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

Friday, January 05, 2007

How difficult is it to understand?

Reality demonstrates the ONLY way to make ANY determination about the designer or the specific design processes involved, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

And guess what?

Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence. — William A. Dembski


And yes the design inference does force us to ask other questions. ID is not preventing anyone from looking into them. However that also demonstrates that ID is NOT a scientific dead-end plus gives us the impetus to drive the research.

19 Comments:

  • At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Out of curiosity, what's an example of an ID research question?

     
  • At 7:34 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    "Intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?"--Wm Dembski

    He also provides the following:

    What research topics does a design-theoretic research program explore?

    • Methods of Design Detection. Methods of design detection are widely employed in various
    special sciences (e.g., archeology, cryptography, and the Search for Extraterrestrial
    Intelligence or SETI). Design theorists investigate the scope and validity of such methods.

    • Biological Information. What is the nature of biological information? How do function and
    fitness relate to it? What are the obstacles that face material mechanisms in attempting to
    generate biological information? What are the theoretical and empirical grounds for thinking
    that intelligence is indispensable to the origin of biological information?

    • Evolvability. Evolutionary biology’s preferred research strategy consists in taking distinct
    biological systems and finding similarities that might be the result of a common evolutionary
    ancestor. Intelligent design, by contrast, focuses on a different strategy, namely, taking
    individual biological systems and perturbing them (both intelligently and randomly) to see
    how much the systems can evolve. Within this latter research strategy, limitations on
    evolvability by material mechanisms constitute indirect confirmation of design.

    • Evolutionary Computation. Organisms employ evolutionary computation to solve many of
    the tasks of living (cf. the immune system in vertebrates). But does this show that organisms
    originate through some form of evolutionary computation (as through a Darwinian
    evolutionary process)? Are GPGAs (General Purpose Genetic Algorithms) like the immune
    system designed or the result of evolutionary computation? Need these be mutually
    exclusive? Evolutionary computation occurs in the behavioral repertoire of organisms but is
    also used to account for the origination of certain features of organisms. Design theorists
    explore the relationship between these two types of evolutionary computation as well as any
    design intrinsic to them. One aspect of this research is writing and running computer
    simulations that investigate the scope and limits of evolutionary computation. One such
    simulation is the MESA program (Monotonic Evolutionary Simulation Algorithm) due to
    Micah Sparacio, John Bracht, and William Dembski. It is available online at
    www.iscid.org/mesa.

    • Technological Evolution (TRIZ). The only well-documented example we have of the
    evolution of complex multipart integrated functional systems (as we see in biology) is the
    technological evolution of human inventions. In the second half of the twentieth century,
    Russian scientists and engineers studied hundreds of thousands of patents to determine how
    technologies evolve. They codified their findings in a theory to which they gave the acronym
    TRIZ, which in English translates to Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (see Semyon
    3
    Savransky, Engineering of Creativity: Introduction to TRIZ Methodology of Inventive
    Problem Solving, CRC Publishers, 2000). The picture of technological evolution that emerges
    out of TRIZ parallels remarkably the history of life as we see it in the fossil record and
    includes the following:
    (1) New technologies (cf. major groups like phyla and classes) emerge suddenly as solutions
    to inventive problems. Such solutions require major conceptual leaps (i.e., design). As
    soon as a useful new technology is developed, it is applied immediately and as widely as
    possible (cf. convergent evolution).
    (2) Existing technologies (cf. species and genera) can, by contrast, be modified by trial-anderror
    tinkering (cf. Darwinian evolution), which amounts to solving routine problems
    rather than inventive problems. (The distinction between routine and inventive problems
    is central to TRIZ. In biology, irreducible complexity suggests one way of making the
    analytic cut between these types of problems. Are there other ways?)
    (3) Technologies approach ideality (cf. local optimization by means of natural selection) and
    thereafter tend not change (cf. stasis).
    (4) New technologies, by supplanting old technologies, can upset the ideality and stasis of
    the old technologies, thus forcing them to evolve in new directions (requiring the solution
    of new inventive problems, as in an arms race) or by driving them to extinction.
    Mapping TRIZ onto biological evolution provides a especially promising avenue of designtheoretic
    research.

    • Strong Irreducible Complexity of Molecular Machines and Metabolic Pathways. For
    certain enzymes (which are themselves highly complicated molecular structures) and
    metabolic pathways (i.e., systems of enzymes where one enzyme passes off its product to the
    next, as in a production line), simplification leads not to different functions but to the
    complete absence of all function. Systems with this feature exhibit a strengthened form of
    irreducible complexity. Strong irreducible complexity, as it may be called, entails that no
    Darwinian account can in principle be given for the emergence of such systems. Theodosius
    Dobzhansky, one of the founders of the neo-Darwinian synthesis, once remarked that to talk
    about prebiotic natural selection is a contradiction in terms—the idea being that selection
    could only select for things that are already functional. Research on strong irreducible
    complexity finds and analyzes biological systems that cannot in principle be grist for natural
    selection’s mill. For this research, which is only now beginning, to be completely successful
    would imply the unraveling of molecular Darwinism.

    • Natural and Artificial Biological Design (Bioterrorist Genetic Engineering). We are
    on the cusp of a bioengineering revolution whose fallout is likely to include bioterrorism.
    Thus we can expect to see bioterror forensics emerge as a practical scientific discipline. How
    will such forensic experts distinguish the terrorists’ biological designs from naturally
    occurring biological designs?

    • Design of the Environment and Ecological Fine-Tuning. The idea that ecosystems are
    fine-tuned to support a harmonious balance of plant and animal life is old. How does this
    balance come about. Is it the result of blind Darwinian forces competing with one another and
    leading to a stable equilibrium? Or is there design built into such ecosystems? Can such
    ecosystems be improved through conscious design or is “monkeying” with such systems
    invariably counterproductive? Design-theoretic research promises to become a significant
    factor in scientific debates over the environment.

    • Steganographic Layering of Biological Information. Steganography belongs to the field
    of digital data embedding technologies (DDET), which also include information hiding,
    steganalysis, watermarking, embedded data extraction, and digital data forensics.
    4
    Steganography seeks efficient (high data rate) and robust (insensitive to common distortions)
    algorithms that can embed a high volume of hidden message bits within a cover message
    (typically imagery, video, or audio) without their presence being detected. Conversely,
    steganalysis seeks statistical tests that will detect the presence of steganography in a cover
    message. Key research question: To what degree do biological systems incorporate
    steganography, and if so, is biosteganography demonstrably designed?

    • Cosmological Fine-Tuning and Anthropic Coincidences. Although this is a well worn
    area of study, there are some new developments here. Guillermo Gonzalez, assistant
    professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University, and Jay Richards, a senior
    fellow with Seattle’s Discovery Institute, have a forthcoming book titled The Privileged
    Planet (along with a video based on the book) in which they make a case for planet earth as
    intelligently designed not only for life but also for scientific discovery. In other words, they
    argue that our world is designed to facilitate the scientific discovery of its own design.
    Aspects of Gonzalez’s work in this area have been featured on the cover story of the October
    2001 Scientific American.

    • Astrobiology, SETI, and the Search for a General Biology. What might life on other
    planets look like? Is it realistic to think that there is life, and even conscious life, on other
    planets? What are the defining features that any material system must possess to be alive?
    How simple can a material system be and still be alive (John von Neumann posed this
    question over half a century ago in the context of cellular automata)? Insofar as such systems
    display intelligent behavior, must that intelligence be derived entirely from its material
    constitution or can it transcend yet nevertheless guide its behavior (cf. the mechanism vs.
    vitalism debate)? Is there a testable way to decide this last question? How, if at all, does
    quantum mechanics challenge a purely mechanistic conception of life? Design theorists are
    starting to investigate these questions.

    • Consciousness, Free Will, and Mind-Brain Studies. Is conscious will an illusion—we
    think that we have acted freely and deliberately toward some end, but in fact our brain acted
    on its own and then deceived us into thinking that we acted deliberately. This is the majority
    position in the cognitive neuroscience community, and a recent book makes just that claim in
    its title: The Illusion of Conscious Will by Harvard psychologist Daniel Wegner. But there is
    now growing evidence that consciousness is not reducible to material processes of the brain
    and that free will is in fact real. Jeffrey Schwartz at UCLA along with quantum physicist
    Henry Stapp at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are two of the key researchers
    presently providing experimental and theoretical support for the irreducibility of mind to
    brain (see Schwartz’s book The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of
    Mental Force).

    • Autonomy vs. Guidance. Many scientists worry that intelligent design attempts to usurp
    nature’s autonomy. But that is not the case. Intelligent design is attempting to restore a proper
    balance between nature’s autonomy and teleologic guidance. Prior to the rise of modern
    science all the emphasis was on teleologic guidance (typically in the form of divine design).
    Now the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme, and all the emphasis is on nature’s
    autonomy (an absolute autonomy that excludes design). Where is the point of balance that
    properly respects both, and in which design becomes empirically evident? The search for that
    balance-point underlies all design-theoretic research. It’s not all design or all nature but a
    synergy of the two. Unpacking that synergy is the intelligent design research program in a
    nutshell.


    And now there is the Biologic Institute- which is a lab set up for IDists to conduct their scientific research without the fear of losing their jobs just for being IDists.

     
  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger blipey said…

    Um. Nice long comment that is COMPLETELY DEVOID OF QUESTIONS.

    SO, what might a research question be? A research question would be something that can have specific answers. Dembski's flap-doodle can be answered "yes", "no", or "maybe". That kind of question is not a research question. It is a "babbling while smoking a joint" question.

     
  • At 9:03 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Umm, the following is a question:

    Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?

    Another question would be "Can tried and true design detection techniques be employed in biology?" (and if not why not)

    then we still have the following:
    Biological Information. What is the nature of biological information? How do function and
    fitness relate to it? What are the obstacles that face material mechanisms in attempting to
    generate biological information? What are the theoretical and empirical grounds for thinking
    that intelligence is indispensable to the origin of biological information?


    4 more questions.

    Just how can What is the nature of biological information? be answered with a yes, no or maybe?

    Thank you blipey for further exposing your stupidity and ignorance.

     
  • At 10:11 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."- Albert Einstein

    Which is unusual given that most of the greatest minds that came before him knew why this was:

    In the book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty by Morris Kline, Kline states that these scientist-mathematicians (Newton, Kepler, & Galileo) believed that "God had designed the universe, and it was to be expected that all phenomena of nature would follow one master plan. One mind designing a universe would almost surely have employed one set of basic principles to govern all related phenomenon."

    The point being is we should be able to extend this comprehension to biology, ie living organisms. IOW we should be able to decipher any genetic code to understand what it is that makes an organism what it is.

    Knowing how something develops does not tell us what makes it what it is.

    ”The scientist enjoys a privilege denied the theologian. To any question, even one central to his theories, he may reply “I’m sorry but I do not know.” This is the only honest answer to the question posed by the title of this chapter. We are fully aware of what makes a flower red rather than white, what it is that prevents a dwarf from growing taller, or what goes wrong in a paraplegic or a thalassemic. But the mystery of species eludes us, and we have made no progress beyond what we already have long known, namely, that a kitty is born because its mother was a she-cat that mated with a tom, and that a fly emerges as a fly larva from a fly egg.”--geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti

    IDists would proceed with the deciphering as anyone who tries to decipher or understand a ciphered or foreign code- that it is from an intelligent source and therefore can be understood.

    So the ID research question would be-

    How do we comprehend the genetic code(s) such that we will know why a fly is not a horse?

     
  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger blipey said…

    Question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?

    Answer: Yes, no, maybe.

    Not a research question.

    Question: "Can tried and true design detection techniques be employed in biology?"

    Answer: Yes, no, maybe.

    Not a research quetion.

    Now, your extension of "why or why not" is getting closer. Still a little vague. What hypothesis do you propose to test that will answer any specific "why" or "why not"? When you form this hpothesis as a question, then you will have a research question. I'm not saying it can't be done, Joe. I'm just asking for you to actually provide a research question. Don't get all hostile. If you have the goods, just present them.

    Biological Information. What is the nature of biological information? How do function and
    fitness relate to it? What are the obstacles that face material mechanisms in attempting to
    generate biological information? What are the theoretical and empirical grounds for thinking
    that intelligence is indispensable to the origin of biological information?


    All vague flap-doodle. These questions don't lend themselves to empirical answers. They are philosophical in nature. How are you defining "biological information", for example? Without a definition, the question is meaningless.

    "what are the grounds for thinking..." This is not a question that has empirical answers; it is a philosophical question.

    A research question needs to address specific problems and be capable of producing specific answers.

    To reiterate from above, "What is the nature of biological information?" cannot be answered yes, no, or maybe, but it is still not really a research question. It is a definition, presumably for something that already exists (physical and material things that we already know exist). Otherwise it is a philosophical question.

    Thanks for showing once again that ID is nothing but philosophy and apologetics.

    blipey

     
  • At 12:25 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?

    Answer: Yes, no, maybe.

    Each answer should be followed by a valid explanation. And that explanation would take some research.

    Question: "Can tried and true design detection techniques be employed in biology?"

    Answer: Yes, no, maybe.

    Again each answer should be followed by a valid explanation. And that explanation would take some research.

    But that reminds me of the time a lady asked me if I knew where XYZ nursing home was. I replied "Yes I do" and went back to pumping gasoline.

    Biological Information. What is the nature of biological information? How do function and
    fitness relate to it? What are the obstacles that face material mechanisms in attempting to
    generate biological information? What are the theoretical and empirical grounds for thinking
    that intelligence is indispensable to the origin of biological information?


    blipey:
    All vague flap-doodle.

    LoL! Just because an actor thinks those questions are vague, means what to the rest of us?

    Biological information is the key quest. And just because you are ignorant as to what is meant by "biological information" means what to the millions of people who do?

    Arguing from ignorance should never be mistaken for a refuation.


    blipey:
    A research question needs to address specific problems and be capable of producing specific answers.

    What research questions does the theory of evolution provide?

    I would love to see them work on the question "What makes an organism what it is?"

    Because without an answer to that question Common Descent is untestable and therefore out of the realm of scientific investigation.

     
  • At 5:26 PM, Blogger blipey said…

    Joe: LoL! Just because an actor thinks those questions are vague, means what to the rest of us?

    Glancing over the probability that you meant "...that means what to the rest of us?", you've screwed up your direct and indirect objects. It shouldn't matter, necessarily, what an actor thinks on the topic and I never said it did.

    It matters that those questions are in fact vague. It does not take an actor or a rocket scientist to see this. Ask around, with anyone you like, and see if anyone thinks that that is a specific question. Get back to me with a list of people who do.

    Joe: Each answer should be followed by a valid explanation. And that explanation would take some research.

    That's the point, Joe. To explain the details that we're after, we need to formulate proper questions. What ae these questons. You are dodging the point by saying, "Well, we'll explain it somehow, with something, in some way..."

    No. A proper research question seeks to answer specific questions by experimental and empirical means. Just answering "yes" and saying something will turn up to explain things is insufficient.

    You've only moved the goalposts from a "yes, no, maybe" answer, to a "well, we're not sure" answer. Do you see any research being accomplished with either of those?

     
  • At 5:39 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    blipey:
    It matters that those questions are in fact vague.

    They are only vague to you and other scientifically illiterate people.

    What is your experience pertaining to research? How many research projects have you worked on?

    Saying something evolved is as vague as one can get, but guess what? That is all we get from evolutionitwits.

    Ask around, with anyone you like, and see if anyone thinks that they know what accounts for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans. Be sure to get specifics and make sue to get back to me with a list of people who do.

    Oh and BTW there isn't anything wrong with the following:

    LoL! Just because an actor thinks those questions are vague, means what to the rest of us?

    However I think it is funny, in a sad way, that you actually think you can correct me...

     
  • At 6:14 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    blipey,

    Perhaps you can provide an example of an evolutionary research question, that is a research question based on the premise that all extant and extinct organisms owe their collective common ancestry to some population(s) of single-celled organisms via selected genetic mutations.

    Ask around, anyone you like...

     
  • At 11:07 PM, Blogger blipey said…

    Okay, talking science is with you is completely inane, so I'll go with your English.

    Joe: LoL! Just because an actor thinks those questions are vague, means what to the rest of us?

    Joining two clauses with a comma is at best a comma splice. A comma splice, by definition, is not a sentence.

    In case you don't know what a comma splice is, I'll help you out. A comma splice is when a comma joins two independent clauses without the use of a conjunction (and, but, nor, etc). Your "sentence" is a comma splice.

    I can correct you, not because I am an actor, but because I am right.

    To make your sentence grammatically correct you would have to do what I suggested and add "that" to the second clause. Thanks for the English lesson, BUT I'll continue to use the language correctly.

    blipey

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    blipey:
    Okay, talking science is with you is completely inane,

    Of course it is but that is because you don't understand science!

    blipey:
    I can correct you, not because I am an actor, but because I am right.

    Just because you think you are right does not make it so.

    And you can't correct me because there is no way I will ever listen to what you say. IOW I will keep using the same sentence structure I used in this thread. And I know that everyone with an IQ above 80 will understand exactly what I am saying.

    However I know why you would would rather focus on irrelevancies:

    Perhaps you can provide an example of an evolutionary research question, that is a research question based on the premise that all extant and extinct organisms owe their collective common ancestry to some population(s) of single-celled organisms via selected genetic mutations.

    Ask around, anyone you like...

     
  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    The grammar crime: Comma splices join two complete sentences with a comma.

    Just because an actor thinks those questions are vague, means what to the rest of us?

    So let's split them to see if they are two sentences (I will replace the comma with a period):

    Just because an actor thinks those questions are vague.

    Means what to the rest of us?


    Nope that doesn't make any sense at all.

    The bottom line is that I did not join two independent clauses as both sides of the comma are depedent on each other in order for the wording to make sense.

    What Is a Comma Splice, and How Do I Fix It?:

    Before I start explaining what a comma splice is and how to correct one, I want to make it clear that not all comma splices are errors.*

    When Is a Comma Splice NOT an Error?

    Ya see blipey I can correct you because I am much smarter than you.

     
  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger blipey said…

    You are correct, Joe. Only by assuming subjects for your clauses are they independent clauses. I stand corrected, your sentence is not a comma splice.

     
  • At 11:02 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    As that first link explained, I just chose A DIFFERENT STRATEGY: If you choose to turn one of the clauses into a subordinate (dependent) clause, then you can use just the comma between the two clauses:

    Because I got up late this morning, I didn't have time for breakfast.

    (my sentence started with "Just because...".)

    Grammar lesson over.

    Good day, and good luck...

     
  • At 11:21 AM, Blogger Zachriel said…

  • At 1:48 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    ...back at the ranch, a quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

    "When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide.
    Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride.
    Till I get to the bottom and I see you again."

     
  • At 4:45 PM, Blogger The whole truth said…

    To Joe G:

    You posed this question: "What makes an organism what it is?"

    The combination of ingredients that are unique to that organism. In other words, the recipe of ingredients.

    A pumpkin pie is not the same as a chocolate cake because it has different ingredients than the cake.

    You also said this: "Ask around, with anyone you like, and see if anyone thinks that they know what accounts for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans."

    The answer is the same as for your question above. The recipe of ingredients between chimps and humans is different.

    Some of the same ingredients can be found in a pumpkin pie, a chocolate cake, a chimp, and a human, but not all of them, and not in the same proportions. The recipes are different.

     
  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    "What makes an organism what it is?"

    TWT:
    The combination of ingredients that are unique to that organism. In other words, the recipe of ingredients.

    That's nice- anything to back that up? We know EPIgenetics is huge- and no one knows what DETERMINES the final organism (yet).

    But thanks for the substance-free answer - you must be really, really bored.

    "Ask around, with anyone you like, and see if anyone thinks that they know what accounts for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans."

    TWT:
    The answer is the same as for your question above.

    Substance-free mindless drivel?

    TWT:
    The recipe of ingredients between chimps and humans is different.

    Why do people who work in genetics not agree with you?

     

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