Discussion:
ID's purported use of the Scientific Method
(too old to reply)
eNo
2005-07-13 17:08:42 UTC
Permalink
Much to my surprise, on one of my Web-surfing expeditions, I ran into
ideacenter.org. Among other things, they have a couple of links that outline
how ID allegedly follows the scientific method and is testable. Both links
below repeat much of the same information, relying heavilty on IC and CSI to
make the case.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Does intelligent design make predictions? Is it testable?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156

The Short Answer: Yes. Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we will
find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form of
specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by trying
to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an
"irreducible core." Intelligent design also makes other predictions, such as
2) rapid appearance of complexity in the fossil record, 3) re-usage of
similar parts in different organisms, and 4) function for biological
structures. Each of these predictions may be tested--and have been confirmed
through testing!

The long answer goes on to list ways a designer works (much to my surprise),
ID predictions, and lines of evidence.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Does intelligent design theory implement the scientific method?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1154

The Short Answer: Yes. The scientific method goes from observation -->
hypothesis --> experiment --> conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the
observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified
information (CSI). They hypothesize that if objects were designed, they will
contain CSI. They then seek to find CSI. One easily testable form of CSI is
irreducible complexity (IC). ID researchers can then experimentally
reverse-engineer biological structures to see if they are IC. If they find
them, they can conclude design.

The long answer goes on to list the observation, hypothesis, experiment and
conclusion, along with the ways a designer works (in less detail), ID
predictions and lines of evidence.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Anyway, I don't post this because I necessarily buy into it, but because I
have read countless times (just today actually) how ID makes no predictions
or doesn't deal with the ways of the designer." These links show that at
least some members of the ID community have put forth the effort to show
conformance with the scientific method and to discuss how a designer might
proceed. Now, whether any of it holds water is a different matter, but I
think we should restrain from saying things like "ID makes no predictions"
or "ID doesn't tell us how the designer works."
--
`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°
,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,
eNo
"Test everything; hold on to the good."
eNo
2005-07-13 17:17:16 UTC
Permalink
Here's another link where they answer the "god in the gaps" charge,
cleverly, I think.

"Thus, intelligent design says that these irreducibly complex systems are in
principle impossible to account for through the Darwinian mechanism. This is
not a 'gap' in the knowledge of evolutionary biologists. In fact, this is a
theoretical proof that Darwinian evolution cannot create irreducible
complexity. This is a gap that Darwin's theory is incapable of bridging. And
we do not merely infer design because of the gap, but because of our
understanding of the type of complexity created by intelligent agents when
they act. We know that there is no natural mechanism capable of producing
this form of complexity."
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1159

IOW, they are claiming that Darwin's theory is incapable of pursuing the
study of IC; another theory is required. I suppose this is like saying that
Newtonian Mechanics explained some of Physics, but a separate (superior?)
theory was required to explain how electron's work.
--
`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°
,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,
eNo
"Test everything; hold on to the good."
John Harshman
2005-07-13 17:32:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by eNo
Here's another link where they answer the "god in the gaps" charge,
cleverly, I think.
"Thus, intelligent design says that these irreducibly complex systems are in
principle impossible to account for through the Darwinian mechanism. This is
not a 'gap' in the knowledge of evolutionary biologists. In fact, this is a
theoretical proof that Darwinian evolution cannot create irreducible
complexity. This is a gap that Darwin's theory is incapable of bridging. And
we do not merely infer design because of the gap, but because of our
understanding of the type of complexity created by intelligent agents when
they act. We know that there is no natural mechanism capable of producing
this form of complexity."
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1159
IOW, they are claiming that Darwin's theory is incapable of pursuing the
study of IC; another theory is required. I suppose this is like saying that
Newtonian Mechanics explained some of Physics, but a separate (superior?)
theory was required to explain how electron's work.
The god of the gaps here would be the huge gaps in reasoning. I deny
that they have shown that Darwinian mechanisms were incapable of
producing IC. Note that this is merely asserted above, not shown. And
even if that were shown, it's a huge leap from "Darwinian mechanisms" to
"no natural mechanism". Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
Bobby D. Bryant
2005-07-13 21:05:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by eNo
Here's another link where they answer the "god in the gaps" charge,
cleverly, I think.
"Thus, intelligent design says that these irreducibly complex
systems are in principle impossible to account for through the
Darwinian mechanism. This is not a 'gap' in the knowledge of
evolutionary biologists. In fact, this is a theoretical proof that
Darwinian evolution cannot create irreducible complexity. This is a
gap that Darwin's theory is incapable of bridging. And we do not
merely infer design because of the gap, but because of our
understanding of the type of complexity created by intelligent
agents when they act. We know that there is no natural mechanism
capable of producing this form of complexity."
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1159
IOW, they are claiming that Darwin's theory is incapable of pursuing
the study of IC; another theory is required. I suppose this is like
saying that Newtonian Mechanics explained some of Physics, but a
separate (superior?) theory was required to explain how electron's
work.
No, it's more like saying "$TECHNOBABBLE, therefore goddidit".

Given the ID definition of IC, there's absolutely no reason to believe
that IC systems can't arise via non-intelligent causes. And they are
indeed appealing to a gap, as evidenced when IDologists demand a
complete evolutionary pathway when told that IC stuff is in fact
evolvable.

And the sentence "this is a theoretical proof that Darwinian evolution
cannot create irreducible complexity" is just bizarre.
--
Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas
John Harshman
2005-07-13 17:27:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by eNo
Much to my surprise, on one of my Web-surfing expeditions, I ran into
ideacenter.org. Among other things, they have a couple of links that outline
how ID allegedly follows the scientific method and is testable. Both links
below repeat much of the same information, relying heavilty on IC and CSI to
make the case.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design make predictions? Is it testable?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156
The Short Answer: Yes. Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we will
find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form of
specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by trying
to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an
"irreducible core." Intelligent design also makes other predictions, such as
2) rapid appearance of complexity in the fossil record, 3) re-usage of
similar parts in different organisms, and 4) function for biological
structures. Each of these predictions may be tested--and have been confirmed
through testing!
The long answer goes on to list ways a designer works (much to my surprise),
ID predictions, and lines of evidence.
It's not enough to make predictions. They have to be predictions that
differentiate your theory from other theories. None of the four
predictions stated above distinguish ID from standard evolutionary
theories. In order for the first prediction to be useful, for example,
you have to assume that known processes (or an conceivable process other
than ID) are incapable of generating "specified complexity" (whatever
that is). I would think that if you had a definition of CSI that made
any biological sense, it would turn out that natural selection is
capable of generating it. And so on.

Are any of the other predictions any better?
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design theory implement the scientific method?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1154
The Short Answer: Yes. The scientific method goes from observation -->
hypothesis --> experiment --> conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the
observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified
information (CSI). They hypothesize that if objects were designed, they will
contain CSI. They then seek to find CSI. One easily testable form of CSI is
irreducible complexity (IC). ID researchers can then experimentally
reverse-engineer biological structures to see if they are IC. If they find
them, they can conclude design.
The long answer goes on to list the observation, hypothesis, experiment and
conclusion, along with the ways a designer works (in less detail), ID
predictions and lines of evidence.
Once again, not a unique prediction *unless* known processes are shown
to be incapable of producing CSI.
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Anyway, I don't post this because I necessarily buy into it, but because I
have read countless times (just today actually) how ID makes no predictions
or doesn't deal with the ways of the designer." These links show that at
least some members of the ID community have put forth the effort to show
conformance with the scientific method and to discuss how a designer might
proceed. Now, whether any of it holds water is a different matter, but I
think we should restrain from saying things like "ID makes no predictions"
or "ID doesn't tell us how the designer works."
If there's nothing better than the above, I wouldn't change anyuthing.
Those aren't predictions in the scientific sense. I could as well say
that if ID is correct, organisms must exist. But is the existence of
organisms a prediction of ID in any useful sense? I don't think so.

As for the questions about how the designer works, I don't see anything
about that above. What have you got?
eNo
2005-07-13 17:53:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
Much to my surprise, on one of my Web-surfing expeditions, I ran into
ideacenter.org. Among other things, they have a couple of links that outline
how ID allegedly follows the scientific method and is testable. Both links
below repeat much of the same information, relying heavilty on IC and CSI to
make the case.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design make predictions? Is it testable?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156
The Short Answer: Yes. Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we will
find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form of
specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by trying
to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an
"irreducible core." Intelligent design also makes other predictions, such as
2) rapid appearance of complexity in the fossil record, 3) re-usage of
similar parts in different organisms, and 4) function for biological
structures. Each of these predictions may be tested--and have been confirmed
through testing!
The long answer goes on to list ways a designer works (much to my surprise),
ID predictions, and lines of evidence.
It's not enough to make predictions. They have to be predictions that
differentiate your theory from other theories. None of the four
predictions stated above distinguish ID from standard evolutionary
theories. In order for the first prediction to be useful, for example,
you have to assume that known processes (or an conceivable process other
than ID) are incapable of generating "specified complexity" (whatever
that is).
An assumption per se is not at issue. Rather, it is the claim of ID that
evolution cannot produce IC or CSI. This is a falsifiable claim (one which
may have already been falsified), not just a mere asumption.
Post by John Harshman
I would think that if you had a definition of CSI that made
any biological sense, it would turn out that natural selection is
capable of generating it. And so on.
Are any of the other predictions any better?
I don't know about "better", but what about prediction number 4?

"The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or
functionless 'junk DNA'."

This might in fact contradict evolutionary theory (and currently available
data) depending on how you define "much." How much is too much "discrarded
genetic baggage"? 5%, 25%, 50%?
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design theory implement the scientific method?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1154
The Short Answer: Yes. The scientific method goes from observation -->
hypothesis --> experiment --> conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the
observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified
information (CSI). They hypothesize that if objects were designed, they will
contain CSI. They then seek to find CSI. One easily testable form of CSI is
irreducible complexity (IC). ID researchers can then experimentally
reverse-engineer biological structures to see if they are IC. If they find
them, they can conclude design.
The long answer goes on to list the observation, hypothesis, experiment and
conclusion, along with the ways a designer works (in less detail), ID
predictions and lines of evidence.
Once again, not a unique prediction *unless* known processes are shown
to be incapable of producing CSI.
Well, that's the rub, isn't it? That's precisely the claim ID makes: that
evolutionary processes alone can't produce CSI.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Anyway, I don't post this because I necessarily buy into it, but because I
have read countless times (just today actually) how ID makes no predictions
or doesn't deal with the ways of the designer." These links show that at
least some members of the ID community have put forth the effort to show
conformance with the scientific method and to discuss how a designer might
proceed. Now, whether any of it holds water is a different matter, but I
think we should restrain from saying things like "ID makes no predictions"
or "ID doesn't tell us how the designer works."
If there's nothing better than the above, I wouldn't change anyuthing.
Those aren't predictions in the scientific sense. I could as well say
that if ID is correct, organisms must exist. But is the existence of
organisms a prediction of ID in any useful sense? I don't think so.
As for the questions about how the designer works, I don't see anything
about that above. What have you got?
From http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156, "Table 1.
Ways Designers Act When Designing":

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(1) Take many parts and arrange them in highly specified and complex
patterns which perform a specific function.

“Experience teaches that information-rich systems … invariably result from
intelligent causes, not naturalistic ones. … Finding the best explanation,
however, requires invoking causes that have the power to produce the effect
in question. When it comes to information, we know of only one such cause.
For this reason, the biology of the information age now requires a new
science of design.”
(Stephen C. Meyer, "The Explanatory Power of Design," in Mere Creation, pg.
140 (William A. Dembski ed., InterVarsity Press 1998))

“Agents can arrange matter with distant goals in mind. In their use of
language, they routinely ‘find’ highly isolated and improbable functional
sequences amid vast spaces of combinatorial possibilities.”
(Stephen C. Meyer, “The Cambrian Information Explosion,” Debating Design,
pg. 388 (Dembski and Ruse eds., Cambridge University Press 2004).

"Indeed, in all cases where we know the causal origin of 'high information
content,' experience has shown that intelligent design played a causal
role."
(Stephen C. Meyer, DNA and Other Designs)

(2) Rapidly infuse any amounts of genetic information into the biosphere,
including large amounts, such that at times rapid morphological or genetic
changes could occur in populations.

"Intelligent design provides a sufficient causal explanation for the origin
of large amounts of information, since we have considerable experience of
intelligent agents generating informational configurations of matter."
(Meyer S. C. et. al., "The Cambrian Explosion: Biology's Big Bang," in
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, edited by J. A. Campbell and S. C.
Meyer (Michigan State University Press, 2003)

(3) 'Re-use parts' over-and-over in different types of organisms (design
upon a common blueprint).

“An intelligent cause may reuse or redeploy the same module in different
systems, without there necessarily being any material or physical connection
between those systems. Even more simply, intelligent causes can generate
identical patterns independently: We do so, for instance, every time we sign
a bank check or credit card slip” (Nelson and Wells, Homology in Biology, in
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, pg. 316, 318 (John Angus Campbell,
ed. Michigan State University Press 2003).

(4) Be said to typically NOT create completely functionless objects or parts
(although we may sometimes think something is functionless, but not realize
its true function).
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BTW, I would consider these "ways of a designer" to also be predictions that
we should be able to test to see whether something fits the ID model.
--
`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°
,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,
eNo
"Test everything; hold on to the good."
John Harshman
2005-07-13 19:36:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
Much to my surprise, on one of my Web-surfing expeditions, I ran into
ideacenter.org. Among other things, they have a couple of links that
outline
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
how ID allegedly follows the scientific method and is testable. Both
links
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
below repeat much of the same information, relying heavilty on IC and
CSI to
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
make the case.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design make predictions? Is it testable?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156
The Short Answer: Yes. Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we
will
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form
of
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by
trying
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an
"irreducible core." Intelligent design also makes other predictions,
such as
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
2) rapid appearance of complexity in the fossil record, 3) re-usage of
similar parts in different organisms, and 4) function for biological
structures. Each of these predictions may be tested--and have been
confirmed
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
through testing!
The long answer goes on to list ways a designer works (much to my
surprise),
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
ID predictions, and lines of evidence.
It's not enough to make predictions. They have to be predictions that
differentiate your theory from other theories. None of the four
predictions stated above distinguish ID from standard evolutionary
theories. In order for the first prediction to be useful, for example,
you have to assume that known processes (or an conceivable process other
than ID) are incapable of generating "specified complexity" (whatever
that is).
An assumption per se is not at issue. Rather, it is the claim of ID that
evolution cannot produce IC or CSI. This is a falsifiable claim (one which
may have already been falsified), not just a mere asumption.
But that's not the claimed prediction given above. It's just a
requirement for the first claimed prediction to make sense. The other
predictions don't work on any terms.
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
I would think that if you had a definition of CSI that made
any biological sense, it would turn out that natural selection is
capable of generating it. And so on.
Are any of the other predictions any better?
I don't know about "better", but what about prediction number 4?
"The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or
functionless 'junk DNA'."
Is this an expansion of prediction number 4? It's not in the original post.
Post by eNo
This might in fact contradict evolutionary theory (and currently available
data) depending on how you define "much." How much is too much "discrarded
genetic baggage"? 5%, 25%, 50%?
"Genetic baggage code"? Shouldn't a prediction at least make some kind
of coherent sense, using words that mean something when put together?
OK, so they're claiming that there should be no junk DNA. I think this
claim has been falsified. But does that falsify ID? I'm not sure.
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design theory implement the scientific method?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1154
The Short Answer: Yes. The scientific method goes from observation -->
hypothesis --> experiment --> conclusion. Intelligent design begins with
the
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified
information (CSI). They hypothesize that if objects were designed, they
will
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
contain CSI. They then seek to find CSI. One easily testable form of CSI
is
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
irreducible complexity (IC). ID researchers can then experimentally
reverse-engineer biological structures to see if they are IC. If they
find
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
them, they can conclude design.
The long answer goes on to list the observation, hypothesis, experiment
and
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
conclusion, along with the ways a designer works (in less detail), ID
predictions and lines of evidence.
Once again, not a unique prediction *unless* known processes are shown
to be incapable of producing CSI.
Well, that's the rub, isn't it? That's precisely the claim ID makes: that
evolutionary processes alone can't produce CSI.
Until CSI can be defined well enough that you can recognize it
objectively, that's not an operational question.
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Anyway, I don't post this because I necessarily buy into it, but because
I
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
have read countless times (just today actually) how ID makes no
predictions
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
or doesn't deal with the ways of the designer." These links show that at
least some members of the ID community have put forth the effort to show
conformance with the scientific method and to discuss how a designer
might
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
proceed. Now, whether any of it holds water is a different matter, but I
think we should restrain from saying things like "ID makes no
predictions"
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
or "ID doesn't tell us how the designer works."
If there's nothing better than the above, I wouldn't change anyuthing.
Those aren't predictions in the scientific sense. I could as well say
that if ID is correct, organisms must exist. But is the existence of
organisms a prediction of ID in any useful sense? I don't think so.
As for the questions about how the designer works, I don't see anything
about that above. What have you got?
From http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156, "Table 1.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(1) Take many parts and arrange them in highly specified and complex
patterns which perform a specific function.
I'm sorry, this doesn't mean anything to me. What are these parts? How
are they arranged? Is this arrangement consistent with the fact that
living systems are not constructed, but develop in each individual? Is
it consistent with the fact that current species are descended from
similar species that, at some point in time, lacked whatever features
you care to name? This is much too vague to constitute anything like a
mechanism. Boiled down, all it means is that the designer acted by
designing. That's like saying that gravity works by gravitation.
Post by eNo
“Experience teaches that information-rich systems … invariably result from
intelligent causes, not naturalistic ones. … Finding the best explanation,
however, requires invoking causes that have the power to produce the effect
in question. When it comes to information, we know of only one such cause.
For this reason, the biology of the information age now requires a new
science of design.”
(Stephen C. Meyer, "The Explanatory Power of Design," in Mere Creation, pg.
140 (William A. Dembski ed., InterVarsity Press 1998))
Again, the problem with this is that Meyer fails to define "information
rich systems" and even "information" in such a way that we can recognize
it when it arises (or doesn't).
Post by eNo
“Agents can arrange matter with distant goals in mind. In their use of
language, they routinely ‘find’ highly isolated and improbable functional
sequences amid vast spaces of combinatorial possibilities.”
(Stephen C. Meyer, “The Cambrian Information Explosion,” Debating Design,
pg. 388 (Dembski and Ruse eds., Cambridge University Press 2004).
This seems totally vacant of meaning.
Post by eNo
"Indeed, in all cases where we know the causal origin of 'high information
content,' experience has shown that intelligent design played a causal
role."
(Stephen C. Meyer, DNA and Other Designs)
Once more, what's "high information content" and how do you recognize it
objectively?
Post by eNo
(2) Rapidly infuse any amounts of genetic information into the biosphere,
including large amounts, such that at times rapid morphological or genetic
changes could occur in populations.
And what does "rapidly infuse" mean here? How would we recognize such
infusion after the fact? Are there claimed examples of such infusion?
Post by eNo
"Intelligent design provides a sufficient causal explanation for the origin
of large amounts of information, since we have considerable experience of
intelligent agents generating informational configurations of matter."
(Meyer S. C. et. al., "The Cambrian Explosion: Biology's Big Bang," in
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, edited by J. A. Campbell and S. C.
Meyer (Michigan State University Press, 2003)
Actually, design doesn't explain the origin of anything other than a
plan in your head. A house may be designed, but it also has to be built.
This too is too vague to be useful.
Post by eNo
(3) 'Re-use parts' over-and-over in different types of organisms (design
upon a common blueprint).
This one has a little bit of promise. But interpreted in the most
obvious way, it would seem to suggest that we would not see a nested
hierarchy in life. That is, if it's a real and useful prediction, it has
already been falsified.
Post by eNo
“An intelligent cause may reuse or redeploy the same module in different
systems, without there necessarily being any material or physical connection
between those systems. Even more simply, intelligent causes can generate
identical patterns independently: We do so, for instance, every time we sign
a bank check or credit card slip” (Nelson and Wells, Homology in Biology, in
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, pg. 316, 318 (John Angus Campbell,
ed. Michigan State University Press 2003).
OK, so this one is falsified. The question is whether it falsifies
intelligent design. I would say not. What it falsifies is separate
creation of species. Intelligent design with common descent is not
falsified.
Post by eNo
(4) Be said to typically NOT create completely functionless objects or parts
(although we may sometimes think something is functionless, but not realize
its true function).
The problem with this prediction is the parenthetical bit, which
provides the universal out. If we think something is functionless,
that's just because we don't know its true function. Therefore this
prediction is untestable.
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
BTW, I would consider these "ways of a designer" to also be predictions that
we should be able to test to see whether something fits the ID model.
To sum up, there are several problems. One is that there is not a single
"ID model", but a large family of potential theories. Prediction 3 is
specific to fiat creation, which for example Behe among IDiots does not
support. Another is that some of the predictions are too vague to be
testable (as number 1) or are explicitly made untestable (as in number
4). Still nothing to see.
eNo
2005-07-13 21:56:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
Much to my surprise, on one of my Web-surfing expeditions, I ran into
ideacenter.org. Among other things, they have a couple of links that
outline
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
how ID allegedly follows the scientific method and is testable. Both
links
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
below repeat much of the same information, relying heavilty on IC and
CSI to
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
make the case.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design make predictions? Is it testable?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156
The Short Answer: Yes. Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we
will
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form
of
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by
trying
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an
"irreducible core." Intelligent design also makes other predictions,
such as
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
2) rapid appearance of complexity in the fossil record, 3) re-usage of
similar parts in different organisms, and 4) function for biological
structures. Each of these predictions may be tested--and have been
confirmed
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
through testing!
The long answer goes on to list ways a designer works (much to my
surprise),
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
ID predictions, and lines of evidence.
It's not enough to make predictions. They have to be predictions that
differentiate your theory from other theories. None of the four
predictions stated above distinguish ID from standard evolutionary
theories. In order for the first prediction to be useful, for example,
you have to assume that known processes (or an conceivable process other
than ID) are incapable of generating "specified complexity" (whatever
that is).
An assumption per se is not at issue. Rather, it is the claim of ID that
evolution cannot produce IC or CSI. This is a falsifiable claim (one which
may have already been falsified), not just a mere asumption.
But that's not the claimed prediction given above. It's just a
requirement for the first claimed prediction to make sense. The other
predictions don't work on any terms.
True.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
I would think that if you had a definition of CSI that made
any biological sense, it would turn out that natural selection is
capable of generating it. And so on.
Are any of the other predictions any better?
I don't know about "better", but what about prediction number 4?
"The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or
functionless 'junk DNA'."
Is this an expansion of prediction number 4? It's not in the original post.
It should be under Table 2 of either of the two links I provided.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
This might in fact contradict evolutionary theory (and currently available
data) depending on how you define "much." How much is too much "discrarded
genetic baggage"? 5%, 25%, 50%?
"Genetic baggage code"? Shouldn't a prediction at least make some kind
of coherent sense, using words that mean something when put together?
OK, so they're claiming that there should be no junk DNA. I think this
claim has been falsified. But does that falsify ID? I'm not sure.
I agree. The language is equivocal. For me, "much" is the red flag. It isn't
quantifiable, hence not measureable, hence not testable.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design theory implement the scientific method?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1154
The Short Answer: Yes. The scientific method goes from observation -->
hypothesis --> experiment --> conclusion. Intelligent design begins with
the
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified
information (CSI). They hypothesize that if objects were designed, they
will
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
contain CSI. They then seek to find CSI. One easily testable form of CSI
is
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
irreducible complexity (IC). ID researchers can then experimentally
reverse-engineer biological structures to see if they are IC. If they
find
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
them, they can conclude design.
The long answer goes on to list the observation, hypothesis, experiment
and
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
conclusion, along with the ways a designer works (in less detail), ID
predictions and lines of evidence.
Once again, not a unique prediction *unless* known processes are shown
to be incapable of producing CSI.
Well, that's the rub, isn't it? That's precisely the claim ID makes: that
evolutionary processes alone can't produce CSI.
Until CSI can be defined well enough that you can recognize it
objectively, that's not an operational question.
Dembski claims he has done it. Honestly, I can't tell one way or the other
whether he has. But that may have more to do with my inability to sift
through his math than his failing.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Anyway, I don't post this because I necessarily buy into it, but because
I
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
have read countless times (just today actually) how ID makes no
predictions
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
or doesn't deal with the ways of the designer." These links show that at
least some members of the ID community have put forth the effort to show
conformance with the scientific method and to discuss how a designer
might
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
proceed. Now, whether any of it holds water is a different matter, but I
think we should restrain from saying things like "ID makes no
predictions"
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
or "ID doesn't tell us how the designer works."
If there's nothing better than the above, I wouldn't change anyuthing.
Those aren't predictions in the scientific sense. I could as well say
that if ID is correct, organisms must exist. But is the existence of
organisms a prediction of ID in any useful sense? I don't think so.
As for the questions about how the designer works, I don't see anything
about that above. What have you got?
From http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156, "Table 1.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(1) Take many parts and arrange them in highly specified and complex
patterns which perform a specific function.
I'm sorry, this doesn't mean anything to me. What are these parts? How
are they arranged? Is this arrangement consistent with the fact that
living systems are not constructed, but develop in each individual? Is
it consistent with the fact that current species are descended from
similar species that, at some point in time, lacked whatever features
you care to name? This is much too vague to constitute anything like a
mechanism. Boiled down, all it means is that the designer acted by
designing. That's like saying that gravity works by gravitation.
Post by eNo
“Experience teaches that information-rich systems … invariably result from
intelligent causes, not naturalistic ones. … Finding the best explanation,
however, requires invoking causes that have the power to produce the effect
in question. When it comes to information, we know of only one such cause.
For this reason, the biology of the information age now requires a new
science of design.”
(Stephen C. Meyer, "The Explanatory Power of Design," in Mere Creation, pg.
140 (William A. Dembski ed., InterVarsity Press 1998))
Again, the problem with this is that Meyer fails to define "information
rich systems" and even "information" in such a way that we can recognize
it when it arises (or doesn't).
Well, for all we know Meyer fails to define "information rich systems" in
this quote. Perhaps he does elsewhere prior to this passage, but I am not in
possession of the book.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
“Agents can arrange matter with distant goals in mind. In their use of
language, they routinely ‘find’ highly isolated and improbable functional
sequences amid vast spaces of combinatorial possibilities.”
(Stephen C. Meyer, “The Cambrian Information Explosion,” Debating Design,
pg. 388 (Dembski and Ruse eds., Cambridge University Press 2004).
This seems totally vacant of meaning.
But it sounds good, don't it.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
"Indeed, in all cases where we know the causal origin of 'high information
content,' experience has shown that intelligent design played a causal
role."
(Stephen C. Meyer, DNA and Other Designs)
Once more, what's "high information content" and how do you recognize it
objectively?
More to the point, how do you measure it.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
(2) Rapidly infuse any amounts of genetic information into the biosphere,
including large amounts, such that at times rapid morphological or genetic
changes could occur in populations.
And what does "rapidly infuse" mean here? How would we recognize such
infusion after the fact? Are there claimed examples of such infusion?
Post by eNo
"Intelligent design provides a sufficient causal explanation for the origin
of large amounts of information, since we have considerable experience of
intelligent agents generating informational configurations of matter."
(Meyer S. C. et. al., "The Cambrian Explosion: Biology's Big Bang," in
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, edited by J. A. Campbell and S. C.
Meyer (Michigan State University Press, 2003)
Actually, design doesn't explain the origin of anything other than a
plan in your head. A house may be designed, but it also has to be built.
This too is too vague to be useful.
Post by eNo
(3) 'Re-use parts' over-and-over in different types of organisms (design
upon a common blueprint).
This one has a little bit of promise. But interpreted in the most
obvious way, it would seem to suggest that we would not see a nested
hierarchy in life. That is, if it's a real and useful prediction, it has
already been falsified.
Hmm. Do I agree with that? Not quite. Can we find a nested hiearchy in the
design tree of automobiles, from the horse and carriage to the Porche,
Sedan, Van and SUV?
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
“An intelligent cause may reuse or redeploy the same module in different
systems, without there necessarily being any material or physical connection
between those systems. Even more simply, intelligent causes can generate
identical patterns independently: We do so, for instance, every time we sign
a bank check or credit card slip” (Nelson and Wells, Homology in Biology, in
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, pg. 316, 318 (John Angus Campbell,
ed. Michigan State University Press 2003).
OK, so this one is falsified. The question is whether it falsifies
intelligent design. I would say not. What it falsifies is separate
creation of species. Intelligent design with common descent is not
falsified.
Post by eNo
(4) Be said to typically NOT create completely functionless objects or parts
(although we may sometimes think something is functionless, but not realize
its true function).
The problem with this prediction is the parenthetical bit, which
provides the universal out. If we think something is functionless,
that's just because we don't know its true function. Therefore this
prediction is untestable.
Yup. More equivocal, loop-hole language. If I were them, I would allow for
the possibility of designed systems to self-modify, perhaps to the point
where they generate vestigial components. But then, we couldn't distinguish
them from independently evolving entities, would we?
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
BTW, I would consider these "ways of a designer" to also be predictions that
we should be able to test to see whether something fits the ID model.
To sum up, there are several problems. One is that there is not a single
"ID model", but a large family of potential theories. Prediction 3 is
specific to fiat creation, which for example Behe among IDiots does not
support. Another is that some of the predictions are too vague to be
testable (as number 1) or are explicitly made untestable (as in number
4). Still nothing to see.
Well, it is something to see, like a bad accident everyone must see on their
way through a traffic jam.
--
`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°
,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,
eNo
"Test everything; hold on to the good."
John Harshman
2005-07-13 22:37:49 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
(3) 'Re-use parts' over-and-over in different types of organisms (design
upon a common blueprint).
This one has a little bit of promise. But interpreted in the most
obvious way, it would seem to suggest that we would not see a nested
hierarchy in life. That is, if it's a real and useful prediction, it has
already been falsified.
Hmm. Do I agree with that? Not quite. Can we find a nested hiearchy in the
design tree of automobiles, from the horse and carriage to the Porche,
Sedan, Van and SUV?
No, in fact we can't. If one car company comes up with anything that's a
major improvement (including a marketing gimmick), it quickly spreads to
all other companies. Fuel injection, cupholders, minivans, whatever
sells. In other words, horizontal transfer beats lineal descent every
time. The IDiots have that right, that free re-use of parts argues
against common descent, even if they don't articulate just what it does
argue against.

[snip]
BruceW
2005-07-14 13:28:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
...
Until CSI can be defined well enough that you can recognize
it objectively, that's not an operational question.
Dembski claims he has done it. Honestly, I can't tell one way
or the other whether he has. But that may have more to do with
my inability to sift through his math than his failing.
...
If Dembski had actually produced a useful definition of CSI,
I'm sure you'd know it. As it is, all we have from him is
word salad - lots and lots of word salad.

It seems to me possible-in-principle that a formal, rigorous,
and objective way of defining or measuring CSI might exist,
and Dembski might believe that he has found it, but only True
Believers are persuaded. The rest of us are still waiting,
and not holding our breath . . .

- BruceW
Andrew Arensburger
2005-07-15 21:56:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by BruceW
If Dembski had actually produced a useful definition of CSI,
I'm sure you'd know it. As it is, all we have from him is
word salad - lots and lots of word salad.
It seems to me possible-in-principle that a formal, rigorous,
and objective way of defining or measuring CSI might exist,
and Dembski might believe that he has found it, but only True
Believers are persuaded. The rest of us are still waiting,
and not holding our breath . . .
If his latest paper on specificity is any indication, then he
does have something sensible to say. The gist of that is that if you
throw a hundred darts and they all fall along a straight line, or if
you toss a coin 100 times and it keeps alternating heads, tails,
heads, tails, ... then you'll strongly suspect that Something Is Going
On, that the result you got isn't due to chance.
He then jumps through a lot of hoops to quantify this, and
winds up saying that if the data set shows a definite pattern, and
that pattern is very unlikely to appear by chance, then it's certainly
worth investigating to see what's causing that pattern.
In other words, his metric (which, by the way, I don't see how
it can be extended beyond number sequences and applied to real-world
objects like elephant kidneys) measures whether something is due to
chance or not.
He then claims to show that bacterial flagella have a high
specificity, therefore they don't just spontaneously self-assemble,
therefore they were made by God^Wthe Designer.
--
Andrew Arensburger, Systems guy University of Maryland
arensb.no-bloody-***@umd.edu Office of Information Technology
A bad random number generator: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 4.33e+67, 1, 1, 1...
The Last Conformist
2005-07-15 22:21:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Arensburger
Post by BruceW
If Dembski had actually produced a useful definition of CSI,
I'm sure you'd know it. As it is, all we have from him is
word salad - lots and lots of word salad.
It seems to me possible-in-principle that a formal, rigorous,
and objective way of defining or measuring CSI might exist,
and Dembski might believe that he has found it, but only True
Believers are persuaded. The rest of us are still waiting,
and not holding our breath . . .
If his latest paper on specificity is any indication, then he
does have something sensible to say. The gist of that is that if you
throw a hundred darts and they all fall along a straight line, or if
you toss a coin 100 times and it keeps alternating heads, tails,
heads, tails, ... then you'll strongly suspect that Something Is Going
On, that the result you got isn't due to chance.
He then jumps through a lot of hoops to quantify this, and
winds up saying that if the data set shows a definite pattern, and
that pattern is very unlikely to appear by chance, then it's certainly
worth investigating to see what's causing that pattern.
In other words, his metric (which, by the way, I don't see how
it can be extended beyond number sequences and applied to real-world
objects like elephant kidneys) measures whether something is due to
chance or not.
What is that metric?
Andrew Arensburger
2005-07-18 15:36:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Last Conformist
Post by Andrew Arensburger
He then jumps through a lot of hoops to quantify this, and
winds up saying that if the data set shows a definite pattern, and
that pattern is very unlikely to appear by chance, then it's certainly
worth investigating to see what's causing that pattern.
In other words, his metric (which, by the way, I don't see how
it can be extended beyond number sequences and applied to real-world
objects like elephant kidneys) measures whether something is due to
chance or not.
What is that metric?
I don't remember the exact details, but in outline, if you
have a sequence of bits, then you can (try to) calculate its
Chaitin-Kolmogorov complexity, i.e., the length of the shortest
program (on a given Turing Machine) that will generate that
sequence[1]. This length is a measurement of pattern: "000000000" or
"1111111111" or "010101010101" can be generated by a short program; a
truly random sequence is uncompressible: the shortest program that
generates it is just "print <sequence>", which is as long as the
sequence itself. Compressibility indicates that there's a pattern.
I don't remember exactly what Dembski does with this, but I
think he uses a sequence's percentile rank, e.g., "this sequence has a
C-K complexity of 16328, which makes it more compressible than 72.89%
of all sequences in our sequence space." This 72.89 can be used as a
metric.
Does that answer your question?

[1] It's not obvious to me how to find the length without actually
writing the program; and even if you do, there's always the risk that
someone might come up with a shorter one. But at least this gives us
an upper bound.
--
Andrew Arensburger, Systems guy University of Maryland
arensb.no-bloody-***@umd.edu Office of Information Technology
Hear that sucking sound? That's my will to live.
John Harshman
2005-07-16 00:47:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Arensburger
Post by BruceW
If Dembski had actually produced a useful definition of CSI,
I'm sure you'd know it. As it is, all we have from him is
word salad - lots and lots of word salad.
It seems to me possible-in-principle that a formal, rigorous,
and objective way of defining or measuring CSI might exist,
and Dembski might believe that he has found it, but only True
Believers are persuaded. The rest of us are still waiting,
and not holding our breath . . .
If his latest paper on specificity is any indication, then he
does have something sensible to say. The gist of that is that if you
throw a hundred darts and they all fall along a straight line, or if
you toss a coin 100 times and it keeps alternating heads, tails,
heads, tails, ... then you'll strongly suspect that Something Is Going
On, that the result you got isn't due to chance.
He then jumps through a lot of hoops to quantify this, and
winds up saying that if the data set shows a definite pattern, and
that pattern is very unlikely to appear by chance, then it's certainly
worth investigating to see what's causing that pattern.
In other words, his metric (which, by the way, I don't see how
it can be extended beyond number sequences and applied to real-world
objects like elephant kidneys) measures whether something is due to
chance or not.
He then claims to show that bacterial flagella have a high
specificity, therefore they don't just spontaneously self-assemble,
therefore they were made by God^Wthe Designer.
The problems here are twofold.

1. In order to know if the pattern in question can't be expected by
chance, you have to know what you can expect by chance. We know what you
expect from a fair coin, and we know what you expect from darts. But
what do we expect from evolution?

2. And of course, nobody says that evolution is chance.
Andrew Arensburger
2005-07-18 15:43:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Harshman
The problems here are twofold.
1. In order to know if the pattern in question can't be expected by
chance, you have to know what you can expect by chance. We know what you
expect from a fair coin, and we know what you expect from darts. But
what do we expect from evolution?
This is a fascinating question, actually, IMHO. It's like
watching water flow downhill in a many-dimensional landscape where the
presence of the water affects the landscape in complex ways. I was
looking forward to a discussion of this in Dembski's paper. Imagine my
disappointment when he dismissed evolution as chance.
Post by John Harshman
2. And of course, nobody says that evolution is chance.
Except Dembski. And a bunch of ignorant evolution-deniers.
--
Andrew Arensburger, Systems guy University of Maryland
arensb.no-bloody-***@umd.edu Office of Information Technology
Ten out of ten people surveyed in the street are pedestrians.
Mark Isaak
2005-07-14 20:00:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Until CSI can be defined well enough that you can recognize it
objectively, that's not an operational question.
Dembski claims he has done it. Honestly, I can't tell one way or the other
whether he has. But that may have more to do with my inability to sift
through his math than his failing.
It doesn't matter in the slightest whether Dembski can do it. The
question is, can Dembski tell other people how to do it so that any
two of them, working independently on the same problem, get the same
result? I think you know the answer to that question already.

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) earthlink (dot) net
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
exposing the country to danger." -- Hermann Goering
Jim Guillory
2005-07-14 00:47:04 UTC
Permalink
"eNo" <***@abuse.aol.com> wrote in message news:6ycBe.7$***@dfw-service2.ext.ray.com...

<snip>
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Are any of the other predictions any better?
I don't know about "better", but what about prediction number 4?
"The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or
functionless 'junk DNA'."
Shouldn't an IC system contain ZERO junk DNA? The basic claim of ID, that
an irreducibly complex system can only function if all the parts are present
at the same time, and the system will fail to function if ANY part is
removed. So if there is any junk DNA at all, then this junk could be removed
without damaging the system and this means it really wasn't irreducibly
complex.

Regards,
Jim
Post by eNo
This might in fact contradict evolutionary theory (and currently available
data) depending on how you define "much." How much is too much "discrarded
genetic baggage"? 5%, 25%, 50%?
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design theory implement the scientific method?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1154
The Short Answer: Yes. The scientific method goes from
observation -->
Post by eNo
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
hypothesis --> experiment --> conclusion. Intelligent design begins
with
Post by eNo
the
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified
information (CSI). They hypothesize that if objects were designed,
they
Post by eNo
will
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
contain CSI. They then seek to find CSI. One easily testable form of
CSI
Post by eNo
is
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
irreducible complexity (IC). ID researchers can then experimentally
reverse-engineer biological structures to see if they are IC. If they
find
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
them, they can conclude design.
The long answer goes on to list the observation, hypothesis,
experiment
Post by eNo
and
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
conclusion, along with the ways a designer works (in less detail), ID
predictions and lines of evidence.
Once again, not a unique prediction *unless* known processes are shown
to be incapable of producing CSI.
Well, that's the rub, isn't it? That's precisely the claim ID makes: that
evolutionary processes alone can't produce CSI.
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Anyway, I don't post this because I necessarily buy into it, but
because
Post by eNo
I
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
have read countless times (just today actually) how ID makes no
predictions
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
or doesn't deal with the ways of the designer." These links show that at
least some members of the ID community have put forth the effort to show
conformance with the scientific method and to discuss how a designer
might
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
proceed. Now, whether any of it holds water is a different matter, but I
think we should restrain from saying things like "ID makes no
predictions"
Post by John Harshman
Post by eNo
or "ID doesn't tell us how the designer works."
If there's nothing better than the above, I wouldn't change anyuthing.
Those aren't predictions in the scientific sense. I could as well say
that if ID is correct, organisms must exist. But is the existence of
organisms a prediction of ID in any useful sense? I don't think so.
As for the questions about how the designer works, I don't see anything
about that above. What have you got?
From http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156, "Table 1.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
(1) Take many parts and arrange them in highly specified and complex
patterns which perform a specific function.
"Experience teaches that information-rich systems . invariably result from
intelligent causes, not naturalistic ones. . Finding the best explanation,
however, requires invoking causes that have the power to produce the effect
in question. When it comes to information, we know of only one such cause.
For this reason, the biology of the information age now requires a new
science of design."
(Stephen C. Meyer, "The Explanatory Power of Design," in Mere Creation, pg.
140 (William A. Dembski ed., InterVarsity Press 1998))
"Agents can arrange matter with distant goals in mind. In their use of
language, they routinely 'find' highly isolated and improbable functional
sequences amid vast spaces of combinatorial possibilities."
(Stephen C. Meyer, "The Cambrian Information Explosion," Debating Design,
pg. 388 (Dembski and Ruse eds., Cambridge University Press 2004).
"Indeed, in all cases where we know the causal origin of 'high information
content,' experience has shown that intelligent design played a causal
role."
(Stephen C. Meyer, DNA and Other Designs)
(2) Rapidly infuse any amounts of genetic information into the biosphere,
including large amounts, such that at times rapid morphological or genetic
changes could occur in populations.
"Intelligent design provides a sufficient causal explanation for the origin
of large amounts of information, since we have considerable experience of
intelligent agents generating informational configurations of matter."
(Meyer S. C. et. al., "The Cambrian Explosion: Biology's Big Bang," in
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, edited by J. A. Campbell and S. C.
Meyer (Michigan State University Press, 2003)
(3) 'Re-use parts' over-and-over in different types of organisms (design
upon a common blueprint).
"An intelligent cause may reuse or redeploy the same module in different
systems, without there necessarily being any material or physical connection
between those systems. Even more simply, intelligent causes can generate
identical patterns independently: We do so, for instance, every time we sign
a bank check or credit card slip" (Nelson and Wells, Homology in Biology,
in
Post by eNo
Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, pg. 316, 318 (John Angus Campbell,
ed. Michigan State University Press 2003).
(4) Be said to typically NOT create completely functionless objects or parts
(although we may sometimes think something is functionless, but not realize
its true function).
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
BTW, I would consider these "ways of a designer" to also be predictions that
we should be able to test to see whether something fits the ID model.
--
`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°
,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,
eNo
"Test everything; hold on to the good."
r norman
2005-07-14 02:04:59 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 19:47:04 -0500, "Jim Guillory"
Post by Jim Guillory
Shouldn't an IC system contain ZERO junk DNA? The basic claim of ID, that
an irreducibly complex system can only function if all the parts are present
at the same time, and the system will fail to function if ANY part is
removed. So if there is any junk DNA at all, then this junk could be removed
without damaging the system and this means it really wasn't irreducibly
complex.
Nice try, but it doesn't fly. All you have shown is that the genome
is not irreducibly complex. IDers simply claim that biological
systems contain irreducibly complex components. The whole system does
not have to be irreducible.

The presence of junk DNA does say something, though, about the
intelligence of the "design". Hence the insistence that everything
really has some function even if we don't now recognize it. No junk
DNA, no vestigial parts, no historical accidents or relics.
Jim Guillory
2005-07-14 11:21:51 UTC
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Post by r norman
On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 19:47:04 -0500, "Jim Guillory"
Post by Jim Guillory
Shouldn't an IC system contain ZERO junk DNA? The basic claim of ID, that
an irreducibly complex system can only function if all the parts are present
at the same time, and the system will fail to function if ANY part is
removed. So if there is any junk DNA at all, then this junk could be removed
without damaging the system and this means it really wasn't irreducibly
complex.
Nice try, but it doesn't fly. All you have shown is that the genome
is not irreducibly complex. IDers simply claim that biological
systems contain irreducibly complex components. The whole system does
not have to be irreducible.
And of course, they are not going to tell us which part of the genome is
the part required to make the irreducibly complex component. ;-)

Regards,
Jim
eNo
2005-07-14 15:23:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by r norman
On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 19:47:04 -0500, "Jim Guillory"
Post by Jim Guillory
Shouldn't an IC system contain ZERO junk DNA? The basic claim of ID, that
an irreducibly complex system can only function if all the parts are present
at the same time, and the system will fail to function if ANY part is
removed. So if there is any junk DNA at all, then this junk could be removed
without damaging the system and this means it really wasn't irreducibly
complex.
Nice try, but it doesn't fly. All you have shown is that the genome
is not irreducibly complex. IDers simply claim that biological
systems contain irreducibly complex components. The whole system does
not have to be irreducible.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
Post by r norman
The presence of junk DNA does say something, though, about the
intelligence of the "design". Hence the insistence that everything
really has some function even if we don't now recognize it. No junk
DNA, no vestigial parts, no historical accidents or relics.
As I hinted elsewhere on this thread, mainting not "much" junk DNA (they
never say "no" junk DNA), is a mistake. There's no reason they couldn't
posit a designed system that can self-modify, a corollary of which would be
the generation of vestigial parts. Rather, they keep insisting that we keep
looking for uses for the supposed junk -- and we should keep looking --
and/or make claims that these vestigial parts are redundant, back up copies,
or such other unsubstantiated and in some cases demonstrably false
assertions. Of course, allowing for a design with self-modification
capabilities clouds things too much, perhaps, to make the ID case: how do we
know which features are a result of self-modification (translate: undirected
evolution) and which are a result of intelligent guidance?
--
`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°
,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,,,ø€º°`°º€ø,,
eNo
"Test everything; hold on to the good."
Mark Isaak
2005-07-14 19:49:32 UTC
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Post by eNo
I don't know about "better", but what about prediction number 4?
"The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or
functionless 'junk DNA'."
This might in fact contradict evolutionary theory (and currently available
data) depending on how you define "much." How much is too much "discrarded
genetic baggage"? 5%, 25%, 50%?
How does that follow from intelligent design? I have worked on a
computer program that was approximately 15% dead code and have heard
of software that was over 50% "discarded baggage."
Post by eNo
Well, that's the rub, isn't it? That's precisely the claim ID makes: that
evolutionary processes alone can't produce CSI.
Which falsifies ID, because evolutionary processes have been used to
make specific products.

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) earthlink (dot) net
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
exposing the country to danger." -- Hermann Goering
r norman
2005-07-14 21:25:16 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 14 Jul 2005 19:49:32 GMT, Mark Isaak
Post by Mark Isaak
Post by eNo
I don't know about "better", but what about prediction number 4?
"The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or
functionless 'junk DNA'."
This might in fact contradict evolutionary theory (and currently available
data) depending on how you define "much." How much is too much "discrarded
genetic baggage"? 5%, 25%, 50%?
How does that follow from intelligent design? I have worked on a
computer program that was approximately 15% dead code and have heard
of software that was over 50% "discarded baggage."
Your example is clearly an example of design. It is not necessarily
an example of intelligent design.
Bobby D. Bryant
2005-07-13 21:00:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by eNo
Much to my surprise, on one of my Web-surfing expeditions, I ran into
ideacenter.org. Among other things, they have a couple of links that outline
how ID allegedly follows the scientific method and is testable. Both links
below repeat much of the same information, relying heavilty on IC and CSI to
make the case.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design make predictions? Is it testable?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156
The Short Answer: Yes. Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that
we will find specified complexity in biology.
Feh. They invent CSI as an armchair "proof" that a designer exists, and
then tell us the designer hypothesis "predicts" CSI.

The truth is, the know-nuttin "theory" of ID doesn't predict CSI at all.
With out any hypothesis -- or even _interest_ -- in how ID works, you
can't very well predict what it would produce. The old "sometime,
somewhere, somehow, something did something and the E. coli got a tail
as a result" only predicts that "sometime, somewhere, somehow, something
did something". CSI doesn't follow from ID at all.

If they want to make real predictions, they need to start generating
hypotheses about what the IDer's motivations and capabilities are.
Post by eNo
One special easily detectable form of specified complexity is
irreducible complexity.
Someone doesn't seem to know the definitions of the key components of
their "theory". Unless the definitions have changed again, CSI and IC
are completely independent of one another.
Post by eNo
We can test design by trying to reverse engineer biological
structures to determine if there is an "irreducible core."
Except that ID doesn't actually _predict_ that.
Post by eNo
Intelligent design also makes other predictions, such as 2) rapid
appearance of complexity in the fossil record,
ID doesn't predict that either.
Post by eNo
3) re-usage of similar parts in different organisms,
Nor that.
Post by eNo
and 4) function for biological structures.
Nor that.

This writer is like Zoe, pretending that her "theory" predicts whatever
she thinks she sees around her.
Post by eNo
Each of these predictions may be tested--and have been confirmed
through testing!
The long answer goes on to list ways a designer works (much to my surprise),
ID predictions, and lines of evidence.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design theory implement the scientific method?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1154
The Short Answer: Yes. The scientific method goes from observation
--> hypothesis --> experiment --> conclusion. Intelligent design
begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex
and specified information (CSI).
Always? Sometimes? Occasionally?

Can't a designer produce stuff _without_ CSI?
Post by eNo
They hypothesize that if objects were designed, they will contain
CSI.
Of all the objects humans have designed, how many have actually been
shown to contain CSI?
Post by eNo
They then seek to find CSI. One easily testable form of CSI is
irreducible complexity (IC).
Presumably the same ill-informed person wrote both of these pages, or
else one ill-informed person is echoing the ill-informed claims of the
other.
Post by eNo
ID researchers can then experimentally reverse-engineer biological
structures to see if they are IC. If they find them, they can
conclude design.
So, this person believes that anything shown to be IC is the product
of an intelligent designer?
Post by eNo
The long answer goes on to list the observation, hypothesis,
experiment and conclusion, along with the ways a designer works (in
less detail), ID predictions and lines of evidence.
Didn't this person get them memo about "the ways a designer works" being
a no-discuss item?
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Anyway, I don't post this because I necessarily buy into it, but
because I have read countless times (just today actually) how ID
makes no predictions or doesn't deal with the ways of the designer."
These links show that at least some members of the ID community have
put forth the effort to show conformance with the scientific method
and to discuss how a designer might proceed.
Sounds more like a creationist bottom-feeder who doesn't even understand
the pseudoscience behind ID.
Post by eNo
Now, whether any of it holds water is a different matter, but I
think we should restrain from saying things like "ID makes no
predictions" or "ID doesn't tell us how the designer works."
ID *doesn't* make any predictions. Just because someone claims that
it does, doesn't make it so.
--
Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas
Herb Huston
2005-07-13 21:16:18 UTC
Permalink
In article <db3vcm$f8p$***@geraldo.cc.utexas.edu>,
Bobby D. Bryant <***@mail.utexas.edu> wrote:
}Feh. They invent CSI as an armchair "proof" that a designer exists, and
}then tell us the designer hypothesis "predicts" CSI.

The designer of CSI is Anthony E. Zuiker. That's what the Internet Movie
DataBase says, and his name appears in the credits of each episode.

--
-- Herb Huston
-- ***@radix.net
-- http://www.radix.net/~huston
The Last Conformist
2005-07-13 22:29:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bobby D. Bryant
Post by eNo
Intelligent design also makes other predictions, such as 2) rapid
appearance of complexity in the fossil record,
ID doesn't predict that either.
Moreover, it's not clear what "that" is. Rapid on what timescale? What
kind and level of complexity?

I mean, for perfectly sane values of "rapid" and "complex", it took
life a very very long time indeed to evolve complex forms.
Mark Isaak
2005-07-14 19:39:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by eNo
Much to my surprise, on one of my Web-surfing expeditions, I ran into
ideacenter.org. Among other things, they have a couple of links that outline
how ID allegedly follows the scientific method and is testable. Both links
below repeat much of the same information, relying heavilty on IC and CSI to
make the case.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design make predictions? Is it testable?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156
The Short Answer: Yes. Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we will
find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form of
specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by trying
to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an
"irreducible core."
Irreducible complexity was predicted in 1939 to arise as a consequence
of evolution. Its detection, therefore, is evidence for evolution.
Post by eNo
Intelligent design also makes other predictions, such as
2) rapid appearance of complexity in the fossil record,
A prediction of taphonomy, not of intelligent design (unless they
specify *how* rapid, and why).
Post by eNo
3) re-usage of similar parts in different organisms,
That actually does follow from design. To a lesser extent, it follows
from evolution, too. The amount of re-usage which is observed
supports evolution and proves design is false.
Post by eNo
and 4) function for biological structures.
A prediction which is more consistent with evolution than design.
Post by eNo
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Anyway, I don't post this because I necessarily buy into it, but because I
have read countless times (just today actually) how ID makes no predictions
or doesn't deal with the ways of the designer."
Notice that none of the above predictions are the least bit useful.
First, they all follow from evolution, too. Second, they are vague
enough that just about anything could be claimed to satisfy them.

Finally, they say nothing about the designer. One *must* say
something about the designer in order for design to be design. Since
IDists do not do this, their theory -- I mean political platform -- is
misnamed. Let it make as many predictions as they want, it still says
nothing whatsoever about design.

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) earthlink (dot) net
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
exposing the country to danger." -- Hermann Goering
TomS
2005-07-15 11:15:53 UTC
Permalink
"On Thu, 14 Jul 2005 19:39:55 GMT, in article
Post by Mark Isaak
Post by eNo
Much to my surprise, on one of my Web-surfing expeditions, I ran into
ideacenter.org. Among other things, they have a couple of links that outline
how ID allegedly follows the scientific method and is testable. Both links
below repeat much of the same information, relying heavilty on IC and CSI to
make the case.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Does intelligent design make predictions? Is it testable?
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156
The Short Answer: Yes. Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we will
find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form of
specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by trying
to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an
"irreducible core."
Irreducible complexity was predicted in 1939 to arise as a consequence
of evolution. Its detection, therefore, is evidence for evolution.
[...snip...]

Well, actually, irreducible complexity was observed in the 18th
century, and it was used as evidence against the development of the
embryo from a relatively unformed egg.

"Scientific Storkism" is not such an outlandish parody of
anti-evolutionism.
--
---Tom S. <http://talkreason.org/articles/chickegg.cfm>
"What power of mental vision enabled your master Plato to discern the ...
process which ... the deity adopted in building the structure of the universe?
..a system that seems to be the result of idle theorizing rather than of real
research" Cicero: De Natura Deorum 1.8.19
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