Dec 132006
 

This is a repost of an older submission which was lost.
It is presented as a resource to answer the recurring question “does ID require intervention by the designer?”

If, by chance, it should ever come up that ID requires miracles or direct interventions in the course of the history of life (just kidding, of course it will come up) perhaps these notes from Dembski and Behe will come in handy.

What Behe personally means when he promotes ID:

Philosophical Objections to Intelligent Design:
Response to Critics
Michael J. Behe
Discovery Institute
July 31, 2000

National Academy of Sciences:

“Many religious persons, including many scientists, hold that God created the universe and the various processes driving physical and biological evolution and that these processes then resulted in the creation of galaxies, our solar system, and life on Earth. This belief, which sometimes is termed “theistic evolution,” is not in disagreement with scientific explanations of evolution. Indeed, it reflects the remarkable and inspiring character of the physical universe revealed by “[science]. (National Academy of Sciences 1999, 7)

In such a view even if we observe new complex systems being produced by selection pressure in the wild or in the laboratory, design would not be falsified because it is considered to be built into natural laws. Without commenting on the merits of the position, let me just say that that is not the meaning I assign to the phrase. By “intelligent design” I mean to imply design beyond the laws of nature. That is, taking the laws of nature as given, are their other reasons for concluding that life and its component systems have been intentionally arranged? In my book, and in this essay, whenever I refer to intelligent design (ID) I mean this stronger sense of design-beyond-laws. Virtually all academic critics of my book have taken the phrase in the strong sense I meant it.

In speaking of “miracles” –relying for rhetorical effect on that word’s pejorative connotations when used in a scientific context–Ruse and Futuyma are ascribing to me a position I was scrupulous in my book to avoid. Although I acknowledged that most people (including myself) will attribute the design to God–based in part on other, non-scientific judgments they have made–I did not claim that the biochemical evidence leads ineluctably to a conclusion about who the designer is. In fact, I directly said that, from a scientific point of view, the question remains open. (Behe 1996, 245-250) In doing so I was not being coy, but only limiting my claims to what I think the evidence will support. To illustrate, Francis Crick has famously suggested that life on earth may have been deliberately seeded by space aliens (Crick and Orgel 1973). If Crick said he thought that the clotting cascade was designed by aliens, I could not point to a biochemical feature of that system to show he was wrong. The biochemical evidence strongly indicates design, but does not show who the designer was.

I should add that, even if one does think the designer is God, subscribing to a theory of intelligent design does not necessarily commit one to “miracles.”
At least no more than thinking that the laws of nature were designed by God–a view, as we’ve seen, condoned by the National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences 1999). In either case one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature. In one case, the information is present just in general laws. In the other case, in addition to general laws, information is present in other factors too. The difference might boil down simply to the question of whether there was more or less explicit design information present at the beginning–hardly a point of principle.

http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_philosophicalobjectionsresponse.htm

“The irreducibly complex biochemical systems I have discussed in this book did not have to be produced recently. It is entirely possible, based simply upon an examination of the systems themselves, that they were designed billions of years ago and that they have been passed down to the present by the normal processes of cellular reproduction. … Suppose that nearly 4 BYA the designer made the first cell, already containing the IC biomechanical systems discussed here and many others. (One can postulate that the designs for systems that were to be used later, such as blood-clotting, were present but not “turned on”. In present-day organisms plenty of genes are turned off for a while, sometimes for generations, to be turned on at a later time.)”

Darwin’s Black Box pp 227-228

Since the simplest possible design scenario posits a single cell – formed billions of years ago – that already contained all information to produce descendant organisms, other studies could test this scenario by attempting to calculate how much DNA would be required to code the information (keeping in mind that much of the information might be implicit).

Darwin’s Black Box
page 231

“But how could biochemical systems have been designed? Did they have to be created from scratch in a puff of smoke? No. The design process may have been much more subtle. It may have involved no contravening of natural laws. Let’s consider just one possibility. Suppose the designer is God, as most people would suspect. Well, then, as Ken Miller points out in his book, Finding Darwin’s God, a subtle God could cause mutations by influencing quantum events such as radioactive decay, something that I would call guided evolution. That seems perfectly possible to me. I would only add, however, that that process would amount to intelligent design, not Darwinian evolution.”
Blind Evolution or Intelligent Design?
Address to the American Museum of Natural History
By: Michael J. Behe
American Museum of Natural History
April 23, 2002

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=1205

William Dembski

On the subject of interventionism, again, with reference to Miller:

For a designing intelligence to make a discernible difference in the emergence of some organism, however, seems to Miller to require that an intelligence intervened at specific times and places to bring about that organism and thus again seems to require some form of special creation. This in turn raises the question: How often and at what places did a designing intelligence intervene in the course of natural history to produce those biological structures that are beyond the power of material mechanisms? Thus, according to Miller, intelligent design draws an unreasonable distinction between material mechanisms and designing intelligences, claiming that material mechanisms are fine most of the time but then on rare (or perhaps not so rare) occasions a designing intelligence is required to get over some hump that material mechanisms can’t quite manage. Hence Miller’s reference to “an outside designer violat[ing] the very laws of nature he had fashioned.”

As I’ve pointed out to Miller on more than one occasion, this criticism is misconceived. The proper question is not how often or at what places a designing intelligence intervenes but rather at what points do signs of intelligence first become evident. Intelligent design therefore makes an epistemological rather than ontological point. To understand the difference, imagine a computer program that outputs alphanumeric characters on a computer screen. The program runs for a long time and throughout that time outputs what look like random characters. Then abruptly the output changes and the program outputs the most sublime poetry. Now, at what point did a designing intelligence intervene in the output of the program? Clearly, this question misses the mark because the program is deterministic and simply outputs whatever the program dictates.

Intelligent design is not a theory about the frequency or locality at which a designing intelligence intervenes in the material world. It is not an interventionist theory at all. Indeed, intelligent design is perfectly compatible with all the design in the world being front-loaded in the sense that all design was introduced at the beginning (say at the Big Bang) and then came to expression subsequently over the course of natural history much as a computer program’s output becomes evident only when the program is run. This actually is an old idea, and one that Charles Babbage, the inventor of the digital computer, explored in the 1830s in his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise (thus predating Darwin’s Origin of Species by twenty years).

http://www.designinference.com/documents/2003.02.Miller_Response.htm

“Indeed, intelligent design is perfectly compatible with all the design in the world coming to expression by the ordinary means of secondary causes over the course of natural history, much as a computer program’s output comes to expression by running the program (and thus without monkeying with the program’s operation).

Physical necessity can also be the carrier of teleology through laws of form that channel evolution along preset paths.

Even a non-Darwinian form of selection and variation can accommodate teleology, provided variations are under intelligent control or the environment is carefully fine-tuned by an intelligence to select for appropriate variations.

Intelligent design’s only concern is that secondary causes leave room for teleology and that this teleology be empirically detectable.

Indeed there are forms of telelogical evolution that are entirely compatible with intelligent design and that involve no break in secondary causes.”
The Design Revolution

In response to Howard Van Till (one time theistic evolutionist, and opponent of Phillip Johnson’s, now a process theologian):

Likewise, should a designer, who for both Van Till and me is God,act to bring about a bacterial flagellum, there is no reason prima facie to suppose that this designer did not act consistently with natural laws. It is, for instance, a logical possibility that the design in the bacterial flagellum was front-loaded into the universe at the Big Bang and subsequently expressed itself in the course of natural history as a miniature outboard motor on the back of E. Coli. Whether this is what actually happened is another question (more on this later), but it is certainly a live possibility and one that gets around the usual charge of miracles.

http://www.meta-library.net/id-wd/natur-body.html

I argue in No Free Lunch that intelligent design does not require miracles or supernatural interventions in the classical sense of what I call “counterfactual substitution.” Although the term counterfactual substitution is recent, the idea is ancient and was explicitly described in counterfactual terms by the theologian Schleiermacher. The idea is that natural processes are ready to make outcome X occur but outcome Y occurs instead. Thus, for instance, with the body of Jesus dead and buried in a tomb for three days, natural processes are ready to keep that corpse a corpse (= the outcome X). But instead, that body resurrects (= the outcome Y).

Now I claim that intelligent design, in detecting design in nature and in biological systems in particular, doesn’t require counterfactual substitution.

Similar considerations apply to the bacterial flagellum. It’s not that nature was conspiring to prevent the flagellum’s emergence and that a designer was needed to overcome nature’s inherent preference for some other outcome (as in the case of counterfactual substitution). Rather, the problem was that nature had too many options and without design couldn’t sort through all those options. It’s not the case that natural laws are set to bring about the outcome of no flagellum. The problem is that natural laws are too unspecific to determine any particular outcome. That’s the rub. Natural laws are compatible with the formation of the flagellum but also compatible with the formation of a plethora of other molecular assemblages, most of which have no biological significance.

Yet it’s precisely that freedom that makes nature unable to account for specified outcomes of small probability. Nature, in this case, rather than being intent on doing only one thing, is open to doing any number of things. Yet when one of those things is a highly improbable specified event (be it spelling Hamlet’s soliloquy with Scrabble pieces or forming a bacterial flagellum), design becomes the required inference. Van Till has therefore missed the point: not counterfactual substitution (and therefore not miracles) but the incompleteness of natural processes is what the design inference uncovers.

http://www-acs.ucsd.edu/~idea/dembskivantill.htm

Dembski on a designer who imparts information rather than moving particles:
http://www.meta-library.net/id-wd/howca-frame.html

Allen Orr, on Dembski and intervention, in his Boston review book review of No Free Lunch:

To be fair, Dembski admits that there are no grounds for excluding either front-loading or intervention. But it’s clear where his heart lies. He seems less than crazy about the former idea and perceptibly leans to the latter. At the very least he defends intervention with gusto.18

http://bostonreview.net/BR27.3/orr.html

Orr’s later admission in a New Yorker article goes a little bit deeper:

Although Dembski is somewhat noncommittal, he seems to favor a design theory in which an intelligent agent programmed design into early life, or even into the early universe. This design then unfolded through the long course of evolutionary time, as microbes slowly morphed into man.

http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/050530fa_fact

Dembski’s response to Orr
http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/103

For more on Allen Orr see also:
Evolution’s Logic of Credulity: An Unfettered Response to Allen Orr
http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_logic_credulity.htm

On the Daily Show Dembski refuted the idea that ID requires a tinkerer God, as he did in similar fashion on a Rick Woods’s radio show with skeptic Michael Shermer:
http://www.audiomartini.com/services.html

No ID person is saying that God specifically toggled the DNA to code for the bacterial flagellum. It’s possible , just about anything is possible. It could have happened through an evolutionary process, just one that’s directed where it is actual teleological guidance, not just NS and random forces.

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scordova
13 years ago

Thank you Daron for taking time to reconstruct your great post!

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Hi Daron

Behe says: “…one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature…” I am trying to understand what sort of scenario Behe is thinking about here. Suppose the Intelligent Designer created the universe. He tuned the laws of nature and the fundamental constants in such a way that suns would inevitably form, planets would condense around them, life would appear and evolve, through a process of random variation, selection and inheritance, into intelligent beings, as well as countless other species, all without the Designer being involved at all since the Big Bang. Is this the sort of thing Behe is talking about, do you think?

I ask, because on another thread Teleologist accuses me of quote-mining this from Behe, and I cannot understand in what way I am misrepresenting Behe. I am assuming Behe is talking about a Big Bang, 17 billion years ago, when he says “very start of the universe”, rather than, say, creation 6000 years ago, as Behe certainly believes in an old universe. And the whole pont is that the Designer does not get involved from that point on,that all the CSI is there right from the Big Bang. So what am I missing?

Daron
Daron
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,
Thanks for your interest in this post.
I supply it as a resource to counter specific claims about ID and cannot claim myself to speak for Behe.

That said, what I would think you are missing is that Behe is saying that, however it came to be, life demonstrates the unmistakable hallmarks of purposeful design.
Evolutionary theory says it does not.
You can not characterize the process as blind, unguided, random, purposeless, etc. (I know you are contesting this contention of MET with teleologist) and at the same time find evidence of design in nature.
Behe is limited by the scientific inference to saying that the design is detected, and that it is evident in the appearance of irreducibly complex systems.
This discovery tells him nothing about how the design was implemented.

Thanks again for making use of these quotes.

Merry Christmas.

Daron

Daron
Daron
13 years ago

As a further resource, Stephen Jones has a post dealing with Behe on common ancestry and how his views separate him from proponents of MET.

teleologist
13 years ago

Thanks for the link. I have always respected Stephen Jones’s meticulous research and clear debating skills. We all know the intention of these quotes. However, in this case Pixie was just grasping at straws to misdirect his quote mining that he claims to detest from Creationists.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Intelligent Design covers a lot of different scenarios, such as YEC or an old universe with God modifying DNA periodically over the last 3 billion years. I think Behe would agree with me that both these scenarios are ID.

I get the impressio that Behe actually believes the latter scenario (or something pretty close to that) to be true. It is clear that Behe does not believe YEC to be true.

So we have three sets here, and we can place an origins hypothesis in any of those three sets.
In the first set, we have ID hypotheses that Behe thinks are correct. I guess this has only one member, the hypothesis of an old universe with God modifying DNA periodically over the last 3 billion years.
In the second set we have hypotheses that Behe thinks are wrong, but he would still consider to be ID, and here there will be plenty of examples, including YEC
And in set three we have origins hypotheses that Behe would not consider to be ID, and (of course) thinks are wrong.

The link provided by Daron has some interesting points.

However, as I said, your atheist evolutionist opponent was only half-right that Prof. “Behe … disagrees with you.” If the issue is “the standard scientific theory” of evolution “that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process'” (my emphasis):

And:

then Dr Behe has stated that his position is that “evolution occurred, but was guided by God” (my emphasis):

Behe personally believes that God had a hand in the development of life during evolution, that it was guided by God. As I read it, he believes in an interventionist ID.

But what was the point of this thread? This thread is about showing that ID is not necessarily interventionist. As quoted in the OP, Behe said:

I should add that, even if one does think the designer is God, subscribing to a theory of intelligent design does not necessarily commit one to “miracles.”
At least no more than thinking that the laws of nature were designed by God–a view, as we’ve seen, condoned by the National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences 1999). In either case one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature. In one case, the information is present just in general laws. In the other case, in addition to general laws, information is present in other factors too. The difference might boil down simply to the question of whether there was more or less explicit design information present at the beginning–hardly a point of principle.

What he is describing here is a non-interventionist ID scenario. Clearly Daron believes this tobe the case, as he posted it with that understanding.

So Behe believes in an interventionist ID, but accepts a non-interventionist scenario that he does not believe in is also ID. Behe is describing here an origins hypothesis that is ID, but that he does not personally believe in; a hypothesis that falls into the second set above, along with YEC.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

I am splitting my argument into three posts to keep separate the three issues. Even now I am not clear where we disagree, and I am hoping this will help make that apparent.

So here we have a scenario that Behe does not believe, but that he says is still ID.

I should add that, even if one does think the designer is God, subscribing to a theory of intelligent design does not necessarily commit one to “miracles.”
At least no more than thinking that the laws of nature were designed by God–a view, as we’ve seen, condoned by the National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences 1999). In either case one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature. In one case, the information is present just in general laws. In the other case, in addition to general laws, information is present in other factors too. The difference might boil down simply to the question of whether there was more or less explicit design information present at the beginning–hardly a point of principle.

What exactly does this involve? My best guess is that Behe is thinking about a Big Bang scenario, in which the Big Bang is caused by the designer. At this point the designer has loaded into the universe all the information required for the later development of intelligent life, I presume though the laws of nature and the fundamental constants, in a fine-tuning style. Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe (this must be the case; this is a non-interventionist scenario). However, because of the way the laws of nature and the fundamental constants were designed, stars form, planets evolve, first life appears and evolves. I guess that evolution proceeds though a process of variation and selection.

Admittedly, it is hard to be sure I am right from just this quote, but so far no one has offered me any alternative explanation. I do keep asking Teleologist to do so, and the best he has offered to far is that the information is front-loaded into the universe at the start. Which was what I said anyway.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

I apologise that part three takes us off-topic, but it would be best to keep this all together; also, I realise there will be a fourth part, to bring it all together. The issue for part three is whether modern evolutionary theory (MET) is necessarily purposeless; that purpureless is a basic tenet of MET.

Certainly, a lot of people think MET is purposeless – me for one – but it is not true that MET is inherently purposeless. Here is the Wikipedia entry for evolution, which gives a good overview of what the modern theory actually claims. Nowhere does it say that evolution is purposeless.

Here is a web page by Edward Babinski, collecting together the words of some Christians who accept evolution, many with Ph.D.s in biology. Seems likely that they think MET has a purpose.

Teleologist has objected because the Wiki entry talks about random processes, but this objection is invalid because random does not imply purposeless. Even random processes can still be predicable, and can therefore be used by an intelligent agent to achive some end. An example of a random process is radioactive decay. It is impossible to predict when a nucleas will decay, but the decay of a kilogram of the material is predictable, and for a given isotope will always have the same halflife. Another example is the second law of thermodynamics, which relies on random distribution of energy at the quantum level, giving a predictable law – with no know exceptions in chemistry, biology or physics – at the macroscopic level (for background on the second law you might like to look at this site, which is pretty technical, or this site, which is not). The predictions based on the second law are used to build refridgerators, cars and chemica plants. These thing are designed, they have a purpose, even though they are based on random processes.

Sure, some things are random and purposeless, but some things are random and purposeful. So it does not follow that just because evolution is random it must be purposeless. MET takes no position either way.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

This all stems from a claim by Teleologist that ID and modern evolutionary theory (MET) are “mutually exclusive”. To summarise, consider again this origins hypothesis:

The Big Bang is caused by the designer. At this point the designer has loaded into the universe all the information required for the later development of intelligent life, though the laws of nature and the fundamental constants, in a fine-tuning style. Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe. However, because of the way the laws of nature and the fundamental constants were designed, stars form, planets evolve, first life appears and evolves. Evolution proceeds though a process of variation – including random mutations – and selection.

These are my claims:

This represents a coherent hypothesis; specifically, even though stellar evolution involves random events, it still proceeds in a predictable manner, and so can still be used by the designer to produce stars. Similarly, even though biological evolution involves random events, it still proceeds in a predictable manner, and so can still be used by the designer to produce intelligent life.
This – in essense – is the scenario Behe is describing in the text I keep quoting
Although Behe does not personally believe this to be what actually happened, he does believe it to be ID
MET – despite involving random events – is neutral with respect to purpose; it does not take a stand on this issue. MET is not necessarily purposeless.
The scenario above could reasonally entails evolution as described in MET
The scenario above therefore is compatible with both ID and MET
Therefore ID and MET are not mutually exclusive

Now I do not like being accused of quote-mining, which I would say is essentially the same as lying. So before accusing me again, please tell me exactly what it is you think I have got wrong here.

That said, Daron made the point that the scenario above cannot be ID, because ID says there must be signs of the designers involvement. There must be evidence of design available if this is an ID scenario. This makes me think that either that evidence is in the fine-tuning of the laws and constants or that Behe was wrong, and the scenario he describes is not ID.

To bring us back on topic, all the other quotes in the OP seem either non-commital on whether intervention is required, too vague to be worth anything, or to require intervention when life appeared, for a front-loading scenario. It seems to me that either ID requires intervention (at the very least one miracle, when life appeared) or you need to accept that the above scenario is ID. Either ID requires a miracle or it is compatible with MET. I will let you decide which it is.

teleologist
13 years ago

Pixie is quote mining Behe a practice he claims to detest from Creationists.
Pixie: Here is the quote by Behe: “”one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature”” I am sorry if I am misrepresenting him, but I really cannot understand what he is talking about here unless he means that stars and planets form, first life appears and evolves – though a process of variation and selection – to give the rich diversity of life we see today, without any influence from the designer since the Big Bang. (emphasis added)
Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET.

Behe is a prominent ID theorist and a signator of — A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism — does not support ID as compatible to MET.

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

CASE CLOSED!

Another issue is Pixie’s definition of MET.
Pixie: MET does not reject teleology, it just says it is not detected.
Pixie: I see nothing in the Wiki entry that excludes the ID scenario Behe described.

Wiki entry

The belief in a teleological evolution of this goal-directed sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution. (emphasis added)

Lastly,
Pixie: At this point the designer has loaded into the universe all the information required for the later development of intelligent life, I presume though the laws of nature and the fundamental constants, in a fine-tuning style. Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe (this must be the case; this is a non-interventionist scenario). (emphasis added)

Hold the phone! I am expecting Dawkins, Myers, and Harris to call me to tell me this is an instance of MET and a prime example of a non-interventionist scenario.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Pixie: Here is the quote by Behe: “”one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature”” I am sorry if I am misrepresenting him, but I really cannot understand what he is talking about here unless he means that stars and planets form, first life appears and evolves – though a process of variation and selection – to give the rich diversity of life we see today, without any influence from the designer since the Big Bang. (emphasis added)
Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET.

Do you understand what the difference is between “compatible with” and “identical to”? The scenario I believe Behe describes involves several components, including star formation, and evolution. Biological evolution does not include star formation, so these two scenarios are not “identical to” each other. They are what we call “different”. However, nothing in MET contradicts the scenario I described, and nothing in the scenario I described contradicts MET. They are “compatible with” each other.

If you want to be taken seriously, you really need to understand the difference here. I choose my words carefully; when I say two things are “compatible with” each other, I mean they are “compatible with” each other, not that they are “identical to” each other.

Behe is a prominent ID theorist and a signator of — A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism — does not support ID as compatible to MET.
“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
CASE CLOSED!

As I said, Behe believes in an interventionist ID, but the quote in the OP shows that he accepts non-interventionist hypotheses can be ID too. I spent the whole of post 6 making this point. I wonder if perhaps you could not be bothered to read the corrupting words of the evil atheist, and just assumed what I said.

Originally, I assumed Behe believed in the scenario he described, but as I said on the other thread, I have modified my position. I now believe Behe is saying this scenario is ID, although he does not believe it himself. Please, do me the curtesy of reading my posts if you are going to accuse me of quote-mining.

Another issue is Pixie’s definition of MET.
Pixie: MET does not reject teleology, it just says it is not detected.
Pixie: I see nothing in the Wiki entry that excludes the ID scenario Behe described.
Wiki entry
The belief in a teleological evolution of this goal-directed sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution. (emphasis added)

So now you do not understand “not supported by” either! If evidence supports a hypothesis, then it offers proof for it. If evidence refutes a hypothesis, then it proves the hypothesis wrong. But – and this is the important bit – if the evidence does not support the hypothesis, then it neither helps prove it, nor refutes it. Modern evolutionary theory (MET) is not supported by Einstein’s laws of relativity. The laws of relativity neither confirm nor refute MET.

So it is quite correct that teleology is not supported by MET. Teleology is not refuted by it either. MET is neutral on the issue of teleology. Like I said.

Lastly,
Pixie: At this point the designer has loaded into the universe all the information required for the later development of intelligent life, I presume though the laws of nature and the fundamental constants, in a fine-tuning style. Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe (this must be the case; this is a non-interventionist scenario). (emphasis added)
Hold the phone! I am expecting Dawkins, Myers, and Harris to call me to tell me this is an instance of MET and a prime example of a non-interventionist scenario.

It is not an instance of MET, it is a scenario that includes MET. Besides that what is your objection?

It is sad that your reply relies more on ridicule on than on reasoning. I spent a fair amount of time tryng to explain exactly what my position is. In return, you accuse me of quote-mining, and yet you still will not explain what Behe really meant. How can you in all honesty accuse me of misrepresenting Behe, when you will not explain what me meant? Why did he say that if he does not believe it is true? Was he lying? Was he confused? You are so certain I am quote-mining, surely you know! ID opponents often accuse creationists of quote-mining, but what they do is they explain why the auther said what he said.

I finished my last post with a list of claims. Here are the first three again:

This represents a coherent hypothesis; specifically, even though stellar evolution involves random events, it still proceeds in a predictable manner, and so can still be used by the designer to produce stars. Similarly, even though biological evolution involves random events, it still proceeds in a predictable manner, and so can still be used by the designer to produce intelligent life.
This – in essense – is the scenario Behe is describing in the text I keep quoting
Although Behe does not personally believe this to be what actually happened, he does believe it to be ID

As far as I can see, you are not disputing any of these claims (but please note that I am not claiming Behe personally believes the scenario to be true). It would seem that the only issue we have to resolve is whether MET is necessarily purposeless.

teleologist
13 years ago

Do you understand what the difference is between “compatible with” and “identical to” ?

Pixie is quote mining Behe a practice he claims to detest from Creationists. Pixie is a Darwinian atheist who is incapable of admitting he is guilty of the detestable action he accuses Creationists of doing. Pixie realizes if he admits to his hypocrisy, he will never be able to make false accusation against Creationists. So, Pixie can spin on but, facts are facts, people can read and judge for themselves. No other debate is necessary; these posts can now be used as reference materials in the future against Pixie’s attempt to accuse Creationists of quote mining.
Pixie: I really cannot understand what he is talking about here unless he means that stars and planets form, first life appears and evolves – though a process of variation and selection – to give the rich diversity of life we see today, without any influence from the designer since the Big Bang. (emphasis added)
Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET.

Behe is a prominent ID theorist and a signator of — A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism — does not support ID as compatible to MET.

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” (emphasis added)

CASE CLOSED!

Pixie: MET does not reject teleology, it just says it is not detected.
Pixie: I see nothing in the Wiki entry that excludes the ID scenario Behe described.

Wiki entry

The belief in a teleological evolution of this goal-directed sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution. (emphasis added)

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

[quote]Pixie is quote mining Behe a practice he claims to detest from Creationists. Pixie is a Darwinian atheist who is incapable of admitting he is guilty of the detestable action he accuses Creationists of doing. Pixie realizes if he admits to his hypocrisy, he will never be able to make false accusation against Creationists. So, Pixie can spin on but, facts are facts, people can read and judge for themselves. No other debate is necessary; these posts can now be used as reference materials in the future against Pixie’s attempt to accuse Creationists of quote mining.[/quote]
You keep making the accusation (and getting more and more unpleasant each time), and keep failing to explain what Behe meant. Why is that?

Did you read what I posted last time? I doubt it. You sound like a little boy who has made up his mind he is right and is screaming “I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I CAN’T HEAR YOU”, rather than listen to what the other side is saying. If that is how you want to debate, fine. I will leave you to it (sounds like you are about to stop me anyway). If you think that is a triumph for ID, you go ahead and think that. I imagine some people will believe you, but only those who have already decided I am wrong because I support evolution, rather than bothering to read what I post. Hopefully, there will be plenty of other people out there with open minds, who want to learn, and are wondering – like me – what on Earth Behe did mean.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bother, confused my UBB and HTML mark-up in the previous post.

I have started a thread at ARN (here), with the purpose of seeing if anyone else can explain what Behe is talking about, as you are so shy about revealing it. It might encourage a few more people to read this thread too.

teleologist
13 years ago

You keep making the accusation

I didn’t make any “accusation” . I merely presented the facts. Maybe you’ve missed it. Let me point it out again in different color this time.

Pixie is quote mining Behe a practice he claims to detest from Creationists. Pixie: I really cannot understand what he is talking about here unless he means that stars and planets form, first life appears and evolves – though a process of variation and selection – to give the rich diversity of life we see today, without any influence from the designer since the Big Bang. (emphasis added)
Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET.

Behe is a prominent ID theorist and a signator of — A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism — does not support ID as compatible to MET.

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” (emphasis added)

Pixie: I see nothing in the Wiki entry that excludes the ID scenario Behe described.

Wiki entry

The belief in a teleological evolution of this goal-directed sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution. (emphasis added)

(and getting more and more unpleasant each time), and keep failing to explain what Behe meant. Why is that?

Did you read what I posted last time? I doubt it. You sound like a little boy who has made up his mind he is right and is screaming “I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I CAN’T HEAR YOU”

First let me thank you for being so pleasant by calling me a little boy.

Second, if you think that I am getting more unpleasant for pointing out the facts? Well, if you detest Creationists for quote mining and you do the same that is hypocrisy. Truth is sometimes unpleasant, I am sorry.

Third, I did explain what Behe meant and I have been explaining what Behe meant. But that is not the point is it? The point is you are quote mining by using a quote to misrepresent what Behe has clearly espoused. It would be analogous of me using a quote from PZ Myers to say Myers think religion and science is compatible.

If that is how you want to debate, fine. I will leave you to it (sounds like you are about to stop me anyway).

No I do not want to debate because there is no debate. All you are doing is to change your words around but you cannot change the fact that you use Behe’s quote to make him say something he doesn’t support, namely, that ID is compatible with MET. This is not about victory for ID or evolution. This is about you cannot admit that you should not have use the quote from Behe to support your assertion that Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET, a position even wiki does not support.

teleologist
13 years ago

Pixie, I don’t post at ARN anymore because I am not happy with the management. I hope others will visit this blog to get the story straight. I would appreciate it if you are going to present what I said, at least you should present an accurate picture.

Teleologist is convinced I am wrong – and indeed accuses me of quote-mining! – but is unable to explain what Behe is really saying here. Can anyone else help?

This is highly misleading. What am I saying you are wrong about? I said you are wrong to use that quote from Behe to support your assertion that Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Well now I am really confused. You seem to disagree with me, but you do not think I am wrong? Why are we arguing if you think I am right? Are you saying I am right about what Behe claims? Are you saying I am accurately representing what he says? How can I be quote-mining him, if I am not wrong?

Come, Teleologist. Get your story straight. What is it you disagree with me about?

teleologist
13 years ago

You seem to disagree with me, but you do not think I am wrong?

Pixie, have you actually been following our exchange?
You are wrong.

Did you or did you not use the quote from Behe to claim that Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET?
Did you or did you not know that the official position of ID is MET cannot produce IC?

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

First let me thank you for being so pleasant by calling me a little boy.

Actually I said you sounded like a little boy, but hey, why worry about the facts?

Indeed, this is a recurring theme, I now realise. You seem adept at not quite getting it right. Confusing “idential to” with “compatible with”. Confusing “not supported by” with “not compatible with”. Again and again you seem to misread what people have written, and twist it around to mean something else.

Second, if you think that I am getting more unpleasant for pointing out the facts? Well, if you detest Creationists for quote mining and you do the same that is hypocrisy. Truth is sometimes unpleasant, I am sorry.

You are not pointing out facts (at least not relevant ones). You are pointing out your opinion, and presenting it as fact. There is a difference. You are then failing to support that opinion.

Also, I do not detest Creationists for quote mining. You are making this up. Again, you are getting it wrong. Making things up, and presenting them as facts does nothing to improve your credibility.

Third, I did explain what Behe meant and I have been explaining what Behe meant. But that is not the point is it? The point is you are quote mining by using a quote to misrepresent what Behe has clearly espoused. It would be analogous of me using a quote from PZ Myers to say Myers think religion and science is compatible.

No, you have not explained what Behe said in that specific quote. You can only tell me what he has said else where. Why did Behe say “one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature. In one case, the information is present just in general laws.” if that is not a ID scenario? Why did Daron post the quote on a thread about ID not needing intervention after the Big Bang, if that was not what Behe said.

If quote-mining has happened here, then it was Daron who did it. He is using the quote by Behe to support the claim that ID does not necessarily entail intervention after the Big Bang. Every post you have made on this issue is saying that Behe does not believe that to be the case!

Did you or did you not use the quote from Behe to claim that Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET?

No, I did not. Again and again you seem to miss what I actually said, and twist it into someting else. Getting it wrong, time and time again. Do you do it deliberately, or do you just not read my posts too well?

I do not know if Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET. Seems unlikely, but I would not rule it out – I think he argues against purposeless MET; quite likely he believes, as you do, that MET is inherently purposeless. What I am arguing is that the scenario Behe describes is compatible with MET, whether Behe believes that to be the case or not.

So far, no one has persuaded me otherwise. No surprise, since you seem to have missed the whole point.

Did you or did you not know that the official position of ID is MET cannot produce IC?

I did know that. Are you saying that a hypothesis can only be considered to be ID if it explains IC? I have not seen that definition of ID. Here is an essay by Dembski entitled “What is Intelligent Design”; it does not mention IC. I believe that it is not a necessity of ID that a design hypothesis be able to produce IC.

Of course, Behe devised IC, so why was he proposing a design scenario that cannot produce IC? Maybe he believes it can. Maybe he believes it is still a design scenario even if it cannot (and perhaps he rejects that design scenario because it cannot). Maybe he got it wrong. I do not know.

But I do know (or at least I trust Daron on this) he is on record saying that this non-interventionist scenario is ID. I am not quoting him out of context, I am not misquoting. I am honestly representing what I believe he meant when he said it.

What do you think? What does Behe mean when he says: “one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature. In one case, the information is present just in general laws.”

Why do you consistently fail to answer this question? What is Behe talking about, specifically in this quote? How have I misrepresented what he meant in that quote?

teleologist
13 years ago

Actually I said you sounded like a little boy, but hey, why worry about the facts?

So if I said you “sounded” like a liar, that has nothing to do with being a liar, right? I am glad you are so precise.

Confusing “idential to” with “compatible with” . Confusing “not supported by” with “not compatible with” .

I know you think you can score some points by insisting on this. Can you show me where I ever describe your characterization of Behe’s quote as identical to anything? No, it is you who seem to misread what people have written, and twist it around to mean something else.

Pixie: You are not pointing out facts (at least not relevant ones).

teleologist: Did you or did you not use the quote from Behe to claim that Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET?

Pixie: No, I did not. Again and again you seem to miss what I actually said, and twist it into someting else. Getting it wrong, time and time again. Do you do it deliberately, or do you just not read my posts too well?

Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET. I am not saying you are lying but maybe you are terribly confused.

You can continue to deny your hypocrisy and all I can do is to provide the facts with quotes from you.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

So if I said you “sounded” like a liar, that has nothing to do with being a liar, right? I am glad you are so precise.

There you go again! I did not say “nothing to do with”. Every post you distort and exaggerate, and ultimately misrepresent what I am saying.

If I say you sound like a liar, I am indicating that I am expressing my subjective opinion. If I say you are a liar, I am presenting that as a fact. Can you see the difference? I do not think you are a little boy, but I do think, when you say “case closed” in bold and capitals, you are behaving like one.

I know you think you can score some points by insisting on this. Can you show me where I ever describe your characterization of Behe’s quote as identical to anything? No, it is you who seem to misread what people have written, and twist it around to mean something else.

Ah, er no. I apologise, this has dragged on so long, I have got a bit mixed up. On the God’s Samurai thread you said, in post 45:

Maybe I missed it. Can you show me the exact quote from your link that expresses the equivalent idea as this, “information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe”

What I should have said was that you are confusing “expresses the equivalent idea as” with “is compatible with”.

Pixie: You are not pointing out facts (at least not relevant ones).
teleologist: Did you or did you not use the quote from Behe to claim that Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET?
Pixie: No, I did not. Again and again you seem to miss what I actually said, and twist it into something else. Getting it wrong, time and time again. Do you do it deliberately, or do you just not read my posts too well?
Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET. I am not saying you are lying but maybe you are terribly confused.

Behe believes one scenario, but is describing another. I keep saying this. Post 6 focuses on this extremely complicated concept. The scenario Behe believes in is not compatible with MET. The scenario he describes in the quote is compatible with MET. Good grief, you put in bold “scenario Behe described”, so you must surely have read that. Do you understand the difference between that and “scenario Behe believes in”. I am relieved that an IDist at ARN, Marty, has managed to grasp this subtle point. At least there is some hope for the movement.

And so another post from you, and still you cannot explain what Behe meant when he said “one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature. In one case, the information is present just in general laws.” Every day more and more people will become convinced you cannot, that I am not quote-mining him, but rather I am accurately representing what he meant when he said that.

teleologist
13 years ago

I did not say “nothing to do with” .

Did I say you said that? I was merely asking a question. Do you see the “?” mark at the end of that sentence. NOWHERE in my post did I claim you said those 4 words. You are such a HUGE hypocrite. Every post you distort and exaggerate, and ultimately misrepresent what I am saying. At the same time, you are accusing me of doing what you just did. You have a bad habit of falsely accusing others for doing what you do.

Can you see the difference? I do not think you are a little boy, but I do think, when you say “case closed” in bold and capitals, you are behaving like one.

No, you are wrong. If I said you sound like a liar, at that instance you are behaving like a liar. Just as when you said you sound like a little boy, at that instance, you are saying you are behaving like a little boy. Whether that was your intention or not, that is what you were communicating or at the very least being highly suggestive. Your use of the invective “You sound like a little boy” , followed your false accusation that I was “getting more and more unpleasant each time” , only further demonstrates your hypocrisy.

What I should have said was that you are confusing “expresses the equivalent idea as” with “is compatible with” .

Thank you. Finally, you are honest enough to admit that I have not been using the word identical. You were definitely confused. This is at least the first step to admitting the rest of your errors.

Behe believes one scenario, but is describing another. I keep saying this. Post 6 focuses on this extremely complicated concept. The scenario Behe believes in is not compatible with MET. The scenario he describes in the quote is compatible with MET. Good grief, you put in bold “scenario Behe described” , so you must surely have read that. Do you understand the difference between that and “scenario Behe believes in” . I am relieved that an IDist at ARN, Marty, has managed to grasp this subtle point. At least there is some hope for the movement.

If I was being harsh, I might suggest this had been your devious way to weasel out of your hypocritical behavior of quote mining. This was the reason why I’ve been trying to focus back on the real issue, which is your claim that ID is compatible with MET and you are using Behe’s quote to support that claim. The real issue here is not whether Behe was describing his personal preference of the ID theory.
The point is Pixie is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with you that ID is compatible with MET This was the point that I’ve been making, but I suspect you already knew that. Your distraction by making a dichotomy between Behe’s personal view of ID and other views of ID has nothing to do with the FACT.
Pixie is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with you that ID is compatible with MET.

The point is Pixie is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with you that ID is compatible with MET

The point is Pixie is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with you that ID is compatible with MET

We have wasted many electrons and you might be able to convince others who have not been following this issue. However, I know and I suspect you do also. This is about your attempt of quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with you that ID is compatible with MET

I apologize for the redundancy. I do not want to waste any more time with anyone or even you for being confuse of what the real issue here is about.

And so another post from you, and still you cannot explain what Behe meant when he said “one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature.

You’ve made this inane accusation before and I’ve answered it before, either you didn’t read my comments or you are being deliberately misleading.

However, this is also a distraction. The issue is you are the one that is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with you that ID is compatible with MET. You are the one that claims ID is compatible to MET. You are the one that said Behe (an ID theorist who has disputed MET as sufficient for the diversity of life), whose quote about ID is suppose to support MET. It is incumbent upon you to show prove that Behe indeed support your claim that ID is compatible to MET. Thus far, you’ve shown that you are only capable of quote mining. You’ve incorrectly defined ID and you’ve defined MET in a way that even your own wiki entry disagrees with you, all for the sake of covering up your attempt at quote mining. Most importantly, you have not given one shred of evidence that Behe support your claim that ID is compatible with MET, which is the reason for you in bringing up Behe’s quote in the first place.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Did I say you said that?

It seemed to me that you were saying that using the same logic I used, then it must follow that “if I said you “sounded” like a liar, that has nothing to do with being a liar”. And yet my logic was that sounded like a little boy was different to is a little boy. Perhaps you should explain exactly what your argument was?

No, you are wrong. If I said you sound like a liar, at that instance you are behaving like a liar. Just as when you said you sound like a little boy, at that instance, you are saying you are behaving like a little boy. Whether that was your intention or not, that is what you were communicating or at the very least being highly suggestive. Your use of the invective “You sound like a little boy” , followed your false accusation that I was “getting more and more unpleasant each time” , only further demonstrates your hypocrisy.

Behaving like a little boy is still a different thing to being a little boy.

The point is Pixie is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with you that ID is compatible with MET This was the point that I’ve been making, but I suspect you already knew that. Your distraction by making a dichotomy between Behe’s personal view of ID and other views of ID has nothing to do with the FACT.

To prove I was quote-mining, you have to explain what Behe really meant and show how that is different to what I said he meant. You have not done that. Again.

You’ve made this inane accusation before and I’ve answered it before, either you didn’t read my comments or you are being deliberately misleading.

I have read all your comments, and I can assure you I am not being deliberately misleading. I might have missed it, but I doubt it. What I have seen is you telling me what Behe believes, and showing that that is different to the scenario I describe. And I agree with you. Nevertheless, Behe described a different scenario. You have not explained what he meant in that quote.

Furthermore, you have made the claim before that you have explained it, and saying you cannot be bothered to copy-and-paste the explanation. A mind-boggling position, given how much effort you have put into this debate so far. You could, with just a few keystrokes, find the salient post, copy the section, paste it into a new post. Too much effort apparently. But you can sure type some lengthy posts. How very strange.

And as I mentioned before, odd that an IDist at ARN understands Behe to be saying the same thing I do.

However, this is also a distraction. The issue is you are the one that is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with you that ID is compatible with MET.

Please, not that again. I pointed out before (post 19) that I am not claiming Behe agrees with me that ID is compatible with MET.

You’ve incorrectly defined ID…

Actually I linked to an essay where Dembski defined ID. I assume correctly.

… and you’ve defined MET in a way that even your own wiki entry disagrees with you.

No, the Wiki entry agrees with me. You just do not understand it. But I suggest we sort out the ID issues, before getting back to that.

Most importantly, you have not given one shred of evidence that Behe support your claim that ID is compatible with MET, which is the reason for you in bringing up Behe’s quote in the first place.

I said the scenario Behe describes is compatible with MET, I did not say Behe supports my claim.

This all comes down to that quote by Behe. I have explained several times what I think he is saying. See if you can bring yourself to do the same. Is it really that difficult? You can prove me wrong very easily, you know, by showing that Behe was talking about something else altogether. I thought you would want to do that. Or is it just possible I am right? Behe, unwittingly, described an ID scenario compatible with MET. And you know it.

JoeG
13 years ago

Here’s a thought- if the Pixie wants to know what Dr Behe is thinking perhaps the Pixie should write to him.

ID does not require continued intervention anymore than I have computer programmers showing up at my house to do a spell check on my Word docs.

Also I would like to point out (to Don Provan) that both intelligence and design are natural. IOW the IC thrust is that they could not have “evolved” via some blind watchmaker-type process.

And anyone who thinks that ID is nothing more than “Christian apologetics” deserves a dope slap…

JoeG
13 years ago

No Dr Behe did not descibe an ID scenario compatible with MET. With MET there isn’t any pre-planning nor is there any goal. With the ID scenario described by Dr Behe both are present.

And if you really want to know what Dr Behe thinks I suggest you write to him.

teleologist
13 years ago

I just realized I’ve hijacked Daron’s thread here. I am very sorry. This will be my last posting on this thread and I think I’ve run the course with Pixie anyway. Again, my apology to Daron.

First, thank you JoeG, for that straight and to the point comment. Everyone who understands ID understands what Behe was saying. I’ve even tried to use a video to illustrate that point. Unfortunately, Pixie is not interested in the facts, but Pixie is only interested in covering up his hypocrisy of quote mining.

In either case one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature.
Pixie is a smart person. I can’t believe he really doesn’t understand what Behe is saying. Let me just conclude this topic by summarizing 2 points.

Behe is an ID theorist and a supporter of Intelligent design theory. He has been on record saying that he is skeptical of MET to account for the complexity of life. It is disingenuous for Pixie to try to use a quote from Behe to suggest that Behe think ID is compatible to MET.
The quote from Behe was clearly a description of a view of ID that puts all the intelligence and information at the beginning of the universe. This is a single intervention that does not require subsequent intervention. The universe and all subsequent life was DESIGN right from the beginning. It is the same as the design of that above video clip from a Honda commercial. Pixie incorrectly defines this ID scenario as ” a non-interventionist scenario” .
Pixie in his attempt to cover-up his hypocrisy of quote mining not only incorrectly defines ID but he incorrectly defines MET according to the wiki entry that he has provided. Pixie: MET does not reject teleology. But the wiki entry clearly dispute this with this description,

The belief in a teleological evolution of this goal-directed sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution. (emphasis added)

Pixie continues to misrepresent MET after I pointed this out to him.

I conclude with this thought, with all the obfuscation and equivocation that Pixie is doing to cover-up his quote mining. Is Pixie even debating like a rational human being?

Daron
Daron
13 years ago

Hi Teleologist.
Thanks for the concern, but I don’t mind.
It makes the post look quite popular.
I was rather expecting it to sit here until somebody needed a reference and didn’t want to head back out into the internets to find it.

Hi Joe G.
Good to see you here.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Thanks for joining the discussion, joeg, it is good to know there are other people out there – even if they are on the other side!

Here’s a thought- if the Pixie wants to know what Dr Behe is thinking perhaps the Pixie should write to him.

That had crossed my mind. But it might sound better coming from one of you guys (how cool would it be to have a direct response from Behe on this thread).

ID does not require continued intervention anymore than I have computer programmers showing up at my house to do a spell check on my Word docs.

That is what I am hanging my claim on, and is the basic point of this thread.

Also I would like to point out (to Don Provan) that both intelligence and design are natural. IOW the IC thrust is that they could not have “evolved” via some blind watchmaker-type process.

So are you now saying ID does need intervention, to get over IC? I guess not, but perhaps you could explain how IC fits into the non-interventionist ID that Daron mentions in the OP.

No Dr Behe did not descibe an ID scenario compatible with MET. With MET there isn’t any pre-planning nor is there any goal. With the ID scenario described by Dr Behe both are present.

So you are saying I am wrong because I am wrong about MET, and not because I am misrepresenting what Behe said? As a reminder, I think Behe is describing something like this: The Big Bang is caused by the designer. At this point the designer has loaded into the universe all the information required for the later development of intelligent life, though the laws of nature and the fundamental constants, in a fine-tuning style. Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe. However, because of the way the laws of nature and the fundamental constants were designed, stars form, planets evolve, first life appears and evolves. Evolution proceeds though a process of variation – including random mutations – and selection.

Note that I am not specifying MET here (though of course there are similarities), and I am not saying purposeless evolution – indeed, this evolution is purposeful, directed, teleological.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

I just realized I’ve hijacked Daron’s thread here. I am very sorry. This will be my last posting on this thread and I think I’ve run the course with Pixie anyway.

I felt we were pretty much on target, as we are discussing a non-interventionist ID scenario – the subject of the thread – that was first mentioned in the OP. Still, if you want to save face…

First, thank you JoeG, for that straight and to the point comment. Everyone who understands ID understands what Behe was saying.

But they sure seem reluctant to actually tell anyone else.

I’ve even tried to use a video to illustrate that point.

Great video, that nicely illustrates the sort of scenario I was talking about. The universe set up at the Big Bang, and then unfolding with no further intervention. By the way every step of the process in that video happened because of the way energy is randomly distributed (I am talking about statistical mechanics behind the second law of thermodynamics).

Unfortunately, Pixie is not interested in the facts, but Pixie is only interested in covering up his hypocrisy of quote mining.

I am interested in facts. The one I am most interested in is what Behe actually meant in that quote. Unfortunately, that is one fact you want to keep secret.

In either case one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature.
Pixie is a smart person. I can’t believe he really doesn’t understand what Behe is saying.

When people do not understand me, I do them the curtesy of explaining. I have explained what I think Behe meant numerous times now (just in that last post to joeg, for example). No one has yet explained what I have got wrong there. No one will explain what Behe actually meant.

Behe is an ID theorist and a supporter of Intelligent design theory. He has been on record saying that he is skeptical of MET to account for the complexity of life. It is disingenuous for Pixie to try to use a quote from Behe to suggest that Behe think ID is compatible to MET.

This is the third time you have said I am making that claim, and I have denied it twice. Are you a smart person? If you are, then (following your reasoning) I guess I should not believe you have not understood me, and I should conclude you are deliberately distorting what I say.

Let me try again, in bold: I am not claiming that Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET. I am claiming the scenario he describes is compatible with MET whether he thinks it is or not. Think you can keep that in your head for 24 hours?

The quote from Behe was clearly a description of a view of ID that puts all the intelligence and information at the beginning of the universe. This is a single intervention that does not require subsequent intervention. The universe and all subsequent life was DESIGN right from the beginning. It is the same as the design of that above video clip from a Honda commercial.

I agree. That is in perfect accord with what I have been saying all along. I will admit that in my early posts on the other thread I did not emphasis that all the design was right there at the beginning, but I made it clear in post 48 on the God’s Samurai thread, where I said “Well, duh! Of course Behe is claiming that all the information for the subsequent unfolding was there right at the start.” And on this thread, in post 7, I said “At this point the designer has loaded into the universe all the information required for the later development of intelligent life…

Pixie incorrectly defines this ID scenario as ” a non-interventionist scenario” .

Really? As far as I recall, this is the first time you have made that objection. Odd.

And you have not said what the correct definition of a “non-interventionist scenario” is. Of course not, because your role in the debate is not to explain, it is just to say I am wrong. Hmm, does that still counts as a debate in that case?

Hey, maybe I am wrong. I was not even aware there was an official definition of “non-interventionist scenario”. I found this scenario on a web page about ID not requiring intervention, so I labelled the scenario a “non-interventionist scenario”. It is as simple as that.

Of course the designer was active up to and including the Big Bang, and I have said as much each and every time I described what I believe Behe is saying. If you want to quibble semantics, I would suggest that this was not an intervention, as intervention implies the process has already started.

Pixie in his attempt to cover-up his hypocrisy of quote mining not only incorrectly defines ID but he incorrectly defines MET according to the wiki entry that he has provided. Pixie: MET does not reject teleology. But the wiki entry clearly dispute this with this description,
The belief in a teleological evolution of this goal-directed sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution. (emphasis added)
Pixie continues to misrepresent MET after I pointed this out to him.
I conclude with this thought, with all the obfuscation and equivocation that Pixie is doing to cover-up his quote mining. Is Pixie even debating like a rational human being?

You really need to understand what “not supported by” means.

And so with that Teleologist ducks out of the debate, and – of course – has still not explained in what way I was misrepresenting Behe. Indeed, I find myself wondering if actualy we agree, but Teleologist – subconsciously, I guess – keeps distorting what I say, and is convinced I am saying something else entirely.

Daron
Daron
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,
Here are my thoughts on this dispute you are having with Teleologist:

Behe is not saying that intelligent design can accommodate a theory of evolution where the source of evolutionary novelty is undirected genetic mutations (single-base or not) preserved by natural selection.
There are many ways that the design can be carried in nature to be expressed in such structures which reveal the design (eg. IC ones), but not this.
His conception of ID does not allow, regardless of how the design be implemented, that random-with-respect-to-fitness generation of step-by-step variations, each preserved by natural selection, can account for the apparent design.

I notice you mention that variation could include random mutation without being limited to it in your offering. This leaves the door open, of course, for some other source of variation – while not denying that some variation is of the sort you suggest. This is a possibility, as no IDist claims that there is no such thing as random mutation.

But whatever gets us over the IC challenge to Darwinian pathways (either direct or indirect) there is no logical requirement that it be an intervention, by the quotes in the OP.
Many scientists, not just ID theorists, recognize the possible existence of undiscovered laws of variation, necessitated not just by IC or CSI but also hinted at through such discoveries/postulates as environmental stress-induced mutations, hyper-mutability, mutation hot-spots, laws of form, theories in front-loading, structuralism and evo-devo etc.
It is quite likely that the discovery of such laws (not that this is Behe’s preference, by the way) would satisfy both the design inference as well as the non-interventionism requirement. What Behe is saying (and all of the above is my opinion) is that whatever gets us there, it will be the product itself of design.

Daron
Daron
13 years ago

ps.
I am interested in what is becoming of this discussion on your ARN thread – could you give me the link, please?

Also, Teleologist, Sal, JoeG, etc., given the contentious nature of this point I am thinking of expanding it into a useable post.
I would appreciate any critique you may have of my last point before doing so.

Thanks all.

JoeG
13 years ago

First I just want to say whether or not intervention occurred is irrelevant to ID. And by studying the design, and only by studying the design, may we have any hope of making any determination about it. And guess what? That is exactly how reality says it has to be done- that is in the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way of making any determination about the designer or the specific design processes involved, is by studying the design in question.

But anyway- Daron has done an excellent job laying out the points. My only “critique” is that what we say may not be what is read or inferred.

And for the Pixie, yes IC systems can “evolve” if they were designed to do so. Nothing random about it and nature could only prevent it with a catastrophe.

This is how I would describe it:

The Big Bang is set in motion by the designer who had thought of everything that was wanted and needed, as well as how to achieve those goals. Some time prior to this point the designer has loaded into the universe program all the information required for the later development of intelligent life, through the laws of nature and the fundamental constants, in a fine-tuning style (I will note that these are only sufficient to sustain living organisms)- I would add that information and life are fundamental entities, as are matter & energy and that living organisms require all 4.

Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe. However, because of the way the laws of nature, the fundamental constants (that are independant of those laws) were designed, plus the information, stars form, planets evolve. The first living organisms arise and evolve according to the plan and only where matter, energy, information and life coincide in the same time and place. (One of the purposes of this design is so it can be scientifically discovered.)

Evolution proceeds though a process of variation – including random mutations – and selection.

Dr Behe:

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

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

There are specific design mechanisms such as built-in responses to environmental cues ala Dr Spetner in “Not By Chance”, as well as many GAs that are goal oriented and provided the necessary resources to achieve that goal.

teleologist
13 years ago

Thanks for the concern, but I don’t mind.

Thank you for your generosity. You have many nice quotes in your OP. I just didn’t want to contribute to Pixie’s effort to quote mining. Let me take advantage of your generosity and make this one more point. The exchanges between Pixie and I in at least the last few days have stem from Pixie’s statement that MET and ID are not mutually exclusive. Pixie used his quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using Behe’ quote to suggest Behe agree with Pixie that ID is compatible with MET

Pixie: Actually Darwinism (or modern evolutionary theory; MET) and ID are not mutually exclusive. Darwinism describes the process after first life appears, and ID in some form is perfectly happy with the design occurring either at the Big Bang, or for the first life. The universe then unfolds under natural laws (i.e, MET), with no further intervention.

Check these quotes by Behe:
“”one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature””

This clearly shows that Pixie is using what Behe said and imply that Behe agrees with his claim that MET and ID are compatible. And now Pixie is backtracking with this sentence, I did not say Behe supports my claim.

I am interested in what is becoming of this discussion on your ARN thread – could you give me the link, please?

Are you referring to this Behe and non-interventionist ID?

Also, Teleologist, Sal, JoeG, etc., given the contentious nature of this point I am thinking of expanding it into a useable post.

I think a new post would be a good idea, although I don’t know if there is much more to be said that I haven’t said.

I would appreciate any critique you may have of my last point before doing so.

Many scientists, not just ID theorists, recognize the possible existence of undiscovered laws of variation, necessitated not just by IC or CSI but also hinted at through such discoveries/postulates as environmental stress-induced mutations, hyper-mutability, mutation hot-spots, laws of form, theories in front-loading, structuralism and evo-devo etc.
It is quite likely that the discovery of such laws (not that this is Behe’s preference, by the way) would satisfy both the design inference as well as the non-interventionism requirement. What Behe is saying (and all of the above is my opinion) is that whatever gets us there, it will be the product itself of design.

This is a bit confusing to me. I agree with you that Behe’s emphasis is that design is require regardless the mechanism. However, other than the laws of form (I assume in the platonic sense) and front-loading, none of the other mechanisms would fit the ID hypothesis. I also think that when ID says “non-intervention” it is referring to no continuous intervention. IOW, there needs to be at least “one” intervention as in the case of the Honda commercial. The system must have an initial setup. Although we don’t see the remote control being press to start the closing of the back door of the SUV when the first tire starts to roll, we have no doubt of the outcome. There is a prescribed process of cause and effect. ID is a hypothesis that is antithetical to MET. As I understand it the other mechanisms that you’ve described have no such prescribed component.

Daron
Daron
13 years ago

Thanks Teleogist, for your feedback and the link.

I also think that when ID says “non-intervention” it is referring to no continuous intervention. IOW, there needs to be at least “one” intervention as in the case of the Honda commercial. The system must have an initial setup.

Absolutely.
When I use the term I think of what Dembski said:

Intelligent design is not a theory about the frequency or locality at which a designing intelligence intervenes in the material world. It is not an interventionist theory at all. Indeed, intelligent design is perfectly compatible with all the design in the world being front-loaded in the sense that all design was introduced at the beginning (say at the Big Bang) and then came to expression subsequently over the course of natural history much as a computer program’s output becomes evident only when the program is run.

It presumes, of course, at least one act of the designer.

As for the points you found confusing – I’ll have to refine them to articulate just what it is I want to communicate there.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Hi Daron

I am glad you do not feel with hi-jacked your thread (especially as it was me, rather than Teleologist). This whole argument started because Teleologist claimed ID and MET are mutually exclusive on another thread, just after you had started this thread, which appeared to contradict that, but the argument seems relevant to the OP.

Behe is not saying that intelligent design can accommodate a theory of evolution where the source of evolutionary novelty is undirected genetic mutations (single-base or not) preserved by natural selection.

Of course not. He is saying the source of evolutionary novelty is the laws of nature, as set up at the Big Bang, as I understand it.

There are many ways that the design can be carried in nature to be expressed in such structures which reveal the design (eg. IC ones), but not this.
His conception of ID does not allow, regardless of how the design be implemented, that random-with-respect-to-fitness generation of step-by-step variations, each preserved by natural selection, can account for the apparent design.

Then suggest one possible scenario that is consistent with the infamous quote, and what you are saying here. That is, a design scenario in which the designer is effectively absent after the Big Bang. This is the stumbling block in your argument, and I think Teleologist knows this, which is why he keep refuses to explain what Behe meant in that quote.

But whatever gets us over the IC challenge to Darwinian pathways (either direct or indirect) there is no logical requirement that it be an intervention, by the quotes in the OP.
Many scientists, not just ID theorists, recognize the possible existence of undiscovered laws of variation, necessitated not just by IC or CSI but also hinted at through such discoveries/postulates as environmental stress-induced mutations, hyper-mutability, mutation hot-spots, laws of form, theories in front-loading, structuralism and evo-devo etc.
It is quite likely that the discovery of such laws (not that this is Behe’s preference, by the way) would satisfy both the design inference as well as the non-interventionism requirement. What Behe is saying (and all of the above is my opinion) is that whatever gets us there, it will be the product itself of design.

Sure. So we have random mutations, environmental stress-induced mutations, hyper-mutability, mutation hot-spots, laws of form, structuralism and evo-devo, all of which – as far as I know – are part of modern evolutionary theory (MET), and are being studied by scientists who accept MET. I have left out front-loading, as that requires intervention at first life, so is excluded by Behe’s description (as I understand “font-loading” to mean, anyway). And MET is evolving all the time, as new laws are discovered (by scientists who accept MET, of course).

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Hi Joe G

This is how I would describe it:

The Big Bang is set in motion by the designer who had thought of everything that was wanted and needed, as well as how to achieve those goals. Some time prior to this point the designer has loaded into the universe program all the information required for the later development of intelligent life, through the laws of nature and the fundamental constants, in a fine-tuning style (I will note that these are only sufficient to sustain living organisms)- I would add that information and life are fundamental entities, as are matter & energy and that living organisms require all 4.

Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe. However, because of the way the laws of nature, the fundamental constants (that are independant of those laws) were designed, plus the information, stars form, planets evolve. The first living organisms arise and evolve according to the plan and only where matter, energy, information and life coincide in the same time and place. (One of the purposes of this design is so it can be scientifically discovered.)

Evolution proceeds though a process of variation – including random mutations – and selection.

Exactly. Spot on. There is not one bit of that that I disagree with, and not one thing more I would add. I agree entirely.

Daron
Daron
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

Then suggest one possible scenario that is consistent with the infamous quote, and what you are saying here. That is, a design scenario in which the designer is effectively absent after the Big Bang. This is the stumbling block in your argument, and I think Teleologist knows this, which is why he keep refuses to explain what Behe meant in that quote.

You have the problem slightly backward here.
Just as the scientific inference of design cannot tell us who the designer is, it does not tell us where or when the design information was inputted. What is determined to Behe’s satisfaction by his methods is that design is evidenced. He can not predict the future of science and describe the yet-to-be-discovered pathway or the method of its implementation.
This is why he says we are not logically bound to saying that design requires subsequent intervention after the Big Bang.

What Behe is saying is that the processes we have as postulates are insufficient for the task and given what we do currently know the best inference is that intelligence was at play in bringing about the IC structures. In other words, RM and NS are ruled out – logically in the case of direct Darwinian pathways, and empirically in the case of indirect. Stressing that our conclusions must stay within the parameters of current scientific knowledge the inference of design doesn’t allow us to temporally locate the instance of design, nor can we appeal to some possible future discoveries which may falsify the hypothesis.

My point in discussing other lines of inquiry is twofold:
1) Structuralists, evo-devos, self-organizationalists, etc. recognize that RM+NS,( ie. the modern synthesis, neo-Darwinism) cannot account for what is observed (see MacNeill, Provine, Margulis, Shapiro, etc.). They are set to finding workable theories as to how biological information can increase and how novel structures can be formed, given the failure of random mutations to account for it. In the search they hope to uncover new laws or unknown rules of evolution.
2) If such laws exist to be discovered they may well be the carriers of the information. In other words, they will not represent non-telic solutions, but will provide further evidence of design.

Other than that, to speculate wildly about what forces, laws or mechanisms may have been in play in the logically possible situation we are discussing (non-intervention after the Big Bang) is pointless.
ID does not provide such a mechanistic view (although I won’t quibble with anyone who wants to call design itself a mechanism), nor should it.
The hypothesis is simply that the design can be detected.
To demand otherwise is akin to saying we can’t tell that the pyramids were designed and purposely built until we can hypothesize a plausible method by which they were constructed.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Hi Daron

Thanks for the considered reply. My view is that ID is wrong to shy away from mechanisms and designers (if it wants to be considered science), but that is a discussion for another time. I will agree that that is how ID is.

What Behe is saying is that the processes we have as postulates are insufficient for the task and given what we do currently know the best inference is that intelligence was at play in bringing about the IC structures. In other words, RM and NS are ruled out – logically in the case of direct Darwinian pathways, and empirically in the case of indirect. Stressing that our conclusions must stay within the parameters of current scientific knowledge the inference of design doesn’t allow us to temporally locate the instance of design, nor can we appeal to some possible future discoveries which may falsify the hypothesis.

But MET is already under constant revision. As you say, structuralists, evo-devos, self-organizationalists, etc. recognize that RM+NS,( ie. the modern synthesis, neo-Darwinism) cannot account for what is observed (see MacNeill, Provine, Margulis, Shapiro, etc.). They are set to finding workable theories as to how biological information can increase and how novel structures can be formed, given the failure of random mutations to account for it. In the search they hope to uncover new laws or unknown rules of evolution.As far as I am aware, none of these scientists are invoking external intelligences in their explanations. And if they can provide convincing evidence, then their explanations will be incorporated into MET.

So how about this. Some time in the future we have neo-MET, in which the ideas of the structuralists, evo-devos, self-organizationalists, etc. have been accepted. Variation occurs through numerous mechanisms, some random, some not (but none invoke an external agency). Would this neo-MET fit into the scenario that Behe describes?

To demand otherwise is akin to saying we can’t tell that the pyramids were designed and purposely built until we can hypothesize a plausible method by which they were constructed.

The way I approach these things is to consider competing probabilities. I know the pyramids are made of cut stone, I know they house dead humans, I know there were humans in Egypt at the time the pyramids were built, I know the pyramids have writing on them, so even if I cannot explain how they were built, I would still consider that pretty likely. On the other hand, I cannot think of a likely scenario in which nature by itself could form those structures. When we look at life, there is no sign of an intelligence around to create it and to guide it, there are no clear indicators of intelligent design such as writing, there is no obviously purpose, so I find that scenario unlikely. But I do know organisms inherit genetic information, I do know selection works and do know mutation happens.

JoeG
13 years ago

the Pixie:
My view is that ID is wrong to shy away from mechanisms and designers (if it wants to be considered science),

But that PoV is totally screwed up when compared to reality:

And by studying the design, and only by studying the design, may we have any hope of making any determination about it. And guess what? That is exactly how reality says it has to be done- that is in the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way of making any determination about the designer or the specific design processes involved, is by studying the design in question.

Wm Dembski drives homew this point in “No Free Lunch” (see pages 100-112 in the hard cover copy)

the Pixie:
When we look at life, there is no sign of an intelligence around to create it and to guide it, there are no clear indicators of intelligent design such as writing, there is no obviously purpose, so I find that scenario unlikely.

When we look at life, there are muliple signs of an intelligence. There are clear indicators of intelligent design such as CSI abd IC. There is obviously a purpose, so I find that scenario very likely. Science has demonstrated that only life begets life (and like anything else science has that too can be over-turned. But until it is…)

Now on the other side of that coin there is absolutely no data that demonstrates that living organisms can arise from non-living matter without the aid og=f an intelligence and guidance. There isn’t even any data that demonstrates that bacteria can “evolve” into something other than bacteria. There isn’t any data which demonstrates that a population of single-celled organisms can “evolve” into something other than single-celled organisms. And there isn’t any data which demonstrates that teh physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans can be accounts for by any mutation/ selection process.

JoeG
13 years ago

My apologies for the typos in comment 39.

To the Pixie,

Put this:

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

with this:

And by studying the design, and only by studying the design, may we have any hope of making any determination about it. And guess what? That is exactly how reality says it has to be done- that is in the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way of making any determination about the designer or the specific design processes involved, is by studying the design in question.

Also in the reference to NFL in comment 39 Wm. assures us that no one is preventing anyone from asking or attemting to answer the questions about the specific desgn mechanism(s) involved (design is a mechanism) and/ or the identity of the designer. And it is more than ridiculous to say that ID has to have the answers before it can be considered science. If we knew the answers we wouldn’t need science.

And I say that is why ID is scientific- because it forces us to ask those questions. Then that drives us to find answers.

Do you think SETI researchers would celebrate, pack up and go home if they found a signal they determined through rigorous scientific investigation to be the result of an intelligent agency?

Stonehenge- design detected and determined; further research to figure out who, how and maybe why.

And to tell you the truth I am hoping we find out the designer is not the “God” of the Bible. Either that or our interpretation is wrong.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Joe G

We are really getting off-topic now, but I hope Daron will not mind if I reply even so.

But that PoV is totally screwed up when compared to reality:
And by studying the design, and only by studying the design, may we have any hope of making any determination about it. And guess what? That is exactly how reality says it has to be done- that is in the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way of making any determination about the designer or the specific design processes involved, is by studying the design in question.
Wm Dembski drives homew this point in “No Free Lunch” (see pages 100-112 in the hard cover copy)

The quote by Dembski does not refute what I said. Sure, look at the design, but use that to get clues about the mechanism and the designer. They do that in forensic science all the time. Nobody has seen the murder itself, they only see the aftermath. But they use those signs of design to build a picture of who did it and how.
[quote]When we look at life, there are muliple signs of an intelligence. There are clear indicators of intelligent design such as CSI abd IC. There is obviously a purpose, so I find that scenario very likely. Science has demonstrated that only life begets life (and like anything else science has that too can be over-turned. But until it is”)[/quote]
Finding CSI and IC, and concluding an intelligence is not quite the same as looking around you and concluding people exist, is it? The latter is considerably more convincing.

Now on the other side of that coin there is absolutely no data that demonstrates that living organisms can arise from non-living matter without the aid og=f an intelligence and guidance. There isn’t even any data that demonstrates that bacteria can “evolve” into something other than bacteria. There isn’t any data which demonstrates that a population of single-celled organisms can “evolve” into something other than single-celled organisms. And there isn’t any data which demonstrates that teh physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans can be accounts for by any mutation/ selection process.

Scientists are actively looking at how living organisms can arise from non-living matter. So far, we do not know how, but people have some ideas about the steps involved. Perhaps we could compare their mechanisms with those of ID. Oh, wait, ID has a policy of no mechanisms. How convenient.

Here is a web site that discusses single celled organisms evolving into multicelluar organisms. Sure, speculation. Perhaps we could compare their mechanisms with those of ID. Oh, wait, ID has a policy of no mechanisms.

With regards to chimps and humans, the genetic differences are pretty well known I think. I would imagine it is only a matter of time before the mutations are identified.

Also in the reference to NFL in comment 39 Wm. assures us that no one is preventing anyone from asking or attemting to answer the questions about the specific desgn mechanism(s) involved (design is a mechanism) and/ or the identity of the designer. And it is more than ridiculous to say that ID has to have the answers before it can be considered science. If we knew the answers we wouldn’t need science.

Science is both a way of investigating the universe and a body of knowledge. We expect IDists to show ID is well supported before we accept it into the body of knowledge that is science, and we expect ID to be accepted into the body of knowledge that is science before it is taught as science in schools. By all means investigate ID scientifically. That is what IDists should be doing, instead of campaigning to get ID taught in schools. They just do not seem to want to do that.

So while you may find it ridiculous, yes, ID must have the answers – and show good evidence for them – before it gets accepted as science.

Do you think SETI researchers would celebrate, pack up and go home if they found a signal they determined through rigorous scientific investigation to be the result of an intelligent agency?

Do you think we should accept the claim that there are extraterrestial intelligences out there before they get that signal? Of course not! When SETI gets that convincing signal, then and only then will their claims count as science. When ID gets convincing evidence, then and only then will their claims count as science.

Stonehenge- design detected and determined; further research to figure out who, how and maybe why.

Stronehenge – convincing evidence for design provided, so the design claim is accepted. Sure, research continues to refine that claim, but those claims are not accepted until the evidence is convincing. And then they will get a new set of claims, and so it goes on.

JoeG
13 years ago

OK so promissory notes are OK for the anti-ID side but ID has to have ALL the answers before being considered.

the Pixie:
Sure, look at the design, but use that to get clues about the mechanism and the designer.

Just what can we determine about the Wright brothers or how they designed and built their airplane by studying the planes of today? (and only the planes)

Living organisms- convincing evidence for design provided
The universe- convincing evidence for design provided
The fators required for complex living organisms- convincing evidence for design provided

And yet not one piece of evidence that would demonstrate our existence is due to sheer-dumb-luck- which is the materialistic anti-ID position (includes the laws that govern nature)

Who is campaigning to get ID taught in schools? Please provide valid references.

BTW design is a mechanism. And it is just as valid of a mechansim as anything put forth by evolutionists. I want scientsist to keep searching for answers to the questions I posed. So does Dr Behe. The more they search the better ID looks.

One more thing, we INFER design. It’s called a design inference. And we infer design because EVERY time we observe CSI and/ or IC and know the cause it is always via an intelligent agency. Therefore when we observe CSI and/ or IC and don’t know the cause, the design inference is a safe inference. And like any other scientific inference future investigations can either refute it or confirm it.

But to reject ID while holding tons of promissory notes is just plain stupid.

JoeG
13 years ago

Artificial selection has been observed. Guess what? It is a design mechanism.

“Built-in responses to environmental cues” ala Dr Spetner in “Not By Chance” is another possible design mechanism.

Cleverly written genetic algorithms plus access to the resources that allows those GAs to carry out their goals.

the Pixie:
So while you may find it ridiculous, yes, ID must have the answers – and show good evidence for them – before it gets accepted as science.

But that is a double-standard. You can’t provide any answers other than imagination and speculation but you get to pawn that off as science?

Again if we had the answers then science would be moot. And whether or not the designer(s) intervened is irrelevant to whether or not we can detect and study the design.

I should also point out that if IDists didn’t have to waste so much time correcting thoughts like yours perhaps we could focus more resources on the important stuff. Just a thought.

Daron
Daron
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,
Thank you and same to you.
You make a lot of assumptions in your discussion of the pyramids in comparison to a designing agency which I do not accept, but I don’t think they are worth unpacking here.
You also make several standard claims against ID (not being science, not being admitted into school, not identifying the designer, etc.) which can be addressed, but if Joe G continues to be willing, I would say he’s got that well in hand.
Implicitly however, by moving to these common concerns, by your admission that none of the scenarios I’ve discussed falls under the MET umbrella (your second comment to me, perhaps contra your first), and by your wondering if some neo-MET would be compatible with Behe’s quote, you seem to have accepted the counter to your initial concern here.
Which was: I am claiming the scenario he describes is compatible with MET whether he thinks it is or not.

So I believe that is settled now.

This conclusion is supported by your asking this new question:So how about this. Some time in the future we have neo-MET, in which the ideas of the structuralists, evo-devos, self-organizationalists, etc. have been accepted. Variation occurs through numerous mechanisms, some random, some not (but none invoke an external agency). Would this neo-MET fit into the scenario that Behe describes?
This neo-Met would still have to accommodate detectable intelligent design. This means that information is intrinsically part of the system, and not a result of moving matter.
Right now I see these additions to MET which are being postulated as admissions of the current failure of the existing paradigm to account for the evidence. But as you and Teleologist have said, the people looking for these new theories are doing so (or would seem to be on the surface) with an eye toward describing information as the end-product of the process, and not the necessary starting point.
So no, if it doesn’t accommodate the requirements of a design inference in my previous comments to you it would not be compatible with ID.

JoeG
13 years ago

I have always viewed the MET as “the blob”. It swallows up and accomodates everything in its path. And I have been saying for years that it will never be refuted, just re-written.

This neo-Met would still have to accommodate detectable intelligent design. This means that information is intrinsically part of the system, and not a result of moving matter.

As Rocky would say, “Absolutely”.

teleologist
13 years ago

Pixie: So how about this. Some time in the future we have neo-MET

Daron: This neo-Met would still have to accommodate detectable intelligent design.

Joy’s wisdom might be instructive here.
We’ve been around this merry-go-round before, Pix. … Truth is, there is no theory of “MET” (despite its designed-to-be-deceptive title). Read the rest of this interesting thread, if you have not already.

Pixie: MET does not reject teleology. But the wiki entry clearly dispute this,

The belief in a teleological evolution of this goal-directed sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution. (emphasis added)

Pixie continues to misrepresent MET after I pointed this out to him.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Joe G

OK so promissory notes are OK for the anti-ID side but ID has to have ALL the answers before being considered.

ID needs some answers (and some support for those answers). That was the point I was trying to make. So far ID does not even have a coherent scenario.

Just what can we determine about the Wright brothers or how they designed and built their airplane by studying the planes of today? (and only the planes)

Why only the planes of today? I have assumed the mostly likely ID scenario is that all the species around today were designed by the same guy who did the very first one. If all I can study is a modern aeroplane, with no idea of its history, why should I suppose any connection to the Wright brothers at all? Compare to the ID biologist; surely he will be certain that every species can be traced to the designer.

So I shall suppose I have access to the Wrights’ plane (I will revisit the question if you can give a good reason why I should only have a modern aeroplane to study). An analysis of the materials of construction would give good insight into the technological level of the culture that produced the plane. If I look at how the parts of the plane were put together, I might be able to build a picture of how it was constructed. There may well be marks on the pieces that indicate how there were made; wood might show evidence of sawing or planing, for example. The maximum load it could carry would be a good guide to the mass of the designer. The controls, including their position, plus the seating arrangement would give clues to the shape of the designer, such as having two hands (making the assumption that the designer few it, or a similar entity). I would probably guess its purpose was to provide a way to travel.

So what can you tell me about the designer from the bacterial flagellum?

Living organisms- convincing evidence for design provided
The universe- convincing evidence for design provided
The fators required for complex living organisms- convincing evidence for design provided

No there is not. Most biologists – whose who know the subject best – are not convinced, so therefore the evidence is not convincing.

Who is campaigning to get ID taught in schools? Please provide valid references.

In the UK we have an organisation called “Truth in Science”. They offer a lesson plan about IC, which is an ID concept. In the US, I seem to remember a court case in a place called Dover. Did you hear about it? Some people were trying to get ID taught in schools.

BTW design is a mechanism.

No, it is a label.

One more thing, we INFER design. It’s called a design inference.

Science works by making inferences, building hypotheses, drawing predictions from the hypotheses, and testing those predictions. If the predictions are risky, but confirmed, you have science. Now, what predictions can you draw from ID?

And we infer design because EVERY time we observe CSI and/ or IC and know the cause it is always via an intelligent agency. Therefore when we observe CSI and/ or IC and don’t know the cause, the design inference is a safe inference.

EVERY time we observe CSI and/ or IC and know the cause it is always via a non-supernatural agency. Therefore when we observe CSI and/ or IC and don’t know the cause, the non-supernatural inference is a safe inference.

Only that is different, because?

And like any other scientific inference future investigations can either refute it or confirm it.

This might be convincing if IDists did any such investigations.

Artificial selection has been observed. Guess what? It is a design mechanism.

I know. So?

“Built-in responses to environmental cues” ala Dr Spetner in “Not By Chance” is another possible design mechanism.

No, it would be the first possible design mechanism. And if those responses are built in by purposeless evolution, it will be another ateleological mechanism.

But that is a double-standard. You can’t provide any answers other than imagination and speculation but you get to pawn that off as science?

Looking at the big picture, of evolution over 3 billion years, there is solid evidence for common descent, and pretty good evidence for MET. Compare that to ID, which has yet to offer a hypothesis from which we can draw predictions. On that basis, MET is accepted as science, while ID is not.

When you get to the details, sure, much is speculation. Biologists are discovering new species all the time, so it would be unlikely that they can alreay explain how every species appeared. Where there is speculation, and that speculation is published, there is some supporting evidence, albeit not much. Read the link to see this.

Again if we had the answers then science would be moot. And whether or not the designer(s) intervened is irrelevant to whether or not we can detect and study the design.

Again, you do not need all the answers yet. Just a couple, with supporting evidence.

I should also point out that if IDists didn’t have to waste so much time correcting thoughts like yours perhaps we could focus more resources on the important stuff. Just a thought.

Ah, so you would be in the lab, doing ID science if I were not wasting your time. I see.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Daron

Implicitly however, by moving to these common concerns, by your admission that none of the scenarios I’ve discussed falls under the MET umbrella (your second comment to me, perhaps contra your first), and by your wondering if some neo-MET would be compatible with Behe’s quote, you seem to have accepted the counter to your initial concern here.
Which was: I am claiming the scenario he describes is compatible with MET whether he thinks it is or not.

We are kind of flogging a dead horse. So, okay, the scenario Behe describes is compatible with what what MET may well be like in the future, something that we both might accept, and that is mostly, not not entirely, he same as MET.

This neo-Met would still have to accommodate detectable intelligent design.

The issue of detectability is the problem for my argument (as you said in your first reply to me). I think if Teleologist had picked up on this, the discussion would have stopped much sooner. Unfortunately, he started to accuse me of quote-mining (thanks again, Joe G, for confirming my interpretation of Behe, by the way, and putting that nastiness to rest).

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

I have always viewed the MET as “the blob” . It swallows up and accomodates everything in its path. And I have been saying for years that it will never be refuted, just re-written.

We’ve been around this merry-go-round before, Pix. ” Truth is, there is no theory of “MET” (despite its designed-to-be-deceptive title). Read the rest of this interesting thread, if you have not already.

In a sense Joy is right (why she thought this is so important, I never found out). MET is a collection of theories, not just one. You might refute one, but the other theories remain. Some of it – like common descent – is so well supported I very much doubt it will get rejected.

Kind of like particle physics. They keep discovering new particles, but these discoveries get swallowed up, and particle physics gets re-written.

Does that make it any less valid?

Pixie: MET does not reject teleology. But the wiki entry clearly dispute this,
The belief in a teleological evolution of this goal-directed sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution. (emphasis added)
Pixie continues to misrepresent MET after I pointed this out to him.

Teleologist, seriously, you need to ask someone what “not supported by” means. Someone who knows about about science or logic.

teleologist
13 years ago

Teleologist, seriously, you need to ask someone what “not supported by” means. Someone who knows about about science or logic.

Well, I guess that rules you out Pixie. Just kidding man, you walked into that one.

You are allowed to your own opinion but not your own facts. As far as I know every ID theorist and Darwinist know what “not supported by” means in that context. MET is “suppose” to be not only a negative argument against design but also a positive argument for a non-teleological evolution. Your obfuscation is beyond credulity. The truth is that you will not find one IDist or Darwinist other than yourself that will say “ID is compatible to MET” . If you can find just one notable scientist who would say, “ID is compatible to MET” , it would at least give your claim some credibility. Instead, you chose to obfuscate and equivocate on words, which is obviously contrary to established positions.