May 082005
 

To the committed Darwinists, this might seem to be a show stopper for identifying the designer. First, this is Darwinian Cliche #2. Second, other IDists have addressed this quite adequately,
here, here, here, and here.

To Darwinians like Wesley Elsberry and Richard Dawkins, their objective is not about ID as a science. Their objective is to focus their attack and equate ID with nothing more than a religious belief. This is the reason they are focusing on the importance of demanding to identify the designer behind the design. This is obviously a specious argument at best, because we attribute artifacts to design all the time without actually knowing who the designers are. For instance if you were to drop an integrated circuit silicon chip in a remote part of the world, where the indigenous people of that area has never even seen a computer. What do you think the reaction of these people would be? Would they think that this was some naturally occurring artifact? No, the chances are they will think that it was made by someone. They might speculate that it is one of their neighboring villages or people from another island. They wouldn’t know whom, but they certainly would not think that it was naturally occurring.

Take another example that is more obvious for the unknown designer. Britain’s Stonehenge has been around for probably over 5000 years. It dates back to about 3000 BC. Who built it? There is almost universal unanimity that it is an artifact of design by human origins. The problem with this inference is that there is absolutely zero evidence that humans have designed and constructed this. Stonehenge was already there when the Celts arrived in Britain.

“No stage of the building of Stonehenge is later than about 1200 B.C., and any connection with the Druids, who flourished a thousand years later, is purely conjectural” (Jacquetta Hawkes ed., Atlas of Ancient Archaeology. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1994. 33).

The experts don’t know who these putative designers were. There is no record of any inhabitants in that area during the time of its putative design. So why is there such unanimity that Stonehenge was designed and not a natural artifact.

All the evidence for inferring design is based upon the fact that we assumed that there was a human designer. Archaeologists look for tools and signs of construction around the sites and surrounding areas. They consider the normal working of the natural world that stones don’t just break off of the mountain side in regular shape and roll into these configurations. We can safely infer that it was designed because of our knowledge of the natural world.

The key to artifacts like Stonehenge or the hypothetical space triangle (from the link above) is that the designers are unknown. ID critics like Dawkins and Elsberry have been having a good time ridiculing the comparison of known designer objects and unknown designer objects for years. They preach this sophistry to the Church of Darwin. Here we have an object where the designer is unknown, purpose unknown and yet it is almost universal that people believe that this is designed. These 2 simple facts are more than enough to completely dispute the claim that you must know the designers before inferring design.

Finally, let’s reverse the question to Darwinists. Who is the designer? Is random mutation and natural selection the designer? This is a putative conjecture and not an evidential answer. The reason is that if RM&NS is the designer then Darwinists will have to show historical evidence the actual event and not inference from historical artifacts. How did this designer designed all the biodiversity that it purportedly have produced. How did RM&NS assembled the first living DNA/RNA? How did it design the first eukaryote from a prokaryote? We need details and evidence not conjecture of a putative process of what might or could have happened. We know that is impossible because there is no way to look at that actual event. Yet Darwinists are certain about the designer. I guess that standard of inquiry does not apply to Darwinists.

  4 Responses to “Who Designed the Designer?”

  1. Teleologist: To Darwinians like Wesley Elsberry and Richard Dawkins, their objective is not about ID as a science. Their objective is to focus their attack and equate ID with nothing more than a religious belief.

    ID is not a science, it is scientifically vacuous and is not necessarily a religious belief as much as a belief from ignorance, a gap argument.

    It’s clear that ID is scientifically vacuous, even teleologist admits that ID is not about means, pathways and explanations, it’s just a way to ‘detect’. What teleologist forgets to tell you is that it is a way to detect our ignorance.

    in The advantages of theft over toil: the design inference and arguing from ignorance WIlkins and Elsberry show some of the many flaws in ID.

    Others are quick to add

    Proponents of Intelligent Design theory seek to ground a scientific research program that appeals to teleology within the context of biological explanation. As such, Intelligent Design theory must contain principles to guide researchers. I argue for a disjunction: either Dembski’s ID theory lacks content, or it succumbs to the methodological problems associated with creation science-problems that Dembski explicitly attempts to avoid. The only concept of a designer permitted by Dembski’s Explanatory Filter is too weak to give the sorts of explanations which we are entitled to expect from those sciences, such as archeology, that use effect-to-cause reasoning. The new spin put upon ID theory-that it is best construed as a ‘metascientific hypothesis’-fails for roughly the same reason.

    R. Nichols, Scientific content, testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design theory The American Catholic philosophical quarterly , 2003 , vol. 77 , no 4 , pp. 591 – 611

    In his new book, “Random Designer,” he writes: “It pains me to suggest that my religious brothers are telling falsehoods” when they say evolutionary theory is “in crisis” and claim that there is widespread skepticism about it among scientists. “Such statements are blatantly untrue,” he argues; “evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny. [1]”

    Sharon Begley in Tough Assignment: Teaching Evolution To Fundamentalists, Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2004; Page A15

    Patrick Frank author of “On the Assumption of Design” , Theology and Science, Volume 2, Number 1 / April 2004, pp. 109 – 130.

    Abstract: The assumption of design of the universe is examined from a scientific perspective. The claims of William Dembski and of Michael Behe are unscientific because they are a-theoretic. The argument from order or from utility are shown to be indeterminate, circular, to rest on psychological as opposed to factual certainty, or to be insupportable as regards humans but possibly not bacteria, respectively. The argument from the special intelligibility of the universe specifically to human science does not survive comparison with the capacities of other organisms. Finally, the argument from the unlikelihood of physical constants is vitiated by modern cosmogonic theory and recrudesces the God-of-the-gaps.

    ID could learn a lot from its critics and how science detects design succesfully. Stonehenge is a great example and ID has yet to apply the EF to this. And of course, it would fail… SImply because science has a credible hypothesis of its origin.

    Who is the Darwinian designer? Good examples of proposed hypotheses with mechanisms and pathways exist. ID would be jealous if it only were familiar with evolutionary theory.

  2. Teleologist elsewhere commented Krebs is the one who is doing the obfuscating. Of course Darwinism is atheistic, and they know it. Their atheistic philosophy permeates throughout their Darwinian belief. This is also why they try to label ID as Creationism. The Darwinists are willing to sacrifice science in the name of atheism.

    The claim that Darwinism is atheistic is as erroneous as the conflation of methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism. But it does help to understand why ID proponents seem to abandon or reject science.

  3. To begin with there has been absolutely no valid response from the ID critics to the question, “Can you detect design without knowing who the designer is?” The only responses have been equivocation and dismissive attempts by ID critics to avoid the question.

    Most of what Pim have said has already been addressed in my postings. There are just a couple of things that I want to correct Pim on and give a few references to EF because I have not addressed it here or my website.

    It’s clear that ID is scientifically vacuous, even teleologist admits that ID is not about means, pathways and explanations, it’s just a way to ‘detect’. What teleologist forgets to tell you is that it is a way to detect our ignorance.

    I don’t’ know where he got that from since it is not a quote and Pim must be paraphrasing here. That would not be an accurate representation of how I understand ID. Let me just state what ID is again. The Intelligent Design theoretical states that designed artifacts can be detected. Once an artifact has been identified as designed, it is NOT required to identify the design method or the designer to determine that it was design, again. Remember identifying the designer or the mechanism is the methodology of determining origin. If we can determine that if an artifact was not a result of design, then it is a requirement that we identify the “designer/mechanism” and pathway/history of how this artifact came to being. ID may still want to investigate the pathway/history of the artifact. We may even want to identify the characteristic of the designer through the artifact. However, the knowledge of either the pathway or designer is not necessary for detecting design.

    Intelligent Design theory must contain principles to guide researchers. I argue for a disjunction: either Dembski’s ID theory lacks content, or it succumbs to the methodological problems

    My posting and links have refuted what Pim have said. It is interesting that Pim brought this up just as Dembski addressed this in his Blog today.

    My own take is that Nelson’s statement reflects a profound malaise within the scientific community about the absence of a general theory of biological form and design — period. Scientific theories vary in their scope and power. As a theory of design detection and technological evolution, intelligent design is now well in hand. But as a general theory of biological form, ID has a long way to go.
    Intelligent design, however, is hardly alone in this regard. Consider the following admissions about the lack of a general theory of biological form by mainstream biologists and scientists:
    “The strange thing about the theory of evolution is that everyone thinks he understands it. But we do not.” –Stuart Kauffman, 2003

    Darwinian evolution has been a failure and continues to be a failure in its lack of ability to authenticate any mechanism.

    Turning to the issue of Dembski’s explanatory filter, I just want to note that wile there are a lot of Darwinist critics of his books. Some and maybe many have not actually read his works, such as Dayton and others on ARN, caught by Salvador in this thread. Here is another thread that has defended the EF on ARN. Lastly, here is the one where I challenge RBH on the first node of the filter. I will not entertain any more comments on the EF at this time. Currently, I want to focus on the Darwinian challenge of who is the designer in ID. I will come back to the EF in the future when I am inclined to do so. At the meantime, the readers can look up the numerous EF thread on ARN and see how pro-ID posters defend the EF.

  4. […] ution? Detecting and inferring design is practiced in science regularly from SETI to Stonehenge. Why is it off limits to detect and infer design in biological science? The Darwinian argum […]

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