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Thread: The Design Argument

  1. #1 The Design Argument 
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    If you found a clock and examined the mechanism within it, you would probably think that this intricate mechanism was not the outcome of mere chance, that it had been designed.
    Now look at the universe; is it possible that such an intricate mechanism, from the orbits of planets round the sun to the cells in your fingernails could all have happened by chance? Surely, this enormously complex mechanism has been designed, and the being that designed it must be God.

    This is the design argument. I am not quite sure it is valid but what do you think?


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    This is the design argument. I am not quite sure it is valid but what do you think?
    Unoriginal, boring and refuted from several different angles over the past few centuries.
    Watchmaker analogy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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    not only is it not original - it's also an indication of poor logic : design is posited as the starting point to prove that design must have happened
    and people who come up with the eternal question "but what else can it be ?" clearly haven't thought through the possible alternatives, or have rejected them from the outset (i.e. never even gave them a fair evaluation)
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    not only is it not original - it's also an indication of poor logic : design is posited as the starting point to prove that design must have happened
    and people who come up with the eternal question "but what else can it be ?" clearly haven't thought through the possible alternatives, or have rejected them from the outset (i.e. never even gave them a fair evaluation)
    Is there going to be any creationists on this forum to defend this viewpoint?
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    you may find them contributing to the thread Intelligent Design ???? in pseudoscience, a thread that is currently still live
    being new to the forum, you may have missed it
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Design? Creation?

    If such was the case, it was an incredible achievement, so much so one would have to entertain the designer as being God?

    Simple deduction.

    The real question is, "who believes in a Creator"?

    Why do we need a creator, as an idea perhaps, as simple as that?

    If anyone knows their history they would realise that the birth of the idea of a Creator, creator beings, came in the direct context of humans constructing pyramids......"creating". Before that, nothing. Very little if anything.

    Mmmmmmm. Coincidence?

    I'm thinking if we as a species decided "against" the idea of a "Creator", we would be "less creative" as a species.......reduced to Naenderthals.....again? Surely we need some type of affirmation or encourgaement to "create" in the face of reality, right?
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    I'm thinking if we as a species decided "against" the idea of a "Creator", we would be "less creative" as a species..
    Quite the opposite. For anyone, say over the age of 40, most of the designing by humans has been during their lifetimes and by people who tend not to believe in a supernatural designer. Their confidence, is not from superstition, but by a understanding of how to blend discoveries and the designs by others before them into new things.
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    But you're talking about innovation which isn't quite the same thing as creativity .
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    Quote Originally Posted by distraff View Post
    If you found a clock and examined the mechanism within it, you would probably think that this intricate mechanism was not the outcome of mere chance, that it had been designed.
    Now look at the universe; is it possible that such an intricate mechanism, from the orbits of planets round the sun to the cells in your fingernails could all have happened by chance? Surely, this enormously complex mechanism has been designed, and the being that designed it must be God.

    This is the design argument. I am not quite sure it is valid but what do you think?
    There is no indication that the design is made by God. If the universe is inherently intelligent/organic: does this intelligence deserve the title of "God"? Will you still define the universe as "God" if you can simulate them in your computer?? (does 'God' fit in small bottle?)

    I'm just saying that intelligence doesn't warrant the title of "God".
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    There's creating, and there's "creating". Anyone can create crap in an artifical environment, especially as they age as tech-heads and don't take much delight in the great outdoors. The creating we are referring to in this discussion is of biblical proportions, yes? Even the Egyptians were able to create in the order of biblical proportions, yes, by their faith in a creator? What great structure of human fabrication still stands that beared nothing to a creator?
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    If religion helped mankind in technological progress i would've thought it was because a system of prescriptive morality allowed for better cooperation. I don't understand your reasoning re creators- belief in a creator corrleates with some impressive ancient structures, so...what?...
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    The creator inspires, especially one who gives his life to mankind. You just need to do a little math on the idea, and you're set.....should be.....

    You see, you first set the stage of the creator, and then make the creator incarnate to offer his life to humanity, to thereby inspire great creation. For some it's a no-brainer.
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    i find it hard to believe creation myths didn't follow pretty much immediately from language ability. Another correlation with large structures would be maybe written language, so if there is little history of creation myths prior to the pyramids it could be becasue they had no way to writ e them down .
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    "believe"?

    Do you want to believe your own ability to judge an issue, more than anything else?

    When God first became paramount, people didn't choose to believe, they were untertaken by the process of God.

    The same will happen again for those who choose not to believe.......more than likely. The bigger picture always stands firm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by theQuestIsNotOver View Post
    "believe"?

    Do you want to believe your own ability to judge an issue, more than anything else?
    Well, yes. I probably shouldn't though.

    When God first became paramount, people didn't choose to believe, they were untertaken by the process of God.
    My first is in windmill but not in canoe....
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    Mmmm. Confabulation. Don't be so hard on yourself.
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    When you think about it, the clock is also a product of evolution, no? Birds, bees, etc often build very intricate nests, some spiders spin very orderly webs, etc. Were they not the product of evolution? In other words, "design " itself is a product of evolution. That much is at least evident on earth. But then, did the supposed grand designer also evolve? That is why the intelligent design movement is nothing but deferred creationism, because in the end, you still have to start from either pure creation or evolution.
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    That's what I thought before I decided to engage in this post. Bees make hives. Ant's, complex underground networks of trade. But as I said, that's not the big picture, that's not going beyond our own perception. That's not being "creators". That's just downloading an evolutionalry program of habitable survival.
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    Quote Originally Posted by theQuestIsNotOver View Post
    Mmmm. Confabulation. Don't be so hard on yourself.
    confabulation=honest lying? This is like trying to wrestle fog.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLASTER
    When you think about it, the clock is also a product of evolution, no? Birds, bees, etc often build very intricate nests, some spiders spin very orderly webs, etc. Were they not the product of evolution? In other words, "design " itself is a product of evolution. That much is at least evident on earth. But then, did the supposed grand designer also evolve? That is why the intelligent design movement is nothing but deferred creationism, because in the end, you still have to start from either pure creation or evolution.
    Transhumanists use this argument against the accusation that technoligcally modified humanity is not natural. I'm not sure if i'm 100% on the potential felicity of the whole transhuman thing but it's a persuasive argument.
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    You were speaking of windmills.

    confabulate (kənˈfæbjʊˌleɪt)
    vb
    1. to talk together; converse; chat
    2. psychiatry See also paramnesia to replace the gaps left by a disorder of the memory with imaginary remembered experiences consistently believed to be true

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    Transhumanists use this argument against the accusation that technoligcally modified humanity is not natural. I'm not sure if i'm 100% on the potential felicity of the whole transhuman thing but it's a persuasive argument.
    A similar styled argument can be made that pollution and AGW is natural, but it doesn't mean we want it to happen. I think limited technological augmentation (designer DNA, brain implants, etc) would be beneficial to humanity (eventually, after a nearly inevitable rough patch of inequality), but not past a point where we might lose some of the things that can make life and the human condition a beautiful thing.
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    I once saw a duck try to mate with a duck in a pond, to mate with a dead duck. Either it knew the duck was dead, and still wanted to have sex with it, or it was just being biological in that it saw a white fluffy thing floating in the water as an act of submission. Should not being "creative" identify the living from the dead, be a step ahead of animals in their game of force and submission? Is that not a cornerstone "idea" of a creator, knowing life from death. And how does that resonate with the mere will to augment the living with technology?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    not only is it not original - it's also an indication of poor logic :
    It is interesting that Darwin greatly valued William Paley's Natural Theology. He took a copy with him on his voyage on the Beagle. The structure of On the Origin of Species was strongly influenced by it. Perhaps the logic was not as flawed as you suggest.
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    The "Beagle" also similarly named, failed to land on Mars. Spirit and Rover though made it. Spirit Rover.......ha ha ha haaaa. Poetic.

    There's no points for second place though, is there. No matter what is read, it is still wood for a fire for a phoenix that comes first, a resurrection from the ashes......well, you know, that's what you mean right, one book burnt to create another?
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    I did not say animals are necessarily creative in the same way humans are, simply that our technology is the product of the evolution of our minds, while the "technology" of the rest of life is more directly so. Either way, evolution was integral and indispensable in the process. Similarly, if we were designed by some other entity, they too would have had to be either designed or evolved. This moves the question back to a point where an entity or group of entities had to have either existed forever and created life out of nothing, or it evolved itself, being the product of abiogenesis. In this way, ID merely moves back the creation/(abiogenesis/evolution) debate.
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    The Catholic Church evolved from the words of Christ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Transhumanists use this argument against the accusation that technoligcally modified humanity is not natural. I'm not sure if i'm 100% on the potential felicity of the whole transhuman thing but it's a persuasive argument.
    A similar styled argument can be made that pollution and AGW is natural, but it doesn't mean we want it to happen. I think limited technological augmentation (designer DNA, brain implants, etc) would be beneficial to humanity (eventually, after a nearly inevitable rough patch of inequality), but not past a point where we might lose some of the things that can make life and the human condition a beautiful thing.
    Nick Bostrom argues that since it would be easier to augment those with suboptimal genetics, you would actually see a reduction of inequality.

    Some of the stuff these guys are talking about is almost impossible to bend your mind around though. For e.g. prevention of cell death by artificially implanting telomerase may allow, essentially, immortality. An obstacle to it is that run-away cell division is the cause of cancer, which is one hell of a side effect.
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    The Catholic Church evolved from the words of Christ.
    What inane nonsense.
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    Creating artifical genetic sequences that the human biological construct has yet to adapt to, yet to naturally integrate into it's own, warrants a balancing effect, does it not? What type of balanacing effect is that. On the one hand we have a basic genetic yet artifical sequence, in the form of an impregnated retrovirus, and on the other we have the human body. What will be the result of that war, I wonder...........not.

    What "should" happen to effect human victory in that war? Virus' should attack animals first, right, just to give us a "heads up".
    Last edited by theQuestIsNotOver; December 12th, 2011 at 05:31 AM.
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    The design Argument will never be resolved with religions insisting on one creator and science that insists that no creators is necessary for life. The idea that a creator must be perfect in its creations defeats this argument and the idea of no creators is difficult to accept when science provides an explanation of traits that are needed in order for an organism to survive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post
    The design Argument will never be resolved with religions insisting on one creator and science that insists that no creators is necessary for life.
    Science doesn't insist on no creator. It doesn't assume one and, so far, has found no evidence for one. Or any need for one.

    The idea that a creator must be perfect in its creations defeats this argument
    Quite; if The Designer is so Intelligent, why are most of the designs so poor.

    the idea of no creators is difficult to accept when science provides an explanation of traits that are needed in order for an organism to survive.
    Surely you have that the wrong way round: now that science is able to explain how the traits needed to survive came about, it is easy to accept the idea of no creator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post
    The design Argument will never be resolved with religions insisting on one creator and science that insists that no creators is necessary for life. The idea that a creator must be perfect in its creations defeats this argument and the idea of no creators is difficult to accept when science provides an explanation of traits that are needed in order for an organism to survive.

    Barbie, how is God Judged?

    Historically speaking?
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    God will have control over His creation... like a puppet master.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    God will have control over His creation... like a puppet master.
    If you are a glove puppet, does that ever get uncomfortable?
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    God will have control over His creation... like a puppet master.
    If you are a glove puppet, does that ever get uncomfortable?
    lol... puppet don't feel anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by distraff View Post
    Is there going to be any creationists on this forum to defend this viewpoint?
    I'll try to defend the creationist idea. The evidence for design lies in the fact that the universe has underlying fundamental principles which govern the behaviour of the universe and everything in it. The laws of nature are these fundamental principles and they cause the contents of the universe to evolve or change in ways that must conform to these laws.

    Our existence is evidence that the natural operation of these laws causes matter to evolve and develop into conscious human beings who are naturally disposed, I would even say hard-wired, to question the cause, reason, purpose of their own existence and the universe itself.

    Therefore, since humans exist, and all humans naturally engage in a search for knowledge, truth, and the meaning of their own existence and the world they live in, this leaves open the possibility that these laws could have been designed for this particular purpose.

    Our existence is also evidence that conscious, intelligent, creative, purposeful, beings exist. If we conjecture that a conscious, intelligent being has created this universe for a purpose, we are not introducing any unknown quantity or supernatural entities, we are only suggesting that what we already know to exist, (conscious, creative beings) may exist on a larger scale and the universe is their grand creation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker123 View Post
    this leaves open the possibility that these laws could have been designed for this particular purpose.
    Yes, there is that possibility. However, there is no evidence for it being true.
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    Creative beings designing universes and laws could just as easily be an eternal reenactment. It might even be the natural order of things. However, at some point the original creator would have to have been fashioned without a designer.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker123 View Post
    this leaves open the possibility that these laws could have been designed for this particular purpose.
    Yes, there is that possibility. However, there is no evidence for it being true.
    The evidence is precisely that laid out by seeker123 in his post: the existence of laws that permit, perhaps encourage the evolution of conscious and curious entities, and the actual evolution of such entities. That is evidence. It is not proof. As you well know you don't get proof in science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    The evidence is precisely that laid out by seeker123 in his post: the existence of laws that permit, perhaps encourage the evolution of conscious and curious entities, and the actual evolution of such entities. That is evidence. It is not proof. As you well know you don't get proof in science.
    That sounds like a rather circular argument (or maybe a case of begging the question, I always struggle with those two); the evidence that the laws were designed is that they look as if they may have been designed to produce the given results...

    On the other hand, I did intend to add to my comment, "there is no evidence for it being false, either".
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    The evidence is precisely that laid out by seeker123 in his post: the existence of laws that permit, perhaps encourage the evolution of conscious and curious entities, and the actual evolution of such entities. That is evidence.
    As the laws are invented by the entities, to describe the necessary circumstances for the existence of law inventors, that isn't even circular - it's a one step selfreference.

    The existence of a forumulated design hypothesis is evidence for the truth of it, is the argument. It seems weak, to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    The evidence is precisely that laid out by seeker123 in his post: the existence of laws that permit, perhaps encourage the evolution of conscious and curious entities, and the actual evolution of such entities. That is evidence. It is not proof. As you well know you don't get proof in science.
    That sounds like a rather circular argument (or maybe a case of begging the question, I always struggle with those two); the evidence that the laws were designed is that they look as if they may have been designed to produce the given results...

    On the other hand, I did intend to add to my comment, "there is no evidence for it being false, either".
    So, design is a possibility and there is no evidence for it and no evidence against it. So next question .. Is there any evidence that chance is the cause?
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The evidence is precisely that laid out by seeker123 in his post: the existence of laws that permit, perhaps encourage the evolution of conscious and curious entities, and the actual evolution of such entities. That is evidence.
    As the laws are invented by the entities, to describe the necessary circumstances for the existence of law inventors, that isn't even circular - it's a one step selfreference.

    The existence of a forumulated design hypothesis is evidence for the truth of it, is the argument. It seems weak, to me.
    The explanation of the laws are invented by the entities, but the entities are not the cause of the existence of the laws. So do the laws have independent existence? ie Would the laws still operate even if there was no one to observe or describe them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    The explanation of the laws are invented by the entities,
    The laws themselves are descriptions, and they are invented by the entity doing the describing. They're in some sense arbitrary - at the expense of all human reason and human judgment, they could be formulated much differently than they are.

    You could, for example, formulate a law of gravity that presumes the earth is motionless at the center of the universe and everything is drawn toward it according to various complex patterns. It would be ridiculous and unusable, but mathematically it could be done - it wouldn't affect the way anything behaves, because stuff does not behave according to the formulations of human describers. It's the other way around.

    Or as Einstein put, God does not do calculus: He integrates empirically.
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    If entities designed our universe then how would we know if they just copied their own universe or made one entirely different from their own?

    If they did or didn't design our universe totally different from their own, then shouldn't we be able to design a copy of theirs some day?
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; January 4th, 2012 at 09:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    The explanation of the laws are invented by the entities,
    The laws themselves are descriptions, and they are invented by the entity doing the describing. They're in some sense arbitrary - at the expense of all human reason and human judgment, they could be formulated much differently than they are.

    You could, for example, formulate a law of gravity that presumes the earth is motionless at the center of the universe and everything is drawn toward it according to various complex patterns. It would be ridiculous and unusable, but mathematically it could be done - it wouldn't affect the way anything behaves, because stuff does not behave according to the formulations of human describers. It's the other way around.

    Or as Einstein put, God does not do calculus: He integrates empirically.

    So, if I understand you correctly ... you are saying that the factual, real laws have an independent existence. We have descriptions of these laws. They are always imperfect descriptions, but the test of their correctness is how closely they agree with observations of how the universe actually behaves. Although we may only have a partial understanding of how these laws operate, the laws themselves have an independent existence because they will influence the nature of the universe regardless of what our descriptions say about them, or even regardless of whether we exist or not. We didn't create the laws, we only describe them to the limits of our ability.

    The essence of my argument for design is that these independently existing laws are actually principles of order, or patterns, or methods, ways of behaving; to say the universe operates in accordance with natural laws, is the same thing as saying the universe operates under principles of order, or design. In this sense, design is synonymous with law or the method of the universe's operation.

    So, if design is inherently what these laws "are", doesn't it come down to choosing between two options? The first option is that there is some conscious purpose behind the design, or alternatively, the design arises by chance? Is there actually any empirical evidence to support either view?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    That sounds like a rather circular argument (or maybe a case of begging the question, .
    I am at something of a loss as to how you arrive at this impression. We have a suite of observations that seem to suggest that were the values of the fundamental constants and the like significantly different from what they are then the universe could not have given rise to life or even some of the simpler emergent properties. We consider possible explanations for this, of which three spring to mind: chance (i.e. the weak anthropic principle), design, or further underlying laws of nature that constrain the possible values of these constants. The existence of this situation is certainly evidence for the first two. Preference for one over the other would seem to be a matter of personal bias.

    Now science happens to adopt a position of methodological naturalism that precludes the design argument. But note that this is a matter of methodology and not intrinsic to science per se. I am quite undecided on the matter since I think we lack sufficient evidence to favour any of these explanations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker123 View Post

    The essence of my argument for design is that these independently existing laws are actually principles of order, or patterns, or methods, ways of behaving; to say the universe operates in accordance with natural laws, is the same thing as saying the universe operates under principles of order, or design. In this sense, design is synonymous with law or the method of the universe's operation.
    For me, design strongly connotes a designer, an entity. I would ask you to justify the seperation you've made here.



    So, if design is inherently what these laws "are", doesn't it come down to choosing between two options? The first option is that there is some conscious purpose behind the design, or alternatively, the design arises by chance? Is there actually any empirical evidence to support either view?
    There is good evidence to support the chance creation and distribution of increasingly complex materials through natural life-cycles of stars, there is good evidence to support complex life emerging by chance... and so on. We have snapshots of evidence for the emergence of complexity. It's not unreasonable to assume the chance emergence of complexity even pending evidence, so that those assumptions complete the existing empirical models. The assumptions need only be falsifiable.

    And therein lies the difference between assuming a designer and assuming chance emergence - we can't show that a designer didn't do it until a designer capable of it actually shows up. This is the essence of occam's razor, as i understand it, you have to deal with the thing you can get at, you have to do the job that's in front of you.

    So i disagree that there are two equally valid options here. By the scientific approach there is only one option. By a more philosophical approach there are two options but they are by no means equally weighted in their plausibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606 View Post
    There is good evidence to support the chance creation and distribution of increasingly complex materials through natural life-cycles of stars, there is good evidence to support complex life emerging by chance... and so on.
    But there is no evidence that supports the chance creation of the laws, constants and forces that permit such emergent evolution, over the design of such laws, constants and forces to enable emergent evolution.

    By a more philosophical approach there are two options but they are by no means equally weighted in their plausibility.
    The philosphy being the recognition I pointed out in my prior post, that science adopted naturalism as a methodology, not an absolute. Now please demonstrate that chance and design are not equally weighted. I look forward to the contortions required for that one, or the surprise arising from an unexpectedly elegant solution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    That sounds like a rather circular argument (or maybe a case of begging the question, .
    I am at something of a loss as to how you arrive at this impression. We have a suite of observations...
    I think the difference is just the use of the word "evidence". These observations may be evidence of something but we don't know what. They favour any of the possible interpretations equally. So I find it hard to use the word "evidence". But if that is the only point of disagreement, I'm happy to let it go.

    ...observations that seem to suggest that were the values of the fundamental constants and the like significantly different from what they are then the universe could not have given rise to life or even some of the simpler emergent properties.
    It is not entirely clear that is true. I have seen an articles suggesting that a similar universe could have arisen even if, say, there were no weak interaction. I don't remember any details because it isn't the sort of speculation I normally follow.

    We consider possible explanations for this, of which three spring to mind: chance (i.e. the weak anthropic principle), design, or further underlying laws of nature that constrain the possible values of these constants.
    Or the multiverse. And maybe others.

    The existence of this situation is certainly evidence for the first two.
    As the mere existence of the situation doesn't tell us anything other than the situation exists, isn't it evidence equally for any possible explanation?

    So, what I meant originally was just that there is no extra evidence to allow us to choose any of these.

    Preference for one over the other would seem to be a matter of personal bias.
    Indeed. My preference is for "don't know" closely followed by pure chance - if it weren't like that we wouldn't be discussing it). Neither of these require me to invent anything else.

    Now science happens to adopt a position of methodological naturalism that precludes the design argument.
    I'm not sure that's entirely true. If some evidence that supported design was found (a cosmological TM symbol?) then that would become a naturalistic explanation and part of science. After all, any sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from science.

    I am quite undecided on the matter since I think we lack sufficient evidence to favour any of these explanations.
    Ditto.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    But there is no evidence that supports the chance creation of the laws, constants and forces that permit such emergent evolution, over the design of such laws, constants and forces to enable emergent evolution.
    Yeah, you're right

    The philosphy being the recognition I pointed out in my prior post, that science adopted naturalism as a methodology, not an absolute. Now please demonstrate that chance and design are not equally weighted. I look forward to the contortions required for that one, or the surprise arising from an unexpectedly elegant solution.
    I think maybe you're a little mixed up here; since you appear to be implying that science ought to abandon methodolgical naturalism, it's you who needs to demonstrate how and more importantly why we are supposed to do that .

    As to the philosophy, fair enough, you're right, it's philosophy, therefore it's opinion, therfore it's personal bias.

    My personal bias is rooted in the idea that primitive concepts should reduce assumption to a minimum wherever possible. A designer is a monstrously complex primitive concept, it's a huge assumption based on nothing tangible, it's just an idea we've pulled out of the air. Without evidence, i refuse the assumption.
    On the other hand, the idea that the fundamental properties of the universe emerged somehow by chance takes as it's primitive concept the notion merely that chance alone is sufficient. In other words i find it far preferable to tentatively extrapolate from what we have observed about the interior workings of the universe than to simply wildly make shit up. But that is just my opinion, you're quite right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by distraff View Post
    If you found a clock and examined the mechanism within it, you would probably think that this intricate mechanism was not the outcome of mere chance, that it had been designed.
    Now look at the universe; is it possible that such an intricate mechanism, from the orbits of planets round the sun to the cells in your fingernails could all have happened by chance? Surely, this enormously complex mechanism has been designed, and the being that designed it must be God.

    This is the design argument. I am not quite sure it is valid but what do you think?
    The problem with using a clock as your example is that clocks are already understood to be man made for reasons that have nothing to do with their complexity, and everything to do with common experience (all clocks you know of were created by someone). It's effectively a circular argument. "If you found an item that, in your experience, had always been observed to have been created by a creator on the beach, would you assume that it was the outcome of pure chance, or the outcome of someone having created it?"



    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post
    The design Argument will never be resolved with religions insisting on one creator and science that insists that no creators is necessary for life.
    Science doesn't insist on no creator. It doesn't assume one and, so far, has found no evidence for one. Or any need for one.
    If you read carefully what she said, she said "science insists tat no creators is necessary for life.", not that science insists no creator exists. Just that there doesn't need to be one.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    That sounds like a rather circular argument (or maybe a case of begging the question, .
    I am at something of a loss as to how you arrive at this impression. We have a suite of observations that seem to suggest that were the values of the fundamental constants and the like significantly different from what they are then the universe could not have given rise to life or even some of the simpler emergent properties. We consider possible explanations for this, of which three spring to mind: chance (i.e. the weak anthropic principle), design, or further underlying laws of nature that constrain the possible values of these constants. The existence of this situation is certainly evidence for the first two. Preference for one over the other would seem to be a matter of personal bias.
    I think you mean that we wouldn't have gotten life as we know it. Life could still emerge in almost any universe that had consistent laws and some kind of attractive forces to clump enough matter together.

    So long as it's possible to build a Turing machine out of the materials present in the universe, and matter is interacting enough to allow the full range of combinations of materials to form, sooner or later, and intelligent object will emerge. For life, you need an object that is capable of self replication with small mutations occurring periodically in what is created by that self replication, and then for enough such self replications to occur so that the nature of the objects can change gradually by environmental selection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post
    The design Argument will never be resolved with religions insisting on one creator and science that insists that no creators is necessary for life.
    Science doesn't insist on no creator. It doesn't assume one and, so far, has found no evidence for one. Or any need for one.
    If you read carefully what she said, she said "science insists tat no creators is necessary for life.", not that science insists no creator exists. Just that there doesn't need to be one.
    You are correct. Thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by distraff View Post
    If you found a clock and examined the mechanism within it, you would probably think that this intricate mechanism was not the outcome of mere chance, that it had been designed.
    Now look at the universe; is it possible that such an intricate mechanism, from the orbits of planets round the sun to the cells in your fingernails could all have happened by chance? Surely, this enormously complex mechanism has been designed, and the being that designed it must be God.

    This is the design argument. I am not quite sure it is valid but what do you think?
    The way I've always looked at it, and it may have already been said (I didn't read through all the replies on here), is in a light that the whole idea of a god, or a lackthereof, is not empirical. Some people argue from the perspective that religious scriptures have been refuted and that therefore those gods could not possible exist - this is only half of the truth. I don't think that could disprove a god either. Seeing as religious books were written by humans, supposedly humans who were told what to write from gods, can anyone be so sure that those books written were not misinterrupted by humans (as we are fallible) who wrote them? I don't think it matters, in anyway whether or not someone chooses to believe or disbelieve a god doesn't really matter. The problem is trying to provide evidence that one does, or does not, exist. In my opinion, that's why the belief is called Faith.

    As for this whole concept of the universe being so complex that people would think it must have been created, I typically retort with something along the lines of, "If you never existed, it [the origins of the universe] would not have mattered in the first place."
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606 View Post
    For me, design strongly connotes a designer, an entity. I would ask you to justify the seperation you've made here.

    Design does connotes a designer, but the word fundamentally refers to an particular order or pattern of something. Design is the order in which something is arranged, or the process which something follows. The laws of nature describe the order or design of the universe.

    So without even considering any sort of creators or supernatural entities, we can just look at the universe and say .. It follows certain laws. There are fundamental consistent principles which govern the order it is arranged in and what form it takes. If we establish that the universe shows evidence of order because we can formulate systematic descriptions about it, it's the same as saying the universe has a design.

    It is the mere existence of design or order in the universe that produces the question of a designer. If there were no design in the universe, there would be no question of a designer.

    Of course evidence of design is not evidence of a purposeful designer, but it's certainly suggestive of the possibility that one exists. As you say, design strongly connotes a designer, an entity.


    There is good evidence to support the chance creation and distribution of increasingly complex materials through natural life-cycles of stars, there is good evidence to support complex life emerging by chance... and so on. We have snapshots of evidence for the emergence of complexity. It's not unreasonable to assume the chance emergence of complexity even pending evidence, so that those assumptions complete the existing empirical models. The assumptions need only be falsifiable.
    It's only an explanation of how complex material is formed. It doesn't address the issue of why there are natural ordering principles or laws that cause this trend toward complexity or provide the necessary conditions for life to arise.

    We can say that complex life emerges by chance, but there are also fundamental ordering principles operating in evolution as well. The evolution of complex life is really just a necessary consequence of the nature of life. Life is adaptable, dynamic and acts for its own reproduction and self preservation. These qualities of life are as fundamental a reason for the evolution of complex beings as chance mutations of genetic material.


    And therein lies the difference between assuming a designer and assuming chance emergence - we can't show that a designer didn't do it until a designer capable of it actually shows up. This is the essence of occam's razor, as i understand it, you have to deal with the thing you can get at, you have to do the job that's in front of you.

    So i disagree that there are two equally valid options here. By the scientific approach there is only one option. By a more philosophical approach there are two options but they are by no means equally weighted in their plausibility.
    This exposes a limitation of the scientific methodology. If by using the scientific approach, we end up with only one option, chance, this means the inherent limitations of the scientific approach dictate the conclusion and therefore preclude any possible discovery of a conscious designer.

    These limitations mean that science can make no statement about the existence of a conscious purpose behind the creation and design of the universe. Science cannot confirm or deny and chance is more like a non-choice that enables the scientific method to function, rather than a conclusion of any kind.
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    This exposes a limitation of the scientific methodology. If by using the scientific approach, we end up with only one option, chance, this means the inherent limitations of the scientific approach dictate the conclusion and therefore preclude any possible discovery of a conscious designer.

    These limitations mean that science can make no statement about the existence of a conscious purpose behind the creation and design of the universe. Science cannot confirm or deny and chance is more like a non-choice that enables the scientific method to function, rather than a conclusion of any kind.
    Science doesn't preclude any other possibilities--not in the least. It just means there must be credible evidence. Right now evolution is the prevailing view because all the credible evidence goes that way.

    PS it's not change, evolution is almost the opposite of change because it's hard to imagine a more rigorous or stringent set of requirements than adapting the particular traits to survive in new environments.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    So, if I understand you correctly ... you are saying that the factual, real laws have an independent existence.
    No. I am saying that all laws are inventions of a lawmaker, and operate essentially as descriptions. They are often expressed in mathematical terms, for example, and mathematics is a human creation - as far as we know, only a human creation. We have no evidence of mathematics existing anywhere in the universe except on this planet as written and compiled by human beings.

    We have absolutely no evidence that any planet calculates its orbit according to the mathematically established "laws of gravity", for example. I quoted Einstein, for pith: "God does not do calculus - - - etc"

    Quote Originally Posted by galt
    But there is no evidence that supports the chance creation of the laws, constants and forces that permit such emergent evolution, over the design of such laws, constants and forces to enable emergent evolution.
    We have only recently begun to investigate this matter. So far, the evidence we have is that chance is a completely adequate explanation, and design is not indicated - emergent complexity at our level via evolution appears to be very rare, for one thing, and occupies only a very, very small proportion of the workings of the universe. That seems intuitively, at first impression, unlikely in a large universe designed to enable it - our normal experiences with design would classify such dramatically inefficient design as very poor at best, and in fact we would normally regard such a result as indicating at best a design for something else that itself produced evolved complexity at our level by chance, as a side effect.

    So chance either way, at best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    This exposes a limitation of the scientific methodology. If by using the scientific approach, we end up with only one option, chance, this means the inherent limitations of the scientific approach dictate the conclusion and therefore preclude any possible discovery of a conscious designer.

    These limitations mean that science can make no statement about the existence of a conscious purpose behind the creation and design of the universe. Science cannot confirm or deny and chance is more like a non-choice that enables the scientific method to function, rather than a conclusion of any kind.
    Science doesn't preclude any other possibilities--not in the least. It just means there must be credible evidence. Right now evolution is the prevailing view because all the credible evidence goes that way.

    PS it's not change, evolution is almost the opposite of change because it's hard to imagine a more rigorous or stringent set of requirements than adapting the particular traits to survive in new environments.
    By limiting our requirements of what we will accept as credible evidence, we limit the knowledge we can acquire and the conclusions we can reach with that knowledge. Evolution is the prevailing view because of these limitations to the scope of scientific evidence. Evolution only explains how the emergence of complex life happens, it says nothing about bio-genesis or the creation of the first living being from which all others have evolved.

    If we admit that the universe shows an underlying order, and it must have order or we could not formulate any laws of nature. The existence of design or order in the universe logically suggests a designer exists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    So, if I understand you correctly ... you are saying that the factual, real laws have an independent existence.
    No. I am saying that all laws are inventions of a lawmaker, and operate essentially as descriptions. They are often expressed in mathematical terms, for example, and mathematics is a human creation - as far as we know, only a human creation. We have no evidence of mathematics existing anywhere in the universe except on this planet as written and compiled by human beings.

    We have absolutely no evidence that any planet calculates its orbit according to the mathematically established "laws of gravity", for example. I quoted Einstein, for pith: "God does not do calculus - - - etc"
    I couldn't understand the pithy meaning of the Einstein quote. So are you saying the opposite, the laws of nature have no independent existence? They exist only in the minds of the lawmakers?

    If so, how is it possible that the observable workings of the universe conforms with these laws? Surely the laws must exist independently and we merely formulate descriptions of them. Otherwise, how could the planets move in a mathematically predictable way if the law of gravity was not the actual controlling force? Wouldn't gravity operate the same way regardless of whether we have described it or not? Wouldn't the consistent ordering principles known to us as gravity still operate even if no one noticed?
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker123 View Post
    If we admit that the universe shows an underlying order, and it must have order or we could not formulate any laws of nature. The existence of design or order in the universe logically suggests a designer exists.
    I am with your argument up till this point. At this point your logic evaporates and chaos ensues. The existence of design or order merely hint at the possibility of a designer, they assuredly do not suggest a designer exists. And one is always left with the problem that even if such a designer could be shown to exist or have existed, whence came that designer?



    (fixed the quote tag)
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; January 6th, 2012 at 02:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker123 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606 View Post
    For me, design strongly connotes a designer, an entity. I would ask you to justify the seperation you've made here.

    Design does connotes a designer, but the word fundamentally refers to an particular order or pattern of something. Design is the order in which something is arranged, or the process which something follows. The laws of nature describe the order or design of the universe.
    Ok, so we've defined design to mean the same thing as order.


    So without even considering any sort of creators or supernatural entities, we can just look at the universe and say .. It follows certain laws. There are fundamental consistent principles which govern the order it is arranged in and what form it takes. If we establish that the universe shows evidence of order because we can formulate systematic descriptions about it, it's the same as saying the universe has a design.
    By the definition made this is fine.


    It is the mere existence of design or order in the universe that produces the question of a designer. If there were no design in the universe, there would be no question of a designer.
    The generalisation from instances of order requiring an orderer to all order requiring an orderer is intuitively comfortable, but if this intuition can be shown to be wrong just once, we then have to be very careful about applying this intuition.


    Of course evidence of design is not evidence of a purposeful designer, but it's certainly suggestive of the possibility that one exists.
    It's intuitively suggestive of the possibility of an orderer, yes. But we can't do anything with this intuition except talk about it. I don't see what use we can find for it at this point.

    As you say, design strongly connotes a designer, an entity.
    Then by the definition made that order means the same thing as design, order must strongly connote an orderer.

    We've unneccesarily mangled the meanings of a couple of words here, IMO.




    It's only an explanation of how complex material is formed. It doesn't address the issue of why there are natural ordering principles or laws that cause this trend toward complexity or provide the necessary conditions for life to arise.

    We can say that complex life emerges by chance, but there are also fundamental ordering principles operating in evolution as well. The evolution of complex life is really just a necessary consequence of the nature of life. Life is adaptable, dynamic and acts for its own reproduction and self preservation. These qualities of life are as fundamental a reason for the evolution of complex beings as chance mutations of genetic material.
    Yeah, John Galt already called me out ofr this mistake.

    And therein lies the difference between assuming a designer and assuming chance emergence - we can't show that a designer didn't do it until a designer capable of it actually shows up. This is the essence of occam's razor, as i understand it, you have to deal with the thing you can get at, you have to do the job that's in front of you.

    So i disagree that there are two equally valid options here. By the scientific approach there is only one option. By a more philosophical approach there are two options but they are by no means equally weighted in their plausibility.
    This exposes a limitation of the scientific methodology. If by using the scientific approach, we end up with only one option, chance, this means the inherent limitations of the scientific approach dictate the conclusion and therefore preclude any possible discovery of a conscious designer.

    These limitations mean that science can make no statement about the existence of a conscious purpose behind the creation and design of the universe. Science cannot confirm or deny and chance is more like a non-choice that enables the scientific method to function, rather than a conclusion of any kind.
    Maybe i should say there's only one working option, there's only one way to proceed at the moment. Though I suppose as our technology gets more sophisticated we'll have to consider design as a possibility: i.e. if we become close to acquiring the capability of designing a universe we'll be able to posit that our universe was designed based on how we would have done it. he he. Probably not going to happen soon though.
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    The conscious design argument can viewed from another standpoint by evaluating our own history of inventions. Did the person that made the first automobile have a vision of our current models of automobiles? Did the person that made the first machine for flying envision our current models of aircraft, jets, etc.? Did the person that invented electricity have a vision of how we currently use electricity today? My answer would be no they didn't, their inventions were limited in the amount of information that was known in that particular time frame.

    Each part that goes into those inventions became specialized and perfected by the many individuals that built upon that knowledge base and added to it. In order for this to emerge, another factor had to be in place first and that was public education where everyone had the opportunity to learn to read and write. Did the person or people that allowed everyone the right to public education do this in order for future inventions to emerge? No, there were many reasons why they believed education was important but it wasn't for any specific goal to invent or create something specific.

    Our history shows that our capacity to invent new things in a rapid time frame was largely due to educating the masses which started in the 1800's and increased globally in the early 1900's. Information was written in every subject and every generation after that has added new information to the database. This has allowed all of the technology to advance rapidly with the invention of the computer and internet.

    Did the first human have any vision of what our culture is today? No! It took thousands of years for our current library of information to evolve to what it is today. It is the same in nature, it took billions of years to build information from all the generations that lived before by adding to its base, DNA. All life share the basic properties of DNA but in every area of the globe over time the biota's DNA changed or developed new traits based on the exchange of DNA molecules with their immediate environment.

    No one entity of life had all of the accumulative DNA in one organism that would have the ability to create all of the biota living today and this is also true for humans in that no one person has all of the knowledge and ability to invent or create all of the advantages we have today. Right here is proof that there is no one designer responsible for all life's designs. Many of our inventions came by accident since every new combination we tried were meant for another purpose. The discovery allowed new ideas to form and be built upon by every generation that came after which this can be applied to human and natural processes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    If so, how is it possible that the observable workings of the universe conforms with these laws? Surely the laws must exist independently and we merely formulate descriptions of them.
    We invent laws that conform with the workings of the universe because they are useful and enlightening for us. We do not "describe" these laws, unless we are studying them rather than the universe around - they are themselves descriptions.

    They are the map, not the territory. It's not puzzling to find that the lay of the land conforms with our map symbols and scale - and it does not mean that maps have an independent existence which the mapmakers merely describe.

    Meanwhile the most influential laws of the universe, the ones which do the most ordering and produce the most reliable predictions and explanations, are the laws of chance. Most of the order we see around us, especially at the basic or fundamental levels, is a product of probabilities.
    Ok, so we've defined design to mean the same thing as order.
    A blunder. Design requires that purpose precede order - order arrived at without a prior purpose, is not design.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    We invent laws that conform with the workings of the universe because they are useful and enlightening for us. We do not "describe" these laws, unless we are studying them rather than the universe around - they are themselves descriptions.

    They are the map, not the territory. It's not puzzling to find that the lay of the land conforms with our map symbols and scale - and it does not mean that maps have an independent existence which the mapmakers merely describe.
    The laws are not mere descriptions, not in the same way that poetry is. Just like the map describes an actual physical landmass, the laws describe real, objective phenomena. These phenomena may be incorporeal but they have tangible effects eg - force, energy. If the phenomena they describe were not real, prediction and experiment would not be possible.

    Meanwhile the most influential laws of the universe, the ones which do the most ordering and produce the most reliable predictions and explanations, are the laws of chance. Most of the order we see around us, especially at the basic or fundamental levels, is a product of probabilities.
    Could you be more specific about the particular laws you mean?

    Ok, so we've defined design to mean the same thing as order.
    A blunder. Design requires that purpose precede order - order arrived at without a prior purpose, is not design.
    We've unneccesarily mangled the meanings of a couple of words here, IMO.
    I agree with both of you that the distinction between the words order and design is important. They're different, but they also have overlapping meanings. It was interesting to see the dictionary definition of the word order also means command. So even the word order kind of suggests a control behind it.

    But for the purposes of discussion, I'll agree with your separation of the words and say that order is a pattern or arrangement, and design means order which arises from purposeful design.

    I can restate the argument as - The existence of order in the universe - hints at, suggests, leaves open the possibility - that the order arises through purposeful design, which means a conscious designer most likely exists.


    It's intuitively suggestive of the possibility of an orderer, yes. But we can't do anything with this intuition except talk about it. I don't see what use we can find for it at this point.
    Maybe i should say there's only one working option, there's only one way to proceed at the moment. Though I suppose as our technology gets more sophisticated we'll have to consider design as a possibility: i.e. if we become close to acquiring the capability of designing a universe we'll be able to posit that our universe was designed based on how we would have done it. he he. Probably not going to happen soon though.
    Seems you are both saying that the designer hypothesis is out of the present bounds of science. What can we do with the intuition and persistent rumour of the designer that exists among humans? If science has no solution or idea of a way to proceed, then people are only left with enquiry into the subject with religion and there is no real consensus there. Sometimes I wonder if the scientific method is actually capable of even studying the question, much less coming up with any definitive answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am with your argument up till this point. At this point your logic evaporates and chaos ensues. The existence of design or order merely hint at the possibility of a designer, they assuredly do not suggest a designer exists. And one is always left with the problem that even if such a designer could be shown to exist or have existed, whence came that designer?
    I defined the words order and design a bit better, so if everyone agrees that the universe has underlying order, then really the question is ... What is the cause or origin of this order?

    Based on experience, we know that order often arises from the purposeful design of creative conscious beings. So it's natural to assume a designer with a purpose is behind the ordered universe we observe. I realise this doesn't prove the existence of a designer, but it gives us good reason to investigate further.

    Although we still have the problem of explaining the designer, even with the chance explanation we are left with the question of where did all the energy come from? If all the energy is never created and exists in some sense outside of time, then why can't a designer do the same?

    Somehow I always feel the chance explanation is a non-explanation or a cop-out anyway. It's an easy solution because it sidesteps the problems the existence of god causes for us. And I've yet to hear any more substantial evidence for chance, than I have for a designer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    If so, how is it possible that the observable workings of the universe conforms with these laws? Surely the laws must exist independently and we merely formulate descriptions of them.
    We invent laws that conform with the workings of the universe because they are useful and enlightening for us. We do not "describe" these laws, unless we are studying them rather than the universe around - they are themselves descriptions.

    They are the map, not the territory. It's not puzzling to find that the lay of the land conforms with our map symbols and scale - and it does not mean that maps have an independent existence which the mapmakers merely describe.

    Meanwhile the most influential laws of the universe, the ones which do the most ordering and produce the most reliable predictions and explanations, are the laws of chance. Most of the order we see around us, especially at the basic or fundamental levels, is a product of probabilities.
    Ok, so we've defined design to mean the same thing as order.
    A blunder. Design requires that purpose precede order - order arrived at without a prior purpose, is not design.

    A parasite that alters the genome of its host to alter the host's behavior so the parasite can continue its reproductive process in another host seems to fall under purpose and in a sense altered the design.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    Just like the map describes an actual physical landmass, the laws describe real, objective phenomena. These phenomena may be incorporeal but they have tangible effects eg - force, energy.
    "Force" and "energy" correspond to map symbols, abstractions we find useful enough to invent and define. The laws may describe something "actual physical", but they are not themselves part of it - they are the map, not the territory.

    Based on experience, we know that order often arises from the purposeful design of creative conscious beings. So it's natural to assume a designer with a purpose is behind the ordered universe we observe.
    Except that it doesn't look designed - it fits no apparent or imaginable purpose efficiently or closely, it seems to be constructed in agreement with the laws of chance, it contains no features without antecedents and relationships within it, and so forth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    Just like the map describes an actual physical landmass, the laws describe real, objective phenomena. These phenomena may be incorporeal but they have tangible effects eg - force, energy.
    "Force" and "energy" correspond to map symbols, abstractions we find useful enough to invent and define. The laws may describe something "actual physical", but they are not themselves part of it - they are the map, not the territory.
    How can force and energy be only map symbols, when they have real effects in the world? They are descriptions of the essential nature of matter. They describe the method of operation of matter - why the world behaves as it does.

    Except that it doesn't look designed - it fits no apparent or imaginable purpose efficiently or closely, it seems to be constructed in agreement with the laws of chance, it contains no features without antecedents and relationships within it, and so forth.
    Looking designed depends on your viewpoint. Up until Darwin it was widely accepted that the world looked very designed. It may not fit any apparent purpose that we are aware of but you cant say it fits no imagined purpose. Christians put forward the idea that this world is created to produce conscious beings who will have the capacity to search for the cause of the universe etc ie humans. You say it seems to be constructed in agreement with the laws of chance, but I can't know what you mean unless you are more specific.

    It doesn't really depend on how the universe operates, in the sense that it may operate by what appear to be principles of chance after creation. It may even be designed to do so. The evidence for design lies more in the fact that because of the initial conditions and ingredients combined with the underlying laws of nature, any chance variety of universe which is produced from it will produce conscious beings capable of seeking knowledge of the meaning and cause of the universe itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by distraff View Post
    If you found a clock and examined the mechanism within it, you would probably think that this intricate mechanism was not the outcome of mere chance, that it had been designed.
    Now look at the universe; is it possible that such an intricate mechanism, from the orbits of planets round the sun to the cells in your fingernails could all have happened by chance? Surely, this enormously complex mechanism has been designed, and the being that designed it must be God.

    This is the design argument. I am not quite sure it is valid but what do you think?
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    I did not say animals are necessarily creative in the same way humans are, simply that our technology is the product of the evolution of our minds, while the "technology" of the rest of life is more directly so. Either way, evolution was integral and indispensable in the process. Similarly, if we were designed by some other entity, they too would have had to be either designed or evolved. This moves the question back to a point where an entity or group of entities had to have either existed forever and created life out of nothing, or it evolved itself, being the product of abiogenesis. In this way, ID merely moves back the creation/(abiogenesis/evolution) debate.
    if we accept that our universe is so complex and fine tuned
    that it had to have been created
    and we accept that whoever created this universe had to have evolved naturally
    then we must conclude there must have once existed (and may still exist) a universe
    that is not complex and fine tuned in which intelligent beings evolved.

    what might such a universe look like?
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    if we accept that our universe is so complex and fine tuned
    Why should we accept that anyhow?

    The marvel of science is we have many examples of very simple rules and processes which create that apparent complexity.
    As for tuning, there's absolutely no evidence for that at all either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    if we accept that our universe is so complex and fine tuned
    Why should we accept that anyhow?
    Because it is an observable fact that it is complex. As I believe I noted earlier the intriguing question is how and why that complexity should arise from some very simple laws, forces and constants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    As for tuning, there's absolutely no evidence for that at all either.
    There is considerable evidence. It is true that the significance of some of the evidence has been disputed, but the possibility of fine tuning remains a plausible and viable concept.
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    There is considerable evidence. It is true that the significance of some of the evidence has been disputed, but the possibility of fine tuning remains a plausible and viable concept.
    Such as life's ability to adapt to an environment? Is that what you mean? If so, it's just another example of application of some pretty simple concepts and physical limitations leading to an apparent complexity as characteristics tend over time to be optimized for survival in their environment.
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    Other than more than half of the facts on there are wrong....what is your point?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Other than more than half of the facts on there are wrong....what is your point?
    Please specify which you believe to be wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Other than more than half of the facts on there are wrong....what is your point?
    Please specify which you believe to be wrong.
    First off there's no references nor ranges for most of the statements....so a gravitational constant of say 0.1% would result in no large stars for example....how about 2% smaller.

    Than we get into the obviously wrong ones in my field of study, such as "
    Albedo (ratio of reflected light to total amount falling on surface) If greater: Runaway ice age would develop
    Again no range. Also we know albedo has changed by at least a factor of two in earth's history. In fact we probably had an "runaway" ice age at least once in the past and here we are.

    Virtually the same for Water vapor in the atmosphere; it's been through huge changes even in human pre-history.
    Rotation period If longer: Diurnal temperature differences would be too great
    If shorter: Atmospheric wind velocities would be too great
    Earth's rotation is slowing down; days were about 20 hours long during the pre-cambrian

    Earth Crust; it has been thickening.

    Anyhow many seem to be just broad hand sweeps, loosely based on science, not even accounting for the current state of what we already know. Or worse, making the silly assumption that there's only one path to life--which in a sample size of One thouroughly researched planet and another dozen or so including dwarfs and large moons we know a little about, is an unfounded and very premature conclusion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Other than more than half of the facts on there are wrong....what is your point?
    Please specify which you believe to be wrong.
    -The notion that a redder or bluer star could not support photosynthesis is a little strange, since red and blue light are both suitable for photosynthesis.
    -The idea that too many white dwarf binary systems would destabilise orbits - this is true, but the number of white dwarfs needed for this to be relevant is staggering (also is there any factual basis in too few white dwarf binaries leading to a lack of fluorine? It sounds like BS to me).
    -Earth's magnetic field: completely untrue for realistic strengths.
    -Thicness of crust varies geographically today, so is obviously irrelevant. Although maybe they mean lithosphere (but unlikely since it talks about oxygen depletion)
    -Carbon dioxide level - has been much, much higher in the past, especially when life first emerged. Runaway warming appears not to be the case.
    -Atmospheric oxygen - only applicable to life that has evolved to be specialised to the existing atmosphere. Atmosphere has been highly variable in oxygen content from ~0% to ~28% and life has survived.
    -Expansion rate of the universe - can't see why this matters.
    -Entropy level of the universe - seems a little contrived, and is basically equivelent to the age of the universe
    -Proton decay rate - protons don't appear to decay at all.
    -C:O ratio - contrived, irrelevant. Atmospheric oxygen has all been liberated by biological processes, it did not occur prebiologically.
    -Mass difference between proton and neutron - can you see why this is relevant? I can't.
    -Number of stars in the solar system - suggests life could only occur in this solar system; multiple-star systems aren't common enough for this to be unexpected anyway. Same applies to star age, size and colour, really.
    -Ozone level - also caused by biological activity ultimately, and so not a necessary precurser to life.
    -Oceans to land ratio: untill the Ordovician there was negligible life on the land, and life first occurred in the ocean.
    -Soil quality - something which is regulated mostly by biologically processes, and which is only relevant to land organisms.
    -Seismic activity - seismic activity would have to be unrealistically high to threaten all living organisms, especially marine organisms. Low seismic activity wouldn't cause any particular problems over timescales of less than, say, 10 billion years, since evolved magmas aren't known to be particularly 'nutrient-rich', although I suppose it might mean we'd have no continents - which again, is only a problem for terrestrial life. Hydrothermal and 'hotspot' volcanism would still recycle sufficient nutrients for life to survive.


    How's that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    How can force and energy be only map symbols, when they have real effects in the world? They are descriptions of the essential nature of matter. They describe the method of operation of matter - why the world behaves as it does.
    So are the symbols on a map. They describe aspects of the world - why it looks as it does.

    The map is not the territory. People, not Gods or molecules, do mathematics.
    Quote Originally Posted by seeker
    The evidence for design lies more in the fact that because of the initial conditions and ingredients combined with the underlying laws of nature, any chance variety of universe which is produced from it will produce conscious beings capable of seeking knowledge of the meaning and cause of the universe itself.
    Well that appears to be false, so we would be back to our original estimation of no visible evidence for design - and plenty of evidence that purpose, etc, plays no role in the overall patterns of the universe.

    But even if it were true, the argument does not hold. Obviously any chance-formed universe that fit such a criterion would produce such beings, but they would be in error to ascribe purpose to those circumstances and design to the whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by granpa
    if we accept that our universe is so complex and fine tuned
    that it had to have been created
    That reasoning is not acceptable, even if the underlying assumption of "tuning" were well founded.
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