The Design Inference- Why it matters- revisited, again
Seems like a good time to bring this up again:
In other forums I have been asked to describe/ define intelligence. I have stated that intelligence is that which can create counterflow*. Now I will tell you why that is important. Sorry, very, very important.
ID critics & anti-IDists are always saying that ID isn't science because it doesn't attempt to answer questions about the designer- such as its capabilities; the implementation process/ mechanism of design (how); when or where it was designed.
But that is exactly why ID is scientific. Because it forces us to ask those questions. Which should be enough of a driving force to get people seriously looking.
IDists understand that in order to possibly answer those questions there is quite a bit of work to be done. The first is the detection- that is what gets archaeologists and SETI researchers going. Then we look for more (clues of design) while others are going over the first. We fit the pieces together, unless of course we find a short-cut, but the answer turns out to be 42** but we don't know the question. (those darn mice).
I have always maintained that ID isn't interested in answering those questions but IDists are. I have always maintained that is the same as the ToE not being concerned with life's origins but evolutionists are. IOW the theory of evolution is about what happened after life appeared. But if life didn’t arise from non-living matter via unintelligent, blind/ undirected (non-goal oriented) processes, i.e. the only scenario that excludes ID, then there wouldn’t be any reason to infer its subsequent diversity arose solely due to those type of processes. I never could or will understand why anti-IDists can't understand that pure & basic logical connection. But anyway...
Why isn’t ID interested in those questions? ID is about the detection and understanding of the design. SETI- first detect then try to understand; archaeology- first identify artifacts (detect) and then put the pieces together (understand). In the absence of direct observation or designer input the ONLY way to make a reasonable inference about the designer is by studying the design. The same goes for how, why, when and where.
Can anyone tell me how to get any information about the Wright brothers JUST by studying airplanes? How about how it was designed or manufactured?
The odd part is the people who rail against ID insist we have those answers or ID isn’t science. However if we had the answers then we wouldn’t need science to help us find them, ID would be a given and the point would be moot.
The design inference matters because reality demonstrates we care whether or not something is intentionally designed. We care enough to have the word artifact as part of our defined vocabulary. We care enough to have laboratories set up to help us make the determination (intentional design or not). And we know it does make a difference to any investigation- that is it matters whether the object/ structure/ event in question was intentionally designed, happened by chance/ accident, or happened by necessity. For example when a fire investigation determines arson, the investigation from that point on is different than had the initial investigation determined “accident”. And guess what? We didn’t have to know who the arsonist was to determine arson as the root cause. Nor did we have to know how the arson was initiated. We know that only via rigorous investigation can we hope to determine those answers. And sometimes the person/ people who made the determination of arson aren’t the same. IOW one “team” made the determination of arson and another went about finding the arsonist. With ID scientists have enough to do with the detection and understanding part. And I agree the questions not answered by ID- the who, why, where, how- can and should be a guiding “force” behind extending the design inference- i.e. using the design inference as a foundation from which to ask those questions. Nasca, Peru- the lines and the figures- designed? Yes. The who, why, how were only “answered” via years of investigation, and we are still working on what we do have. The point being that the discovery of design led to the research. And it also disproves the foolish notion that the design inference is a show stopper (held by those who say ID is another way of saying “Goddidit! We give up!”).
Stonehenge- If it were determined to be just another geologic formation the course of investigation would be very different than the current course, ie the design inference.
"The Privileged Planet"- By following the data the authors J. Richards & G. Gonzalez believe they have uncovered part of the mystery that lay beyond ID's scope. Now some can run with that while others can try to refute it. Then time can sort out benefits, if any, from the pitfalls, if any.
The "benefits" of evolutionism are we are afraid if birds and mosquitos. Just because they are carriers of stuff that can kill us. Evolutionism has offered us zero aid in finding solutions to biological issues. Its pitfalls are already mentioned plus leading us away from the reality to our existence which can only lead to more human anguish.
*Counterflow refers to things running contrary to what, in the relevant sense, would (or might) have resulted or occurred had nature operated freely. Del Ratzsch page 5 of Nature, Design and Science: The Status of Design in Natural Science
or as I refer to it as anything that nature, acting alone, could not or would not do.
** from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”