Intelligent Reasoning

Promoting, advancing and defending Intelligent Design via data, logic and Intelligent Reasoning and exposing the theory of evolution as the nonsense it is. I also educate evotards about ID and the theory of evolution one tard at a time and sometimes in groups

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An attempt to clear a hurdle

When having a discussion or attempting one it is always a good thing to understand the other person's position, especially if that discussion turns into a debate. Dave, the Thought Provoker has posted a set of assumptions for his PoV and I have posted mine. Dave's proposal, seen below, appears fine except that it is eerily similar to what I proposed that he adamantly rejected.

To me that is a hurdle that must be crossed before we can proceed and I can explain my proposal.

DAVE'S proposal...
1. The universe exists. No assumption is made on the method of the universe's creation (before the Big Bang).

2. About 4.6 billion years ago the earth was formed by natural processes generally agreed upon within the scientific community.

3. Within the 1.5 billion years following earth's creation, living organisms appeared. Since there isn't a scientific consensus, the only assumption is that it occured via natural processes.

4. All indigenous, earth based organisms descended from the original life described in #3. ("Common Descent")

5. Common Descent was, and is, achieved through changes in the properties of organism populations that are a result of natural processes such as natural selection, random variation and mutation, and other similarly naturalistic mechanisms. These processes are sufficient to account for the existence and function of all natural organisms on earth.


“Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.


Who has watched Criss Angel? I have and some of what he pulls off I just can’t wrap my mind around. If anyone seems to defy physics he does. In the end I take comfort in “knowing” it was just an illusion because I “know” that a person cannot float from one building to another- something’s up but I just can’t see it/ figure it out.

But anyway, Dave the Thought Provoker has stated that “the blind watchmaker thesis” was an inaccurate portrayal of his reality. But I ask you- anyone reading this- what is the difference between his assumption number 5 and the blind watchmaker thesis shown below it? I am having a difficult time understanding why Dave was so offended by my describing the debate as being ID vs. the blind watchmaker thesis when the only difference is a few descriptive adjectives. Those descriptive adjectives are agreed upon and used by the SAME scientific community in his assumption #2.

As for assumptions #2 & #3 I have already noted that both intelligence and design are natural. And now that we have observed other solar systems we know that ours is atypical which renders any consensus on how the Earth formed a consensus of speculation.

Assumption #4 if life did not arise from non-living matter via random assemblies of particles (pre-biotic natural selection being a contradiction in terms)- just nature, operating freely, there would be no reason to infer its subsequent diversity was solely due to “natural processes such as natural selection, random variation and mutation, and other similarly naturalistic mechanisms”- which is pretty vague without those aforementioned descriptive adjectives, which in turn means there is quite a bit of wiggle room.

And also natural can mean either produced by nature or existing in nature. For example my car exists in nature, and therefore it is natural, but it wasn’t produced by nature.

14 Comments:

  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    Joe wrote...
    "Dave's proposal, seen below, appears fine except that it is eerily similar to what I proposed that he adamantly rejected.

    To me that is a hurdle that must be crossed before we can proceed and I can explain my proposal.
    "

    I'm not completely certain which hurdle you are talking about here, but I can make a guess.

    I believe you are looking to something that you can specifically argue against. For example, you would like my set of assumptions to include a requirement of "unguided, unintelligent, purposeless" processes.

    We are framing a debate between our two proposals to avoid having a double standard. Let's do a balanced compare and contrast...

    JOE'S proposal...
    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.


    Your proposal is assuming something exists in nature that "naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes" can't explain. You are making an assumption that a directed cause must exist.

    I do not make that assumption.

    That is our conflict. It is balanced because I am not forcing terms on you and you, hopefully, aren't forcing terms on me.

    If you are still having problems understanding my definitions, please ask some direct questions. May I suggest these questions be of the same nature as those I asked you, namely…

    I am interested in having Joe expound on his term "information content". Can non-living things have "information content"? For example, does a simple rock contain information (e.g. weight, mass, dimensions, etc)? If that is the case, do two rocks contain more information than one rock (not necessarily double, just more)?

     
  • At 12:53 PM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    To Joe,

    I forgot to say "Thank You".

    I do appreciate you addressing our proposals.

    Thanks Again,
    Dave

     
  • At 9:20 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Thought Provoker:
    I'm not completely certain which hurdle you are talking about here, but I can make a guess.

    You shouldn't have to guess. The OP was very clear.

    Thought Provoker:
    For example, you would like my set of assumptions to include a requirement of "unguided, unintelligent, purposeless" processes.

    It doesn't matter what I would like. It is obvious that thsoe words correctly define your position.

    Thought Provoker:
    Your proposal is assuming something exists in nature that "naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes" can't explain.

    Actually my proposal is assuming that intelligent, directed causes are a better explanation.

    Thought Provoker:
    You are making an assumption that a directed cause must exist.

    At least existed.

    Thought Provoker:
    I do not make that assumption.

    So you say but logic dictates that you actually have for reasons already posted.


    Thought Provoker:
    That is our conflict. It is balanced because I am not forcing terms on you and you, hopefully, aren't forcing terms on me.

    I am not forcing anything. However if you want to lean on some scientific community in your assumptions it is best not to selectively do so.

    Ya see Dave, it is obvious to anyone reading this that your assumption #5 is the same as evolution #6, ie the blind watchmaker thesis that you so adamantly denied.

    THAT is the hurdle. And obviously we are stuck at that hurdle.

     
  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    Joe wrote...
    "Ya see Dave, it is obvious to anyone reading this that your assumption #5 is the same as evolution #6, ie the blind watchmaker thesis that you so adamantly denied.

    THAT is the hurdle. And obviously we are stuck at that hurdle.
    "

    If "...it is obvious to anyone reading this..." then there is no reason to think we are "stuck".

    I say "Fire is rapid oxidation". You say that means "Fire is hot". It isn't necessary that I include "hot" in my definition of fire.

    Note, I am not denying that, in all probability, my set of assumptions implies that Common Descent occured solely through unguided, unintelligent and purposeless processes. It just isn't a requirement.

    Joe, I am not going to let you put words in my mouth. I already compromised by incorporating as much of the DI definition as I felt comfortable with.

    I suggest that rather than trying to change my proposal, you should pay attention to yours. Yours seems to include the concept that "Naturalistic mechanisms ... do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity." So does that mean your set of assumption includes mechanisms that aren't naturalistic?

     
  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger Zachriel said…

    joe g: "And also natural can mean either produced by nature or existing in nature."

    That's a good point. A simple way to see the difference is with these dichotomies.

    natural -- artificial
    natural -- supernatural

    In the former case, trees are natural while cars are artificial. In the latter case, cars are natural while gods are supernatural.

     
  • At 8:29 AM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    joe g: "And also natural can mean either produced by nature or existing in nature."

    Zachriel: "That's a good point. A simple way to see the difference is with these dichotomies."

    It is a good point. That is one of the reasons why I was confused as to what exactly was Joe's "hurdle". The problem with the definition of "nature" and "naturalistic" exists in both proposals.

     
  • At 8:39 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Joe wrote...
    "Ya see Dave, it is obvious to anyone reading this that your assumption #5 is the same as evolution #6, ie the blind watchmaker thesis that you so adamantly denied.


    THAT is the hurdle. And obviously we are stuck at that hurdle."

    Thought Provoker:
    If "...it is obvious to anyone reading this..." then there is no reason to think we are "stuck".

    Unfortunately we are stuck due to your dishonesty. You were adamant that with "the blind watchmaker" thesis I was forcing something onto you. But now reality demonstrates that was your position all along.

    Thought Provoker:
    Note, I am not denying that, in all probability, my set of assumptions implies that Common Descent occured solely through unguided, unintelligent and purposeless processes. It just isn't a requirement.

    It is a requirement for reasons I have provided.

    Thought Provoker:
    Joe, I am not going to let you put words in my mouth. I already compromised by incorporating as much of the DI definition as I felt comfortable with.

    Reality demonstrates that you did not compromise anything. The only words I put into your mouth are words that belong there. The fact that you would even try to deny those words just further exposes some hidden agenda. For those words are used by the SAME scientific community that you call on in your assumptions.

     
  • At 8:41 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Zachriel:
    In the former case, trees are natural while cars are artificial.

    We don't know if the original tree was produced by nature, operating freely, or not. Right now there isn't any data that would demonstrate that nature, operating freely, could produce a tree. So in that light trees may be in the same boat as cars.

     
  • At 8:46 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Thought Provoker:
    I suggest that rather than trying to change my proposal, you should pay attention to yours.

    I am not trying to change your proposal. I am exposing it for what it is- BS.

    Thought Provoker:
    Yours seems to include the concept that "Naturalistic mechanisms ... do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity." So does that mean your set of assumption includes mechanisms that aren't naturalistic?

    Yes but only because "naturalistic" was defined before-hand as "nature operating freely"- IOW naturalistic in this sense = "the blind watchmaker". In this sense teleology is not naturalistic.

     
  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    I asked...
    "So does that mean your set of assumption includes mechanisms that aren't naturalistic?"

    Joe answered...
    "Yes but only because
    'naturalistic' was defined before-hand as "nature operating freely"- IOW naturalistic in this sense = 'the blind watchmaker'. In this sense teleology is not naturalistic.
    "

    Great, this is a way over the hurdle. I will agree...
    Naturalistic = nature operating freely without a predefined purpose.

    I will change my position to state...


    DAVE'S proposal...
    1. The universe exists. No assumption is made on the method of the universe's creation (before the Big Bang).

    2. About 4.6 billion years ago the earth was formed by natural processes generally agreed upon within the scientific community.

    3. Within the 1.5 billion years following earth's creation, living organisms appeared. Since there isn't a scientific consensus, the only assumption is that it occured via natural processes.

    4. All indigenous, earth based organisms descended from the original life described in #3. ("Common Descent")

    5. Common Descent was, and is, achieved through changes in the properties of organism populations that are a result of naturalistic mechanisms. These mechanisms are sufficient to account for the existence and function of all natural organisms on earth.


    With this wording, my proposal is in direct conflict with your proposal.

    Are you putting a standard on my proposal that you aren't putting on your own?


    JOE'S proposal...
    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

     
  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger Zachriel said…

    joe g: "We don't know if the original tree was produced by nature, operating freely, or not."

    English must not be your first language. A Nature Preserve, for instance, is a place where trees, bees and streams are allowed to remain in their natural state (unhindered by human culture) -- the enjoyment of flora, fauna, mountains, in their natural state, as opposed to the artifice of urban life. This is the proper use of the term, whether you believe in the "Laws of Nature" or if you believe in "Nature's God".

     
  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    joe g: "We don't know if the original tree was produced by nature, operating freely, or not."

    Zachriel:
    English must not be your first language.

    Obviously English is not your first language.

    Zachriel:
    A Nature Preserve, for instance, is a place where trees, bees and streams are allowed to remain in their natural state (unhindered by human culture) -- the enjoyment of flora, fauna, mountains, in their natural state, as opposed to the artifice of urban life.

    LoL! THAT has NOTHING to do with what I posted.

    Use your finger to follow the words:

    We don't know if the original tree was produced by nature, operating freely, or not. Right now there isn't any data that would demonstrate that nature, operating freely, could produce a tree. So in that light trees may be in the same boat as cars.

     
  • At 10:25 AM, Blogger Zachriel said…

    joe g: "We don't know if the original tree was produced by nature, operating freely, or not."

    Joe g, I'm really not sure who you are trying to convince. You clearly argued that tree-car, natural-artificial is not a proper assignment of meaning. Yet, in the English language, this is precisely how these terms are used even among those who believe that God created the universe.

    Hence, in normal English discourse,

    natural -- artificial
    natural -- supernatural

    In the former case, trees are natural and are preserved in Nature Preserves, while cars are artificial and are manufactured by people in factories. In the latter case, cars are the result of people applying naturalistic methods to manufacture cards, while gods are supernatural that may have used supernatural means to create the natural universe, including trees.

    I thought is was appropriate that you drew this distinction. By being clear in our meanings, we can avoid conflation.

     
  • At 4:50 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    joe g: "We don't know if the original tree was produced by nature, operating freely, or not."

    Zachriel:
    Joe g, I'm really not sure who you are trying to convince. You clearly argued that tree-car, natural-artificial is not a proper assignment of meaning. Yet, in the English language, this is precisely how these terms are used even among those who believe that God created the universe.

    In English it is proper to say that a car is natural because it exists in nature. However it is artificial because it was NOT produced by nature operating freely. The SAME goes for trees. True they exist in nature but no one knows whether or not they were produced by nature operating freely. IOW trees could be an artifact- and artifact of a designer.

    However now I am more convinced than ever that you are more dense than a black hole.

     

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