Intelligent Reasoning

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

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wm. Dembski pre-empts aiguy

Again I refer you to a thread titled Planet of the Intelligent Designers, started by aiguy.

I will also refer you to page 90 of The Design Revolution by Wm. Dembski.

Once suitably programmed, the computer operates by necessity. Consequently, its outputs, when fed into the filter, will land at the necessity node of the filter.

Which pretty much sums up aiguy's argument. Then Wm. follows with:

But whence the computer that runs the program? And whence the program? All computer hardware and software in our ordinary experience is properly referred to not to necissity but to design.

And in the end aiguy still has some strange fixation with the word "intelligent". Unfortunately that may prevent him from ever understanding why his argument is bogus. You first have to understand what it is you are arguing against before you can mount a successful argument against it.


  • At 10:42 PM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    Hi JoeG - You wrote...
    "You first have to understand what it is you are arguing against before you can mount a successful argument against it."

    As it works out, I have been looking into understanding the different definitions of the word "Intelligence" myself. Here is a medical dictionary's version...

    Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary
    Main Entry: in·tel·li·gence
    Pronunciation: in-'tel-&-j&n(t)s
    Function: noun
    1 a : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations b : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests)
    2 : mental acuteness
    in·tel·li·gent /in-'tel-&-j&nt/ adjective —in·tel·li·gent·ly adverb

    I would be interested in how your definition differs from this.

    BTW, are ready to make and defend your ID proposal yet?

    You can find my ID proposal at

  • At 8:28 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Hi Thought Provoker-

    Perhaps you should read the following:

    Explaining the "I" in ID- Again

    I find just a tad strange that you would have an ID proposal when you don't even understand ID- at least not as far as I can tell. To me that is the first step- understand it and THEN make a proposal. Or if you want to debate it- understand it first then debate it.

  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    Hi Joe,

    The link you gave first offers Dr. Dembski's explanation for why he chose to add the modifier to the word "Design". Secondly, you describe the effect of intelligence.

    Neither provides an explanation what intelligence is. I have provided an example of a reasonable definition of the word "intelligence" so that you could explain how your definition differs from it.

    Alternatively, or additionally, you could explain how my ID proposal isn't an ID proposal. Feel free to copy my proposal to your blog for discussion. link

    Either activity would help communicate an understanding of ID. Of course, this presupposes you actually want to inform as opposed to intentionally keeping potential critics in the dark.

  • At 2:27 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    My point was to define intelliegence as it pertains to ID and the debate.

    Which one is your ID proposal? I take it it isn't the Telic Thoughts entry.

    And I have several blog entries that explain ID. The only people in the dark are those who wish to be.

  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    Hi Joe,

    I have made a new post (with open comments) at link

    I will also follow this comment with one that includes the proposal text.

    I would be interested in hearing your critique whichever place you choose to discuss it.

  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    Here is what I would consider the beginnings of a logically consistent ID Proposal. For practical reasons this lacks a lot of detail. It would be more appropriate to call it an outline. Whether an outline or proposal there needs to be a justification for even considering it. Suggesting it is the best explanation available is a subjective opinion and isn't enough justification, IMO. What is needed is a compelling requirement.

    ID proponents generally argue that only intelligence can create intelligence without getting too picky about the meaning of the word “intelligence”. Being an electrical engineer, this is the basis for a feedback loop. How do you create a sine wave output? Use a sine wave input and amplify it. Where do you get the input? From the output. It is called an oscillator circuit. Nothing magical or supernatural about it (except, maybe, the AA battery).

    However, even an oscillator circuit needs a framework from which to operate. Cosmologists like Steven Hawking make it their calling to model just such a framework. Steven Hawking’s work is freely available via the web and, unlike some other PhD types, he explains both the math and logic in a way that it can be understood and vetted by anyone who wishes to do so. While Steven Hawking isn’t infallible (he famously lost a bet with another physicist), he knows a lot more about cosmology than I do (big understatement).

    Here is a link where he explains the concept of time as just another dimension like North/South directions on a globe with the South Pole being the beginning of time and the North Pole being the end of time. Questions about events before the beginning of time are like questions about locations South of the South Pole. Both are paradoxical, but neither requires the supernatural.

    I realize some people don’t accept this explanation as the Truth (capital “T”). This is where NOMA (Non-Overlapping_Magisteria) comes in. I have discussed this in other posts here and here. Embracing NOMA means everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and the need for resolving a dispute stops here. Rejecting NOMA results in OMA (Overlapping Magisteria) and a forces a search for a single, mutual OMA Truth. So, without further ado, I boldly use the Hawking Model as my starting point for a proposed, OMA Truth (this ID proposal/outline). I am sure that some will not like this choice. To these people, I suggest they write a beginning to end proposal/outline like this one and allow it to also be vetted publicly.

    The Hawking Model includes the multiverse paradigm…“The picture Jim Hartle and I developed, of the spontaneous quantum creation of the universe, would be a bit like the formation of bubbles of steam in boiling water. The idea is that the most probable histories of the universe, would be like the surfaces of the bubbles. Many small bubbles would appear, and then disappear again. These would correspond to mini universes that would expand, but would collapse again while still of microscopic size.… A few of the little bubbles, however, will grow to a certain size at which they are safe from recollapse.”

    A complaint to this is that the multiverse still doesn’t solve the improbability problem. In other words, why is this universe so lucky. I suggest changing the bubbles analogy to lightening strikes. The only universes that get beyond the recollapse stage are those that can complete the circuit from the beginning to the end of time. Think of the improbability of a lighting striking hitting a specific, small piece of metal out of acres of other targets. However, when that piece of metal is a lighting rod that completes a circuit, the improbable becomes very probable.

    I offer this as a reason for a telic universe. The purpose of the universe is to be internally consistent. The universe must do what it needs to complete the consistency circuit from the beginning to the end of time, or it won’t exist. “Retrocausality” is a term that came up in TT. Here is the link to the newspaper article that initiated the discussion. A future state (cause) that completes the consistency circuit will influence the historical time-path (effect) much like a lightening strike steers towards a lightening rod.

    This proposed model may help explain why this universe appears finely tuned. It had to be, or it wouldn’t have even started. It may also explain why historical events appear too fortuitous (retrocausality). This still doesn't explain why intelligence is needed as opposed to simply possible.

    One trivial answer (and not very believable) is that our SETI activities has provided just the right amount of focused electromagnetic energy to assist in allowing a symmetrical collapse at the end of time. The reason I bring up this silly example is to illustrate that while the universe needs to reach the end of time, intelligent life may not have to. To the contrary, intelligent life may have already outlived its usefulness.

    However, there are a few Billion people out there who are predisposed to believe at least some kind of intelligence will exist at the end of time. Let’s call this intelligence an “Intelligent Designer”. This has the effect of elevating the problem. The purpose of intelligent life is to eventually grow into the Intelligent Designer. Now, what is the purpose of the Intelligent Designer? Well, for one, the designer could use retrocausality to create intelligent life. This is the oscillator circuit mentioned earlier. Beyond that, I will just assume an Intelligent Designer would be useful in completing the consistency circuit of the Universe in other ways too.

    There are many, many details left out of this presentation. For example, several people insist a lack of progress in the origin of life research and certain features at the molecular level (DNA, proteins, etc) posit some kind of direct intervention of an Intelligent Designer. This proposal/outline is agnostic to these kind of details. Using ID lingo, everything looks designed because everything IS designed. The purpose/design of the universe is to be internally consistent. Does that mean absolutely everything that exists is necessary for that purpose? no. But a sloppy design doesn't mean there is no design.

    It could be claimed that this is just a restatement of various Anthropic Principles. I wouldn’t disagree with that and I apologize for not giving all the people who deserve credit their due. I have no interest in claiming this as my idea. My real interest is in getting it presented and observing the reactions. I will gladly answer any questions you may have. Comments and suggestions are also welcome.

  • At 8:41 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    With your permission I would like to make you last comment an opening post- ie a title post- something like:

    A Thought Provoking ID proposal-

    But anyway- here are my thoughts:

    ID proponents generally argue that only intelligence can create intelligence without getting too picky about the meaning of the word “intelligence”.

    With the exception of the Dembski article and the Ratzsch book.

    A complaint to this is that the multiverse still doesn’t solve the improbability problem.

    A multiverse scenario just multiplies the problems. IOW now you have much more to explain from a materialistic anti-ID position. As if explaining the origin of this universe hasn't been problem enough (for that position).

    Hawking gave up and now states "the universe 'just is' (the way it is)"- see "A Briefer History of Time". I would say that is as metaphysical as any supernatural/ non-natural origins.

    Also a multiverse does not exclude ID. Nothing would prevent any designer(s) from designing a multiverse system.

    Using ID lingo, everything looks designed because everything IS designed.

    But everything doesn't look designed.

    "Intelligent design is a good explanation for a number of biochemical systems, but I should insert a word of caution. Intelligent design theory has to be seen in context: it does not try to explain everything. We live in a complex world where lots of different things can happen. When deciding how various rocks came to be shaped the way they are a geologist might consider a whole range of factors: rain, wind, the movement of glaciers, the activity of moss and lichens, volcanic action, nuclear explosions, asteroid impact, or the hand of a sculptor. The shape of one rock might have been determined primarily by one mechanism, the shape of another rock by another mechanism.

    Similarly, evolutionary biologists have recognized that a number of factors might have affected the development of life: common descent, natural selection, migration, population size, founder effects (effects that may be due to the limited number of organisms that begin a new species), genetic drift (spread of "neutral," nonselective mutations), gene flow (the incorporation of genes into a population from a separate population), linkage (occurrence of two genes on the same chromosome), and much more. The fact that some biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent does not mean that any of the other factors are not operative, common, or important."
    - Dr Behe

    Have you read (or watched) "The Privileged Planet"?

    Or how about "DNA and the Origin of Life: Information, Specification, and Explanation" by Stephen C. Meyer?

    I take the approach that we exist, there are only so many options possible/ available and only one reality behind that existence.

    And according to the scientific data it sure seems like safe to infer that our place in the cosmos (and the cosmos in general) were designed for discovery (The Privileged Planet).

  • At 8:49 PM, Blogger Thought Provoker said…

    Hi Joe,
    You have my permission as long as you fix the URL links when you copy and paste.

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to facilitate that.

    I will respond to you comments in the new thread.


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