ID explained (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, January 28, 2021, 11:02 (189 days ago) @ David Turell

First part transferred from the misleadingly named thread on “human evolution: we are entirely improbable

DAVID: Neither you nor I have any logical absolute proof. That is why some of us jump Pascal's chasm and some of us don't. To me the evidence is overwhelming, but for you it isn't. As two different humans with two different background we come to different conclusions. That is certainly reasonable and logical.

dhw: Not quite. I do not come to one definite conclusion, whereas you do. This applies both to first cause and to theories of evolution. You claim that you have evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt” for your theories and dismiss any alternatives, but you do not or cannot provide any logical answers to my questions. That is why you have now dodged the bolded objection to your God theory at the start of this post!

DAVID: Reproduced here: "only a living, conscious mind can design life and consciousness, and therefore our life and consciousness were designed by a living, conscious mind which was not designed by anything at all. Logical?" Of course logical. Design requires a designer and without a first cause there is nothing. Logical?

“Design requires a designer” is logical, and “without a first cause there is nothing” is logical, but if life and consciousness require a designer and your God is alive and conscious, then he must have been designed. And so you solve the mystery of life and consciousness by telling us that they had to be designed but they didn’t have to be designed.

ID explained

QUOTES: Yet Darwin argued that this appearance of design could be more simply explained as the product of a purely undirected mechanism, namely, natural selection and random variation. Modern neo-Darwinists have similarly asserted that the undirected process of natural selection and random mutation produced the intricate designed-like structures in living systems.

There is nothing in this article that we have not discussed over and over again. There are two chapters of life involved in such discussions: 1 is the origin of life itself. 2 is the origin of species, i.e. evolution. In Origin of Species, Darwin explicitly says he is not dealing with the origin of life, and in later editions he actually attributes it to “the Creator” and says that his theory “should not shock the religious feelings of anyone”. You and I have from the very start dismissed his theory of random mutations as the mechanism of evolutionary innovation.

There is simply too much information in the cell to be explained by chance alone.”

Agreed donkey’s years ago.

QUOTE: “the theory of intelligent design is not based upon ignorance or “gaps” in our knowledge, but on scientific discoveries about DNA and on established scientific methods of reasoning in which our uniform experience of cause and effect guides our inferences about the kinds of causes that produce (or best explain) different types of events or sequences.

No attempt to distinguish between Chapters 1 and 2 of life. So let me fill in the gaps: nobody knows the origin of life – i,e, of the complex cells which have evolved into every life form in history. No one will deny that common descent requires the restructuring of cell communities. If we reject random mutations as the driving force behind this restructuring, we are left with a stark choice: either every life form was designed by a designer (or a team of designers), or every life form was designed by the cell communities of which it is made, i.e. by cellular intelligence. The article makes absolutely no mention of this theory – it is stuck with chance in the form of Darwin’s random mutations, which we have agreed to reject. It’s called flogging a dead horse.

QUOTE: Since the 1960s physicists have recognized that the initial conditions and the laws and constants of physics are finely tuned, against all odds, to make life possible. Even extremely slight alterations in the values of many independent factors — such as the expansion rate of the universe, the speed of light, and the precise strength of gravitational or electromagnetic attraction — would render life impossible. Physicists refer to these factors as “anthropic coincidences” and to the fortunate convergence of all these coincidences as the “fine-tuning of the universe.”

And it goes on to attack the theory of multiverses.

Of course we can only have life as we know it if conditions are right for life as we know it! But how can anyone possibly know what other conditions might be conducive to other forms of life? How can anyone possibly know the extent or the history of our universe, since even the big bang (if it happened) may have been one episode in its history? We are talking here about infinity and eternity. The article never makes one single attempt to explain the origin or whereabouts of the designer. ID-ers dare not do so, because they know that this will raise just as many questions as the problem of the origin of life and species. You do not solve a mystery by creating another mystery!

In brief: yes to intelligent design in Chapter 2 of life. Unsolved mysteries: the origin of life itself, and what is the designing mechanism that has enabled living organisms to diversify into all the life forms that exist and have existed? The article makes no attempt to solve either of these mysteries.


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