretty much exactly as I said. That we are here now because of the actions of an intelligent creator of some form, rather than simple chemistry or some other undirected process, is a commonly used concept...........While I put no stock in ID myself, I generally value accurate representations of the facts and cogent arguments.
I'm struggling to see the value in this thinking. Put "Santa Claus" in your post wherever you see "ID", and you are claiming, in essence, that Santa Claus exists because it is a well known concept. I really don't see how this contributes anything useful to a discussion about the reality or otherwise of Santa Claus, or of ID.
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Old 13th September 2017, 02:53 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
"What advantages would half a wing give?
... evolutionists tend to be okay with not always knowing all the specifics, at least not yet.
This is the difference in attitude that I pointed out. When something crucial is not known, people tend to ignore and forget it, or try to use it as evidence against the theory, depending on their desired outcome. Thus evolutionists focus on the strengths of the theory, and keep relatively quiet about its known weaknesses, while Creationists and ID'ers do the opposite.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
How would a succession of less functional versions lead to a better one? Maybe I'm misreading this argument, but it appears to be the complete opposite of natural selection. I would also have thought that natural selection would account for a plausible sequence of different versions, though improved rather than inferior.
That is how evolution is supposed to function. The counter-argument is called "irreducible complexity", where "a plausible sequence of different versions, though improved rather than inferior" seems to be very difficult to suggest, if you are given a pencil and diagrams of the earlier and later version, and you should draw between them slowly evolving variants which are constantly "improved rather than inferior".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
I'm also not sure where you got the idea of 'temporary' , as presumably opposed to 'permanent', from.
Paleontological evidence tends to be dominated by certain relatively stable designs of organs and species, while the "missing links" between these are called "missing" because they are rare or indeed missing. Hence the idea of the common "permanent" vs. the rare "temporary". Everything is temporary in some sense, but some things are radically more temporary than other things.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Is this a creationist strawman, or one of your own invention?
I have not invented one single original thought or theory, concerning the origin of life. Everything what I say here, I have seen basically said elsewhere.

Last edited by JJM 777; 13th September 2017 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 13th September 2017, 03:03 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
That is how evolution is supposed to function. The counter-argument is called "irreducible complexity", where "a plausible sequence of different versions, though improved rather than inferior" seems to be very difficult to suggest, if you are given a pencil and diagrams of the earlier and later version, and you should draw between them slowly evolving variants which are constantly "improved rather than inferior".
Again, you're viewing adaptation as a one-dimensional phenomenon. Environments are continually changing, and adaptations to those environments are therefore continually changing direction. The slowly evolving variants may therefore be changing in directions that have nothing to do with the 'start' point or the 'end' point of the process (which are themselves arbitrary constructs). If there is a 'known weakness' in evolutionary theory, it's that its emergent properties are too complex for many people to understand.

Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
I have not invented one single original thought or theory, concerning the origin of life. Everything what I say here, I have seen basically said elsewhere.
Unfortunately there are some remarkably stupid things said elsewhere.

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Old 13th September 2017, 03:09 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Aridas: That we are here now because of the actions of an intelligent creator of some form, rather than simple chemistry or some other undirected process, is a commonly used concept

VS:

MikeG: Put "Santa Claus" in your post wherever you see "ID", and you are claiming, in essence, that Santa Claus exists because it is a well known concept.
The way I read it, Aridas did not claim that ID exists, he only claimed that the concept of ID exists. Which is true for the concept of Santa Claus too.
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Old 13th September 2017, 03:13 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Again, you're viewing adaptation as a one-dimensional phenomenon. Environments are continually changing, and adaptations to those environments are therefore continually changing direction. The slowly evolving variants may therefore be changing in directions that have nothing to do with the 'start' point or the 'end' point of the process (which are themselves arbitrary constructs). If there is a 'known weakness' in evolutionary theory, it's that its emergent properties are too complex for many people to understand.
Nobody requires the path to be straight. The irreducible complexity argument questions the existence of any possible and plausible path whatsoever. Its counter-argument would be suggesting such a path, but as I have said a few times, this is a detail which the opponents of evolutionism love to focus on, and the proponents tend to ignore.
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Old 13th September 2017, 03:25 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Nobody requires the path to be straight. The irreducible complexity argument questions the existence of any possible and plausible path whatsoever. Its counter-argument would be suggesting such a path, but as I have said a few times, this is a detail which the opponents of evolutionism love to focus on, and the proponents tend to ignore.
As far as I'm aware, that's not actually true; when proponents of evolution suggest or even identify plausible pathways, as in the case of protokaryotic flagellae, it's those pathways that tend to get ignored. Again, to someone with an excessively simple world view they're complex and difficult to understand, and it's much simpler to simply handwave them away, stick your fingers in your ears and sing "All things bright and beautiful," but that's not actually a compelling argument.

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